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Brooklyn, or NJ? Tell me why you love where you live....

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi All, 

DH just got a job offer in NYC and we are contemplating making the move from MI.  I used to work in NY and lived in S. Orange and Millburn previously so I am familiar with those areas along the NE corridor (went to school at Rutgers so I know that area too), DH has never lived in NY but we have both spent lots of time there and have family in Brooklyn and NJ.  We are trying to decide where would be the best place to move our family (DD 5.5 and DS 3.5).

Things we need to consider: short commute to midtown (under 1 hr), schools, prices (will be renting, max budget $3000 monthly, preferably less) would like some outdoor space (not wanting to live in high rise apt or anything).

Also, I know the vax exemption is more of a PITA there (luckily we have philosophical exemption in MI) - is it more of a pain in NY or NJ?

We know that in either case, we will have to downsize from our current place, which is fine, but just looking for advice from other mamas in the area, where do you live and why do you love it?

TIA!

Chelsea

 

post #2 of 9

I know some people love love love Brooklyn, but i'm a Jersey girl. Right now we are living in Weehawken (it's okay) which is a simple commute (15 minutes) and we have a backyard space, park down the block, and our neighborhood is children friendly and we have a ton ton ton of friends. 

 

What I like about Jersey vs NY is this: ideally we would have own homestead but right now need to be close to NYC for work, and we are. If I want to go to the mountains, or the beach however I can easily drive there and it's not sweat. I love to be able to visit the city, but come home to my way more spacious than we could afford if it were NY, quiet neighborhood. So for me it's simply more space, more quiet, and a yard for my huge dogs and kids to play in.

post #3 of 9

Chelsea,

 

I live in Bloomfield,nj and there is a train station about 10 min from my house (lyndhurst station, on the yellow main line i believe)  with free commuter parking. It took me about an hour to get to SOHO between two NJ Transit Trains and 2 subways. We have a 2br for 1250/mo. we have a yard and drive way, right up the road from a park (walking distance). If you want space, the city is probably not the best idea. I have friends that pay hundreds more than we do for a 1br near harlem, just as a reference. I have a 2yr old and a little one due in may, and going to the city isnt any trouble for me via train. Sometimes parking during the week can be expensive if you go to Secaucus (like 18/day) bc it is easier with strollers, but when i need things to do with my little one and NJ doesnt cut it anymore (which is rare actually) its just a short train ride to the city.

 

ps im a michigander by birth too. from muskegon actually.

 

best of luck!

post #4 of 9

I have talked up my town, Nutley a few times on here.  This is a link to my old posts in this forum so I'm not repeating myself! :)

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/search.php?advanced=1&search=nutley&titleonly=0&byuser=marisa724&output=posts&replycompare=gt&numupdates=0&sdate=0&newer=1&sort=relevance&order=descending&Search=SEARCH

 

If that doesn't work, just search for Nutley and they should come up.  :)

 

 

The nice thing is that there's so much parkland in Nutley -- there's one big park that pretty much winds its way through the whole town.  All the houses tend to have decent yards as well. 

We live at the upper end just south of Route 3, and a bus to NYC stops right on our corner (goes in to the Port Authority in NYC).  Less than an hour -- more like 40 minutes, really.  I have taken the kids into the city on the bus a number of times when my husband was going to classes there on the weekend.  We'd meet him after he got out.  The little one was in a sling or backpack, easier than schlepping a stroller on and off the bus.

 

 

 

post #5 of 9

We just left NJ and I commuted into NYC most of my working years.  Dh is from Brooklyn.  :)

 

Religious vax exemption has been challenged in NY and parents HAVE been pulled into court to "prove" their beliefs but I'm not sure that's really the norm.  Flip side is that NJ is trying desperately to follow suit and currently got a bill through committee that would preserve religious exemption "except when the Commissioner declares an emergency".  My first thought was "like swine flu?".  :/  This hasn't gone to vote yet, but scary none-the-less.

 

Before we left, we were looking at Montclair.  AWESOME area and the public school has the first public Montessori Kindy (although I think it's on lottery to get into at the moment).  Easy commute.  TONS of great resources.  We were actually planning to move there from North Plainfield (which is a bit further out and the taxes are high, but rent is extremely reasonable.  Schools have a bad rap due to high immigrant population, but if you look at the segregated data--the sad truth is that the native English speaking kids do really well  :/  ).

 

So my vote would be Montclair.  And you could definitely rent there for less than $3k with a yard.

post #6 of 9

Having grown up on LI and living in NJ these past 13 years I vote Brooklyn.  I love our town in NJ (Fair Lawn).  Lots of great amenities for the kids, awesome library, etc.  However when it comes to mass transit and taking advantage of the city Brooklyn has NJ beat. 

post #7 of 9

I live in downtown Jersey City and love it.  We don't have quite the amenities that, say, Park Slope has with yoga studios on every corner next to high-end baby stores.  But we do have an abundance of brownstones, two amazing parks, and an amazing 470 strong moms group called Jersey City Moms.  For $3000, you could get an amazing place.  We have the PATH train system here, which gets you to the city fast, and we're crazy close to Newark Airport.  Hurry, though, the real estate is getting hotter and hotter here.

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherdeg View Post

We just left NJ and I commuted into NYC most of my working years.  Dh is from Brooklyn.  :)

 

Religious vax exemption has been challenged in NY and parents HAVE been pulled into court to "prove" their beliefs but I'm not sure that's really the norm.  Flip side is that NJ is trying desperately to follow suit and currently got a bill through committee that would preserve religious exemption "except when the Commissioner declares an emergency".  My first thought was "like swine flu?".  :/  This hasn't gone to vote yet, but scary none-the-less.

 

Before we left, we were looking at Montclair.  AWESOME area and the public school has the first public Montessori Kindy (although I think it's on lottery to get into at the moment).  Easy commute.  TONS of great resources.  We were actually planning to move there from North Plainfield (which is a bit further out and the taxes are high, but rent is extremely reasonable.  Schools have a bad rap due to high immigrant population, but if you look at the segregated data--the sad truth is that the native English speaking kids do really well  :/  ).

 

So my vote would be Montclair.  And you could definitely rent there for less than $3k with a yard.


Montclair is nice, commute is about 45 minutes into midtown by train or bus. You could find something nice for $3k. There are great parks here and nice people. The down side of Montclair is that city services keep getting cut, so one library has closed and the other is open only 4 hours on the weekend. Our public pools are pretty crummy. Programs keep getting cut from the public schools. No end in sight. But there are lots of resources here, nice farmer's market in the summer, art museum, tons of stuff for kids and families.

I am not particularly happy with the schools, my ds is in kindergarten at the Montessori school. The city keeps threatening to close the school to balance the budget, but it will remain open next year. Be aware that the lottery system means that you may not get your first choice of schools, and your kids might be bussed across town. The issue is not so much immigrant families, it's more that the town is quite "diverse" in terms of income levels and race.
post #9 of 9

I'd second the recommendation for Downtown Jersey City. I used to live there but  we outgrew what we could afford there.  For $3000, you'd be fine... we pay half that now in the burbs in a luxury apt but no private yard.  I have friends who tried Brooklyn and found themselves in Jersey City. For one, you have no city tax, but then I do suppose you'd have to pay income tax for both states and I'm not sure how that would work.  

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