Yorktown is a quiet place, a quaint little hamlet in the much larger county of Westchester, NY. It doesn’t have celebrities like Chappaqua, a reputation like Scarsdale nor is it large and populous like Yonkers. Despite all this, Yorktown has its own charming elements that anyone who has spent enough time within its borders can see. And no one knows that better than its own inhabitants. If you’ve lived in Yorktown NY since birth, then the following might be relatable to you.
1. Your field trips were about the Hudson River.
Whether it was traveling up it by boat, learning about the species that lived in it or studying the dirt that surrounded it, your field trips always concerned themselves with it until you could learn no more. This was especially true in Elementary School, where these river trips were probably your first experience with environmental studies.
2. Let’s not forget the Hudson River Museum.
Filled to the brim with facts about the river, the watershed, the River Valley region and its history, the Hudson River museum was probably visited by you once in your life while you grew up in Yorktown NY. What you liked most as a kid will affect how much of the museum you remember. The creative kids might remember the arts-section best; the nature kids might remember the about-the-river section best. The space kids will definitely remember the planetarium.
3. Indian Point Energy Center scared you.
Living so close to a nuclear reactor was thrilling but terribly nerve-wracking. How exactly you could survive an accident when you were always so near to the potential accident site might have kept you up at night. Your schools did drills to prepare for such an event but did they even really matter? How could those keep you safe when you are this close? If there was some comfort to be found, it was that, at the end of the day, at least you didn’t live in Verplanck!
4. The Jefferson Valley Mall was never that exciting.
When it wasn’t lacking stores, it was lacking interest. Sure, it had big-name stores like Hollister and Gap but with other malls having Bose and Apple stores, ours just never seemed all that fun to hang out in. That’s not counting the food court whose most notable feature was how stores kept disappearing from it. How disappointing!
5. The Peekskill Waterfront excited you.
Waterfronts were exciting period but Peekskill’s Riverfront Park outright blew you away. When it wasn’t the fascinating sculptures scattered around the area, it was the biking and walking opportunities. And when it wasn’t that, it was the closeness you could get to the Hudson River than won you over. Clearly, those field trips must have done something because that river just never gets old to a Yorktown-site.
6. You’ve been to the Yorktown NY theatre at least once.
No, it’s not the prettiest theatre. It’s not even the prettiest local theatre. But it’s Yorktown’s own one and so, at least once in your life, you went there to support your town’s drama productions. Or because the act you were seeing took advantage of how cheap it was to stage something there. Either way, it got you inside.
7. You’ve also checked out the Railroad Station at least once.
Yorktown’s railroad station, now disconnected from any rails, dates back to the Revolutionary War period of American history. It’s weird to see something so old just sitting around exposed to the elements. Either way, it’s one of the coolest parts of Yorktown NY.
8. The Yorktown Museum… well, you know it exists.
Yorktown’s history, as detailed in the Yorktown NY museum starting from the pre-Columbian period, is probably more interesting than any of us ever gave it credit for. Similarly, the Yorktown Museum probably deserves more love than any of us ever gave it.
9. You enjoyed the Great Jack-o-Lantern Blaze in the fall.
The nearby town of Croton-on-Hudson’s Jack-o-Lantern Blaze was a great way to spend your Halloween. With impressive carving after another, the Blaze astounded you as you absorb artist skill. And all the pretty orange lights and sound effects were good too. The crowds were rather annoying but in the end, it was all worth it.
10. And the New Year’s ball drop in the winter.
No, it’s not New York City’s but in a way, it’s better. Instead of standing in a crowd for half a day, all one has to do is show up to the big crane the ball was attached to and wait until midnight. Not to mention the fires and DJ performance was fun in its own right. Personally, I find Yorktown’s ball more interesting, especially cause you can walk up to it after it’s dropped.
11. Lake Mohegan was your version of a great lake.
Lake Mohegan always looked so scenic surrounded by all the fancy homes for sale surrounding it. It might not be good to swim or fish in but it was fun to gaze at. If you went to the temple (and later the church) to the side of it, the look of it was probably very relaxing to you.
12. The John C. Hart Library was your study space.
That small section in the back of the library provided a quiet enough space where one could study, do homework or focus on reading without much interruption. If group work was your thing, then directly on the other side of the library were the tables where your group would meet and you’d work out problems together. Of course, the shelves always had a chance of distracting you but that’s just what happens when you work in a library.
13. Teatown Lake Reservation was where you went hiking.
A little outside of Yorktown, this wooden trail system took you not just to another lake but through hills and tough terrain if that’s the path you went down. Add the elusive Wildflower Island whose mysteries are never going to fade until you get lucky enough to get on a tour and explore it and you had the perfect environment for natural fun in a mostly suburban county. And let’s not forget the benches ready-made for picnics!
14. Hyde Park, New York
Living in Yorktown means that you’re about an hour away from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library. With all that history so close by and easy to access, it wouldn’t be surprising if you decided to head up there for an afternoon and check it out.
15. FDR Park.
The closer location for picnics and family activities. It doesn’t have the thrill nor the adventure of Teatown so it was the place you went for the calmer stuff: kids birthday parties, meetings with a group you meet within town among others. It wasn’t the most fun thing in the world but as long as your friend group was good, it all worked out.