Monthly Archives: July 2016

Fun summer events and activities in Westchester

Every summer, Westchester locals and visitors from neighboring communities take part in a wide variety of activities and events that make the season more memorable.

Want to know what fun events are in store for Westchester residents this summer? Here’s a short list of activities and events we’re all excited to experience:

Blue Door Art Center’s Putting It All Together

Drop by the Blue Door Art Center in Yonkers for “Putting It All Together,” an exhibition featuring collages and assemblage work created by over 50 talented artists from the tri-state area. The event is open to the public, and admission is free. Putting it All Together will run from June 18 up to July 23, 2016.

Kykuit Tours

Although Kykuit Tours are available throughout the year, many say the best time to enjoy them is during the summer, when the gardens of Rockefeller Estate are more verdant and the view of the Hudson River is simply spectacular. The best type of tour is the “Selected Highlights” tour, which gives visitors more time to explore the estate’s lush gardens. You’ll also be able to see the secret grotto, the Italian garden, and the Rockefeller family’s impressive collection of contemporary sculptures.

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

This year’s Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival features plays such as The 39 Steps, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and Romeo and Juliet. Longtime attendees of the festival will personally tell you that every play during this event is top-notch, with spectacular performances from each member of the company. The festival is also a great opportunity to enjoy a nice, alfresco dinner on the grounds of the gorgeous Boscobel, which boasts unforgettable views of the Hudson River.

Looking for more incredible activities in Westchester County? Take a look at this page.


Grow your own herb garden with these tips

Herbs are great additions to any meal – not only does it enhance flavor aroma, it can also add much-needed zing that will take your meal to a whole new level. To save yourself a trip from the grocery, grow your own herb garden. Here are a few tips to guide you.

    herb garden1. Herbs are highly adaptable. Aside from being very pleasing to look at, herbs can adapt in a variety of gardens. As long as they get the sunlight they crave, they can survive anywhere. An exception to this rule however are mints, which you should keep under partial shade.

    2. Plant herbs in problem areas. According to experts, herbs are known to thrive where most perennials fail. In addition, you don’t need to spend on plant food to keep them thriving – they’ll survive well without it.

    3. Herbs prefer sweet soil. Although herbs like plenty of sun and can thrive in problem areas, their preferred type of soil is sweet and not at all acidic. You can treat the planting bed with lime to help it transform into more favorable conditions.

    4. Take note of the climate. Some herbs fare well in the winter better than others. These hardy herbs include oregano, cooking sage, winter savory, English lavender, peppermint, tarragon, lemon balm, lovage, and spearmint. Herbs that prefer warmer temperatures include sweet bay, parsley, summer savory, sweet basil, rosemary, stevia, and knotted marjoram.

    5. Keep the herbs in one area. It will look much better if you plant your herbs in one area of the garden. Better yet, devote your entire outdoor space to herbs. Not only will your garden look particularly dashing, it will smell amazing as well. If you already have an existing garden, you can sprinkle some herbs into vegetable gardens and let them cohabitate.

    6. Take your garden a few steps from the kitchen. If you’re in love with cooking and would like your favorite fresh herbs within reach, consider planting herbs in containers and placing them just a few steps away from your kitchen door. You can also place these containers on the table or the counter top – perfect for when you need some freshly plucked tarragon in your pasta.

Plenty of herbs fare well in pots. Candidates include marjoram, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and sage. Just be sure to pick a container with the right depth.

For more tips on how to grow your own herb garden, check out this article by Westchester Magazine. As for other DIY home projects, our blog has plenty of suggestions.


Where to satisfy your Latin food cravings in Westchester County

Westchester County is a maze of wonderful culinary delights that will satisfy all your cravings – even your taste for Latin American cuisine! Whether you’re a die-hard lover or you’re a curious soul, we’ve rounded up the best Latin food dining destinations in Westchester County.

Dining in WestchesterLa Bella Havana
35 Main St, Yonkers

Set in an exposed-brick space, La Bella Havana is the home of delightful Cuban dishes, all of which remain true to its land of origin. Plenty of its offerings are noteworthy, including the beloved Cuban sandwich, the polloCubano in its garlic-y glory, and ropavieja. For desert, try out the classic Dulce de lechecortada or sweetened caramel milk curds. For drinks, head to La Bella Havana’s thatched-roof bar and order a nice glass of mojito.

