RosenRaps: Laura

July 3, 2023

What brought you here and why do you stay here?

Friends brought me here, because of the life that. They had, that was the life I wanted to live, which was out in the country and be free and celebrate festivities and be creative. That’s what brought me here. 

How long ago? 

It was in the seventies. 

Wow. Yeah. So you’ve been here a long time?

I’ve been here, yeah. More than 40. My daughter’s 43 and she was born here. So it’s like, 

More than half your life. 

Yeah. More than that’s right. 

What matters most to you living here now? 

The environment, it’s a big deal. I’m really concerned about the world and I feel pretty good about the kind of initiatives and concerns and values that I see around me.

The little bubble I live in represents the wider Ulster county. Education and lifestyle and clean air and, because I sell real estate, that when people come to be part of the community, that’s where they’re coming from, that they’re coming from that same place of wanting to be part of the life that we have here. 

So you’re worried about the environment and about the future. What do, what do you, what do you see, feel, or experience here in Rosendale, like five years from now? What do you envision for the town? 

I’d love to see much more access to more of the wild land that we have. I’d like to see more of it cultivated. I’d love to see Free Gardens, community Gardens. 

Wait, you wanna see more wild land cultivated?

No, not not taken from wild land, but I mean on, you know, like there’s that gym now  in between the youth center and the rec center. I’d love to see some kind of free edible garden. I mean, just in terms of, I think we could use a lot more of the space that we already have that shouldn’t be mowed. It should be cultivated. 

Okay, what do you think, what would make staying here easier?

Transportation.  The people who volunteer to help with elderly and childcare and health. Health challenged people are give rides to people. There’s any civilized place should have public transport and I don’t think it’s a small area. 

How about UCAT? 

You still have to get to where the bus stops. And. I know that the Office of the Aging picks people up at designated places, but for example, I just heard that the, new RUPCO project at the, what’s it called? It’s that motel thing on the other side of the three-way circle. I forgot the name, but, that they’ve got a couple of like 11 passenger vans because. It’s gonna be for homeless and people who are just challenged from all sorts of. And who, you know, qualify for help to live there, they’re gonna have two vans that are, and drivers that are available to transport those people. Cuz that site is along 28 and the throughway, it’s not very walkable. 

Right, right. I see 

they recognize that to live there has to include public transport. So you see that as possible for Rosendale as well? Yeah, I think limited simple things. If somebody could get, for example, we could have a stop in the parking lot, so that say goes to Kingston. At 10 o’clock every morning or two o’clock every afternoon or something like that. I think that would be wonderful. Transportation. Partially because teenagers, a lot of them need mobility. So maybe just to strategize who needs that. But yeah, food growing everywhere.

Bar hoppers. I’ll show you a crazy picture. I just came back from Asheville yesterday and they have a thing called pub pub cycle.Everybody there, I have to show you a picture. It’s like a little trolley and everybody is cycling. There’s bicycle pedals at each seat, and there’s like four people. It’s like this. Four people. 1, 2, 3, 4, and everybody’s, but cycling and it runs this trolley through the, through the bar I guess. 

Does the bar circuit?

I think they drink on it. 

That’s really funny.

I’m not really sure. So actually, I think there is somebody steering. But anyway, that’s the amazing club cycle and it goes cool all through town in the downtown areas.So that, I just like the idea of people getting out and getting there for getting to places and not needing to get a ride. And there’s a lot of people who fall into the category needing access to things, so transportation and food. In public places. 

So just to take a little spin, what is your favorite, what is one of your favorite memories of being in Rosendale?

Well, I’m so close to town, so for me it’s just really that it’s so easy for me to get in to town. I really like that.  I’ve lived so far out in the country and I spent a lot of time just getting around. So I gave up quiet and country, country for access and convenience, but I, but I like it. Makes it easy. Makes it fun. 

Great. What if lost would fundamentally change the character of Rosendale? What, what, is there anything you’re worried about Rosendale losing that would, that would change the, change the town?

 Well, I was really,  discouraged and disappointed and disillusioned when the town board wasn’t willing to write a letter of approval for the library to buy the bell tower. I suddenly realized our leaders are not thinking the same way. I’m thinking that there should be a center in the middle of town that everybody could get to easily and it could be multipurpose and could serve everybody for free. That was a real blow and but I feel generally pretty good about the town board, that they’ve made good decisions about energy use and the electric car plugin and the Rec center. Is very serviceable for lots of people. So I don’t wanna be too critical of the town board cuz I really do think they’ve made a lot of good decisions.

But I’d definitely like to see it go more in the direction of more people having easy access to food, transportation, to activities. So I worry, you know, that the town board doesn’t think that way.

And is there anything else you can think of that you would like to see happen in Rosendale that maybe you’ve dreamed of seeing happen or that almost happened or you’d like to see happen?

Most third world countries have parks with benches and people just gather and sit down, and then there’s vendors. Even old people just go to the park and sit down and other people come by and they sit down and if they wanna buy something, there’s vendors and people who come to that public area. That to me, is. The way. So a public hangout. I think that enhances everybody’s quality of life a lot. Isolation is a big deal for a lot of people and all of these things would create access so that people wouldn’t have to make arrangements to be with somebody and needed a certain time, they could be more public in public social spaces. 

Well, this, it’s great to hear your viewpoints on all of this. 

Thank you.


Rough transcription : H. Lowengard July 5, 2023 via Descript

Edited: M. Reidelbach

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