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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>I don't know the area AT ALL...so I'm happy to collect personal opinions at this point.</p>
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<p>If money weren't an issue, would you prefer to live with your 3 kids (8, 3, baby) in a nice apartment in Manhattan or in a house somewhere in Westchester on the metro north line (we need grand central access)...perhaps Dobbs Ferry, Larchmont...something along those lines? I LOVE the idea of the space and the nature/yards just a bit further out, but am not so sure about the social culture...we are not country club people to say the least. And as amazing as the city is, I don't know how much I'll be able to benefit from it with 3 kids, including two small ones, and no possibility to just send them outside to play while I make dinner, etc. I've never really lived like that before. I also worry about neighbors not appreciating the kid noise. The pros and cons of both options keep cancelling each other out! help! give me your two cents! Chances are you know something I don't know! <img alt="nod.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/nod.gif"></p>
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<p>thanks!</p>
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<p>we are very AP and we also homeschool, in case that info helps any. </p>
 

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<p>Nyack is nice and pretty "crunchy". You could take a quick bus over the Tappan Zee and grab the train in Tarrytown. Totally not a pretentious town at all!</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
<p>I've heard great things about Nyack, but I think that extra bridge commute is probably a deal breaker. </p>
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<p>is anyone here living in westchester county? are there any "relaxed" areas?</p>
 

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<p>We're in Mamaroneck.  I think if you can afford to live in Manhattan, you'll be fine here.  We're in an apartment.  It's rough without a yard but there is a LOT for sale here, and depending on your budget, many houses for rent as well.  There is a Holistic heath care practice in White Plains <a href="http://www.fullcirclefamilycare.com/" target="_blank">http://www.fullcirclefamilycare.com/</a>, a fairly active LLL group in Westchester, and a *very* active LLL group in Greenwhich, CT.  I don't know where you're coming from but cost of living is high.</p>
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<p>It's not outwardly crunchy here, at all.  Way more relaxed and crunch in Rockland County (where Nyack is) in general.  I'd rather be there, too, but the TZ bridge commute is a nightmare.  On the other hand, your DH could take the bus down to Jersey, and take the train from there... I think. </p>
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<p>I don't know anyone who homeschools or is out about non/selective vax.  I wear DS everywhere and when I drop DD off at school it is a constant source of conversation.  There is a lot to do without being in a country club :D  We go to the BX zoo, Stepping Stones (CT), the Larchmont library just redid their kids' section and it's amazing.  Storytimes and puppet shows.  The Emlin theatre does great kid friendly programming.  Harbor Park in Mam'k is groovy.  Lots of pools and nature centers in Westchester.  There's a WF in White Plains, 3 Trader Joe's, and 2 Mrs. Green's.  </p>
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<p>We've been here a little over a year.  It was a hard adjustment.  Good luck!</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info! So it sounds like westchester has a lot to offer kids, just not particularly good for homeschoolers...that's something to think about.<br><br>
The cost of living there doesn't worry me as much as the lack of halfway like minded community. It sounds like either we have to go way out, or go right into the city and sacrifice space/nature, or go to jersey and have a lame commute for dh. Hmmm...what a choice! Haha <img alt="innocent.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/innocent.gif">
 

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<p>why move to ny to live in the burbs? sheesh that area is so boring its depressing. my stepson lives half time with his mother in nyack/valley cottage and we live on the upper west side manhattan. i dread driving through his town to go get him.. there's seriously nothing there but a mall. i guess it depends on what you're looking for.. if you want open area and nothing more.. the burbs for the win. if you want new york, you need to live in the city lol. and if money was no option, you could have a very spacious brownstone all to yourself with plenty of room for your family! or a sick penthouse apartment with a private rooftop garden (backyard for the kids).</p>
<p>but if suberb is what you're looking for, dobbs ferry, riverdale, hastings on the hudson etc have lovely houses and great schools. if the area didnt suck so bad as far as things to do/quality of life, we would live there</p>
 

