#SuburbanSnapshots: Life in White Plains NY

Jennifer Y. Ross
Jennifer Y. Ross
Published on August 5, 2018

Welcome to the City of White Plains, NY

The 10 square miles that make up White Plains is home to almost 58,000 residents, though with so many people commuting in for work, the daytime weekday population is estimated at 250,000. All those people makes for shopping, and dining, and living options galore.

There’s a great mix of modern urban living and quiet neighborhoods with single family homes. With 35 named neighborhoods in the city, there are a lot of corners to explore.

Located between the Hutchinson River Parkway and the Bronx River Parkway, just below I-287, White Plains is landlocked between the Long Island Sound and the Hudson River, with Scarsdale to its south and West Harrison/Purchase to the north.

White Plains was used as farmland by members of the Mohican nation, who called it “the white plains” either because of the white balsam which are said to have covered the ground, or from the heavy mist that hovered near the Bronx River’s swampy banks. In 1683, Connecticut Puritans bought 4,400 acres in the area, and the town became more populated as time went on. White Plains was incorporated as a village in 1866 with a population of about 2,500, and as a city in 1916 when the population had grown to about 27,000.

Battle Hill: Real Life Hamilton

One neighborhood in the city has Revolutionary ties. Chatterton Hill is known locally as Battle Hill, as it’s where the Battle of White Plains took place in 1776. At an entrance to the Bronx River Park, a statue of a cannon sits pointed south towards Manhattan and the British Troops to commemorate the battle. Today, Battle Hill is a residential area between downtown and the commercial district of Central Park Avenue.

Stellar Infrastructure

Whether you are travelling by car, train, or bus, White Plains has you covered. You’ll find two Metro-North train stations: White Plains station in the downtown area and the smaller North White Plains station a few miles up. Both boast easy access to the city on routes that average 33 to 50 minutes, depending on time and day. If you’re roaming around by car, the roads are easily navigable. Unlike NYC, you don’t have to be an expert driver to zoom around this city, and save for a few peak times around the daily commute, we never experience any traffic on the streets. The Westchester County Airport sits just 7 miles north of the city and runs several direct flights to locations around the country. The White Plains Hospital is a state-of-the-art facility that just underwent renovations and updates. The ER waiting time is notoriously short and the maternity ward was just updated to include six 400-square-feet labor-and-delivery suites that allow new moms to deliver their babies and recover in the same room. Westchester Avenue, which runs along I-287, contains several health practices for just about every specialty under the sun. You don’t have to go far for exceptional primary, emergency, or specialized healthcare. White Plains also hosts a bustling downtown revitalization complete with luxury hotels, apartments and retail.

All Your Shopping in One Place

There’s plenty of shopping in White Plains at all price points. Feeling tony? The Westchester Mall has Tiffany, Burberry and Louis Vuitton among its designer shops. Or head to the Galleria Mall for H&M, Macy’s, and Old Navy. Bloomingdale’s first opened in Westchester (on Bloomingdale Road, of course!) in 1974, and retains its old-fashioned department store charm. If you need a little bit of everything, the City Center at White Plains is a mixed-use shopping center with a Target, a grocery store, Barnes & Noble, Nordstrom Rack, a movie theatre, and several restaurants, or head next door to Whole Foods.

Bars and Dining to Rival New York City

Head to the Mamaroneck Avenue for loads dining and bar options. Bar hop along the strip (frosé, anyone? Or just crack open a cold beer on a restaurant’s rooftop or patio). There are so many options you’ll never have the same night twice. Outside of the strip, there are several stellar options such as Italian food at Tre Angelina or Alex’s Bar & Grill or refined comfort food at the City Limits Diner. Get some of the Best of Westchester chicken pot pie at Emma’s Ale House. Missing NYC? Step into Brother Jimmy’s, Blockheads, BLT Steak, or Gyu Kaku Japanese BBQ and you may not even notice you’ve changed zip codes. Restaurants in White Plains NY – Trip Advisor

Park Paradise for Kids & Adults

White Plains has plenty of entertainment for little ones. If you’re looking for a neighborhood playground, there’s Battle Hill Park, Chatterton Playground, Delfino Park, Bruce Park, Mattison Park, Mitchell Place Tot Lot, Turnure Park, and many more. For big places to play, there’s Saxon Woods Park, a huge greenspace with playground equipment for all ages, a pool and aquatic playground, golf and mini-golf. There are also are two other golf courses and Ebersole ice rink. The city of White Plains organizes youth programs for kids 5 to 18. They can practice acting, art, swimming, yoga, as well as all the traditional kid sports leagues. For the very little ones, there’s a free play space inside the Westchester Mall that’s perfect for a shopping break. You can rest and recharge while the little ones play in the soft play area. It’s on the same floor as the food court, so you can make a whole lunch and play event of it. There’s also a very special store for little girls (and boys!) called Girl AGain. It sells gently used American Girl dolls and accessories and holds events such as crafts and workshops. The shop is operated by the nonprofit group Yes She Can, which teaches job skills to children with autism. In fact, the store clerks are part of the program! White Plains is home to one of six Westchester County’s public golf courses – Maple Moor golf course. In North White Plains one neighborhood even hosts its own lake club.

A City of Events

You’ll never forget a holiday in White Plains. The city hosts a ball drop on New Year’s Eve, a Saint Patrick’s Day parade, an egg hunt for Easter, a parade on Memorial Day, Fourth of July fireworks, Jazzfest, an Outdoor Arts Festival, and farmer’s markets.

A Smart School District

The White Plains Public School District consists of five elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. White Plains High School is very highly rated on greatschools.org. The district also offers a community high school for students who thrive in a small environment. There’s a Universal Pre-K program and the elementary schools operate under a program called Parents’ Choice, where parents can elect their school based on factors other than proximity to home. SchoolDigger Summary Info GreatSchools Summary Info There are several private and parochial schools in the city, such as the German School of New York, Stepinac & Solomon Schechter’s Lower School, among others. Five college campuses count White Plains among their campuses, including Fordham and Pace University.

As Phoebe said in one of my favorite Friends quotes – Phoebe: (gasps) “White Plains. Oh, it sounds like such a magical place”.  We agree and we hope you do as well.

Looking to learn more about the various Westchester County NY Lifestyles, Communities & Homes? 

Schedule your  FREE Suburban Lifestyle & Community Strategy call today and come experience some of these wonderful places first hand on your private curated tour.  

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Introduction to Jennifer Y. Ross & The Westchester Living Team at COMPASS

Jennifer epitomizes her motto “I grew up here. I live here. I sell homes here” and she is known for providing each of her clients with an exceptional experience guided by her expert local knowledge.  She works tirelessly to ensure each of her clients has a professional, enjoyable and successful Westchester community & home buying search or selling experience.  Jennifer was raised in Scarsdale.  After graduating from Scarsdale High School, Jennifer received a BA in Child Study & Sociology from Tufts University and an MA in Language & Literacy from New York University.  Jennifer currently lives in Larchmont with her husband, Michael, and their three sons, Braden, Devon & Zane.  She specializes in communities in Southern Westchester with a concentrated focus on the Sound Shore Communities of Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Rye Neck, Rye, New Rochelle as well as her hometown of Scarsdale.   Prior to real estate, Jennifer was a teacher in the Mamaroneck Public Schools.  Jennifer has a deep understanding of the local school systems and the needs of young families. Professional Associations & Accreditation Jennifer is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker at Compass & has her Accredited Buyer Representative designation (ABR) and her Seller Representative Specialist designation (SRS).  Jennifer is a member of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors & the National Association of Realtors.

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