A walkable small-town community within big-city Yonkers, a bluff full of late 19th-century Victorians, a tony park district in Irvington, and 12 acres of Georgian homes with serious historical and literary cred.
Many of Crestwood’s amenities, including the Metro-North station (which was depicted by Norman Rockwell in his famous “Commuters”), and the Crestwood branch of the Yonkers Public Library (which functions as a community hub) are within an easy walk. Rich with history, the area offers tree-lined streets and a small-town community feel. Its diverse architectural offerings are also a plus: Tudor, Victorian, and Colonial homes all sit side-by-side on flat lots, which also boost Crestwood’s walkability factor. The neighborhood also boasts landmarks such as the Abigail Sherwood House, built in 1774 and still standing. With an approximately 40-minute trip to midtown Manhattan via Metro-North, the area is also great for commuters.
Fort Hill Historic District, Peekskill
House painting is an art form in this charming neighborhood near the downtown area. Colorful Victorians anchor a 47-acre bluff where a Colonial militia battled British troops—and lost. In the late 1990s, residents fought to save Fort Hill from development—and won. The area contains many late 19th-century homes in relatively intact condition, and in 2006 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (Peekskill’s commercial downtown area is also listed.) With artists and creative types flocking to Peekskill, the Fort Hill homes are coming into favor with a new generation of residents.
Matthiessen Park, Irvington
Residents of the sought-after Matthiessen Park neighborhood in Irvington pay a pretty price for their homes. What makes it worth the cost? The ’hood’s location, just a stone’s throw from the Hudson River, close to the bustling and picturesque downtown—the village’s Main Street has been designated a historic district by New York State—and by Matthiessen Park itself, a recreation area on Bridge Street off Astor Street. Green space is a big part of the appeal here (and throughout the village as a whole; about a third of Irvington’s 2.8 square miles is undeveloped public land), especially with the 12-acre Scenic Hudson Park, which boasts ball fields, children’s playgrounds, about a mile of flat walking paths, and a boat launch. The Matthiessen Park neighborhood was also once home to Louis Comfort Tiffany, the famous art-glass designer.
Sparta Historic District, Ossining
A charming 18th-century settlement occupying about 12 acres in the Town of Ossining, Sparta boasts well-preserved Georgian homes, the circa-1760 Jug Tavern, Goldfish Restaurant, and Liberty Park on the Hudson. One of the best-known addresses in Sparta is 1 Rockledge Avenue, which was built in the late 1700s for Josiah Rhodes, a man who operated a mustard mill on Sparta Brook; the house was also rumored to be one of George Washington’s headquarters during the Revolutionary War. Revolutionary Road is also famous as the street on which both John Cheever and Richard Yates lived; Yates would later pen the novel Revolutionary Road, which was turned into an Oscar-nominated movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Sparta’s location a short distance to the Scarborough Metro-North station and the Arcadia Shopping Plaza make it a convenient, as well as historic, place to live.