The September after I graduated college I moved into Manhattan and started working at my first publishing job. I quickly loved many aspects of city living, but when May rolled around and — for the very first time in my life — there was no summer vacation awaiting me, I admit that I felt kind of gypped. Not only did I have to spend my summer showing up at work day after day (I know, I know — welcome to real life), but whatever downtime I did have was mostly being spent in the hot concrete jungle. Where, I wondered to myself, did the summers of my youth go? Memories of running barefoot, backyard barbecues, jaunts to the beach, and endless kickball games seemed to make the blistering heat reflecting off the streets even harder to bear.
I eventually came to enjoy summers in the big city; I appreciated even August weekends when the masses decamped for the Hamptons and the streets gave off a deserted, Wild West feel. I learned to ride my bicycle uptown, through Harlem, and over the George Washington Bridge, a trip that always gave me a sense of accomplishment and the feeling that I had traveled somewhere much more exotic than New Jersey. But it wasn’t until I moved to the Hudson Valley 10 years ago that I had the opportunity to really fall in love with summer all over again.
That’s because here in the Hudson Valley there are so many amazing ways to celebrate this special season — and in our annual Summer Fun Guide (here), we help you get started. Did you know that there are lots of really pretty beaches on both the river and an assortment of lakes? And yes, I mean sandy beaches. Why not take a river cruise or try your hand at fishing or catch a crab (psst: we have the same kind of blue crabs that they have in Maryland,) or go to a baseball game, or get out for a run (or walk, bike, hop, skip, or jump) on one of our amazing and ever-expanding system of rail trails. Or how about heading to a drive-in? I had never been to a drive-in movie until I moved to Dutchess County. To be honest, I don’t even think I knew that drive-ins even existed anymore. Now, going to the drive-in has moved to the top of my must-do list of summertime activities. I’m obviously not the only one who thinks that watching the latest blockbuster while sitting under the stars is pretty cool; there are six drive-in movie theaters in our region and they are all packed all summer long.
Of course, for many of you, summer means one thing: it’s tee time; our annual Golf Guide will surely help you get your game on.
Whatever your passion, I hope you have the opportunity to while away multiple perfect summer days in the Hudson Valley this season.
Enjoy the issue.
Olivia J. Abel