Tuesday, Jun 25th

feastA Lunar New Year feastDelicious food, fireworks, and festive decorations…these are only a few of the ways that people around the world celebrate the Lunar New Year. The joyful holiday, celebrated by millions of people from a variety of different cultures, marks the start of a new year based on the lunar calendar. For many Asian cultures, the 2024 Lunar New Year falls on February 10th and will be recognized as the year of the wood dragon. Each year, the Lunar calendar is represented by one of the twelve zodiac animals and this year’s wood dragon is believed to be a symbol of power, prosperity, evolution, and improvement.

The Lunar New Year, one of the most important holidays for many Asian and South Asian cultures, is celebrated for a number of days starting on Lunar New Year’s Eve and culminating 16 days later with the Lantern Festival. From cleaning their houses to get rid of inauspicious spirits, to cooking up lots of traditional dishes, there are many ways families right here in Scarsdale are preparing for, and celebrating this significant time.

Fox Meadow mom and local realtor, To-dao Tran Casey celebrates the holiday with her family by “indulging in a big family dinner, complete with dumplings (a sign of prosperity), and of course longevity noodles. Besides the mandarin oranges (symbolizing good luck and wealth), my kids favorite tradition is the red envelopes containing money, wishing them a safe and peaceful year.” Ms. Casey includes a recipe for her delicious longevity noodles in her monthly newsletter.

Another Fox Meadow mom Serina Lee and her family usually celebrate the new year with extended family on Jan 1, eating traditional foods, bowing to elders and getting money envelopes. Lunar New Year sometimes falls on a school night, so we usually keep it simple and celebrate with a traditional meal including dishes like Dduk Mandoo Guk (rice cake dumpling soup) and Kalbi Jjim (braised short ribs).

Cindy Yau loves all the festivities leading up to this major holiday and says it reminds her of the cheerfulness of Christmas, “It is such a festive time TAngyuanTangyuan: a traditional dish for the Lantern Festivalwith many of the traditional markets adorned with red decorations and bustling with people.” Dressed in red to represent cheerfulness and happiness, Ms. Yau usually celebrates Lunar New Year’s Eve with extended family and a big, customary feast. She and her family cook many specific dishes like fish (which symbolizes abundance) and homemade dumplings shaped like golden nuggets. Ms. Yau explained that it is tradition to have leftover food to ensure a surplus for the rest of the year. It is also tradition to let young kids stay up as late as possible in a symbolic gesture of giving their parents a longer life. In addition to staying up past their bedtimes, Ms. Yau said children look forward to receiving red envelopes with money from their elders to wish them good luck in the new year.

Tina Lin also cooks an abundance of traditional dishes like fish, dumplings, and a buffet of sweet treats to share with family on Lunar New Year’s Eve. As she thoughtfully took the time to explain, “Most traditional foods for Chinese New Year are consumed because they are homophones of something auspicious. Fish (“yu” in Chinese) is pronounced like the word for surplus, so eating fish will lead to a year of abundance. Fish has to be served with its head and tail because you want good luck from beginning to end. Some of the fish is also saved to be eaten on New Year’s Day, so you have “extra” in the new year. Lettuce sounds like “growing fortune,” so I usually make lettuce cups. Oyster is a homophone for “good things.” Sweet and sour dishes are popular for New Year’s because sour sounds like “grandchild”…and the grandparents always want more grandchildren! A black moss that is used in a Buddhist vegetarian dish often eaten during the New Year is a homophone for “wealth.” Other traditional foods are considered good luck because of how they are shaped. Dumplings look like little money bags or ingots of gold. Scallops and clams look like coins. Circular and round foods symbolize harmony. Fried round sesame balls filled with a sweet red bean or lotus root paste are popular. Many new year cakes are steamed in round tins. Turnip cake is a savory cake made of white radish, which sounds like “good luck.” New Year Sweet Rice Cake (“Nian gao”) is a steamed sticky sweet cake made with glutinous rice and brown sugar, and represents progress and growth (sounds like an idiom re: advancing to higher places).”

pineappleshortcakesHomemade Pineapple CakesMs. Lin’s extended family usually gathers at her house for a delicious feast set atop a table decorated with red and gold place settings. She then hosts her side of the family for the Lantern Festival, which marks the first full moon and the end of the Lunar New Year celebrations. While many Asian and Chinese communities celebrate this holiday by lighting lanterns, performing lion dances, and setting off fireworks, the Lins prefer to focus on their time together as a family and sharing delicious food. For the Lantern Festival, Ms. Lin is always sure to make tangyuan, a customary dish of glutinous white rice filled with a sweet paste and in a sweet syrup. Lin explains that the round shape of the rice balls is symbolic of family harmony. She also treats her loved ones to homemade pineapple cakes and explains that pineapple cakes are a Taiwanese specialty with pineapples symbolizing luck and prosperity.

