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Old 03-05-2008, 10:00 AM
 
810 posts, read 2,250,550 times
Reputation: 218

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I would recommend the following affordable middle-class towns:

Clifton, NJ (Passaic County)
Bloomfield, NJ (Essex County)
Secaucus, NJ (Hudson County)
Lodi, NJ (Bergen County)
Elmwood Park, NJ (Bergen County)
West Paterson, NJ (Passaic County)

All of these towns are either close to the parkway or right on it , so they all have easy access to Rutgers Newark and New Brunswick. They are all close to NYC. All of these towns are dead when it comes to social scenes, but I can't think of any towns (with the exception of Montclair) where you can find a good night-life AND have a good environment for families.
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:39 AM
 
11 posts, read 44,912 times
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I've lived in jersey city all my life.. I'm only 29 and I want out. I like livin in jersey because it's easy to commute to everywhere but depending on where u live n jersey sometimes u feel like it's not worth it.

the heights is OK, it's not great but it's ok, I've lived there for 1 year and i'm moving from there because the parking is ridiculous and monthly parking fees are ridiculous.. not only that but it caters to spanish speakers. so many times you go in a supermarket in the area and no one speaks english or it's extremely broken, so communication gets lost in translation... I would choose the heights over the hill (martin luther king dr, ocean ave, and bergen avenue). But i would choose downtown jc over both.. I've lived downtown majority of my life and loved it..

Just remember crime is everywhere.. doesn't matter who's committing it.. If ur looking into jersey city then look downtown from vroom street down towards the pier or towards newport mall. if ur gonna look in the heights don't go into union city.. There's crime in union city, don't let the posts fool you.. check nj.com and you can see where the crime is... and if you choose the hill try to stay between kenn blvd, mallory ave, westside, society hill, or on garfield ave and princeton avenue.. they are all close to mass transit and light rails...

I go to school in elizabeth and some areas i ride through look a mess but there's violence and gangs there to.. Cranford is nice.. My saturday class is there...
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:56 PM
 
Location: Weehawken, NJ
1,297 posts, read 2,702,847 times
Reputation: 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvine View Post
I've lived in jersey city all my life.. I'm only 29 and I want out. I like livin in jersey because it's easy to commute to everywhere but depending on where u live n jersey sometimes u feel like it's not worth it.

the heights is OK, it's not great but it's ok, I've lived there for 1 year and i'm moving from there because the parking is ridiculous and monthly parking fees are ridiculous.. not only that but it caters to spanish speakers. so many times you go in a supermarket in the area and no one speaks english or it's extremely broken, so communication gets lost in translation... I would choose the heights over the hill (martin luther king dr, ocean ave, and bergen avenue). But i would choose downtown jc over both.. I've lived downtown majority of my life and loved it..

Just remember crime is everywhere.. doesn't matter who's committing it.. If ur looking into jersey city then look downtown from vroom street down towards the pier or towards newport mall. if ur gonna look in the heights don't go into union city.. There's crime in union city, don't let the posts fool you.. check nj.com and you can see where the crime is... and if you choose the hill try to stay between kenn blvd, mallory ave, westside, society hill, or on garfield ave and princeton avenue.. they are all close to mass transit and light rails...

I go to school in elizabeth and some areas i ride through look a mess but there's violence and gangs there to.. Cranford is nice.. My saturday class is there...
what is cranford by?
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:58 PM
 
Location: Weehawken, NJ
1,297 posts, read 2,702,847 times
Reputation: 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Busch Boy View Post
I would recommend the following affordable middle-class towns:

Clifton, NJ (Passaic County)
Bloomfield, NJ (Essex County)
Secaucus, NJ (Hudson County)
Lodi, NJ (Bergen County)
Elmwood Park, NJ (Bergen County)
West Paterson, NJ (Passaic County)

All of these towns are either close to the parkway or right on it , so they all have easy access to Rutgers Newark and New Brunswick. They are all close to NYC. All of these towns are dead when it comes to social scenes, but I can't think of any towns (with the exception of Montclair) where you can find a good night-life AND have a good environment for families.

