Inn Life During Coronavirus
March 23rd, 2020. Despite our innate desire to keep our doors open and host an anxiety-weary world, our better selves know to do our part to help contain the COVID-19 virus, and therefore the Olde Rhinebeck Inn has been closed. At the time of writing, the bed & breakfast will be closed through until April 30th, and then, like the rest of the world, we will see if, how and when we can open again. The dining room table may be empty now, but the bustle of a rustic breakfast and smart conversation shared with curious travelers will happen again.
However, our Fiddler’s Farmhouse property is available. Fiddler’s Farmhouse is a self-hosted house rental on a retired 50 acres dairy farm, and about as away from an urban lockdown as one can get. With a downstairs bedroom and bathroom, and two upstairs bedrooms and a shared bathroom, it is a safe, comfortable location “in the country” where one can relax, catch up on reading, and take in the fresh air and scenery of a quieter community. Note that although New York State is under a non-essential business reduction order, “hotels, and places of accommodation” are considered essential infrastructure, and Fiddler’s Farmhouse is here to assist. We’re offering weekly and monthly reduced rates, and there is plenty of toilet paper.
In the meantime, we are keeping busy. Cindy is managing the business, and despite the lack of guest activity, there is plenty to catch up on. Spring chores, finances, organizing, and wish-list projects are all things to be done. Jonna is away helping to navigate her mother through a new routine in this virus-age, and can hopefully come home soon.
On Wurtemburg Road, we say hello to our neighbors when walking or driving by in the car- but from a short distance. In our neighborhood, cars are parked in front of houses where they typically are not. Nearly all of our neighbors who primarily live and work in the city are taking the chance to spend time in their seconds homes in Rhinebeck, hopefully choosing to reinvent the circumstances as a very long weekend.
In town, our supervisor Elizabeth Spinzia reports that essential services and key personnel report to work and continue to serve the community, while others are telecommuting to keep the town running. Salaries and bills need to be paid. Our local essential businesses like Williams Lumber and our grocery stores are quite active. The village, with its many independent specialty shops and excellent restaurants, is unnaturally empty. When times are better, please consider coming to visit our quaint village and support these wonderful businesses again. It would do us all good.
A bit further out of town, the contrast continues. There are many cars on the roads, and weekday traffic is still active, although a bit lighter in volume. But local destinations are shut down for extended periods. Omega Institute is closing into May, already canceling its first programs, and the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt and other national and state historic sites are obviously closed as well. Consider donating to our Center for Performing Arts, which is dealing with the shutdown’s financial implications. In the meantime, the opportunity to get out and explore more of our parks and trails has presented itself, and on the positive side the number of visitors at our local parks has definitely increased.
But spring is here, hopefully a metaphor for a new beginning that will emerge over the next weeks and months. And with the onset of spring, there are things to do. We are beginning to take care of the yard and gardens. Nature is busy restarting again: the first crocuses have appeared, our first daffodil has bloomed, the lilies and tulips are pushing out of the ground, the rhubarb is leafing, and some kale has wintered over. Agitated Canada geese appear across the street each morning, and spend the day staking their territory, and a pair of wood ducks are looking for a good nest. Spring can be a hard season, but the ease of the summer is a result of the labor that comes before. With everyone else, we look forward to what’s next.
And regarding the Inn, if you already have a future reservation with us and would like to modify, cancel or postpone, please give us a call. Gift certificates are available for future stays, and we’re currently offering a special of $25 extra for every $100 purchased. And check our website and social media posts below for recipes, and to enjoy a little bit our bed & breakfast at home.
We hope to update this blog post as details change. But in the meantime, we sincerely thank all of our wonderful guests, and look forward to meeting many, many more. That’s it from our perspective. Hang in there, be safe, and we’ll get through this together.
Jonna, Cindy and Dave
Olde Rhinebeck Inn c. 1745
Phone: (845) 871-1745