Magazine article The New Yorker

Suburban Safari

Magazine article The New Yorker

Suburban Safari

Article excerpt

Suburban Safari

A black Mercedes minivan stopped in front of the H&M on Eighty-sixth Street, near Lexington Avenue, on a recent Saturday morning. Three youngish married couples got in. Their destination: the mysterious and occasionally scary territory known as the suburbs of Westchester.

"This is our luxury tour," Zach Harrison said, as the van merged onto the F.D.R. Drive and then sped over to the Hutchinson River Parkway. Harrison, an attorney who resembles Stephen Colbert, and his wife, Heather, a former TV news reporter who talks in rapid-fire bursts, co-founded Platinum Drive Realty. The company's mission is to convince millennials that the suburbs have soul.

The Harrisons know the territory. (Their Web site says, "We grew up here. We live here. We sell homes here.") Lately, the financial news has been helping them make their case. "A lot of millennials who have been delaying making the move, thinking interest rates would stay low forever, are coming around," Zach said. "One buyer from the city said she looked forward to avoiding all the Trump traffic around Manhattan."

The Harrisons ticked off towns on the tour: Scarsdale, Edgemont, Ardsley, Irvington. "You're not moving out to the middle of nowhere--it's basically a long subway ride," Zach told the group.

In the back seat, Elodie Di Palo Burrone, who works in e-commerce, and her husband, David Marr, a graphic designer and painter, chatted with Deena Weinhouse, another Platinum Drive agent. Weinhouse lives in Boulder Ridge, a gated community in Scarsdale.

"If someone had told me, when I was in your position, where I would end up living, I would be, like, 'Well, you're smoking crack!' " Weinhouse said. "Looking for a house--it's a lot of self-analysis."

"I really like dark woods," Marr said. "And bricks." Burrone described the stone house of her childhood, in Lyons, France.

"When was it built?" Weinhouse asked.

"The fourteenth century."

"We live in SoHo," Marr said. They share a loft with an elderly painter they met on Craigslist. "It's a little tight."

The van pulled into the Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center, in Scarsdale, where Platinum has an office, for a bathroom break. (Other tenants: Bank of America, Bagel Power, Seven Woks.)

"Can you find a lot of small shops?" Marr asked.

"There are a lot," Zach said. …

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