Eastchester, New York is older than the USA. The town started in 1664 when 10 families high-tailed it to the area from Fairfield, Connecticut. A year later, the Eastchester Covenant defined the must-follow list for everyone within reading distance. In the 1840s, the landscape went from farmville to it current township when the railroad arrived.
Heading home for Eastchester is like going for summer vacation at grandma's house in the country, if grandma was the head of a Fortune 500 company and lived in a house with more Grecian columns than in the original Acropolis. The trees, lakes and small-town retail sections make it easy to forget that you're in one of the more densely populated and urban locations of the state. And the population is small enough that Bill behind the counter will call you by your first name every time you pop in for groceries.
How to Rent
Because you can find apartment and house rentals in Eastchester almost anywhere in the township, first decide what area turns you on the most. If you need to commute to NYC for work, find a place near the train stations, such as at Crestwood, or by the Parkways. Want to be near the small-town action? Both downtown Tuckahoe and Bronxville consist of one-story shops clustered around walkable streets. To get away from it all, look for places to live in the Twin Lakes of Eastchester CDP. These rentals will most likely be single-unit homes. You'll also find water views near the Bronx River on the west side of town.
With a one-bedroom apartment for rent, you're only dealing with a landlord or management company. With a single-unit home, you talk to the owner. Both types of people can approve your lease within 24 hours. However, if you find a rental in a co-op building, expect your application to take as long as a month. That's because you're contending with multiple individuals on a board, which may only meet monthly. You also have to confirm whether you have access to such amenities as parking or the gym, because some boards limit use to owners only.
The two big factors on whether you get into a rental property are your income and how you handle money. For the former, potential landlords like to see that you make at least twice the rent and have been working for at least a couple of years at the same location. For the latter, they check your credit report.
Great Locations in Eastchester
Take your finger and point to the northern end of Manhattan on the map. The move your digit about 15 miles northeast through New York State into Westchester County. That spot between the Bronx River and Hutchinson River Parkways, just north of the Cross Country Parkway is Eastchester. To the north is Scarsdale; to the east, New Rochelle. Mt. Vernon is in the south and Yonkers on the west.
The town encloses only about five square miles of land with a tiny bit of lake water. It has three main areas:
Bronxville: This village in the south may only be about a square mile in size but it's big on desirability. While there are one- and two-bedroom apartments available here, you're more likely to lease estates with three or more bedrooms, expansive front lawns, stone walls and private driveways.
Tuckahoe: You'll find pieces of this west-side village in famous buildings and monuments throughout the world because it's the site of the Tuckahoe Marble Quarry. That fact might signal a grittier part of town but many factories and industrial buildings have become residences and retail. For example, Rivervue used to be the Revlon factory and the Tuckahoe Train Station is now a Starbucks.
Eastchester CDP (census designated place): So the name of this unincorporated section doesn't fall trippingly on the tongue. But it's certainly long enough to cover locales that don't fit anywhere else. The town's two bodies of waters are located here, as are such contrasting neighborhoods as Huntley Estates and the Industrial Sector, which look exactly like they sound.
Living in Eastchester
As long as you stay within town limits or the surrounding suburbia, a car is the best way to get around. The roads may be a tad narrow and too many leaves may block sight lines at the corner, but traffic is generally sparse except at predictable times of the day. Street parking is plentiful and generally free, and more than likely, your rental includes space for your wheels.
For public transport, the Bee Line provides glacial service throughout the county with an express route to Manhattan. Bronxville also has its own bus line that travels through local retail areas and train stations. The quickest public way to NYC is through the Metro-North's commuter trains.
As long as it doesn't involve trendy shopping, throbbing dance clubs, or cavernous museum halls, there's lots to do if you stay in town. Start with a trek through the great outdoors at Twin Lakes Park, where you can hike trails, fish in the natural-looking artificial reservoir or learn to ride a horse. Prefer your green more manicured? The Lake Isle Country Club features an 18-hole championship golf course, five pools and eight tennis courts. It's open to all Eastchester residents.
Visit the town centers of Tuckahoe and Bronxville for some charming down-home shopping and gossip with local proprietors. Newbies can mingle with old timers at the Tuckahoe Farmers Market, held every Sunday, or at the Green Day Festival, which features eco vendors, exhibits from Audubon Society, speakers on organic gardening and free coffee if you bring a reusable mug.