The Scarsdale Business Alliance (SBA) is working tirelessly to ignite the reopening of the village with the creation of activities, such as the ongoing Dine the ’Dale initiative and the weeklong sidewalk sale Monday, July 27 through Sunday, Aug. 2. Through the sidewalk sale, Marcy Berman-Goldstein, co-president of the SBA, hopes the Scarsdale community can reclaim a sense of togetherness.
“It's a way for us to provide a venue that's safe for people coming out of an isolated life over the last bunch of months to feel that sense of community and be together but not be together in an unsafe way,” she said. “I think all of these things that we’re doing, from Dine the ’Dale to sidewalk sale to Chalk the ’Dale, these [are] things that we’re providing for the community to enjoy. It's coming out of seclusion and to have a sense of togetherness and to instill that energy and vibrancy back into the village center but ... in a safe way.”
A unique add-on this year to the sidewalk sale is Chalk the ’Dale, which is designed to provide residents an outlet for drawing messages with chalk around the village center. The event takes place Friday, July 31, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. (rain date: Aug. 1), with each individual or group claiming a space on Spencer Place, Boniface Circle or Harwood Court where they will create art with chalk. Restaurants throughout Scarsdale, such as Westchester Burger Co. and 808 Bistro, plan to participate by offering special menus created specifically for the event.
Chalk the ’Dale organizers Anna Feldstein and Katie Han are rising sophomores at Scarsdale High School.
“This summer we felt like we had a lot of time and we really wanted to use that for positive social impact,” Feldstein said. “We wanted to do something good and we were talking with each other and our moms one night and the idea of chalking was put out … we created a plan around that and all the different aspects to really make this event come to life. Once we figured out we were doing chalking we just really hit the ground running.”
The purpose of Chalk the ’Dale is to bring the community together after months of lockdown and isolation during the pandemic.
“We want to create a super-open environment, a place where people can just be themselves and spend time with ... people they couldn’t before and just be together with part of their community,” Han said. “It’s a place where they can have another outlet and just express themselves through their creativity and chalking.”
Jane Veron, deputy mayor and liaison to the SBA, described how the event would bring the community together.
“It’s multigenerational because families with young children all the way to empty nesters can participate,” Veron said. “The other piece of this is that the restaurants who are being invited are throughout all of Scarsdale’s retail hubs so that the food can be delivered from the Golden Horseshoe and Five Corners and Garth Road. The SBA even waived fees for them, so have been completely and utterly inclusive.”
Feldstein and Han also want the public to take away from Chalk the ’Dale a better understanding of the Scarsdale Business Alliance.
“We hope that people will learn more about the SBA and what it does and how it helps our community and helps local businesses stay afloat,” Han said. “There's probably some people in our community who don’t know exactly what the SBA does or why [it’s] important.”
Chalk the ’Dale is one effort among many made by the Scarsdale community to revitalize the village center, according to Mayor Marc Samwick.
“We’re very committed to working to enhance the village center,” he said. “We were even before COVID. Now in particular we’re just very focused on seeing what we can do to bring as much vitality and vibrancy to our village center as we can, and Chalk the ’Dale is a great way to do it.”
Samwick emphasized the importance of Feldstein and Han’s involvement in Chalk the ’Dale, as well as the importance of the younger generation’s engagement during the gradual reopening after several months of lockdown.
“One of the main benefits of this is that it's really being organized and orchestrated by high school students. The involvement that we’re seeing throughout the village in a number of different ways from students is really encouraging,” he said. “It's great to see. When you have an engaged younger population that wants to improve and better the community, it's a win-win for everybody.”
Feldstein hopes this event will inspire hope among Scarsdale residents.
“The times are different because of COVID and social distancing, and it's harder for people to connect, not only on a physical level but also on an emotional level,” Feldstein said. “We want people’s connections to be strengthened by this event. We want to try to bring a sense of normalcy back into people’s lives.”
For more details and to participate, sign up at livethedale.org or visit the Chalk the ’Dale table on July 31 near the post office on Chase Road.