by Helen Meurer
Byram Hills High School isn’t the only place with active seniors. Not every empty nester is looking to fly the Armonk coop. There’s plenty for seniors to do here right in town. The North Castle Library’s main location has many wonderful free programs for adults, with nourishment for body as well as mind. Tai Chi on Saturday mornings is a great way to get your energy flowing. Want to learn Italian? Mara de Matteo is at the library every Tuesday evening leading beginners and more advanced students throuh the delights of the Italian language and culture. There are talks on Art History, you can learn to play Mah Jongg or join the First Tuesday’s book club. Adult Services Librarian Edie Martimucci is expanding the range of programming to include poetry and creative writing workshops in the Fall. Feeling befuddled by your new iPad or tablet? Call the library to make an appointment for help with any digital device or with navigating the Internet–you can get a personal one-on-one on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and at the branch library on Thursdays. There is a wheelchair accessible entrance on Whipoorwill Road East.
The Hergenhan Recreation Center on Maple Avenue has a whole slew of programs for seniors (60 and over). Drop in on Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. to do ceramics, play ping pong, do chair Yoga, or just chat with old and new friends. Also year round on Mondays and Thursdays is a walking program at 10 a.m. (weather permitting). The Fall brochure can be found on the town’s website, with details on an AARP Defensive Driving class, a decluttering workshop, Balance and Flexibility classes, Line Dancing, and Zumba. If you are no longer driving, you can get a ride to ShopRite on Fridays. Liz Thomas, the Senior Recreation Leader, also has some trips lined up–the City Island Nautical Museum in August; the Empire City Casino, Yonkers in September; and South Pacific on Broadway in October.
Armonk’s compact downtown has expanded into Armonk Square, anchored at the eastern end by DeCicco’s market, where seniors (62 and over) can get a 5% discount on all non-sale items every Wednesday. It’s a lovely area to walk around, maybe grab a coffee or a frozen yogurt, or just sit and enjoy the outdoors. Nearby, the Mariani Gardens on Bedford Road is a beautiful place to take a stroll, or browse through the shaded design store “Spruce,” and have breakfast or lunch in the charming café.
A new assisted living facility, The Bristal on Business Park Drive, opened in March offering studio, one and two bedroom units plus a dedicated memory-issues wing. All residents enjoy a considerable range of amenities including a beautiful outdoor pool, patio gardens, beauty salon, spa, café style lounges with a pool table, a lovely restaurant serving several entrée choices at lunch and dinner, organized trips and 24/7 LPN coverage. Recreation Director Toni Schmidt has put together a variety of programs. There are two indoor theatres where residents can watch TV or films, and also enjoy specially scheduled virtual tours of museums during which a guide will showcase the art and answer questions–a fantastic interactive approach to expanding residents’ horizons. The Bristal Better U™ developed with Hofstra University Continuing Education is a wonderful educational program in which residents learn about many subjects–from political science to climate change–via webinars (interactive online seminars) with accredited professors. Close to 50 seniors (a little less than 1/3 maximum occupancy) already call The Bristal home.
Anyone for tennis? If Wimbledon and the US Open are your thing, there are four all weather tennis courts at the Armonk Community Park on Business Park Drive. There are also two platform tennis courts–if you haven’t tried it, platform (or paddle) tennis is a great fast-paced doubles game that’s played mostly in winter; it’s great exercise, and all your tennis skills come into play.
If you like cycling, but are looking for a statelier bicycle, check out the ‘step through’ bicycles at Hickory and Tweed–a throw back to when ladies wore skirts.
So, what are you waiting for? Leave the senior slump to high school students, and take advantage of all there is to do right here in Armonk!
Helen Meurer lives in Westchester, favorite things: working on sustainability issues, caring for the environment, sunsets over the Hudson, cycling around town, hiking, reading, writing, hanging out with family and friends.