The biggest, the wealthiest, the longest, the safest, the oldest…in the county
A county is only as great as the sum of its parts. Right? Well, if so, here are the parts of Westchester—the people, places, and things, which make us the greatest place to live in the entire 50 states (No. 1: modesty!).
Most Generous: David Rockefeller of Pocantico Hills, who pledged $252 million to various charities in 2006. (FYI: George Soros, who pledged $60 million in 2006, is the
second most generous.)
Oldest: Ruth Middleton, who lives at the Westchester Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Mount Vernon. She turned 109 on Valentine’s Day this year.
Fastest: Male: Moroccan-born marathon runner Khalid Khannouchi, of Ossining, who twice set the world record in the marathon. In 1999, he ran the Chicago marathon in 2:05:42, and in 2002, he ran the London marathon in 2:05:38. Female: Sprinter Lynne Layne, of New Rochelle, who, at the Pan American Junior Athletics Championships held in July, won a Gold Medal in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.24 seconds and also anchored the United States 4x100 relay team to a gold medal finish.
Richest: George Soros, of Bedford, who is worth approximately $8.5
billion and is 27th on Forbes 400 richest Americans list.
Most Dedicated (longest-serving elected official): Bert Abrams, who currently is the Eastchester Receiver of Taxes. He served seven years as a town of Eastchester Councilman, and 35 years in his current job. He is 89 years old.
Finest (longest-serving police officer): Sergeant John Suppa, of Port Chester, who started as a patrolmen on October 16, 1965.
Bravest (longest-serving firefighter): Fire Chief Walter Schoonmaker, of Hartsdale, who started as a firefighter on August 1, 1959.
Most Likely to Throw Rock When You Throw Scissors: Hans Gentile III, of Pleasantville, who finished in the top 32 at the national Rock Paper Scissors League Championship in Las Vegas.
Deadest: Richard Shute, whose gravestone, which reads “R.S. D December 14 · 1704,” (the “D” stands for deceased) is located at St. Paul’s Cemetery in Mount Vernon.
Jolliest: Jay Lewis, of Gothensberg, Nebraska, who has been working as Santa at the Galleria Mall in White Plains for 10 years. (Also rather jolly is Jimmy Long from Lenoir City, Tennessee, who has played Santa at the Westchester Mall since 2003.)
Priciest Stylist: Matthew Yasgur at Static in White Plains, who charges $200 for one of his signature “founder haircuts.”
Nastiest Fastball: Brian Slocum, of Eastchester, who spent part of 2006 with the Cleveland Indians.
Best S-p-e-l-l-e-r: Keeshini Nandlall, of Mount Vernon, who was the county’s only representative in this year’s National Spelling Bee.
Tallest: New York Knicks’ Center Eddy Curry, of Harrison, who checks in at 6’11”.
Pound-for-Pound Strongest: Robert Herbst, of Larchmont, who has won eight world power-lifting championships, 18 national championships, and has held 24 world records. This includes a record 310-pound bench press, which set the 40- to 44-year-old world record for middleweights.
Most Stylish: Mary Jane Denzer of White Plains, who is recognized county-wide for her timeless, chic apparel.
Cleverest: Will Shortz, of Pleasantville, crossword-puzzle creator and editor for the New York Times.
Most in Touch with the Past: Simon Schama, of Briarcliff Manor, who has produced critically acclaimed books and television shows on the history of art, the history of England, the history of Holland and, most recently, the history of slavery in England and the United States.
Most Hardcore: Wrestler Tommy Dreamer (real name Tom Laughlin), of Yonkers, who is famous for his outlandish stunts and use of violence while wrestling for the WWE.
Highest Point: The top of Bailey Mountain in Mountain Lake Camp County Park in North Salem which checks in at 982 feet.
Fastest Growing/Shrinking City: Growing: Peekskill, which has grown 7.14% in the last five years.
Shrinking: Mount Vernon, which has lost .67% of its population in the last five years.
Fastest Growing/Shrinking Town: Growing—North Castle, which has grown 10.56% in the last five years. Shrinking—Pelham, which has lost .9% of its population in the last five years.
Fastest Growing/Shrinking Village: Growing—Ardsley, which has grown 12.79% in the last five years. Shrinking—Mamaroneck, which has lost 2.14% of its population in the last five years.
Most/Least Green Area (open space): Most—North Salem, with 53.5% open space. Least—Port Chester, with 9% open space.
Most/Least Expensive Area to Buy a House: Most Expensive—Bronxville, with an average house cost of $1,925,000. Least Expensive—Peekskill, with an average house cost of $360,000.
Most/Least Expensive Area to Rent an Apartment: Most Expensive—Rye City, where a two-bedroom apartment on average costs $1,785 a month. Least Expensive—Hawthorne, where a two-bedroom apartment costs on average $1,200 a month.
Most/Least Diverse Area: Most—Mount Vernon, with a 75.6% minority population. Least—Buchanan, with a 6.3% minority population.