If you and your family would like to partake in a Chinese New Year celebration, join the Scarsdale Chinese Association at their Spring Festival Gala on Sunday February 11th.

Joe SharpeSenior Joe Sharpe on Senior NightThe Scarsdale Ice Hockey team is on a winning streak. After recent games against Mount Pleasant, Rye, and Broome their record is 8-6.  Coached by James Synowiez, John Felix, and Dylan Whit the team consists of 10 Sophomores, 4 Seniors, and 2 Juniors. On January 27th the Scarsdale Ice Hockey senior class players were honored at the home game at EJ Murrays against the Rye Garnets. At the yearly Senior Game, all the seniors are celebrated for their hard work and commitment to the ice hockey team. Posters and banners were hung with each senior's photo, jersey number, and name. Seniors were also awarded a bouquet of flowers before the puck drop.

Once the game began, Rye led with the first goal but shortly after Scarsdale senior Jack Greco, assisted by sophomore Alex Horner, helped put Scarsdale and Rye neck and neck. Rye quickly followed with another goal to end the first period with the score of 1-2. The second period began and Jack Greco scored, once again helping Scarsdale keep the score tied. After no goals were scored during the rest of the second period, sophomore Daniel Zhu, assisted by freshman Lucas Kowalski, helped put Scarsdale in the lead as he scored at the beginning of the third period. Both Rye and Scarsdale worked to their best efforts during the third period, fighting for the win. With only 1 minute left in the game, Daniel Zhu scored, making the final score 4-2, with Scarsdale coming out on top. Senior goalie, Max Siegel continually defended the goal throughout all three periods of the game with a total of 30 saves. 

Sophomores Charlie Starr, Ryan Camhi, and Manager Lilly Derobertis all have enjoyed their first Scarsdale Varsity Ice Hockey season. Ryan said his favorite part about being on the team is being able to bond with new people and teammates through a sport they have all played their entire life. Charlie said he really enjoys earlymorning practices because it gives his team an extra opportunity to continue teamshotTeam Huddlegetting stronger and better. Lilly Derobertis decided to be a manager this year because she has always had a great interest in ice hockey and loves being a part of a team. The hockey team has had a great season and they are excited for the approaching playoffs.

RiteAidResidents are losing another essential retailer. This week we learned that the Rite Aid at 196 East Hartsdale Avenue will close. It appears that the closure is due to a restructuring due to a filing for bankruptcy.

The store was popular with people who live in the apartments on East Hartsdale Avenue along with many other Scarsdale residents who relied on their pharmacists for prescriptions and vaccines. The store also sold some grocery items to allow those walking through town to pick up food, milk and household items.

In response, Paul Feiner has posted a petition on Change.Org asking the landlord to replace the Rite Aid with another pharmacy, convenience store or grocery store.

His petition says, “The sad announcement that Rite Aid will be closing in February is devastating news to many seniors who live on East Hartsdale Ave, Hartsdale. Residents who live on the avenue have depended on Rite Aid for milk, eggs, toiletries and other items for the many years that Rite Aid has served our community.

We are signing this petition in the hopes that you will try hard to find a replacement tenant that will offer our community the same positives that Rite Aid did. Suggestions would include a grocery store (we had that in the past), a 7-11 kind of convenience store, a green natural organic grocery.

Please consider the seniors. Many seniors don't have cars and depend on stores they can walk to to purchase food and essential items.”

If you want to sign it, click here:click here:

TheGildedAgeIt turns out that segments of many award-winning television shows were filmed in Westchester. We received this press release from the county listing many of sites used in popular shows like Succession, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Gilded Age, the Watcher are places you drive by all the time.

Read this from Westchester County:

In a testament to its growing prominence in the entertainment industry as a film destination, Westchester County is well-represented this awards season, with several shows filmed within its borders garnering 56 Emmy Award nominations and notching nine wins in Monday night’s ceremony. The industry bestowed additional acclaim on productions filmed here with honors at last week’s Golden Globes and with recent honors from the prestigious Critics Choice Association, and Screen Actors, Producers and Directors Guilds.

County Executive George Latimer said: “The film industry's impact on Westchester is undeniable. A driving force for investment, film production is a $1.1 billion sector in Westchester. It showcases our assets, creates jobs, supports local vendors, and attracts audiences here and around the world.”

