Friday, September 14, 2018


The following letter appeared in this week's Gazette.  It is re-printed with permission.

To the editor:  It is always good to have new businesses opening in Croton. The proposed Croton Tapsmith would add value to the existing property and their marketing plan proposes to draw patrons from outside of Croton. All of us should hope that the Croton Tapsmith succeeds. 

            I do hope that as the owners settle in, they come to appreciate Croton for the qualities it has. They speak of their desire to “cater to individuals who are looking for a bit of ‘Brooklyn’ in Croton” with a design described as “Brooklyn Loft meets Farmers Market” to “transport patrons to a bit of NYC.” 

            By now we are all accustomed to hearing new residents bemoan the fact that Croton is not Park Slope. The moving truck has not even made it back over the southbound Triboro and they complain about a lack of diversity in food and shopping choices. 

            With regard to craft beer, Croton has long been welcoming. Apart from the Green Growler, the local ShopRite has a decent selection of local brews and the Foodtown has a respectable beer aisle. On a recent visit, I asked a question of the clerk. When she could not answer, she got the store manager. When he was stumped, he brought over the Foodtown beer buyer (yes, they have one!) and she found something appropriate and spent time discussing beer with me. Just over the border, we have Holy Smoke and Montrose Beer. 

            In fact, a former Croton Mayor brews his own beer and it used to be served at the Green Growler. Croton is not a backwoods hamlet of Billy Beer-swilling bumpkins. Croton may not be hipster, but it is a “hoppy” place. 

            I like Brooklyn. I worked there for many years, and did volunteer work in the evenings. Brooklyn has many appealing aspects. 

            That said, I don’t understand this obsession with turning Croton into Brooklyn. Apart from the question as to why people move here if they really want to live in Brooklyn, there are practical reasons why Croton cannot become Brooklyn.

           The same big lots and spacious lawns that attract people from Brooklyn also mean that there is a lower population density. That in turn limits the quantity and diversity of food and beverage options in Croton. Many people move to Croton because they want their kids to go to a decent, safe school, and parents of grade school children are not out drinking and dining during school nights, much as they may desire to do so. 

            Croton is not a perfect community; no community is perfect. And it is not that Croton or Brooklyn is “better”—they are different, and each has its own qualities and drawbacks. Some of this desire to remake Croton into Brooklyn is a yearning for a time in our lives when we had no responsibilities and could wander artisanal shops and hang out with our friends rather than worry about the property tax bill and the invasives choking our azaleas. 

            We might all consider the advice of that great philosopher Stephen Stills: Love the one you’re with.

--Paul Steinberg, Croton-on-Hudson


  1. One restaurant owner in the area said his is a Brooklyn-free zone. And he's originally from Brooklyn. No political talk allowed, no man-buns, don't ask for "craft beer" and vegan specialties. He's thriving.

  2. Everyone's welcome as long as they don't infringe on my space. That means no politics and if it's after 8, keep your children home. If I wanted to live in Brooklyn, I would have stayed there.

    1. I agree everyone's welcome as long as you don't infringe on my space. Simple etiquette goes a long way. I'll give the new place a shot but this is Croton for a reason.

  3. Hope they do well and wish them luck.

  4. Me too though parking is so bad down there. Places need to have dedicated parking.