The City Away From The City: An Essay On Newburgh, Part 1


Newburghers hang out outside The Wherehouse Bar & Restaurant for Newburgh Brewing Company’s Launch party

Interesting, accessible people are rarely found in the heart of a city. Rents are high, much has already been done; there are too many barriers to entry. So where do we see them? Williamsburg, Astoria, South Philly, Fishtown.

Sure, in some cases it takes a good hour to commute to the center of the action (for work or play), but these communities develop their own independent and innovative character. They have creative businesses, bars, restaurants, concert venues, art galleries, food markets, coffee shops, parks and of course, the residents themselves.

As you walk down the street in Williamsburg or South Philly, you pass an entirely different kind of person than in Manhattan. They are the risk takers, the innovators, the critical thinkers, and the creators. They are the students of the arts waiting tables to fund their project; they are the young professionals that would rather have a loft apartment for half the cost it would be to live 10 minutes from work, and drink a good beer in a bar that’s rough around the edges but you always meet someone…well, worth meeting.

They are  interested in the status quo only to the extent that it needs to be periodically reevaluated.  And these communities are where that reevaluation–that redefinition–happens.

That’s Newburgh. The City Away From The City.

50 minutes from Manhattan–a great commute for doing work on the train or catching some extra Z’s–Newburgh is where the artists see the next Renaissance, the historians reacquaint with Washington, musicians see the new wave, and investors see the new opportunities for restoration. Newburgh is where a young professional can forgo the cookie-cutter condo or 3-bed/2-bath suburban sprawl, and instead steal a historic home in need of repair, and spend less buying and repairing it than any typical first home purchase. Not to mention the greater potential for it to appreciate in value.

Newburgh is the citygoer’s refuge from the hustle and bustle. For a fraction of the cost of any Manhattan real estate, in Newburgh you can live like a king. And with 2 months’ worth of the money you’ve saved on your mortgage, you can buy a seaworthy sailboat off of Craiglist to take out on the Newburgh Bay of the Hudson on the weekends.

Newburgh is the New Brooklyn, the New Astoria, the New South Philly or New Fishtown. Where these communities were once up and coming, they’ve up and came. And Newburgh is next.

5 Comment

  • VERY WELL PUT!!! I totally agree… Newburgh from a creative, historic, social, economic, geographic, LOGICAL perspective will continue to gain recognition as THE NEXT GREAT PLACE!

  • Absolutely LOVED this piece!

  • Well-said! Newburgh is small compared to challenges we faced in NYC in the 70s and 80s. It is wonderful to make things happen here alongside others who are equally enamored of , and committed to, this, America’s true birthplace. Happy Valentine’s Day Newburgh!

  • I’m from Newburgh. I’ve been in Atlanta, GA for almost 20 years but my ENTIRE family is still in Newburgh. I am happy I came across this site. It’s about time that Newburgh is finally being recognized and revitalized.

  • Newburgh is a cesspool, I grew up there and could not get away fast enough oh and by the way, Newburgh is the 9th Most dangerous city in the United States, just for the record:

    Residents of Newburgh – a city with a population of 29,026, have a 1 in 55 chance of being victim of a violent crime, versus the 1 in 251 chance of the average resident of the state of New York. An individual’s chance of being a victim of either a violent crime or a property crime in Newburgh is 1 in 16.

    When you combine violent crime and property crime, there are very few communities in the US both large and small which have a crime rate as high as Newburgh