Twin Island Lake by Grant Cornett in Pine Plains, New York

Its the view, the light really… the reason that we live up here.

Name:Grant Cornett

Place you live: Pine Plains NY most of the time, Ft. Greene Brooklyn during business hours

Place your photo was taken: This photograph is of my living room window looking out east over Twin Island Lake

Can you sum up Pine Plains? Pine Plains is home to an interesting mix of families, some who have resided here for generations. The owners of Fortune 500 companies keep their ponies next to farms where locals earn their livings slaughtering cows. Dairy farmers call it home. So do one-time Prohibition liquor producers. It’s a beautiful place.

Occupation: photographer

Preoccupation: staring, dreaming, cooking and worrying

A perfect day in Pine Plains? Being called for a job and realizing that this is what Ill be coming home to after a few days. But if you’re visiting the hike around Thompson Pond is something special.

A perfect meal in Pine Plains? Locally, The Stissing House. Best food around though is a 20 minute drive away to Red Hook where an amazing restaurant called Mercato exists.

What is the best thing about your spot? the view/quietness

What is the worst? It’s far from my friends

A little known fact about Pine Plains?  It used to have the biggest railroad exchange on the east coast, all the milk for new york… and some came from this area. All that milk had to go out immediately by train but when refrigeration was invented it shut it all down.

Where is your favorite place in the world? The southern australian coast line

  • disqus_5wnniUpLR5

    Could this guy possibly be more insulting to “upstaters?” Believe it or not, we don’t all slaughter cows or wait around for someone with an estate to pay us to do their manual labor.

    • Luane

      Agreed. And those who “slaughter cows” in our town are well respected, honest, hard working, good businessmen who supply NYC businesses (and many others) with high quality meat and are not “red necks.” Give me a break with the stereotyping.

  • Carol Nye

    Where is your favorite place in the world? The southern australian coast line. That says it all…he doesn’t like where he lives, but probably made money for his article.

    • Jesse

      Thanks for the comment Carol. Don’t you think its possible to have a favorite place in the world that isn’t your hometown and still like said hometown?

  • windchimes

    This “review” would be much better if it had been checked for spelling errors……You don’t sound like you enjoy the people of Pine Plains…. perhaps you should move to “the southern australian (sic) coast line (sic)”

  • Sarah Cahill Funk

    As a lifelong resident of the BEAUTIFUL Town of Pine Plains, I take GREAT offense to being called a “redneck” (seeing how I obviously am not a member of the Fortune 500 set). Who do you think you are anyway?! Are you supposed to be complimenting our beautiful little Town?! The Town that I’ve seen rally around it’s people in the event of tragedy? The Town that puts on the most beautiful and patriotic Memorial Day celebration year after year? The Town that takes care of it’s “own”? And I’ll tell you a little something about those “rednecks who slaughter cows” for a living…they have more CLASS, manners, dignity, and plain old fashioned RESPECT for OTHERS than you or any of the “Fortune 500” members who come here to “ride their ponies”. Hope I see you out on the Town some night buddy….then I can actually tell you in person what I think of your “complimentary comments”. You’re an ****hole. Plain and simple. But you did get one thing right: Pine Plains is an amazingly beautiful Town. Try actually looking at it.

  • Linda

    Hey Grant – Why don’t you crawl back in the hole you came out of?! Really? This is the best you can do? You state ” Pine Plains has a social division where the blue chip fortune 500 owners keep there ponies and the rednecks earn a living off slaughtering cows or working the estates. Its the hudson valley not made for tourists. The locals, rich and poor want it to stay theirs. Its a fucking beautiful place… to look at.” Was this really your typing too..with the poor grammar – can’t figure out ‘there’ from ‘their’? I grew up in Pine Plains. Tell you what, the Fortune 500 owner’s can go back to the city…ALL of you! The true locals are NOT rednecks – they are people who are proud of a town that looks after it’s own, support each other…VERY unlike the majority of the “Fortune 500” as you state ..who only look after their ‘god almighty dollar’ and could give a crap about the people around them. We are all sick of folks like you coming into our Towns, making such comments about a town folk you clearly know nothing about. Real nice way to insult an entire Town. Go to your favorite place and see how well you make out insulting the locals there.

