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Old 01-15-2012, 10:12 PM
 
9 posts, read 12,460 times
Reputation: 12

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Quote:
Originally Posted by j12308 View Post
Niskayuna is a great town for families. I especially like "Old Niskayuna". The area is walkable and has older homes w/character. You would have lots of homes to choose from w/your price range. Ask away if you've got more questions. I grew up in Niskayuna, when I moved back to the area we decided we wanted to live in Sch'dy. Both places have their pros & cons. It really depends on what you are specifically looking for in a home, neighborhood, etc.
Thanks so much for the response! I am a little overwhelmed with my search as it seems there are so many negative posts about the Sch'dy area. I know that every city has good/bad areas and am hoping that the same goes for this area!

We are a young family, originally from the Midwest, but moving from the Bay Area in Cali. One of our biggest disappointments in Cali was the poor public schools and unfriendliness of our neighbors and community. I would ideally love to find an area with good public schools, friendly neighborhoods with lots of kids and families, safe and walk-able areas, and a real community feel. I am not a huge fan of big box stores and strip malls, so an area with character (coffee shops, unique restaurants, cute shops) would be great.

I was originally quite interested in the historic GE plot in Sch'dy, but was turned off by things I was reading about the schools, crime, etc. What are your thoughts on this area? Is it appropriate for a family? Will we feel safe? Will my children become little hoodlums?!?!? : )

Why did you decide to return to Sch'dy rather than Niskayuna?

Any info you can give would be great!
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:42 AM
 
266 posts, read 584,225 times
Reputation: 226
Breezylane,

Quote:
Why did you decide to return to Sch'dy rather than Niskayuna?
It's a long story, but here goes. Like I said I grew up in Old Nisky, I went to Hillside. I loved it, I walked all over the place as a kid, had friends all over my neighborhood. As I got older I could walk to Upper Union St. to shop and to restaurants. Once I got to the middle school, most of the kids lived in newer developments, had more money. And I'm sure this is pretty typical of middle school, but I was teased a lot for not having name brand clothes, we just didn't have the money. In high school I love the art program. Throughout middle & high school, I was quite aware of all the drinking and partying, which I was never into. The kids I went to school w/were mostly white, a good handful of Asians, and a few blacks. I thought I understood diversity, but when I went to college in the south, I was in for a culture shock. My second year I had an apartment and I had my first taste of what it meant to be the minority. I was jokingly called Snow White in my neighborhood. My college was diverse w/kids from all over the world. I realized how naive I'd been, how sheltered. I realized that my family hadn't been poor, we just weren't RICH. A lot of the kids at Nisky were spoiled, rich kids. Not everyone had name brand clothes and drove a fancy car. Then I met who would be my husband. He talked about how he grew up. How kids of all races and socio-economic backgrounds came together, it wasn't so segregated. He talked about his friends were all types. He was so comfortable with anybody, could talk to anybody, etc. I felt like his upbringing and the type of community had a lot to do with it. So we decided we wanted to live in an area that we would all be exposed to lots of different people, black, white, all shades in between; different nationalities, races, religions, rich, poor. I wanted them to know that the world is full of all types, something I didn't realize for a LONG time.

With that diversity we have a lot of people who speech English as their 2nd language, so some kids & parents have a harder time w/homework, tests, etc. So as a teacher once explained to me, this is one reason our test scores in the district are so bad. The other thing is in this city people tend to move around, from apartment to apartment. In & out of the district. I went to a district meeting last year and they explained that this also contributes to our poor graduation rate. When a student leaves, it appears that the student didn't graduate, even if they go onto another school and graduate.

But from our experience we have LOVED our school & the district. I hear all the bad stuff that happens, it makes for a good news story but it doesn't really tell the whole story, you never hear the good stuff in the news or papers. I have loved the universal pre-k program, you can choose full or 1/2 day, from several locations. It's free to residents. My kids were so well prepared for kindergarten, educationally and socially. The kids were writing and identifying their letters and had a handful of friends to start school with. The teachers have all been so amazing, I don't know how we've lucked out like we have. I keep waiting to get the "bad one", but just haven't. When my son needed extra help, he got it, there was no fight w/the district - which I'd prepared myself for. I'm on the PTO and we plan lots of great activities, dances, movie nights, etc. The kids have gone on some great field trips, and had some AMAZING preformers at school. My favorite was an African drumming group. During the day the kids learned how to play the various instruments and the at night some of us adult got to try it too. So fun!

