This is it, folks. My short but glorious tenure is coming to a close—but not without a final hurrah. I'm especially proud of this October issue. A few months back, Chronogram's art director—friend, ally, and perennial pain in my ass, David Perry—suggested that we do a photo issue, eschew text and let the images speak. Radical, right? While I was titillated by the idea, as a freshman Big Cheese Editor, the concept of breaking so wildly with the status quo was terrifying, weighing creative vision against the expectations of readers and, yes, advertisers.
So, while I couldn't quite muster the guts to totally leave words in the rearview, what we bring you this month is a collaborative effort that features photos front and center. There is something to the played-out idiom, "A picture is worth a thousand words."
For the past decade, the Hudson Valley has been riding the tidal wave of the craft beverage movement, rediscovering its lost vocation as a producer of artisanal spirits and beer. Alongside the proliferation of small-batch bourbons, ryes, and vodkas, craft cocktail culture has flourished—first in the city and, later, here in the Hudson Valley. This month's food and drink feature (page 30) brings some of the region's most skilled cocktail alchemists into the limelight. From hand-cutting ice to boldly exploring new flavor frontiers, these masters of the craft blend tradition with experimentation to create a perfectly balanced drink experience. NB: The photos are great, but the proof is in the (boozy) pudding.
For our home feature (page 40), we hit pause on the standard house profiles to pull back the curtain on the impressive lineup of talent represented in the second annual Kingston Design Showhouse, which will be open for viewing October 11-26 at 302 Clinton Avenue. Eighteen design professionals from the Hudson Valley and New York City each transformed a space in the historic Italianate home, to create a sensory feast. Chronogram is a proud sponsor of the showhouse, which is helping put the Hudson Valley on the map as a vibrant hub of interior design by coalescing the regional aesthetic while connecting designers, makers, and tradespeople to each other and to potential clients.
For our community pages section (page 60), rather than rehash a narrative about the challenges Kingston faces as it enters a new era—gentrification, discrimination, and other forms of exclusion and oppression—or sugarcoat the influx of outside capital, I decided to focus on the people working every day toward a more equitable and inclusive future. These are the people who are rolling up their sleeves to rally for rent control, advocate for cross-cultural exchange, and bring healthcare to our artists and art to our streets. They're fighting for LGBTQ rights, ensuring access to fresh food, celebrating our diversity, and empowering our youth. We teamed up with photographer David McIntyre to take portraits of 11 of the city's change agents—but be assured, there are plenty more out there.
In our education section (page 82), we deep-dive into the region's fashion programs from Ulster BOCES to Marist College, featuring photos of original garments designed, produced, modeled, and shot by local students. Whether these programs are a stepping stone to higher education, the key to competitive internship at a New York City-based fashion label, or the launchpad for a new local business, they are equipping the area's sartorially minded with the skills to walk the (cat)walk.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, our portfolio (page 90) showcases the stunning work of Kingston-based photographer Isis Charise, who has spent the last decade photographing women who have had mastectomies. These goddess-like images are striking in their tenderness and defiant in their power. One in every eight women in the US will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, so all of us know someone affected. You can see the images on display this month at the Idea Garden in Midtown Kingston.
Take time with this issue. Study the faces of our community—then go and seek them out in person. While we have used brief quotes for many of these portraits, full interviews are available on our website, Chronogram.com, for a majority of the pieces.
It's been a pleasure and an honor to curate the magazine for this stint, shining light into some new and different corners of our region. If you enjoyed my time at the helm, please send fan mail to our publisher advocating for a raise—or just buy me a drink out on the town. Till next time.