52 Reasons to Love Westchester

How do we love the County? Let us count the ways.


(page 12 of 15)

47: Because We Shop In Our Towns, Not Just in Our Malls

What sounds more appealing to you: browsing the mass-produced clothes at Banana Republic and stopping for a bite afterward at chain-restaurant PF Chang’s, or sifting through the one-of-a-kind antiques in Tarrytown, then heading to the locally sourced refreshments at the Sweet Grass Grill? We thought so. While the mall and its lazier cousin—online shopping—will always have a place in our lives, it’s a relief that the mall is not our only option for shopping and socialization. After all, anyone in any town across America can drive to a mall—and we’re not just anyone. There’s only one Bronxville. There’s only one Hastings-on-Hudson. There’s only one Katonah. There’s only one Larchmont. And they’re all different from each other, and they give us endless reasons to go out on a Saturday afternoon. Here are some downtowns worthy of whiling away an afternoon in, and some must-hit spots along the way.

Bronxville: Pondfield Road
Shop: Plaza Too for shoes, Maison Rouge for home accessories, Try and Buy for toys, and the Womrath Bookshop for books.
Eat: Haiku for pan-Asian, Blue Moon for Mexican, and Slave to the Grind for coffee.

Hastings-on-Hudson: Warburton Avenue
Shop: Expressions for funky gifts, Galapagos Books for international books, Indigo NY for women’s clothes.
Eat: Comfort Lounge for gourmet take-out, or venture off Warburton to Buffet de la Gare for superlative French fare.

Katonah: Katonah Avenue
Shop: Boo Girls for children’s clothes, Eiluj for cosmetics, Offerings for fun gifts, and Squires for men’s clothing.
Eat: NoKa Joe’s for coffee, candy, and scones from Balthazar.

Larchmont: Palmer Avenue
Shop: Anelle Gandelman Fine Art for art, Bella Fiora for clothes, Lorilyn & Co for children’s clothing, Pink on Palmer for cosmetics, and the Voracious Reader for children’s books.
Eat: Harbour House Coffee Shop for diner fare, Lusardi’s for Northern Italian food, Turquoise for Turkish.

Mount Kisco: East Main Street
Shop: Acadia on Main for clothes, Beehive Co-Op for artisan gifts, Casa Linda Interiors for home accessories, Juliet Lingerie & Swimwear for bathing suits and undergarments.
Eat: Blue for Asian fusion, Café of Love for soups and sandwiches, F.A.B for American and French food, Q for barbecue.

Rye: Purchase Street
Shop: Arcade Booksellers for books, Blush for cosmetics, Panache for women’s clothing, Parkers for luggage, and Lester’s for children’s clothes.
Eat: Andy’s Pure Food for organic goodies, Frankie & Johnnie’s for steaks, Longford’s for ice cream, and Water Moon for Pan-Asian.

Tarrytown: Main Street
Shop: Belkind Bigi for mid-century furniture, Gallery Du Soleil for beautiful paintings, Timeless Seasons for gifts, Viviana for clothes and jewelry
Eat: Lefteris Gyro for Greek food, Sweet Grass Grill for locally sourced burgers, Chiboust for outrageous desserts.

48: Because Film Fans Never Have to Drive More Than 10 Miles to Get a Meeting with A Director

Dev Patel and Danny Boyle visit the Jacob Burns Film Center to support their Slumdog Millionaire.

Photo by Ed Cody courtesy of Jacob Burns Film Center


We know Westchester’s been good to filmmakers (see No. 8), but it’s also pretty convenient for film fans. Cinephiles looking to schmooze with big-name directors don’t have to worry about trying to elbow their ways onto locked-up Hollywood backlots or crashing red-carpet premieres. Instead, our art-house cinemas host a regular stream of famous filmmakers. And, for convenience’s sake, we have two of them, one for south-county residents and one closer to the north. The Picture House Regional Film Center in Pelham has been screening films practically since the dawn of cinema, starting with the silent movies of the 1920s. Movie buffs get a behind-the-scenes look with the cinema’s “Reel Insider” series, for which directors come to chat about their films with notable film critics like Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers, Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman, or New York’s David Edelstein. Recent visitors include indie buzzed-about directors Scott Hicks (Shine, The Boys Are Back), Sophie Barthes (Cold Souls), and Duncan Jones (Moon). And forget the sticky Raisinettes—Reel Insider events begin with a wine-and-cheese reception. Of course, those who live closer to Pleasantville and its Jacob Burns Film Center are no strangers to visiting filmmakers. Proof? Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air), Whit Stillman (The Last Days of Disco), R.J. Cutler (The September Issue), Nora Ephron (Julie & Julia), Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), and Werner Herzog (Encounters at the End of the World) have all showed up recently to screen their films and submit themselves to Q&As. Just down the block from the theater, the brand-new, modern-in-every-way Media Arts Lab hosts classes teaching future filmmakers how to make their own movies using professional-grade, state-of-the-art equipment.

Just add popcorn.

The Picture House, 175 Wolfs Ln, Pelham (914) 738-7337
Jacob Burns Film Center, 364 Manville Rd, Pleasantville (914) 747-5555
Media Arts Lab, 405 Manville Rd, Pleasantville (914) 773-7663

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