All About Armonk

North Castle Daily News

Rozins of Bagel Emporium
Beitzelsof Hickory and Tweed
Kevin Devaney

Father’s Day Dynamic Duos of Armonk
By Jackson Harrower

June 15, 2016
Skip Beitzel is the owner of Hickory & Tweed on Main Street, Armonk. Mac Beitzel, his son, runs the online business and manages the brand. Mac, like Skip, worked in advertising in Manhattan before making the move up to Armonk to join forces with his father and his mother Michaela, who is Hickory & Tweed’s lead merchandise buyer. The father and son team cherish the ability to work together every day.

Skip notes, “It’s a unique and special opportunity to be in such a close working relationship with Mac.”

Mac adds, “My dad never pushed us to work for Hickory & Tweed. He wanted us to find our own way.” Although the two have a unique relationship, Mac notes that all the employees of Hickory & Tweed share a special bond: “I don’t think our working relationship would be very different if we weren’t related. Skip cares for all the employees like they are part of the family.”

Michael Rozins is the owner of Bagel Emporium on Main Street. Ryan Rozins, his son, helps him run the business, which he started in Hartsdale 1982 and now has locations across Westchester.

Michael says, “Ryan loved working in the store at an early age. He always wanted to be part of the business, but I wanted him to go experience the world first. He’s been back for over a year and it’s been one of the greatest things to happen to me. He’s my best friend. He’s shown me everyday that he really understands the business and cares for it as much as I do. We discuss all business practices together. It’s been wonderful.”

Ryan adds, “I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity to work with my father — not only to learn from him but to have the chance to spend more time with him. He’s become my best friend. I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.” It’s no surprise that in separate interviews they both described each other as their best friend. The two share a deep concern for the business.

Few fathers have the unique opportunity to be in business with their children, but Armonk dads make sure to find extensive time to spend with their kids. Kevin Devaney, MSG Varsity reporter notes, "The most important thing about being a father is investing time with your children. My girls are young, so we mainly go to the park, play at the house, or walk around town. I'm fortunate to work primarily out of my home and relish the time I get to spend with my girls every morning. These have been the greatest days of my life and I'm so lucky to have this amount of time with my kids."

Armonk fathers span all professions and ages. The common thread is that they mean the world to us all. Happy Father’s Day.


When Keeping it Local Matters -- Armonk’s Own Farmers Agency Makes a Difference

March 3, 2016
Since moving into the office building at 495 Main Street last fall, Farmers Insurance Agency owner James Shelly continues to get involved with the Armonk community. “Farmers was looking to open an office in Westchester, but we weren’t sure where,” said Shelly. “When I visited Armonk, I could tell it was the right place for us to be

-- a community where Farmers could make a difference protecting the assets of homeowners, families and small businesses.”

Shelly found vacant office space (Suite 103, formerly the 1st floor of Park Avenue Medical Spa) and immediately went to work renovating it himself. His experience as a contractor, and then home inspector, served him well to make the renovations. And he puts these skills to work for his clients. “When I visit with clients in their homes or at their businesses, I can help them spot potential problems, before they become real problems,” he said. “It gives clients an added level of confidence that I’m truly looking out for them.”

Upon visiting his bright, open office, you’ll see how much Shelly looks to support the community and showcase its talented artists. He purchased the eclectic, yet sophisticated, mix of beautiful prints and vases from Treasures Thrift Shop, a community service arm of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, and several other works from local artists who caught his eye at the Armonk Outdoor Art Show, where he volunteered his time.

Another way that Shelly helps the community is by offering a defensive driving course at the North Castle Public Library. Visit www.drivercourse.net for the schedule. He is also a notary public, and plans to make that service, which is free to all, easy for Armonk’s senior citizens to access by visiting them in their homes.

“Perhaps one of the best ways I can serve my clients is simply by being local and being there for them, ready to meet at their home or business should something happen,” said Shelly. “If you’re not sure what your next step should be, you can call me and I’ll come out, assess the situation and advise you on the best course of action.”

Shelly notes that sometimes homeowners call customer service 800#s to report an incident that gets put through unnecessarily as a claim. A visit from your local insurance agent can help you avoid that and keep you on the right track.

To reach Farmers agent James Shelly call 917-720-4049, e-mail jshelly@farmersagent.com or stop by the office at 495 Main Street, Suite 103 in Armonk.

Access Physical Therapist Owner Recertified in Orthopedic Specialty

October 1, 2015
Neil Chernick, owner and director of Access Physical Therapy & Wellness’ three Westchester County offices, has been recertified in the specialty practice of orthopedics by the American Physical Therapy Association.

