26 Things Author DeLauné Michel Loves About Westchester, From A To Z

The writer and Spoken Interludes founder on books, Bravo classes, and watching the Hudson roll.




Illustration by Caitlin Kuhwald

Aqueduct Trail (the Old Croton one), a favorite place for family bike rides. We like stopping at Lighthouse Ice Cream Kompany in Tarrytown. 

Bravo classes at Bravo CrossFit in Dobbs Ferry. I’ve never been stronger, felt better, or had more fun working out. 

Clothing Sale at The Church of St. Barnabas in Irvington. I’m a fool to spread the word, but it’s too good not to share. YSL leather jeans for $30; need I say more?

Discovering books at The Village Bookstore in Pleasantville. Turn me loose and return in a few hours. I won’t have noticed the time passed.

Every day feeling grateful for the life I have, our family, our sons’ schools, this culturally rich area, and the possibilities ahead. 

Fort Montgomery in Orange County, because of our sons’ avid interest in the Revolutionary War. This park is a history fix where we also take in stunning river views.

Greenburgh Library. The boys and I love the swooping architecture and concave mirror on the kids’ floor of the library.

H&H Photographers creates the most beautiful and innovative event photography in Westchester. (Plus,my husband is fun to work with.) 

Irvington, my hometown, which has been fictionalized as the locale of my upcoming third novel.

Juniper in Hastings. I could wake happily each day to their breakfasts.  

KenKen. The gridded math puzzles were brought here by Westchesterite Bob Fuhrer. We love these as much as crosswords. 

Learning at Curious-on-Hudson with their eclectic array of classes and events for all ages, which spark creativity and create community, two essentials for me.

My family: Dan, Walter, and Lucien—the heart and center of my life.

Naan bread to soak up every delicious dish at Chutney Masala in Irvington.

 


Spoken Interludes


Irvington


Dan, Walter, and Lucien

Operation Backpack. Every August, the boys and I take supplies and help fill backpacks for homeless children in New York City. It’s a relatable and fun way for them to learn how crucial it is to help others.

Proximity to the City. We often zip down for museums, open rehearsals at Avery Fisher Hall, Central Park, seeing friends, and dining.

Quenching thirst at the lemonade stand my boys set out each summer.

Rivers are in my blood. I grew up on the Mississippi and can’t bear to be landlocked. We kayak, fish, and love watching the Hudson roll. 

Spoken Interludes, the literary series I produce where writers read their work to the public. It combines my love of writers, readers, and (my Louisiana roots are showing) parties!

Tennis. I watch my husband play on his USTA team and our sons during lessons with pro (and teaching maven) Martin Byrne—when it’s not Little League season.

Unwinding on the weekends. I need days when we can stay in PJs over long breakfasts with the newspaper, music, and LEGOs. 

Veggies from Rivertowns farmers’ markets. As the cooking dictum says, “The freshest ingredients with the least done to them.”

Writing programs that I created and run for at-risk children in hospitals, BOCES schools, and the county prison and jail here in Westchester. Hearing their stories and seeing their courage makes my soul sing.

X-Rays for my sons at the ER of Dobbs Ferry’s hospital have happened three times too many, but we always got top-notch care with no wait!

Yoga with Victoria Ramos makes it possible for me to do poses I never thought I could. I love exceeding old ideas.

Zelda Fitzgerald and Zooey Glass are two of my (many) favorite literary characters, real and imagined, but very old friends.

 

 

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