September Cover Story: Westchester vs. The City

Westchester vs. The City

For the September cover story, I wrote and edited a meaty package comparing Westchester County to New York City. The intro explains it this way:

"At some point, you made a choice between urban living and suburban living. For some of you, the debate between the two ended the second you put down roots in Westchester. Maybe you never had doubts to begin with. For others, the struggle continues within. Every time you pay your tax bill, you think that you may have been better off with a cute little condo in Brooklyn Heights. (But would you have had to give up your washer/dryer for the indignity of the coin-op machine in the basement?) Then again, when you notice that you inadvertently left the house unlocked—again—and return to find your possessions untouched, you might revel in suburbia’s relative safety, and congratulate yourself for making such a smart choice.

It’s time to put the debate to rest. We may wonder about it every day, but how does life in New York City really compare to our suburban Westchester existences? We pit urban and suburban living head-to-head, piling in as many of the pertinent stats and facts as we could, to put the arguing to rest once and for all. Here, our (completely unbiased) findings."

The rest of the package includes

...a comparison of housing costs in the two areas.
...a head-to-head match-up of amusement parks, public parks, music halls, historic houses, and art museums.
...a look at demographics and statistics.
...words from a chef about why he chose Westchester as the spot to open his restaurant (and a restaurant comparability chart).
...a comparison of crime statistics.
...a list of rejoinders to win Westchester vs. City cocktail-party spats.
...a side-by-side check of incidental costs, such as library fees or movie tickets.
...a Q&A with Westchester-to-City transplant Sloane Crosley.
...a look at the differences in commuting.
...a comparison of the retail landscape, with a list of which chain stores excel in each area.
...thoughts on how the NYC nightlife mostly trounces Westchester's, but how Westchester has more green space.
...three different first-person essays from writers who have lived in both areas.

Read the entire package by clicking through the links, or downlaod the PDF above.

Fall Arts Preview: Fall Events

Fall Arts Preview: Fall Events

I wrote the massive guide to fall arts and culture, which was broken into Fall Events, Fall Books, Fall Movies, and Fall TV. For fall events, I covered upcoming art, film, music, theater, family happenings, readings, lectures, comedy, art and craft fairs, and special events taking place in Westchester September, October, and November.

"Talk Cinema

Film writer Harlan Jacobson screened The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo—the original Swedish version, of course—before almost anyone else here had a glimpse of Noomi Rapace’s nose-ringed face, thank you very much. And he doesn’t plan on getting scooped this season, either. For his Talk Cinema series, Jacobson shows an indie or foreign film before its release, then hosts a discussion afterward with a filmmaker or critic. You don’t get to know what film you see beforehand, but speculating is half the fun.


The Zombies

This will be their year: to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary, the Zombies have planned a worldwide tour, with stops from Edinburgh to Tel Aviv. And, when they finally come stateside, they’re playing the Tarrytown Music Hall. In addition to ’60s hits like 'Time of the Season' and 'She’s Not There,' the band will perform songs from last year’s new album, Breathe Out, Breathe In."

Click through to read the rest of the article, or download the PDF above.

September Issue: In Every Issue

Cultural highlights including Joe Lovano, Gordon Lightfoot, Kelli O'Hara, and more.

"Pole Vault

When we think of the North Pole, we think of polar bears and Santa Claus. But to Anthony Fiala, the North Pole represented the limit of human achievement. The Stamford Museum & Nature Center explores Fiala’s ultimately unsuccessful attempts to be the first to reach the top of the world, including the expedition’s natural hurdles (his ship was crushed by ice) and the man-made ones (his crew rejected his leadership and quit). The expedition lasted from 1903 to 1905, but the museum’s exhibition will only last from September 10 to October 30."

Click through to read the rest.

