Country's smallest city
With its charming downtown, abundance of nature and sprawling waterfront homes, Rye may have Westchester's most coveted ZIP code.
In fact, Forbes magazine in 2005 dubbed 10580 as the 61st most expensive ZIP code in the nation — and the priciest in Westchester — with a median home price of about $1 million.
The posh community of 15,000 on the Long Island Sound attracts families, thanks to a top-rated public school system, and mostly white-collar workers. One-third of Rye's working residents commute to New York City.
Leafy residential neighborhoods dominate the 6-square-mile city, where a fifth of the land is devoted to recreation and conservation.
Those who can't afford to live in Westchester's smallest city can spend a day visiting its beaches and nature trails, or the county-operated Playland Amusement Park.
The Rye Golf Club, purchased by the city in 1976, offers resident members an 18-hole golf course and two swimming pools.
Besides upscale boutiques and restaurants, Rye boasts a public marina on Milton Harbor and historic buildings, including six sites on the National Register of Historic Places.
Rye was incorporated as a city in 1942 and remains the last village in New York to convert to city status. Still, with just 5 percent of the land devoted to business and industry, it conjures the air of a suburban town or village.
With careful planning and zoning regulations, the city has managed to maintain its small-town feel by barring high-rise apartment buildings, motels, shopping centers and manufacturing plants.
And the Rye City Council recently passed a resolution preventing any more banks from opening in the central business district in an effort to protect small businesses and draw more shoppers downtown.
Additionally, the city has begun work on an expansion of the Damiano Recreation Center after close to five years of debate and planning. The 3,500-square-foot, $1.3 million addition will include a large multi-purpose room and a lounge for senior citizens.

(Original publication: October 30, 2005)
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