It’s Great To Live in New Rochelle!

As I sit here in Davenport Park on a hot afternoon, I am inspired to write about this place I’ve learned to love…..
I came here a 15 ½ year old from the Bronx. I didn’t want to come. The adjustment did not come easy- making new friends at an already awkward age. I was an outsider….a kid from the Bronx entering a new school, shy and not the greatest student. In time I adjusted to my new surroundings and learned to appreciate what New Rochelle had to offer…nearby beach clubs, Ft. Slocum where I danced w/the G.I.’s, Town theatre showing wonderful art films, stores like Zaro’s bakery, Frost Men’s shop, Bloomingdales, Arnold Constable, Mendelsohns, Grants, Woolworths (where my mother sat @the counter and had lunch solo for the first time), Kollmans Pharmacy, Remin’s, Charles Librett, Haas Linens, Giovanni’s that had the greatest baked Ziti…Talner Jewelers, Liebman’s and I B Cohen still here, and all within walking distance. Celebrities in town, i.e., Dennis James, Marty White (Band leader), (Buffalo) Bob Smith, Jan Peerce (opera singer)..

I took college prep courses but decided to go to Secretarial School and get skills needed for a job in nearby New York City. I’d have the best of both worlds living near the Long Island Sound, working in NYC. I wanted to be able to earn money and fulfill one of my passions…traveling (New Rochelle is close to the airports). And this I did for 40 years.

Now I am retired. I find myself more here, less there. Not because NYC has less to offer - New Rochelle has so much to offer… here in my own back yard. The diversity of people bringing their different cultures, food (in the form of restaurants), hearing other languages and lots more shorter people… like me!

I am a culture vulture and there are not enough days in the week to do it all! We have the New Rochelle Council on the Arts, the NR Bid, the New Rochelle Library, (with offerings inside and on the Green plus the Farmer’s Market), 3 colleges, synagogues and churches, high school, Doyle Senior Center, all offering programs, courses such as current events, concerts... music, dance, plays, readings, classes, inter religious dialogue, movies, art exhibits... for children and adults at little or no cost. And let’s not forget that we have our own Opera Company, a Symphony Orchestra performing here and a radio station, WVOX! We have wonderful parks, i.e. Hudson Park that has a beach and holds summer concerts and 4th of July Fireworks….all for free! I could go on, but I’m way over my limit and will end pointing out our own Historian, Barbara Davis who shares her wealth of New Rochelle knowledge throughout the city.

I feel so blessed to live in such a wonderful city and am particularly nostalgic because I am from the Class of 1960 and this October we will be celebrating our 50th High School Reunion. Thanks for letting me share...

Diane Steinfink