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Archive for the ‘Communities’ Category

I have posted on Croton on Hudson before. One of the businesses in the downtown area is Senses Salon, located at 5 Old Post Road South, right in the center of town.

Senses is a full service, unisex salon that caters to the entire family but shines brightest in New York style work without having to pay city prices. Joe Tucci, owner and manager, is board certified a master colorist, international educator, international competitor in men’s hairstyling, and as a makeup artist. His work is impeccable, and he has been written up in Westchester Magazine in both 2004 and 2006.

Among the services offered are hair cutting, hair coloring, Japanese straightening, Brazilian keratin treatments, makeup, waxing, and even  hair extensions. The staff of 5 is professional, friendly, and highly skilled. There is a private waxing room, a separate room for hairdryers, and the main cutting floor is reminiscent of a high end Manhattan establishment.

I don’t know much about Japanese hair straightening, Brazilian keratin treatments, or beauty salons in general. But I do know that people will keep going to a place they like. The striking thing about Senses is cutomer loyalty, and it has kept them in business for 21 years. This one is my favorite success story: one client who relocated to North Carolina flew in just last week solely to get a cut and highlights. She had not found a beauty salon down there that could do highlights as well as Senses.

I think that says it all.

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I’ve got Croton on Hudson on the mind lately. It isn’t because my older brother has lived there for 30 years or because I camped at Croton Point Park as a young scout dozens of times. It could be because the only Bed and Breakfast in all of Westchester County is here, or maybe the numerous excellent restaurants. The real reason Croton is on my mind is because I’ll be leasing office space there in the near future, and I intend to do more business in the area in 2010.

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One of the great neighborhoods in Ossining is known as the Indian Village. All of the streets have tribal names, such as Mohawk and Seneca Roads. I happened to grow up on Osage Drive. Although most of the streets are pre war, the majority of the homes are baby-boom era housing. In that respect the place is a bit like Levittown on Long Island; the original homes are slowly giving way to larger, expanded structures.

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The Hamptons, like Manhattan, have no MLS. Let me rephrase that: They eschew the MLS in favor of pocket listings.  It keeps status quo for the big players in the market, supresses new firms from entering the market with a level field, and is anti consumer. But it serves the established brokers well.

This interview is indicative of the way a Hamptons broker will finesse and sidestep the MLS issue. I couldn’t resist and commented. I wasn’t kind, but I wasn’t abusive. It was tempting to be obnoxious.

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Many who grew up in Ossining, NY like I did will remember an old, overgrown algae-covered man-made pond near the Chilmark Shopping Center known simply as The Reservoir. It was the Village’s water supply for much of the pre-World War II era, and then was replaced by water towers. When I was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s the Reservoir was used for skating (AT OWN RISK, as the sign said) and hanging out.

The water towers had their share of graffiti, and nobody really knew what good the Reservoir was. I learned to skip rocks there,and I spent many hours of my youth sitting quietly, watching the water, either alone or with some friends after buying baseball cards and candy at Chilmark Pharmacy. In the Spring and Autumn we’d ride our bikes around it. I had a 5-speed with high handle bars and a banana seat.

In the earlier part of this decade, the Village cleaned the place up,  added an asphalt ring around it for walking, installed some park benches and tables, and dedicated it as Reservoir Park. An aerator was installed for the algae, and the towers were repainted. Mayor Perillo was vilified by some for the improvement expense, but most, like myself, applauded the move. It is an extremely popular place to sit, walk the dog, stroll the kids, and spend quiet time. The SKATE AT OWN RISK sign is long gone, replaced by 3 LAPS = 1 MILE.

Ossining Reservoir Park

Ossining Reservoir Park

You can barely make out the water towers at the other end of the Reservoir. They use to be an awful sky blue accented with graffiti. Now they are a dark green-far better aesthetics. A few years ago the park was renamed after Richard Wishnie, a retired county legislator for his 40 years of distinguished public service.
Pump House

Pump House

That brick structure behind the sign is from 1869 and is an old pump house. I climbed inside a few times when I was around 12. There is nothing inside except an old wood floor and brick walls. It was a great hiding place and we  flipped baseball cards inside.

Pump House Dedication from 1869

Pump House Dedication from 1869

As the stone says, Ossining used to be known as Sing Sing, an Anglicization of Sint Sinck, the aboriginal natives of the area. To differentiate the village from Sing Sing Prison, the name evolved to Ossingsing and then Ossining. Ossining High’s mascot was the Indian for many years to honor the Sint Sinck, but political correctness ended the Indian mascot. The neighborhood across Pleasantville Road from the Reservoir is known informally as the Indian Village, as the streets are all Native American names, such as Mohawk, Pocantico and Iroquois. I grew up on Osage Drive West.

There is alot to like about Ossining-the diversity of the residents, the managable commute to New York City, and that magnificent Hudson View. Of course, since they finally turned around that derelict, overgrown hole in the ground, the Richard Wishnie Reservoir Park is another great thing about the place.

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