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Margaret Fuller Hayden: Signs of Summer in Bronxville PDF Print Email


By Margaret Fuller Hayden

Jul. 12, 2017:  The time when locals probably most resemble animals stalking prey in the wild is when they’re cautiously coasting along Pondfield in their cars, spasmodically turning their heads to the side as they comb the street for an available parking space, or at least a parked car with its reverse lights on.

In a pedestrian-friendly village, the compact size of Bronxville, open parking spaces during business hours can be few and far between. However, one benefit of summer is the reduced hassle of finding a space in which to park. In fact, the sudden abundance of those empty parking spaces can throw us off a bit initially; readily available prey takes the game out of hunting.

Is it mid-summer already? Take a stroll in Bronxville and you’ll probably be reminded of the season upon certain observations:

  • Middle and high schoolers are not infiltrating the village in chatty and exuberant packs during lunchtime hours;

  • The sunny side of the street is noticeably emptier than the shady side, especially if it’s hit ninety degrees; and

  • A sparser number of pedestrians are about, and they have abandoned their usual brisk strut for the more sluggish summer shuffle.

There is an almost disconcerting quiet in the air, but upon entering stores where the cash registers are dinging, the AC is humming, and the ice is in abundant supply, you rediscover the lifeblood of the community.

One spot that’s become an iconic community hangout is Slave to the Grind, a coffee shop opened by Carol Marshall and her husband, Andy, in July of 1993. Carol said that spring and fall are the busiest seasons, but summer ushers in a “celebratory mood” from the clientele, since “we’re all so happy it’s summer!” The most popular beverages in the hot weather are the flavored iced coffees, which range from coconut cream (the favorite) to banana cream pie. Whether customers are congregating on and around the bench in front or opting instead for the quintessential coffee shop ambiance, Carol stressed the importance of its being “a community place, everyone’s place.” (Speaking of which, a noticeably absent contingent in the summer: Sarah Lawrence College students.) As for the unusual--turned terribly familiar--name? She attributes “Slave to the Grind” to the following organic train of thought: “I was thinking of coffee and people’s passion for it--then coffee grinds--and if you’re a slave to something, you’re addicted to it.”

Some might recall that the space Slave to the Grind now occupies used to be a Baskin Robbins; for a long time now, the only ice cream shop in town has been Häagen-Dazs®, which first opened in Bronxville in 1983. One noteworthy development of its sleek, recently renovated design is the new placement of the ice cream: out of sight behind the counter. Although this fundamentally changes the ice cream selection experience, perhaps that old-time ritual of preening at the different tubs of flavors is being reconsidered in the interest of more streamlined service, and there’s no longer the need to wipe little smudge marks off any glass. The manager mentioned that the busiest time is always the weekend and that the most popular ice cream flavor has been Cookies & Cream for as long as he can remember. “When school is in session, the kids are going to come,” he said. As for when school is not in session? He skirted the question a bit, saying instead that business “depends on the weather.”

In the hotter climate, there might be fewer people walking about town and parking can seem like a “gimme,” but wherever the iced coffee or ice cream is, parched consumers are never far, eagerly seeking shelter from the elements and something refreshing to quench their thirst. The summer of 2017 is no exception.

Photo by A. Warner


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By Carol Bartold, Senior Reporter      Jul. 18, 2018: A recent development in Consolidated Edison's effort to upgrade and repair aging gas mains along Midland Avenue from Winter Hill...

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Government & History Directory

Bronxville Overview

Bronxville Overview

Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.

While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.

Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.

The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.

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