Highest/Lowest Unemployment Rate: Highest—Mount Vernon, at 7.3% unemployed. Lowest—Scarsdale, at 1.5% unemployed.
Richest/Poorest City (based on median household income): Richest—Scarsdale, with a median household income of $182,792.
Poorest—Mount Vernon, with a median household income of $41,128.
Most/Least Taxed Residents: Most taxed—Residents of the Peekskill school district in Peekskill, who pay $47.76 for every thousand dollars their house is worth. Least taxed—Residents of the Pocantico Hills school district in Pleasantville, who pay $14.02 for every thousand dollars their house is worth.
First City in Westchester: Yonkers, which was incorporated into Westchester in 1872.
Oldest Permanent Settlement: Rye, which was settled in 1660.
Highest/Lowest Violent Crime Rate: Highest—Mount Vernon, with 922.3 violent crimes reported for each 100,000 people. Lowest—Mount Pleasant, with 15.1
violent crimes reported for each
SHORTEST/LONGEST Train Ride to Grand Central on Metro North: Shortest—From Mount Vernon West train station at 24 minutes. Longest—From Croton Falls train station, at 68 minutes
Largest Skyscraper (Occupied): Trump Tower at City Center and One City Place in White Plains at 35 stories and 380 feet tall.
Largest Skyscraper (Not yet Occupied): Renaissance Square Main Street Tower, White Plains, at 45 stories and 476 feet tall, which surpasses the Trump Plaza in New Rochelle, at 40 stories and 420 feet tall.
Largest Company Headquartered in Westchester: IBM, with over $91 billion in revenue, which is ranked 15th on the Fortune 500 list.
Oldest Parkway: The Bronx River Parkway, which was the first parkway to open in the United States.
Largest/Smallest Hospitals: Largest—Westchester Medical Center, which has 1,100 beds. Smallest—Rye Hospital Center, which has 34 beds.
Biggest Hotel: Hilton Rye Town with 446 rooms.
Hardest/Easiest Golf Course: Hardest—Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, with a rating of 76.5 and a slope of 146. Easiest—Dunwoodie Golf Course in Yonkers, with a rating of 67.4 and a slope of 118.
Oldest House: The Knapp House in Rye, which was built between 1667 and 1670.
Oldest Restaurant: The Traveler’s Rest in Ossining, which was founded in 1876.
Oldest Cemetery: Richbell Cemetery in Mamaroneck, which dates to the mid 1680s.
Oldest STANDING STORE: The Bedford General Store, which was built in 1838.
Oldest Golf Course: St. Andrews Golf Club, in Yonkers, which was opened in 1888. It is the first golf course ever opened in the United States (and a founding member of the USGA).
First Courthouse: The Bedford Courthouse, which was built in 1787, and is the oldest standing public building in Westchester.
First School: The North Salem Academy, which was incorporated in 1790.
Rainiest Day on Record: September 17th, 1999, when 10.95 inches of rain fell.
Snowiest Month on Record: February of 1934, when 43 inches of snow fell.
Hottest/Coldest Day on Record: Hottest—July 9th, 1936, when the temperature hit 105 degrees. Coldest—January 22nd, 1961, when the temperature was -25 degrees.
Oldest Standing Church: The Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, which was erected in 1685.
Longest Trail: The North County Trailway, which spans 22.1 miles in Westchester County, from Eastview in the town of Mount Pleasant to Baldwin Place in Somers.
Largest Park: Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River, which is 4,700 acres.
Most Trafficked Portion of Road: I-87/I-287 from the Tappan Zee Bridge to the Route 9 exit in Tarrytown.
Most Expensive House on the Market: 455 Bedford Center Road in Bedford, which has 11 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, and, including land surrounding the house, is built on 35 acres. It is on the market for $45 million (though, if you’re strapped for cash, the house alone can be bought for just $30 mil).
Most Expensive House Sold: 144 Sarles Street in Bedford, which sold for $17 million in November of 2006. The building has 10 bedrooms, seven full bathrooms, three half bathrooms, and sits on 34 acres.
Biggest House: Seven Springs, the 55,000-square-foot mansion owned by Donald Trump. It is so big that it lies in Bedford, North Castle, and New Castle.
Most Expensive Bottle of Wine: Bottle Size—Château Margaux 1900 which costs $11,000, at Crabtree’s Kittle House in Chappaqua.
Imperial Size—Monopole 1988, Domaine de la Romanee Conti, which costs an estimated $50,000, at Crabtree’s Kittle House in Chappaqua. It is one of only four of its kind ever bottled in the imperial size and one of the rarest Burgundy wines in the world. (A “close” second: Château Petrus, 1975, which costs $36,000, at La Crémaillère in Bedford).
Fastest-Growing Occupation: Network and computer-systems administrator.
Largest Employer: Public: Yonkers City School District, with 4,517 employees. Private: IBM, with 5,648 employees.