Westchester in August: Healthy Food and Back to School

Editor-in-Chief Robert Schork reflects on Westchester’s adolescent population, eating well on a budget, and more



We love our children and think we know everything about them. But do we really? Read on...our kids cover package is all about our children, from what they think and feel to how safe they are at school to what they eat (and should be eating) for lunch. Managing Editor Kate Walsh was tasked with spearheading the package. A Westchester resident and mother of three children ranging in age from 3 to 14, Kate says she is “constantly amazed at the progression and differences both physically and emotionally from toddler to teen. For our feature, I thought it would be fun to highlight this by asking one child in every grade the same questions—more or less. I wanted the article to be as inclusive as possible by making sure we had diversity in gender, ethnicity, and geography.”

To accomplish this, Kate scouted prospects for our story the old-fashioned way—through social media! She reached out
to Westchester parents via Facebook. Thankfully, you were quick to heed our call, with nearly 100 responses to our request. “What I thought would be an even bigger challenge was getting the final 13 all here on the same day for a photo shoot, which needed to happen toward the end of the school year,” explains Kate. “Miraculously, they all made the after-school shoot—and no one called in sick!”

Orchestrating things behind the camera that day was veteran photographer (and parent) Darryl Estrine, who also did a masterful job photographing our most popular pets for our April 2013 issue (in case you missed it, check out his photos and videos here). Darryl’s gameplan “was to move as quickly as possible. It’s very hard to keep the attention of large groups—grownups included—at a photo shoot. It’s my job to keep things moving and fun,” even, he says, at his own expense. “The parent of one of the younger kids kept saying, ‘He [me] has poopy pants,’ to cheer up her crying son.”

W.C. Fields warned never to work with children or animals, but Darryl has now done both successfully for us in the past six months, and has lived to tell the tale. “I think that letting the kids—and the pets—know who is in charge by making them feel comfortable and safe is a good plan towards a successful shoot. What’s next? Crazy actors of Westchester—now that’s a wrangling job.”

Our award-winning food writer, Julia Sexton, tackled a wrangling job of her own when she compiled this month’s “Cheap Eats” feature. “To be honest, there isn’t much challenge in finding cheap food. McDonalds, et al, are practically shoving their ‘Dollar Menus’ in your face, and you can find greasy pizza slices as big as your torso for about a dollar,” notes Julia. “To me, the real challenge comes in trying to find inexpensive food that’s also good, clean, and fair to workers, livestock, and the earth. I was looking for the sort of food that, after you eat it, you won’t feel dirty or ashamed. In this piece, I focused on dishes that had real value besides their cheapness. With the glaring exceptions of the newbies zeppoleme and The Poutine King, the restaurants that I included served locally sourced, artisanal, organic food. In fact, I considered titling this piece, ‘Cheap Eats/No Shame.’”

We hope you enjoy reading about our delightful kids and our delightfully inexpensive eats as much as we enjoyed reporting on them. Happy back-to-school—and bon appétit!