“Know the ways of the ones who take care of you, so that you may take care of them. Introduce yourself. Be accountable as the one who comes asking for life. Ask permission before taking. Abide by the answer.Never take the first. Never take the last. Take only what you need. Take only that which is given. Never take more than half. Leave some for others. Harvest in a way that minimizes harm. Use it respectfully. Never waste what you have taken. Share. Give thanks for what you have been given. Give a gift, in reciprocity for what you have taken. Sustain the ones who sustain you and the earth will last forever.” ― Robin Wall Kimmerer
A little about the meaning behind the house and name:
Mae was my grandmother’s middle name. It is the same name I gave to my daughter in honor of my grandmother, whose life and legacy has stayed with me beyond her short years on this earth. Her genuine ease, style, peace and commitment to her Brooklyn community was something I strive to not only share with my children through their days, but embody in my work. The name Mae means mothering, care and nurturing, things I hope this place brings to me, my family, and the community that will grow here. It is also the alternate spelling for May, the month in which I closed on this property. I believe a name is not just a name, it is a spirit we choose to carry along with the people and places we call.
A little about the BIPOC residency and how it’s sustained:
When you stay at The Mae House, you become a part of its caring community and mission of equity. The cost of your stay goes towards overhead costs to keep the property and land in excellent condition. An important piece of this is its accessibility and creation of room for others through a quarterly residency program for BIPOC. This residency, made possible by its Amtrak accessibility from NYC and funds from community member’s stays, provides a nourishing and safe space for BIPOC to connect with nature, pick vegetables from the garden, and settle our bones away from the city or the other spaces we may call home.
When the house is rented for at least 14 days per month, it provides a one week stay, with no cleaning fees charge or upkeep to a BIPOC community member for one week per quarter. If the house is rented for at least 14 days per month for a consecutive two months, the stay provides two weeks stays for two separate community members.
In addition to the residencies, the net profit from each rental month will be split amongst River and Oak’s college fund and a local BIPOC focused organizations that aims to help the local area deal with housing insecurity and supports their efforts to live off of the land. The residency program will begin Q1 of 2022, and our first donation will be made to Grow Black Hudson, whose effort to educate and support the local Black community on planting is one we want to continue to champion.
Renters are welcomed, to not only stay on the land, but cook and care for it during their stays. The food that’s there, is yours to share. Take what you need, please leave the rest. I anticipate the residences will grow along with the rentals, and I hope in sharing this dream with you, you’ll consider the house when you’re next on a vacation upstate.
A little about Design:
From the conception to the renovation and the design, this house is held with the intention of equity. We are working with amazing sustainable brands and makers to bring the house’s design a little back in time, but up-to-date for clean, comfortable modern living. Designing has been such a full-time job, but imagining my children picking vegetables off of the land, picturing others resting in the sun on the lawn or keeping warm by the fire has truly propelled our work. Each piece, each tile, each idea has a story. Most of the stories belong to folks who look like me, sound like me, and care about the land that I keep in the same.
All about the Possibilities:
I think this house will not only change the landscape of my life with my children, but the lives of others as well. I wholeheartedly believe that the COVID-19 rearview mirror should be one that is action based, hope based, and truly cemented on ideation and possibility that centers equity in all that we do. There have been generations of folks who have journeyed this path, so the Mae House doesn’t attempt to be the first. The work is never done, so it does not attempt to be the last. Neither is it the solution. Rather its one of many ripples heard around the world, in the form of a door opened, so that we may continue to grow.
Thank you for joining me on this journey, sign up to be the first to book right here.
And you can follow The Mae House on instagram right here!
Welcome to our community.