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Old 08-07-2014, 04:50 PM
 
2 posts, read 7,776 times
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Hello all -

My husband & I are considering relocation to upstate NY from Brooklyn. We've done some research, and Kingston seems like a good choice, at least on paper.

It's affordable. There are seem to be lots of restaurants, access to farmer's markets/CSA's, bike trails, walkable downtown area, YMCA farm project for kids, the arts (close to Bard, Storm King art center, Dia Beacon), and 1.5 hour via car to NYC. I understand there's an initiative at the Lace Factory to create affordable live/work (AIR) spaces for artists (we're both artists so affordable studio space is also important to us).
Can anyone chime in about their experience in Kingston? We have two young children, and would like to get a sense of the public schools, and a general feeling of the town.

Thanks so much for any feedback! I look forward to reading your replies.

-K.
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:54 AM
 
1,408 posts, read 1,089,714 times
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Kingston is in the early to mid process of gentrifying, but was hit hard by IBM downsizing in the early 90s. The property values and school ratings reflect that.

The lace factory is in Midtown which is one of the more marginal areas of the city. I don't know which primary schools serve that part of town, but most of them are middle of the road at best and a couple are distressed. your private/magnet alternatives would also be limited.

Plan on needing to drive to most shopping, restaurants, etc - although there are plenty available nearby.

I like Kingston and think it gets a bad rap and has a lot of potential - it is gritty and down to earth but still historic and proud. I would absolutely pick it over the other cities in the Hudson Valley. As a parent who grew up in/has close ties to the area, I would probably consider the schools on a case by case basis. I don't think the influence of Bard/New Paltz spills over in quite the same way that it does in their respective communities.

Last edited by hvexpatinct; 08-08-2014 at 10:58 AM.. Reason: added more info
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:33 PM
 
Location: New Paltz, NY (Ulster County)
97 posts, read 111,374 times
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I live in New Paltz and Kingston is not a place to raise a family. The schools are questionable at best. Many of the college bars in New Paltz do not let young people with Kinsgton IDs in unless they have a SUNY New Paltz ID as well. Kingston, as well as Poughkeepsie and Newburgh, have a growing gang population and New Paltz is doing its best to keep the gang influence and the accompanying problems out.
Kingston is not known for the arts or artsy people. It is an upstate city that is struggling. Kingston is "affordable" for the usual reasons (gangs, poverty, poor schools, poor road conditions, etc.). I don't want to give the impression that Kingston is the South Bronx, but if you have kids I would look elsewhere. A good friend of mine lives in Kingston and he always says that when he mentions to someone he lives in Kingston they give him a look like he must be crazy.
By Brooklyn's standards these days any place up in Ulster county is affordable.
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:22 PM
 
2,328 posts, read 5,043,631 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefslp View Post
I live in New Paltz and Kingston is not a place to raise a family. The schools are questionable at best. Many of the college bars in New Paltz do not let young people with Kinsgton IDs in unless they have a SUNY New Paltz ID as well. Kingston, as well as Poughkeepsie and Newburgh, have a growing gang population and New Paltz is doing its best to keep the gang influence and the accompanying problems out.
Kingston is not known for the arts or artsy people. It is an upstate city that is struggling. Kingston is "affordable" for the usual reasons (gangs, poverty, poor schools, poor road conditions, etc.). I don't want to give the impression that Kingston is the South Bronx, but if you have kids I would look elsewhere. A good friend of mine lives in Kingston and he always says that when he mentions to someone he lives in Kingston they give him a look like he must be crazy.
By Brooklyn's standards these days any place up in Ulster county is affordable.
This is beyond ridiculous. Kingston and Poughkeepsie have some very nice areas. Newburgh really fell on hard times, but is starting to make a comeback (check the Facebook page "Newburgh Rising"). You say you didn't want to give the impression that Kingston is the South Bronx. But you just did. And EVERYONE thinks your friend is crazy because he lives in Kingston? Growing gang population? What evidence do you have for that?

OP, I would try to get more even-handed advise than this.
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:36 PM
 
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Thanks for the feedback everyone! It's a lot consider, I'm sure we just need to spend some time there to get a feel of the town.
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:36 PM
 
56,269 posts, read 80,446,330 times
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Saugerties may be another option that is in that general area.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Where my bills arrive
8,067 posts, read 9,502,148 times
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The best impression could be obtained by visiting for a few days, go out and about in the areas you re thinking of both day & night. A realtor friend of mine once said if you want to get the feel for an area visit the nearest 7-11 to see what your neighbors will look like. She also said if it looks good at 1:00 in the afternoon revisit at 6:00pm when everyone is home or on the weekend.

Good luck in whatever you decide...
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:04 AM
 
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This list may put some of this into perspective too: http://os.cqpress.com/citycrime/2013...LowtoHigh).pdf
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:34 AM
 
56,269 posts, read 80,446,330 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VA Yankee View Post
The best impression could be obtained by visiting for a few days, go out and about in the areas you re thinking of both day & night. A realtor friend of mine once said if you want to get the feel for an area visit the nearest 7-11 to see what your neighbors will look like. She also said if it looks good at 1:00 in the afternoon revisit at 6:00pm when everyone is home or on the weekend.

Good luck in whatever you decide...
Good ideas VA Yankee....
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:18 PM
 
2,328 posts, read 5,043,631 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VA Yankee View Post
A realtor friend of mine once said if you want to get the feel for an area visit the nearest 7-11 to see what your neighbors will look like. She also said if it looks good at 1:00 in the afternoon revisit at 6:00pm when everyone is home or on the weekend.
That realtor should be fired.

If you want to get a sense of a community, visit school playgrounds. Better yet, if there is an event like a bake sale at a local elementary school, attend that. I think observing the parents of kids in the local elementary school is a much better way of evaluating a community than basing it on the people who like to drink Big Gulps and eat Cheese Whiz nachos.
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