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<p>and also, there's no need to sacrifice nature depending on where you live in the city. we live across the street from central park and when we go there, the nature paths are so dense with trees/wildlife you can't see the buildings anymore totally forget you're in the city!</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
<p>haha tell us what you REALLY think of the burbs!!!!! <span><img alt="lol.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/lol.gif"> i know what you mean, though.</span></p>
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<p>i simply have never lived in a city...i think i have a high need for nature all around me, i'm not sure if a public park...even a massive one would be enough. maybe it would! my kids have lived their lives thus far in switzerland surrounded by mountains and forests. i mean, they like to hang out in cafes or go to the museum, i just wonder what it would be like if we had only that. it could be great...it could make us nuts.</p>
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<p>i wouldn't say rents are nooooo consideration, just that we are able to find *something* decent in any of the places we're considering...i don't know about a sick penthouse! ha ha! we will certainly look in the city first and see if we can find what we're looking for, but since there isn't always a ton available, we want to find out which burbs are our best bet, ya know?</p>
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<p>any problems with kid noise as far as city neighbors are concerned? do you happen to know if the "pre-war" type of apartments let less noise through than more modern ones or vice versa?</p>
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<p>thanks so much for your input!!!<br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>starbyfar7</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1286703/moving-to-nyc-area-city-or-burbs#post_16134947"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>why move to ny to live in the burbs? sheesh that area is so boring its depressing. my stepson lives half time with his mother in nyack/valley cottage and we live on the upper west side manhattan. i dread driving through his town to go get him.. there's seriously nothing there but a mall. i guess it depends on what you're looking for.. if you want open area and nothing more.. the burbs for the win. if you want new york, you need to live in the city lol. and if money was no option, you could have a very spacious brownstone all to yourself with plenty of room for your family! or a sick penthouse apartment with a private rooftop garden (backyard for the kids).</p>
<p>but if suberb is what you're looking for, dobbs ferry, riverdale, hastings on the hudson etc have lovely houses and great schools. if the area didnt suck so bad as far as things to do/quality of life, we would live there</p>
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<p>just saying as a country preferring mama and not a city person at all: central park DOES NOT cut it, in terms of open space (for me).  </p>
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<p>Are there places in Central Park where you can't see the buildings of NYC?  Yes.  But the 1,000 bikers, runners, dog walkers, homeless people, teenagers, tourists, and the like will certainly remind you that you are in a city landscape, and not the backcountry.</p>
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<p><span><img alt="treehugger.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/treehugger.gif"></span></p>
 

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<p>Yes, there are lots of malls in the burbs, but they aren't completely devoid of civilization.  There are also nice things like farmers markets, and nature centers, etc.  The town I live in, has a thriving main street with a vegan restaurant, yarn shop, used book store, etc, etc.</p>
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<p>There are NJ transit buses and trains that are just as convenient to midtown as the metro-north trains are.  If you plan to homeschool, that is easier in NJ.  So, you might want to look at NJ as well.</p>
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<p>I suspect you don't really mean "if money wasn't an object."  For NYers that that is really true for, they usually do things like keep a small apartment on the upper west side, while also owning a country house (possibly a beach house out in the Hamptons, or a hobby farm in NJ, etc.)  Others buy a brownstones and renovate it back into a single family dwelling as they were originally intended to be.  If you really are in that league, I would choose the first option.  Though I would get the apartment on the west side, and I would go for the beach house somewhere less glamorous than the Hamptons.  Or, maybe we would have an alpaca farm...</p>
 

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<p>Why does everyone hate on the 'suburbs' *grumble* </p>
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<p>There are so many towns in Jersey that are "suburban" but lovely. We used to live on 13-20 acres of land, and could still get to everything within 15 minutes. Suburbs? Maybe, but I had my cake and ate it too. I love New York but I also love coming home to my quiet little neighborhood and garden - we've been in Weehawken for a year, and plan on staying for another before heading back to a more rural area. </p>
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<p>Anyway if you don't think city life is for you, def try one of the towns in Jersey with a local scene. You can find thriving downtown/artsy scenes, homeschooling groups, eateries that do local/seasonal stuff, book shops, craft shops etc. You just need to look : ) The burbs don't have to be strip malls and Mcdonalds </p>
 