When we moved in to our home, it was after an elderly couple had lived their for 30+years. Our welcome to the neighborhood was so nice, people dropped off notes, cards, and goodies and have always offered to babysit. When I'm in a pinch, they are there for me. I've borrowed ingredients for a recipe, had them watch my kids when I couldn't find a sitter and even watch my kids in an emergency when I had to take one kid to the ER. They buy my kids christmas gifts, invite us over for an occasional dinner, I couldn't ask for better neighbors!

People complain about the taxes in Sch'dy. But the thing is, we compared homes in different towns and we could get a better deal. Our home would have cost at least $70k more in Niskayuna, we did look all over the capital district. From Ballston Spa, to Delmar to Altamont - we looked all over. Our tax rate is higher, but because our home was cheaper, we are taxed on less. Then in say Nisky your tax rate is lower, but it cost so much more and is assessed so much higher you are taxed on more. Really the taxes even out, but most don't really look at the numbers they just see the rate and shy away. We did the math on countless homes, in countless communities and by far the best deal.

I love walking, I walk all over my neighborhood, the GE plots, Union College and downtown. I have a big jogging stroller, which is a must around here if you've got little kids. I can walk to at least two banks, several chinese takeout places, pizza places, diners, a meat market (the best prices in town), several convenient stores, dry cleaners, etc. I can make it to the library, post office, right downtown in less than 20 minutes. At Union College it's like a big playground to my kids. We run around w/soccer balls on their football field, get a snack at the student center, explore Jackson Gardens and play in the stream, and have practiced riding bikes around Nott Memorial.

Quote:
I was originally quite interested in the historic GE plot in Sch'dy, but was turned off by things I was reading about the schools, crime, etc. What are your thoughts on this area? Is it appropriate for a family? Will we feel safe? Will my children become little hoodlums?!?!? : )
The GE plot is full of gorgeous homes, we looked at several and didn't end up buying one. The prices were too high w/to much work. I would have loved to live there. I feel safe, I know to be smart about where and when to go certain places. I would not go for an evening stroll thru Hamilton Hill or thru the Vale Park neighborhood. I wouldn't walk down dark alleys by myself, etc - just like any other city. Part of living in a city is street smarts, being aware and trusting your instincts - which are things I talk to my kids about, not to scare them, but to prepare them. The same way we talk about doing the right thing at school and with friends even if others aren't doing what's right. I've asked myself the same question about my kids turning into hoodlums or being apart of a gang or something crazy. If you were to read the new you'd think all the highschool students are. Parents of older kids explained to me that kids who are raised in good families, with involved parents tend to stick together, and not get in trouble. We have met lots of kids that have graduated from Sch'dy High and I've seen what they mean. There are lots of great kids coming out of the HS. I've had several as babysitters. They've all gone to college. The HS has great programs, broken up into house/departments. I hope one of my kids will choose the Art School there. Our favorite sitter said to me "Where else can I take ballet for gym class?" My son has a GE mentor and has gotten really interested in science, so maybe he'll go to the GE House. There's even an IB program...not sure I've got any little geniuses on my hands, but I guess I never know. I have no doubt that my kids will be sucessful in whatever they choose.

Now with as much as I love where I live now, that doesn't mean I wouldn't have love living in other communities too. I just don't know. I loved the looks of Scotia too, I would have lived there in a heartbeat as well. We just didn't find the right house. Niskayuna would have been an easy, familiar choice for me, but I wanted something different. Back as a kid I never would have thought I'd live in Sch'dy, let alone say I love it here. We just got lucky here.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:21 AM
 
32,030 posts, read 38,126,815 times
Reputation: 6456
Quote:
Originally Posted by j12308 View Post
Breezylane,



It's a long story, but here goes. Like I said I grew up in Old Nisky, I went to Hillside. I loved it, I walked all over the place as a kid, had friends all over my neighborhood. As I got older I could walk to Upper Union St. to shop and to restaurants. Once I got to the middle school, most of the kids lived in newer developments, had more money. And I'm sure this is pretty typical of middle school, but I was teased a lot for not having name brand clothes, we just didn't have the money. In high school I love the art program. Throughout middle & high school, I was quite aware of all the drinking and partying, which I was never into. The kids I went to school w/were mostly white, a good handful of Asians, and a few blacks. I thought I understood diversity, but when I went to college in the south, I was in for a culture shock. My second year I had an apartment and I had my first taste of what it meant to be the minority. I was jokingly called Snow White in my neighborhood. My college was diverse w/kids from all over the world. I realized how naive I'd been, how sheltered. I realized that my family hadn't been poor, we just weren't RICH. A lot of the kids at Nisky were spoiled, rich kids. Not everyone had name brand clothes and drove a fancy car. Then I met who would be my husband. He talked about how he grew up. How kids of all races and socio-economic backgrounds came together, it wasn't so segregated. He talked about his friends were all types. He was so comfortable with anybody, could talk to anybody, etc. I felt like his upbringing and the type of community had a lot to do with it. So we decided we wanted to live in an area that we would all be exposed to lots of different people, black, white, all shades in between; different nationalities, races, religions, rich, poor. I wanted them to know that the world is full of all types, something I didn't realize for a LONG time.

