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Eight Local Students Named National Merit Finalists

national merit logo2Eight students from Scarsdale are among the 2,500 students awarded $2,500 Merit Scholarships by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) this year. The 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a pool of more than 15,000 Finalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program.

National Merit $2500 Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state's percentage of the nation's graduating high school seniors.

These scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the Finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.

Here are the names of the winners:

Edgemont High School:
Anshul Barnwal
Federico J. Reyes Gomez
Michelle Kim

Horace Mann School:
Christie Du

Scarsdale High School:
Zoe L. Ewing
Michael S. Landau
Keshave M. Rastogi
Lauren H. Singer

NMSC finances most of these single-payment National Merit $2500 Scholarships. Corporations and company foundations that sponsor awards through NMSC also help underwrite these scholarships with grants they provide in lieu of paying administrative fees. Scholars may use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.

Weekend Parade of Open Houses

open-housesThe spring market is lively this year, with strong demand for fewer homes on the market.... Especially for homes priced below $2,000,000. Take a look at the chart below which compares the first four months of this year with last, and note that the number of listings is down 17.8%.(Data courtesy of Elise Flagg at Houlihan Lawrence in Scarsdale)

If you are in the market for a home in Scarsdale, check out our full complement of open houses this weekend:

Open Houses:

1 BurgessRoad1 Burgess Road, Scarsdale
Open House Sunday May 7th : 1:00-3:00pm
Open House Saturday May 6th : 1:00-3:00pm

Magnificent brand new Georgian Colonial in Scarsdale's coveted Heathcote Murray Hill Estate neighborhood. platinumdrive175Offering 8400 square feet of exquisitely finished living space, this luxury residence features high ceilings, ideal open layout, spacious rooms, large windows, elegant millwork and the highest quality materials.
Listing Agents: Alicia Gold 914.844.2760 and Heather Harrison 917.299.7490 For more information click here.

List Price: $3,999,000

17 Morris Lane17 Morris Lane Scarsdale, NY
Open House Sunday 5/7 1:00 PM-3:00 PM

Perfectly set in coveted Murray Hill, this stately brick Colonial with slate roof, majestically sited on a lush 1.58 acre property accessed by a circular driveway is a dream come true. HoulihanLawrence2017The sweeping lawns are visible from all rooms in the house. Intricately carved moldings present a feast for the eyes. Scarsdale Office: 914-723-8877. Learn more here:

List Price: $3,450,000

14 Continental Road14 Continental Road Scarsdale, NY
Open House Sunday 5/7 2:00 PM-4:00 PM

Stunning, six years young Colonial and better than new! Substantially enhanced with sophisticated and upscale selections to meet the highest standards throughout.HoulihanLawrence2017 Exquisite custom built-ins, wainscoting and crown molding, gorgeous hardware and superior bathroom accessories, radiant heated floor in master bath and more. Scarsdale Office: 914-723-8877. Learn more here.

List Price: $2,895,000

12 Kolbert12 Kolbert Drive, Scarsdale
Open House Sunday May 7th 2:00-4:00PM

This modern colonial was extensively renovated on the interior and exterior in 2014 with the finest craftsmanship and design. platinumdrive175Move right in and enjoy this contemporary colonial w/every amenity imaginable including a gorgeous heated pool and spa on a lush .5 acre of park like property. Listing Agent: Heather Harrison 917.299.7490 For more information click here.

List Price: $2,595,000

8 Murray Hill Road8 Murray Hill Road, Scarsdale
Open House Sunday May 7 2:00 to 4:00 PM

JUST REDUCED in time for Summer! Location and timeless elegance in this classic center hall Colonial on gorgeous property in Murray Hill! Move-in ready with 6 bedrooms, 6 full and 2 half baths, and a huge MBR Suite with 2 Full Baths, Marble Fireplace, Dressing Room with Built-Ins, Walk-In Closet and Office/Sitting Room. This "Has Everything" home features High Ceilings, Crown Moldings, Elevator, 2 sets of back stairs, Formal LR has Fireplace and Floor to Ceiling Windows, High End Custom Kitchen-SubZero/Viking/Bosch, Granite Countertops, The LR, DR and Library lead to deck for entertaining. Professional Office with raveislogoSeparate Entrance, 2 car attached garage. Listing Agent: Stephen Rogalski Mobile: 914-391-9963. William Raveis Real Estate, 1 Palmer Avenue Scarsdale. Learn more here.

