Hillcrest, Rockland County, New York

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Hillcrest is a hamlet (and census-designated place), in the Town of Ramapo, Rockland County, New York, United States located north of Spring Valley; east of Viola; south of New Square and New Hempstead and west of New City. The population was 7,106 at the 2000 census.

It is regarded as a bedroom suburb of New York City, as many residents commute to employment in Manhattan (and, to a lesser extent, northern New Jersey) by bus (Red and Tan Lines), train (Metro North Railroad) or automobile.[citation needed] It is primarily served by the Spring Valley post office.



In the early 1900s, Hillcrest became a summer retreat for working class families from New York City; the families could access Hillcrest by train. In 1955, the Tappan Zee Bridge opened (connecting Tarrytown in Westchester County with Nyack in Rockland County), increasing traffic into the community and making access to New York City easier for the local population. Craig H. Long, the Town of Ramapo historian, said that many secular Jews were part of the first wave of settlers into Hillcrest after the opening of the Tappan Zee. In the 1960s, Hillcrest attracted Jews from Brooklyn and The Bronx boroughs of New York City; the Jewish people going to Hillcrest desired inexpensive starter homes, a short commute and a suburban atmosphere.

In the 1990s, the community attracted immigrants from Asia and the Caribbean, as well as from Brooklyn and The Bronx, who moved to the community for the same reasons as the Jews did in previous decades. In the 1990s, the community lost a greater percentage of White people than any other place in New York. From 1980 to 2001, the community's demographics changed from almost completely White to around one-fifth White. David W. Chen of The New York Times said that "perhaps one of the reasons Hillcrest has managed to evolve so significantly yet anonymously" is the community's hamlet status; he added that "even within Ramapo, Hillcrest is often overlooked." Chen reported that many real estate agents and residents said that no one factor caused or contributed to the ethnic change. Many families moved because their children became adults and they wanted lower property tax rates or because they retired and moved to warmer climates.[1]

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