Mount Vernon, New York
|Mount Vernon, New York|
Location within Westchester County and the state of New York
|Incorporated (as a village)||1853|
|Reincorporated (as a city)||1892|
|• Mayor||Richard Thomas January 1, 2016|
|• City Council|
|• Total||4.40 sq mi (11.40 km2)|
|• Land||4.39 sq mi (11.36 km2)|
|• Water||0.02 sq mi (0.04 km2)|
|Elevation||108 ft (33 m)|
|• Estimate (2016)||68,344|
|• Density||15,582.31/sq mi (6,016.80/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC−5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC−4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0957917|
Mount Vernon is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States. It is an inner suburb of New York City, immediately to the north of the borough of the Bronx. As of the 2010 census, Mount Vernon had a population of 67,292.
- 1 Description
- 2 History
- 3 Notable sites
- 4 Geography
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Economy
- 7 Parks and recreation
- 8 Government
- 9 Court system
- 10 Education
- 11 Infrastructure
- 12 Notable people
- 13 In popular culture
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 External links
Mount Vernon, the eighth-most populous city in the state of New York, has two major sections. Southside Mount Vernon is more urban, resembling the Bronx to the south, while Northside Mount Vernon is more residential. Mount Vernon's downtown business district is on the city's Southside, which features the City Hall, Mount Vernon's main post office, Mount Vernon Public Library, office buildings, and other municipal establishments.
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In 1894, the voters of Mount Vernon (and nearby Yonkers) voted, along with the voters of Kings County (present day Brooklyn), Queens County, and Richmond County (present day Staten Island), in a referendum on whether or not they wanted to become part of a "Greater New York City". While the results were positive elsewhere, the returns were so negative in Mount Vernon and Yonkers that those two areas were not included in the consolidated city and remained independent.
Unlike neighboring Wakefield (in the Bronx), which was named after the plantation where George Washington was born, Mount Vernon was not named after a site associated with George Washington; the naming of the city of Mount Vernon precedes the eponymous Virginia plantation where Washington spent his final years. Anne Hutchinson founded the Westchester city in the 17th century and named it for its green mount (hence the name, Mount Vernon).
The Mount Vernon Public Library, a gift to the city from Andrew Carnegie, opened in 1904 and is now part of the Westchester Library System, providing educational, cultural and computer services to county residents of all ages.
During the 1960s, Mount Vernon was a divided city on the brink of a "northern style" segregation. Many blacks from the southern United States migrated north and settled in the city of Mount Vernon for better job opportunities and educational advancements. At the same time, many white Americans from the Bronx and Manhattan looked to Mount Vernon as a new "bedroom community" due to rising crime in New York City (a "white flight" factor entailed as well). As a result, Mount Vernon became divided in two by the New Haven Line railroad tracks of the Metro-North Railroad: Northside and Southside. The population south of the tracks became predominantly black, while that north of the tracks was largely white.
At the height of this segregation in the 1970s, August Petrillo was mayor. When he died, Thomas E. Sharpe was elected mayor. Upon Sharpe's death in 1984, Carmella Iaboni took office as "acting mayor" until Ronald Blackwood was elected; Blackwood was the first Afro-Caribbean mayor of the city (as well as of any city in New York State). In 1996, Ernest D. Davis was elected the mayor of Mount Vernon; he served until 2007. Clinton I. Young, Jr. became the city's mayor on January 1, 2008. Four years later, on January 1, 2012, Ernest D. Davis became the 21st mayor of Mount Vernon. In 2013, Davis was investigated for failure to report rental income. In 2015, Richard Thomas ran against Davis (and several other opponents) and defeated him in an upset victory during the September primary. Thomas had to run again in the November general election, where he received 71% of the votes to become the next Mayor of Mount Vernon.
Mount Vernon has in recent years undergone a transition from a city of homes and small businesses to a city of regional commerce. Between 2000 and 2006, the city of Mount Vernon's economy grew 20.5%, making it one of the fastest-growing cities in the New York metropolitan area.
Mount Vernon sites included on the National Register of Historic Places include:
- First United Methodist Church
- John Stevens House
- Trinity Episcopal Church Complex
- United States Post Office on First Street
Mount Vernon is at  It is the third-largest and the most densely populated city in Westchester County. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.4 square miles (11.4 km2), of which 0.015 square miles (0.04 km2), or 0.39%, is water.(40.914060, -73.830507).
Mount Vernon is bordered by the village of Bronxville and city of New Rochelle to the north, by the town of Pelham and village of Pelham Manor to the east, by the Hutchinson River and the Eastchester and Wakefield sections of the Bronx to the south, and by the city of Yonkers and the Bronx River to the west.
