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Where There’s Smoke

Lighting up leads to lasting love



At home in their 18th-century Bedford antique, Osborn and White are devoted pet owners who make monthly trips to the SPCA in Briarcliff to deliver donations of food and supplies.

Photo by Megan Haley

It was a gamble, and he knew it. Spencer Osborn straightened his horn-rimmed glasses, leaned over ever so slightly toward the fair-haired young man seated next to him, and mustered his most refined British accent. “Excuse me, but may I bum a cigarette from you?” The place was Bar d’O, that raucous ’90s downtown New York City den of celebrity and song. The year was 2000, and a performance by Joey Arias was about to begin. Osborn, a marketing executive, had moved to New York from his native London a year earlier and was perpetually disappointed by a dating scene rife with gym rats, workaholics, and those more impressed with themselves than anyone else would ever be. But when he sat down and glanced over at Justin Garth White, the plates of his soul shifted.

“Of course you may,” White obliged, shaking a cigarette from his pack, the words spilling out in a warm drawl honeyed by his upbringing in the American West. The two exchanged pleasantries and throughout the entire performance they joked with one another sotto voce. The rest, the oft-repeated saying goes, is history. But it should be noted that Spencer Osborn had never smoked a cigarette in his life.

If you think they rode off into the sunset on horseback bound for White’s home state of Wyoming, you’d be in a different story. The pair set up household in Osborn’s ultra-modern, stunningly spare Chelsea apartment.  “It was all glass and white fabric,” White, a designer, bemoans in mock outrage. “I kept thinking I was waking up in an operating room.”

They were such devoted urbanites that over the years there were only a handful of reasons why they’d leave NYC. On his occasional trips to a client’s office in Westchester, Osborn would eye the long line of cars inching into the city. He couldn’t understand how people put up with that kind of traffic every day. “That will never be me,” he swore. But as time slips by, even the most stubborn urbanites sometimes find themselves yearning for a little softness underfoot that isn’t man made, for a visual respite from just so much concrete and glass, and for a little space to spread out. As the pair found themselves heading out of the city more frequently, they launched a real estate search that brought up a historic antique in the Byram Lake Reservoir area of Bedford Corners. 

While they met in a cabaret, the couple decided to make their home in an 18th-century farmhouse that served as a speakeasy in the 1920s and a tavern in the 1930s and 1940s. Restoration of the property has since fallen mostly to White, who studied art history in college and worked for years for the photographer Richard Avedon. With his western pragmatism and fearless creativity, he set about transforming the house and grounds—even creating two ponds, one of which is now home to his prized family of Koi. 

Very early in their history, Osborn and White discovered a mutual love of animals—rescues and discards in particular. Their first—when they were still city dwellers—was Sophie, a shih tzu-poodle mix they rescued from an upstate puppy mill. As those who rescue animals well know, the endeavor is a slippery slope—it’s a labor of love that can easily turn into an obsession.

Predictably, their brood grew. And grew. By the time they left the city their amalgamated family consisted of five dogs, five cats, and as many Koi, the largest of which now weighs nine pounds. One of their Koi, Anastasia, recently gave birth to a baby—they named her Flora. Another one, Blinky, was born without eyes, and one was diagnosed with diabetes and had to be given a series of shots.

“Justin and I did it ourselves,” Osborn explains. “We thought giving a fish a shot was a two-person job, but mind you, if one of you has a temper, it’s a three-person job.”  Eventually, a hamster family came home, as well, when Osborn discovered them in a cage at an office Secret Santa party. “Needless to say we’re on the frequent flyer plan at the veterinarian,” he says with a laugh.

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October 2018

Taconic Opera celebrate its 21thseason with another exciting event in October, bringing together two of the most popular one-act operas ever composed:  Giacomo Puccini’s Gianna Schicchi...

Cost: $32-$67; $7 senior discounts; $15 students all seats; family of 4 (any age) $85

Where:
Yorktown Stage
1974 Commerce St
Entrance on Veteran's Road
Yorktown Heights, NY  10598
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Sponsor: Taconic Opera
Telephone: 855-886-7372
Contact Name: Dan Montez
Website »

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Tickets are on sale now for The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation's presentation of Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a...

Cost: 30.00

Where:
Rogers Park Middle School
21 Memorial Drive
Danbury`, CT  06810
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Sponsor: Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 203-501-7424
Contact Name: Wendy Ann Mitchell
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Cost: Free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
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Sponsor: 1953
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
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On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
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Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
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Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, CT is pleased to welcome back literary scholar Mark Scarbrough as he leads a five week course The Soul Ajar: An Emily Dickinson Literature Course.  The classes...

