Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

High in the Catskills: Camp Here Here, a Retreat for Stylish Stoners (and the Rest of Us Too)

Search

High in the Catskills: Camp Here Here, a Retreat for Stylish Stoners (and the Rest of Us Too)

August 8, 2018

To be filed under Book Now Before Everybody Hears About This Place. Camp Here Here is the brainchild of Kat Schaufelberger, formerly director of special events at the Standard Hotel in New York, and her husband, actor Zak Orth of Wet Hot American Summer fame. Here’s how the two Brooklynites describe their bona fides.

“Who: Kat has been camping three times. Maybe four. At least one of those times, she brought a full-length mirror and a chef. Zak has never been camping. He was in a very funny movie about a summer camp.
What: Here Here finally brings together their collective 72 hours of camping experience. And Kat’s decade of experience working in the hospitality industry (Versace, Ian Schrager, Andre Balazs).
Where: Here Here is 23 acres of hidden forest in an unspoiled hollow somewhere in Schoharie County, New York.”

As for the camp’s tagline, “High in the Catskills,” that’s a reference to the altitude (1,158 feet)—and a signal that they’re about letting the good times roll. Join us for a tour.

Photography by Victor Schrager, unless otherwise noted, all courtesy of Aesthetic Movement.

Here Here is in the hamlet of West Fulton in the far northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains, approximately three hours north of NYC, and home, according to the camp guide, to &#8
Above: Here Here is in the hamlet of West Fulton in the far northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains, approximately three hours north of NYC, and home, according to the camp guide, to “waterfalls, swimming holes, eternal campfires, and bears.”

Here’s a nutshell version of the camp’s creation story: Seven years ago, at the recommendation of mutual friends, Kat and Zak had dropped in on Jesse James and his husband, Gus Anagnopoulos, at their renovated upstate New York smithy (the two are founders of the design think tank Aesthetic Movement, which Jesse directs, and we, coincidentally, featured their house right around then). The place had just gone on the market, and Kat and Zak snapped it up—with the unexpected proviso that it remain fully furnished. Initially just weekenders, they discovered they liked upstate life so much that in 2016 they acquired land down the road with the idea of establishing their playful version of a rustic-luxe retreat. To keep them from, in Kat’s words, “turning the camp into Pee Wee’s Playhouse,” they enlisted Jesse and team to provide creative direction. “They’re the only people I trust with spaces,” says Kat.

Zak gets around the grounds, and shuttles luggage (and guests on request), in a Bobcat. Photograph by Nick Bean.
Above: Zak gets around the grounds, and shuttles luggage (and guests on request), in a Bobcat. Photograph by Nick Bean.
Welcome to the woods: Kat and Zak with their dogs, Cindy Pancake (on Kat&#8
Above: Welcome to the woods: Kat and Zak with their dogs, Cindy Pancake (on Kat’s lap) and Monkeybear, both rescues. Well-behaved canine guests are welcome.

Working with a small crew, the two devoted many months to setting up camp. “There were just two existing structures on the 23 acres,” says Jesse. “It required a lot of clearing, a lot of road prep, a lot of construction, and plumbing.”

The Mess is the camp&#8
Above: The Mess is the camp’s gathering spot and restaurant with a double-sided hearth in the middle. Kat worked with a local architect to design the structure and hired local stone mason Mark Swanberry and builder Nick Hanu, who trained in his native Romania, as her “construction MVPs.” As the Mess was going up, Jesse so admired the carefully stacked cement blocks against the stonewalls that rather than finishing them, they decided to embrace the barebones look: “We thought about Louis Kahn and even Frank Lloyd Wright during the textile block period,” says Jesse.

The camp limo is a 1970s checker cab Aerobus that was an airport shuttle; originally bright yellow and red, it’s newly painted deep green to blend in with the scenery and is used to pick up and drop off guests traveling by train (the nearest station is in Hudson).

The restaurant has a wood-burning pizza oven and is run by chef Philip Kubaczek, who grew up in Europe and Japan and worked in Michelin-starred restaurants before landing in the Catskills. It&#8
Above: The restaurant has a wood-burning pizza oven and is run by chef Philip Kubaczek, who grew up in Europe and Japan and worked in Michelin-starred restaurants before landing in the Catskills. It’s open to people who aren’t campers several days a week and is becoming a locals hangout: The schedule varies, so check first. Photograph by Kate Sears.
Anna Stools by Lostine surround the bar. The lineup of jars in the background are pickled vegetables that are served as bar snacks.
Above: Anna Stools by Lostine surround the bar. The lineup of jars in the background are pickled vegetables that are served as bar snacks.
In the adjoining lounge, tree stump tables and masonry walls &#8
Above: In the adjoining lounge, tree stump tables and masonry walls “keep the vibe earthy and cool at the same time,” says Jesse. The vintage Aquarius Mirrorworks Moon light came from Holler & Squall.
There are nine tent sites, each with its own hammock and wall of firewood. Solar-powered lights illuminate the paths at night. Photograph by Nick Bean.
Above: There are nine tent sites, each with its own hammock and wall of firewood. Solar-powered lights illuminate the paths at night. Photograph by Nick Bean.
Jesse and the Aesthetic Movement team furnished the tents with custom pine platform beds (the high headboards double as shelving on the reverse side) and wood-burning stoves with kettles for making tea or filling hot water bottles. S hooks on the tent poles serve as clothes hooks. At check-in, guests are given a welcome kit that comes with palo santo incense, an annotated list of local attractions (from hikes and ponds to a cidery and auction house), plus instructions for keeping away bears.
Above: Jesse and the Aesthetic Movement team furnished the tents with custom pine platform beds (the high headboards double as shelving on the reverse side) and wood-burning stoves with kettles for making tea or filling hot water bottles. S hooks on the tent poles serve as clothes hooks. At check-in, guests are given a welcome kit that comes with palo santo incense, an annotated list of local attractions (from hikes and ponds to a cidery and auction house), plus instructions for keeping away bears.
Above L and R: The custom pine seating outside the tents is Aesthetic Movement’s homage to Donald Judd. Like the beds, it was constructed by a local woodworker.
Another Aesthetic Movement touch: A vintage communal sink outside The Mess and a mirror positioned to capture the landscape.
Above: Another Aesthetic Movement touch: A vintage communal sink outside The Mess and a mirror positioned to capture the landscape.

There’s a separate bathhouse with outdoor washbasins and four individual cedar-paneled showers with copper rainfall showerheads. Photograph by Nick Bean.

The custom linen bedcovers are by Sir/Madam. Kat reports that season one will extend through October and possibly November. For more, go to Here Here, and for a list of local attractions, browse the brochure put together by Aesthetic Movement&#8
Above: The custom linen bedcovers are by Sir/Madam. Kat reports that season one will extend through October and possibly November. For more, go to Here Here, and for a list of local attractions, browse the brochure put together by Aesthetic Movement’s Renata Bokalo and her husband, Roman Luba, who themselves met at a summer camp.

We’ve had our eye on the Aesthetic Movement team for a long time and are excited to see them expanding into the hospitality world. Their new gift show, Shoppe Object, makes its debut August 11 to 13 in NYC. Here’s a look at a few of their other projects:

Product summary  

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

From our network