Mount Vernon's elevation at City Hall is about 235 feet (72 m), reflecting its location between the Bronx River to the west and the Hutchinson River to the east. On a clear day, the Throgs Neck Bridge can be seen from 10 miles (20 km) away from many parts of the city, while at night, the bridge's lights can also be seen. The city's seal, created in 1892, depicts what were then considered the highest points in Mount Vernon: Trinity Place near Fourth Street, Vista Place at Barnes Avenue, and North 10th Street between Washington and Jefferson places. Since then, it was discovered that the city's highest elevation is on New York Route 22, North Columbus Avenue, at the Bronxville line.
Mount Vernon is typically divided into four major sections in four square miles: Downtown, Mount Vernon Heights, North Side, and South Side.
Downtown Mount Vernon features the Gramatan Avenue and Fourth Avenue shopping district (known as "The Avenue" by locals) and the Petrillo Plaza transit hub, and houses the city's central government.
Downtown is in the same condition it was 40 years ago. It features the same mid-century architecture and format. Former mayor Clinton Young vowed to make Mount Vernon a new epicenter with a new central business district. His failed plans included establishing commercial office space and rezoning to allow high density development in the downtown, as well as affordable and market rate housing.
Mount Vernon Heights
Mount Vernon Heights' highly elevated terrain has earned the moniker "the rolling hills of homes". It is home to the city's commercial corridor, along Sandford Boulevard (6th Street).
Sandford Blvd (6th Street)—also known as "Sandford Square"—is a certified commercial corridor, which anchors businesses such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Colonial Plaza (a strip mall), CVS Pharmacy, Famous Footwear, Hooperstown, Petco, Restaurant Depot, Staples, Stop and Shop, and Target. Sandford Square attracts residents from Mount Vernon, nearby communities in Westchester County and the Bronx, and shoppers from as far away as Connecticut via the Merrit Parkway and I-95, which merge onto the Hutchinson River Parkway.
Most of the commercial development in this corridor has occurred since the 1980s. The area is still undergoing revitalization to encourage economic development within this 400-acre (1.6 km2) of land along and around the boulevard.
Mount Vernon's North Side is one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in Westchester County. The northern part of the city consists of five neighborhoods: Chester Heights, Estate Manor/Aubyn Estates, Fleetwood, Huntswood, and Oakwood Heights. In Fleetwood, many large co-op buildings line the center of town, which is bisected by Gramatan Avenue. The Huntswood and Estates sections are more affluent areas on the border between Mount Vernon and the Village of Bronxville, with property values ranging from high $400,000 to millions of dollars for single houses.
Mount Vernon's South Side, which abuts The Bronx, resembles New York City and includes the neighborhoods Parkside, South Side and Vernon Park. Numerous industrial businesses are in Parkside, while the rest of South Side Mount Vernon features multi-family homes, apartment buildings, commercial businesses and housing projects.
South Side Mount Vernon features notable city landmarks such as Brush Park, Hutchinson Field, the Boys and Girls Club, and St. Paul's Church National Historic Site. NBA basketball player Ben Gordon, who is from the South Side, has dedicated two playgrounds to the city: one on South Eighth Avenue, and the other at the Mount Vernon YMCA Family Center.
2010 census data
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 67,292 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 61.3% Black, 18.5% White, 0.3% Native American, 1.8% Asian, <0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.4% from some other race and 2.5% from two or more races. 14.3% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
2000 census data
As of the 2000 census, 68,381 people, 27,048 households, and 18,432 families resided in the city. The population density was 14,290.3 people per square mile (5,792.7/km2), with 28,558 housing units at an average density of 7,205.9 per square mile (3,509.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 59.58% African American, 28.63% White, 10.48% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 4.85% from other races, 4.44% from two or more races, 2.12% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, and 0.32% Native American. A significant proportion of the population is of Brazilian descent; Brazilians can be included in the African American, White, Multiracial and/or Latino categories. Similarly, a significant part of the Black and/or Latino population is of Caribbean origin.
There were 27,048 households, of which 40.9% were married couples living together, 31.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.2% were non-families, and 28.0% had a female householder with no husband present. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the city, the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years.
For every 100 females there were 82.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $47,128, and the median income for a family was $55,573. Males had a median income of $41,493 versus $37,871 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,827. 13.9% of the population and 11.8% of families were below the poverty line. 12.7% of the population was 65 or older.
Mount Vernon's three major employers are the Mount Vernon city school district with (1,021 employees), Michael Anthony Jewelers (712 employees), and Mount Vernon Hospital (700 employees).
