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Reader Photo Essay: What Westchester Means to Me

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Photos courtesy of listed readers

Readers submitted stunning photos, then we sorted through hundreds of entries before narrowing them down to these meaningful local snapshots.

Yellow sunset at the Irvington waterfront: “I love to chase the sun. I grab my camera right before sunset and will patiently wait. I will watch the sky turn from blue, to yellow, to orange, to pink and purple. I love the thrill of racing against the clock to capture the beautiful scenery of the Hudson waterfront. We are so lucky, and most people take it for granted.”
Jenna Suleiman, Yonkers

Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge at night: “I loved the Tappan Zee Bridge since I was a child and going on trips with my family. At the time, we lived on Long Island, but took many trips through Westchester. We have many fond memories of driving through Westchester. I am able to make new memories on the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge and look forward to more hikes and bike rides over the new bridge.”
Alyssa Monforte-Lindner, Briarcliff Manor

An American bald eagle calling from one of the pilings at the Viking Boat Yard in Verplanck: “This is a favorite gathering place of eagles in the winter. I participated in a bald eagle count in January and February 2020.”
Bonnie Coe, Ossining

Croton Gorge Park: “We recently adopted a puppy. She’s the one being who can get our two sons to go on a family outing. We took a ride to Croton Gorge Park and explored. It was our first time, and we’ve lived in Westchester for a long time!”
Jennifer Reinharz, Pleasantville

Outdoor dining on Main Street in Tarrytown: “[The village] decided to close Main Street to traffic on weekends and allow restaurants to set up for outdoor dining. This was an opportunity for the community to come together during these difficult times while supporting local restaurants and businesses. The vibrancy of the night, along with the blue-hour light, inspired me to take this photo.”
Jeffrey Friedkin, Sleepy Hollow

Rockefeller State Park: “I live right next to Rockefeller State Park. I got a puppy, Maple, in July, and it has been her favorite place to walk. I take her in the mornings, before work, and it’s given me a new appreciation of beauty in Westchester County, seeing it through her eyes.”
Kacie Malone, Sleepy Hollow

“I moved from New York City to Ossining in June, after living in a small apartment through the time of body bags in freezer trucks. It has been spirit-restoring to be able to be outside much more freely.”
James Bradley, Ossining

Snowy egret diving for food in the Hommocks Conservation Area, Larchmont: “Westchester means exploring the best of what nature and wildlife have to offer — on both land and water — especially during a quarantine and pandemic. Nature provides beauty, solitude, comfort, and surprises every day.”
Elizabeth Sanger, Larchmont

An encounter with a deer while walking a trail path at Jay Heritage Center, in Rye: “This is my favorite spot to photograph the wildlife of Westchester County… can almost guarantee you will encounter a deer, hawk, osprey, or wild turkey going about their daily routines.”
Kevin Kelly, Mount Vernon

Sunset along the Hudson River in Irvington: “During the pandemic, I found being near the water to be especially soothing during sunset. Every single sunset has different shades of color, moods, and lighting. I love the quote by Kristen Butler: ‘Sunsets are proof that no matter what happens, every day can end beautifully.’”
Shelley Grafstein, New Rochelle

Thanksgiving parade, New Rochelle, 2019: “The parade, traditionally held the Saturday before Thanksgiving, is always a huge, colorful, boisterous affair. [It] brings the entire community together to celebrate the start of the holiday season.”
Karen Hessel, New Rochelle

Hart’s Brook Park and Preserve, Hartsdale: “I was just blown away by the beauty of the flowers that day. I have lived in the area for more than 30 years and have driven by countless times but never went in. I love hiking and recently moved to a home right around the corner, and a friend recommended I visit. I now go back at least five times a week.”
Joyce Maron, Hartsdale

The family dog, Kodi the shih tzu, outside the Drpich home: “This photo screams Westchester for me because I snapped it during the fall, with leaves on the driveway (arguably the county’s most picturesque time), living at home with my parents and working during the pandemic. Kodi has been a shining light and an unstoppable force of happiness during the most uncertain times.”
Marisa Drpich, South Salem

Saint Mary’s Convent Cemetery in Peekskill: “On a crisp, fall day hiking in Peekskill, my husband and I happened upon [this cemetery], dating back to the late 1800s. Its haunting beauty was in direct contrast to the lively nature surrounding us.”
Melinda Iasilli, New Rochelle

Execution Rocks Lighthouse in New Rochelle, in the shadow of the Throgs Neck Bridge: “I think the picture encapsulates a lot of what makes Westchester such a special place, obviously the beauty and recreation offered by Long Island Sound. It also represents the [county’s] rich history. This location is rumored to be where British soldiers chained Colonial prisoners to drown at high tide. And it portrays the proximity of Westchester to NYC.”
Michael Weinstein, Larchmont

Drone view of Davenport Neck peninsula and Glen Island in New Rochelle: “I took this photo with my drone, right from my backyard. New Rochelle…has many different peoples, of all socioeconomic levels: the very rich, middle-class, underprivileged, and everything in between. Our neighborhoods are filled with the richness of life. This photo reflects that fullness, by including modest apartment buildings on Pelham Road and within a short distance, high-end mansions/condos at Watermark Pointe.”
John Hessel, New Rochelle

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