List Price: $2,250,000

151 Rock Creek Lane151 Rock Creek Lane Scarsdale, NY
Open House Sunday 5/7 2:00 PM-4:00 PM

Don't miss this fabulous light-filled, custom-renovated, open-plan four bedroom home in walking distance to Aspen Park, 5 Corners shopping and more. HoulihanLawrence2017The first level features a stunning formal living room with a stacked stone fireplace, a spacious family room with a cathedral ceiling (which could be a formal dining room). Scarsdale Office: 914-723-8877. Learn more here.

List Price: $1,950,000

20 Montrose Road20 Montrose Road Scarsdale, NY 10583
Open House Sunday 5/7 1:00 PM-3:00 PM

Captivating and convenient Greenacres Colonial set on a picturesque .25 lush acre with gently rolling lawns and lovely landscaping! HoulihanLawrence2017Two blocks to the Greenacres School and an easy stroll to the Hartsdale train station and 35 minute express train to Grand Central Station. A perfect layout for comfortable living. Scarsdale Office: 914-723-8877. Learn more here.

List Price: $1,550,000

10 Tournament Drive10 Tournament Drive White Plains, NY 10605
Open House Sunday 5/7 2:00 PM-4:00 PM

Entertain to your heart's delight in this pristine Center Hall Colonial built by Toll Brothers with many extras and recent updates! HoulihanLawrence2017New solar panels, new AC, new roofing, new deck, new generator, two new baths are just some of the major improvements made over the last two years. Sun-drenched, spacious with excellent flow. Scarsdale Office: 914-723-8877. Learn more here.

List Price: $1,299,000

11 Cider Mill Circle, Armonk
Open House: Sunday, May 7 2:00 -4:00 PM

11 Cider Mill CircleRelax in carefree elegant style in this 4 Bedroom town home located in the gated community of Cider Mill. This freshly painted sunny end unit is appointed with the finest finishes, including Christopher Peacock custom kitchen cabinetry, Waterworks fixtures, hardwood floors amd detailed crown and wainscot moldings. The gourmet kitchen has a 6-burner Wolf stainless steel gas range w/ hood and the adjoining den has a gas fireplace, custom built-ins and a door leading to a slate patio. The first floor home office is fully equipped with a built-in desk and bookcases and the oversized master bedroom suite boasts a gas fireplace, balcony, marble bath and a custom WIC and finishing it off, the lower level has a family room with a built-in wet bar and raveislogoentertainment center as well as a bedroom and an additional recreation area. Listing Agent: Stacy Miller mobile 914-523-0732, William Raveis Real Estate, 1 Palmer Avenue, Scarsdale. Learn more here.

List Price: $1,149,999


33 Hillair Circle33 Hillair Circle White Plains, NY
Open House Sunday 5/7 1:30 PM-3:30 PM

Modern vibe Colonial seeks buyer with matching aesthetic! This sun-filled and open style home on coveted Hillair Circle may list as 3,240 square feet, but lives much larger! HoulihanLawrence2017Every room is very generously proportioned and positioned just where you want it to be, including a very large family room off the kitchen. Scarsdale Office: 914-723-8877. Learn more here.

List Price: $899,000

3 CampusPlace1A3 Campus Place: Unit 1A
Open House Sunday 5/7/17 12:00 - 2:00pm

This sun filled delightful 1 bedroom co-op fits the bill. You can bring along your dog and not worry about walking up steps! Located on the first floor with southeastern juliaricciutiexposure. Hardwood floors, updated kitchen and bath! #65 bus on the corner of Underhill and Central will take you to the Scarsdale train station for your convenience. Contact Julia Ricciuti, RE/MAX Prime Properties, (914)-723-1212 or 914-391-6994,,
remaxlogoLearn more here:


List Price: $195,000, Maintenance $785 with Star of $130.


