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Old 09-25-2008, 10:51 PM
Location: Brooklyn, New York
467 posts, read 1,858,783 times
Reputation: 172


I'm really confused. I keep seeing rave reviews about Peekskill. We went there a few weeks ago, and drove around the vicinity of the Metro North station. Let's say the mile around it. First of all, the town center is extremely distressed. All of the houses around there reminded me of a bad part of Queens. I don't mean any offense by it, I just am trying to describe what in my opinion I saw.
We kept trying to find the nice part of Peekskill that everyone seemed to love, but couldn't. Anyway I keep seeing rentals around the area, or in Cortlandt Manor where the closest MTA stop is Peekskill. I also saw a nice rental in Lake Peekskill, but because I didn't really feel comfortable in the area at all, I wouldn't pursue any rentals around there unless I heard otherwise.
So I'm confused. Did I miss something?
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Old 09-26-2008, 09:23 AM
Location: Peekskill, NY
95 posts, read 429,005 times
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I wouldn't disagree that some of it is personal preferences/opinion (especially in terms of what you feel comfortable with). We've only lived in Peekskill for a little over a month, but we've been very happy with our decision so far. I wouldn't disagree that it's an area somewhat in transition, but part of it might be that you need to get out of your car and walk around.

There is a great used bookstore on Central Avenue (Bruised Apple Books - New and Used Books, Records, CD's, and Movies), a fabulous independent coffee place (Welcome To The Peekskill Coffee House), a neat old theatre that hosts live events and shows independent and older films (www.paramountcenter.org), several very nice restaurants and galleries up in the town center and two enjoyable bar/restaurants down near the train station, just to name some of the things we like. The town also has some fabulous architecture. Some of the homes are in need of some TLC, but a lot of them have been kept up and/or restored as well. Neighbors are friendly. The town also has two very nice parks. Finally, at least from my limited experience (having only lived in Westchester for a little over a month), Peekskill has a more diverse socioeconomic and racial makeup than a lot of the other towns in Nothern Westchester, another thing we would list in the positive column, but also a factor that I've sensed makes some people feel it is somehow less safe. I've never felt unsafe, and I sometimes get into the train station pretty late at night. There are usually a significant number of people around there.

Having just relocated, I can say for sure that you definitely get a lot more for your money in Peekskill than you do in most of the surrounding areas. From what I've seen, Cortlandt Manor is pretty nice (and I know it has at least some very nice areas), but it doesn't have the same sort of town center. I don't know anything about Lake Peekskill.
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:14 AM
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
1,316 posts, read 5,163,326 times
Reputation: 444
I'm certainly responsible for a fair share of the Peekskill boosting on this forum. Peekskill is one of my favorite places in Westchester and we go there most weekends. In addition to the places njgirl12 mentioned, there are a number of interesting galleries and the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art HVCCA: Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. There has a been a large population of artists for decades and it has grown tremendously in last few years (in part because the town has built subsidized live/work housing for artists, with more planned). It is perhaps the only town in Westchester with a vibrant art and cultural scene. The Paramount Center has a great array of events, and there are a number of places with live music every weekend. 12 Grapes Music and Wine Bar 12 Grapes Restaurant, Music and Wine Bar, Peekskill, NY is really fun, and the new Peekskill Brewery Welcome to The Peekskill Brewery across from the train station is very cool. Architecturally, the town has a tremendous number of stunning victorian and other early 1900's houses. And it has two amazing parks--the Riverfront Green, which has one of the best views around, and Depew Park (which leads right into the 1,500 acre Blue Mountain Reservation).

There are indeed parts of the town that are depressed, but there are also large parts that are very middle-class and well-maintained (Mortgage Hill, the Fort Hill Historic District). Part of what I love about the town is that it does have some urban funk and grit. Being from the city, I really enjoy that. I also like the diversity. Most weekends I take my son to the Riverfront Green so he can play in the playground with a hugely diverse group of kids. Then we go to the coffee house and listen to live music. There are very few places in Westchester where you can get that. I think that people with less experience in a city tend to feel uncomfortable in Peekskill, but the crime rate is very low and what crime there is is limited to a very small area.

I moved from the city to get things the city can't provide--land, beauty, privacy, etc.--while still being close to amenities and culture. So, I personally wouldn't want to live in Peekskill. But I love that we're only 15 minutes away from it. And being close to Peekskill is part of what makes the balance of Northern Westchester (nature, parks/theater, art, restaurants) work so well. For me, at least.

You might want to check out this local blog, which has a nice post on some of the new places opening in town: Peekskill News: Positively Peekskill (http://peekskillnews.blogspot.com/2008/08/positively-peekskill.html - broken link)
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:13 PM
Location: Peekskill, NY
26 posts, read 227,435 times
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Default Peekskill Perspective

My family has been living in Peekskill for about a year and a half, in the Mortgage Hill neighborhood (hate the name, love the surroundings).

And I have a mixed perspective. I think the housing in the city, not just my neighborhood, is a wonderful mix. Try looking at the blocks between Hudson Avenue and Elm Street, for example, or the stretch of Nelson Avenue north of Main Street.

But, after having lived in Tarrytown for about a year before moving here -- and in Brooklyn for 18 years before that -- I miss the more active downtown, with various people out and about, as in Tarrytown.

It's a little dead here. But I do feel safe here, too.

Further, as active cyclists, we love the roads around here. Within 4 miles from our proverbial front door, we're cycling around the Croton Reservoir, for example, which feels like the countryside. And there's great hiking only a few miles away in the Hudson Highlands.

