photo by Joseph Ellman www.josephellman.tumblr.com

  Brace yourself people, in this blog post we are going deep! Poughkeepsie takes itself very seriously, and thus, I will be taking it seriously for another few moments until I move to the Ashokan Center in the Catskills where I will let my love of nature, kiddos, roots music, and non-profit rage. The Ashokan Center is a very welcoming environment, and I dream about throwing Poughkeepsie peeps a retreat of dinner and dancing and sharing this beautiful space with all of you! Until I get that worked out, if you find yourself in the area or with a free day and a hankering for adventure it would be a pleasure to have you! Swimming holes and gorge hikes await!

  Getting to it! I love Poughkeepsie! All of the people I have interacted with here have such different stories and backgrounds, and have exposed me to and (though it's cliche) taught me SO much! I would love to go through and write what each of you have given me but I’m afraid there wouldn’t be time! I am grateful that all of you have each other and greet each other kindly and openly so that you continuously have the opportunity to learn and to connect.

  I admit, Lindsay gave me an assignment to write a reflection blog post during my last week of my Americorps term, but I would like to take that assignment and stir it into a boiling pot of homage/thanks/POK promotion stew! So, as we now prefer our media content in the form of lists (screw you Buzzfeed!) I’d like to share….

 

20 Things that I Love About Poughkeepsie! Here goes.

  1. Poughkeepsie encourages you to keep an open mind! And offers opportunities to practice!

  2. People who have lead adventurous lives across the world come to Poughkeepsie to seek regularity meanwhile to be able to maintain their sense of adventure!

  3. People who have lead serious professional lives in major cities come to Poughkeepsie to seek a balance while maintaining their connection to major cities (Welcome, NYC Graduates!)

  4. People pride themselves on being from Poughkeepsie, or how long they have lived in Poughkeepsie.

  5. For reasons 2-4, Poughkeepsie people are amazingly interesting!

  6. People can discover sameness through their reasons for why they landed in Poughkeepsie (rather than the standard Hyde Park, Rhinebeck, or Beacon *ouchh*)

  7. Poughkeepsie sits beside two of the most incredible bridges of the Hudson River.

  8. The Hudson River is famous for industrial transport, historic cities, connectivity, the history of the sport of rowing, Pete Seeger, folk music, environmental and social activism and more!

  9. The food in Poughkeepsie is brilliant! Farm to table, and super authentic Jamaican / Dominican / Mexican / Italian are available all within decent walking distance.

  10. Poughkeepsie’s annual events are uber quirky and unique: Dragon Boat Race, Hot Air Balloon Festival, La GuelaguetzaDia de los Muertos,...

  11. Sometimes in Poughkeepsie you find yourself at dinner parties with people from upwards of eight different ethnic backgrounds.

  12. The local pizza shop (shout out to My Place) and the local cultural and arts center (Mid-Hudson Heritage Center, of course) are available for you to run with your wildest (community-building) dreams.

  13. Poughkeepsie has grit!

  14. Due to the abundance of human services in Poughkeepsie and the social issues that are being confronted by these service organizations, Poughkeepsie attracts people who care about others and wish to help.

  15. Sometimes these people get together and talk about national and global social issues and it's really amazing (Christ Church-Creating the Common Good would be just one example).

  16. For many it can be tricky to realize a steady social life in Poughkeepsie - the good news is - friendships and shared experiences in Poughkeepsie mean a lot!

  17. So much cool stuff is on its way!!! MASS Design, the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory, North River Roasters, A Center for Women’s Work, sPOKe, Market Street, Middle Main, and more that will come out of the brickwork soon!

  18. There are people and organizations who work to assure that Poughkeepsie’s identity is celebrated and not altered through changes that take place.

  19. Since Poughkeepsie is a small city everyone influences it and has the opportunity to connect with people at all ‘agency’ levels in order to leverage their influence.

  20. There are a billion and one hidden gems in Poughkeepsie!

 

  I know that these feelings are shared with many of you! If you said or thought ‘so true’ at least three times while reading the list please comment on this blog or facebook post with the numbers that are ‘so true’ to you!

 

  Thank you so much to the Americorps organization (¡Viva Americorps!), to NeighborWorks America for funding me this year, and to Hudson River Housing and Middle Main, both which will continue to thrive with the next set of four awesome Americorps VISTAs: Hilary, Nora, Dylan, and Anthony.

 

  Lotsa love to all of these Poughkeepsie peeps I speak of who helped to make this a truly awesome year! I will certainly be back in the area to regularly shock myself with the contrast between tree-canopied gravel roads and monumental bridges, river, and humanity (most notably in the form of traffic)!! 

If you haven't already, friend me on facebook and feel free to email me at efly920@gmail.com!!!

See you soon!

~ Emma

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