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<p>Inwood (super far-north Manhattan) might be a great fit for you. There are several large parks, and a lot of young families / people doing more alternative things / a nice yoga place, etc. You could also consider Brooklyn... The City really is amazing for homeschooling / unschooling: museums, events, parks, universities (public lectures)...</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
<p>Thanks, everyone!</p>
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<p>One "residence" will be plenty...haha...I really wasn't trying to imply that money is NOOOOOO consideration, simply that of the two options I'm asking about, city or burbs, we have good options for both as we are being relocated by dh's work. Jersey (other than something super close like Weehawken...have noooo idea what that's like) is out of the question for dh, as if he has to commute from out somewhere, he wants to come into Grand Central, as he will work across the street. He will also have some late nights at times, and we just don't need all the extra transfers and hassles. So basically it's the city or Westchester/CT. A few people have mentioned we look into Connecticut (Greenwich area) as the commute from there isn't too far and the homeschool laws are quite a bit friendlier, so we'll check that out, too I guess. Apparently there is a super active LLL and other support around there as well.</p>
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<p>So currently we are looking at seeing what's available in the city and if we can find something to meet our needs and if not...well, we have some very green burbs surrounded by trees and country clubs to consider. <img alt="orngtongue.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif"> And wow, NYC is really soooooo vast. The commutes from certain parts of Queens/Brooklyn are the same as some places way out in the burbs. So much to learn!</p>
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<p>I actually think money is key here.  NYC living can be made much more enjoyable with money for the right place.  The crunchiest place in possibly the entire country is Park Slope brooklyn.  If you have enough money for a place with a backyard (very pricey, but I'm not sure what your budget is) then Park Slope is an incredible place to raise kids.  The biggest food coop in the country, prospect park, great schools, great restaurants, etc. </p>
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<p>Not sure what size apt you're looking for... a 3 BD in manhattan or the great parts of brooklyn can be a lot.  Further out in brooklyn not so much. </p>
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<p>So...  it really depends how much money you have to rent/buy.  For $3,500 a month you could find something great.  For $2,000, you'd have to live further out. </p>
 

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<p>FWIW, we came from CH (back) to NYC :)  for us, the commute / being close to DH's work was key.  As was neither of us enjoy driving and our DD#1 abhors carseats / driving / being restrained.  NYC was an easy decision for us :)  Buses / subways / cabs make commuting to everything super easy.  And I do miss out-door space, but the other benefits counter my regrets.  Yeah, I don't send them outside while I make dinner, but they do cook with us -- and we enjoy some amazing restaurants.  And we don't have a backyard, but with our AMNH (American Museum of Natural History) membership, the exploration space is vast.  Friends, proximity, vibe, it is all here :)</p>
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<p>Good luck!</p>
 

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<p>If you go further out into the Hudson Valley, there are great communities that are more small town than suburbs, but your husband would have an 1 hour 1/2 commute to grand central (from the Poughkeepsie station). New Paltz, Red Hook, Rhinebeck, are great towns with a lot going on and a lot of great people.</p>
 

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<p>I think if money were no object, a brownstone with a back yard in Park Slope Brooklyn, near Prospect Park, would be perfect.  I used to live in Brooklyn but before we had kids.  Now we're in New Jersey, which is fine, but property taxes are ridiculously high and there are other annoyances.  You can find some crunchy towns in Jersey, if you're so inclined (Maplewood, Montclair, Princeton).</p>
 

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I lived in NJ, Essex County, probably the most desirable place to live in NJ for five years with my three kids. After hubby and I got separated we all moved into the city. I grew up in NY - Westchester, have family in Rockland and know the city really well. So my $.02:<br>
Westchester is not as crunchy as people think. There is not a large alternative health community (having family in the medical field I can attest to this personally) and no homeschooling community to speak of.<br>
rock land County - is very crunchy but the commute is difficult to say the least. There aren't a lot of train lines and you are looking at bus commutes over the bridge. That being said there is a great Waldorf community and access to wonderful communities. A friend owns a beautiful, natural toy store - Playing Mantis which is in Nyack. Nova Toys used to be on the Spring Valley border near Green Meadow - the Waldorf school. So you will definitely get crunch and community but you must also have a car because there is no way you are getting around without one. In the spring, summer and early fall you have good access to local produce and you are close to Orange County where most of the orchards and some NY CSAs are located.<br>
We now live on the Upper West Side. Great community, close to Central park and a variety of other parks - like Riverside. Access to a wide variety of people and activities for home schooled kids and the public library has various programs just for home schooled families so there is an opportunity to meet other like-minded families in realtime. Museums, tons of NYC free events, not to mention the NYC subway which is probably the best social experiment ever!<br>
Money being no object I would stay exactly where we are and I have lived in all those other places.
 