HBO’s “Succession” swept awards this year, scoring six Emmys, including outstanding drama and best writing in drama for show creator, Jesse Armstrong; four Golden Globes, including best drama, and three Critic’s Choice Awards. The series is set in New York City and in locations around the world, but the production filmed several episodes in film-friendly Westchester County. The shocking episode centering on the death of patriarch Logan Roy features scenes filmed at Westchester County Airport.

The long-running Amazon Prime show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” filmed at Wykagyl Country Club in New Rochelle for its last season. The comedy earned two Emmy awards, for period makeup and cinematography. This year’s winners also include the Hulu murder mystery, “Only Murders in the Building,” which filmed at the Westchester County Records Center. The series received an Emmy for outstanding production design and a Critic’s Choice award for acting for star Meryl Streep.

Notably, Alchemy Post Sound, a post-production sound studio in Peekskill, took home a Creative Arts Emmy for its sound editing work on “The Bear” (FX).

Additional productions that earned award nominations this season include:

“The Watcher” (Netflix), filmed at a private home and country club in RyeTheWatcherPhoto Credit Netflix
“FBI: Most Wanted” (CBS), films regularly and extensively throughout Westchester
“The Other Two” (HBO), filmed at Haven Studios NY in Mount Vernon
“White House Plumbers” (HBO), filmed in the Michaelian Building in White Plains, Purchase College, Wykagyl Country Club in New Rochelle; and the Belvedere Estate in Tarrytown
“Poker Face” (Peacock), filmed at the former IBM campus in Somers
“The Gilded Age” (HBO), filmed at Lyndhurst, Glenview Mansion/Hudson River Museum, Manhattanville College, Jacob Purdy House, Pace University, and more
“Maestro” (Netflix) filmed in Rye
“The Crowded Room” (Apple TV+), filmed at Untermyer Park and Gardens in Yonkers and downtown Hastings-on-Hudson

Westchester County Tourism & Film Director Natasha Caputo said: “Westchester's diverse locations provide excellent backdrops for storytelling, exemplified by these numerous recognitions. The honors celebrate how attractive our region is to the film industry and signal the quality of production that’s taking place.”

Film business has steadily grown due in no small part to the services provided by Westchester County Tourism & Film. The film office provides location guidance, offers technical visits, and facilitates the permit process. The support makes a big difference in choosing where to film, according to many industry professionals.

Location manager for “FBI: Most Wanted” Mike Hartel said: “They understand our needs and pave the way for successful filming. Westchester provides a wide range of looks and plenty of space to park trucks and equipment, set up complicated shoots, and establish base camps. Whether I need a traditional English garden, a Florida marina, a suburban home, or a wooded area, I know that Westchester has a location and facilitators to make filming as easy as possible.”

Westchester’s film-friendly communities enhance the appeal of filming here, with crews visiting local parks and enjoying the best of the area, adds Michael Engler, “The Gilded Age” director. “We love shooting in Westchester. When we go up there, everyone enjoys it and stays for a few days... People are extremely friendly and gracious…creating a sense of community.”

(Top Photo Credit: Lyndhurst)

renovationQuestions about the moratorium? Here are answers from the Village of Scarsdale

2024 Scarsdale Land Use Moratorium FAQ

On November 14, 2023, the Scarsdale Board of Trustees introduced a proposed local law to enact a temporary six (6) month moratorium on certain land use applications within the Village’s residential zoning districts. There was a public hearing to discuss the proposed local law at the Board’s December 12, 2023 meeting. The public hearing was adjourned to January 9, 2024 with the intent to revise the language of the Moratorium local law before that date. The Board met on December 19, 2023 in a work session and came to an agreement on possible changes. A revised version of the Moratorium was then published by the Village on December 30, 2023. The public hearing was continued on January 9 and the local law was passed by the Board of Trustees later at the same meeting. The Moratorium is in effect until July 9, 2024, unless terminated earlier or extended. You can read the new law here.

This document is offered to the public in an effort to answer frequently asked questions which may arise. This document shall not be construed as legal advice, is not a substitute for the local law and is subject to revision.

1) I submitted my land use application on or before December 19, 2023, am I subject to the Moratorium?

NO, wholly exempt.

a) Any land use application (including special permits and building permits) approved, received, or pending on or before December 19 is entirely exempt from the Moratorium and is subject to the zoning and land use regulations in effect prior to the adoption of the Moratorium.
b) Such application may also be referred, heard, reviewed, and approved by other land use boards to secure other approvals necessary to complete the project as well as receive reasonable approval extensions.
i) For example, an application submitted to the planning board on or before December 19, 2023, may then move on to the Board of Architectural Review, the Board of Appeals, or Committee for Historic Preservation for additional approvals as needed.
c) Note: One proceeds at their own risk and may have to comply with any adopted zoning amendments unless 1) work is completed; 2) substantial construction as determined by the Building Inspector has occurred; or 3) the adopted zoning amendment exempts compliance for previously approved projects and issued permits.

