5.9 out of 10

Mount Vernon

Ranked 43rd best city in New York
40.9115388997252 -73.8279124557013
Great for
  • Public Transport
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Internet Access
  • Shopping Options
  • Parking
Not great for
  • No ratings yet
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Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Families with kids

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+
Editors Choice

"A city with negatives, and positives"

Mount Vernon is one of New York’s largest cities, named after the home of President George Washington. The city has been home to many notable people, including Dick Clark, Denzel Washington, E.B. White, and Sidney Poitier. Today, ninety-eight different countries are represented among its 68,000 residents, with large communities of Brazilian and Caribbean natives.

Though Mount Vernon struggles with a crime rate higher than its neighboring towns, the city still has many positives. The Mount Vernon Library is the largest in Westchester. There are nine playgrounds, five parks, and two playing fields. County-run Willson’s Woods, built in 1924, features a historic bathhouse and water park with wave pool. The arts are held in high regard by many residents. The Triple Hill Arts Initiative is a grassroots organization providing support for artists by recognizing their work, and providing access to programs and organizations. The city’s commercial sector is very strong, which helps the local economy. The city also focuses on its young people. The Youth Bureau provides empowerment programs and career preparation programs, and holds after-school and summer programs.

Mount Vernon is one of the few towns to be served by both the New Haven branch and the Harlem branch of Metro North, with a total of three stations: Mount Vernon East, Mount Vernon West and Fleetwood. The proximity to the Bronx also gives Mount Vernon residents access to the 2 and 5 subway lines via the Bee-Line bus. Three major parkways transect the city: the Cross County, Hutchinson River and Bronx River Parkways all provide access to NYC, Connecticut and Westchester’s other towns and cities.

Mount Vernon’s school district educates 9,000 students in eleven elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools and an alternative high school program. Forty-six percent of the students live in poverty. The state education department recently cited the district as needing improvement in Language Arts at the elementary and secondary level, as well as the high school graduation rate. However, the district is implementing large-scale changes in order to address and eliminate the deficiencies by making personnel and policy changes.

Housing options differ based on location. In the northern neighborhood of Fleetwood, you’ll find single-family homes, many dating back to the 1920s. There are also some charming post-war apartments which have been turned into co-ops. The southern part of the city is home to the business district, and tends to have more multi-family homes, apartments buildings, and public housing. Most of the city’s municipal offices are also located here, along with several historic landmarks.
Pros
  • Great public transit- no car needed
  • Many cultures represented
Cons
  • Crime Rate
  • Poverty Rate
  • School district needs improvement
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
Myra
Myra Don't forget about Art Carney who played Ed Norton on the Honeymooners. He was also from Mount Vernon.
2yrs+
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4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"Mount Vernon-A Great Urban-Suburban Compromise"

I have lived here for 16 years and this town has many pros. We are right on two Metro North lines, and I have neighbors who also park at the subway in the northern Bronx to get to NYC.

The wave pool is really great if you have kids and the pool house is gorgeous. Residents also can use the skating rink with rentals for free on Saturdays if you sign up. Skating classes are a mere $25 per child per season-including rental. On the south side you can find just about every major shopping chain, plus a Fairway. The Cross County Mall is one stop over. We are right between a number of major parkways taking you quickly upstate to New York's beautiful natural areas, over to Jersey, Ct and of course NYC.

There is a lot of diversity and you can make friends in the neighborhood from all over the world. There are many multi-racial families. There are many housing options. The grade schools are decent, and the district is re-structuring to a k-8 model so hopefully this will help. Lincoln has a very nice honors, art and music program. There is a lot to be done with it-but a lot of people seem to care enough to facilitate change.

For everyday takeout food-because of the ethnic diversity-we have some of the best Italian/pizza joints, Brazilian barbecue, Caribbean and more. Lots of dedicated fruit/vegetable stores. Fleetwood has several options in the shopping area on Gramatan-Japanese, Asian fusion, tavern, Italian and Cajun.

There is just one beautiful house after the next throughout the town with mature, well kept landscaping which is very pleasant and enjoyable, especially if you like to walk to the train or to school. People are generally friendly and although there is a reputation for crime, I have only known of the petty nuisance type which I believe seems to exist in most towns. I found this out when I went through jury selection at the Westchester court and 50+ people from all over Westchester were asked if they had ever been a crime victim. It was interesting to hear of how pervasive petty crime was, and the more serious ones did not really relate to the "bad" towns in the juror pool.

If you want a super value for a wonderful home(especially the gracious turn of the century type), and want an easy commute to the city, Mount Vernon has it for you. Compared to the crime, rodents, lack of green space and crowded conditions of living in NYC-this is so much nicer-urban yet suburban.
Pros
  • Wave Pool
  • Skating Rink
  • Green Space/Gardens
  • Close to New York City
  • Diverse architecture styles
  • Relatively affordable housing
  • Pretty good shopping
Cons
  • Middle and High School Improving
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"A city with a bad reputation yet some wonderful resources"

Mount Vernon is a city in Westchester County that borders the Bronx and retains much of the samel feel. Its Northside, which is close to affluent Bronxville, is the supposed "right side of the tracks," and includes the pleasant, more upscale (and safer) neighborhood of Fleetwood as well as an area of estates with property values that soar into the millions. This is strikingly different to the remainder of Mount Vernon which sadly, still suffers a terrrible reputation that it just can't shake. That rep is due to its high crime rate, which is above the national average, "rumored"gang action, high unemployment rate, high poverty rate and terrible school system.

