When my son, Alex, was born in 1997, I started to really appreciate Westchester. It was reassuring as a new mom to live in a place that had a “village green”; where the cops didn’t wear riot gear just to go to Dunkin’ Donuts, but instead rode bicycles and waved to passersby; where the playground wasn’t enclosed by a chain-link fence; and where the biggest crime was wearing white after Labor Day.
So what if the County transit system was called “Bee-Line” and had an animated bee in its logo? So what if a hoagie was known as a “wedge”? So what if petite women with perky ponytails and 4-carat diamond studs drove 8,000-pound Hummers to the supermarket? Again, a small price to pay—and fodder for essays down the road.
By the time Alex was 2, the Bee-Line bus had become a welcome distraction from the 4- to 6-pm “witching hour”—too late for naptime, too early for bed. On lazy summer early evenings, we’d stroll down the block to the Metro-North station and hop on the commuter shuttle bus, which drove through Hartsdale and neighboring Ardsley and back again. I’d hold Alex as he stood on my lap looking out the window at the trees and quaint houses in Poets Corner, and, by the time we’d circle back to the train station, my baby would be sleepy-eyed and ready for bed.
We’ve been in Pleasantville—a town we chose for its great schools, friendly community, and fabulous location—for 14 years now. Though you can see a Matisse and a Chagall just a stone’s throw away, a Frank Lloyd Wright enclave in the same ZIP code, and the Clintons dining in local restaurants, it’s generally a laid-back, unpretentious place. It can get a bit quiet sometimes—no hustle, no bustle—but I think I’ve adapted quite nicely. I’ve even baked cookies for the high school football team. But I still can’t call a hoagie a “wedge.”