It’s no surprise that our third annual Top Doctors issue should be a keeper. Once again, we’ve gotten the goods on 90 local doctors, all of whom have been selected by their peers as shining stars in their respective specialties. For while Ivy League diplomas and weighty affiliations are certainly nice — and should be taken into consideration when choosing a physician — word-of-mouth also should be a critical part of your decision-making process, and we’ve got the word from those who know best.
While you might need a doctor at any time of the year, we hope you’ll be in tip-top shape in order to enjoy the cornucopia of fun activities available in the region during the summer months. Our article on Fairs & Festivals (page 62) highlights 16 unique events — from Shakespeare by the river to RibFest, world-class music and theatre galas to your good ol’ county fair. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never been to a Valley county fair (although I promise to attend the Dutchess County Fair this year, come hell or high water). But my husband and some friends visited the Ulster County Fair last year. He enjoyed having beer and funnel cakes with his pals, but he talked about the pig races for weeks afterwards. He rooted for a particular little piggy named Spamela Anderson to cross the finish line first, and although she failed to come through, he was captivated by the lighthearted fun.
Upon reflection, it’s easy to see why the pig races are so appealing. For a few moments, this simple game can help you forget about bills, the Iraq war, the recession, and high gas prices, and enjoy what’s really important — spending time with loved ones. Everyone should stop by a county fair for a reminder of simpler days gone by.
The Catskill Mountain Railroad (page 72) is another nostalgic summer pleasure in our area. Tourists have been flocking to the Catskills for generations — and most of them in the late-19th and early 20th century came by train. But passenger service ended in the ’50s, freight service in 1976, and then the tracks lay idle — until a dedicted group of train enthusiasts came together to repair and rejuvenate the railroad. Today, you can take a 12-mile round-trip from Phoenicia to Cold Brook (in Ulster County) along the scenic Esopus Creek. But an ever-growing group of gung-ho volunteers is working year-round on a common dream: to expand the railroad to its former glory, opening all 39 miles of the line from Kingston to Highmount. This would be an incredible tourist boost for
Enjoy your summer.
Olivia J. Abel
Editor in Chief