With that diversity we have a lot of people who speech English as their 2nd language, so some kids & parents have a harder time w/homework, tests, etc. So as a teacher once explained to me, this is one reason our test scores in the district are so bad. The other thing is in this city people tend to move around, from apartment to apartment. In & out of the district. I went to a district meeting last year and they explained that this also contributes to our poor graduation rate. When a student leaves, it appears that the student didn't graduate, even if they go onto another school and graduate.

But from our experience we have LOVED our school & the district. I hear all the bad stuff that happens, it makes for a good news story but it doesn't really tell the whole story, you never hear the good stuff in the news or papers. I have loved the universal pre-k program, you can choose full or 1/2 day, from several locations. It's free to residents. My kids were so well prepared for kindergarten, educationally and socially. The kids were writing and identifying their letters and had a handful of friends to start school with. The teachers have all been so amazing, I don't know how we've lucked out like we have. I keep waiting to get the "bad one", but just haven't. When my son needed extra help, he got it, there was no fight w/the district - which I'd prepared myself for. I'm on the PTO and we plan lots of great activities, dances, movie nights, etc. The kids have gone on some great field trips, and had some AMAZING preformers at school. My favorite was an African drumming group. During the day the kids learned how to play the various instruments and the at night some of us adult got to try it too. So fun!

When we moved in to our home, it was after an elderly couple had lived their for 30+years. Our welcome to the neighborhood was so nice, people dropped off notes, cards, and goodies and have always offered to babysit. When I'm in a pinch, they are there for me. I've borrowed ingredients for a recipe, had them watch my kids when I couldn't find a sitter and even watch my kids in an emergency when I had to take one kid to the ER. They buy my kids christmas gifts, invite us over for an occasional dinner, I couldn't ask for better neighbors!

People complain about the taxes in Sch'dy. But the thing is, we compared homes in different towns and we could get a better deal. Our home would have cost at least $70k more in Niskayuna, we did look all over the capital district. From Ballston Spa, to Delmar to Altamont - we looked all over. Our tax rate is higher, but because our home was cheaper, we are taxed on less. Then in say Nisky your tax rate is lower, but it cost so much more and is assessed so much higher you are taxed on more. Really the taxes even out, but most don't really look at the numbers they just see the rate and shy away. We did the math on countless homes, in countless communities and by far the best deal.

I love walking, I walk all over my neighborhood, the GE plots, Union College and downtown. I have a big jogging stroller, which is a must around here if you've got little kids. I can walk to at least two banks, several chinese takeout places, pizza places, diners, a meat market (the best prices in town), several convenient stores, dry cleaners, etc. I can make it to the library, post office, right downtown in less than 20 minutes. At Union College it's like a big playground to my kids. We run around w/soccer balls on their football field, get a snack at the student center, explore Jackson Gardens and play in the stream, and have practiced riding bikes around Nott Memorial.



The GE plot is full of gorgeous homes, we looked at several and didn't end up buying one. The prices were too high w/to much work. I would have loved to live there. I feel safe, I know to be smart about where and when to go certain places. I would not go for an evening stroll thru Hamilton Hill or thru the Vale Park neighborhood. I wouldn't walk down dark alleys by myself, etc - just like any other city. Part of living in a city is street smarts, being aware and trusting your instincts - which are things I talk to my kids about, not to scare them, but to prepare them. The same way we talk about doing the right thing at school and with friends even if others aren't doing what's right. I've asked myself the same question about my kids turning into hoodlums or being apart of a gang or something crazy. If you were to read the new you'd think all the highschool students are. Parents of older kids explained to me that kids who are raised in good families, with involved parents tend to stick together, and not get in trouble. We have met lots of kids that have graduated from Sch'dy High and I've seen what they mean. There are lots of great kids coming out of the HS. I've had several as babysitters. They've all gone to college. The HS has great programs, broken up into house/departments. I hope one of my kids will choose the Art School there. Our favorite sitter said to me "Where else can I take ballet for gym class?" My son has a GE mentor and has gotten really interested in science, so maybe he'll go to the GE House. There's even an IB program...not sure I've got any little geniuses on my hands, but I guess I never know. I have no doubt that my kids will be sucessful in whatever they choose.

