Often I get asked "Pleasantville? Like the movie?" I reply "yes, only in color". With a population of just over 7,000 and an area of less than 2 square miles, Pleasantville is small yet highly desirable. Located in central Westchester, just 45 minutes from mid-town Manhattan. It's small size does not even warrant school bussing, making it a walking community. All children either walk or are dropped off at school. The Pleasantville schools always rank among the best schools in the country, but one of the things that impressed me most is that every morning (rain, shine, snow or sleet) the school superintendent was there to greet each and every child as they were dropped off. Though we only lived 2 blocks from the school, many times we would drive our children to school. Deep down inside, I think we did it because it felt so special dropping our children off and seeing the school superintendent welcoming them with a big smile and a warm greeting.
Each year (in May) this small and close-knit community celebrates Pleasantville Day. The day starts off with practically all village residents parading down Bedford Road, a street lined with old Victorian homes. We were fortunate enough to own and live in one of these old homes and always felt that our front porch was like holding front row seats to this and several other spectacular parades during the year (other parades included the Memorial Day parade, fireman's parade and ragamuffin parade). The parade would be greeted at Memorial Plaza (village center) with games, rides, music, clubs and local vendors. The day usually ends with a spectacular fireworks show or outdoor movie at the sports fields on Marble Ave.
These fields are also home to the annual Pleasantville Music Festival where performers like Joan Osborne, Graham Parker and other less known bands play. Attendance exceeds 6,000 making it like an overgrown family picnic to music.
On not so special occasions, local residents tend to frequent the local gourmet coffee shops, restaurants and even a 50's styled soda shop. In the evenings, one of my favorite things is movie going at the Jacob Burns Film Center - a fine arts film center where it's not uncommon to see or meet famous celebrities like George Clooney, Selma Hayek, Ron Howard, Glen Close and Woody Allen just to name a few. The film center has been so successful, that they are building a 26,000 square foot film production and educational center.
Many people say, "but the houses are so expensive and the taxes so high". I tell them, "if you want to buy a house, you're right. But if you want to buy a home, a community, a great place for your family, you can't afford not to live here". So whether it's the parades, the schools, commute to the city, local shops, music festival, theater or old Victorian homes, I'm sure you will love Pleasantville.
Pleasantville, it's real and in color!