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Yonkers is Westchester County’s largest city, and the fourth largest city in the entire state of New York occupying 20.3 square miles of land and water. The Bronx River from the cities of Mount Vernon, Eastchester, Bronxville, Scarsdale, and Tuckahoe to the east separates it. It is bounded by the town of Greenburg to the north, and the Hudson River to the west. The south portion is bordered by the Riverdale, Woodlawn, and Wakefield sections of The Bronx.


Yonkers is the fourth most populated city in the state, next to New York City, Buffalo, and Rochester. It is easy to get lost in Yonkers and blend with its almost 200,000 residents of diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds. Notable residents include Steve Tyler of the rock band Aerosmith and Betty Shabazz, widow of civil rights leader Malcolm X.


The land on which the city stands used to be part of a 24,000-acre land grant called Colen Donck. In July 1645, Adriaen van der Donck, locally known as the Jonkheer or Jonker, purchased the grant. Etymologically, is “Yonkers” is derived from a Dutch word meaning a “young gentleman”. Van der Donck was the first man to practice law in New York, and was responsible for the construction of a sawmill near the Nepperhan Creek, now called the Saw Mill River.

For the next two hundred years, Yonkers developed into a small farming town with an active industrial waterfront. It was the site of the very first elevator factory, the home of the Otis Elevator by Elisha Otis. However, during WWII, the factory was producing war tanks instead of elevators. The city also became the headquarters of the Waring Hat Company, the nation’s largest hat manufacturer in those days. At about the same time, the Alexander Mill Carpet Factory was manufacturing blankets for soldiers fighting in the war. Nowadays, the old factory serves as a home to artist residents who display their eclectic array of artwork to enthusiasts.

After WWII, Yonkers’ manufacturing sector experienced a downhill slide. The city became a primary residential choice for wealthy New Yorkers wanting to live outside, but not too far away from New York City.


There are 40 schools in Yonkers’ public education system. In addition to these, there are numerous private schools in the city. Yonkers High School is ranked as the 24th best in the country, with graduation rates of almost 100%. Furthermore, 70 – 90% of those high school graduates proceed to study in college.


When it comes to public transit ridership, Yonkers ranks 11th compared to other cities in the country. Twenty-seven percent of households have no car because the town is one of the few places in Westchester County where it is more convenient to walk than go around places in wheels. The city has two Metro North lines, the Hudson Line with a travel route parallel to the river, and the Harlem Line that traverses along the eastern border of the city. The Bee-Line bus services twenty different bus routes, and it has an express bus trip going to Manhattan. Apart from these modes of transportation, commuters also rely on taxi and car services.


There is more to Yonkers than the famed Yonkers Raceway, a “Racino” combining a harness-racing track and casino. The town is home to Cross County Shopping Center, the first mall in the county; thus, there is no shortage of shopping options. There you can find a collection of various retail stores including established names like Macy’s, Sears, Old Navy, and more. Yonkers and nearby Westchester County residents also shop at the modern Ridge Hill, a ski resort town-type ambiance constructed atop a hill which features a whimsical indoor trolley system. The shopping center elevates shopping, dining and entertainment to literally new heights as it also offers free Wi-Fi mall-wide to all visitors.

Outside of the mall, residents can choose between Kohl’s Department Store, Bob’s Discount Furniture store, Barnes and Noble, and Best Buy on the busy Central Avenue strip. It’s also hard to miss Getty Square in downtown Yonkers, which offers abundant entertainment and dining options. There are cinemas, performing arts theaters, museums, and plenty of restaurants and watering holes. Because of its close semblance to city life, Getty Square is considered a hot spot for young professionals looking for the perfect place with both a low cost of living and close proximity to Manhattan.


The town’s near distance to New York City has made it a top choice for people wishing to relocate to less expensive places with a close proximity to Manhattan. There are more than 37 distinct communities divided into four quarters namely, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest Yonkers separated by the Saw Mill River.  Yonkers can be characterized as an integrated community with much more diversity than many other cities in Westchester. With its variety of neighborhoods, the community you choose depends on what is affordable and other lifestyle factors. There are many housing options, ranging from waterfront condominiums to budget homes and ritzier addresses that boast of spacious lawns. Some areas offer an interesting blend of classical and contemporary architectural styles, while the rest are suburban dwelling units inhabited by families with kids.

The city seems to have reawakened from a long hiatus and is now experiencing massive development. High-end establishments now stand on what used to be derelict industrial properties. Nice neighborhoods continue to spring up along the picturesque cityscape. Whether you choose a luxury condominium or a median home, Yonkers is a great option for just about any homebuyer.