Now in his 14th year as a practicing physical therapist in Westchester County, Chernick oversees a staff that includes seven physical therapists in three locations – Armonk, Bedford and Hawthorne. Chernick can be reached at Access’ Armonk office at 530 Main St., which is celebrating its six-year anniversary this month. The office can be reached at 888-418-1724.

“The recertification process was a very challenging, yet very rewarding process.” Chernick said. “It made me recall my last 10 years of practice experience, research studies, continuing education training and student mentorship opportunities. All of which have contributed greatly to how our team and I work to help our patients get the best results possible during their care at Access PT.”

Chernick is a cum laude graduate of Ithaca College, where he received both his Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Science and his Masters in Physical Therapy. In addition to his APTA board certification in orthopedics, he is certified in the McKenzie Method for diagnosis and treatment of the lumbar, cervical and thoracic spine. Research has proven the McKenzie Method highly effective for treating both acute and chronic pain of the back and neck, Chernick said.

Chernick is also a National Strength and Conditioning Association-certified strength and conditioning specialist. In his free time, Chernick enjoys working out, playing tennis and spending time with his wife and twin 5-year-old boys.

Access Physical Therapy & Wellness has been honored three times as one of the Best Companies to Work for in New York by the New York State Society for Human Resource Management and Best Companies Group. Access was established 12 years ago by physical therapists and brothers Christopher Albanese and Stephen Albanese and their physical therapist spouses, Janet Albanese and Shannon Albanese. The company now has 22 locations.

In Bedford, Access is at 649 Old Post Road; 914-234-4445. In Hawthorne, Access is at 370 Elwood Ave. (Suite 301); 914-769-7690.

Access Physical Therapy & Wellness is open weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturdays 8:00 a.m. to noon. They provide 1-on-1 care, accept most insurances – and new patients can almost always be seen within 24 hours. For more information about Access Physical Therapy & Wellness, contact Chernick, 914-273-9100 or nchernick@accessptw.com, or Stephen Albanese at 845-636-4344; salbanese@accessptw.com.

Hickory & Tweed Named One of America’s Best Bike Shops for 2015

August 15, 2015
For the second year in a row, Hickory & Tweed Ski & Cyclery in Armonk has been named of America’s Best Bike Shops by the National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA).

There are approximately 4,000 bike shops in the United States, and fewer than 300 were chosen to be named  “America’s Best”, according to NBDA.

The shops were asked to fill out a detailed application describing what sets them apart from the competition. Mystery shoppers then evaluated the business in more detail by visiting the store, reviewing their website and contacting the shop by phone to assess the performance from a consumer’s perspective.

During the process NBDA receives heart-warming stories from all over the country about bike shops that donated bikes to kids, encourage bicycle safety, organize events and encourage a healthy lifestyle.

According to NBDA the recipients of “American’s Best Bike Shops” title not only offer great shopping experiences, but are also rated on their support for their communities, as well as support for bicycle advocacy both locally and nationally.

Hickory & Tweed Ski & Cyclery has been in business since 1961. Skip Beitzel, it’s owner, is celebrating his 30th year there as well as the store’s 25th year in the bike business.

Hickory and Tweed
Hickory and Tweed
The Zen of Bicycle Maintenance at Hickory & Tweed

July 17, 2015
For over half a century, Hickory & Tweed has been located at 410 Main Street, Armonk, providing skiers with equipment and accessories. In 1986, nearly thirty years ago, Hickory & Tweed’s owner, Skip Beitzel, expanded the shop from its original ski shop to add a full-line of bicycles, while still offering top-notch service to his customers. The bike shop carries mountain bikes, road and hybrid bikes from Specialized and Cannondale, and a full fleet of kids bikes from Specialized. There’s a huge segment of hybrid bikes, with a straight handle bar that is upright and comfortable and a thinner tire that is more road-oriented. Also offered is optional equipment to custom-design bicycles and a full-service bicycle department.

Cyclists from Westchester and Fairfield Counties and beyond are familiar with the services and knowledge of Hickory & Tweed’s bike shop team. This time of year, riders come in for bike tune-ups and advice. If you ever need something tuned up very quickly, you can wait and hang out with the guys. Jake Salko, bike shop manager, and Brian Scherer, general store manager, and their team of technicians are glad to share their vast knowledge and to engage in a conversation.

Not only do people come in for tune-ups (that are done in two days), says Salko, they also ask about rides, and cycling clubs in the area. Salko has worked at Hickory & Tweed since he was 13 years old, and throughout his Byram Hills High School years. Besides shop manager, Salko  is also head mechanic.

Salko gained his technical knowledge as he fiddled with bikes during his free time. He learned how they work and what everything does in the system. He knows when something needs to be taken care of because he can hear if something is wrong and then he can figure out what it is. The front derailleur could be out of alignment, or a loose chain could need to be replaced.

