lost in yonkers
June 20, 2006 8:27 AM   Subscribe

Help me learn to love life in Yonkers, or anywhere along the Metro North railroad and surrounding area. With no car.

Recently, I made the dubious decision to move to the Ludlow area of Yonkers, and I'll be there for at least three months. The immediate neighborhood is quite nice (near the Ludlow stop off Metro North Railroad), but I've found that beyond that, there is nothing within walking distance that I want to go to, and in fact it's kind of a ghetto after a few blocks.

I don't have a car. I'm sure that there are good places to go along the other Metro North stops, and there are probably some easy bus connections that will take me places, but I don't know them. I'm talking good grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores, etc. I commute to midtown so I can also take the 1/9 from Marble Hill if that's an issue.
posted by bingo to Society & Culture (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Isn't Manhattan a short trainride from Yonkers (like 15 minutes or something)? We have lots to do in Manhattan (shows, museums, etc.)
posted by grumblebee at 8:36 AM on June 20, 2006

Yeah, definitely Manhattan.

There's also a couple of stations to your north that only operate on weekends, and let you off right onto hiking trails. Look up Breakneck Ridge and Manitou. Apparently, some other stations have hiking access as well.

You'd probably do well to go through that section of the MTA website for other suggested 'getaways'.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:41 AM on June 20, 2006

I guess I should mention that before moving to Yonkers, I lived in Manhattan for over two years, on the UWS. I know plenty of places to go there. I'm just trying to cut back on the amount of time I'll spend on a train every day.

This isn't about museums or hiking, though I appreciate the suggestions. I'm talking more about shopping, eating, seeing movies, and hanging out with a laptop.
posted by bingo at 8:48 AM on June 20, 2006

I'd take the train a few stops north to Dobbs Ferry, which is very cute and has good restaurants and at least one independent bookstore. Everything is within walking distance of the train station.
posted by xo at 9:51 AM on June 20, 2006

You can take the train one stop to the Yonkers station and the library is across the street. Pick up a Westchester bus map while you're there. You can take the train a few stops to Hastings-on-Hudson and walk to the farmer's market on Saturday mornings. There is also a not-very-exciting indy bookstore in Hastings. You can take the train several stops to Pleasantville and walk to the Jacob Burns Film Center (Symphony Space/Film Forum-esque). If you're up to a longer northbound train ride, schlep up to Cold Spring for antiques/junk shops, or Tarrytown for decent restaurants. I think Hastings is nicer than Dobbs Ferry, which is a bit down-at-the-heels. In most of these towns there are a few bars that are not terribly exciting but adequate and not too obnoxious for what they are. Enjoy....
posted by scratch at 11:18 AM on June 20, 2006

I was born and raised in Yonkers, and I get back there every few months to visit family, but have not lived there in a while. So, I am not exactly up to date.

There is a fabulous Italian place not far from you: Giulio's - 53 Park Hill Ave. Eat there (note: they don't take credit cards).

Van Cortland Park in the Bronx is just a short bike ride/bus ride south on Route 9 (South Broadway). LLoyd's across the street from the park (on the other side of Broadway/9) has fantastic carrot cake. Tibbetts Brook Park is also not far from you (to the East), but you'll need a park pass. On the plus side they have a giant pool if you are into swimming. There is also very good chinese food past the park a bit, En Lai (don't go to the other En Lai, if it still exists). Also in this general area is McLean Ave, which is where you want to go if you like Irish Pubs/Bars/Rowdy Music (check out Rory Dolan's). On the way to Tibbetts there is a public golf course.

For movies take a bus to Cross County Shopping Center. I'm not sure what the shopping scene is like there these days, but there is a multiplex.

If you instead go north on route 9 and get off at Roberts and walk over to Palisade (or take the bus that goes down Palisade Ave), there is a good casual pizza place (Palisade Pizza and Pasta). If you keep going north on 9 you will get to Untermeyer Park, which has some old fountains and is fairly interesting to explore. They usually have some sort of classical concert series there in the summer as well.

If you keep going north on 9 you cross into Hastings, and if you get off at the Food Emporium and walk down into the center of town there is a great seafood restaurant whose name escapes me.

If you go to Tuckahoe near the train station, there are some good restaurants.

On the Hudson River itself, you can go crabbing, fishing, etc. It's cleaner than it has been in years, but obviously check local advisories and what to eat etc. The main reason it's cleaner is due to the work of Clearwater, if you like sailing, you can join the crew of their sloop, and if you like folk singing you can hop on the train to Dobbs Ferry and visit their coffehouse, or join their chorus. There is also the Hudson River Museum and Planetarium.