Mount Vernon has a large commercial sector that boosts the city's economy, with industries such as electronics, engineering, high tech, historical metal restoration, and manufacturing mainly in the Southside section of the city.
Mount Vernon also has an established Empire Zone for commercial and industrial use, in the southern portion of the city, which has attracted manufacturing companies and nationally recognized businesses for major retailers and companies such as:
· American Christmas
Parks and recreation
The city limits contain a number of city parks large and small, and Willson's Woods Park, a 23-acre (93,000 m2) county-owned park. One of the oldest parks in the county system, Willson's Woods offers a wave pool, water slides, and a spray deck and water playground, against the backdrop of an English Tudor style bathhouse. The park also has areas for picnicking and fishing.[This reference moved from previous location and citation needed template moved to unsourced statement above]
Straddling the Fleetwood-Chester Heights border is Hunt's Woods, a county preserve taken over by the city in 1967. It is a small stretch of open woods with hiking and nature trails.
The City of Mount Vernon is governed by a five-member city council, a mayor, and a comptroller. As per the city charter, to balance power, the mayor runs every four years with two council members, and the comptroller runs two years after the mayor with three council members. Therefore, in 2019, the mayor and two council seats are up for re-election. Beyond the regular political powers of elected officials, the City of Mount Vernon also has a checks and balances voting session called the Board of Estimate (BofE).
The city council consists of five representatives, elected at-large, one of whom is the city council president. The city council president is appointed/elected by the existing city council members. Under normal circumstances the council presidency is rotated, as are the council committee assignments as chair of the four council committees. In recent years, the full rotation has ceased to reappoint the more experienced council members. The council president also serves as mayor, in the absence of the mayor. This can occur when the mayor is out of town, had resigned, or dies in office. When this happens the president pro pem becomes city council president. And the acting president pro tem becomes president pro tem. As of January 2014, the city council president is Roberta L. Apuzzo. For the year of 2015, the city council president will be Marcus A. Griffith, president pro tem will be J. Yuhanna Edwards, and acting president pro tem will be Roberta L. Apuzzo. The members of the city council are Roberta L. Apuzzo, J. Yuhanna Edwards, Marcus A. Griffith, Lisa Copeland, and Andre Wallace. All elected members of the city government are Democrats.
The mayor until 2015 was Ernest D. Davis, who also served as mayor for three previous terms. In 2007, he was defeated by County Legislator Clinton Young. Davis was re-elected 2011, beating out his opponents including the sitting mayor Young, Comptroller Maureen Walker, Councilman J. Yuhanna Edwards, and Peter Sherril. Mount Vernon held a mayoral election in November 2015 and elected Councilman Richard Thomas to the office of mayor. He took office on January 1, 2016.
In the last city election held in November 2013, Maureen Walker was re-elected as comptroller. She ran unopposed. Walker is serving in her fifth four-year term. All elected members of the city government are Democrats. J. Yuhanna Edwards, Roberta Apuzzo won their second four-year terms, and returning Councilman Marcus A. Griffith won a four-year council term.
Board of Estimate
The Board of Estimate is composed of the mayor, the city council president, and the comptroller. The city council president votes of behalf of the city council. All monetary decisions, including the annual budget and many legal ramifications, must pass vote of the BofE. The Board of Estimate meets every Tuesday after the city council's Wednesday legislative session.
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The Mount Vernon city court is part of the New York State Unified Court System. It has three elected full-time judges who serve for ten years and one part-time associate judge who is appointed by the mayor for a period of eight years. The judges of the court are William Edwards, Adrian Armstrong, and Nichelle Johnson. Adam Seiden serves as an associate judge of the court. The court handles a wide variety of cases, including initial processing of all felony criminal cases; handling of all misdemeanor cases from inception through trial; civil proceedings with a limited monetary jurisdiction of up to $15,000; all landlord tenant cases originating in the city; small claims cases; and all vehicle and traffic law matters. The court is housed in the public safety complex, which is adjacent to City Hall.
Mount Vernon City School District consist of 11 elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools and one alternative high school.
|Elementary schools||Middle schools||High schools|
|Cecil H. Parker||A.B. Davis Middle||Mount Vernon High School|
|Columbus||Longfellow Middle||Nellie A. Thornton High|
|Edward Williams||Pennington Middle||Nelson Mandela Alternative|
|William H. Holmes|
Westchester Community College has an extension site education facility, downtown.