Copacabana Steakhouse
29 N Main St, Port Chester

Copacabana Steakhouse is a great place to introduce the uninitiated to the world of Brazilian churrascaria. Located in Port Chester, this Brazilian all-you-can-eat restaurant features a wide selection of slow-roasted meats cut to perfection. Traditional site dishes and Copacabana’s salad bar complete the package. For must-try offerings, do have a taste of their pão de queijo and the Brazilian national dish, feijoada. For drinks, nothing beats a Caipirinha.

Northcourt Building, 175 Main St, White Plains

Sofrito offers New Yorkers a taste of Puerto Rico with its refined menu and wide range of cocktails, all served in a modern and trendy space. Diners flock to this White Plains institution for its “Latin sushi,” which can only be described as one of the finest examples of fusion cuisine in Westchester County. These sushi rolls are made with chicken, shrimp, and ribs, all doused in sofrito mayo. Other standouts include the Latin bouillabaisse, bacon-wrapped sweet plantain, and tresleches.

Don Coqui
White Plains: 107 Mamaroneck Ave
New Rochelle: 115 Cedar St

Another place to get a taste of Puerto Rico, Don Coqui has two branches in Westchester County—one in White Plains, and the other in New Rochelle. Regardless of which branch you’ll visit, Don Coqui will definitely serve a party on your mouth with their traditional Puerto Rican offerings, some of which feature braised oxtail, shrimp, clams, mussels, chicken, chorizo, and pork.

179 Rectory St, Port Chester

Your search for the best Nuevo Latino restaurant in Westchester starts and ends with Sonora, owned by Colombian-born chef and cookbook author Rafael Palomino. Try out their grilled sourdough and sundried-tomato chimichurri, or Sonora’s flatbreads and arugula salad. Take your vegetable empanada to a whole new level with Sonora’s chocolate vinaigrette. When it comes to must-try dishes, Sonora has plenty to offer.

We’ve barely scratched the exciting Latin dining scene in Westchester County. For more suggestions, check out this article by Westchester Magazine. Interested in exploring more of Westchester’s revered dining establishments? Check out our blog.


Landscaping for Beginners

LandscapingA beautifully landscaped lawn can do wonders for your property whether or not you’re thinking of selling your home. Here are some tips to beautify your surroundings and stopping traffic with your home’s curb appeal.

    1. Determine what the space is for. Granted it’s your yard, but what is it for? Is it going to be a garden? Are you planning on installing an outdoor deck? Is it going to be a play space for your kids? Determining what the space is for will allow you to make rough sketches and a landscape design that fits your yard’s purpose.

    3. Start small. As a beginner in landscaping, it’s best to start small to avoid any expensive mistakes. Take your time and live with the small changes you make so you can take note of necessary improvements and such. You can start with a small flowerbed and slowly transform your yard into an oasis.

    5. Choose native plants. Plants have to adapt to the local climate and soil conditions – something native plants won’t have a hard time doing as they have already adapted. Native plants are important in the local biosphere, attracting native butterflies, birds, and other animals. Another perk of choosing native plants is you get to save water. Unlike common horticultural plants, you won’t need to have an irrigation system installed for your native plants – they’re perfectly content with normal rainfall.
      Last but not the least, native plants require minimal maintenance. As they have already adapted to the local environment, you won’t have to shell out a fortune for tons of fertilizer, water, and pesticides. Most importantly, you’ll get to devote the time you’d spend pruning common horticultural plants on something you’d actually rather do.

      For more information about plants native to New York, check out this link.


    7. Save a patch of lawn from the lawnmower. Keep your garden and landscaping sustainable by leaving an area of your property a bit wilder than the rest. Basically, let this area grow long to attract pollinators. By leaving this space alone, you get to mow less area and even lessen your carbon footprint.

We’ve got more tips for homeowners like you who are interested in improving their outdoor space. Check out this link for ways to spruce up your yard without breaking the bank.