Taking in the sights in White Plains

I’ll post my usual training week recap eventually, but I had to post about my run through a section of White Plains, NY this morning. WP is hard to describe — it’s a center of commerce in Westchester County and has undergone tremendous commercial development over the past 10-15 years. It consists of a fairly concentrated collection of towering office buildings and shopping malls, wrapped up in a series of wide-lane roadways. The sidewalks aren’t quite as empty as Stamford, CT (which always reminds of the post-apocalyptic Charlton Heston movie from the early 70s, Omega Man), but they aren’t exactly bustling with human activity.

What’s interesting about WP is the residential areas that surround the commercial core. WP abuts Scarsdale, one of the richest communities in the country, yet you know instantly when you’ve crossed the line from Scarsdale into WP. Within a block or two, you go from stately mansions to rundown  multifamily dwellings. I took one of the roads I run on, Fisher Avenue, a bit farther north today to extend my run. Once past the train and bus stations, the neighborhood deteriorated quite quickly.

Just half a mile to the north of moneyed Scarsdale were streets filled with stray cats (a family of 12, all brown tabbies), transplanted Central and South Americans on their way to work on Sunday morning and — my favorite — people dressed to the nines and headed into the “French Speaking Baptist Church” (Haitians, maybe?) for Sunday services. Jonathan ran the same way this morning and spotted a restaurant I managed to miss, a (Peruvian-run?) pizza parlor called Machu Pizzu.

I never saw this sort of thing on my runs in Iowa.

2 Responses

  1. Southern Westchester’s like that. Each of the stops on the Harlem Line — Mt Vernon West, Fleetwood (where I live), Bronxville, Tuckahoe (where I grew up), Crestwood, Scarsdale, Hartsdale, White Plains (where I was born), and North White Plains — has a distinct character. Same thing on the New Haven and Hudson Lines. You can run past multi-million dollar houses on small lots and then to subsidized apartment buildings, then from commercial stretches to tiny post-War houses (few ranches, thankfully), etc.

    I grew up with it, so it’s expected. I don’t know about newer suburbs in which communities become isolated enclaves, good, bad, and indifferent. I’d be curious about the experience of others.

  2. [...] Taking in the sights in White Plains [...]

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