In 2011, The Journal News featured an article titled "Region's Aging Schools Crumble as Finances Falter", by Cathey O'Donnell and Gary Stern. The article discussed several old school buildings within the region that were in disrepair, how much it would cost to fix them, and which if any might need to be demolished. The Mount Vernon school district was included in the article, which stated:
- "In Mount Vernon, meanwhile, where a high school wall collapsed last year, inspectors flagged buildings for insufficient smoke detectors, poor air quality, evidence of rodents and vermin, halls without emergency lighting and junction boxes with exposed live wires."
The 115-year-old Mount Vernon Hospital has 228 beds. It is part of the Montefiore Health System and provides in-patient, critical care, and ambulatory services to residents of Mount Vernon and neighboring communities. The hospital is most known for its premier Chronic Wound Treatment and Hyperbaric Center, which is one of the most advanced in the Northeast. It also offers a variety of services, including the Assertive Community Treatment Center (ACT), the Family Health and Wellness Center, the Hopfer School of Nursing, Hyperbaric Medicine, and Intensive Case Management.
Mount Vernon Hospital is one of four hospitals in the county that provides programs in medicine, nursing, surgery and podiatry. (Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital, White Plains Hospital, and Westchester Medical Center are the others.) The hospital has “some of the finest medical doctor educators on staff. There is a 92 percent pass rate on boards for medical residents.”
Mount Vernon Hospital's emergency room treats 25,000 patients a year and is going to be expanded at a cost of $2.5 million, doubling its size from 9,000 to 18,500 square feet (800 to 1,700 m2). The expansion plans include 15 private treatment rooms and upgrades to the waiting area, triage room and other areas in the emergency department.
The area around the hospital has many medical office buildings and treatment facilities which provide healthcare to residents living in Mount Vernon, the southeast section of Yonkers, and the north Bronx, which shares a border with the city. For example, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, the Planned Parenthood affiliate that services New York's Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester Counties, opened its first medical center in Mount Vernon in 1935; the affiliate remains a vital source for reproductive health care services to Mount Vernon residents.
The city of Mount Vernon is protected by the Mount Vernon Fire Department (FDMV). The FDMV currently operates out of four firehouses, throughout the city, under the command of a Deputy Chief per shift. The department also operates four engine companies, three ladder companies, and one rescue company. The department responds to approximately 8,000 emergency calls annually.
Places of worship
The city's previous motto was "A City That Believes". This is reflected in the houses of worship in the city that represent over 25 denominations.
In late 2005, the RBA Group conducted a study and found that over 5,000 commuters traverse the area on a daily basis; about 3,600 commuters use the Westchester County Bee-Line Bus System, and 1,500 use the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Metro-North Railroad commuter rail service.
- Petrillo Plaza, adjacent to Metro North's Mount Vernon East station in downtown Mount Vernon, is the hub for Westchester's Bee-Line Bus System service in Mount Vernon. The Mount Vernon's taxi services operate from Petrillo Plaza as well.
- Bee-Line Bus routes serving Mount Vernon are 7, 40, 41, 42, 43, 52, 53, 54, 55, as well as the 91, which operates during the summer.
- A New York City Bus route (MTA) serves two blocks in Mount Vernon along the NYC border. The Bx16 travels along Mundy Lane (S. 11th Avenue) between W. 5th Street (Nereid Avenue) and W. Sandford Blvd (Pittman Avenue).
- The Metro-North's north-south Harlem Line stops at Mount Vernon West and Fleetwood, both on the western edge of Mount Vernon; the west-east New Haven Line stops at Mount Vernon East, in the heart of downtown.
- Both the 2 and 5 trains (IRT White Plains Road Line) and the 2 and 5 trains (IRT Dyre Avenue Line) of the New York City Subway system have terminals just south of the Mount Vernon border, served by the Bee-Line. The 2 and 5 trains terminates at 241st Street in Wakefield. The 2 and 5 trains terminates at Dyre Avenue in Eastchester. Additionally, the 5 goes to Nereid Avenue during rush hours in the peak direction. Both locations are within 5 minutes walking distance of Southside Mount Vernon.
Mount Vernon is served by three of the county's busiest parkways which link to New York City: the Bronx River Parkway, the Cross County Parkway, and the Hutchinson River Parkway. Additionally, I-95 and I-87 are both less than a mile from Mount Vernon's borders, offering both passenger car and truck access to the area.
