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Confessions of a Semi-Luddite


EACH TIME WE WRAP UP another issue of this magazine, there is a palpable sense of relief and, sometimes, even an urge to celebrate—after all, nearly everybody around here gets involved in the process in one way or another, and it’s always climactic when the last page goes out. Yet, despite how hard working and talented our staff is, it all adds up to a lot of work, a lot of pressure and a lot of stress. That we might have the urge to go out for dinner and a few beers when we close each issue is not just understandable, it’s written into our corporate bylaws.

We’re celebrating twice about closing this issue, though, primarily because there’s so much celebrating going on inside the magazine. As most savvy eaters know by now, the spring edition of Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is almost upon us, and this marks the event’s tenth anniversary. A record number of restaurants are on board for this spring’s event; it’s a two-week party and you’re all invited.

Less noisy (but no less significant) is the celebration of the new valleytable.com—our re-conceived, re-engineered and re-designed website. There was nothing really wrong with our old site, except that it looked and behaved like an old, worn-out site. (The fact is, it was virtually the same site that we originally put on the web in 2001— almost an eternity in internet time.) The new site has more information, is faster, includes more links and graphics and is, well, just better looking (we think) than the old one. It will allow us to explore new technologies and utilize more modern tools that, in turn, will help us keep content dynamic and rewarding. Check it out if you haven’t already—it’s mobile friendly, too.

This is where I confess, though, that I’m not what you’d call a “web guy”—I was in way over my head during just the first tutorial about the new site. Truth is, I’ve spent most of my life immersed in print. Surely you remember that—it’s communication that involves type, ink, paper, proofs, printing presses, glue. I’m only a semi-Luddite, however: Though I was born too late to operate a Linotype machine, I once owned a small letterpress shop with a big Chandler & Price platen press—a real workhorse—and over the span of 45 years earned my keep by operating just about every iteration of phototypositor and computerized typesetter in the industry. (Does MagTape, Compugraphic, Mergenthaler or Varitype mean anything to you?) In the issue 12 editorial announcement of our then-new website, I wrote, “We won’t be publishing an on-line version of the print magazine (I’ve got too much ink in my veins to do that), but we will offer up more news, events and other items that we just can’t effectively include in the quarterly print version.” It’s both comforting and disturbing that I could have written that sentence this morning about the new website. It falls perfectly under “the more things change, the more they stay the same” cliché. In this case, however, I think “Ignorance is bliss” seems more appropriate.

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is back this April 8-21!