Scarsdale Wears Denim to Raise Awareness About Sexual Violence

denimdayDenim Day began in response to a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court in which a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. The victim was an 18-year old girl who had been picked up by her married 45-year old driving instructor for her very first lesson. He took her to an isolated road, pulled her out of the car, wrestled her out of one leg of her jeans and forcefully raped her.

Outraged by the ruling, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work the next day wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Peace Over Violence developed the Denim Day campaign 18 years ago because of this case and the activism surrounding it and Denim Day has been held every year since then on a Wednesday in April.

Wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault.Zaria1

The Scarsdale Coalition on Family Violence is asking community members, elected officials, businesses and students to make a social statement by wearing jeans on Wednesday, the 26th, as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual assault. PLEASE WEAR DENIM AND TAKE A PHOTO and send it to Lauren Pomerantz at or to Penny Bauersfeld at so that your photo can be posted on the Coalition's Facebook page.

Or, post it on your own Facebook page, and use the hashtags:


DenimDay1The Scarsdale Village Board wore denim and signed a proclamation declaring Denim Day in the Village of Scarsdale for April 26th. The board and staff wore denim for the Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday April 25th.

See more photos of Scarsdalians in denim on the Facebook page of the Coalition on Family Violence and Healthy Releationships.

Student Musicians Perform at Lincoln Center

lincolncenterTalented Scarsdale High and Middle School musicians performed at Lincoln Center on April 23, 2017 in the Greater Westchester Youth Orchestra (GWYOA) spring gala concert. They were directed by Maestro Jacqueline Stern (Westchester Junior Strings) and Maestros Victor and Vincent Lionti (Westchester Youth Symphony).

Among the musicians from Scarsdale were:
Mira Zelkowitz, Rohan Gharekhan, Anna Eligulashvili, Harris Gelblum, Lily Kronenberg, Victoria Von Redden, Rishabh Gharekhan

Brandon Yazdi, Mark Russel, Margaret Kantor, Catherine Zhang, Vivianne Ong, Vianne Lim, Henry Zhang, Kenny Xu, Jeremy Ng

Molly Osinoff, Julia Ng, Jessica Kwong, Hannah Osinoff

The GWYOA is a not-for-profit organization providing excellent grounding in cooperation, helping young people to develop self esteem, and promoting harmony in our ethnically diverse community through classical music training. GWYOA consists of three orchestras made up of students in grades four through twelve from Westchester County, NY, and from the surrounding counties in the Tri-State area working in cooperation with the Westchester Community College in Valhalla, NY.

O Mandarin for Culture and Cuisine

mandarin5Newly opened O Mandarin, is situated a few doors from H Mart Asian Market in Hartsdale. According to owner Peter Liu, the O in its name stands for original. With the beauty of both its décor and its food, I would add outstanding and overwhelming.

Owner Peter Liu came to the United States at the age of 18, with a passion for food, inspired by his grandparents. He settled in New Orleans where he received a degree in hotel management. He worked at many restaurants and was also involved in the culinary field in Rhode Island as well as Austin Texas. Upon arriving in New York, he worked in Portchester. Says Liu, "At O Mandarin, I hope to invite prominent visiting Chinese chefs who will arrange tasting menus for our guests. One of my goals is to have O Mandarin get a Michelin rating." His passion is evident in both décor and food. Catering is offered, as well. When I inquired about take out and delivery, he indicated that his food is at its best when eaten immediately after preparation. If Liu could invite anyone to O Mandarin, it would be his parents. "My goal is to introduce America to authentic Chinese cuisine."

Exquisitely decorated, O Mandarin is filled with mandarin2Chinese antiques and wall hangings. Liu travelled extensively in China to amass this collection of Chinese decorative art and furniture. From the carved dragon door handles to the elaborately carved stone hitching posts, meant to park your horse, the details inform us of the history of China. We arrived by car and parked in the ample parking lot. We entered O Mandarin and were transported to a world of authentic Chinese culture. Floral painted scrolls, antique kitchen utensils, elaborate headboards and ancient sand paintings are among the antiquities that line the walls. Large round tables, raised booths and banquettes, as well as a separate area with a large private table are your seating options. Bird cake inspired chandeliers subtly light the room. The setting is reminiscent of the dining room in an emperor's home. I even sat in the pair of Qin Dynasty chairs meant for the emperor and empress. It was in this elegant history filled space, that I proceeded to experience the authentic Mandarin cuisine as prepared by Chef Eric Gao, a protégé of esteemed chef Peter Chang. Comfortably seated at a large round elmwood table, Peter Liu and I savored a true banquet of authentic specialties. One could not help but note the imported Chinese dinnerware, the classic tea pot and the lacquered chopsticks. Red napkins added a pop of color.