And don't get me started on the Hudson Valley, which is tremendously lovely.

So, depends what you're looking for...

Dave, who also wishes there was better food shopping close by and goes to Yorktown Heights for that often
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Old 09-30-2008, 12:19 AM
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Ive never been to Peekskill but from what I gather it seems to be Westchester's version of the Village.

Mortgage Hill??? What the heck kind of name is that?
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Old 09-30-2008, 12:34 AM
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,915 posts, read 31,190,334 times
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Originally Posted by DITC View Post
Ive never been to Peekskill but from what I gather it seems to be Westchester's version of the Village.

Mortgage Hill??? What the heck kind of name is that?
Mortgage Hill is where many bankers used to live in the old days in Peekskill. And, while it's certainly bohemian, it's a smaller version of what the Village was, not the exclusive enclave that the Village has become.
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:56 PM
2 posts, read 21,118 times
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I don't know. I have lived in and around Peekskill for 34 years, and I don't know why anyone would love Peekskill. I hear these people talking about the few "artsy" spots in Peekskill and I wonder to myself where they are from? Peekskill is a small city but touts the most drug problems and sales. People come from "scarier" cities to run their drugs here. Peekskill was the section eight housing drop off zone for numerous years. Every homeless person in Westchester got dumped here. Its a dump. The government has been trying to push out the low class and pump in the middle to upper class for years. Problem, they have no where to go! They can call it an artist community, but its like trying to put lipstick on a pig. Only those that don't know better would say otherwise. Comparing it to Greenwich Village, my stomach still hurts from that joke! If you know culture, you know your not going to find it in Peekskill. Unless its a drug or underclass culture. Good luck!
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:45 AM
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
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iluvnygal, I guess you have never been to the Lower East Side, Williamsburg, LI City, or any of the numerous artistic and cultural hot spots in NYC--all of which have much higher crime rates and much higher populations of section 8 housing recipients than Peekskill. What on earth makes you think that a drug underclass can't coexist with an artistic and cultural community? In fact, the two are almost always in the same places since those are the areas that artists can afford to live in. I guess you were never in SoHo or the Village in the 70's and 80's when those areas where actually artistic?

I think you are greatly exaggerating Peekskill's problem's. I read the police blotter weekly and the crime level is remarkably low--nothing compared to the upscale and expensive area of Park Slope Brooklyn I used to live in. But I agree that some of the problems you mention certainly do exist there. However, that is irrelevant to the fact that the town has a great art museum, a performing arts center, a real bookstore, a brewery, a number of excellent restaurants, lots of galleries, two independent coffee houses, a music and wine bar, and a large population of working artists. All of which equals culture.
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Old 11-16-2008, 08:00 PM
Location: Lake St. Catherine, Poultney, VT
151 posts, read 602,515 times
Reputation: 73
Any time you have a large number of people you will have crime, but Peekskill is a great little city with a great history. It is also in a rebirth. Thanks in part to GDC building up many parts and attracting many affluent people. There is a major revitalization going on down at the water front. There are "Brown Stones" going up across from Bohlman Towers which has caused a big problem as Bohlman Towers is a prime piece of real estate with great river views yet is currently a low income housing complex.

Peekskill has improved year after year and more and more people are wanting the convenience, history and lifestyle it has to offer. Once Peekskill becomes the IT place, it will not be affordable.

Its not for everyone, but it is a great location.
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:37 PM
2 posts, read 22,744 times
Reputation: 16
I've been Living in Peekskill for about thirteen years. I started out renting at Patricia Apartments I now own a Co-op. My Fees and Mortgage combined are less than $1000.00 a month. I live in a well mainted Bldg. with ample parking and a pool. I don't know anywhere in Westchester where I could get the same value. It's a five minute drive to the Cortlandt Town Center where there is a Walmart, Home Depot, Multiplex, and other stores. Theres Depew Park which has a wonderful track that was recently renovated, FDR State Park and Bear Mountain State Park are 10 minutes away. Theres The Paramount Theater where I've seen Savion Glover, Roy Ayers, Patti Labelle, Capoiera dancers from Brazil and many other lesser known but good performers. Peekskill has a nice small town feel to it, I've volunteered at the Peekskill Ambulance Corp., I've found an honest mechanic (Superior), a good Docotor and Dentist all who live and practice in the area. Theres Hudson Valley Gym a small but great place to work out. The Palisades Mall, White Plains (where I work) and the shopping strip on route 9 in Dutchess are all a 30-45 minute drive away. The fire works on the fourth of July! Theres an extension center for Westchester Community College in downtown Peekskill where I earned my Associates. SUNY Purchase also offers classes out of WCC's exentision center, I will be completing my BA there this coming May. Those are the things I love about Peekskill.

The things I don't like about Peekskill. I can't find a decent barber here so I'm forced to get my hair cut down in the Bronx (I've tried 5 or more here). There is a lack of good restaraunts here I'm sorry the ones on Division Street just don't cut it. Yes, there is crime here and lots of drugs but I grew up in the South Bronx (projects) so I'm not really phased by the crime here. I don't hang out on Main Street at 2 am in the morning. One thing that sucks is driving home from Manhattan at 4:00 AM after a night of partying. Traffic gets a little bad on route 202 and route 6 during rush hour. The schools have a bad reputation here and if I had school age children I might move.

You can find good and bad anywhere you go. I'm proud to call Peekskill home, it works for me.
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