Secaucus? I'm having a hard time finding that on the map, what is it near?
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:00 AM
 
Location: Weehawken, NJ
1,297 posts, read 2,702,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJexpat View Post
That was true at one time (namely, when I moved there many, many years ago), but that is no longer the case.
Is it generally easy to commute from Bayonne to Manhattan, Newark, and New Brunswick?
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:00 AM
 
Location: Jersey Shore
828 posts, read 2,179,138 times
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Go to Google, enter the town and click on Maps.
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:26 AM
 
786 posts, read 1,642,553 times
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Originally Posted by Dorian View Post
We are looking to rent, and we are middle class, she is in public relations/advertising(has degree and searching for job), and I am working for verizon and would be attending rutgers.
Methinks you will be REALLY surprised at the prices here in NJ.

I live in Cranford, it's close to Westfield, Clark, Linden.

Or, as we say here in jersey, it's exit 136 on the GSP.

It's a very safe neighborhood, family oriented, quiet, very good schools, with one downtown cinema that's filled during weekends, a blockbuster in the garwood end, and about 4-5 Chinese restaurants at last count.

To get to Rutgers (Busch Campus), you'll take GSP to exit 130, then Rt 1 to RT 287, and thence to Piscataway. About 20 minutes away with no traffic. To get to Cook/Douglas, just keep going along Rt 1.

In the off chance you're into NYC (we try to avoid it as much as possible due to no parking spaces and just a general distaste for crowding), there's a train station that indirectly goes to it via Newark. If you want to drive to NYC, it's about 30 minutes away via turnpike or Rt 1/Rt 22. Newark Liberty Airport is about 15 minutes away via Rt 22/1 as well.
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:37 AM
 
Location: Jersey City
416 posts, read 1,195,476 times
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I know this is going to end up being long, but I'm really trying to help you out, partially by bringing up a number of points that you need to weigh in terms of pros and cons while you're deciding where the best place is for you to live. I'll try to address each thing you mentioned:

First off, are you not considering locations actually IN New York City? Many locations in New York City (no, not Manhattan from Central Park to the southern tip, but much of the rest of it) are really no more expensive than northern New Jersey, and you'll have all of the same advantages and disadvantages. Likewise, if you're willing to go further from New York City in New Jersey, then going further from New York City in Long Island, "Upstate" (basically anywhere in New York that's not NYC or LI), or even Connecticut will be similar.

Of course, you say that you need to commute to Rutgers in New Brunswick, but that probably means that you're going to need to drive there, and it's really no harder to drive there from New York City than it is from Northern New Jersey, and in fact, some places, like Staten Island, will be closer to it. However, this will make Long Island, upstate New York and Connecticut more of a hassle. I don't know what your involvement with Rutgers is, but in some situations, another possibility is attending another school. There's certainly no shortage of "world class" colleges in the area, close to any location you'd like to live. But some schools are best for some majors of course. Anyway, if you're going to live in or very close to New York City and Rutgers is best for you, it would be worth checking out if you can take any classes at the Rutgers extension in Newark, as that would be much easier to get to, and you can even easily take public transportation to it. On the other hand, if you need to frequently go to New Brunswick, it might not be a bad idea for now to live in Jersey closer to there. Make sure that any location you end up in is close to a New Jersey Transit train station. This will make commuting to New York City much easier. Also note that the further you get from NYC, the more expensive the commute will be. If you're far enough away (more than an hour, say), a monthly pass for the train actually goes up to about $250-300 per person.

I don't at all agree that New York City is a bad place to raise kids. Like just about anything else, there are advantages and disadvantages to any location. One of the big advantages to raising a kid in New York City is the cultural experiences to be had. Kids certainly benefit from experiencing music, art, theater, museums, great libraries, zoos, etc. They also learn history better when they're regularly experiencing where important events took place. New York has some great specialized schools (for science & mathematics, the arts, etc.) if your child should turn out to be very interested in a particular subject, although of course it's not easy to get into those schools--you have to be really gifted in that subject area. In fact, anything that your child might turn out to be interested in can be easily pursued in New York City, and you're going to be able to find extracurricular children's programs for it.

Some of the disadvantages to raising kids in New York City (or very close in its metro area) include that kids do not have wide open spaces to play in without going to a large park nearby, they probably won't have a yard, it's much more dangerous to ride a bicycle, to let your kid walk by themselves over to friends' houses, etc. I don't even mean crime there--although there certainly is crime in any city, including New York and the metro area. I mean that it's just physically more dangerous--with all the traffic, all the people walking, the subways, it's easy to get lost, etc.

