Cool Cash, Cool Community
Valley locales may be hipper — and richer — than you realize
Photograph by Johanna Dekrey
Seen the latest headlines? The Hudson Valley is where you can find some of the nation’s richest folks — not to mention one of the coolest communities around.
Poughkeepsie (shown above), with a median family income of $85,463, ranks 10th on the list of America’s highest-earning cities, according Forbes.com. Those familiar with Poughkeepsie’s grittier side may well wonder where all this wealth is hiding. Upon closer inspection, the designation actually refers to the Poughkeepsie metropolitan area, which encompasses Newburgh and Middletown — and, presumably, lots of commuters with high-paying New York City jobs. To compile the list, Forbes used the latest financial figures from the United States Census Bureau.
If it’s hip-ness you’re seeking, consider Saugerties, named by Budget Travel magazine as one of the 10 coolest small towns in America. What the editors were looking for, according to the article, was “a town that’s gotten everything right — great coffee, food with character, shop owners with purpose.”
Richard Frisbie, owner of Hope Farm Press & Bookshop (which specializes in books on New York), has been pleasantly surprised by the feedback he’s received since being interviewed by the publication. Regular book-buyers have been sending him links to the article for over a month, and he’s picked up some new customers as well. “Three generations of genealogy-seekers saw my bookstore mentioned,” he says.
The customers — a grandmother, a daughter, and a granddaughter — drove all the way from Pennsylvania to research their family’s history. “They sat here, went through book after book, spent money, and later ordered more books online,” he says. For a business owner, it doesn’t get any cooler than that.