Liu explained each dish and indicated that authenticity is the name of the game. Among the dim sum choices were flounder cilantro rolls, Shanghai spring rolls, and Sichuan crispy buns. We opted for soup dumplings and Sichuan wontons. In each dish, the delicate dough wrappers were prepared on site. We carefully punctured the soup dumpling and allowed the fragrant broth to fill our mouth. The flavor of ginger and vinegar was utter perfection. The Sichuan wontons filled with chicken and pork were perfectly spiced, with just enough seasoning to awaken your taste buds. The soup selections included cilantro tofu, wild mushroom and riblet and chicken corn. We enjoyed the famous Chengdu fish soup. It arrived as a meal in a bowl with flounder, vermicelli, and Chinese mustard cabbage. The freshness of the fish added beautiful flavor to the broth. Brought to the table in a lovely covered tureen, it maintained its temperature as it was spooned into our bowls.

mandarin3There were several cold appetizers to choose from. Liu suggested his favorite, lotus root and sticky rice, and it was a fine choice. It was crisp and slightly sweet, a nice light beginning. Other cold appetizers such as Sichuan peppercorn tofu skin, wild peppercorn and wood-ear mushrooms, and minced garlic and pork belly await future visits. The hot appetizers included familiar chicken lettuce wraps as well as mussels in black bean broth and wok fried eggplant. I opted for the glazed spareribs, meaty and finger licking good.

Many of us have tried the famous Peking Duck at various Chinese restaurants. Do try this dish at O Mandarin where it is painstakingly prepared from scratch in the traditional manner. The tender organic duck is encased in homemade flour crepes along with scallions, cucumber and homemade hoisin sauce. It was one of the best renditions of the dish I have ever had. Liu explained that it started out as an imperial delicacy a thousand years ago. Savoring it at O Mandarin will make you feel like royalty as well.

About 20 Mandarin classics are offered. I loved the shredded pork with bamboo. Combined with smoked bean curd, leeks and baby bamboo it was a nicely seasoned and multi textured dish. Future choices may include Sichuan seafood clay pot, sweet pea prawns, basil chicken or lions head meatballs. Among the chef's signature dishes we enjoyed Mandarin smoked pork. Cilantro added a fine taste to the pork, leeks, red peppers and celery. It was beautifully presented in a bamboo serving dish. We also play to try the Sichuan lamb chops, Dungeness crab or a variety of steamed or crisp whole fish.

Along with our entrees we loved fresh pineapple fried rice served in half of a fresh pineapple. Several varieties of rice including jasmine made this dish special. Healthy vegetable and tofu dishes and several rice and noodle options are offered, as well. Complete your meal with a taro spring roll, pumpkin cake or sweet sticky rice soup.
If lunch is your meal of choice, many more familiar dishes are offered. For the less adventuresome there is wonton, egg drop or hot and sour soup and entrees of General Tso's Chicken, orange peel chicken, Asian vegetables and tofu and shredded pork in sweet bean sauce to name but a few.

Much thought and passion went into planning O Mandarin and the result is a unique and sophisticated experience in Chinese culture and dining where a happy spirit fills the air.

As we exited the restaurant and entered the reality of busy Central Avenue, we looked forward to many more visits to the serenity and sophistication of O Mandarin.

O Mandarin Chinese Cuisine
361 North Central Avenue
Hartsdale, NY
(914) 437 9168

Contributor Judie Dweck has been writing about restaurants and food for many publications. She teaches creative cooking to children at Scarsdale elementary schools. Through the years, her articles have appeared in Jack and Jill Magazine, Spotlight, The Pleasure of Cooking and The Scarsdale Inquirer. She balances her restaurant tastings with daily ballet classes.