In order: contributors Amy Sowder, Elzy Kolb, and Linda Diproperzio.
As we go to press with this issue, the temperature outside has plunged into the teens. Yes, after a balmy patch over the holidays, our grace period with Mother Nature is finally over, and winter is upon us in full force. In brutal weather like this, few things are more satisfying than a bowl of hot pasta, which is why this month’s cover story should come in especially handy (page 58). With so many Italian restaurants on offer in Westchester (our dining editor, John Bruno Turiano, estimates the total at more than 400), we present a well-curated cross section of Italian eateries that serve delectable, homemade pasta—and a whole lot more. From old-school joints producing perfect iterations of the classics to ultra-chic establishments concocting inventive re-interpretations, options abound for nearly everyone.
It’s hard to believe that Valentine’s Day is already right around the corner. For those who haven’t looked that far ahead on the calendar, an important heads-up: This year, V-Day falls on a Saturday. We present several ideas for how you can spend that weekend enjoying some quality (and pampered) time with your sweetheart without traveling far.
One of the questions I’m most often asked is, “Where do you get your ideas for stories?” That’s an easy one: just about everywhere. As with our Valentine’s Day piece, some ideas stem from simply perusing the calendar, others are pitched to us professionally by PR and marketing folks, but many are generated simply by living our lives here in Westchester—and interacting with our relatives, friends, significant others, neighbors, and anyone else who knows of our affiliation with the magazine. (A quick shout-out to all the residents in my building who have taken the time over the years to stop me in the elevator, garage, or mailroom to pass along promising tips and leads. A great many of them have panned out, as you’ve undoubtedly seen.)
Take this month’s “Flashback,” for example, on Croton-on-Hudson’s communist days. The idea came by way of Senior Editor Kate Walsh’s school conference with her daughter’s 8th-grade social studies teacher, Rick Casey. “He said he had a story for us,” says Kate. And boy, did he…
The takeaway is that if you have an idea for a story—whether a secret cache of communist literature fell out of your ceiling or you just want to tell us about your favorite new restaurant—we’d love to hear all about it. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Robert Schork, Editorial Director
A food and fitness journalist (gotta love the combo), Sowder researched and wrote our cover story. “I thought I knew a thing or two about Italian dining,” says Sowder. “After all, dinners in my non-Italian house while growing up vastly improved after my Italian stepfather entered our kitchen. No offense, Mom! I still adore your spinach lasagna and chicken cacciatore. But after trying dozens of Italian eateries in Westchester, I learned a thing or three,” including not to settle for mediocrity. “I have taste. And with so many Italian choices out there, so should you.”
A longtime WM freelancer, Kolb penned this month’s “Neighbor” on Peekskill resident Alexis Cole. “What appealed to me about her story are the seeming contradictions,” says Kolb. “The jazz-singing athlete, the lifelong peace protester who’s also an army sergeant, the international traveler who spends time baking and pickling. In an era of partisanship and polarization, her story reminds me that all of us may have more in common than we realize, if we listen, put aside our preconceptions, and look below the surface.”
Making her Westchester Magazine debut, DiProperzio wrote our “Generations” piece on children and divorce. “Writing this story was of particular interest for me because I’m a child of divorce, so I know how it’s impacted me throughout the years,” says DiProperzio. “I definitely saw a lot of myself in Avra, the young woman I interviewed who had to grow up fast because of her parents’ divorce—although I think she’s far more articulate and self-aware than I was at her age.” DiProperzio has written extensively on parenting issues for Parents, American Baby, Parenting, and Family Circle, among others.