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- Camille Akeju
- Lou Albano
- Ralph Branca
- John Branca
- Jonathan Briley
- Art Carney
- David Chase
- Dick Clark
- Sean Combs
- DMX (rapper)
- Andre Drummond
- DJ Eddie F
- Damion Easley
- Linda Fairstein
- Robin Givens
- Seth Godin
- Ben Gordon (basketball)
- Paul Grassi
- Rudy Hackett
- Mark Harris (author)
- Heavy D
- W.C. Heinz
- Michael Imperioli
- Kay Johnson
- Kevin Jones (basketball)
- Andy Karl
- Roz Kelly
- Harvey Kurtzman
- Benton MacKaye
- Johnny Marks
- Rodney McCray (basketball)
- Scooter McCray
- Stephanie Mills
- Lowes Moore
- Robin Morgan
- Robert Mosbacher
- Asia Nitollano
- Michael O'Keefe
- Floyd Patterson
- Sidney Poitier
- Adam Clayton Powell
- Phylicia Rashad
- Leon Robinson
- Pete Rock
- Larry Romano
- Wayne Allyn Root
- Betty Shabazz
- Davetta Sherwood
- John Simon (critic)
- Nina Simone
- Ken Singleton
- Roy Smith
- J. B. Smoove
- Lionel Stander
- John M. Sternhagen
- Al B. Sure!
- Denzel Washington
- Barbara Werle
- E.B. White
- Gus Williams
- Ray Williams
- Sylvia Woods
In popular culture
Multiple movies have been set in or featured Mount Vernon, such as:
- Dead Presidents (1995)
- Empty Places (1999)
- The Thomas Crown Affair (1999): shot a scene in Willson's Woods Park, which was transformed to look like Central Park; the Vernon Woods co-op complex was used to stage and store equipment during the scene.
- Riding in Cars with Boys (2001)
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
- The Book of Henry: ending scene with the main characters walking out of the courthouse. It is unclear if the entire story took place in Mt. Vernon or not.
Scenes from multiple TV shows have been shot in Mount Vernon, such as:
- "IF YOU'RE THINKING OF LIVING IN: MOUNT VERNON". The New York Times. 13 January 1985. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
- "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 5, 2017.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Mount Vernon city, New York". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
- Cohen, Joyce (January 31, 1999). "If You're Thinking of Living In / Wakefield, the Bronx; Hugging Westchester At the Subway's End". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-21.
- Nevius, Michelle & Nevius, James (2009), Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City, New York: Free Press, ISBN 141658997X, p.177-78
- Bandler, Jonathan (February 13, 2013). "Feds investigate Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest Davis' finances". The Journal News – via LoHud.com.
- Lungariello, Mark (September 11, 2015). "Westchester County Primaries: Thomas Wins in Mount Vernon". The Journal News – via LoHud.com.
- Garcia, Ernie (November 4, 2015). "Richard Thomas Wins Mount Vernon Mayoral Race". The Journal News – via LoHud.com.
- National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Willson's Woods Park Archived December 14, 2010, at WebCite
- "City Council". City of Mount Vernon, NY Official Website. Retrieved November 6, 2012.
- "Finance". City of Mount Vernon, NY Official Website. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
- "Mayor's Office". City of Mount Vernon, NY Official Website. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
- "Richard Thomas wins Mount Vernon mayoral race".
- "Region's aging schools crumble as finances falter". The Journal News. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
- "Fire Department - City of Mount Vernon NY". cmvny.com. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
- "Houses of Worship". Official Website of the City of Mount Vernon, NY.
- Bee-Line Bus Map, Liberty Lines
- "Bronx Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. January 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
- "MNR Map".
- "mta.info - MTA Subway Map".
- Bass, Holly (March–April 2006). "Camille Akeju: New Director Seeks to Rejuvenate Anacostia Museum". Crisis: 37–39. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
- "Michael Imperioli". IMDb. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
- Bloom, Nate (2011-12-20). "Shining a Light on the Largely Untold Story of the Origins of Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer". InterfaithFamily.com. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
- "Board of Directors". Official web site of the Boys and Girls Club of Mount Vernon. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
- "Honoring Our Own", Westchester Magazine, January 23, 2009. Archived December 14, 2010, at WebCite
- "Barbara May Theresa Werle Obituary". U-T San Diego. 2013-01-05. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- Isaacs, Stan (December 17, 1979). "Mean Joe: Goliath plays Othello". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
- "City of Mount Vernon General Page". Mount Vernon Public Library.
- "Movies Filmed In Mount Vernon". IMDB. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
- "Mount Vernon...Did You Know?". Mount Vernon Daily Voice. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
- Site about the film Archived March 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
- Rauch, Ned P. (June 27, 2014). "HBO series 'The Leftovers' stars Mount Vernon". LoHud.com.
- Vermeulen, Timotheus. "Introduction". Scenes from the Suburbs: The Suburb in Contemporary US Film and Television. Edinburgh University Press. p. 13.
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