But of course there is crime in urban/metropolitan areas. Although if you're worrying primarily about drugs and gangs, it's not as if you do NOT need to worry about that stuff if you live in a smaller town. You can buy drugs anywhere if you want to. And gangs are not only an urban problem. I've traveled all over (largely because one thing I do is play music, and I was on the road for years, including in a club band that played various locations at least a week at a time), and in many smaller, more suburban and rural towns, many (older, obviously) kids who we got to know said that their main source of entertainment was getting drunk/high, having sex and getting into fights. Why? Well, they felt that there was really nothing else to do in their town. In places like New York City, you can't feel like there's not anything to do. Kids in places with less opportunity are often going to feel that way.

As for normal public and private schools, I do not at all agree with the conventional wisdom means of ranking them. What's going to determine your child's future academic, vocational and social success isn't how well they do on some standardized test. A fair amount of how well your child does in school is going to be rooted in personality issues that you'll have no control over, but aside from that, taking a parental interest in their development, encouraging their interests--whatever they may turn out to be, encouraging them to be always learning and "growing" whether they're in school or not, and teaching them how to learn on their own are necessary no matter what school they end up in, and will help ensure their success no matter what their enironment.

Hoboken IS very expensive--really no different than Manhattan prices. So if you're going to pony up for that, I'd recommend just living in Manhattan instead. The consensus "best" areas of Jersey City are getting into that price range, too. You'd have to hunt a bit more for the right price in Manhattan (again, I'm talking from Central Park south--above Central Park is actually cheaper), but I don't see why someone wouldn't just do that if they're willing to pay that much and they're wanting to live in metro New York City (which is what Jersey City and Hoboken are).

Per the statistics, Jersey City does have more violent crime than Hoboken. I don't know what you mean exactly by "dirty", but everywhere in metro New York City is "dirty" in terms of "soot"--or whatever it is. It's this dark, grimy dust that gets all over everything over time. It's probably from vehicle exhausts or something. That's just part of urban living. The air isn't going to be as clean as many more suburban and rural areas. If you mean litter, Jersey City isn't perfect, but it's not that bad either. You're going to see some litter in most urban areas, including most of metro New York City.

As for Bergen County, it is more varied than Hudson county. All of Hudson county, which is either the smallest or second smallest county in New Jersey by area, is urban. Some of Bergen County is urban, and you're going to have the same issues there, and some of it is more suburban. Some of the suburban areas in Bergen County are extremely expensive--multi-million dollar homes. From all of Bergen County, it's also more time, money and sometimes hassle to commute to New York City, and it would also be more of a commute to New Brunswick--similar to upstate New York just above The Bronx and southwestern Connecticut. So you'll have the same issues in Bergen County as you'd have in those locations (which means that you might as well consider them too in that scenario).

As for "decent middle class community", that sounds more like looking for a suburban area, as you're going to get more uniformity in them. In an urban area like metro-NYC, you're much more likely to have folks living in million dollar places in one building or on one block, then a block away, there might be people living in apartments where they're paying $300 per month rent (because they've been there forever and there are rent control laws). Or you could have million-dollar apartments on one block and government-assistance housing a block or two away. It's very mixed. It's mixed ethnically, socio-economically, etc. Live in an urban environment if you like multiculturalism, live in a suburban environment if you care more about ensuring that your neighbors are like you in various ways.

You also mention being concerned with critters, and that's definitely something to be concerned with. There's no shortage of roaches here, and I've seen rats the size of small dogs in the city--even walking around on the streets near small parks. This is always a concern when you share a building with other people, and if you're in metro NYC, you're almost definitely going to be sharing a building with other people. The more expensive your building, and the more expensive your monthly maintenance fee, the more likely that they'll keep critter problems under control . . . although that's not a guarantee by any means. And for example, if you've got a restaurant in your building, that's more likely to attract critters. If you end up in a large, moderately or low-priced building with a lot of other tenants, there's a good chance that you're going to at least have some roaches. We get roaches in our apartment, but after a lot of experimentation, we've managed to get them under control somewhat. If you want more control, you need to be in a stand-alone dwelling, and that would mean living in a more suburban area further from Manhattan (and increasing your commute time and cost, but also gaining a yard, etc.)

There are a lot of things for you weigh. No place is going to be perfect, they're all going to have advantages and disadvatanges. You need to figure out what is most important to you for various things and steer towards that.