Cost: Free and open to the public

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
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Bedford Hills Community House
74 Main Street
Bedford Hills, NY  10507
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Sponsor: Bedford 2020
Telephone: 914-302-7300
Contact Name: Lauren
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Tickets are on sale now for The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation's presentation of Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a...

Cost: 30.00

Where:
Rogers Park Middle School
21 Memorial Drive
Danbury`, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 203-501-7424
Contact Name: Wendy Ann Mitchell
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On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
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Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
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Tickets are on sale now for The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation's presentation of Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a...

Cost: 30.00

Where:
Rogers Park Middle School
21 Memorial Drive
Danbury`, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 203-501-7424
Contact Name: Wendy Ann Mitchell
Website »

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On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
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Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
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The Mental Health Association of Westchester (MHA) is thrilled to present An Evening of Conversation and Music with Modern Warrior LIVE on Wednesday, October 24th at the Chappaqua Performing Arts...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Chappaqua Performing Arts Center
580 Bedford Road
Chappaqua, NY  10514
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Sponsor: The Mental Health Association of Westchester
Telephone: 914-265-7511
Contact Name: Connie Moustakas
Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
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Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

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Tickets are on sale now for The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation's presentation of Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a...

Cost: 30.00

Where:
Rogers Park Middle School
21 Memorial Drive
Danbury`, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 203-501-7424
Contact Name: Wendy Ann Mitchell
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

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On Wednesday, October 24, 1:00-2:30 pm, Bruce Museum Registrar and Curator Kirsten Reinhardt will speak about the Museum’s collection of Navajo textiles, from Native American weaving traditions...

Cost: Free for Museum members and visitors with paid admission

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
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Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-505-9897
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

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Wednesday, October 24th at 4:00 PM. Open to all ages. Free and no registration required. Decorate Halloween cookies with icing, sprinkles, and candy. Come in costume! Co-sponsored with the NS...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
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Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
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Wednesday, October 24th at 7:00 PM. Ages 12 and up. Make a paracord bracelet for yourself or for a friend (the holidays will be here soon). Hosted by Gabriella. For questions, you can email the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
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Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Facilitated by Nina Bertolino This program will meet every other Wednesday from 10:30 - 12:30 on the following dates: September 12th & 26th, October 10th & 24th, November 7th & 21st, December 5th...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

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Cost: 20.00

Where:
Historical Hall
608 Old Post Road
Bedford, NY  10506
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Sponsor: Bedford Historical Society
Telephone: 914-234-9751
Contact Name: Sophia Bernier
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In this talk, Barbara Paul Robinson will discuss her latest book, Heroes of Horticulture: Americans Who Transformed the Landscape, which chronicles the stories of eighteen iconic pioneers of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Westchester Community College
75 Grasslands Road
Gateway Center
Valhalla, NY  10595
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Sponsor: The Garden Conservancy
Telephone: 845-424-6500
Website »

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Tickets are on sale now for The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation's presentation of Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a...

Cost: 30.00

Where:
Rogers Park Middle School
21 Memorial Drive
Danbury`, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 203-501-7424
Contact Name: Wendy Ann Mitchell
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

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Join us for an evening celebrating Italian culture! You won't want to miss this spectacular evening, Italian style! Antipasto, Buffet Dinner Italian-style, Wine, Music, Entertainment,...

Cost: $40

Where:
Church of the Assumption
131 Union Avenue
Peekskill, NY  10566
View map »


Telephone: 914-737-8872
Contact Name: Mary Mancini

More information

Tickets are on sale now for The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation's presentation of Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a...

Cost: 30.00

Where:
Rogers Park Middle School
21 Memorial Drive
Danbury`, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 203-501-7424
Contact Name: Wendy Ann Mitchell
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Friday mornings from 10:30 to 12:30. Free, no registration. Open to adults and older teens. Participants are asked to bring their own supplies in, but some basic supplies will be provided by the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

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The Evnin Rising Stars program is an incubator for leaders in classical music performance. Along with Pamela Frank, distinguished artist/mentors cellist Timothy Eddy and pianist...

Cost: $25, $40 Free tickets for students 18 and under!

Where:
Rosen House Music Room
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Rd
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Website »

More information

Tickets are on sale now for The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation's presentation of Christmas Bingo: It's a Ho-Ho-Holy Night, an interactive, hilarious comedy about a...

Cost: 30.00

Where:
Rogers Park Middle School
21 Memorial Drive
Danbury`, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation
Telephone: 203-501-7424
Contact Name: Wendy Ann Mitchell
Website »

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Cost: 0

Where:
Take it or Leave it Shed
Bedford Hills Train Station Parking Lot
Bedford Hills, NY
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Sponsor: Energize Bedford
Website »

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On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

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