Lohud’s Christine Gritmon announces Lohud’s Hippest Town. ( Video by Ricky Flores/The Journal News )
Our Lohud’s Hippest Town contest has a winner: Yonkers!
(Photo: Tania Savayan/The Journal News)
We’ve been through the Elite Eight, the Final Four, the Top Two, and now we’ve got it, our official Hippest Town —Yonkers!
After a May Madness month of voting, Yonkers took first place over Peekskill, despite hard-fought campaigns by both sides. The contest began with readers, whose write-in votes determined the eight towns we bracketed (see our recap).
The winner was announced live from Rory Dolan’s on McLean Avenue in Yonkers on Monday. Mayor Mike Spano and other Yonkers officials were there cheering on their city. (What Yonkers residents said about their city: end of this article)
The contenders: First there were 8
The bracket: See Yonkers’ journey to #1
“There’s just so many great things that happen here in this city; you can get anything you want here in the city of Yonkers,” said Spano. “If you want to go to a casino, come to Yonkers; you want to go to the waterfront, come to Yonkers; you want to go to the brewery, you go to Yonkers. There’s so much diversity here, and there’s just so much happening here, and that’s why I think we got the Hippest Town award.”
Mayor Frank Catalina of Peekskill, who had a friendly wager with Spano about the outcome of the contest, took the news well.
“Well, they have 10 times more citizens than we did, so I consider it well-fought — but if we curved for the population, we’d have won by a wide margin!” Catalina said. “But I made a bet, I’ll stick by the bet, and I guess I’m having dinner with Mayor Spano — can’t wait! He’s a good friend and I haven’t had dinner with him in a long time so I’m looking forward to dinner.”
“I think if we’re talking waterfronts, he has to go to our five-star restaurant, so we’re going to take him to X20,” says Spano. “Then we’ll take him to our casino — and who knows, maybe we can both leave millionaires!”
Yonkers campaigned hard for the win. This title is just another feather in the cap of this newly revitalized powerhouse city, which in recent years has invested heavily in the arts, riverfront development and a stronger, safer, hipper downtown business district. Organizations like Generation Yonkers have reached out to the growing millennial demographic, ensuring Yonkers’ future growth as these young professionals build their lives in the Lower Hudson Valley.
Residents of Yonkers share what they love about their city after it was crowned lohud’s hippest town. ( Video by Tania Savayan / The Journal News )
lohud’s Hippest Town contest by the numbers
50,000+ votes counted
2-1: Yonkers’ margin of victory over Peekskill
11 videos produced celebrating our hippest towns
What Yonkers residents said
We asked some Yonkers citizens what they love about their city. Here’s what they said:
• Sharif Abou-talub: “I love Yonkers because there’s a great sense of community, you’ve got people from all over, and I feel like wherever you go, you run into somebody who’s got a connection to this place.”
• Ali Mudano: “I love Yonkers because, as a young person and a young professional, there’s always something to do, there’s always something going on anywhere in the city, but if I really wanted to leave Yonkers, the proximity to Manhattan is 25 minutes.”
• Jackie Rubbo: “I love Yonkers because through all of the growth and innovation that it’s currently experiencing, it has not lost touch with its roots.”
• John Rubbo: “I love Yonkers because it’s such a diverse city with so many cultures and communities.”
• Dominic Chiola: “I love Yonkers because it’s a nice neighborhood: people are cool, got good people, good environment. It’s cool to walk around the streets; you feel comfortable walking around.”
• Miguel Nin: “I love Yonkers because of the great selection of food!”