Last edited by DessertRat; 03-12-2008 at 06:47 AM..
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Old 03-12-2008, 05:59 PM
 
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Default Try Bergen County

Hi,
I have lived in NJ for 62 years; central and northern Jersey.
Bergen County is a nice commute (20-44minutes) depending on where.
Rail and bus are the best. It is too expensive to park a car in the city unless your company is paying for it.
Hoboken is nice; a "yuppie" area, nice restaurants, but very limited parking; real estate taxes are high too. Jersey City is a very upcoming area for commuting by rail (could be 10 min by rail), however the public schools are much to be desired; lots of crime.
Secaucus isn't bad, nor is Rutherford, East Rutherford in the immediate area.
Prices get higher in Rutherford, Ridgewood, Paramus (great shopping) and all have good schools. Figure $450K (very low) and up for a 2bedroom older home.
Central Jersey Sayreville, Old Bridge where I grew up is 45 min by bus.
They are pretty safe areas too.
Grasshopper
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Old 03-12-2008, 10:21 PM
 
Location: Weehawken, NJ
1,297 posts, read 2,702,847 times
Reputation: 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by DessertRat View Post
I know this is going to end up being long, but I'm really trying to help you out, partially by bringing up a number of points that you need to weigh in terms of pros and cons while you're deciding where the best place is for you to live. I'll try to address each thing you mentioned:

First off, are you not considering locations actually IN New York City? Many locations in New York City (no, not Manhattan from Central Park to the southern tip, but much of the rest of it) are really no more expensive than northern New Jersey, and you'll have all of the same advantages and disadvantages. Likewise, if you're willing to go further from New York City in New Jersey, then going further from New York City in Long Island, "Upstate" (basically anywhere in New York that's not NYC or LI), or even Connecticut will be similar.

Of course, you say that you need to commute to Rutgers in New Brunswick, but that probably means that you're going to need to drive there, and it's really no harder to drive there from New York City than it is from Northern New Jersey, and in fact, some places, like Staten Island, will be closer to it. However, this will make Long Island, upstate New York and Connecticut more of a hassle. I don't know what your involvement with Rutgers is, but in some situations, another possibility is attending another school. There's certainly no shortage of "world class" colleges in the area, close to any location you'd like to live. But some schools are best for some majors of course. Anyway, if you're going to live in or very close to New York City and Rutgers is best for you, it would be worth checking out if you can take any classes at the Rutgers extension in Newark, as that would be much easier to get to, and you can even easily take public transportation to it. On the other hand, if you need to frequently go to New Brunswick, it might not be a bad idea for now to live in Jersey closer to there. Make sure that any location you end up in is close to a New Jersey Transit train station. This will make commuting to New York City much easier. Also note that the further you get from NYC, the more expensive the commute will be. If you're far enough away (more than an hour, say), a monthly pass for the train actually goes up to about $250-300 per person.

I don't at all agree that New York City is a bad place to raise kids. Like just about anything else, there are advantages and disadvantages to any location. One of the big advantages to raising a kid in New York City is the cultural experiences to be had. Kids certainly benefit from experiencing music, art, theater, museums, great libraries, zoos, etc. They also learn history better when they're regularly experiencing where important events took place. New York has some great specialized schools (for science & mathematics, the arts, etc.) if your child should turn out to be very interested in a particular subject, although of course it's not easy to get into those schools--you have to be really gifted in that subject area. In fact, anything that your child might turn out to be interested in can be easily pursued in New York City, and you're going to be able to find extracurricular children's programs for it.

Some of the disadvantages to raising kids in New York City (or very close in its metro area) include that kids do not have wide open spaces to play in without going to a large park nearby, they probably won't have a yard, it's much more dangerous to ride a bicycle, to let your kid walk by themselves over to friends' houses, etc. I don't even mean crime there--although there certainly is crime in any city, including New York and the metro area. I mean that it's just physically more dangerous--with all the traffic, all the people walking, the subways, it's easy to get lost, etc.

But of course there is crime in urban/metropolitan areas. Although if you're worrying primarily about drugs and gangs, it's not as if you do NOT need to worry about that stuff if you live in a smaller town. You can buy drugs anywhere if you want to. And gangs are not only an urban problem. I've traveled all over (largely because one thing I do is play music, and I was on the road for years, including in a club band that played various locations at least a week at a time), and in many smaller, more suburban and rural towns, many (older, obviously) kids who we got to know said that their main source of entertainment was getting drunk/high, having sex and getting into fights. Why? Well, they felt that there was really nothing else to do in their town. In places like New York City, you can't feel like there's not anything to do. Kids in places with less opportunity are often going to feel that way.

