Best places to live in Westchester in 2013: Rye, NY



Prosperous downtown Rye

In 1942, the Village of Rye, sparring with the Town of Rye (yes, it involved taxes), voted to declare its fiscal independence. Thus, Rye Village became the smallest city in Westchester County—its tallest building is The Osborn retirement home—yet it remains very much the wealthy, history-rich village it’s always been.

“Rye has the cuteness of a village, but it is a city,” says Brian Carr-Smith, broker at Coldwell Banker in Larchmont. “The land is six square miles, with 14 additional miles of water.” Almost three-quarters of the residences are single-family homes.

Had Rye been a typical city, Carol Annett would not have ended up here. When the British native and her husband, an executive for JPMorgan Chase, relocated from London in 2009, they chose Rye for its roominess: “I felt I could breathe, I had some space. It’s such a contrast from my life in England.” Rye is unlike any city she’s seen: “In Britain, if you have a city, you have a cathedral. We haven’t got one.”

They rented for six months before their real estate agent found them a “quirky” Arts and Crafts home built in 1913 near the village center. They plan to renovate. Their two daughters attend public schools: “They’re like private schools.”

The high-energy, outgoing Annett—“I love volunteering and helping out”—quickly made herself at home. She joined the Rye Newcomers and Neighbors Club and was recently asked to join the board. She’s also an avid member of the Rye YMCA’s Y Tribe, a triathlon team for women, 56 of whom competed in the Danskin Triathlon. Annett remembers training in the Sound, entering the water off Oakland Beach. “Two of us swam a mile out and back. It was amazing. We went out into the sea.”

Having just gotten their green cards, the Annetts are officially expats. “We’re not going anywhere,” she says.