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Old 11-02-2010, 12:44 PM
 
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We are considering a move to northern Westchester County - Mt. Kisco, Bedford, Katonah..possibly as far north as North Salem or Somers. What is it like there as far as people and amenities? We're looking for nice, friendly communities with good schools. Do you feel isolated? Do you have to travel long distances for shopping or other activities? Thanks for any insight on these areas.
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Old 11-02-2010, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
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Northern Westchester offers a great mix of natural beauty, amenities, and a relatively easy commute. Most people work in the city, and there is a good mix of creative professionals, business people, and a cross-section of socio-economic status from working class to uber rich. The area has loads of amenities, and while things are spread out the driving is easy. I don't think anywhere is more than 5 minutes from a store, and by and large you shouldn't be more than 15 minutes from what you want. Mt Kisco is the center, and has a number of great restaurants and stores--as well as an (ugly) strip of big box stores.

One person's "isolation" is another's "privacy." In Northern Westchester you have the choice of being in a village close to others or off in the woods--and still relatively close to everything. You just need to pick the setting that is right for you.

There are lots of good websites for the area. Here's my favorite:
Northern Westchester Home
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Old 11-02-2010, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Bellevue, WA
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DMA,

Do they have a site like this for Southern Westchester? I find it impossible to keep up with what is going on each weekend. Thanks.
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Old 11-02-2010, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Connectucut shore but on a hill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dma1250 View Post
One person's "isolation" is another's "privacy." In Northern Westchester you have the choice of being in a village close to others or off in the woods--and still relatively close to everything. You just need to pick the setting that is right for you.
Yes indeed. This thread has several posts on the social issues and isolation vs privacy. It's specifically about Pound Ridge, but Bedford, Katonah, Lewisboro and the Salems are similar (vs Somers and Yorktown, for example, which are altogether different). https://www.city-data.com/forum/westc...und-ridge.html
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kletter1mann View Post
Yes indeed. This thread has several posts on the social issues and isolation vs privacy. It's specifically about Pound Ridge, but Bedford, Katonah, Lewisboro and the Salems are similar (vs Somers and Yorktown, for example, which are altogether different). https://www.city-data.com/forum/westc...und-ridge.html
If you're talking about the issue of isolation vs privacy, I don't think southern Yorktown or parts of Somers are very different from Katonah or Bedford at all--its mostly properties of well over 4 acres on winding roads with no sidewalks, loads of protected woodland, plenty of nature preserves, and a number of big farms. (If you're talking socially, then I agree those areas are different--and different from each other.) And northern Yorktown and parts of Somers are indeed very different.
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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I have never found Northeastern Westchester to be particularly isolated. Just about everything is in reasonable proximity, either in one's own town or a neighboring area. Katonah is unique in that the downtown has no chains, and has a compact shopping district near the train station. The grocery store is an older A&P and a Mrs. Green's market, but there are stores in Bedford Hills, Mount Kisco, Cross River, and even into Connecticut that are not the other end of the known universe.

Department stores are the main shopping accommodation for which one has to travel, and then it's usually to Manhattan, White Plains, or Connecticut. The Jefferson Valley Mall is in Yortown Heights, but only has a Sears and Macy's. Mount Kisco has many smaller specialty apparel shops/chains, arranged in a walking mall downtown. Mount Kisco has a large Target store, and Bedford Road between Mount Kisco and Bedford Hills has everything from car dealerships to diners to supermarkets to bagel stores. It's a commercial street that is easily accessed from many parts of the surrounding area.

One thing to be aware of with respect to Katonah, is that the zip code straddles Somers. It's not an issue insofar as school quality, since there's not a huge gap between Katonah-Lewisboro and Somers, but with respect to town amenities and train station parking permits, there can be major headaches. You can have a Katonah zip code in Somers, yet you have to get a non-resident parking permit for the station, or travel to Goldens Bridge, or another station, for parking, as available. That can be an important consideration in any of the towns, if you use Metro-North, as to who manages parking: the town or MNRR's contractor, and the availiability of spots for residents/non-residents/meters.
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
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For department store type shopping, we usually go to Mt Kisco to Kohl's or Target. For better stuff, we drive 25 minutes to the Westchester Mall in White Plains or go to the city. For cool stuff, there are some very nice shops scattered around in Peekskill, Bedford Hills, Katonah, Ossining and other towns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwguydc View Post
...The Jefferson Valley Mall is in Yortown Heights...


Actually, the JV Mall is in Jefferson Valley, which is a separate hamlet and PO address than Yorktown Heights (and in a separate school district too).

On the "isolation" issue, it has never been a problem for me in the 9 years since we moved up from Brooklyn. I don't see any neighbors from my house, but we have a strong community association and have regular get togethers and pot lucks and an email chain to share news and ideas. I always feel connected to the neighbors and to the community. And the area is full of great places to go and hang out with other people, from parks to coffee houses to music venues and restaurants. So if we ever feel lonely, we do what we did in the city--we go out!
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:13 AM
 
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I grew up in Bedford. As others said, one person's isolation is another's privacy. In addition, different parts of those towns are more isolated than others. Some parts of Bedford are a 15 minute drive to the grocery store, some are in walking distance. The business hub of that part of Westchester continues to be Mt Kisco, and is the place you'll find most of the healthcare providers and shopping and many of the restaurants. Luckily, there are many many more amenities available now then when I lived there.

Pound Ridge is more isolated. It's more oriented towards New Canaan, CT and there is very limited shopping and a very small business district. Twenty minutes to anywhere.

North Salem is very rural for the most part. It's beautiful, but again, it's twenty minutes or more to anywhere. Oriented towards Danbury and Brewster for shopping and other businesses. The only business district in North Salem is Croton Falls, which is miniscule, although it has a train station.
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:07 PM
 
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Thanks for all of your input. This is very helpful! Just out of curiosity..a number of you mentioned that Somers is very different (socially?). Just wondering if you could clarify. I think we're most interested in the Mt. Kisco/Bedford/Katonah areas, but were considering Somers and North Salem too.
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:27 PM
 
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North Salem is only about 10 minutes to Danbury which has a mall and every big store you could want. It is also only 10-15 minutes from Mt Kisco. It doesn't have anything within the town but everything is within 10-15 minutes.
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