Editor’s note: All week long, Brittany Wait is profiling people around Sea Cliff, from community leaders to residents she bumps into around town.
Sara Reres, 63, director of the Sea Cliff Village Museum, has lived in Sea Cliff for 20 years.
Tell me about yourself and what is alluring about Sea Cliff?
I’ve been here for 20 years, but for Sea Cliff that’s nothing. The day I moved to Sea Cliff, I volunteered at the museum because I used to live in a house in Brooklyn that dated back to the Civil War. The house I live in now is only 106 years old. I’ve always loved history, especially old houses, so this is the town for me. A lot of the houses here have been well-preserved. They’re all so interesting in their own way. It’s like living in a museum walking around here.
What initially brought you to Sea Cliff 20 years ago?
I used to be in the publishing business, but retired from that when I had my children. We moved to Sea Cliff because my husband got a job close by and we wanted to change schools. They weren’t going to nice schools in the city. After I got here, I immediately volunteered for the museum.
What is so notable about this community?
The history of it is so wonderful. People came from the city 100 years ago by ferry and stayed at the resort hotels. It sounds like a really peaceful way to spend your weekend. In the 1970s, people started noticing that houses needed to be restored, not knocked down. I love seeing the preservation of these old homes.
What do you love most about Sea Cliff?
Sea Cliff is a place you can be yourself. It’s not cookie cutter here. You know everybody, and everybody knows you. You can walk down the street and say hello to 10 to 20 people. You never really feel lonely here. I know everyone on my street. My kids grew up with many of them.
What’s something interesting you can tell me about Sea Cliff that not many people know?
About 85 percent of residents came from Brooklyn 100 years ago. People who have lived here all their lives can trace their ancestry back to the city. I can appreciate this because I was born in Brooklyn.