Behind Crust and Magic at 19 N. Front St., a new business called The Garden Wall has sprouted up, with three people aspiring to grow the studio into a welcoming community space.
Upon entering The Garden Wall’s main room, one would think they stepped into a nursery. The room is covered in a variety of lush plants that create a homey and calm atmosphere. Ann Tartakoff sells the greenery under the name “Cobalt and Corbin’s,” named after her mother who taught her how to garden. “I was selling solar in Home Depot so I was around their garden center all the time, and it just got out of hand,” Tartakoff said. “We are trying to mainly make this a community space. The plants are how I’m hoping to monetarily sustain that.”
A curtain hangs over the entrance into the other half of the studio where you can find local artist Avalon Beyer, and massage therapist Raymon Prush, who incorporates body positivity and the importance of physical contact into massaging. “Massage is such a wonderful way for somebody to have confidence that they will be able to just feel great afterwards,” he said.
Along with these services, The Garden Wall is hoping to soon start hosting community events once they get their footing. “We also have somebody working on a website where we’re going to start shipping air plants at first because those are kind of the easiest and hopefully once that’s moving the rest of this can just be art nights and open mics and hanging out with my people,” Tartakoff said.
She also discussed their ideas for including a space for artists to display their work with flexible options. “You can rent gallery space, which starts at $7 a week, and then if it sells all of those profits go to you, or you can sell it to us at a wholesale price, and then we sell it and deal with that money on our own, or you can hang it up for free.”
Tartakoff also expressed hopes that The Garden Wall will “do some part of filling the hole that was created when Cafeteria left and a lot of local businesses that have either transitioned or phased out over the last couple of years.”
Cafeteria Coffeehouse, which changed its name to CafAmelia shortly before it closed permanently, was a New Paltz cafe and music venue that Tartakoff and Prush held a great admiration for. “They never asked you to buy anything. They were always happy to just have people in the space. And when I was in middle school and high school, that was the place that my friend group would go at night,” Prush said. “The Garden Wall can never fit the grandiose size and full community that was allowed in Cafeteria, but if a group of four to five people want to come in here and just chill for the day, talk about music, talk about what’s going on in your body, I’m happy to help people out free of charge.”
The Garden Wall is open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Wednesday. You can reach them through Instagram, @thegardenwallnewpaltz.