An article I’ve co-authored with Joshua Simons (from SUNY New Paltz’s Benjamin Center) has just been published in the academic journal City & Community. Titled “Small-City Dualism in the Metro Hinterland: The Racialized ‘Brooklynization’ of New York’s Hudson Valley,” it’s part of the journal’s special issue symposium on small cities.


I’m pleased to report that the American Sociological Association has made this article as well as the small city symposium introduction open access. You can download PDFs on the City & Community journal website here.

We wrote this article back when the ‘rediscovery’ of the countryside, the heating up of a NYC-fueled rural Airbnb economy, and the prospect of gentrification in small cities and small towns alike were the hot-button issues for folks in the Hudson Valley. That seems like a long time ago in the current coronavirus pandemic. And yet, our analysis of the “Brooklynization of the Hudson Valley” highlights the motives, geographic impacts, and racialized frameworks that influence metro residents’ “escape” from the big city — a dynamic surely relevant to pandemic responses today. Consider these recent headlines:

“Coronavirus pandemic opens up divide between cities and countryside across Europe” (The Local Sweden, March 21, 2020).

Wary of a long, confined spring, city dwellers are fanning out to vacation rentals, their own second homes, or anywhere else they can find. Airbnb bookings by urban customers traveling to nonurban areas are surging, according to a spokesman. “I can’t just imagine staying in an apartment with a dog and a child when there’s a lawn and space upstate,” said Natasha Schull, 48, a cultural anthropologist at New York University who left Manhattan on Thursday for her home in Delaware County. Worried about a medical condition that predisposes her to pneumonia, she checked the number of ventilators available at the hospital there: 12. (New York Times, March 23, 2020).

“3 area counties, but not Ulster, ask downstaters to stay away amid virus outbreak” (Daily Freeman [Kingston, NY], March 23, 2020).

A social, geographical, and economic relationship forged in times of leisure may very well provide the template for so-called crisis tourism today.

For my other writings on the Hudson Valley, click here.

For other open access articles in City & Community, click here.