An old song extolls the joys of "our State Fair" as "a great state fair — it's the best state fair in our state." It's easy to rise above the competition when there isn't any, but New York rarely suffers from monopolies. Welcome to September and our Blue Ribbon issue, inspired by New York's season of 45 county and regional fairs, and the 12-day-long Great New York State Fair — founded in 1841, and the first extravaganza of its kind in the U.S. Only the best of the best receive the fair's highest honor: the coveted blue ribbon. From the superlative Antique Auto to Palomino, from Hybrid Tea Rose to Home Brew, from Premium Maple Product to Christmas Tree, competition exists, and a winner emerges, in every imaginable category. Contenders for the Best Bucket of Junk in the State are now either proudly parading their blue ribbon or hanging their heads in defeat. As we approach NYSOM's first anniversary issue in October, I'm reflecting on our mission of rewarding the best of New York's offerings by bringing them together on one website — whether it's arts, food, education or debates. As with New York's fairs, the stories we cover sometimes only share the common thread of the state in which they occur. More often than not, however, seemingly disparate entities overlap in improbable ways. Our profile on Milgo/BUFKIN, a leading fabricator of industrial metal, shares a connection to our listing of the 12 Best New York Museums Outside of NYC: you'll find works manufactured in Brooklyn by Milgo/BUFKIN in the collections of some of those Upstate art institutions. And they are all blue ribbon-worthy. The State's artisans particularly occupy my thoughts this month. We're welcoming a slew of new makers on our NYSOM Marketplace — keep your eyes peeled for hand-blacksmithed steel candlesticks from the Hudson Valley, hand-painted floorcloths from the Adirondacks, hand-smithed tinwares from the Capital-Saratoga Region, perfectly Brooklyn-esque kits to make your own campfire s'mores or "Craft Your Own Bitters" as the chill of autumn sets in, and a Hudson Valley hand-crafted, New York-shaped coffee table (let your living room declare proudly that you heart NY). On Sept. 14, we're also hosting our very first NYSOM event. Along with The Adirondack Folk School and the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA), we invite everyone to join us at the Adirondack Folk School's Lake Luzerne campus to "Meet the Makers" for an artisan panel discussion of the obstacles and opportunities for makers in the global "made local" market. My co-founder, and NYSOM CEO, Silda Wall Spitzer will present the keynote speech, sharing the story of how and why NYSOM came to be, and what our goals are for helping to promote the local economies throughout the State. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. After all this talk of blue ribbons, do you have a hankering to attend a good, old-fashioned fair? Catch the Long Island Fair in Old Bethpage from Sept. 19-28.
From New York City,
Co-Founder, COO and Editor in Chief