Best places to live in Westchester in 2013: Bedford Village, NY

Seeing Bedford Village for the first time is breathtaking. It appears over a crest in the road, in all its stark Puritan perfection, like a stage set from The Scarlet Letter: the Village Green, the 17th-century Old Burying Ground, the stern Bedford Presbyterian Church, painted white like the other buildings as the strict historic guidelines dictate.

“We get a lot of people from the City and down-county, from Chappaqua,” says James Renwick, principal broker at Renwick Sotheby’s International Realty. “They want the rural setting, more open space.” He adds that scenes from the 1967 movie Valley of the Dolls were filmed here, with Bedford doubling as “the quintessential New England town.”

The first time Alison D’Eletto saw Bedford Village (it’s actually a hamlet) in 2006, she had “a wow feeling. It was like something out of another century. It was so sweet, so charming.” A senior colorist at Premier Atelier Salon at The Westchester in White Plains, D’Eletto grew up in Pelham Gardens, the Bronx, and always dreamed of raising kids in the country. She and her fiancé (now husband) Stephen had looked in Ridgefield, Connecticut, but Stephen was from Katonah and had friends and family in the area. They found a 1940s Colonial on one acre near the park and the pool. The lack of a Metro-North station in the village was no deterrent; her husband, who’s in medical sales, drives to his job, and D’Eletto hops on 684 and is at work in 20 minutes.

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Now a mother of two, D’Eletto enjoys the family-friendly events centered around the Village Green, from a carnival at St. Patrick’s to barbecues to parades. “There’s face painting, a jumping castle, and you can try to win a goldfish. At Christmastime, it looks even more beautiful with all the festive lights.” Yet her five-year-old daughter loves Manhattan: “She says, ‘Mom, I’m a city girl.’”

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