Whose Best?

For a year and a half, my husband and I rented a house in Ossining while our current house was being renovated. We lived less than a block away from Sing Sing (if you craned your neck really hard, you could see the prison from our bedroom window; that view was the highlight of the house tour we gave our guests).

I actually loved living there. For one, I was 12 minutes from work (enough said). For another, the neighborhood was diverse—most of my neighbors were working-class Italian and Hispanic families, who, perhaps because their homes weren’t McMansions, spent a lot of time outdoors. One summer, I watched the big, rowdy, and loving Italian family who lived directly across the street from us make and can tomato sauce in their backyard. At the end of the day, the entire clan—grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, et al.—sat down to a big pasta meal.

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When I needed to pick up a few grocery items, I shopped at the local bodega, where the produce was not only inexpensive but frequently exotic. I got to love plantains, and I learned to cook with yucca root, jicama, and tomatillo. Sometimes I felt as if I was living in a foreign country, that I was on some great, big adventure.

My point: great places to live are not always obvious. And determining what makes a place livable can differ widely, depending on many factors, including your age, your aesthetics, your needs, even your sense of adventure… Nevertheless, in this issue, we attempt to do just that—ascertain, in a “scientific” way yet, the best places to live. We used statistics, we used a mathematician, we used our collective knowledge. And? We know that no matter how “scientific” we attempted to make this, “best” is always subjective. And, besides, you are the best judge of what town is best for you and your family. Some (many?) of you will disagree with our list. That’s okay—one longtime staff member lives in Harrison (last on our list) and absolutely loves it.

In our desire to keep up with the latest technology (and possibly spare a few trees along the way), I’m pleased to announce the launch of our digital edition of Westchester Magazine. Now you can read the new issue cover-to-cover from the convenience of your desktop, laptop, iPhone, or iPad. You can either purchase a single issue (for $3.99) or subscribe for a year (for $12). To subscribe, or for a free preview, look for the digital edition box on our home page.

Esther Davidowitz

Our Best of Westchester Party is July 24!

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