From Suburban Jungle client to Suburban Jungle Strategist, Eleanor Johnson knows—and loves!—her Westchester town.
“I’m a born and raised Manhattanite,” says Suburban Jungle Strategist Eleanor Johnson. “I never thought I’d live anywhere else.” That was until she walked into her small apartment — one she shared with her husband and two young children — and saw her baby’s crib sitting in the middle of the living room.
“I thought to myself, ‘this just isn’t sustainable.’”
Eleanor reached out to Suburban Jungle and was immediately matched with Strategist Robin Hoberman. Having been in Manhattan for years, the couple dove into their suburban search completely blind — but they were open to the possibilities.
“I knew I wanted to be close enough that I could pop into the city for lunch or go for dinner,” Eleanor says. “We wanted a family-friendly community — somewhere we’d be excited to raise the girls.”
Robin encouraged Eleanor and her husband to dig even deeper, with an eye on lifestyle considerations that would help narrow their list.
“We talked about the commute. We talked about how far they wanted to be from loved ones. We talked about how they pictured their lives — now and in the future,” Robin says. “Larchmont kept popping to the top of the list.”
After one visit, Eleanor quickly agreed. “The location can’t be beat,” she says. “It’s about 34 minutes into Grand Central on the express train.”
It’s also a foodie hotspot, which Eleanor admits was a big surprise.
“We thought leaving the city meant saying goodbye to amazing, diverse food,” she says. “But that definitely wasn’t the case here! Larchmont has so many great restaurants. There’s a terrific taco place, Italian restaurant, and a new ramen spot just opened. There are multiple coffee shops, including a Blue Stone Lane, and even an old school dive for wings and burgers.”
Why Larchmont is the Perfect Fit
That, though, was just part of the reason Eleanor and her family fell in love with Larchmont — and why they’ve been happily settled in the community for nearly six years.
“Larchmont is right on the water and there’s not a lot of development: it’s all parks and beaches, so the waterfront is beautiful. You can walk to the beach and see Long Island or go swimming, boating, or paddleboarding, but it’s also so close to the city,” she says. “I love that my kids have urban and suburban life accessible to them. We’ve had days where in the morning, we are enjoying our local beach and in the afternoon we are in the city visiting the Natural History Museum.”
Walkability was another major consideration for the Johnsons — and Larchmont checked every box. Growing up without having to drive, Eleanor wanted to replicate the experience for her family and in Larchmont, she can.
“You can walk to dinner or stop and pick up a gallon of milk on your way home without ever getting into the car,” she says. “Even better, kids walk, bike, or rollerblade to school, just like I did when I was growing up in the city.” That, she adds, gives kids independence and camaraderie early on — all key to feeling like part of the community.
And when they get to school? “What’s not to love?” Eleanor says. “The student-teacher ratio in the public schools is low — we’re part of the larger Mamaroneck School District so the schools have so much to offer.” In the elementary schools, she says, kids participate in a number of different singing groups plus band or orchestra, while the high school offers everything from engineering to culinary classes.
“They even have language immersion,” she says. “We can apply for the Dos Caminos program, a bilingual Spanish-English immersion program that’s offered from preK all the way through high school.”
For parents who want private school options, the French-American School is right in town and Fordham Preparatory School and The Ursuline School are nearby, she adds.
Even after school, opportunities abound, Eleanor reports. From soccer, lacrosse, and basketball to tennis, rowing, and sailing, there are plenty of activities for everyone — and the town is even home to one of the few ice rinks in the county.
“Hockey is huge,” Eleanor says. “And on the other end, the town has a fabulous pool so swimming is really popular. There are also cooking classes, Lego programs, STEM activities and ballet, all within walking distance.”
Helping City Goers Make the Move
After happily settling into Larchmont life, Eleanor joined the Suburban Jungle team, helping others make the move from urban to suburban.
“Robin made me a very happy suburbanite,” she says. “Now I’m happy to do for my clients what Robin did for me.”
Ready to find your perfect suburb? Get in touch with a Strategist and find the town that’s right for you.