Cold Spring, NY
Median home value: $380,142
Median household income: $69,306
% of the population with white collar jobs: roughly 88%
% of the adult population who are college graduates: 43%
Individuals below the poverty level: 4.53%
Racial Makeup / Most prominent races: 93% White, 6% Hispanic or Latino (of any race), 2% Asian, .7% Black
Residents would hang out with NYC folk from: Upper West Side, Williamsburg, and Chelsea
Cold Spring is a village in the town of Philipstown in Putnam County, NY, on the Hudson River.
Metro-North train from Cold Spring to Grand Central Station: 75-82 minute train ride, depending on time of day
By car to Grand Central Station: 56 miles, or 1 hour, 11 minutes
Looking to buy a house in Cold Spring? A 3 bed / 2 bath isn’t too hard to find in the $460K-$600K range.
With taxes, interest, and homeowner’s insurance, and 20% down, it’ll cost between $2,170 and $2,760 per month.
(Note: property taxes here do not include the local taxes, which could bring these numbers up significantly. For exact numbers, ask your realtor.)
Looking for schools? Here’s what GreatSchools.org has to say:
|Halden High School
Hello low property taxes! In all the towns I’ve researched thus far, a $600K house will cost you about $700/month in taxes. But in Cold Spring, NY… $245. Per. Month.
Afraid of how far away it is? Okay, so am I. But if you take the Palisades Parkway, which seems counterintuitive, it only takes about an hour and 5 minutes to the city, they say. I buy that. If you’re commuting every day, this may be too far for you. If you’re only commuting a few times a week, like us? It may be doable. May be. Which is really silly, considering I know people who have about an hour commute to work just on the subway from Brooklyn!
So let’s talk about Cold Spring. We really like Cold Spring. It could be a smidge bigger and a bit closer in order to be considered “perfect” by my standards, but it’s pretty great. If it had its own movie theater, we might just have to say yes.
When we arrived, we pulled into one of the many available parking spaces on the main street, and needed to use the bathroom. We walked into the Silver Spoon restaurant, where we asked to use the restroom. When we came back out, we felt obligated to purchase something from them, in thanks for letting us use the restroom. So we chose a drink for our older daughter. The guy in charge, who seemed like he could be the owner, gave it to her. When I asked how much it was, he told us not to worry about it. So not only did he let us use the bathroom without being customers, but he then gave our daughter an orange juice on the house. (Think that would happen in Manhattan? Yeh, nope.)
There is the loveliest little playground in town, just steps from Main street. Dozens of hand-me-down’ed toys adorn the gated grounds for all the children to ride, sell imaginary lemonade from, drive, see-saw on, and bounce on. My daughter calls it the “new playground”, which is unfortunate since there’s something about giving a name to a place makes you want to go there again and again (and she doesn’t understand that an hour’s drive is too far just to swing on some swings.)
We’ve been there a handful of times and there are usually a few mothers, one or two fathers, and a grandparent, all chaperoning their little ones. We almost never see nannies, which says something about what the young family community is like there- it appears as though many parents work from or stay at home. We haven’t struck up a conversation with any of them yet, but smiles are shared when eye contact is made, and no one has a look of either “I’m too good to talk to you” or “I’m a sketchy creep that you wish wasn’t hanging around in a playground”.
While walking back down Main street after our jaunt down the ol’ playground, I noticed a few telling qualities of the town: (1) Cold Spring has cool lesbians. There was a hip-looking lesbian couple with their child, eating at a restaurant. (2) Cold Spring is worldy. There were VW’s, Volvo’s and other foreign cars that showed Cold Spring’s cosmopolitan-ness. Why do I consider that to mean “cosmopolitan?” Well, because backwards Amerrrcans only buy Amerrrcan cars. (3) Cold Spring is no debaucherous whore house. Main Street of Cold Spring, NY, has 6 antique shops and 1 bar. This means there are 6 kitschy old ladies for every 1 alcoholic. Not a bad ratio. Though that’s assuming you prefer kitschy old ladies to alcoholics.
I spoke to an independent realtor in town at Preusser Realty, who has been in the business in Cold Spring for a few decades. She told me something I didn’t realize: Cold Spring is a big vacation getaway for city folk. Almost 50% of the town is people visiting their second homes. This means that in the wintertime, the place is, well, 50% empty. That’s a good thing if you like to feel like a superior local or if you don’t like living around a lot of people, but it may be tricky for someone like me who (a) doesn’t like living next to a bunch of people who don’t feel committed to or responsible for a town and (b) doesn’t like her stores closing at 3pm because no one’s around to go to them.
Right next to the Metro North train station at the end of Main Street sits a cute and family-friendly restaurant, the Cold Spring Depot. Supposedly, it used to be the old depot for the train station until that was moved down the tracks a few dozen yards. It’s pretty charming. We sat in the outdoor patio and listened as the train chuggled by every 10-15 minutes. We decided to ask the young, 20-something waiter what he thought about the town. He told us that, yes, Cold Spring Depot goes from ten to four servers during the winter months, and that the high school is so bad that only 55% of the graduates go on to a 4-year school, and the students are spoiled and mooch off their parents.
Hmm. This I did not want to hear.
So we went to Perry’s Ice Cream Parlor next door (which is A-Dor-Able) and asked a woman there if she raised her kids in Cold Spring. “Yes,” she said. “And yes, they’re spoiled. And they’re cliquey.” She said they’re so “cliquey” that she had to move her kid to another school in a neighboring town, Yorkville, because he felt so excluded.
That’s it, I thought. No more Cold Spring. 55% go to a 4-year college? Spoiled and cliquey? Screw you, Cold Spring, and your evil and uneducated ways!
But then, we thought again. Perhaps these two people are jaded, cynical, and angry that they’re in food service positions surrounded by people with more money than they. Who knows. I looked up Cold Spring’s report card on the official NY State website and found that, in fact, over 80% of the students go to 4-year colleges, and it’s in the town where the waiter lives that only 55% do. Hmm. Garçon is losing his credibility. And as for the nice ice cream lady, she’s probably right. It’s probably really cliquey. But isn’t that because it’s a small town with one high school? Perhaps there is nothing so cliquey about Halden High School that you wouldn’t find in any other one-high-school town (it’s like a one-horse town, but without any horses.)
We’ll never know for sure unless we move there and raise our daughters there. And we’re not quite ready to do that yet. But Cold Spring is on our list. And who knows? Maybe I’ll start to like antiquing.
May I introduce to you… Cold Spring!