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<p>I know nothing about neighborhoods and commutes as we have just moved a month ago to the Upper East Side. I just wanted to add, however, that we are in a "pre-war" building, and it is so surprisingly quiet! But, we're on the inside of the block. H's bosses apartment is on the outside of the block, and while they have a great view of Madison Avenue, they also have all of the street traffic noise. We rarely hear anything, they hear a lot. We're up higher, and have a view of other people's roofs, water towers, etc... but I love how quiet it is. That being said, though, their 18mo sleeps incredibly well now that she's made the adjustment to the street noise right outside her window.</p>
<p>When we've taken the Metro North train in from CT it's generally very smooth and easy, and if your DH is working right by Grand Central that should be a pretty easy commute. CT is going to be pretty expensive for a while out of the city. My bro lives in Norwalk and it can take over an hour to get there, but the ride is easy and not really bad at all. In fact, if you're right off the train at the other end, and right off the train in the city, I would think it would be a pretty sweet set up. You won't necessarily find country, or nature like you really think of, when people say "country club", that's definitely the environment out there. </p>
 

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<p>Hi calynde!</p>
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<p>I can speak from direct experience b/c I grew up in NYC and have only moved to the 'burbs of CNJ just a few yrs ago.  NYC is expensive but culturally, nothing in the world can compare. And despite it's expense, there are so many cheap and free things to do there too.  There is something to be said about living in a place that allows you to have the "world" at your fingertips. Your children will grow up learning about social, religious, racial and cultural acceptances in a way that is only possible in NYC. There are so many things to do- museums, libraries, street fairs on the weekends, Yankee Stadium, Central Park, restuarants to suit your every craving, public transportation, awesome tap water, Broadway, bagels, pizza, hotdog stands, stores big and small, the Bronx Zoo, well the lists goes on and on. It would take at least a lifetime to experience all the things NYC has to offer! One of the best things about NYC is the fact that kids grow up with the kind of "street smarts", common sense, and independence that will carry them throughout thier lives. There's a reason why despite the expenses, overcrowding, and overall craziness that is New York why so many people around the world still want to come and live there.  NY forces a kind cool, tough (not mean), go get them, don't let anything/one stop me kind of spirit that's smart and resilient.  NYC can also foster a genorous and hardworking spirit that will make any parent proud.  You can see the worst things, and yet, still find some of the nicest people everyday.  As you can see, I have strong NYC pride, and even though I grew up in a working poor home, my life was full of adventure and at the end of the day, I lacked for nothing. My husband and I wouldn't trade our upbringing for anything.  Like the song goes, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere...  Now that I live in Suburbia, I realize that once I have my own children, I will have to make a real effort to provide them with the types of opportunities for enrichment and social skills that I always took for granted growing up.  Surburbia is nice too, don't get me wrong, space and quiet is always welcomed, but no matter where my life takes me, there will always be a part of my heart that will wish my kids grew up in NYC.  My advice, if you can, try it out for a year or two, and if it doesn't work out, you can always move to the outer bouroughs of Manhattan and very easily into Westchester County where access to the city is very easy. I don't know your budget, but I grew up, went to school, and worked all over Manhattan, but my favorite part is still the UES. Inwood and Riverside is nice and Spanish Harlem is becoming a new hotspot as well... Central NJ is lovely, especially Princeton, Hopewell, and Plainsborough- lots of green and space but within easy acess to the city too.  Good luck on your move!</p>
 
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