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Getting to know Lawrence

It’s not hard to find 100-year-old estates in the village of Lawrence, which was once a summer hot spot for NYC’s wealthy.

It’s not hard to find 100-year-old estates in the village of Lawrence, which was once a summer hot spot for NYC’s wealthy. Some mansions from that era remain along with many smaller homes, but the village is still largely known for its affluence.

James McHugh, 23, who works in Lawrence, describes the village as “ritzy.” He says some nearby areas, however, are far from well-off. If McHugh had a wish list, he says he would like to see more affordable housing developed.

Randi Shinn, who works at Yali’s wig shop (401 Central Ave.) was attracted to the large Orthodox Jewish community in the Lawrence-Cedarhurst area. “You have everything at your fingertips here. There are stores and shops geared toward the orthodox, and those that are not,” says Shinn, 29. “You also have a sense that people know each other.”

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» History buffs may want to visit Lawrence’s Village Manor Hall (196 Central Ave.). The historic building houses the village’s traffic court and administrative services and is a good place to start for information on the town’s past, present and future.

» Sneak a peek at the past at Rock Hall Museum (199 Broadway, 516-239-1157). This Georgian mansion was completed in 1768 and offers guided tours, special programs and lectures.

» Take in all “Five Towns,” the popular name for this area of Southwest Nassau County that comprises Lawrence, Cedarhurst, Woodmere, Inwood and the Hewletts. Famous notables from this area include footwear designer Steve Madden, who grew up in Lawrence, as well as politician and gay rights activist Harvey Milk, who was born in Woodmere.

 
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