Lifestyle blogger, Jamie Robinson opens up to share her move to Scarsdale, NY story. Jamie moved from Manhattan’s Upper East Side to Scarsdale, NY. This is Part 1 of our interview with Jamie. Check out Part 2 where she shares her experience renovating her Scarsdale fixer-upper. Here is Mom-to-Be Jamie Robinson’s Move to Scarsdale, NY.
Tell me about your journey to the suburbs?
We were newlyweds when we finally made the move to the suburbs. My husband works in the city and I was in my 3rd year of law school at Brooklyn Law when we moved. We were living in a one bedroom apartment in the Upper East Side with our dog and we were starting to run out of space! We were also dying for some outdoor space for ourselves and more importantly for our dog. We had started to look for two bedroom units but we weren’t finding anything that we really loved. At the time, we were also planning our wedding in Westchester so we started to look into houses and eventually we were presented with a deal on a fixer upper in Scarsdale that we couldn’t pass up. I also LOVE to cook and entertain, but had difficulty entertaining with a kitchen the size of a closet. It sounds crazy, but I think my desire to have a real kitchen was also a big reason for our decision to move out of the city. It was not easy leaving our Upper East Side neighborhood. We loved that we were only 2 blocks from Central Park. But the space trade-off was totally worth it in the end.
We ended up moving to Scarsdale. Actually it is a Scarsdale PO home since our home is located in the North End of New Rochelle (the Scarsdale PO versus non-Scarsdale PO address was all very confusing to me at first). We live on the Scarsdale/New Rochelle border and I’d say we spend more time in Scarsdale versus New Rochelle.
Why did you choose to move to Scarsdale, NY? What other towns were you looking at?
When we began house hunting, we weren’t really all that serious about it, but we knew we wanted to be somewhere with good schools. Having been a teacher before law school, schools were really important to me. We looked in New Rochelle, Scarsdale, Larchmont, Mamaroneck and even up into Connecticut, but ultimately decided on New Rochelle (Scarsdale PO) for the commute, schools, and the house we found. We also loved Connecticut but decided against it since we didn’t want to do the commute at this stage in our lives. Staying close to the city was really important to us.
When you moved did you know anyone? How did you make friends?
My husband is from the area so he has family close by which is nice. He has some friends in the area, but I didn’t know anyone when we moved! I’m originally from Pennsylvania so I don’t have any family in New York and most of my friends are still in the city. We haven’t been here all that long and with law school it was hard to make new friends…actually making friends was one of my biggest fears with leaving the city because I felt like I wouldn’t have much in common with anyone in the suburbs. I wouldn’t say I’ve made a ton of friends yet, but we do have a few couples from the area that we hang out with and I’ve also found that most people are really friendly and I’ve met some people at yoga, the hair salon, etc. With law school and my schedule, it was hard to keep a consistent social life or even one where I regularly attended classes, etc., but my goal for this year is to make more friends! Blogging has also helped with connecting with others in the area and I’m really looking forward to meeting and collaborating with fellow bloggers around the area in the future!
How would you describe residents of Scarsdale, NY?
A good mix of young families and older couples. Everyone is pretty friendly. Also, a lot of people work and commute to the city.
Can you describe your social life in the suburbs?
I’m a total foodie so it usually involves eating dinner or having drinks somewhere. Usually my husband and I will meet up with another couple and head out to dinner somewhere in the area. When we aren’t meeting up with others, we usually are spending 2-3 days a week just out and about at different restaurants or happy hours. I love exploring new restaurants or places I haven’t been to so I’m always trying to make dinner plans. We also see our families a lot on the weekends. Once I have the baby I hope to become more social and connect with other moms in the area and hopefully get a more exciting social life!
What are some things you don’t like about the suburbs?
Driving everywhere! I actually like that we have a car, but I do miss walking. In the city, we always walked, took the subway, or an Uber. Unfortunately, Uber in the suburbs isn’t as reliable or fast as it is in the city. I also don’t like it that people are much more “curious” – maybe it comes from living in New York City where everyone pretty much minds their own business and isn’t too bothered by what others are doing. But it seems like in the suburbs, everyone is very concerned with what others are doing and they aren’t afraid to tell you if they do or don’t approve! I find it pretty funny most of the time, but its definitely something I’m still getting used to.
What are your favorite restaurants in the Scarsdale area?
a. Burrata Wood Fired Pizza – Eastchester
b. Modern Restaurant & Lounge – New Rochelle
c. Rio Bravo – Larchmont
d. Molly Spillanes – Mamaroneck – they have an awesome patio and “Yappy Hour” on Thursdays
e. Boiano Bakery – Mamaroneck
f. Organic Pharmer – Scarsdale
g. Longford’s Ice Cream – Larchmont
Where are your go-to places in the area?
a. Manor Park – we love taking the dog here for walks and its so pretty and right on the sound
b. Yappy Hour at Molly Spillanes – bring the dog on Thursday nights
c. Nordstrom! One place the city doesn’t have
d. Barnes & Noble
e. Greenwich – we love going to Greenwich for dinner and a little change of pace
Are you a member of a club?
Not currently, but we plan to join one next year! We are primarily looking into the New Rochelle beach clubs.
Do you or your spouse commute to the city? What has your experience been with the commute?
My husband commutes to the city everyday and the train is about 35-40 minutes into Grand Central. Until recently, I was commuting to Brooklyn Heights for law school 3-4 times per week. The commute was not fun! Trains that aren’t the rush hour trains sometimes take 45-50 minutes from Scarsdale station to Grand Central. From Grand Central I had another 30-40 minute subway ride to Brooklyn. I spent about 3 hours commuting (on a good day). We tried to get a parking space at the Scarsdale station before moving from the city but we were placed on a waitlist…I don’t really think we ever heard back about it either. However, it worked out because I usually just drop my husband off at the train station in the morning. When I need to commute, I take an Uber to the Scarsdale train station (which runs me about $8 one way). Or, if I’m feeling ambitious or I’m not in a time crunch, I will take the BeeLine bus. It’s actually really easy and a much cheaper option to and from the train station (your metro card gets a free transfer too once in the city).
Any tips/advice you wished someone had told you when you were looking to move to the suburbs?
Don’t be afraid to initiate conversation, especially if it seems like you would have something in common with someone else. It’s easy to go places and see other people already in groups, etc., especially at classes and social events and assume that they are content and don’t want to be bothered. But every time I’ve introduced myself in this kind of setting, it always ended in great conversation and I’m meeting someone new. This is a really great way to meet new friends and even just get involved in what is going on in the community. The more involved you are, the more comfortable you start to feel.
Jamie Robinson is the lifestyle blogger behind A Hint of Gold Blog, a dog mom, and a mom-to-be living in Westchester, NY. Originally from Pennsylvania, Jamie moved to New York City and then to the suburbs while finishing her Juris Doctor degree. When she is not blogging, she enjoys exploring life in Westchester with her husband and her French bulldog. She is a foodie and is always on the hunt for the best food around.