New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson’s Favorite Westchester Things, A To Z

The mayor of the Queen City sounds off on sustainability, diversity, social progress, and prune paletas.


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Illustration by Caitlin Kuhwald

Alvin Clayton. He’s a successful model, artist, cook, and business owner. But his warm greeting at Alvin & Friends Restaurant puts any jealous resentment to rest.

Blue Hill at Stone Barns. A world-class, out-of-body dining experience that celebrates sustainable agriculture.

Clintons. What county besides Westchester can claim to be the home of one great president and maybe another in 2016?

Diversity. Neighbors representing every background, heritage, and tradition, all enriched by each other.

Education. Some of the best schools in America, supported by communities that believe in the value of public education.

Fazzino, Charles. His signature 3D art is conceived and fabricated right here.

Greater Centennial A.M.E. Zion Church. Three services every Sunday, with sermons to raise the spirit and music to raise the roof.  (And I’m Jewish!)

Harriman State Park. A 46,613-acre wonderland. Yeah, it’s outside Westchester, but close enough to count. (And speaking from personal experience, it’s a great place to get engaged.)

Icy treats. Paletas with flavors like tamarind, prune, cactus pear, and avocado are among the many gifts of immigrant culture to Westchester.

Jack’s Friendship Garden. This handicap-accessible playground attracts a great cross-section of our community.

Killer view from Mom’s apartment. From 30 floors up, Long Island Sound is dotted with sparkling bays and inlets, harbors and marinas. Mesmerizing.

Layers of history. Hundreds of years of settlement, growth, and change—each leaving its mark on everything from the ruins of old rail lines to the homes of historical figures.

Mariano Rivera. How many other superstars devote themselves to rebuilding churches, endowing scholarships, and assisting families that need a helping hand?

New Rochelle. I’m allowed to play favorites, right? A great city today, with the potential to be even greater tomorrow.

Open minds. Our region has embraced social progress, with Westchester residents like Carrie Chapman Catt, Ossie Davis, and David Boies leading the way forward.

Passage of seasons. The Sun Belt has its charms, but I wouldn’t trade away the hushed dreamscape of newly fallen snow, or the thrilling colors of autumn, or that first breath of spring.

Quaker Ridge Road. Home of the best bagels in the world (H&R Bialy Corp). Case closed.

Rockefeller and other philanthropists. A tradition of giving that continues to shape our region for the better.

Sustainable Westchester. Communities and advocates joined together to promote clean energy, resource conservation, and climate action.

Trains. Mass transit is a key economic and lifestyle advantage for our region.

Urbanism, new and old. Many of Westchester’s hamlets and villages exemplify the virtues of compact, walkable communities.

Volunteer New York! Mobilizing 250,000 hours of volunteer action each year and demonstrating Westchester’s spirit of service.

Water. Consider our humble kitchen taps, providing the world’s best drinking water, delivered by aqueducts every bit an engineering marvel.

X-rays and more. Biomedical research clusters, ambulatory care providers, and expanding hospital networks make healthcare a pillar of the Westchester economy.

Youth sports. Dozens of leagues that give kids great choices for having fun and staying healthy.  

Zoo. Sure, it’s the “Bronx” Zoo, not the Westchester Zoo, but it’s more accessible from here than it is from most of the five boroughs.  

 

 

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