Best places to live in Westchester in 2013: Port Chester Waterfront, NY

This is a village that acts more like a city, that’s on the Sound but not really: The Port Chester waterfront is on the Byram River, which empties into the Sound. Greenwich, Connecticut, is on the other side. But most weekends, Greenwich is on this side, slurping black fettuccine with bay scallops and chilis at Tarry Lodge or catching a sold-out concert at the resurgent Capitol Theatre—or both.

“Port Chester is popping in so many different ways,” says Jeff Heifetz, managing director for Rose Associates, the exclusive leasing and managing agents for The Mariner, a new 100-unit luxury rental building next to bartaco. “It’s vibrant, and it’s getting better and better. The goal is to give young people who work in Westchester a reason to live here. What makes people stay in a community? Culture, restaurants, the arts. Why move?”

Jim and Donna Bauer raised a daughter in Larchmont and then moved to Pennsylvania, but jobs brought them back to New York. Port Chester “wasn’t on our radar,” says Donna, a special ed director at a charter school in the Bronx. Then, last summer, she saw The Mariner while eating with friends at bartaco. When she and Jim toured the building, “we totally fell in love. It’s clean and nice, plush, with that sort of industrial chic. The people here are friendly. I feel like we’re in the City and the suburbs. It’s a nice mix.”

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The Bauers pay about $3,000 a month, including fees for parking and their cat. They drive to work (Jim is a senior director of IT on Long Island) but, at home, they can walk to anything: the top-tier restaurants, the movie theater, and big-box stores at The Waterfront at Port Chester. Donna likes Port Chester’s grittiness—it reminds her of Brooklyn, where she grew up. Jim, who grew up fishing in the Sound off Mystic, Connecticut, dreams of reliving his childhood. “If and when we ever decide to get a boat,” he says, “the docks are right at the edge of the parking lot.”

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