When one thinks of Katonah, the word ‘spicy’ invariably comes to mind. It’s the ultimate singles scene. The perfect hotspot for romance, dating, and whatever hookups someone might want. Even the word “Katonah” translates roughly to “nights of passion.” (I think?)
So, when I told my city friends that I was moving to this sizzling Northern Westchester neighborhood, they all knew why. Afterall, there was no better spot for a single girl like me to meet Mr. Right. The nightclubs are hot, the drinks are cold, and the dance floor is calling me.
So, I left the dull and desolate lounges of Manhattan and moved an hour north to the love capital of Westchester. Get ready, Katonah, I’m here!
It’s only a matter of time…
I was in town not more than a week, settling into my downtown loft on Edgemont Road, when my first shot at love arrived in my Instagram feed. According to some locals, the town was getting its first ever sewer line. A major expansion to the shopping district of Katonah was taking place, and the ribbon cutting was on Tuesday! I knew that this sexy sewer opening was going to be the perfect event to hobnob with the eligible bachelors of the town. A who’s who of single studs. What better place could there be to meet a man than an event about the throne?
In my finest Chanel and sexiest Louboutin’s, I stepped out into that brisk early December morning. The ceremony began at 10 o’clock, I’d better get moving! My heels clicked against the frigid sidewalk, and my feet almost froze. I was honestly a bit surprised by the temperature that day. Cold, yes, but a bit colder than I had hoped.
I pondered going back home for my jacket as I ducked into the doorway of the pasta shop. The wind had really picked up, but a little breeze wouldn’t come between me and true love.
“Best to press on,” I thought. “After all, a girl in the cold beckons for a chivalrous man’s coat!” The thought of my knight in shining armor draping his cologne-infused jacket around my shoulders quickly warmed my heart on this chilly, windy morning.
My face was numb, and my teeth chattered with excitement as I arrived on Katonah Avenue.
“The Avenue,” as the locals called it, was a bit sparse on this frigid morning, but there were still several people zigzagging from the coffee shop to the stores and back again. They seem to love their coffee – I can relate. It’s my number one breakfast choice after a wild night on the town.
I approached an older woman for quick directions. Bundled up in her thick down jacket, this lovely lady seemed eager to help, but disappointingly uninformed. “A sewer opening? Gross! Who would want to go to that?” she asked, her warm smile quickly changing to a beady-eyed scowl. “I guess you could try looking behind those buildings in the back parking lot. Near the dumpsters, I think.”
I thanked her for her assistance and continued on. As I made my way around the clothing bins and a muddy church van, I saw a crowd of people standing and waiting alongside the railroad tracks and the chain link fence. The red velvet ribbon was unmistakable. This was certainly the event I was looking for.
The movers and shakers of the town were all present. Large pea coats and scarves surrounded me, women in stilettos and men in suits – I knew I’d found my people. The who’s who of Katonah shook hands and mingled, some grabbed a donut and coffee, others seemed to have brought their own. Everything was happening so quickly – I barely had time to catch my breath! How did I, a faceless girl from Manhattan, wind up here at the Katonah sewer opening bumping elbows with these titans of Northern Westchester?
Admittedly, I did expect larger crowds given the enormity of the occasion, but they were undoubtedly gathering in a frenzied cluster somewhere warmer nearby. Speeches began. Proud and inspiring words permeated the air. Even the momentary pauses as the occasional train passed through couldn’t dampen the excitement. A century of painful struggles were finally flushed away, and a new wave of history was swirling around us. Community leaders had pushed their very hardest to make this dream come true, and now it had dropped right into our laps. I kept hearing the name Chris Burdick, was it a hint? Would he be my new beau? He couldn’t make it to the event, I learned, but he was a driving force in finally erasing the crazy restaurant regulations in my new town and improving the water quality for my former one.
Even a new girl like me couldn’t help but get clogged up with emotion. Tears were streaming down my face, and a kind gentleman handed me tissue to wipe myself clean. I felt a brief moment of excitement – was he the one? Nope. Sadly, he lives in Manhattan, and I’m done with those coarse, crude men.
A moment later, the ceremonial scissors were unsheathed. The honorable community leaders gathered in front of an impressive array of silver pipes located just behind a beautiful red velvet ribbon. There was a cut, and a satisfying slicing sound was heard as the ribbon gently floated to the pavement. Clapping and cheering ensued. And with that, a new era in Katonah had begun!
We excitedly hurried across the street, away from the cut ribbon, and crowded into a nearby shop on The Avenue to witness the very store where the first town flush into the new sewer system had taken place earlier that day. I was a bit disappointed not to witness the flush myself, but it’s still a pandemic, and huddling into a tiny bathroom isn’t safe. As we all gathered in this quaint men’s clothing store, my fingertips gently brushed against those of a dashing man I hadn’t seen earlier. Our eyes locked. His dark gaze held my own….
“Who are you?” he softly whispered to me. “I must know your name.”
I opened my mouth to reply, but in that very moment a somewhat burly gentleman grabbed him by the arm and whisked him away to meet some politician. I tried to find him again, but he was gone.
Love wasn’t in the cards that day, but history was. I was honored to stand with the people of my new town that morning and witness the grand celebration of modern engineering. As I walked home, my feet now frozen in my stilettos, my mind wandered to the stories I would one day tell my grandchildren, including the day I met their dashing grandfather: the day of the great Katonah sewer ribbon cutting.
Till next time my new neighbors,