It is a crying shame, really, for Mount Vernon does have some fantastic features and amenities including some great architectural elements, affordable homes and apartments, great shopping, some terrific restaurants, nice parks and a short, 29-33 minute commute into Manhattan.

A very cool must-visit culinary destination is The Bayou, a restaurant that offers authentic Cajun comfort cuisine at its best, with such favorites as crawfish, catfish Po' Boys, succulent fried chicken and even alligator sausage. It is also a great place to catch some stellar live music including blues and Zydeco acts. Another culinary claim to fame is Ripe Restaurant, which was featured on Bobby Flay's "Throwdown," and has the best Jamaican jerk dishes around. There is also the renowned Westchester County favorite for pizza, Johnny's, which serves by the pie only and is well worth the visit, and sometimes, the wait.

Sanford Square, considered the city's "commerical district," houses Best Buy, Target, Petco, Staples, Restaurant Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond and Famous Footwear. The downtown shopping district mostly comprised of Gramatan Ave, as well as Broad and Grand Streets, has an A & P supermarket, a dry cleaners, a bagel shop, florists, discount beauty supply stores, antique shops, thrift stores, home furniture and accessory stores, a couple of bakeries and several restaurants including a great teahouse.

Mount Vernon also has two wonderful parks: Wilson's Woods is a very old county park that has a wave pool, water slides, picnic areas and fishing. Hunt's Woods, which borders Fleetwood, is actually a Westchester County Preserve and has woods with nice hiking trails.

The Mount Vernon Public Library is the largest in Westchester County. There is also a terrific and well-developed Boys and Girls Club.

Mount Vernon's motto is "A City that Believes" and it is home to over 80 places of worship! St. Pauls National Church is a National Historic Site and is famous for once serving as a medical hospital during the Revolutionary War. It also contains a really cool old cemetery with gravestones that date all the way back to 1704.

Unfortunately, as mentioned before, the school system is not that good and actually borders on shoddy. The median SAT score is 1225 and 79% of Mount Vernon High School students do go on to attend college, however.

The median household income is $55,288. The median home value is $350,000 and the median rental rate is $1,175.00.

Mount Vernon is 61% African American, 18.5% White, 14% Hispanic and 2% Asian.

The population of Mount Vernon is approximately 68,000 with the median age being 37.
Pros
  • Close to New York City
  • Diverse architecture styles
  • Relatively affordable housing
  • Some fantastic and famous restaurants
  • Pretty good shopping
Cons
  • High unemployment rate
  • Crime Rate
  • Poverty Rate
  • Awful schools
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"An Intriguing Suburb with a Mixed Reputation"

An intriguing suburb with a mixed reputation….
Mount Vernon is one of the cities in Westchester County that gets a less than attractive rating on school and safety. It seems a sad stereotype as this is also one of the most diverse cities in the whole county. While some of the reputation may be prejudice or bias, the truth is Mount Vernon is struggling with repairing its reputation.
The city, which is the eighth largest in all of New York state, is just north of the Bronx and has sections which reveal a strongly urban flavor. The city landscape of apartment buildings and more concrete than greenery indicate that Mount Vernon is not quite a stereotypical suburb. However, those who see only that part of Mount Vernon are not getting the full picture because there is another sections which is all about those large lots and single family homes that one envisions as the essence of the American suburb.
Mount Vernon housing tends to be more affordable than other parts of Westchester because it has a mixed reputation. Those who are willing to be part of a city that is defining itself can find much to appreciate in this town with character. It is multi-ethnic and more economically heterogenous than many of the neighboring communities and can be a great way for children to grow up with a real awareness of the world at large. It is interesting to note that there’s a sizable Brazilian population in Mount Vernon. It is perhaps only fitting that the town’s soccer team draws passionate parental support during local league matches! And Chalanas is a good Brazilian restaurant in the area….
There is talk of gang and gang-related crimes in Mount Vernon and it is important for parents to be vigilant in monitoring their children’s activities and companions, if they decide to live in the area. Visitors should also probably make sure they have a rough idea of the neighborhoods if they are going to be out late at night as there is said to be a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ part of town.
Pros
  • Close to New York City
  • Diverse architecture styles
  • Relatively affordable housing
Cons
  • Crime Rate
  • Poverty Rate
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"A Water Park, an Ice Rink and Great Southern Food"

Once severely segregated, Mount Vernon has grown as a city, but still has a long way to go. Its schools are struggling with outdated textbooks and there are still lots of poverty-ridden areas. Even so, Mount Vernon is a very proud black community. There's some interesting restaurants like Yvonne's House of Soul, which has live blues and zydeco music (something you won't find in most Westchester areas); their food is traditional New Orleans style, and you'll want to try the crawfish for sure. Another great restaurant is Yvonne's House of Soul, which even has comedy hours, and you can celebrate your birthday there. In spite of Mount Vernon's worrisome crime rate and troubled school system, there are some fun things to do with your family: you can take your kids to Wilson's Woods Park, a water park that even has an 18-foot tall water slide and man-made waves! The town has a Memorial and Veteran's Day Parade, and there's other parks as well to play sports or have a picnic. Take your kids to The Ice Hutch to see a hockey game or go ice-skating, or to The Hobby Shop for a cool new toy.

