It’s hard to believe that less than a decade ago, Uptown Kingston looked a bit like one of those old abandoned Western towns with creaky saloon doors and tumbleweeds rolling through it. Lots of vacant storefronts and few reasons to shop, spend an evening, or amble about were its unredeeming qualities at that time. However, in the last few years dozens of new businesses have set up shop and its owners are bringing plenty of creativity, talent, and most importantly, energy to this business district which in turn has brought shoppers, diners, and tourists who are helping these new businesses to survive, if not thrive. Say ‘Hello’ to this week’s Doer and Dreamer who is one of Uptown’s newest business owners who has arrived here from afar to lend her creativity and talent to the community which will hopefully reciprocate with their support and patronage.
Your name: Sylvia Grieser
Business or organization: Anderst, 58 North Front Street, Kingston, NY
Occupation: Store Owner, Curator, Costume Designer
What is your approach to your business or occupation that makes you unique?
Anderst means “different” in German. The store offers a carefully selected, and constantly updated collection of contemporary works by local and European artists and artisans along with some timeless vintage pieces., well made ‘stuff’ that will be around for a good while, mostly because they have been around for a good while
The store has a unique voice in its modern, but approachable simplicity. It shares my personal view on beauty with the world by being an alternative for treasure hunters as well as the fashion conscious seeking their perfect matches. I think, a conscious choice will last forever and Anderst reflects that, both in its design and the space.
I plan to become a platform to showcase local artists at events, such as readings, art shows and screenings.
Where are you from originally?
I was born in Germany, lived in Italy for awhile and then moved to Manhattan.
What brought you to the Kingston area and keeps you in this area?
I was always drawn to the Kingston Uptown Stockade, as it reminds me of the shopping areas in European cities, where you just walk from store to store, browsing, getting inspired. Especially now with all the various great new stores around. Kingston feels to me a bit of what I expected when coming to the US, the opportunities and the creativity, the ability to just do something, make something happen. I experienced the tail end of this electricity when I moved to Manhattan in the 90’s and seem to be finding it here in Kingston once again. I have met so many interesting people recently, it is very inspiring.
What is your favorite hangout in this area and why?
I have to say, its really the deck of our gut remodeled 70’s home, which is so high, it gives you the feeling of being in a treehouse. That said, I couldn’t live without good dinners in town, like Diego’s or Duo and can’t wait to try PAKT soon. So grateful for the best tasting healthy food at Outdated, where you can find me embarrassingly a lot. For the winter I envision myself over at Rough Draft with a glass of Red after closing up. And once in a while I love to venture out to Snyders Tavern with some friends.
When you’re not in Kingston, what’s your idea of a wonderful city to visit, and why?
Antwerp is one of the most beautiful cities I have been to, with its perfect mix of stunning historic architecture and its perfect integration of modernism, it is also bursting with conceptual art and fashion. Copenhagen is very similar in that.
I also fell in love with gloomy Edinburgh and the Scottish highlands.
A while back I realized, that I was jealous of how tourists saw “the City” and now, that we live up here, I love to go there to spend a day and rediscover its beauty without the rat race.
Tell us something that we never would have guessed about you.
I managed summer camps for the German Junior National Ice Hockey League
…. And I am rather shy…