Brian Scherer has been working at Hickory & Tweed for nine years. He has been in the industry of skis, outdoor sports, and biking retail before he graduated from Fox Lane High School in 2004 and throughout college. Scherer is the general manager of the store. He divides his time between selling and servicing in the ski shop and the bike shop.

Scherer and Salko are avid cyclists. They switched from mountain bike riding to road biking. “I love road biking,” says Salko. “It’s nice to take in the surroundings. I didn’t realize how relaxing it was. Mountain biking is more technical in the woods,” he says, “with constant quick turns versus road biking where you really have to pace yourself, wait for the hills, and make sure you have enough energy to get up them.”

Scherer is into fitness. He works out 7-10 times per week. His favorite workout is weight lifting in the morning and then riding a 20 - 30 mile bike ride in the afternoon. He says people are more into fitness these days with the influx and trend of marathons and triathlons.

Cycling is a social aspect of fitness. It’s a great hobby and a great way to stay in shape, says Scherer. He recommends riding in a group where there’s a lot more visibility than a solo rider. On group rides people call out when there are cars, and point out the numerous potholes.

All levels of riders are welcome to ride Hickory & Tweed’s Tuesday-After-Work ride, starting at about 6:15 p.m. The rides always include a leader who knows where the group will ride, staying in safe areas. The goal is to have fun and get people into biking. Email the bike shop at bikes@hickoryandtweed.com to get on the email list to be informed about the when and where of any future rides. All ability levels are invited to join the group, that may ride into Mount Kisco or do different loops, depending upon the riders’ abilities.

This time of the year, the cycle shop sees a lot of tune ups, fixing, cleaning, accessory selling and bike upgrades, says Scherer. Greg, one of the technicians, was in the shop trueing a wheel, bringing it back to life, and re-tensioning the spokes after he replaced the wheel bearings. The potholes can loosen the spokes; the looser the spokes, the more wobbly a tire gets.

Salko is always available to discuss what he calls Bike 101: How to change tires, take care of your bike and keep it clean. He recommends that you wash the road grit and mud off, and dry your bike after every ride. Keep the chain lubed, every 100 miles or so, even in the winter when  the bike is stored inside in a dry place. Otherwise, a chain can dry up and will need to be replaced in the spring. The more you take care of your bike, the less that will go wrong and the longer wear you get out of it over time.

Put air in your tires every ride, says Salko, or else there’s a good chance you’ll get a flat tire.   

Cycling accessories depend upon what kind of rider you are and what you want to do.
Hickory & Tweed can definitely set you up with some state-of-the-art cycling equipment and accessories. Salko offers a list of items that you should carry on your bike: a spare tube, patch kit, tire levers, multi-tool for quick repair, and a CO2 cartridge with an inflator. Salko says the team will share their knowledge of why these tools are needed and how to use them.  

Nutrition is also important. Salko suggests an energy bar, two bottles for hydration--one of water and the other an energy drink. He likes the powdered product that they carry, Skratch. It has a light flavor and less sugar. An energy drink can boost energy and has electrolytes to help avoid cramping up.

Salko also recommends using a rear light that is visible on the road even during the day. They carry an Cannondale Ultra Light that is a simple battery-operated light that can clip on to the back of your jersey or it can be clipped on to the back of your bike.

Salko prefers computers instead of cell phones to track your distance and speed. He says if you use your cell phone, the GPS may use up the battery and you never know when you might need your phone.

Getting the right seat is also important and it’s a matter of personal choice of how your sit bone adjusts to the width of the saddle. “We have the tools to measure and to get you on the proper sized saddle,” says Salko. On top of that, he recommends bike shorts. The best way to be comfortable on a bike seat is a nice pair of bike shorts with a chamois pad. Salko also likes the chamois butter to prevent chaffing, especially for long rides in hot weather.
 
As far as helmets go, they are all rated the same, and every helmet is safe. It’s all about the style and aerodynamics. The more expensive a helmet, the lighter its weight, and the more aerodynamic and comfortable it will be.  

There’s a variety of shoes for riding from mountain bike shoes to road bike shoes. Salko is a big fan of bike shoes with clips. He says there’s a different feel to be attached to the pedal of the bike and have to clip out and back in again every time you come to a stop. If you remember back to your first bike ride--if don’t put your foot down for balance when you stopped, you fell over--learning to use the bike shoes with clips are similar. It might take a fall to learn, but one fall and you’ll get it.

“When you are clipped in, you get all the power you can on the bike as there is more efficiency on the upstroke of the pedals,” says Salko. “With flat pedals, you get all that power on the down stroke.”

