Wow! 35 years! That’s an accomplishment for any business today — especially in the ever-changing media world. Here at Hudson Valley magazine we are all so proud to be celebrating this important milestone.
So, let me take you back a few decades. When I was growing up my father, Angelo Martinelli, owned (and still does) a printing company in Yonkers called Gazette Press. In the late ’60s he was approached about launching a new, daytime-only radio station in the Hudson Valley. My dad was game, WWLE 1170 AM went on the air, and my family was officially in the media business. That was just the beginning. In January 1971, two men started a magazine called Profiles of the Hudson Valley. But after only two issues they couldn’t pay their printer and approached my father to help them out. He was immediately captivated by the beautiful color publication — so he bought it, renamed it Hudson Valley, and launched the first issue in May 1972.
A lot has changed since then. (I joined the magazine in August 1984.) In fact, the Valley has transformed in numerous ways over the last 35 years. Not only has the population of much of the region grown, at least in the last decade, but the Valley has emerged as an international tourist and cultural destination. From Shakespeare at Boscobel to DIA:Beacon to our burgeoning wine region, visitors are flocking to the valley. And while residents fled from our cities in the 1970s, many of our historic downtowns have now undergone incredible revitalizations. We survived the downsizing of IBM in the early 1990s and new businesses continue to relocate to the region. And perhaps most striking of all: in 1972 if you told someone you were going swimming in the Hudson River they would have called you crazy. Now, after decades of efforts by environmental groups, many beaches on the Hudson are open for business.
To celebrate our 35th anniversary, we decided to look at 35 people who have left a lasting legacy on the Valley. We soon discovered this was no easy task. There are hundreds of people who have helped to shape this vibrant region. So how did we narrow down the list? Everyone on the staff did some research, and then we all talked. Then, we talked some more. We consulted local historians and prominent citizens and asked for their input. Then we talked (sometimes heatedly) some more. We hope you find the final list both interesting and inspiring.
Also in this issue, we give you the inside scoop on where to find 14 fantastic meals for less than $14 — sometimes for much less. (There’s a $1.99 breakfast special that can’t be beat.) Sure, we all love to splurge on a fancy meal every now and again, but sometimes you just want great grub without breaking the bank. So grab a $20 bill and get going.
I hope you enjoy this special issue, and please send us your questions and comments on the magazine. (You can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.) Because after all, without our loyal readers we would never have been able to last 35 years. Thanks for reading — and here’s to the next 35.
Ralph A. Martinelli