2) I submitted my land use application after December 19, am I subject to the Moratorium?

YES.

3) Can I submit a land use application now?

Land use applications will not be accepted for review pursuant to Section 6 of the Moratorium, unless the application falls under one of the exceptions set forth in Section 7 or, receives a variance or waiver according to the hardship appeal procedure established in Section 8. Please see Section 6 of the Moratorium for which types of land use applications are temporarily prohibited from being accepted, reviewed, and approved while the Moratorium is in effect.

4) What are some of the exceptions to the Moratorium?

(a) Any repair, maintenance and/or interior or exterior renovation/alteration may proceed as per Section 7(I) if it does not increase lot coverage or stormwater runoff. However, pursuant to Section 7(I), exterior alterations which are estimated to cost more than $50,000 will be referred to the Interim Review Committee for the review process set forth under Section 7(L)(d). Please note that exterior alterations requiring substantial demolition are generally not allowed. Those requiring less than substantial demolition could proceed as per Section 7(I) as well as compliance with an expedited historic review process as per Section 7(L)(d). The Village Building Department will determine, on a case-by-case basis, if an applicable exemption applies.
(b) Applications that increase building footprint may still proceed if the new construction or expansion / addition meets the modified setbacks, FAR, Building and Lot Coverages in Section 7(L), do not require a stormwater connection to the Village’s system and comply with the historic review process in Section 7(L)(d) (if applicable). For example, the addition of a 2nd floor which does not increase lot coverage or stormwater runoff may proceed if the project otherwise complies with the Moratorium.

5) Can I make an addition to my home?

Yes, if the project complies with Section 7(L) of the Moratorium. Additionally, the regulations set forth in Section 7(L) of the Moratorium are temporary and do not make existing properties non-conforming in any way. These temporary regulations are intended to allow some new construction or additions to be built during the Moratorium. However, any new construction or addition which will increase the footprint of a building must comply with these temporary regulations.

6) Will a permit to demolish an existing house be granted during the Moratorium?

Generally, no. Pursuant to Section 7(J) of the Moratorium, the Building Department may only issue demolition permits to redress a casualty loss or a home that suffered catastrophic damage provided that any new construction does not increase the footprint or bulk of what existed previously. Demolition of less than 50% of a home may proceed if the project complies with Section 7(L) and receives approval from the Interim Review Committee established under Section 7(L)(d).

7) What about fences and generators?

Sections 7(H) and (M) exempt the installation of generators and fences from the Moratorium.

8) Can I resurface my driveway?

Yes, pursuant to section 7(I) provided the footprint of the driveway is not expanded or pursuant to Section 7(L) if you also comply with the lot coverage requirements in Section 7(L).

9) Does the Moratorium apply to special use permits for swimming pools and tennis courts?

Yes, unless an application meets the criteria established in Section 7(L). If it does, then a request for a special use permit may proceed to the Zoning Board of Appeals who shall consider any such applications accordingly.

10) Will Stormwater and Erosion Control (SWEC) permits be issued during the Moratorium?

Yes, but only in connection with a project that falls within one of the exemptions set forth under Section 7 of the Moratorium.

11) Will applications for subdivisions be processed during the Moratorium?

Yes, Section 7(N) provides that an application for a subdivision may proceed to the Planning Board if it complies with Section 7(L).

12) I have plans to slightly expand my home. This will include a very minor amount of demolition and exterior work. Am I permitted to proceed?

Possibly, subject to compliance with Section 7(L). Such determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis by the Village Building Department.

13) What is the “hardship appeal” process previously mentioned?

a) Any owner who believes that the Moratorium has imposed an unreasonable hardship upon them may apply to the Village Board of Trustees for a waiver or variance of the Moratorium’s application.
b) It is the applicant’s responsibility to show that the Moratorium has imposed an unreasonable hardship upon them personally. The applicant must also show that the granting of the variance or waiver will not materially undermine the purpose of the Moratorium or adversely affect the interests of the health, safety, or general welfare of the community. The Board of Trustees will make each “hardship” appeal determination on a case-by-case basis.
c) Any such application for a “hardship” variance/wavier must be submitted to the Building Department as well as comply with all other applicable provisions of the Village Code and State law.
d) All “hardship” appeal applicants must pay the requisite fee or escrow amount for processing and reviewing the application. The applicant may also be responsible for paying the reasonable costs of any consultant that the Board of Trustees retains to assist in reviewing the application. The Board of Trustees are required to make a final decision on the “hardship” appeal within sixty (60) calendar days of receipt of a complete application.

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