What a hoot! I moved to this suburban Hudson River town back in 1989, when it was most definitely not a cool place to live. The main street — so vintagely picturesque it’s been featured in the films “The Good Shepherd”, “Mona Lisa Smile”, “Purple Rose of Cairo” and “The Preacher’s Wife” — was then lined with small, dusty mom and pop shops. Manhattan lies a 38-minute express train ride south, close enough we can clearly see the city’s towers, glittering like Oz, in the distance.
Now, Tarrytown has made a list of the nation’s top 25 places to find a rich single, says Money magazine. Only one other New York town, Dobbs Ferry, about a ten-minute drive south of us — also with a median income of $112,000 — made the cut. (Our town’s median income has doubled since I moved here.) The catch? While $112,000 a year may sound like, and actually be, a lot of money in some places, where you can buy a great house for maybe $150,000 or $200,000, with low property taxes; in this town, you’d be lucky to find a one-bedroom apartment at that price, and a house for maybe $450,000 because it’s a lousy market. So as long as you don’t focus on the “rich” part, sure, come check out our town, because it has begun to attract a more affluent crowd and has gotten a lot more fun and stylish over the years.
Tarrytown, when I arrived, had Mrs. Reali’s dry-cleaner, with a dessicated palm tree in the window. Now, of course, it’s a trendy art gallery. We have, at last count, three art galleries and a framing shop. The old video store is now a candy store. The crowded and appealingly messy antiques center, a great place to browse away a rainy afternoon, now houses Edible Arrangements, a fancy fruit-basket sort of thing. I’m perversely happy, even though I’ve never stepped foot in it, that the VFW is still there. The funky liquor store, too.
I’ve certainly noticed the up-scaling of my little town. I now see Mini Coopers in the parking lots, the lots so full you can rarely even find a spot anymore, and the yummy mommies with their costly strollers. Luckily, we’re not yet, and never will be, Scarsdale — wall-to-wall Hummers and Mercedes and wealthy women with whippet-thin bodies and surgically sculpted faces. Tarrytown still has enough diversity to feel real. The shoe repair guy, Mike, is Russian; the diner run by Gus’s son, a Greek; the local gourmet shop owned by Hassan, a Moroccan former photographer. I can comfortably wander around, as does our town’s much better known writer, a male humorist who rarely smiles, in sweats and sneakers.
I’m gratefully already off the market, having found my sweetie in Brooklyn. But there are plenty of spots to look for a partner: well-reviewed restaurants like Chiboust and The Sweetgrass Grill, Saturday morning yoga class at the Y, kayaking on the Hudson, at our farmer’s market, maybe over a latte at Coffee Labs. Happy hunting!