— The New York Times review of the new Lalibela restaurant, which received a "Worth It" rating (the second highest).
Image: The New York Times
It's been almost nine years since the wife and I left the city, where we had both lived our whole lives, and headed north. The transition was both challenging and rewarding in ways that we hadn't foreseen. In the meantime, plenty of people have gone through the same move. I'm going to start posting chats with readers about their moves to the area and their lives here. To kick things off, one reader, Lauren, recently shared her experiences making the move from the city.
Where do you live? How long have you lived there?
We’ve lived in Katonah for about a year now.
Where did you move from?
Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
Why did you pick the area?
We were looking for a place within commutable distance to the City, with natural beauty and open spaces. With a baby on the way, great public schools and relative safety were important. Northern Westchester offers all of this, including a reputation for being more down-to-earth and welcoming than other “commuting” towns, not to mention less congested. We also found a fair selection of housing within our price range here.
What has been the hardest part of the transition from the city to the rural burbs of Northern Westchester?
We don’t even know where to begin with property maintenance! It’s also been challenging to keep in close contact with our city friends.
What do you miss most about living in the city?
Walking…..to neighborhood restaurants, friends’ apartments, parks, etc.
What is your favorite thing about living here?
There are so many favorite things! But the thing I appreciate most is what a beautiful part of the country this is. We love being near so many wonderful parks and nature preserves, not to mention the little stand of woods right behind our house.
What do you tell city friends who think you were crazy to move up here?
Come visit, then tell me who’s crazy.
Thanks for sharing, Lauren!
If you'd like to be interviewed about your experiences moving to, living in, and/or working in Northern Westchester, email me.
Activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester
Shakespeare in the Garden Enjoy a performance of Macbeth amid the splendor of the Japanese stroll garden. Friday, 6:30 pm. Hammond Museum
Night Flyers The animals of the night are among the most mysterious. Learn about owls, bats and other animals that use the cover of darkness to hunt and move around. Saturday, 1:00 pm. Teatown Lake Reservation
Shell Treasures Discover the beauty and variety of mollusks. Learn about life in the sea and make your own craft to take home. Saturday, 11:00 am. Croton Free Library
Picnic at Bylane Farm Enjoy fun, food, gardens and games at the 18th-century farmhouse and lush nature sanctuary. Saturday, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Bedford Audubon Society
Permaculture Andrew Leslie Phillips, the founder of Hancock Permaculture Center, presents a lecture on permaculture. Saturday, 2:00 pm. Hilltop Hanover Farm
Midsummer Night Music The series continues with "Purely Classical," featuring the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra. Saturday, 5:00 pm. Lasdon Park and Arboretum
Reggae Soca Splash Join the "jamdown in the street" with Ed Robinson, Ragga Lox, and others as they perform free on Esther Street. Saturday, 6:00 to 10:30 pm. Downtown Peekskill
The Poetry of Farm Life: Goat Song Enjoy a delicious goat cheese tasting as author Brad Kessler reads from his acclaimed book, Goat Song. Sunday, 2:00 to 3:30 pm. Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
Tour of the Chinese Friendship Pavilion The horticulturist gives a walking tour of this beautiful gift from the city of Jingzhou, China, and explains the pavilion's symbolism. Sunday, 2:00 p.m. Lasdon Park and Arboretum
Words & Music: Bach and Poetry Come hear poetry inspired by and interspersed with Bach's cello suites performed by cellist Robert Kogan. Sunday, 4:30 pm. Hudson Valley Writer's Center
A few choice activities and things to do this weekend in Northern Westchester
Bedknobs and Broomsticks Three kids and an amateur witch help stop an invasion in this stylish musical fantasy. Saturday, 12:00 pm. Jacob Burns Film Center
Family Concert Bring the kids to enjoy Sandra Wong and The New Trad Trio perform in the Venetian Theater. Saturday, 1:00 pm. Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi To celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the Paramount, the Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band will perform with a dynamic lineup of musicians. Saturday, 8:00 pm. Parmount Center for the Peforming Arts
Midsummer Night Music The series continues with "Fabulous Strings" by the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra. Saturday, 6:00 pm. Lasdon Park and Arboretum
Pond Study Learn what creatures live in and around the farm pond. Sunday, 1:00 pm. Muscoot Farm
Dragonfly Dance Dragonflies dart, hover and dive in pursuit of food and mates. Come along as a naturalist catches and releases a few of these winged wonders. Sunday, 1:00 pm. Teatown Lake Reservation
Hand-Me-Downs: Scenes from a Life A solo play, written and performed by Donna Barkman, integrates the anger of Antigone and the nonsense of Mother Goose. Sunday, 4:30 pm. Bean Runner Cafe
Farm to Table: Fruit Harvest berries and herbs from the terrace garden, then cook everything up into a simple and delicious snack using fruit and other seasonal foods. Sunday, 11:00 pm. Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
Activities and things to do this hot summer weekend in Northern Westchester
Sundown Band Enjoy the tunes of the Sundown Band as you catch the sunset over the Hudson from Senasqua Park. Friday, 7:00 pm. Croton-on-Hudson
Some choice activities and things to do this holiday weekend in Northern Westchester
The number of homes going to contract in the area stayed steady from May to June. But only two previously-featured Hot Properties went to contract, both of which I featured last November. The Croton house is notable because the final asking price is actually $25,000 higher than the original asking—and I see no evidence of any work that was done to the place since it was first listed. Meanwhile, three of the Hot Properties that sold last month were only on the market for a short spell, and the other two were sitting for over a year. What a wacky market!