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Question of the Day: What Breathes Life into Peekskill for You?

Many of you have spoken against Newburgh Mayor Nick Valentine's "dead" comment, so tell and show us why.

Peekskill Patch readers have made it clear. You do not think Peekskill is a dead city.

Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster does not think so either. And she wants to show Newburgh Mayor Nicholas Valentine why Peekskill is alive and growing. Last night, Mayor Foster distributed a letter to the press that was addressed to Valentine, inviting him to visit Peekskill.

The letter detailed the many great restaurants, and their best dishes, pubs, breweries, music halls, events, and other positive attributes of this city.

The Mayor wrote:

"Peekskill, like many former industrial towns along the Hudson River has experienced difficult times in the last three decades. However, over the last few years we have reclaimed our reputation as a regional destination by keeping our tax base stable; promoting a lively growing music and arts scene, stepping up law enforcement, and making strategic, modest investments in our infrastructure and building stock. I would like to show you around and talk about the actions we are taking to fulfill our goal of Peekskill as the cultural, entertainment, dining and business hub of the region."

Read the full letter _.

Many of you commented on _ on this topic and 77 people took our poll, which showed that 50 percent thought Peekskill's bad rap comes from unwarranted comments like Mayor Valentine's.

So, today's question is digging a little deeper into your love of Peekskill.

Question: What Breaths Life into Peekskill for You?

I am going to take the liberty to be the first to answer this question.

I have learned a lot about Peekskill in the nine months I have been reporting here. Peekskill's passionate and dedicated residents are proof enough of the life in this city. Almost everyone I interview tells me "I love Peekskill and always have," when we first meet. Many were born here, ventured off and have returned for life. But I am told that even those who have flocked to Florida for those Golden Years are emotionally invested in Peekskill, a city they still love.

Of the hundreds of people I have met, it seems I eventually run into them again-at the school art show hosted at a local café, at a fundraiser for breast cancer, at a sports practice, at a brewery or restaurant, at a street festival, or at a city hall meeting, PAT health fair, or school board event.

And many of these active community members are wearing different hats each time I see them. It seems there is an endless number of people in this city who work full-time jobs, take care of their kids and then make extra time to serve on a community board or volunteer at a fundraiser.

Not to mention, they know how to have fun.

The city’s dedicated community members make time to visit the art galleries, dance at the music venues/restaurants, have a beer at the Brewery or buy tickets to a Paramount play.

Just the music, art and nightlife scene alone is enough to show that Peekskill is alive and kicking. But the people behind it all are what I think makes the city shine.

Don’t feel the need to be as verbose as I was, but please tell us what you really love about the city in the comments below.

Also, I have added a few photos that I feel reflect Peekskill's character. Please add yours to this article as well (just click "add your photos" under my photo).

ted bitter October 05, 2011 at 11:14 AM
The most beautiful towns are not beautiful if when come into town u don't feel welcome. That's the real Beauty of Peekskill the wonderful friendly diverse population. Our positive outlook and love for our City is contagious. You get the feeling you are home it doesn't matter where u are from.
Michael Sellers October 05, 2011 at 12:02 PM
Valentine's arrogance is exactly what keeps Peekskill from becoming known as a destination city. When friends and family visit us in Peekskill, they all say the same thing: "I had no idea it was so lovely up here. You are lucky to live here." My partner and I have lived here for six years, and we have had nothing but good experiences. Are there problems? Of course, like any city in any part of the country. But look at what services have NOT been cut or affected since the start of the economic downturn. The city recognizes what's important to its citizens. More important, the city supports citizens who are eager to make Peekskill better. If you have ever presented an idea to the City Council as I have (the dog park), you know that they listen intently, ask great questions and fully support a good project. They know that Peekskill's success is due to its people, who are passionate about making their home town a great place to live. My two cents.
Frank Cimino October 05, 2011 at 12:24 PM
The bedrock energy in Peekskill, as it stands today, is just beyond the beginning stage of positive change. The seeds have been planted by people with vision and passion. And its fruit is beginning to show. This is a diverse community that for better and/or worse, have joined together, work together, and recognize more has to be done. Hopefully this "bandwagon" effect will continue to take hold among those positive individuals and "visionaries".
Marina Ciotti October 05, 2011 at 01:18 PM
Peekskill is great! I love living here and I really am proud to call Peekskill home. I hope Mayor Valentine takes up Mayor Foster's invitation. He needs to see first hand transformation of the "dead town". And while they are at it, they can take a lesson at the skateboard park, learn how to spike a volleyball at the volleyball center, take a cruise on the Evening Star and when they're done, pop into Nellie's, have a gelato and sing karaoke! I love Peekskill!
Deb Milone October 05, 2011 at 03:07 PM
With the magnificient Hudson River as our backdrop, Peekskill offers an abundance of Parks, Recreational activities, festivals, art galleries, museums, fabulous dining and nightlife, and world class music and theater. Our history is as rich and diverse as the cultures that make up our communities today. I consider myself fortunate to live in this ethnically and culturally diverse community.
Frank Cimino October 05, 2011 at 03:55 PM
FYI, the Business Improvement District (BID) Committee is having an informal meeting this Thursday evening (10/6) starting at 6 PM to 8 PM at the Library/nutrition room. Purpose is to discuss and receive BID member comment on downtown commerce improvement for next year, and development of a 5 year plan. Appetitzers served and if you attend you may qualify for a $25 gift certificate to one of our local restaurants. BID members only please contact jphillips@hrhcare.org to confirm your attention.
Stephanie Hare October 05, 2011 at 05:24 PM
There are so many things to love about Peekskill! The parks are beautiful and provide easy access to nature, basketball and tennis courts, great playgrounds, and our access to the majestic Hudson at the Riverfront Green is second to none. The restaurant scene is really blooming here and we're becoming quite a dining destination. The festivals and parades are fun and and a wonderful testament to the cultural and artistic diviersity of our city. Speaking of artistic, it's inspiring to live in a community of practitioners of all different artistic disciplines. Whether hobbiests or professional artists, musicians, writer, actors, dancers, (the list could go on) there are so many creative and passionate people in Peekskill. I like the size of Peekskill. While legally a city, I encounter so many charming small-town moments all the time. I'm very proud to live in Peekskill!
JM October 05, 2011 at 08:43 PM
I'm a new taxpayer to the area, so still trying to find how I fit best here as just a middle-class working guy. (At least I hope I fit in someday.) But that ''breath of life'' for me from Peekskill is that, I see it as a city in transition, much like going through male middle-age crisis. :-) It has a history we can all be proud of; its future could go either way, and I want to help Peekskill chose "the right" direction as we move forward. I think the art/music scene has and can bring a great breath of life. So, lets keep building on that in unison with the next steps: Attract professional (not retail) jobs to the area, whether they be boutique engineering/law/medical firms or satellite offices for Yahoo! That is the next step that guarantees the breath of life lasts for decades to come.
JM October 05, 2011 at 08:51 PM
BTW as a postscript: There are 90 million millenials in this country and demographic research on their desired way of life for the coming 20-30 years shows they want "compact cities." Not Manhattan, not Brooklyn. But Peekskill and others like us who plan accordingly at city hall could attract those up-and-comers to live and work right here and breath an incredible new chapter of success into our already rich history.

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