Regarding your May cover story, “Our 56 Local Must-Dos,” yes, you did miss something that is integral to the Westchester experience: your outstanding magazine. We have been receiving Westchester Magazine for many months—and we don’t even live in Westchester (yet). Your magazine has so enticed us that we are moving to Westchester from Roslyn, Long Island, on Saturday, June 28. We would be absolutely thrilled to go to the Best of Westchester
party—as residents! Keep up the excellent work. We have saved every issue.
Rhonda and Eric Schnipper
Roslyn, Long Island (soon to be Scarsdale)
I just finished reading your article about the Westchester resident with the most Facebook friends (“Face to Facebook,” April 2008), and I had to share the chuckle I got. I am a 24-year-old Briarcliff Manor resident who works in PR in Manhattan and owns a small Internet apparel brand named Wise-Ass Apparel. I currently hold the record for “Too Many Facebook Friends” amongst my crew, coming in at just shy of 1,600. The thing is, they’re all my real friends—not these random weirdos that people add just to boost their online social status. I promise you—play the Kevin Bacon game with me and you can’t go wrong!
Jillian Marie Kelleher
Editor’s Response: Sixteen-hundred friends is indeed impressive, but see page 28 in this issue for someone with twice that amount!
Paws for Concern
How ironic that a reader’s letter that criticized your promotion of a Harrison pet store was in the same issue as a gift suggestion of expensive, “designer” dogs for sale at the very same store (“Gratitude-Guaranteed: Mother’s Day Gifts,” May 2008). Pets require a serious commitment; they are not accessories like handbags that you “tote around.” And dogs never should be purchased at a pet store. Spend a few minutes reading about the horrors of puppy mills on the Humane Society’s website (hsus.org) and you’ll understand why. Or watch online clips from Oprah’s recent show exposing puppy mill atrocities (oprah.com). Then decide if your conscience allows you to patronize pet stores that sell puppies. I urge you to rethink your editorial policy on promoting such pet stores in your magazine. Better yet, publish an article highlighting the many shelters and breed-specific rescue groups in this area. Animal lovers throughout Westchester will thank you.
American Pipe Dream?
The dearth of affordable housing in Westchester County is shameful. Most of us are willing to rough it without the concierge service, river views, indoor pools, and spas, characteristic of those much ballyhooed and glossily advertised developments in the county. We would like, however, to be able to live near our extended families and have reasonable commuting times to our places of employment. Families with moderate (as well as low) incomes, should, within a civilized and just society, have the opportunity to raise their children in safe and decently sized housing (we’re not asking for McMansions here, mind you).
Affordable rental housing is often difficult to find as many apartment buildings have been converted to co-ops. Renting within a co-op can present a difficulty, as was our case, when the co-op refused to renew our lease after we revealed that our son is autistic. In fact, they ordered us to vacate the premises in 20 days; so much for basic human rights in Westchester County!
While it may be possible, over time, in spite of the enormous cost of living in Westchester, to accumulate a down payment for a home, the property taxes here in Westchester are so burdensome as to put the final kibosh, the nail in the coffin, on that most elusive “American dream.” It is a dream, indeed, for many in Westchester—ephemeral, unreal, intangible, and out of our grasp.
Let Us Hear from You
Send your comments along with your name and address to Westchester Magazine, Attention: Editorial Department, 100 Clearbrook Road, Elmsford, NY 10523. Or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity and space restrictions.