Mount Vernon is average in home price, ranging between $200,000+$400,000. People can get away to the City for only $15.50 round-trip at the Fleetwood Train Station. It's a city, so there will be plenty of noise and traffic, so you'll want to watch your kids at all times. There's Mount Vernon Hospital which is right in town, in case you need to see a doctor for any medical or emergency needs. There's a few private religious schools and a Synogogue; however, the city is not very diverse---in spite of the smaller white population.

While it can be a good place to visit, Mount Vernon is still in transition and needs a lot of work---though if you have the money to live comfortably here and keep your wits about you, you and your family should be fine.
Pros
  • Close to New York City
  • Diverse architecture styles
  • Relatively affordable housing
  • Pretty good shopping
  • Some fantastic and famous restaurants
Cons
  • Crime Rate
  • Poverty Rate
  • Awful schools
  • High unemployment rate
  • Not very diverse
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Not as good as it could be"

Mount Vernon is a town that should be a lot better than it is. Just a thirty minute ride from Manhattan on the MetroNorth, Mount Vernon offers relative affordability and convenience. The population here is primarily African-American and Hispanic, with a smaller percentage of whites. The homes and apartments here feature a wide variety of architectural design styles. There is a small but busy shopping district where you can find most staples. There are some public parks with fun things like a water playground and a wave pool. However, this town is very poorly regarded by most people because of its high poverty and crime rates. A significant percentage of the town’s residents have incomes that fall below the poverty line. This leads to many different types of crime. Another huge problem with living here is that although there are many of schools here, most of them are awful. While they have seen some improvements during the past few years, the schools are still overwhelmingly bad. While the commute to Manhattan is fairly short, the MetroNorth is significantly more expensive than taking the subway from the boroughs. Overall, I’d say that Mount Vernon has the makings of a pretty good town. However, it will take still needs a LOT of work before it becomes one.
Pros
  • Relatively affordable housing
  • Diverse architecture styles
  • Close to New York City
Cons
  • Awful schools
  • Not very diverse
  • Crime Rate
  • Poverty Rate
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"A struggling city"

There are quite a few problems with Mount Vernon. First and foremost is the gang presence. There are four known gangs in the city which contribute to the high crime rate. Unemployment has been increasing over the last few years and is higher than most other cities in New York. Many residents are below the poverty line and there hasn't been much improvement. Because funding is tight and proposed budgets are usually denied the school system is struggling.

There is a silver lining to Mount Vernon although it may not seem like it when looking at the statistics. The northern end of the city, Fleetwood, is actually quite nice and enjoys a small town feel. The elementary school here is well liked and many say that it feels as though you're in a whole different city when compared to the southern end.

The city as a whole has many shopping and eating options but are catered to the needs of the residents, normally lower-end stores. You'd have to travel into one of the neighboring towns to do any serious shopping.

There are two very distinct sides to Mount Vernon and as long as you stay on the right side of the tracks you may find it a pleasant city.
Pros
  • Close to New York City
Cons
  • Crime Rate
  • Poverty Rate
Recommended for
  • Students
JoyN
JoyN While I agree whole heatedly to many of the foregone comments on most of the foregone comments, the concern her is, How do we revive 'A Struggling City" that was once a gem and maybe the envy of Westchester county in many instances? How do we get rid of a reigning political passe that does nothing for the city but seek out for themselves? How do we impress upon our school administrators and city officials that the school system has eroded to the bottom of New York State list and that we need to have more potential success in the likes of Dick lark, Denzil Washington and Sydney Poiter? How do we get the involvement of single parent households to participate and involve themselves in the lives of their children? How do we create programs that would put a halt to the teen pregnancies that occur at an alarming rate in Mt.Vernon? How do we get school officials to create the same curriculum for south side and north side schools? How do we get the school administration to accept the responsibility of procuring the necessary resources in all schools that are crucial to the child's overall education?. How do we get school officials to understand that they are responsible for the success of the children within their care. Less than fifty percent of Mt Vernon High School graduates go on to college. Such are SOME of the negatives that plague the "City of Homes" and hope will come from new leaders who will be wiling to take on the challenge and I sincerely hope that with time the new school Superintendent will be able to make a dent in the overall improvement that the schools so desperately need. Without a good school system.
Apr 01, 2015
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Unranked Neighborhoods in Mount Vernon

Fleetwood

3/5
"The nicer side of Mount Vernon"
40.9242376077453 -73.8333172459457
"Very Happy"
40.9066603552312 -73.8179337576188

Southside

4.5/5
"Mount Vernon's Urban District with All the Joys of Mount Vernon, NY"
40.9052336284013 -73.8362476559895

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