Our lease is up in November and I think we are going to move -- currently we have a house in Weehawken that we lease that's really lovely, but I'm just not into the quasi urban thing. Our street is pretty, I have a great park a tiny walk away (it's on my street) and I've made plenty of friends but I need my privacy, and space.
Which brings me to my question, where do you live in Jersey and why do you love it, and hate it.
My favorite towns (and picks) if we move are Morristown (my family lives there also), Montclair (close enough to parents, nature, and still a little town to cruise in..) Westfield, or Madison area.
Hi there! I am in Westfield and love it! I grew up here... and after 10 years in Manhattan/Brooklyn, I moved back once I had my first baby. I couldn't think of a better place to raise her. It's a lovely community -- good schools, nice parks, sweet little downtown.
If you have any specific questions about Westfield, feel free to drop me a PM.
Thought I'd add... something I majorly dislike about Westfield is the lack of direct train service in NYC. Changing trains in Newark is a pain.
-lots of nice people, arty cosmopolitan vibe
-really nice parks and playgrounds
-vibrant fun shopping areas, restaurants
-lots of family activities, nice kids YMCA
-direct train service to city (not full service on weekends)
-pretty good range of home prices
-quick drive into NYC on weekends (35 mins)
-very high property taxes
-library is not that great, and hours keep getting cut
-crummy town pools (but membership is cheap)
-schools are ok, but no neighborhood schools, all magnet/by lottery. So that means you might get your first choice....or your last. Honestly, we are thinking of moving because of the schools. We are moderately happy with our elementary school.
-there are a lot of families here with a lot of money. Sometimes I get a little tired of the ostentatious display of wealth. But there are also a lot of less wealthy families too.
-crime in downtown Montclair. There have been muggings etc outside of restaurants in the evenings, and there are some pretty bad sections of town.
We've lived here for quite a while. Pm me if you want to chat.
mama to H. 4/05 and A. 9/08 and baby C. 10/11
Seems like you're more attracted to the Northern areas of the state, but just thought I'd throw out Monmouth County area in case you're willing to come south. Nothing beats being so close to the beach, quick trip to the city via ferry, plenty of woods, tons of community events. Just a thought!
Thanks for the replies - I am really open to anything, and am looking forward to reading MORE responses (cmon Jersey-ans)
My Aunt lives in Monmouth county and it's pretty lovely but I don't know if it's my cup of tea because I don't really like the beach...we do a lot of day trips : )
mama to H. 4/05 and A. 9/08 and baby C. 10/11
I can put in $0.02 on the Ridgewood area. Ridgewood is VERY nice, terrific shopping, good library, nice town pool (it's sand, not normal concrete pools, pretty neat), some very nice parks, and a terrific fireworks display on July 4th, but it all comes with a very high price tag.
I live very close to Ridgewood in Hillsdale. I gotta say I love my town, the shopping isn't as high end or nice but it's got some good local restaurants, a bunch of different parks, good schools, great commuting into NYC (bus and train), really nice town pool, an active "green team" in the schools and in the town, plus close to the good shopping in other towns. I'll admit to being a tad biased though since I grew up here, but when DH and I were looking for a house we looked all over Bergen County and still ended up here. It's not the fanciest town but it's one of the more affordable in the area (relatively speaking to the rest of Bergen County, lol) and still has good schools and good amenities.
I live in Rockaway and like it well enough. Rockaway's main street is lacking simply because it's caught between 80 & 46. That being said, I can walk to Parks Lake or to main street for pizza. We have a good mom & pop book store and local hardware store, while also being in close proximity to the mall and big-box stores. We're 3 miles to Denville with a neat main street, including a very good natural food store and ice cream shop. I find the people here to be more down to earth (mid-class maybe?) than those in Madison/Chatham.
If you are looking for space, I'd look to Sussex County or west toward Chester. Chester has a cute main street, lots of parks, farms and CSAs.
Howeberry - I used to live off Green Pond Road in Rockaway : ) We had so much space/chickens/cheap rent. I miss it, I do enjoy that area (love the health store..) I love Chester too we go to the little tea house (Sally Lunns) sometimes for momma/me time.
Chickens! How fun! I've been wanting to get a couple cause I've heard they eat ticks. :)
I haven't heard of the tea shop in Chester. We're there once a week for mommy & baby yoga. Will have to check that out sometime.
We have been in Fair Lawn for 13 years now. It is a solid town with a great library, excellent town rec sports program, a lovely sand bottom pool, and an easy commute to the city. It has the benefit of being close to Ridgewood so we enjoy the amenities without paying those taxes.
We just bought a house in North Plainfield (Somerset County, but within a blocks of both Mdlsx and Union Counties) recently. Its nice enough here - wouldn't have been my top pick but we found a awesome old house to renovate at a horribly low price. Towns I'd love to live in.. Highland Park, anywhere along the beach in Monmouth County (Red Bank, Ocean Grove, Bradley Beach, Avon, etc.), Westfield has amazing houses but is quite pricey!, Metuchen is a cute little town too. Personally, I am one for a little plot of land with some trees (and chickens would be nice too!) and then a nice downtown area to walk to.
We have an amazing group of like-minded families in this area. Don't know if you're into homeschooling, but we're even starting a homeschool co-op this fall!
(p.s. - just looked at your profile and i'd consider us waldorf inspired unschoolers as well).
homeschooling mama to ella (9) and maya (5)