Now with as much as I love where I live now, that doesn't mean I wouldn't have love living in other communities too. I just don't know. I loved the looks of Scotia too, I would have lived there in a heartbeat as well. We just didn't find the right house. Niskayuna would have been an easy, familiar choice for me, but I wanted something different. Back as a kid I never would have thought I'd live in Sch'dy, let alone say I love it here. We just got lucky here.
I would rep you if I could, because it is nice to hear stories like yours in regards to doing your research, thinking for yourself, raising your children the right way and doing so in a place that people make (negative) generalizations about due to a segment of the population and/or newscasts. I see similar examples here in Syracuse as well.
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:35 AM
 
266 posts, read 584,225 times
Reputation: 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
I would rep you if I could, because it is nice to hear stories like yours in regards to doing your research, thinking for yourself, raising your children the right way and doing so in a place that people make (negative) generalizations about due to a segment of the population and/or newscasts. I see similar examples here in Syracuse as well.
Thank you! That's really sweet.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:28 AM
 
32,030 posts, read 38,126,815 times
Reputation: 6456
Quote:
Originally Posted by j12308 View Post
Thank you! That's really sweet.
I say that because people think that it can't be done, but there are plenty of examples and sometimes it's not about what other people do or don't do.
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:57 AM
 
59 posts, read 49,667 times
Reputation: 124
Default Niskayuna

Quote:
Originally Posted by Breezylane View Post
Thanks so much for the response! I am a little overwhelmed with my search as it seems there are so many negative posts about the Sch'dy area. I know that every city has good/bad areas and am hoping that the same goes for this area!

We are a young family, originally from the Midwest, but moving from the Bay Area in Cali. One of our biggest disappointments in Cali was the poor public schools and unfriendliness of our neighbors and community. I would ideally love to find an area with good public schools, friendly neighborhoods with lots of kids and families, safe and walk-able areas, and a real community feel. I am not a huge fan of big box stores and strip malls, so an area with character (coffee shops, unique restaurants, cute shops) would be great.

I was originally quite interested in the historic GE plot in Sch'dy, but was turned off by things I was reading about the schools, crime, etc. What are your thoughts on this area? Is it appropriate for a family? Will we feel safe? Will my children become little hoodlums?!?!? : )

Why did you decide to return to Sch'dy rather than Niskayuna?

Any info you can give would be great!
People are selling Niskayuna short on this thread. It is arguably the nicest town in the Albany area with the best schools. The only issue is cost which will still be lower than San Francisco. And don't worry about Schenectady, all of the areas of Schenectady that border Niskayuna are nice. If your husband is working in Niskayuna, definately look there. His commute to Niskayuna will be a nightmare from Saratoga if its during peak hours.
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:31 AM
 
94 posts, read 84,891 times
Reputation: 147
I believe Bethlehem's schools are quite a bit better than Niskayuna's schools. You might also be interested in living in Clifton Park.
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:14 AM
 
32,030 posts, read 38,126,815 times
Reputation: 6456
Quote:
Originally Posted by cshells72 View Post
I believe Bethlehem's schools are quite a bit better than Niskayuna's schools. You might also be interested in living in Clifton Park.
Keep in mind that the spouse will be working in Niskayuna(Breezylane). Then, you have this: 2011 Upstate school district rankings - Buffalo - Business First

2011 Albany Area school district rankings - Buffalo - Business First
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Graham NC
66 posts, read 49,207 times
Reputation: 77
I live in Saratoga Springs and I say thumbs up for Nisky . Great schools, close to wonderful restaurants and shopping. I envy my brother and sister-in-law who live in Nisky. If hubby's job had locations in Nisky I would be thrilled. As it is it looks like we're headed to North Carolina.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Saratoga Springs and Copake Lake.
263 posts, read 326,133 times
Reputation: 167
Its about time someone told the thruth about living in Schenectady or Albany, so much misconception out there, they both have great neighborood and areas, we will move to Albany from Saratoga in the near future. ( after Years of research.., and Years working in Alb.)
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