COLUMNSGenericHome Guru

How Lucky We Are to Live in This Area

We are part of The Trust Project
Bill Primavera
Bill Primavera

By Bill Primavera

As you read this column, my wife and I are away on vacation, but we come home each night to sleep in our own bed. The reason: We are taking a week to enjoy some of the great destination locations in our region.

In real estate, when we talk about location, normally we are referring to the town, neighborhood and street address of a property. We should also consider how the natural and cultural resources of the region influence and enhance our lifestyles, not to mention the value of our homes.

Westchester and Putnam counties, the reach of this newspaper, offer the most beautiful landscapes and some of the most wonderful services and cultural opportunities to be found anywhere in the country.

This is a somewhat arbitrary, even personally biased, list of attractions and activities which I feel make our regional location exceptional. It is far from complete – space would not allow it – but it can serve as a starter kit for bragging points about the benefits of living here when we consider selling our houses or as a gratitude list for the simple pleasures we have available to us on a day-to-day basis.

With the exceptions of Alaska and the Dakotas, my second career as a public relations practitioner has taken me to all the states. Nowhere have I found natural beauty that surpasses the majesty of our region, from the Hudson River, to the mountainous topography, to the lakes, streams and reservoirs.

Whenever I’m introducing new real estate clients to the region from the city or another part of the country, I like to have them ride in my car so that I can extol the wonders of these two counties, particularly the areas in which I specialize. In upper Westchester, one of my favorite areas to point out is the Croton Reservoir Bridge on the Taconic. While crossing the bridge, with the great views of water and imposing, wooded mountains, I always say, “Couldn’t you mistake this for Vermont? And here you are, less than an hour from New York City!”

For business commuting we are situated favorably in relation to the major airports, train lines and parkways. We are also beneficiaries of the engineering feats of the reservoirs, the Croton Dam and the aqueduct, all providing great water views and additional, undisturbed space.

We have facilities for swimming in the summer and cross-country skiing and skating in the winter. There are many trails for hikers and bikers, crowned by the North County Trailway, constructed on the former route of the old Putnam railroad line. Another long stretch of walking and biking is offered by the Old Croton Aqueduct Trailway, with some sections suitable for horseback riding.

Golf enthusiasts tell me that our courses, both public and private, cheap and very expensive, are among the best. I do appreciate Donald Trump’s donation of 436 acres straddling the two counties, formerly planned for development, as passive parkland.

There is history at every turn. On a recent hike along the Appalachian Trail in northern Putnam Valley, I found the remains of old churches and homes from a lost community built for our former iron ore industry, which supported the Union’s effort in the Civil War.

The stone walls rambling all over both counties, built for the practical measures of clearing the land for farming and containing livestock, fascinate me.

For entertainment, we have Westchester Broadway Theatre in Elmsford and the Emelin in Mamaroneck and truly unique resources such as the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, the Paramount in Peekskill, the Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase and the summer Shakespeare program at Boscobel in Garrison.

There seem to be more museums and art galleries, both public and private, than any other suburban region. Venues to enjoy music range from jazz in restaurants and cafes to the magnificent Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts.

What I like best about our region is the diversity of people and housing opportunities. Distinctive small cottages and sprawling mansions can be found in the same communities as capes, raised ranches and split-levels, nicely tucked in together, each vying for its own unique value proposition. If things get a little too tight, we are surrounded by a great wealth of facilities to stretch out physically, aesthetically and intellectually.

If you know anyone in the city looking for a lifestyle change without giving up the excitement of the Big Apple, tell them about our nearby regional paradise on earth. And give them my telephone number. I’ll be happy to provide an annotated tour.

Bill Primavera is a Realtor® associated with William Raveis Real Estate. His site is and his blog is To engage the services of The Home Guru and his team to market your home for sale, call 914-522-2076.


We'd love for you to support our work by joining as a free, partial access subscriber, or by registering as a full access member. Members get full access to all of our content, and receive a variety of bonus perks like free show tickets. Learn more here.