We're considering a move to the NYC area for a job offer that may be too good to refuse. The thing is, we love our lifestyle here in Northern California, in a progressive rural area about 1 hr. north of San Francisco. We're currently trying to conceive #1, so it's more important than ever that if we make this leap, we land in the right place. I lived in the East Village in the mid-late '90s, but that was such a different time and period of life that I have no clue where to look now.
Here's what we're thinking of leaving behind...and what we'd love to find in our new home:
Safe, progressive, community-minded neighborhood
Affordable (by NYC-area standards)
Artistic/crunchy vibe (though preferably not too hipster)
Access to green space - community garden would be ideal
Farmer's market, CSA, local Transition and/or Permaculture group
Progressive schooling options
We would love to live somewhere in the lower Hudson River Valley, but realize that that isn't realistic with regard to the very city-based career limitations. We're not picky about where exactly we land, borough or even state-wise, as long as it's easily commutable to Manhattan.
Basically, we're hoping for something along the lines of Park Slope or even Williamsburg circa 1996. Is this a complete pipe-dream? If so, are there any neighborhoods/towns where we could find at least several of the items listed above, with a good network of like-minded folks working to build a similar vision?
I realize that this is a tall order! Any and all advice is most appreciated.