Monthly Archives: January 2016


Bronxville NY Real Estate and Homes for Sale

The small village of Bronxville occupies justone square mile portion of land in the town of Eastchester. Despite its close proximity to Midtown Manhattan, much of Bronxville has retained its Old World charm – it still looks pretty much the same as it did almost a century ago, which is one of the things that make it so dear to its residents.It is home to a little over 6,500 residents, who work hard to preserve the historic beauty and charm of this little village.

Molded after an English-style village, Bronxville is one of the most affluent places to live in the country and gracious Tudor, Victorian, and Shingle-style homes are plentiful here. Its development was started by pharmaceutical and real estate mogul William Van Duzer Lawrence (who also built the top-tier Sarah Lawrence College in honor of his wife.)

A Tight-Knit Community

Due to its size, this hamlet in Eastchester has plenty of small-town and independent business that are within walking distance from each other. The lack of major chain stores (with a few exceptions) helps it retain its identity and encourages its residents to set up businesses of their own. You can find designer clothing boutiques, art galleries, and various shops that will meet your needs in Bronxville’s compact central business district.The village is also home to several churches such asthe Reformed Church of Bronxville, which was the first church to be constructed here.

Bronxville features 70 acres of parkland that extends to a small portion of the Bronx River Parkway Reservation. There is plenty of room for residents to indulge in their favorite outdoor activities such as running and bicycling. Various athletic fields are located all throughout the community.


The village is served by the Bronxville Union Free School District. An institution of higher learning, Concordia College, was established here in 1909 by the Lutheran Church. Concordia College is known for its various academic and music programs.

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Westchester is Hollywood on the East Coast

Photo courtesy of The Picture House website

Photo courtesy of The Picture House website

On the northwest corner of Wolf’s lane and Brookside Avenue lies this unassuming movie house. It blends with the string of single-story brick-and-mortar storefronts and the little gas station beside it.

The theater’s name is spelled in an arching neon sign that shines bright red when turned on. “Pelham Picture House” it reads, with today’s line-up of films on the bottom.

You probably wouldn’t guess it with just a passing glance, but there’s deep history to this structure.

Nearly a century of movie magic

Built in 1921, the theater then been operating continuously since it opened.
It has retained its simple yet elegant Spanish revival style, so unlike high-tech cineplexes that have come to dominate our more modern movie experience.

In fact, it narrowly escaped being demolished in 2001-2002, when the theater was set to become a retail bank.

Part of Westchester history

A group of citizens wished to protect its rich history and established the Pelham Picture House Preservation, a non-profit organization which aimed to purchase and look-after the theater.
From 2002-2004 it successfully raised just under $1,000,000 which was enough to buy the theater and keep it open.

By that action, the nonprofit also saved a piece of Westchester history.


The theater launched its own two original film series in 2009: the preview series “Reel Insider,”which featured discussions with film talent and critics, and the classic series “Sunday Essentials.”

In 2010 The Picture House was added to the National Register of Historic Places, thus cementing its historical importance.

Since then it has attracted major movie stars like Tom Cruise, Sean Penn, Michael Douglas, Ryan Reynolds, and more to its guest list.

The future

In 2015, The Picture House was also set to present the Future Filmmaker’s Festival, featuring students from Westchester County High School showcasing their short films in narrative, documentary, comedy, drama, and musical categories.

All will vie for the prestigious “Chester”–Westchester’s Oscar.

Whatever the future holds, the contributions of The Pelham Picture House has already earned Westchester the title “Hollywood on the East Coast.”



Get to know the Rockefeller State Park Preserve

One of the Rockefellers’ many philanthropic contributions to the great state they call their home is the Rockefeller State Park Preserve in Westchester County.

Donated by Laurance S. Rockefeller to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in 1983, the park is part of the family estate in Pocantico Hills.

Subsequent donations have seen the park expand from around 1,200 acres to its current size of more than 1,400 acres.
It has been open year-round since 1999, from 7 a.m. until sunset.

How to get there

Rockefeller State Park Preserve is located in the village of Sleepy Hollow, around 30 miles from New York City on Route 117, one mile east of Route 9.

To get there, visitors from NYC can take the Metro North Hudson Line to the Tarrytown Station.

From the station, a quick taxi ride will take you to the Preserve Office in Pleasantville, where you can get a map and some guides.

Amenities and activities

Photo courtesy of Rockefeller State Park Preserve

Photo courtesy of Rockefeller State Park Preserve

A multitude of outdoor activities can be enjoyed at the Preserve.
The park is home to various natural habitats and is considered an important bird sanctuary.It’s got meadows, wetlands, rivers, forests, and the beautiful (and beautifully named) Swan Lake for visitors to enjoy.