The advantage of mountain bike shoes is that you can walk in them and be comfortable when you are off the bike because the tread is on the outside and the cleat is recessed underneath. With road shoes, the cleats are fully exposed. If you drag your feet, you’ll be replacing your cleats often.

Today’s socks are a lot thinner, more breathable and moisture wicking. When wearing bike shoes, you want a thin layer between you and the shoe so the shoe will form fit to your foot.  

Salko recommends riding with sunglasses. He says they will keep the wind out of your eyes and keep you from tearing up.

Jersey tops can be chosen from a multiple of different fits from loose to tight. The longer the ride, the better it is to have a tighter shirt with less wind resistance. Brighter colors offer higher visibility. Rain jackets and windbreakers also offer higher visibility in bright yellow or orange colors.

If you are riding for 20 to 25 miles with your hands on the handlebars, your hands might go numb or you can get blisters. Gloves with padding can definitely help.

Hickory & Tweed Cycle Shop has fixed everything on wheels from scooters to tricycles to wheelchairs. Although they are all bike mechanics, Salko says they are engineers at heart.

Keep the bike shop number in your cell phone (914) 273-3397 because Salko says you can always call them if get into trouble. “We’ll come pick you up, bring the bike back here to fix it, or if it’s something quick, we’ll do it on the side of the road.”

They are open Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Thursday until 8:00 p.m. The weekend schedule is Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4:00 p.m. They are closed on Sundays in July and August.

Mention this article and get $15 off all tune-ups at the bike shop through the end of the summer.

Scherer shared his most recent ride from the shop in Armonk into Somers which is about 36 miles long. He pulled out his cell phone, brought up the Strava App for cycling. The app tracks the course with a GPS. He read off the directions:

Main St. Armonk to Route 128 into Lexington Ave. Mount Kisco,
Lexington Ave. turns into South Moger Ave.,
Left to West Main St. after the Mount Kisco Train Station,
First Light, Right onto Kisco Ave.,
Bare Left onto Pines Bridge Rd. which turns into Croton Lake Rd.,
Left on Lake Rd.,
Right on Route 100,
Right to Route 35 and back through Bedford,
Right to Bedford Rd., through Katonah and Bedford Hills to Route 117, back to Mount Kisco,
Right to Woodsbridge Rd. which turns into Byram Lake Rd.,
Right to Sarles St.,
Left to High St. that turns into Cox Ave.,
Right on School St.,
Left on Route 128 and back to Hickory & Tweed

Airport Campus, Armonk
New Neighbors Expected at Former MBIA Property

Updated May 11, 2015
The former corporate headquarters of MBIA at 113 King Street, Armonk has been acquired in a joint-venture by partners Steven Wise Associates (SWA) of Stamford, CT and Pound Ridge-based affiliates of the Manocherian family.

The 38-acre property, referred to as Airport Campus, is situated on Route 120 near the SUNY Purchase Campus, IBM World Headquarters, Swiss Reinsurance Company, PepsiCo, and the Westchester County Airport.

The acquisition price of the joint venture is $23 million in an all-cash deal. Alexander Soule reported in the Stamford Advocate that Wise said the transaction was done in all cash due to the difficulty of financing a building that has yet to have any tenants.

The property is listed for sale or lease by the Stamford office of Cushman & Wakefield who represented MBIA in the sale and have been retained to handle the lease inquiries going forward.

There are two large commericial connected buildings on the property that equal 300,000 square feet. The specifications also include approvals to expand the footprint by another 243,000 square feet.

The amenities of Airport Campus include a cafeteria that accommodates more than 250 people and four private dining rooms. There is also an auditorium or multi-purpose room with high-tech equipment to accommodate 200 people. There are 17 conference rooms, a well- equipped fitness center, backup emergency generators, and the entire campus has wi-fi capability.

A charming home, circa 1820, which has a modern kitchen, a living room, two bathrooms, a second floor with three smaller rooms, and a front porch is on the campus. There is also space for a retail shop.

Included on the property are 20 acres of meadowlands, with extensive hiking trails, as well as tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, and two large indoor and outdoor parking lots. A fountained man-made pond is not far from Rye Lake.

Sole reports that Wise expects the buildings to fill quickly. “It was so beautifully maintained, beautifully designed,” said Wise. “We are going to essentially do our best to reinvent that space … for companies relocating or growing.”

MBIA has moved its 245 employees to The Center at Purchase at 1 and 2 Manhattanville Road, Purchase, NY.

According to thecampusexit9.com, the real estate investment and development firm of SWA has owned, managed and/or developed more than 2 million square feet of commercial real estate and developed more than 600 luxury and affordable residential apartments.

According to Bloomberg Business, the Persian Manocherian family controls at least 85 buildings in Manhattan through Pan Am Equities and Manocherian Brothers.