Show Us the Money
EIC Robert Schork on our March issue, and the overall effect of life—and taxes—in Westchester.
As residents of Westchester, we enjoy many things: scenic parkways, adorable (though sometimes pesky) deer, our proximity to New York City, superior schools—and the dubious distinction of paying the highest taxes of any county in the nation(!).
Unfortunately for us, the last part’s nothing new—in fact, we explored the subject in a cover story a few years back (“Why Are Our Taxes So #%*! High?” June 2010). But, the double-edged sword of high costs and a high standard of living got us thinking about the prices and value of everything here in Westchester—and wondering if we get our collective money’s worth at the end of the day. So, in this month’s cover story (page 85), we decided to “follow the money” and conduct a fun spot-check to see exactly how things measure up in dollars and cents—from the prices of everyday staples to the costs of some public-works projects. We then spoke with a few residents—a single professional, a family of four, and an empty nester—to see how they make ends meet, and what’s left over after they do.
Living in a place as costly as Westchester makes sound money-management all the more important. In our new “Generations” department (page 48), we talk to local experts about personal financial planning. One thing’s for certain—it’s never too late to start.
If you’re a parent, one of the big annual costs to factor into your budget is summer camp—just another reason to choose wisely. On page 94, you’ll find our guide to 39 summer camps—both day camps in Westchester and sleep-aways throughout the region. Features Editor Amy Partridge, a mother of two, spent several weeks discovering and researching great camps in order to compile our guide, which focuses on niche camps for kids’ specific interests, from sports and art to music and writing. “I was impressed and surprised by the overwhelming number of specialty camps available to kids in Westchester,” Amy says. “I grew up with two teachers for parents, so I never went to summer camp as a kid—but always wanted to. Now, I really wish I had been able to go to camp here in Westchester! Despite doing all this research, though, I still haven’t picked a camp for my own 6-year-old for this summer. [She’s lobbying hard for circus camp.] Seriously, though, as parents, we are lucky to live in a county where there are so many great opportunities for kids to spend the summer doing something fun that also broadens their horizons and keeps their brains sharp.”
For those of us too old for summer camp, be sure to check out our June issue (just three issues away!), featuring our annual guide to Summer Fun in Westchester. (As I write this, we are shoveling out from our umpteenth snowstorm—camp-bound or not, June can’t come fast enough for all of us).
In the meantime, we have plenty of ideas on how you can enjoy yourself indoors during this brutal winter. In our new “Diversions” department, you can learn about trying your hand at table tennis (page 54); for a new dining experience, we preview Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant in Pound Ridge (page 120); and, for a change of scenery, we cross the border into Rockland County to check out the rebirth of an old fave—now with spa!—Bear Mountain Inn (page 23).
Thanks to a certain rodent in my home state, we’re ostensibly condemned to another six weeks, as we go to press, of forced hibernation. No matter how or where you ride out the rest of this extended winter, we hope you enjoy this issue while you do.