08/15/17 11:30am

This past Saturday was the second annual Hudson Valley Vegan Food Festival. The stormy forecast fortunately cleared up, and a bright sunny day made the perfect back drop for the festival. Something very obvious to another local and myself was that all the faces we saw were new. Meaning that the vegan festival was creating a new kind of tourism for the City of Newburgh that has not existed before. Cinnamon Snail from NYC was a huge hit with a consistent line of 30+ people throughout the day. There were vegan meatballs, ribs, chicken salad, plus all of the available smoothies, desserts, vegetable based meals and more. Families of all shapes and sizes were present and many children! The tents were much needed for shade and a place to enjoy your meal with live entertainment. Hardly a seat was ever available and all of the parking in the immediate area was packed.

Even if you aren’t a vegan, support next years event. There’s something for everyone and it is so special to be happening in Newburgh!

08/15/17 7:30am

The Newburgh Palatine Dog Society is accepting signatures for an online petition to create a dog park in the City of Newburgh. Their message below:

Newburgh is a dog city. It isn’t possible to take a walk or a drive without encountering families out with their dogs. Unfortunately, Newburgh is also a city that doesn’t have an animal shelter, which means that stray dogs are an extra burden on the community. The Newburgh Palatine Dog Society is looking for ways to strengthen the dog owning community in the City of Newburgh, and one piece that is missing is the presence of a dog park.

Research has shown, in cities across the country, that the presence of dog parks reduces crime, increases compliance with dog regulations and leash laws, and builds community among the pet-owning population. Once established, dog parks are often maintained by the people who use them. What a perfect fit for Newburgh–a city with ample vacant lots and the need for increased community-building opportunities.

This past spring we presented the city with an opportunity to apply for a grant that would fund the building of a dog park. The one requirement: verbal support from the city and a location to build on. Their response: silence.

We’re hoping to build a list of Newburgh residents who support the idea of a dog park (in fact, the city is large enough for more than one.) We’ll be presenting this support to the new council that will be elected this fall, and if the response is still silence, we will begin to work toward doing what is so often required in Newburgh: doing it on our own.

If you live in the Newburgh Community and support this project, please join us by signing below.

06/08/17 7:35am

I have to admit, it’s been years since I have been to the Newburgh Illuminated Festival. I went to the very first one when the festival was scattered throughout the city. Since then, the organizers have concentrated the festivities on blocked off sections of Broadway and Liberty Street. The progress has been amazing! This festival has morphed into a monumental task and the hard work has really paid off! For one day the east end was full of thousands of people. Families, visitors, and old timers flooded the city, not only purchasing from the many vendors, but also packing out the local businesses that already exist.

Music has been a constant theme of all the festivals. This year did not disappoint with an added stage at the new Safe Harbors Green Park. I didn’t stick around till the end, but the party continued until 10 pm with well-attended concerts. Many people said this year had the largest crowd ever. We had the ideal weather that day, and it certainly helped.

For me, this festival represented the future of Newburgh. It was a day where people could see Newburgh with a new lens. As I stood around and listened to the whispers, you could feel the energy of a lively and bustling city. Hopefully, this excitement will generate future visits to the east end year round.

And to those of you that helped make the festival happen, pat yourselves on the back. You did an outstanding job. Planning an event of this scale is labor intensive and most (if not all of you) did this on a volunteer basis. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

The shops and pop up shops were packed with people.


06/01/17 8:12am

The Newburgh Illuminated Festival will be this Saturday, June 3, noon – 10pm. If you are looking for the chance to visit and discover Newburgh, this is an excellent opportunity to see how the community is able to transform itself. There will be vendors, artists, and plenty of food. Make sure to go to the Newburgh Illuminated Festival website to see all that will be happening.

Click here to see photos from 2015, 2014, 2013. It gets better every year!

01/31/17 7:30am

Navigating Newburgh

Sorry, this event has been canceled. The next meeting will be on March 2nd, 2017, at Caffe Macchiato.

Monthly community meetings in Newburgh have started back up again to discuss issues related to home and business ownership. The meetings are called Navigating Newburgh (Facebook and website) and are held on the first Thursday of every month at Caffe Macchiato 5-6pm.

This is a great opportunity to meet locals, share ideas and learn about some of the confusing and frustrating processes that are involved when dealing with the City of Newburgh (taxes anyone?). You can see the monthly meetings listed on the Newburgh Event Calendar.  See below for the recap of this Thursday’s meeting.


The number one goal of Navigating Newburgh is getting fabulous people into this city’s remarkable vacant homes.
I have invited some “regular people,” all of whom would love to own a historic home in Newburgh, to be guest speakers. I believe our discussion will reveal some very serious roadblocks that are keeping these hard-working people from their goal. I feel very strongly that home ownership is the best weapon against rapid gentrification. My family and I would not be where we are today if we had not been able to buy our home in Brooklyn when we did. Home ownership, and the major renovations that come with it, is not without a lot of risk. Hopefully together we can navigate and identify the challenges, and how to overcome them.

Let’s crowdsource solutions to home ownership and restoration.
I invite any and all individuals who are in a similar position (or can share their success or failures) attempting to build the dream in Newburgh to be a guest speaker. Please speak with me or contact my assistant Hazel at creative@brooklynfireproof.com


12/08/16 7:30am


It might be somewhat of a mystery what the signs or placards mean on vacant buildings in Newburgh as we saw last week. This poster from the Newburgh department of planning clarifies things. They do NOT mean the building is slated for demolition, and they do NOT mean the building is city owned. They are codes for first responders in cases of emergency. So they either mean to proceed with caution, or only enter with approval from command.

If you’d like more information, click here.