Letters to the Editor

You Did Disagree

We knew when we ran our October cover story, ranking the best places to live in Westchester, that there’d be disagreements—and you delivered. Here is just a sampling of some of your letters, e-mails, and comments on our website.

To rank a town from best to worst is completely insensitive to its residents and irresponsible in this current housing market. People read your magazine to help them choose a town. All that you said may very well be true, but leave it to the reader to decide what’s “best” or “worst.” No one wants to buy a house in the “worst place to live.”
Rosemary Porreca

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Thank you for your cover story. Congratulations to the village of Irvington (which is a village in the town of Greenburgh) for being ranked No. 1. And, to Dobbs Ferry and Hastings (also villages within the town of Greenburgh) for being No. 2 and No. 4. Your cover story should be very helpful to all elected officials in the county. We can all learn from the successes of our surrounding communities.
Paul Feiner
Greenburgh Town Supervisor

Wow. I guess suburban utopian bliss means diversity. I must have missed that memo. When my wife and I got married, we lived in affordable Port Chester. My favorite part was getting off the train from work at night watching the day laborers puke after spending all their wages on malt beer. But it was diverse! Now, we live in crappy ol’ un-diverse Armonk. Yeah, I know—great schools, wide open spaces for kids, nice homes, whatever…what it apparently needs is diversity, so it can rank higher for next year’s issue.

I’m a student at Ossining High School and it has one of the best science programs in the state. It has great diversity and you get to learn from each other. I want my kids to grow up here.

I must be missing something. Why does the racial mix of a town weigh into what makes it a better or worse place to live? What happened to judging people on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin?

Fantastic to finally see Ossining get the credit it deserves. It is a great community, with so much diversity that is appreciated, wonderful parks and waterfront, fantastic schools, a huge assortment of restaurants, a fantastic library…

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Bigger homes on smaller lots do not a community make. But in Westchester, so many areas are all about individual homes that are meant to impress and not co-exist well within the town they are located. Things to do, natural beauty, conservation, preservation, and a sense of belonging—a true community in the old sense of the word—are what makes a town great.
Schools and safety should have been weighted much more heavily. Restaurants, shopping, and dining are hardly as important as you made them out to be, since the beauty of Westchester is being able to conveniently explore different towns for those things. Also, the biggest glaring flaw was touting towns with low housing costs and property taxes since, in most cases, that also signifies lesser schools, and, therefore, a less desirable place to live.

Ossining No. 2—is this a joke? All there is are two good pizza places, a nice library, and an old prison. In terms of property taxes, $12K a year is affordable? In terms of crime, there are many drunks, a lot of whom are illegals. I had my car broken into twice in my own driveway. In some areas, most of the homeowners rent to undocumented immigrants. I am looking forward to moving out of this town and out
of Westchester.

As an Ossining resident, I am pleased to see it listed as No. 2. Working in a very affluent school district (which is almost ridiculous in its over-the-top nature), the education my children are receiving from the Ossining Public Schools isn’t much different in content, delivery, and curriculum than from where I teach. It is unfortunate but too many people (in Ossining and outside of it) can’t see past the 45 percent of our population that isn’t white.

You have to be kidding with these rankings! Harrison and North Salem are just horrible places to live? Yonkers is so much more civil?

Seems a bit bizarre that schools are weighted so heavily. Sure, they are important to parents with school-age kids, but not so much for anyone else.

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I grew up in Irvington. Great place to grow up and will need to get back there one day.

Ossining? Are you kidding me? Try taking a stroll down Broad Avenue, State Street, or Spring Street late at night! Ossining is a perfect example of redevelopment failure. Most of the homes in the downtown area are occupied by illegals, and houses in many areas are in such poor condition they are borderline uninhabitable. You must have been thinking of the Ossining that existed in the late ’40s to ’50s.

As a native son of Ossining and a real estate broker who has heard all of the stereotypes, I applaud the guts it took to give Ossining its due. It is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. I found the sniping of the choice to say more about the snipers than Ossining.

Born in 1940 in Ossining and having experienced a post-war heyday in the 1950s, I was saddened to see the decline that took place in the following decades. My dad owned and operated Kipp’s Pharmacy on Main Street from 1933 to 1959, and then sold it to move out West. The building burned down. Revisiting Ossining recently, however, left me with a renewed feeling of hope and energy, now that it has a very different population made up of hard-working minorities and new middle-class families, not so different from my parents’ introduction to the town back in the depths of the Great Depression. It gave me the picture of Ossining, a microcosm of America, being re-infused with ever-new immigrant populations, a singular factor that makes this country the success it is.
Peter I. Monheit, MD,
Denver, CO

I believe Pelham should be No. 1 because of its great schools, safety, and close proximity to New York City.

How do you not count lakes as “water?” Truesdale Lake, Lake Kitchawan, Peach Lake…I will take any of them just as fast as the Hudson or the Sound. Average Westchester residents can afford property on these lakes and others in Northern Westchester. Also, proximity to New York City is 10 percent? Not everyone in Westchester works in NYC nor needs to go on a regular basis. Why not just immediately state, “We do not like Northern Westchester”?

As a resident of Harrison for 37 years and a successful and devoted real estate agent representing the community, I am livid that such an article was presented so irresponsibly. To demean and minimize an entire 25-square-mile town is to destroy the reputation and pride of Harrisonites. It is “Great to Live in Harrison.”

Conservative Commuters

NPR? Do Garrity and Simone actually think more of us listen to NPR during our commutes than to Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and Michael Savage? (“Get to Work!” Talk of the County) Was conservative talk radio even offered as a choice in your survey? Republicans are now the county executives of Westchester, Rockland, Nassau, and Suffolk. When we sweep into Congress this November, will your magazine still be doing the ostrich routine? And what on earth is “The Peak?”
Norma Segal, Edgemont

Oops: In last month’s Final Say, we misnamed private investigator Jennifer Tawil’s company. It is Synergy Investigative Solutions, not Synergy Investigations.

Let Us Hear from You
Send your comments along with your name and town to edit@westchestermagazine.com. We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity and space restrictions.

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