Monday, August 23, 2010

On Vacation

Taking a break. See you in September.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Weekend Pick: Moon Viewing Concert

Check out the Hammond Museum's MoonViewing Concert this Saturday evening. The Japanese Stroll Garden is lit by paper lanterns, becoming a magical setting. The event starts at 6:30 pm with a bento box picnic. Then there is a traditional Tea Ceremony, followed by the concert at 8:30 pm.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Moving Up From Manhattan

I recently started posting chats with readers about their moves to the area and their lives here. A few weeks ago, I talked with Lauren, who moved up from Brooklyn. Here is my chat with Heather, a recent transplant from Manhattan.

Where do you live? How long have you lived there?
I live on Lake Katonah. My address is Katonah, but I think it's part of Lewisboro. We moved at the beginning of April of this year.

Why did you pick the Katonah-Lewisboro area?
We were looking for an area that had a good school district and was also affordable with reasonable taxes. Oh—and was also a reasonable commute to the city. In Westchester county, that is hard to come by!

What has been the hardest part of the transition from Manhattan to the rural burbs of Northern Westchester?
I don't know where anything is! There are little shopping areas and stores scattered throughout the area. I had to search to find where to get dog food! We are still learning where to go for things.

What do you miss most about living in Manhattan?
I miss knowing where everything is! I miss being able to get what I want when I want it—even if it is 3:00 am!

What is your favorite thing about living here?
I love how beautiful it is. We have a gorgeous lake view from our living room. We have a balcony that overlooks the lake that we sit on and just soak in the view. We see deer, chipmunks, squirrels, beavers, fox, etc. The nature is just amazing! Haven't seen nature in a long time after living in the city for 12 years! 

What do you tell city friends who think you were crazy to move up here?
That I love it up here! I really do! I've met so many of my neighbors up here already—I even joined the area book club! My dog and I take long walks around the beautiful lake. It's so quiet and peaceful—and I feel more quiet and peaceful being up here. I tell my friends to move up here with me!

If you'd like to be interviewed about your experiences moving to, living in, and/or working in Northern Westchester, email me.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gracious and Spacious

Year Built: 1922
Square Feet: 5,000
Bedrooms: 5
Property: 2 acres
Location: Croton, on a dead-end lane in the lovely Mt. Airy section.
Best Features: Big and grand, and bursting with charm, this house has a lot to offer. The rooms all appear well-proportioned and bright. The staircase alone is reason enough to love this place. The property looks nice, too, and includes two cottages.
Downside: The rooms look pretty tired and in need of sprucing up. The absence of any kitchen or bath photos leads one to surmise that they need updating, too.
Taxes: $22,790
Asking Price: $899,900

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mt. Kisco's Newest Eatery

There's a new "New American" restaurant on Mt. Kisco's Main Street. The Village Social Kitchen opened recently, and so far is generating positive buzz. Lohud's Small Bites blog visited the place (and took lots of pictures) and reports that the chef, Scott Forzaglia, previously worked with Daniel Boulud and Cornelius Gallagher. The menu has a large range of items, with everything from burgers to Ahi Tuna, as well as a variety of wood-fired pizza. The early reports on Chowhound are good, too. We stopped in over the weekend, and while the wait for a table was too long for us (for the kid, that is), we liked the rustic/industrial look of the space. We'll certainly try again soon.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Weekend Pick: Storytelling Festival

Get ready for a good yarn. It's time for the annual Mohegan Colony Storytelling Festival. This Saturday, from 12:30 to 10:30 pm., storytellers from all over will descend on Crompond to do what they do best. There will be 14 storytellers, plus music and workshops. Check out the article in the New York Times for more details.
Image: The New York Times

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Art of the Heist

Is there a better way to pass a hot summer evening than by watching a good heist movie? Probably not. The Jacob Burns Film Center is celebrating this pastime with "The Big Score," a festival featuring the best heist films from around the world. The 20 movies include American classics like Reservoir Dogs (right), To Catch a Thief, and Ocean's 11. The festival runs through September 2.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Weekend Pick: Peekskill Celebration

