Montclair, NJ or Bucks County, PA - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 06-08-2010, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
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We are deciding to move to either Montclair, NJ or Lower Bucks County, PA because there is a chance for public Montessori school in each place.

Any things you love or don't love about either place would be a great help to me in deciding. We have an almost 4 year old and a 7 month old, I stay at home with them, we don't vax, we do bf, we need acupuncture, good playground, etc.

We want to stay put for a long time after this move.

Thanks so much!
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#2 of 7 Old 06-08-2010, 02:56 PM
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Bucks County is one of my dream locations. I've never lived there, but grew up in Hunterdon County NJ, which is right across the Delaware from Bucks. It is a beautiful area and I would imagine there are many non-mainstream people there.

A, jammin.gif mama to a boy (2005) and a girl (2009)
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#3 of 7 Old 06-09-2010, 01:07 PM
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Bucks County is gorgeous, with New Hope being a center for open thinking... Montclair is a great, funky, diverse walking town with alot to do and alot going on in the natural birth movement... 2 great places to live!!

Mom to Liam 9/06, spirit baby 3/09, and identical twins Mateo and Sebastian 10/11namaste.gif

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#4 of 7 Old 06-09-2010, 02:45 PM
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I don't know Buck's County, but Montclair is one of the places we're considering in our upcoming move! (We have a four year old who is on the spectrum and we're moving from Mobile, AL to New Jersey, in large part to get better resources for him!)
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#5 of 7 Old 06-09-2010, 03:06 PM
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Definitely call the school system in Montclair. Yes, there is a chance at a montessori education, but their school system is set up very differently than most NJ school districts. Parents enter into a lottery for their chosen school, and children are bussed to the school they get in to (I believe). It would be very helpful to know how may choose a particular school vs. actually get admitted. That said, Montclair is a very groovy place - great park (Brookdale) which is within walking distance of many many houses, good commercial base, lots of cute shops, great restaurants, laid back vibe. The hyperlocal website for them is baristanet (dot com).

Just beware that NJ schools are facing MASSIVE cuts due to the new governor's budget, so PA may be a better option in the long run (although I don't know how PA funds its schools).
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#6 of 7 Old 06-09-2010, 03:18 PM
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We are currently in Montclair (technically Verona-less than a mile from the main strip of Montclair) & have been for 3 years now. I have lived/worked in South Brunswick/New Brunswick/Princeton/Hopewell areas for many years during & after college which are down toward the Bucks County side but in NJ.

I am originally from Sussex Cty which is very rural, Northwestern-most part of NJ.

So I kind of have a pretty wide scope & experience living here.

Bucks County is very nice & New Hope/Lambertville are fun. Very alternative lifestyle friendly. Not far from Philly.

Montclair, NJ is also nice, alternative friendly. Not far from NYC. We have made it into the city in 30 mins sometimes. Plus there are major train & bus lines all through Montclair, Verona & Orange that run into the city.

IMHO-I prefer being up here in Montclair. We prefer being closer to NYC & feel there are so many fun things going on for kids in Northern NJ & NYC.

And for Moms & Dads, Montclair has tons of restaurants (most are BYOB).

Bucks County might have more opportunities for rural living if you are looking at wanting to be tucked away more.

Many of my friends are still down in Ewing, New Brunswick, Princeton etc so when I miss walking around New Hope or Princeton, we go there to visit. But I don't feel like New Hope & Lambertville are as family friendly as Montclair is??? Maybe it's just me. I was hanging out down there when I was single & working right over the border in Pennington/Hopewell.

We are within walking distance of Verona Park which is also just a mile or so down the road from the main strip of Montclair. Verona park is beautiful. There is a lake with a walking path around it, a snack house with boat rentals, tennis courts & a large playground area with the 1-5 year old side & then a bigger kids side-swings in between.

Rt 46 is close enough by that during non peak traffic times, you can shoot out there quick. Babies R Us, Willowbrook Mall, Buy Buy Baby, Barnes & Noble, Home Depot, Target etc.

We are within a mile of 2 different Whole Foods. I know some people don't like WF but I have done extensive comparison's on certain things that I insist on buying more "natural" & the 365 brand is cheaper than Shoprite, Kings, Stop & Shop etc.

Taxes are high here but the services are great. Town pools, great libraries, great parks etc.

Any specific ?s-just ask. And if you end up in Montclair-let me know-we can meet at the park with the kids

Stephanie~hippie.gifwife to Dov, mama to Ella Irie (9/24/07) & Kaya Raine (2/1/10)~our vbac.gifbaby, born 45 hours after PROM!!!
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#7 of 7 Old 06-09-2010, 03:24 PM
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I was posting while momof4peppers was posting too

I should've added about the public Montclair schools...i believe it is what is called a magnet school system? And yes-everyone enters their name & you get assigned. i believe they all feed into Montclair HS.

and yes-nj schools are facing big, HUGE cuts. i would expect communities with such high taxes like montclair might not be as impacted though? although i really don't know much about the school cuts yet since our kids are so young still.

i thought with the montessori school-it was if you were willing to pay-you go?

Stephanie~hippie.gifwife to Dov, mama to Ella Irie (9/24/07) & Kaya Raine (2/1/10)~our vbac.gifbaby, born 45 hours after PROM!!!
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