Distance Makes the Heart Grow Suburbaner



If you leave the city and move to the suburbs, will you become a “Suburban Mom”? Will you buy a minivan and go to Target every Tuesday afternoon after pickup? (Certainly not- the school bus traffic is horrendous at that time! Go during school hours, for sure!)

If you leave the city and move to the suburbs, will you talk to your girlfriends about the best way to make a bundt cake and how to pack healthy lunches for your little ones? Will you stress over the safest BPA-free containers for said lunches? Will you take yoga with your bestie and then have a cocktail with lunch afterwards at the local Applebee’s? Will you wait for your husband to get off the 6:10 train and have dinner waiting for him on the table? (The kids will, of course, have already eaten, because they’re hungry little scoundrels and you don’t want to keep them waiting!)

If you leave the city and move to the suburbs, will you be forced to join the PTA and become a Girl Scout troop leader and work on the annual fundraising gala committee, having to solicit funds from your neighbors? Will you become a cog in the machine? Will no one ever ask you where you went to college again because it doesn’t matter anymore?

Will you become… one of them?

The answer, of course, is yes. Because the suburbs are only filled with vacant, education-less mothers who desperately look forward to mom’s nights out and spend their afternoons having sexual fantasies about the pool boy.


But what if you work a full time job?? If you keep your job in the city, and have to commute every day, will your children forget your name and start calling you “Lady”? Will all the stay-at-home moms at your kid’s school snicker behind your back for being a bad mother for having a career? Will the PTA sneer at you for never contributing one f*cking brownie for the bake sale??


Mothers in the city are no different and no better than mothers in the suburbs. In fact, they WERE city mothers until they up and moved. Almost every single family we know in the Rivertowns used to live in the city. So basically, you’ll move up here only to be surrounded by Upper West Siders and Brooklyn-ites, but you’ll be waving to each other from your cars, instead of on-foot.

But does living in the suburbs change you? At what point do you become a “suburbanite?” Is it when you start saying “Oh, the city is so crowded!” Or when your husband learns how to clean the gutters? (By the way, you can pay people to do that.)

Who will you be if you don’t live in the city anymore?

The answer? You will be you, but maybe a little less stressed. You will be you, but maybe you’ll enjoy going to the playground because this one overlooks the river. You will be you, but you’ll have more space.

And P.S. Target rocks. Don’t be a hater.


Irvington, NY

Irvington, NY

Irvington, NY

Population: 6,468
Median home value: $564,338
Per capita income: $78,947
% of the adult population who are college graduates: 58.77%
Racial Makeup / Most prominent races: 89% White, 8% Asian, 4% Hispanic or Latino (of any race), 1% Black
Residents would hang out with NYC folk from: Brooklyn Heights and the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side

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Irvington is a village in the town of Greenburgh in the Hudson Valley

Metro-North train from Irvington to Grand Central Station: 37-47 minutes, depending on time of day

By car to Grand Central Station: 24 miles, or 39 minutes


Looking to buy a house in Irvington? A 3 bed / 2 bath isn’t too hard to find in the $530K-$750K range.

With taxes, interest, and homeowner’s insurance, and 20% down, it’ll cost between $2,800 and $3,900 per month.

(Note: property taxes here do not include the local taxes, which could bring these numbers up $1K more per month. Oh yes. That’s $1,000 more. Per. Month. For exact numbers, ask your realtor.)


Looking for schools? Here’s what GreatSchools.org has to say:




Dows Lane School (K-3)



Main Street School (4-5)



Irvington Middle School (6-8)



Irvington High School (9-12)



The first time I explored Hastings-on-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, and Irvington (3 villages that sit on top of one another along the Hudson River) I thought they were identical. Now I’m wondering what I was thinking! They each have a Main Street that’s not terribly long. They each have their own schools. They all share the same Whole Foods. But these villages really look very different.

SONY DSC As I mentioned in its own post, Hastings-on-Hudson is the hilliest of the three villages. But you wouldn’t believe that walking down Main Street in Irvington. One straight street, all down hill to the river. There’s a pizza place (pretty tasty, TV’s showing the game, some people sitting at the bar), there’s a coffee shop, a law office, other shops, most of the things you need on a Saturday afternoon (though you’ll need to drive elsewhere to do more substantial food shopping.) A woman I know, who lives in Dobbs Ferry, said that of the three, Irvington is the most expensive and upper class. SONY DSC In my post about Tuckahoe, I mentioned the “Laundromat Stigma”. Well, Irvington has the “Mini Cooper Glow”. While the more laundromats mean lower and lower incomes, the more Mini Coopers mean more and more White Collar get-up-and-go. Irvington has a lot of Mini Coopers. Stretched Mini Coopers (white collar with a baby), Mini Coopers with roof racks (white collar outdoorsmen). If Mini Coopers had a ride as comfortable as a Volkswagen, I would’ve leased one back in 2006, instead of my Jetta. We visited Irvington on Sunday, thinking this would be the perfect time to see the joyous hustle and bustle of a small town outside of NYC, filled with cosmopolitans taking in the country air between work weeks. But no. Not a soul on the street. All stores close at 3pm. The problem with Mini Cooper towns is that those people with money spend their money on going elsewhere during the summers. So everyone was in Maine, or the Hamptons, or Alaska, or I don’t know where. But they weren’t in Irvington. Some of the residential streets in Irvington were like none other I have seen before. They were woodsy, covered in a ceiling of trees, narrow, and curvy. Again, I felt like we may have come across another small English village.  Really pleasant. But I have to say, if I’m going to compare the three villages that sit on top of one another along the Hudson Valley, that Irvington is my least favorite. This is not to say anything bad about Irvington, only that I feel like the Main Streets of the other two towns are a bit bigger, fuller, and offer more options. At least, that’s what I saw. May I introduce to you… Irvington!