In fact, guests who walk along a system of carriage roads built by Dr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. himself are treated to scenic vistas of woodlands, fields, streams, and stone bridges.

Outdoor enthusiasts can also take part in many activities such as:

  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • FSledding
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Horseback riding and carriage driving
  • Snowboarding

The Rockefeller State Park Preserve abides by a strict set of rules to make sure the place remains enjoyable for everyone.

Before you plan a trip to the park, be advised that anglers need a Preserve fishing permit from the park’s office and a New York State fishing license. Equestrian activities also require a permit.


Home improvement ideas for winter

Are you ready to battle the long, cold nights of winter? Don’t worry — you can prepare for the months ahead by using these simple yet highly effective home improvement ideas:

Gutters and roof

Installing heated cables under the first few rows of your shingles will help melt the snow and prevent ice from accumulating on your roof.
Gutter guards can also be very effective in preventing clogs and ice dams.


Winter - GioHomesOne of the most fundamental parts of your heating/cooling system are your windows. To prepare them for the winter, you can consider changing a few of your window components. For example, replacing the glass with insulated glass can affect both your home’s temperature and electric bill.

Newer homes usually have super-triple-pane windows that have been treated with low-emittance (or low-E) coating. This type of coatingassists in controlling the amount and direction of light and heat reflected by the windows.
You can also consider upgrading to super windows, which have a mix of krypton/argon/air/gas between its panes. These are energy-efficient windows that can significantly reduce your energy bill.
Simpler remedies include cellular shades or insulating blinds. Adding caulk, a long-lasting seal, helps in locking in the window frame and setting up the shades.


During winter, it can be quite convenient to have a programmable thermostat (also called “t-stat”) installed in your house. These devices improve energy efficiency, and can be controlled wirelessly using your smart phone or computer..
With this kind of technology, you can schedule when to turn the heat up or down depending on which hours require higher temperatures.

Walls, plumbing, and pipes

There are many ways to seal every corner in your home. You should watch out for leaks and gaps where air can come in. To seal any potential leaks, you can use a variety of sealants like caulk, expanding foam, waterproof sealant, or weather-stripping.


10 great tips to spruce up curb appeal and attract more buyers

The attractiveness of your home’s exterior plays a key role in attracting interested buyers. An eye-catching exterior serves as an excellent introduction, and will create a good first impression for buyers.

The great thing about sprucing up your home’s curb appeal is you don’t necessarily need to break the bank – you’ll be surprised at how simple upgrades create a dramatic difference.

top 10Here are 10 great tips that can boost your home’s curb appeal:

1. Plant flowers

Plant some flowers along the sidewalk, in front of your house, in plant boxes, or in hanging baskets. Planting flowers is one of the most budget-friendly ways to increase curb appeal.

2. Paint or change your garage doors

Most garage doors dominate a home’s front – giving your garage door a vibrant color or installing a new one with a more stylish design can create a huge impact.

3. Even small details make a big difference

It might not seem like much, but replacing simple things such as your old lock and handle, tarnished house numbers, or rusty light fixtures is a great way to add a touch of elegance to your home.

4. Clear the view

Trees, branches, or shrubs can obscure some of your home’s features, and make it look a bit gloomy and uninviting. If you find it too difficult to clear any of them, at least make sure they look tidy and well-manicured.

5. Conceal dead spots

Stately trees are beautiful; the only problem is their roots tend to draw water and nutrients around the soil, leaving your lawn with unsightly dead spots. Instead of trying to fight against it, look for plants or flowers that can thrive in the shade, and plant them near the base of the tree.

6. Edge your driveway

Using edging materials like stone, pavers, or bricks will give an otherwise drab-looking driveway more color and texture, creating a crisp, polished appearance.

7. Illuminate your sidewalk

Installing lights along your sidewalk is not only safer for potential buyers after dusk; it will also make your entrance look friendlier and more inviting as well.

8. Install a stylized mailbox

Maybe it’s time you replaced your old, boring mailbox. Consider installing a mailbox with personality, one that sits atop a sturdy post, or maybe even an elegant brick or stone column. Make sure your new mailbox complements your home’s style and color.

9. Repaint your front door

Remove your front door and sand it using fine-grit sandpaper prior to painting. The best tool to use are foam rollers as these do a great job of minimizing runs or lap marks (but you’ll still need a brush just to paint into remaining gaps and crevices).

10. Add a pathway

A brick or stone pathway is not only useful, it adds plenty of style and character to your front lawn as well.