Frances Sternhagen, Rest in Peace

A foppish Bramson and an elegant Sternhagen read from Shakepeare

Almost everyone knew her face, familiar from an extraordinarily prolific acting career, and many fans knew her name, too.  But only a comparatively small and fortunate few knew her as a neighbor.  Frances Sternhagen, who passed away this week at the age of 93, was a beloved part of New Rochelle, admired as much for her humility, warmth, and gentle kindness, as for her acting talents.  I will always treasure the memory of reading sonnets with her at the Sound Shore Shakespeare Festival a few years ago.  Needless to say, her stage presence was just a little better than mine!  Please read Sternhagen’s full obituary in the Times.  May Frances Sternhagen rest in peace.

Development Snapshot

Click to enlarge

Last week’s budget presentation from our Department of Development included a helpful snapshot of New Rochelle’s historic growth.  This slide illustrates the status of projects approved, completed, and under construction, as well as occupancy rates, affordability, and points of origin from which new residents are arriving.  Although several more years will be required before the benefits of growth are realized fully (keep in mind that only about a fifth of the anticipated new population is already here), our progress to date has been dramatic and entirely consistent with the City’s hopes and goals.

Great Parade!

Another great Thanksgiving Parade in New Rochelle, bringing together thousands of residents from every part of our city.  Thank you to the Chamber of Commerce, the City’s Parks and Rec team, and all sponsors and participants for making this Thanksgiving season even more special.

Three Mayors

Three Mayors: Tim Idoni, Noam Bramson, and Yadira Ramos-Herbert (photo credit: Alex Acaro)

Love this photo.  Grateful to have had the opportunity to build on the vital work of my predecessor, Tim Idoni, and now excited to benefit from the leadership of Yadira Ramos-Herbert, our history-making new mayor.  Sustained effort across a generation, balancing continuity and change, has made a dramatic positive difference for New Rochelle.

Rising from the Ashes

Celebrating the official opening of the Hudson Park Children’s Greenhouse, Millie Radonjic at the podium

New Rochelle suffered a terrible loss several years ago when the much-beloved Wildcliff mansion was destroyed by fire.  Now, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a new and spectacular public space has taken shape.  The mansion itself has been repurposed for open air events, with its original walls preserved, and across a landscaped lawn is a beautiful new greenhouse.  Both overlook a breathtaking vista of Long Island Sound.  I have little doubt that, in the years ahead, this will become one of New Rochelle’s signature locations.

Achieving this dramatic transformation involved true collaboration between government, community leaders, and volunteers, including generous support from our State legislators.  But the chief credit goes to Millie Radonjic, the dynamo behind the Hudson Park Children’s Greenhouse and a true force of nature.  Congratulations to all involved in this special achievement.

UPDATE:  Here’s a great article, with much more detail about the project.