At a time when communities across America have seen their downtowns diminished or destroyed by the rise of malls and superstores, traditional downtowns in the Hudson Valley still exist in unusual numbers. If their businesses don’t exactly thrive, for now at least they’re making it.

The reasons are debatable.

It could be that the growing movement to shop locally is making an impression, or that greater distances between mega shopping hubs send people to downtowns more often.

Or it could be something more intangible, a yearning to preserve the sense of community downtowns provide.

As more and more big-box stores arrive and business costs rise, though, can the region’s old-timey downtowns survive?

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