Best places to live in Westchester in 2013: Dobbs Ferry, NY

Named for an 18th-century captain who operated a ferry across the Hudson—and worked as a spy for George Washington—Dobbs is the largest of the three southernmost River Towns. It extends from the Hudson to the Saw Mill River Parkway and borders Ardsley, considered a fourth River Town, even though it’s inland. Dobbs has the most diverse housing stock, from condos and co-ops to charming village Victorians and new million-dollar homes in The View at Dobbs Ferry, an enclave of 11 custom home sites priced around $1 million.

Dobbs is very much a warm and comfortable place. Waterfront Park is a lovely spot to play Frisbee, watch fireworks, or catch a jazz concert. Dobbs Ferry Festa, the annual street fair, brings crowds to downtown. Residents walk their dogs and jog on the Old Croton Aqueduct. Locals and newcomers mix well. Dobbs’ downtown shopping district is charming and eclectic, though parking can be a pain, as it is in most every Hudson River village.

Scott Rosasco, licensed sales-person for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty in Dobbs, was born and raised there. “It’s a little more diverse as far as the variety of people that live here,” he says. “I like the fact that you can go to the hardware store and the guy standing next to you could be an artist or a multimillionaire. But you’d never know it.”
Dobbs Dawg House, owned by three Dobbs Ferry High grads, sells close to 30 specialty hot dogs, including the Redneck Caviar dog, the Everything Bagel dog, and the PB&J Crunch dog.

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It’s hard to ignore the Walgreens going up in Four Corners, the large intersection that serves as Dobbs’ “gateway.” Many residents feel it’s too large for the village. Rivertowns Square, a residential and office complex with a Sundance Cinemas (a small indie theater chain headed by Robert Redford), is planned for a tight parcel on the Saw Mill, at Chauncey Square. There is concern it will increase traffic congestion on Ashford Avenue and side streets. Proponents say new businesses will broaden the tax base and create new jobs. It’s a classic balancing act: how to grow without losing that small-town feel that draws people here in the first place.

Dobbs Dawg House is a specialty hot dog shop on Main Street owned by three guys who went to Dobbs Ferry High School. When asked about how his hometown has changed, one of the guys just smiles and says, “Little town Dobbs, all grown up.”

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