You Voted, We Chimed In: Now Find Out the Winners of the Best Of Hudson Valley 2012 — and Come to Our Party! (Editor’s Letter)

A word from Hudson Valley Editor in Chief, Olivia J. Abel


It’s that time of year again. Fall is in full swing and October brings plenty of pumpkins, horrifying (in a good way) Halloween attractions, and the 26th annual Best of Hudson Valley issue. Yes, for more than a quarter of a century now we have been highlighting the very best people, places, and things that make life in the Hudson Valley so special. From the hottest restaurants to the coolest clubs, from wonderful wineries to one-of-a kind hairstylists, our annual roundup of the region’s finest can serve as your go-to guide for the entire year.

People often ask how we come up with our winners. It’s a two-part process. First, our readers vote. For 25 years there was a paper ballot in the March issue that readers filled out and mailed back. Then, last year, we introduced online voting for a few categories. This time around, we held our (collective) breath and bid adieu to the paper ballot entirely. What was the response to online-only voting? Fantastic. Thousands of people filled out our online ballot, and the entire process was simple and smooth from start to finish. So, a big thank you to our loyal readers for going with the flow and continuing to let us know who and what you think represents the very best of the region.

Of course, there are also almost 80 editors’ picks in the issue. How do we come up with these? Well, we spend an entire year testing and tasting, sampling and sipping, touring and trying out new things. (I know, I know; it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.) We also argue, er, I mean debate — sometimes quite vigorously. For instance, tiramisu is something that some of us apparently feel quite passionately about. While some prefer the delicate dessert to be cake-like, others opt for the pudding-style. Well, we tasted an awful lot of tiramisu, and the good news is that there are dozens of delicious versions of this Italian dessert floating around the Valley. Luckily, we finally came up with a consensus before we all gained 20 pounds. (Click here to find this year’s choice for the best tiramisu.) Our full Best of Hudson Valley coverage begins here.      

Also in this issue, we fill you in on all the frightening fun that Halloween brings. From the interactive New Paltz Parade to the world-famous Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson (get your tickets soon) to the award-winning Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted House in Ulster Park, this region rocks when it comes to ghoulish good times. Our Monster Map (click here) makes it easy to figure out how you are going to get from one attraction to another.

And finally, I hope you will join us at our annual Best of Hudson Valley party on Thursday, September 27 at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel. Here, you can sample lots of food, sip some local beers and wine, listen to the hottest bands, chat up some small business owners, and really get the chance to find out for yourself how amazing our winners really are. See you there!


Olivia J. Abel
Editor In Chief

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