As I was walking my little pooch at 6 am this morning, I started to reflect on the neighborhood, so quiet and tranquil at that time of day. How could I describe it? The street name is Paine Avenue, New Rochelle 10804… as Thomas Paine once (very briefly) lived here, and was given a cottage as a special thank you from the powers that be after 1776. We even have a Paine Lake.
I used to laugh as there was a time when 2 dentists and 2 endodontists lived on the street at the same time… dentist – “pain”. old joke I know but still humorous to me. There has been a judge who once resided on the street, attorneys galore, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, a past High School Principal, a sultry jazz singer and actor, a well known Speech Pathologist lives here and has a great vegetable garden each year, and “Howdy Doody” once lived on the street (Buffalo Bob Smith), and past buyers were delighted to have found a Howdy Doody mural on the basement studio wall where he used to film his show in the early days ….I wonder if it is still there..
There is the couple -I am always amazed at this, who walk their tiny dog each morning, with a coffee cup balanced in one hand, the poopy bags in the other, and of course holding that leash.. How can you walk, talk, drink and scoop the poop all at the same time? I see them as being very devoted, and it is lovely… but still amazed at the coffee cup thing..
On a neighboring street, someone has a tennis court ( quite a few in the area, and swimming pools (one an indoor pool) also), but this particular tennis court is nearly completely surrounded by bushes. I say nearly as I noticed the other day the home-owner playing tennis in what appeared to be either the skimpiest of shorts or underwear ! Ha! Perhaps he was trying to put his player at a disadvantage and throw off his/her game! We have equestrians living on the street, hockey dads, baseball dads, philanthropists, an Olympian, animal lovers galore, and we even had a cat lady living on the street many years ago.
I can recall that I had wanted to organize a street garage sale at one point… and of course I received the dutiful phone call from a neighbor who wanted to make sure I got the permit, and then started to ask how many years I had lived there, what did I do, what did my husband do, how many children, where did I come from, and you get the picture.. That person, may she rest in peace is no longer with us.. I also have the neighbor who asked I inform another neighbor that their children are too loud (since I am in real estate and all that and those property prices…you know…) I politely declined and mentioned I love happy noise and in truth, don’t ever hear them! We have horticulturists, we have owners who have English gardens, exotic gardens and even a Japanese garden.
Iona College track athletes seem to have an affinity with Paine Avenue perhaps because we have a few gentle hills perfect for running, and there was the annual half-marathon “Paine to pain” that started at the Thomas Paine Cottage in the spring.
There are Tudor homes, colonial homes, Georgian Colonial homes and some splits and ranches when residents of long ago had sold of portion of their larger lots, and the smaller homes were built. We have stunning homes, homes owned by Embassies, and some homes that have been sold by banks, homes in all price ranges as a result of our economy. We also have a private tennis club – the New Rochelle Tennis Club located at 100 Valley Road.
We have a neighborhood Home-owners association. A truly thankless job for our great President, who keeps us informed on what is happening within the community, and will feature guest speakers when appropriate. We have great neighbors. We had entrusted our house keys to one neighbor in the event we were ever locked out of our home. This particular neighbor, who had taken us under her wing when we moved in many years ago, has invited us in for dinners celebrating school graduation, or just to unwind, and has always been the perfect neighbor to have. We returned home after one vacation, to discover that we could not find our keys. We asked our neighbor for the set we had left with her, and she had replied that she had forgotten they were ours, and had thrown them out! Ha!
But our neighbors care. Many years ago, a cousin and his friend came to stay.. They found themselves walking down the street with their knapsacks on their backs, and the police showed up, asking what they were doing in the neighborhood. Someone had called to report the strangers. My (English) cousin was impressed, amazed and dutifully scared! Another cousin (his brother) came to stay also a few years later, and it was at the time President Clinton was seeking a home after his elected office. There was a rumor that he was going to look at a certain home in the area that had a duck pond at the time, guard dogs, a pool, etc. People from the neighborhood were lined up outside the home from 7 am. waiting to catch a glimpse. When they did arrive around 10 am, President Clinton and Hillary alighted from their limousine, and shook the hands of everyone present. Very impressive and a lasting memory. But we look out for each other. We are diverse, and come from all countries, all walks of life. we are America .. and perhaps that is why
New Rochelle is GREAT!