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    North of NYC North of NYC By Houlihan Lawrence By Houlihan Lawrence by

    You love walking, window-shopping and having everything nearby. You’re a natural conversationalist on a first-name basis with your barista—they even spell yours correctly.

    Our cultured villages embody the best of neighborhood living without the big city chaos: sidewalk neighborhoods, eclectic shops, exciting restaurants and the possibility of car-free commuting to Midtown. Lower Westchester villages like Bronxville and Scarsdale capture a cosmopolitan feel, while northernly neighbors like Pleasantville and Katonah abide by a small town, live-and-let-lifestyle equal parts sophistication and quirk.

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    Begin your mornings wandering leafy lanes towards an energetic Main Street of mom-and-pop shops, heading to Metro North at the heart of town—maybe with a perk up at Little Joe’s, NEAT or Coffee Labs Roasters.

    You might even run into the occasional local celebrity, who too made the realization that turning the pace down just a notch while keeping the city within reach ranks high in enriching life decisions.

    Each community has its own unique personality, with individuality being the only constant. Sidewalk sales are a spring rite. Independently-owned merchants like Charles Department Store, a same family-owned Westchester institution for nearly a century, add color and local pride capturing the spirit and perseverance of these unique places to live.

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    Complementing world-class riding facilities are vast expanses of hunt country, where centuries-old traditions thrive, ending with celebratory libations at the legendary Blazer Pub. Equestrian boutiques like RIDE outfit professional and amateur riders alike. At day’s end, many a rider retreats to One Twenty One, gathering around the fireplace or marble bar before a seasonal locavore dinner.

    The equestrian zeitgest attracts even those who might never have mounted. Dirt roads, rolling scenery and rustic elegance simply harken to a slower time, casting a magical spell on a place so close in distance yet far in mind from the concrete jungle.

    See more at northof.nyc