Having lived in the Northwest Yonkers/Hastings area for well over a decade, I thought I knew my neighborhood very well. But it wasn’t until I made a quick U-turn in the Hastings Metro-North lot after picking up a friend visiting from the City that I discovered, nestled behind the back of the lot, the striking dwelling that graces this issue’s cover. Built in 1832, Ever Rest was the home and studio of Jasper Cropsey, a painter and early member of the Hudson River School of landscape artists. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, today Ever Rest serves, fittingly, as a museum of the artist’s works.
To think that all these years I literally drove over such a beautiful site hundreds of times on the Warburton Avenue overpass without knowing of its existence. It got me wondering: What other hidden gems are sprinkled throughout Westchester—places even “the locals” may not know about? Features Editor Amy Partridge soon led the charge, as our editors fanned out across the county in search of more out-of-sight attractions for this month’s cover story—and had some (mis)adventures along the way. “We had such a blast putting this story together—it was a great chance to get off the beaten path and seek out these less-frequented places,” says Amy. “It wasn’t trouble-free, however: My GPS led me astray several times—apologies to the lady in Hastings whose driveway I pulled into and out of numerous times trying to find the Cropsey House; both of my children had to, ahem, use the great outdoors as their bathroom right in front of one hidden place that shall remain nameless; I interrupted a burial at the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery; and my partner in crime, Senior Editor Kate Walsh, nearly got arrested trying to find a historic Peekskill home used during the Underground Railroad—for some reason, the people who now live in the house didn’t appreciate her peering into the windows. But, it was all worth it—the places that made the cut truly do deliver a fun, hidden, Westchester experience.”
In every issue, we try to explore a “hidden” place, of sorts (or at least places that the public doesn’t typically have access to) in Behind the Scenes, one of my favorite departments of the magazine. This month, we venture “backstage” at the Westchester County Airport. This story was photographed on Thanksgiving Eve—not only the busiest travel day of the year, but the date of this season’s first nor’easter as well. As the rest of us were scrambling to leave the office early due to the increasingly inclement weather, our intrepid trio of Assistant Editor Scott Simone, Creative Director Halina Sabath, and photographer Stefan Radtke were headed right into the middle of the storm/holiday mash-up. “While everyone else was cursing the storm, we couldn’t believe our good luck,” says Scott, who was excited to capture the airport’s snow-removal and de-icing operations in action. “I was impressed by how many different people are involved in the plane-preparation process—and the dedication they showed that day. It has given me a new appreciation for flight delays. The next time I’m waiting inside a plane to take off, I’ll remember that I’m warm and dry and have a drink in my hand while there’s a whole team of people working outside as hard and fast as they can to keep us safe.”
For his part, Scott enjoyed being out in the elements. “When do you get the opportunity to drive around on the runway and walk the centerline as planes are circling overhead to land? We got to stand feet away from a JetBlue Airbus going wheels up. Beats any trip to the airport I’ve ever had.”
Enjoy the issue.