Looking for Our Tribe/Neighborhood in Greater NYC Metro Area - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-05-2011, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello, Mamas,

 

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)

Queer friendly

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.

 

In gratitude,

C

 

 


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Old 12-07-2011, 12:46 PM
 
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There are many areas in NJ that are very easily commutable to NYC.  Although some of the suburbs can be quite conservative, there are little pockets around that have small, walkable towns that are fairly progressive.  Some that come to mind are Rutherford, Montclair, Nutley, Red Bank, Morristown, Ridgewood, Maplewood, Summit, Madison.  Most of them have direct bus or train routes into the city.  Some of them are quite pricey, but others are pretty middle-of-the-road.

 

I live in Belleville, which is generally a bit more conservative/blue-collar than I would prefer, but we are on the Nutley border, and do really like that town.

 

Best of luck to you.

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Old 12-07-2011, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks very much, Gr8fulMama! I'll definitely look into those towns.


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Old 12-12-2011, 09:30 PM
 
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Look at Upper Manhattan (Hudson Heights), South Bronx, and Astoria/Long Island City in Queens. They are all good possibilities. It's kind of horrible, but look at New York Magazine and Time Out New York to get a good sense of neighborhoods. 

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Old 02-14-2012, 07:05 PM
 
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I am in search of the same community...please keep me posted if you come across one! I am located in Long Island right now and would LOVE to switch spots with you in Northern California. I grew up here in Long Island and do not like it at all, especially now with two children, I want a small town with big values, and I am not finding it here on Long Island. My criteria are the same: green space, progressive, preferably environmentally-oriented, communuty-based education options, farmer's markets, local businesses, CSAs, arts and culture. Oh, and a fair anount of ethnic diversity as well. Is this too much to ask? I am on the hunt!

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Old 05-04-2012, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What terrible manners I have! Thanks, all, for your recommendations. And @motherlove99, my apologies. I hope you have found the community you're looking for. We decided not to move (for a few reasons, not the least of which was the fact that we couldn't bear to leave this place) but if you ever want to migrate out this way, let me know!


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Old 05-11-2012, 09:00 PM
 
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Cold Spring NY fits your description pretty well.  And it's right on the train line.  70 minutes to Grand Central.

 

Best wishes!

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Old 05-21-2012, 07:51 AM
 
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I grew up in NorCal and lived in SoCal for 13 years (after 6 years in Portland, OR). We moved to NYC 3 years ago and lived in Astoria. While there are things I loved about Astoria (GREAT food, very diverse), the public schools are atrocious and I found it very difficult to get decent access to organic or local foods. Not having a yard was also very hard on us (2 young kids) and I just couldn't really seem to "click" with any type of community. We were on a quest to find a better lifestyle on the East Coast and used MDC for recommendations for locations.

 

After multiple people, from multiple walks of life, recommended it to us, we finally settled on Montclair, NJ and we are REALLY REALLY happy here.

 

We currently live in a 2 BD/1 BA apartment in a 3-unit house. We pay exactly the same as we paid in Astoria, but we now have a full dining room, a LARGE kitchen, a fully enclosed sun-room/porch, a (shared) yard with built-in BBQ, laundry in the building, and the option to get a dog. We have at least 50% more space, probably more. And the downstairs unit in the building literally just opened up for rent today.

 

The schools are AMAZING here. THis is a small district and is a "magnet" district, so each school has a theme and students can go to ANY school in the district. Our children currently attend a public Montessori school. That's right, public Montessori elementary school. This is a "crunchy" community, so lots of access to local and organic foods. Beautiful little township with some great little small-town areas. This place has fantastic character. And when I say beautiful, I really mean it. Green, green, green with lots of little streams, rivers, lakes, etc.

 

It takes me about 45 minutes on the train to Penn Station in NYC. The train + subway monthly cost is about $300 (it would be less and might take a little less time if I took the bus to Manhattan, so I'll be trying that next month) and door-to-door it takes me 1.5 hours (that includes walking to the train station, and getting all the way across and up Manhattan to the Upper East Side and walking from the subway to my office). My husband works from home and we have absolutely not problems with being a 1-car family. Heck, we could be a no-car family pretty darn easily.

 

PM me for my email and phone - I'd be more than happy to talk to you about your potential move. Moving from CA to NY was a very, very, very big change. Honestly, it was more like my experiences living in other countries than my experiences moving from one US city to another.
 


ex-Californian, making my way on the East Coast with DS (10), DS (6) and WAHDH. Former extended BF'er, co-sleeper, and baby-wearer. Remembering how to garden.

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Old 07-17-2012, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the great info, mmgarda. It looks as if we're going to stay here in CA for the time being after all, but if that changes I'll definitely look you up and look into Montclair. xo
 


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