White Plains has no real waterfront, unlike other nearby communities, a sore subject to many who live there and lament the lack of that singular amenity. There is a portion of the Bronx River that runs through the city and there are walking trails along the banks for joggers, walkers and bicyclists.
People come to White Plains by car, bus or Metro North. The downtown is flat, making it easy to walk through, which can be an easier mode of transportation than driving. Traveling by car can sometimes be challenging, with a Manhattan-like proliferation of skyscrapers, malls and other businesses that cram the area between Main Street and Maple Avenue. The main downtown street, Mamaroneck Avenue, bustles with restaurants, bars and some small stores.
From a distance many people recognize White Plains by its skyscrapers, the tallest buildings between New York City and Albany. But there is more to White Plains than just shopping and eating. To really get to know this nine-square mile community people have to look beyond the concrete and malls and see the rest of the city, which has activities for every interest.
Traveling eastward from the Hutchinson River Parkway or along Mamaroneck Avenue, Saxon Woods Pool and Park is more than a typical county pool. It boasts an 18-hole miniature golf course as well as a recently added all-weather soccer field and hundreds of acres where intrepid explorers can cross country ski, fish, hike, walk and enjoy the equestrian trails. There are also a few other golf courses in the area, including county-owned Maple Moor.
Heading toward the downtown are neighborhoods where people can see more typical suburban housing of all types and styles. Make a quick left at the Ridgeway School on Mamaroneck Avenue, through the light at Old Mamaroneck Road, and you will enter the Soundview section, with mansions and magnificent lawns, trees soaring overhead and streets filled with joggers or those walking their dogs. Except for the tall downtown skyscrapers, thats the highest point in White Plains and from some vistas you can glimpse the Long Island Sound in the distance.
Just off Soundview is the Highlands, a neighborhood with smaller homes, some built as early as 1900. Scattered throughout are houses of worship of all types and denominations. Keep your eyes open for squirrels because in this neighborhood most of them are black. You might even find a neighborhood fox chasing them, when they arent running after rabbits. Find your way to the train station and drive over the Bronx River, cross Route 119 and you will be in Battle Hill, a distinctive neighborhood with its own park and an active neighborhood association. Like its name suggests, it is also one of the highest points in White Plains.
Whatever neighborhoods you find yourself in, people are friendly, proud of their community and ready to share information about all the things that make White Plains more than a city of towers and malls.
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