Fall has always been my favorite season.
Of course there are things I treasure about each time of year. The winter brings the wonder of the first snow and the chance to ski; spring the triumphant return to outdoor living; and summer — well, the freedom to walk barefoot in the grass is simply magical (the no-school part speaks for itself). But as each of these seasons wears on, I always find myself starting to eagerly anticipate the next one. Not so with autumn. If I could replay September, October, November and December over and over again, like a warped version of the movie Groundhog Day, I would do it.
The reasons for my love affair with fall are endless. I love the crisp air of the gradually cooling days, the chance to put on a bulky sweater and go apple picking, the woodsy smell of the season’s first fire, carving into a firm pumpkin, and of course, the glorious fall foliage. Here in the Hudson Valley, the foliage is legendary, attracting throngs of tourists from the tristate area who ooh and ahh their way across the region. Apparently, there are even official New York State “leaf-peepers” — some 60 volunteers statewide — who make the rounds in their area, carefully examine the color of the local leaves, and report their findings to the New York State tourism office. Then visitors can call an 800 number or check a Web site for up-to-the-minute foliage facts!
But sometimes, it’s fun to get away and explore new places. That’s why we’ve outlined five fabulous fall getaways (page 56), all within a short drive from the Valley. These escapes are just overflowing with interesting history, fabulous scenery and activities galore. For instance, who knew that a charming little Victorian town nestled in the Northeast corner of the Poconos is the “birthplace
of the American railroad.”
Closer to home, arts in the Valley really heat up during the fall. In fact, every weekend from Labor Day through Thanksgiving is so packed with concerts, exhibits, shows, festivals, and even one blazing pumpkin extravaganza, that you’ll really need that getaway just to recover. So plan ahead with our handy fall arts calendar (page 40).
For some, fall means fashion. We’ve got the scoop from a big-city fashion editor on what’s hot this fall, and then we give you some tips on everybody’s favorite sport: bargain shopping (page 34). But you’d better get to the stores as soon as possible because we all know that fashions change as quickly as the leaves.
Olivia J. Abel
Editor in Chief