Yet for all these rural features, there is no smell of cows. Our next-door neighbor had swimming pool water delivered, by water truck. The other neighbor keeps a car in the driveway under a car cover. Many homes have Invisible Fence installed to keep the dogs close to the house. Even more have elaborate deer fencing and decorative fencing, two things I would not expect to see outside of the suburbs. The community is served by hourly MetroNorth trains to New York City, even in the middle of the night. The North Salem Architectural Review Boardminutes include lengthy discussion of color and roof shape of a proposed installation of pre-fab pump house not visible from the road.
In those days, kids walked to school, and walked by themselves, even if they were tiny girls with skinny arms and skinny legs like me. I was expected to walk through the neighborhood behind our house, which was thoroughly haunted from end to end. It had grotesque trees that were ready to catch you up in their limbs and crush you if only they could reach you. The houses were all different from each other, not little variations on a theme as it was in my neighborhood, where all the houses were brick. No, on Polo Drive there were houses that looked like castles, and houses with circular driveways, and Tudor houses with crooked timbers and crazy crooked bricks. Some of the houses looked big enough to be schools or hospitals. Clearly, most of them were haunted: you never saw cars, or people going in or out. There weren’t any nasty loose Schnauzers trying to bite you, like there were on Davis Drive. There were gaping sidewalk cracks showing just where the trolls were hiding, just there underground. The sidewalks were not straight and square like there were in my neighborhood. They were curved. It seemed all wrong. Even the street signs used a scary, gothic, unreadable font, as if to let you know how haunted it was. Absolutely worst of all, there were the crows.