You can take a bus out to Central Avenue, which is a retail artery that runs through Yonkers and several other towns. On Central there is a small "artsy" movie theater.

Unfortunately, you'll find that not having a car is a major disadvantage, as waiting for and transferring from bus to bus can end up taking as much time as just taking the train directly into the city to where you know where everything is. Having at least a bike will help.

Sorry I am not more exact on the bus routes, and unfortunately a lot of restaurants I enjoyed are no longer around, and there were never any good coffee shops to hang out with a laptop near where you are (but certainly that might have changed by now). Email is in profile, feel free to ask any questions.
posted by mikepop at 11:23 AM on June 20, 2006

I used to live in Hastings on Hudson, which is just south of Dobbs Ferry and has a similar feel. The Hastings library (just up the hill from the train station) has computers and a nice view of the Hudson River. The town has a good used/rare book shop (Riverrun Books) and one of the best (but priciest) French restaurants in Westchester (Buffet de la Gare). Most of the shops in town are located on a strip running from Nepperhan Avenue to Main Street -- a five minute walk from the train.

I recommend Thomas's Coffee Shop (hidden in back of the old movie theater) and Prime Meats, which is a good local grocery. Both are on Nepperhan. Main Street has two small book stores (one specializing in foreign language publications) and the Food Emporium/A&P supermarket.

I didn't realize that any parts of the neighborhood near Ludlow were nice. Good luck with your stay there.
posted by steadystate at 11:24 AM on June 20, 2006

Sorry, I had a brain freeze -- please substitute "Warburton" Avenue for "Nepperhan" above. Also, I meant no slur on the Ludlow neighborhood. Yonkers does indeed have some very nice areas, I just didn't know that Ludlow was one of them.
posted by steadystate at 11:31 AM on June 20, 2006

The MTA map is clickable and could be helpful.
I'm more familiar with the Harlem line, not the Hudson line, which is your train, but many of the stations are in or next to nice downtown areas. The bus schedule might be a good supplement.

Pleasantville has a nice downtown area, and my mother ADORES the Jacob Burns Film Center.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 11:42 AM on June 20, 2006

I didn't realize that any parts of the neighborhood near Ludlow were nice. Good luck with your stay there.

Just out of the Ludlow train station, if you turn right and go up the hill, there is an enclave of huge old houses with yards. I live in one of those. It really is a pleasant little neighborhood; too bad it only has a radius of a few blocks.
posted by bingo at 12:39 PM on June 20, 2006

I don't know how far the Cross County Shopping Center is from Ludlow, but I do know that Sarah Lawrence College is a 10-minute walk from the Cross County Shopping Center, and that there's always something interesting and free to see on the campus (plays, musical performances, art exhibitions)*. Another ten minutes on foot (or the Metro-North stop, if you're heading north on the train) will get you into "downtown" Bronxville, where you can sit in a coffeehouse, see a movie, or go bargain-hunting at the hospital's thrift shop.

*Of course, in summer the campus has much less to offer. Perhaps this post will be of more value in the fall...
posted by hsoltz at 1:30 PM on June 20, 2006

I went to Dobbs Ferry today on xo's rec and I thought it was great. It could use a health food store and a gym, but in general it's the kind of place that I thought I was moving to when I decided to move to Ludlow. I'll check out Hastings next.
posted by bingo at 6:34 PM on June 20, 2006

Stew Leonard's. Do it.

And don't go to Van Cortlandt park, it sucks.

Wave Hill in Riverdale is nice, and right near the MetroNorth stop.
posted by Cochise at 11:14 PM on June 20, 2006

Bingo, Hastings has a health food store on Spring Street (actually where I used to live). To get there, leave the Hastings train station and make a left to go up the hill. You'll pass Maud's Tavern and Buffet de la Gare. Spring Street is at the top of the hill, as is the library. The health food store is on the left side of Spring.

Spring Street (only a block long) leads to Warburton Avenue. Make a left to get to the delis, coffee shops, and florist. Or make a right to pass the laundromat and diner to reach Main Street.

There is also a small park down by the river. From the train station, cross the bridge over the Metro North tracks and make a right. Go toward the end of the road. You will pass a tennis club and a decent restaurant (Blu). The Harvest On Hudson restaurant (next to the park) has an outdoor garden which is a great place to enjoy a few drinks during the summer.
posted by steadystate at 11:14 AM on June 21, 2006

I went to Hastings yesterday. It was okay...certainly better than Ludlow...but I think so far I like Dobbs Ferry better. On the other hand, I've still got a bunch of places to explore. And in the short term, I'm also looking for somewhere I can drop off laundry (both regular and shirt-ironing) without having to carry it up a steep hill first.
posted by bingo at 7:44 AM on June 24, 2006

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