Time Out New York: 101 Things to Do for $10 or Less


101 Things to Do for $10 or Less


My contributions to Time Out New York's list of cheap things to do in New York City are sprinkled throughout their package, which is broken up into weekday, weeknight, and weekend activities. I covered items for all three lists, including: cruising the East River Ferry (No. 3), touring Grand Central Terminal (No. 6), bowling at the Gutter (No. 10) or Brooklyn Bowl (No. 30), catching a comedy show at the PIT (No. 61) or UCB (No. 70), seeing a rock show at the Mercury Lounge (No. 88), hitting up the matinees at the AMC theaters (No. 91), and walking the gardens at Wave Hill (No. 92).


"People’s Improv Theater

In January, the PIT moved away from New York’s informal improv-comedy district near the Magnet Theater and UCBT and into a new space with a full bar and approximately 100 seats—nearly double its previous capacity. It’s a great place to catch a comedian on the rise: Kristen Schaal and The Office and Bridesmaids’s Ellie Kemper were both on PIT house teams. Most weekday shows are rarely more than $10, but for the best value, stop by on Wednesdays from 6 to 11pm, when troupes flex their comedic muscles in six free shows. 123 E 24th St between Park and Lexington Aves (212-563-7488"


Click through to read the rest of the article at Time Out New York.

August Issue: Things to Do

It's All Free
A round-up of free, outdoor concerts for every night of the week.

"Big-band, bluegrass, rhythm and blues, and even gospel music find their way to the bandshell in the grassy Hudson Park. After all, there’s no other place in the county where you can groove to a band with a name as funky as the Brother Joscephus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra (August 24)."

Click through to read the rest of the article.

Only in August
How to enjoy the Dog Days

"People think of August as the doldrums of summer,  marked by the twin plagues of heat and boredom. But it’s still summer, darn it, and there are many warm-weather pleasures to be had. In fact, there are some things you can only do in August. Here, a few:

1. Request tickets to Saturday Night Live.
You see those smiling, laughing audience members week-in, week-out, but few realize that you can only request free SNL tickets during the month of August. Email your contact info to, and spend the rest of the summer running to the mailbox to see if you got lucky in the ticket lottery." 

Click through to read the rest of the article.

July Issue: Best of Westchester Arts & Leisure

For our annual Best of Westchester issue.

Arts & Leisure

"Best Indie Bookstore

The Village Book Store


(914) 769-8322 No way. The Village Book Store owner Roy Solomon is a living, breathing database of books. (We’d say he’s a living card catalogue, but that’s so 20th-century.) Plus, you can access his knowledge without agonizing over the most efficient search terms. (And he’ll never end up trying to sell you something like patio furniture—can you say that about your favorite online retailer?) Book groups stumped for their next selection and anxious gift-givers rely on his recommendations. And so should you."

Click through to read the rest of the Arts & Leisure selections.

July Issue: Pirate Festival

Plunder Boys

"Forget Johnny Depp. In fact, forget the Caribbean. The area’s true swashbucklers are going to be at Philipsburg Manor for Pirates of the Hudson: The Siege of Sleepy Hollow from July 2 to July 4. (Because nothing says patriotism like a little piracy.)

Pirates, after all, have been known to sail the Hudson—and cause consternation for Frederick Philipse, the Lord of the Manor. 'The Philipse family businesses involved, among other things, trading on the high seas, and piracy was a huge issue,' says Rob Schweitzer, spokesperson for Historic Hudson Valley. 'Legend holds that Frederick Philipse and Captain Kidd were, indeed, friends, and Kidd would land at Kingsland Point to meet with Philipse and trade with him, likely from his prizes as a legal privateer. When Kidd was named a pirate in 1698, Kidd and Philipse’s friendship would have greatly hurt Philipse’s name, and it may or may not have been used by then-Governor of New York Lord Richard Bellomont in kicking Philipse off the Governor’s Executive Council.'”

Click through to read the rest of the article.

Photo by  Bryan Haeffele

July: In Every Issue

Culture, Etc.
Independence Day, Martin Short, and more.

