Letter from Peekskill Mayor Foster to Newburgh Mayor Valentine: Peekskill is a Vibrant City

Mayor Foster tells Valentine, Peekskill is a growing, vibrant and friendly city.

October 4, 2011

Dear Mayor Valentine,

I read with great surprise your comments in a recent New York Magazine article that profiled Newburgh and its difficulties in dealing with growing crime. In the article you characterized the City of Peekskill as a "dead town.” While troubled at first, I realized perhaps you haven’t visited our great City in the last several years and may be unaware of the progress  we have made in Peekskill reclaiming our reputation as a growing, vibrant and friendly city. In fact, the City of Peekskill has been profiled recently in the New York Times, Westchester Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal for its cultural, dining and entertainment offerings and is frequently profiled in the Gannett papers for its outdoor music festivals, celebrations, museum openings and mountain bike festivals and competitions.

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.

Peekskill still has its challenges as all cities do. We are very pleased and proud of our accomplishments in revitalizing our community to such a point that it is now an entertainment destination around the region. I would like to invite you to join me for a day trip to our great City. We can chat over a cup of coffee at the Peekskill Coffee House, or if you prefer tea, I will reserve at a table at Kathleen’s Tea Room. For lunch, I highly recommend soup and salad at the BeanRunner Café or perhaps the Gorgonzola Chicken from the Division Street Grill. Our dinner options are varied, and range from Italian at Ciro’s to imaginative gourmet at Zeph’s. As far as entertainment, if you are looking for a concert, Bryan Adams will be at the Paramount Center for the Arts in January, or if you want a smaller venue, we can always catch Curtis Winchester at 12 Grapes Wine and Music Bar.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t invite you out to grab a beer after a show. Peekskill has gotten quite a reputation for its wide, varied, and eclectic brew pubs and craft beer offerings. In fact, we have several locally brewed ales at the Peekskill Brewery; but if you crave the taste of Guinness, we can grab one at our newly opened authentic Irish pub called the Quiet Man Public House. The owners of Manhattan’s famous Blind Tiger Ale House operate the Birdsall House restaurant and beer garden, where besides finding the most expansive menu of craft beers in the county, you can grab the bacon maple ice cream, which is a smash hit.

To make sure we cover all the attractions as well as the areas we are still working on developing, we’ll have “Stella”, our local tourist trolley, get us around town. No need to drive.

As you can tell I like to show off what Peekskill has to offer and I firmly believe that our model of success can serve as a blueprint for other communities seeking to do the same. I’d really enjoy the opportunity to discuss not only our successes but also the successes you have had in Newburgh and your strategies for moving your historic city forward.

With best regards,

Mayor Mary F. Foster

MAZ October 05, 2011 at 11:27 AM
A well put answer! I'm happy our mayor answered this ignorant comment in a professional and friendly way while highlighting some of our attractions. He can also stop by dylan's and get a bottle of wine, or two, to bring home and reminisce on his Peekskill tour!!
Joseph Agosta October 05, 2011 at 12:43 PM
As usual the mayor talks about downtown Peekskill as though that is all Peekskill is about. Someone ask her if she has ever been to any of the businesses outside the "BID" area? I have been open for over 2 years now and the only time I have seen any authority from city hall is when they turned my water off in the middle of my breakfast business to repair a main 3 blocks away. Oh I did get to speak to our city manager about ten minutes before the Festa Italiano started. He wanted me to move my concession stand because another business owner did not like where I was setup. When I asked why I had to move his response was, " Because she is a business owner!" I guess because I am not in the "BID" area I am not considered a "Business Owner!" Hey Mary why don't you and your crew come around and see what the other businesses owned by Peekskill residents are all about! Joe (Fat Joe) Agosta Fat Joe's Cafe' & Deli
Katie Schmidt Feder October 05, 2011 at 01:14 PM
I love Mayor Foster's comments! I think "Stella" should go pick up Mayor Valentine as well as a few Newburghites (Newburghians?) and show them the sights, sounds and tastes of Peekskill. (After some of the tastes -he is sure to eat his words). And Stella certain could swing out to Fat Joe's - in the Atrium Building on John Walsh - right Joe? :) Please don't me mad at the Mayor - she couldn't list every business. But I have had your deli sandwiches when out at Dance Expression and they are delicious!
ted bitter October 05, 2011 at 01:45 PM
Cmon this is about what the Mayor of Newburgh said about us. Let's not make it a forum to Bash the City. Dont we get enough of that from outsiders who don't know and understand Peekskill.
ted bitter October 05, 2011 at 01:49 PM
Dont forget BID District Businesses pay a BID Tax that businesses out of the District are not subjected to.
Marilyn K. Miller October 05, 2011 at 02:15 PM
Joe, cool off there. I'm working on this. everyone @ the Atrium will benefit from my plan, espcecially you, so play nice. :) So far I've had conversations with the mayor, deputy mayor, building inspector and head of public works, who thankfully got his team out yesterday and fixed the street light that was out @John Walsh & Luisa St. We are off the beaten path, but they know about us and are going to get to know us even better.
bernie stringer October 05, 2011 at 10:35 PM
I wish Mayor Foster's wonderful letter had something like "...browse the many art gallleries and antique shops." We are a community that values art.
TMLeigh October 06, 2011 at 01:36 AM
In defense of Mayor Foster, I have seen her eating lunch at the Westchester Diner at Rt. 9 and Welcher. Bon Appetit.
Nina Levine-Apicella October 06, 2011 at 03:03 PM
Thanks Mayor! Of course there is so much more to say about Peekskill, but that is the job of all it's citizens!
Nina Levine-Apicella October 06, 2011 at 03:05 PM
(Please do not bash my spelling "its" wrong in prior post- typing too fast.) Just want to say that this is the perfect weather to take a walk ALL around town, residents and visitors alike!


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