Lewiston NY: One Of The 2012 Best Small Towns in America



My friend Mary Lesa posted something on my Facebook wall yesterday. My beloved home town was included in the 10 Best Small Towns in America..

Lewiston NY was ranked fifth on the list. Our town participated in the 2012 Best of the Road contest and rallied together to host the Road Bros in what turned out to be an epic visit.

Small towns can be quite amazing. It is difficult to explain unless you experience it. When you walk into your local cafe someone will know you. Your local pubs are filled with folks to clink your glass. The food you eat in local restaurants are not only prepared by your neighbors but they are likely family recipes passed from generation to generation.

To my friends in Lewiston and Youngstown, feel free to comment on this column and plug your restaurant or shop. Let’s build some momentum for Shop Local Saturday.

“Like” my Facebook page and give yourself a shout-out to let folks know why it’s not only fun but smart to shop locally.

I will feature as many as possible so come on, play!

Have a yummy day!



Fort Niagara & Living Where You’re From

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Today I was going to write about “Social Media” so I set off to Fort Niagara to write because my street was being repaved. As I pulled into the parking lot my mind reframed from social media to social life…

So many memories here…we called it “the beach” and while I laugh at the thought, in my 8th grade world it was everything a beach should be. It had water…but in the 1970’s swimming was frowned upon. There was a little sand, ok, very little, but it had a wonderful bank of mowed grass where a towel could be thrown for suntanning. A snack shack sold all the junk food we could want and there was a great public pool where my friends with perfect eyesight could lifeguard.

My June birthday meant I often had a New York State Regents Exam (back in the day when testing well meant an actual Regents Scholarship) so my birthday was often celebrated along with the last day of school. One year, after I got contact lenses (a very big deal for me) I remember getting thrown in the lake. That was the first time I went in that water. I was programmed to think it so dangerous that I would emerge glowing in the dark from some residual chemical stuffed in there during WW2.

When I could drive I would come down here by my self and contemplate life…high school style. Does he like me? Will I make the cheer leading squad? Is AP English as hard as everyone says?

My husband and I bought our house in 1983 on a little street in the back corner of the village of Youngstown. We still live there. I know it’s corny but I love living at home. I grew up in Lewiston, still attend church there and do much of my shopping and dining there.

But Youngstown is my home. The two villages, while distinct in many ways, creat a lovely lifestyle for those of us who live “below the hill.”

Back in 1988, the morning my son died I came down here to the beach. My high school muses replaced by life altering events led me to the rock behind the Fort. This is home. We all need home.


Best of the Road #LewistonBest Videos and Media Coverage

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I got a Tweet the other day and wanted to be sure to share this video with everyone. Just as Lewiston is competing for Best Food in a small town in America, Brian and Mike – The Road Bros are competing for the best judges. We watch and share their videos and they get closer to their quest.

Remember, get ready to set your DVR for the Travel Channel July 25, 2012 at 8:00 pm to see Lewiston shine on national TV.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwKZUXZqcJ0&feature=youtu.be]

And, just like washing your hair(wash, rinse, repeat) please WATCH, SHARE, REPEAT).

Here are some more links: http://blog.bestoftheroad.com/2012/06/20/birds-eye-view-of-niagara-and-lewiston/

This is a great post about the Welcome Rally at the Silo http://blog.bestoftheroad.com/2012/06/25/gracious-and-exciting-welcome-in-lewiston/ For a great summary of the judging day in Lewiston check out this blog: http://blog.bestoftheroad.com/2012/06/27/lewiston-may-be-small-but-with-huge-heart-and-vast-variety/

Come to Lewiston! http://blog.bestoftheroad.com/2012/06/28/take-a-lewiston-left-and-see-what-the-locals-have-to-say/

Joshua Maloni of WNY Papers Niagara Frontier Publications did a great job covering the Road Bros! http://blog.bestoftheroad.com/2012/06/22/local-media-coverage-for-team-road-bros-from-lewiston-ny/

And more stuff!

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=go9aesVkv3k&feature=autoshare


Notoriety – Lewiston Porter High School – Fantastic Job!!!

Have a Yummy Day!


Lewiston NY: The Center of My Universe



20120620-071307.jpg My first memory of Lewiston NY was being in a grocery store the day President Kennedy was shot. I don’t remember the name of the store. Maybe someone can remind me which grocery stores were in Lewiston at that time. I do remember that there were two of them. Was it the A & P?