  • grant

    I am so sorry to have spoken so offhandedly and generally about a town that is full of lovely people. If it were possible to go back in time, my remark would corner the Fortune 500 that I know completely control the politics and have little to no regard for the residents of Pine Plains.
    My comment was completely out of line, and barred no actual truth in regard to what I saw first hand about the people who live in Pine Plains.
    My sincerest apologies to anyone I offended.
    Thank you for your consideration.


    Grant Cornett

    • Laura

      Unfortunately, the hubris you displayed is out there now, marring the image of a very special place. In addition, Pine Plains is not a city. That alone should have kept it off this list and your offensive views (whether meant to entertain or your actual subconscious) from being made public.

      This redneck is a world traveler who works in Hollywood, by the way.

    • Rich Brenner

      Hi Grant, It seems you are not aware that the town supervisor and all four councilmen were born and raised in Pine Plains and are far from being controlled by the Fortune 500 that you speak of. Perhaps one day we will meet and talk about it. Councilman Rich Brenner

    • Fred Couse

      Mr. Cornett,
      Apology accepted (here). Despite your backhanded compliment of Pine Plains, you’ll find most of us welcoming of you to our community; you’ll find us that kind of people. After all, you voted with your feet and chose Pine Plains for the same reasons all of us already knew……………….its rural beauty, its safety, and its iconic small town America values. Pine Plains is no longer an agricultural community, nor do we wait with baited breath for the next wealthy gentleman to come into town to work for. But, we certainly welcome them, as they add to the fabric of our community and most make quiet, “behind-the-scenes” contributions to our schools and our town. Pine Plains is now mostly a bedroom community of Middle Class America, with the same dreams for our children’s future, for our community, and for our Country as those in your other home, Brooklyn. We hope your addition to the community helps spur the economic growth of our town center so you can brag about our restaurants as well as those in surrounding towns…………….by the way, rural living means having to get in a car frequently. Exploring our wonderful neighbor towns is part of the appeal.
      Despite your rocky introduction to Pine Plains, we invite you to take full advantage of the entire reason you’ve chosen Pine Plains as your second home…………….even if that means only enjoying your view of Stissing Lake. The more you mix, the more you’ll confirm you made the right choice. I’d love to share a beer with you sometime at our Stissing House and tell you more about our great town!

    • Meghan Hurley

      Those fortune 500 people that you think control the politics is a disgrace… Those fortune 500 people are the ones that are “giving” to our community to make it better, a better place for our friends and family. Maybe the chip should be removed from your shoulder and you should get to know these people and see what they are offering our redneck community.

  • LorraineS

    The awe-inspiring town (NOT city, last I checked) of Pine Plains deserves so much better than this superficial drivel by someone who just stares out his window and worries. As a Manhattan resident who’s lucky enough to spend much time in Pine Plains visiting family & friends, I get to experience not only this gorgeous panorama but also an extraordinary town spirit where people actually care about each other and create a warm, loving community. Grant Cornett, you may bring your fancy camera to Pine Plains, but you add nothing to its incredible heart and soul.

  • Julie Baiardi Zengen

    Grant, this is such a strange blurb of writing on so many levels. It perfectly demonstrates the desperation of the Internet for copy that any old fodder will be published. Pine plains is not even a city so why in the world is it on this list? Red hook is not in pine plains so why are you talking about the “best” restaurant in the area and it’s not even in the “underrated city?” Grant, I don’t know how you can claim innocence in thinking that reducing the entire population of Pine Plains to offensive cultural stereotypes wouldn’t be upsetting. Have we no teachers, volunteer firefighters, nurses, farmers, veterinarians, carpenters, small business owners, police officers, dentists, artists (and I don’t mean you) in the whole community? And let me say that your feeble attempt at “apologizing” is even more insulting. I don’t know who you are, but I wish that I did so I could enlighten you in person.