This weekend brings the annual Peekskill Celebration, three days of concerts, races, fun, and fireworks. Things get going Friday evening with Professor Louie and the Crowmatrix, keep running on Saturday with dragon boat races in the afternoon and music and fireworks at night, and then run all day Sunday with more fun.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cake of the Century

Where did Chelsea Clinton 
get her vegan, gluten-free
wedding cake? At La Tulipe
the much-loved Mt. Kisco 
bakery. (No, that isn't the 
cake, but it is one of the bakery's
many featured wedding cakes). 
According to the Journal News,
La Tulipe would neither confirm
nor deny reports that the cake
—which fed 500—cost as much
as $12,000. Fortunately, La Tulipe
makes much more affordable 
goodies, too—including gelato 
and sorbet.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

July Sales and Deals

Given that the summer market is usually dead, it's noteworthy that the number of homes going to contract in the area actually increased from June to July. Quite a few previously-featured Hot Properties went to contract, and a good number sold, too. The final asking for the yellow house in Ossining was higher than the original, and the Croton colonial sold for more than the original asking price. All of the houses that sold had been on the market for at least a while, and a few went for well below the initial price.

Contracts signed on single-family homes

June: 65
July: 73

Hot Properties That Went to Contract

Location: Bedford
Featured: June 15, 2010
Asking Price When Featured: $879,000
Last Asking Price: $845,000
Location: Cortlandt
Featured: June 3, 2010
Asking Price When Featured: $545,000
Last Asking Price: $545,000
Location: Croton
Featured:  May 25, 2010
Asking Price When Featured: $429,000 
Last Asking Price: $429,000

Location: Croton
Featured:  April 29, 2010
Asking Price When Featured: $598,850 
Last Asking Price: $574,850  

Location: Ossining
Featured: April 15, 2010
Asking Price When Featured: $299,900 
Last Asking Price: $330,000

Location: Croton
Featured: March 4, 2010
Asking Price When Featured: $599,900 
Last Asking Price: $559,000

Location: Ossining
Featured:  December 8, 2009
Asking Price When Featured: $699,222 
Last Asking Price: $619,222

Hot Properties That Closed

Location: Mt. Kisco
Featured: January 8, 2010
Asking Price When Featured: $699,000
Last Asking Price: $699,000
Sold for: $662,000
Location: Croton
Featured:  November 5, 2009
Asking Price When Featured: $599,000 
Last Asking Price: $624,500 
Sold for: $605,000

Location: Montrose
Featured: August 12, 2009 
Asking Price When Featured: $975,000
Last Asking Price: $889,000
Sold for: $850,000

Location: Katonah 
Featured: June 9, 2009 
Asking Price When Featured: $749,000
Last Asking Price: $749.000
Sold for: $655,000

Location: Katonah 
Featured: March 18, 2008 
Asking Price When Featured: $1,199,000
Last Asking Price: $1,199,000
Sold for: $850,000

Monday, August 2, 2010

Picking Your Own

On Saturday we stopped by Hilltop Hanover Farm in Yorktown Heights and tried out the U-Pick. It was a lovely day and the setting was truly beautiful. The farm is one of the prettiest spots in Northern Westchester, with sweeping vistas of fields and distant hills. It's hard to imagine a better way of enjoying the day and the location than walking the neat rows of crops and picking organically grown leeks, scallions, potatoes, onions, kale, zucchini, squash, cukes, beets, flowers, basil and other herbs, and lots more. I'm no nature nut, but it just felt good. The fields are open for U-Pick every Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. We'll still get most of our local produce from Meadow's Farm Market, also in Yorktown Heights, but we're definitely going to make picking our own at Hilltop Hanover a part of the weekend routine.