Mount Vernon, New York
Mount Vernon is a city located in Westchester County, New York, immediately north of New York City's The Bronx. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 68,381. A July 1, 2002 Census estimate showed the population at 68,615.
The city has three Metro North railroad stations: Mount Vernon West, Mount Vernon East and Fleetwood.
Denzel Washington, Ken Singleton, Dick Clark, Art Carney, Heavy D, Al (B Sure) Brown, Betty Shabazz, Ben Gordon, Gus Williams, Michael Imperioli, Pete Rock and CL Smooth, Roz Kelly, DMX and P. Diddy were born (or grew up) in Mount Vernon.
Residents usually define two distinct parts of Mount Vernon (North side and South side), whose dividing line is usually considered to be the tracks of the New Haven Line of Metro North commuter railroad. The North side of Mount Vernon contains Fleetwood, a neighborhood of shops, houses and apartments that seems to have a spiritual identity of its own. The South side of Mount Vernon contains many industries and is more densely populated than the North. The majority of the tax base for Mount Vernon is generated by the industrial section and retail shopping located on the South side.
Historically, the North side and South side had a racial/ethnic division as well, given that the South side is an almost exclusively African-American enclave (and has been since the 1960's) and the North side was mostly Italian, Jewish and Irish. However, since the late 1980's the "North side/South side" distinction has become more of a zoning-related and socio-economic divide and less of a racial/ethnic one as every part of the North side is now very much integrated, with the eastern sections tending to be majority Black and the western sections (including Fleetwood) majority White, but no neighborhood being entirely one or the other. In general the neighborhoods of the South side are less "suburban" than the North side. The population is a diverse group with residents originating from 98 different countries around the world.
In 2004, a shopping mall opened on Sandford Blvd. to help economically revitalize the South side and bring in visitors who may not normally traverse the area. The mall contains Target, T.J. Maxx, PETCO, and Bed, Bath + Beyond. Across the street a Best Buy and Staples stores have opened as well.