  • Meghan Hurley

    Those “rednecks” that earn a living off of slaughtering cows, grew up raising those cows on a family farm where they all worked day in and day out and slaughtered them to earn a living. They are far from rednecks! Being that I’ve been in a serious relationship with one of those “rednecks” for a year and a half I’ve Learnwd that its far from redneck..its hardworking,self motivatwd, business men who would do anything for their family. There is dignity,respect and motivation. Maybe Grant needs to take a look down south to discover a real “redneck”, not as though there is anything wrong with a redneck but we are not rednecks we are a community of people trying to do better for our kids and families, a community of people who have come together during tragedy and a community who at he end of the day are happy to be here.

    • Jacob Meiller

      Mr Grant, I would like to meet with you one day for lunch and talk about this article. Sincerely Jacob Meiller

      • grant

        Mr Meiller,
        Im sorry. That comment was made two years for i thought it sounded good, I thought it was a “cool” despite knowing that there was not any truth in it. I am aware of how wonderful and friendly you and your family are and i do feel like quite the shit for saying such words.
        With much respect,

        • Jacob Meiller

          Let’s get one thing straight buddy ! Your post was bull shit ok. I wanted to this over lunch but like I figured your just another parasite. You come to our town talk us down thinking your better or come from a place better than us well you can go to hell. Take my family’s name and the ppl of the town of pine plains rich or poor and drag it threw the dirt …….. Well let’s just say you are a lucky man my father is not here to see this cause when he was done with you , you want to hang yourself in your closet!!!! I go to the local grocery store in town and this post is what people are talking About we all have better things to do than deal with false bs coming from your d sucker. Pack your stuff up and head south your not welcome here and I’m sure I speak for the people of pine plains.

  • Martin Handler

    As a new resident of the area, I have been made very welcomed by all of the residents. Pine Plains is a great place to live, to work and to raise a family.

    • Luane

      And we are so lucky to have you, Dr. Handler!


    Mr Cornett,obviously,the best part of you ran down your mother’s leg at conception!

  • Brian J Coons

    Mr. Cornett, what you failed to realize or at least mention is your witty posting is that the bucolic, sleepiness of Pine Plains is what brought you here.
    It is that same quietness, that drowsy, dreamy influence in which hangs over our area allowing locals and “non-locals” to raise children, work, and live in a beautiful and safe community. A community where people openly communicate, help each other, and respectfully live sharing more than anyone has ever asked of them.
    A caveat to that communication…there is a community Block Party sponsored by the Pine Plains Hose Company at the their location on the corner of South Main Street and Lake Road this Saturday. I am sure some of the local folks would love to openly and peacefully discuss the positives and negatives of life in a small town.
    Please feel free to call my cell at 518-965-1875 if you would like to discuss how I can make life in Pine Plains much more pleasant for you.
    Brian J. Coons
    Supervisor, Town of Pine Plains

  • David Michael

    Although not a resident of Pine Plains, I lived in Upper Red Hook for 17 years. Pine Plains was where my veterinarian was, and where I took my pets for care. Pine Plains is a quiet little gem tucked away in Northeast Dutchess County, and there is not a more beautiful or friendly place.

    I would just remind folks who are upset by this piece that this guy is from Brooklyn, so probably has “Manhattan envy”, and feels it necessary to insult anyplace that isn’t as sophisticated and urbane as NY City. It was also a piece in the Huffington Post, which is also noted for it’s snobbish attitude towards anyone or anyplace that might not be a hotbed of liberalism. So, if their prevailing attitude is one that the residents of Pine Plains are either rich robber barons or “red necks”, the guy who wrote this, and the majority of Huff Post readers have given themselves a reason to feel morally superior to the buffoons of Pine Plains. These are the same people who clog the streets of Rhinebeck every weekend, and tell everyone in the city about their time in the “country.”

  • Casey

    This town is beautiful. And as someone who personally knows grant I know he is far from the person you all think he is after reading this article. I know grant loved our town of pine plains. He has never been anything but warm and inviting to me. He has never treated me or anybody poorly and is a very nice, social, loving person. He apologized and feels bad for the way his wording came off. We all make mistakes right? His wording was not meant to hurt anybody or belittle anybody. I did not find this article to be offensive even before I realized he wrote it. Remember we are a little town and we should forgive others for mistakes they made. Expecially since he has apologized and is honestly 100% sorry.

  • JV

    Interesting that Grant and Huff Post have decided to edit this piece…..