As for normal public and private schools, I do not at all agree with the conventional wisdom means of ranking them. What's going to determine your child's future academic, vocational and social success isn't how well they do on some standardized test. A fair amount of how well your child does in school is going to be rooted in personality issues that you'll have no control over, but aside from that, taking a parental interest in their development, encouraging their interests--whatever they may turn out to be, encouraging them to be always learning and "growing" whether they're in school or not, and teaching them how to learn on their own are necessary no matter what school they end up in, and will help ensure their success no matter what their enironment.

Hoboken IS very expensive--really no different than Manhattan prices. So if you're going to pony up for that, I'd recommend just living in Manhattan instead. The consensus "best" areas of Jersey City are getting into that price range, too. You'd have to hunt a bit more for the right price in Manhattan (again, I'm talking from Central Park south--above Central Park is actually cheaper), but I don't see why someone wouldn't just do that if they're willing to pay that much and they're wanting to live in metro New York City (which is what Jersey City and Hoboken are).

Per the statistics, Jersey City does have more violent crime than Hoboken. I don't know what you mean exactly by "dirty", but everywhere in metro New York City is "dirty" in terms of "soot"--or whatever it is. It's this dark, grimy dust that gets all over everything over time. It's probably from vehicle exhausts or something. That's just part of urban living. The air isn't going to be as clean as many more suburban and rural areas. If you mean litter, Jersey City isn't perfect, but it's not that bad either. You're going to see some litter in most urban areas, including most of metro New York City.

As for Bergen County, it is more varied than Hudson county. All of Hudson county, which is either the smallest or second smallest county in New Jersey by area, is urban. Some of Bergen County is urban, and you're going to have the same issues there, and some of it is more suburban. Some of the suburban areas in Bergen County are extremely expensive--multi-million dollar homes. From all of Bergen County, it's also more time, money and sometimes hassle to commute to New York City, and it would also be more of a commute to New Brunswick--similar to upstate New York just above The Bronx and southwestern Connecticut. So you'll have the same issues in Bergen County as you'd have in those locations (which means that you might as well consider them too in that scenario).

As for "decent middle class community", that sounds more like looking for a suburban area, as you're going to get more uniformity in them. In an urban area like metro-NYC, you're much more likely to have folks living in million dollar places in one building or on one block, then a block away, there might be people living in apartments where they're paying $300 per month rent (because they've been there forever and there are rent control laws). Or you could have million-dollar apartments on one block and government-assistance housing a block or two away. It's very mixed. It's mixed ethnically, socio-economically, etc. Live in an urban environment if you like multiculturalism, live in a suburban environment if you care more about ensuring that your neighbors are like you in various ways.

You also mention being concerned with critters, and that's definitely something to be concerned with. There's no shortage of roaches here, and I've seen rats the size of small dogs in the city--even walking around on the streets near small parks. This is always a concern when you share a building with other people, and if you're in metro NYC, you're almost definitely going to be sharing a building with other people. The more expensive your building, and the more expensive your monthly maintenance fee, the more likely that they'll keep critter problems under control . . . although that's not a guarantee by any means. And for example, if you've got a restaurant in your building, that's more likely to attract critters. If you end up in a large, moderately or low-priced building with a lot of other tenants, there's a good chance that you're going to at least have some roaches. We get roaches in our apartment, but after a lot of experimentation, we've managed to get them under control somewhat. If you want more control, you need to be in a stand-alone dwelling, and that would mean living in a more suburban area further from Manhattan (and increasing your commute time and cost, but also gaining a yard, etc.)

There are a lot of things for you weigh. No place is going to be perfect, they're all going to have advantages and disadvatanges. You need to figure out what is most important to you for various things and steer towards that.


Thanks for all the info., it didn't bother me that it was long. I am looking at some neiborhoods in the city itself but don't really know where to start. I am going to rutgers for meteorology. There are ony two schools in new york metro area that have this major and it is rutgers and columbia, since I don't have the grades or income for columbia (wish I did) it is not a possibility. Rutgers placed as one of the 10 best schools for atmospheric sciences in the country also. I am trying to get as many classes as possible at newark campus for commute reasons. What are nice nyc places?
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