Poughkeepsie: A Love Story

My husband and I met ten years ago this summer, and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than to take a little road trip up to Poughkeepsie, New York – and specifically Vassar College – where it all happened. 

In 2005, I had been in New York for a few months and decided I wanted a career in theater. Even though I do sing, I’ve always known that I didn’t have the heart to pursue life as a performer, so I opted for a more administrative position. Having exactly zero experience, I took an unpaid internship with a small theater company – New York Stage and Film. I guess I did an okay job because they agreed to actually pay me for the summer season that year – as their assistant company manager.

On the day the rest of the staff arrived on the Vassar campus, in walked a tall, blonde guy who was very charming and kind of annoying. Little did I know, that would be my husband. What we both thought would be a silly summer fling turned out to be a summer full of firsts for our lives together.

Periodically through the summer, we would host opening night parties for some of the bigger productions. There were snacks and drinks. The audio crew would set up speakers, and the actors, writers, directors, and crews would all dance the night away…all in the little courtyard in front of one of the theaters. On top of being my first official opening night parties, that was also the site of my first dance with that annoying blonde himself.

Yep, we also had our first kiss that summer. In the late nights after all the shows had wrapped for the day, all of the staff would hang out in the courtyard in the middle of the townhouses where we were staying. At the end of the night, David would offer to walk me home…even though I could see my front door from where we were. I let him, and we had our first (and second and third and…) kiss right there in front of that door.

But back to this weekend! We thought it would be fun to return to those original stomping grounds for the tenth anniversary of what ended up being a VERY special summer. We left Miles with our awesome sitter for the night, and hit the road. It’s only about an hour and half away by car, but ten years is a lot so we decided to spend the night at a hotel.

After a quick stop at the hotel to freshen up, our anniversary date began. We enjoyed a traditional French meal at Brasserie 292 in downtown Poughkeepsie. If you’ve never been to Poughkeepsie, the downtown isn’t exactly a thriving metropolis (at least not in the summer), so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was delicious! And I highly recommend it if you’re ever in the area.

Once we licked our chocolate pot de creme clean, it was time to head onto the Vassar University campus. We decided to park over by our old home and take a stroll through campus to the theater. We walked past our apartments, past the benches where we hung out, and over the bridge to the stage door like we had done so many times before. We even had a family of deer cross our path on the way! It was pretty magical.

The show itself was NOIR – a new musical by Duncan Sheik and Kyle Jarrow.

A heartbroken man never leaves his apartment, consoled only by the music on the radio. Through the thin walls, he hears almost every word of the couple next door—and before long, his eavesdropping becomes an obsession. Soon he finds himself drawn into a web of lust, lies, deceit and danger.

It was pretty good, and I could see it being really good with a full production; this was little more than a staged reading, with no sets, minimal props, and the actors still on book for the most part. The actors were great, but the real star of this show was the foley artist, Jeremy Bloom. He did a great job of creating some very realistic sound effects with everything from a little door to a head of lettuce – very fun to watch.

The next morning, we enjoyed breakfast at Julie’s before heading home. So, SO good! There was a reason we went there so often the summer we spent here. Julie, her husband, and their son man the place, and they make every patron feel like family.

And just like that our 24-hour trip was over. It was a great weekend, and I’m so glad we decided to do it. See you in ten years, Poughkeepsie!

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