20120620-073724.jpg was it Loblaws?
I just remember my mother acting weird then not being able to watch cartoons.

I also remember Jay’s Drug Store and going with my dad to test the tubes in our television.

20120620-074024.jpg I can remember him mumbling “I hope it’s not the picture tube!” As a teen prior to the independence of a drivers license I remember being envious of my friends who lived in the village because they “walked into town” to hang out on the railing on Center Street by Jay’s. They were SO cool!

As soon as I could read my mother would bring me to the library on Saturday.

20120620-074505.jpgWe would get books and sit in those worn leather chairs by the fireplace. When I was old enough the librarians would let me sort the cart and restock books.

20120620-074946.jpgWhen my brother was old enough to drive my mother made him take me to the library. He always complained about it. What teenage boy wants his little sister tagging along? Later I learned he loved it because he got to hang out with his friends but just complained to irritate us!

20120620-072524.jpg I received my First Holy Communion at St. Peter’s RC Church on Plain Street and was the first Confirmation class, in 1971, in the “new” “oh my God that’s so modern what were they thinking” church on Center Street.

20120620-072542.jpg While they were building the new church we went to church in the school hall

20120620-072534.jpg because the church on Plain Street was so small there was overflow.

20120620-071343.jpg I took piano lessons here, across from the convent and original St. Peter School now rectory.

I remember the sesquicentennial in 1972 and being a part of the 150th celebration at the Red Brick School.

That same year a bunch of my friends who went on to be part of my 1976 graduating class at Lewiston Porter High School graduated from St. Peter’s School.

I have many memories of Lewiston…I grew up here…I got married here…I go to church here…I love where I’m from and today the country will begin to know why Lewiston NY is the center of the food universe.

Welcome Mike and Brian, http://blog.bestoftheroad.com/2012/06/12/team-road-bros-en-route/ as they learn and explore #LewistonBest.

20120620-071224.jpgin the words of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard:

Mr. DeMille, we’re ready for our close up!

Have a yummy week!

Twitter: @JudeTheFoodie
Facebook: Jude The Foodie

Dear Judges: #LewistonBest Small Town for Food!


This just in: get ready to welcome Team ‘Road Bros” to Lewiston. We will update dates as soon as they are available.



Hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen because Rand McNally, USA Today and CBS for the Travel Channel are coming to Lewiston NY!

Prepare to roll out the red carpet because in the next few weeks judges from http://www.bestoftheroad.com/ will be in Lewiston, NY as they tour six small towns across America competing for the title “Best Small Town for Food” in the USA!

The road rally begins tomorrow in Washington, DC as five sets of judges are announced. Each set of judges will visit 6 small towns over the next month and descend upon Seattle on July 13th where the winners in each category will be announced July 16th.

Lewiston is unique and special for so many reasons. First, of the 177 small towns vying for the six finalist spots Lewiston garnered the most votes. And, of the six finalists, Lewiston is the smallest, by far.

Best of all, there was no “Chamber of Commerce” media blast, no carefully coordinated ad campaign or expensive consulting firm waving the banner.

No, it was a grass roots campaign made up of volunteers who just love the little square mile of Food Under Niagara – F.U.N! Lewiston takes pride in knowing that in over 30 places to eat there is only one chain.

Here is how it works: the judges will let us know when they will arrive. We can engage them immediately and plan a rally at the Silo (details to follow when available). The next day they go on a tour of the towns restaurants and attractions with one host. I am honored and proud to say that I have been selected to act as guide. I travel on my stomach and I am very excited to show these folks how to that very thing in Lewiston.

How can you be a part of the F.U.N.?

1. Check out JudeTheFoodie.com everyday as I announce more details as they become available. We should have a better idea of the judges schedule tomorrow (June 15, 2012)

2. Prepare to bring all your friends and family to the rally at the Silo on Water Street with posters, placards and anything you can think of to make a big splash welcome for the judges. Date TBA

3. Follow @BestOfTheRoad on Twitter as they Tweet information about the road rally.

4. Download the Best Of The Road app on your smartphone and follow the fun.

5. Follow me @JudeTheFoodie as I Tweet #LewistonBest throughout the competition.

6. Follow Historical Association of Lewiston and Museum on Facebook

7. “Like” JudeTheFoodie on Facebook for more information

There is more to come!

Have a yummy week!


Facebook: JudeTheFoodie
Twitter: @JudeTheFoodie