From A To Z With Marshall Fine—Critic-In-Residence At The Picture House In Pelham

Arcadian Barber Shop in Ossining. A friendly local spot for a haircut. They keep the Playboys cover-side-down on the counter. (I only look at it for the articles.)

Bear Mountain Bridge. A great drive during peak fall-foliage season.

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Illustration by Caitlin Kuhwald


Consolidation. Are Westchester residents so unruly that we really require 45 separate municipalities to keep us in line? 

Downtown Ossining. A great, old Rivertown, which, unfortunately, struggles to find a cultural identity. Nothing that a couple of new ethnic restaurants and an arts center wouldn’t improve.

Each of the thousands of times I’ve driven on the Saw Mill River Parkway between Hawthorne and Manhattan. Without traffic, I can do it in 30 minutes. 

Farmers markets. We’ve got a good one in Ossining; we also hit the Pleasantville market for the Buddha Pesto booth.

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Grocery stores. As a former Upstate resident, I’m disappointed by our local grocery stores. Why can’t we get a Wegman’s in Westchester?! 

Hudson Valley. Rich in history, rife with scenery, a place that has such magical light on overcast days that they named a whole school of painting after it. 

Indian food. From tandoori to curries to vindaloo, I can’t get enough of it. Favorites include Bhog Indian Restaurant in Pleasantville and Raasa in Elmsford.

Jake. My older son (far left), a theatrical lighting designer currently working with one of the Alvin Ailey touring companies. 

Kimberlie Jacobs. My beautiful wife, who does good every day as executive director of Community Capital New York, a nonprofit microlender.

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Landmark Diner in Ossining. I eat there on a semi-regular basis (crazy about the split-pea soup). 

Metro-North, which I ride regularly as a commuter and whose reliability I admire. I’m always shocked how much I can get done (reading, writing) on a trip into Manhattan. 

New York sports teams. I enjoy rooting for them all, even when they’re playing against each other. 

Ossining Pizzeria. It’s always the answer to the question: “Slices for dinner?” My wife’s favorite: chicken marsala.

The Picture House in Pelham, where my seasonal film club is now in its second year. Built in 1921, it was rescued from demolition 10 years ago and restored. It’s a great place to see a movie and a terrific community resource.

Dairy Queen: What is it going to take to open a DQ somewhere in Westchester (preferably on the Hudson side of the county)? 

Robert Klein. The legendary stand-up comedian and Briarcliff Manor resident is a longtime friend and the subject of my new documentary, Robert Klein Still Can’t Stop His Leg. 

Stand-up comedian. What my younger son, Caleb (near left), wants to be. But he pays the rent working for a firm that does investor analysis. 

The New York Times. It may not be perfect (hello—Iraq War?), but it’s still the gold standard in newspaper journalism at a time when most other papers have become glorified shoppers.

Umami Cafe in Croton-on-Hudson. Big fan of the Evil Jungle Prince, a chicken-curry hot pot.

Vigorous—my workouts. You’ll find me most mornings on the elliptical at New York Sports Club in Croton-on-Harmon.

Westchester Collaborative Theater. An Ossining-based group of playwrights and actors who develop their own scripts through a script-reading-lab process. I was one of the founding board members. 

X2O Xaviars on the Hudson. Amazing food, and unfettered views of the Tappan Zee and the George Washington. 

Yonkers. The only place in Westchester where you can find a White Castle restaurant, one of my guilty pleasures. 

Zeal. Something I’ve always had for writing about popular entertainment. I’ve been getting paid to write since I was 18 and don’t intend to stop.  

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