Welcome Mad Men
Betty Draper and family move to Rye. Here’s what they can expect.
“It’s this neighborhood—it’s being taken over by low-caliber people,” says Betty Draper Francis at the end of season four’s penultimate episode of Mad Men. “I think it’s time for us to move.” So rhymes-with-witchy Betty, her maybe soon-to-be ex husband (at least that’s our guess) Henry Francis, and her kids with Don—troubled Sally, mischievous Billy, and baby Gene Draper—are ditching Ossining for a fancier address. The next season of the Emmy Award-winning show will find them resettled in a new home in the tony Sound Shore city of Rye.
So, being the magazine for and about Westchester, we feel it’s our duty to help out the young, blended family by giving them
a heads up on what they can expect in Rye in 1964.
First, forget about exposing the kids to people of different backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities. Rye is about as diverse as a mayo sandwich on Wonder Bread; nearly 90 percent of its residents—now as then—are not of color. Don’t expect a lot of diversity in income levels, either: to live here, you’ve got to have deep pockets. House prices are high compared to other towns—anywhere from $15,000 for a tidy bungalow to $160,000 for a fancy waterfront manse. Fortunately for the Draper-Francis very well-heeled neighbors, there’s a new convenient place to park their money: The Rye branch of the First National City Bank (later, it will be called Citibank) just opened on the Post Road.
What if the family wants to join a private club? There’s the Westchester Country Club, founded in 1922. (But if the family gets into money trouble, Rye just acquired the former Ryewood Country Club, turning it into a municipal facility, the Rye Golf Club.) And as for school for the kids...Rye Country Day has just unveiled plans for the new Pinkham High School building—the kids can be assured a private education right until they have to leave for college.
And what about grocery shopping? There’s Schuman’s Deli, the Rye Market, A&P, and Gristede’s. And for high-end groceries, try Butler Brothers’ Market or Crisfield’s Prime Meats, both on Purchase Street.
For clothes and accessories, there’s Balf Jewelers (on the site of the current R&M Woodrow Jewelers)—and the Marilyn Shop and Tina McCrea, both for women’s wear, the Corset Salon for undergarments, the Prep Shop for boys’ clothing and menswear, and a Woolworth’s for everything else. And to help furnish your new home, pop into the la di da Twig Antiques, then on Purchase Street and now on Smith Street.
And forget Disneyland. Take the kids to Playland, right on the Rye waterfront. They’ll love the Dragon Coaster.