Jamie is a mom of two with a career in law living in New Rochelle, NY with her husband, kids and frenchie. She enjoys checking out local restaurants and entertaining in her home and also loves finding kid and adult friendly activities to partake in with her family. Some of her favorite things to do are cook, explore the local area and take on DIY projects.
What do you love about where you live now?
One of the things I love most about living in New Rochelle is the proximity to the Long Island Sound while also still being only 30 minutes to Manhattan. There are great restaurants, a diverse mix of cultures and access to so many great parks and outdoor spaces. The other great thing about New Rochelle is that it's so accessible to other great "sound towns" as well. Even though our home is in New Rochelle, I like to think we do our living in not only New Rochelle, but also Larchmont, and Mamaroneck.
What are your go-to spots?
We are total foodies so most of our go-to things involve eating! In New Rochelle, Pop's Espresso is amazing for breakfast and lunch and next door is Maria (run by the same owners) which is phenomenal Italian food and Michelin award winning! We also frequent Modern Restaurant & Lounge, Traditional Bagel Cafe (the BEST Nova you will find in Westchester County in my opinion) and Elia Taverna.
In Larchmont, Rio Bravo is a personal favorite as well as Billy & Pete's Social (pizza, donuts and cocktails...cannot go wrong) and Longford's for ice cream.
Mamaroneck also has an excellent food scene with the Mamaroneck Ave. strip - our favorites include Boiano Bakery, Sal's Pizza (get the Sicilian and salad slice), and Green Life for all healthy eats! Oh and they are ALL kid friendly!
As for things to do, in New Rochelle we love taking our dog to Ward Acres dog park. There's an area for small and large dogs as well as trails throughout - it's a great place for the whole family to go. In September, the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church has a great Greek Festival and there are also several parks along the Sound to visit. There are also two farmers markets!
In Larchmont we like to frequent the quaint downtown area with small shops and great restaurants. At the train station you will find the "Down to Earth" farmer's market on Saturday mornings which is a weekly outing for us. Larchmont is very walkable from the train station all the way down to one of our favorite parks, Manor Park, that has phenomenal views of the water.
Mamaroneck also has a great park, Harbor Island, which beautiful views, a marina, a splash pad for kids and an awesome playground. You can spend the day at the park and walk up to the Mamaroneck Ave. strip for food -- it's perfect for families. One other awesome thing is that we are only a 15 minute drive from the Bronx zoo, Arthur Avenue and the Botanical Gardens!
What's the best kept secret in your area?
I know I keep coming back to it, but I think the proximity to the water is one of the best kept secrets. It's so beautiful and a perfect little escape. There are small little beaches to visit, but yet you can still hop on MetroNorth and be into Grand Central within 30 minutes or about 40 minutes driving. It's the perfect mix for families and working parents or professionals who still want proximity to the city, but want more space, great schools, etc.
How would you describe the vibe as a local?
I would describe the overall vibe as pretty laid back and friendly. There is a lot of support for local businesses, which I love, and I've always found the owners get to know you by name and there's a true sense of community. People are friendly, cultured and willing to come together which is something I've noticed even more during the pandemic
What advice would you give someone moving to the area?
I would say visit the towns and spend a day in each! New Rochelle, Larchmont and Mamaroneck all have different things to offer. New Rochelle is a city and has a downtown area with high rises (and many newly constructed ones), but is also very residential and has various neighborhoods. The schools are bigger so that is something to keep in mind.
Larchmont is smaller, more quaint and quiet - as I said earlier, the village is very walkable and close knit. Mamaroneck is sort of in between and has various neighborhoods like New Rochelle but isn't quite as large. You really have to see the vibe that works for you.
And, if you are looking for schools, visit those too! Talk to the principals, ask to see a classroom, etc. I've found that with kids, it's really important to figure out where you think you could see yourself. But, as my family does, no matter what town or city your house is located in, New Rochelle, Larchmont and Mamaroneck are all very easy to do your living in!