"Surreality Show

There’s something surreal about watching movies outdoors. There are no walls, no doors, and no sticky multiplex floors as the images just float in front of you. The Katonah Museum of Art takes that nebulous feeling one step further with its “Surrealist Outdoor Cinema” series. Planned in conjunction with the Double Solitaire exhibition, the series includes three other-wordly films: Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (July 14), Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound (July 21), and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (July 28). Award-winning editor Andy Keir (True Blood) curated the series and will provide an intro to each film. Grounds open at 8:30 pm for picnics."

Click through to read the rest of the article.

Time Out New York: Staycations

I contributed two articles to Time Out New York's feature package on New York City staycations.


"Governors Island
What was once a vacated rock in the New York Harbor, abandoned by the Coast Guard in 1995, is now a haven for creative types. This year, find more than a dozen free exhibitions throughout the island. For instance, the artists’ festival Figment is displaying interactive sculptures, while Storm King Art Center hosts a retrospective of sculptor Mark di Suvero. Keep an eye on the schedule for big summer concerts, too, including the The Governors Ball with Girl Talk, Empire of the Sun and Big Boi (Sat 18 noon–11:30pm; $95–$150), or ditch work early and ferry over any Friday to borrow a pair of wheels from Bike and Roll (10am–4:30pm, last rental 3:30pm; first hour free, each additional hour $12). Cool off with a drink (and maybe some grilled kielbasa) at the sandy Water Taxi Beach, which also has the best views of downtown Manhattan. (212-825-3045, Fri–Sun through Sept 25. Travel: Ferries leave from the Battery Maritime Building, Slip 7, in Manhattan and Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn."

Click through to read the rest of the article at Time Out New York.

"Otto and Orient Express
Mario Batali’s pizza joint, Otto Enoteca Pizzeria (1 Fifth Ave at 8th St; 212-995-9559, is modeled after an Italian train station, which becomes apparent as soon as you put your name in for a table and the hostess issues you a “train ticket” bearing the name of an Italian town. When it’s time to be seated, you’ll find that place announced on a departures board—the old-timey kind with flip-down letters. Then you’ll be on your way to your culinary satisfaction—maybe via a garlicky vongole pizza topped with clams, a mini carafe of wine from the extensive 700-bottle list and an award-winning gelato. Continue your journey on the Orient Express (325 W 11th St between Greenwich and Washington Sts; 212-691-8845,, which is set up to look like a bar car on an old-fashioned train. The drinks menu here is similarly themed, with cocktails that have cloak-and-dagger-sounding names like the Mata Hari (Bulleit bourbon, Pierde Almas mezcal, lemon juice, agave, ginger, aloe; $14) or the From Russia with Love (Russian Standard vodka, ginger, lime, rosewater rinse; $12)."

Click through to read the rest of the article at Time Out New York.

June Issue: Summer Fun Cover Story

Summer Fun

For the June cover, I produced a feature package on the best ways to enjoy summer in Westchester County, from driving race cars to seeing Shakespeare outdoors to heading to one of a million local beaches. You can read an excerpt below and follow the link to read the rest of the article, or you can download the PDF.

"Wear Your Favorite Eye Patch

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for…you. Forget the Pirates of the Caribbean—the Pirates of the Hudson have arrived and have laid siege to Philipsburg Manor. If you dare, you can put on your finest bandana, hook hand, peg leg, or shoulder parrot, and mingle among them. There, you’ll see belly dancers gyrating to the sounds of pirate musicians, shop for fenced booty from the Thieves Market, marvel at the Museum of Oddities, feast on foods prepared by Tastefully Yours, and imbibe grog from the Captain Lawrence Brewery. (Just keep an eye on your own wallet—these scalawags have sticky fingers.) Pirates-in-training can take part in a treasure hunt and climb on a shipwreck—or be forced to walk its plank. Pirates of the Hudson: The Siege of Sleepy Hollow comes to us from the same people who brought us the Horseman’s Hollow event on Halloween. The event takes place from July 2 to July 4 and, as with the Horseman’s Hollow, you must have a timed ticket to enter. For more information, call (914) 631-8200 or visit"

Click here to read the full article online.

Two Man Gentleman Band photo by Putnam Bean; Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival ten photo by William Marsh; Pirates photo by Bryan Haeffele.