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Old 01-26-2015, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
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The main street(s) can be busy and the residential areas, side streets, quiet. I think it's a move in the right direction.
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:33 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJhighlands87 View Post
Haddon Twp. Forges Ahead with Jitney Service, but Co-Signers Tough to Come by |

Looks like Haddon Twp is moving ahead with the Jitney. Seems like the mayor and township residents have the right mindset, though all these comments about "bedroom community," "small-town feel" and "quiet streets" don't jive with 24-hour community, transit-oriented, live-work-play, or heck, even pub crawl. It's progress, but they still seem to not realize they're living in the twentyfirst century.

I really wish Collingswood and Haddonfield would get on board with this. None of them are quite big enough to be an attraction alone.

Look at Bloomfield Avenue in Essex County (which completely blows Haddon Ave away in terms of attractions and ammenities), which stretches through Glen Ridge, Montclair, and up to Caldwell, with Montclair itself home to multiple downtowns aside from Bloomfield Ave.
Here's the thing to understand. People in South Jersey don't want to emulate North Jersey. It's two different worlds.
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:11 PM
 
245 posts, read 273,400 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJhighlands87 View Post
Haddon Twp. Forges Ahead with Jitney Service, but Co-Signers Tough to Come by |

Looks like Haddon Twp is moving ahead with the Jitney. Seems like the mayor and township residents have the right mindset, though all these comments about "bedroom community," "small-town feel" and "quiet streets" don't jive with 24-hour community, transit-oriented, live-work-play, or heck, even pub crawl. It's progress, but they still seem to not realize they're living in the twentyfirst century.

I really wish Collingswood and Haddonfield would get on board with this. None of them are quite big enough to be an attraction alone.

Look at Bloomfield Avenue in Essex County (which completely blows Haddon Ave away in terms of attractions and ammenities), which stretches through Glen Ridge, Montclair, and up to Caldwell, with Montclair itself home to multiple downtowns aside from Bloomfield Ave.

That's exactly where I live right now! On Bloomfield avenue! I'm trying to find a similar stretch to Montclair or Morristown but down in South Jersey. Is this possible???? If so, I will move there next month.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by slapshotbob99 View Post
That's exactly where I live right now! On Bloomfield avenue! I'm trying to find a similar stretch to Montclair or Morristown but down in South Jersey. Is this possible???? If so, I will move there next month.
The short answer is, NO. I was in a similar situation to yours, had to move to South Jersey and wanted to live somewhere akin to Montclair or Morristown. Over the last couple of years, I've discovered nothing close exists down here.

The reasons for this are manifold:
North Jersey enjoyed numerous commuter railroad lines dating well back to the nineteenth century, with a number of fancy suburbs arising during that time. The North Jersey hills were always desirable locales to wealthy New Yorkers. Montclair has basically been one of the nicest suburbs in the country since the 1870s. Morristown was a summer retreat for millionaires during the same time frame. South Jersey never experienced comparable development spilling over from Philadelphia, most of the region was farms until the 1960s. There are few old railroad towns, and just a handful that have mass-transit access now.

There's a South Jersey mindset that is very quiet and family-oriented. See some of the other comments in this thread, SJ does not want to be like NNJ (not that places like Montclair or Morristown are unique to NJ) There are few new developments, and little in the way of walkability. There are few young and/or single people down here, and the ones that are here seem to have been in the same town their whole lives. The idea of busy streets and active 24/7 (or even 18/7) communities is foreign to most people here. I don't think a single town has a downtown movie theater.

The closest facsimiles to Montclair, Morristown, Maplewood/South Orange, Somerville, or other fun North Jersey towns would be:

Haddonfield: The good: Oldest and most walkable town in the region. Expensive and fancy, with a number of boutiques and shops, some decent restaurants too. 24/7 access to Philadelphia via PATCO. Only a handful of rentals near downtown. The bad: it's a dry town, so there are no bars, though there are a few that are sort of in walking distance in nearby towns. It's very (wealthy) family oriented, and most stores seem to cater to wealthy parents and their kids. Rarely do you ever see anyone out past 8 and never past 10. I'd liken it to a smaller, quieter Westfield or Chatham.

Collingswood: The good: Collingswood is the most frequently-cited example of a "North Jersey" type town in SJ. It has PATCO access and a popular walkable downtown with a restaurant strip and a few other small shops. It has an artsy vibe, with a number of paint-your-own/sculpt-your-own places. There's a very popular farmer's market during the warmer months. There's a small LGBT population, and some Philly ex-pat hipster parents. They've recently completed a major apartment/condo development downtown as well.

The bad: Still a dry town, with no real downtown activities outside of the restaurants. The town shuts down in the evening, with even the nice restaurants (most of which are Italian BYOB's) emptying out by 9:30, even on Friday nights. Downtown is only a few blocks long, and once you get away from that, its mostly a quiet, blue-collar white suburb. There's not really much bustle or vibrancy. To make a North Jersey comparison, it's much closer to a Denville than a Morristown.

Between Collingswood and Haddonfield is Westmont, which also has a PATCO stop. Westmont is not dry, so there are a few bars there, though they're all pretty similar tavern/sports bar spots with live music on the weekends. None of them have a cool vibe like Eagan's and Halcyon in Montclair, or Upstairs in Upper Montclair. Westmont is very spread out and not very walkable, the bars all have big suburban-style parking lots. The bars start to empty out before midnight even on Fridays, even though they're technically open till 2. Other than the bars, there aren't many restaurants or shops in Westmont. The town is even less diverse and more tight-knit than its neighbors. They've tried to build a high-density development, but it's been in limbo for a decade.

Other than those towns, the only other place I'd say comes close is Bordentown, which is further north, just below Trenton. Bordentown has the densest, most historic downtown in the region, parts look almost like Society Hill in Philadelphia. It has mass-transit access with the Riverline (although it runs slowly and stops at 9PM. There're some decent restaurants and a few bars in town, though I've never been there on a weekend night, so I can't comment on how busy they are. It seems like Bordentown has a few occasional downtown events and festivals, though most afternoons I've been there it seems pretty dead. It doesn't seem as family oriented as other towns I've mentioned, so there might be a bit more age diversity.
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Old 02-09-2015, 07:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dodonj View Post
Hi - we are a young family in our early 30s (with a toddler) and we are considering a move from NJ to SJ.
My husband will commute to a job in Cinnaminson while I would be commuting to Center city.
We are looking to purchase a house and want to keep our monthly payment to 2k or less (including taxes, but we have up to 90k for downpayment).
We are considering Haddonfield as we used to rent there in 2009 for about a year and we really liked the walkability, proximity to ACME, CVS, ice cream store, nice restaurants and of course the PATCO into Philly. We always assumed if we came back we would just purchase in Haddonfield (based on the above we should be able to get an ok house up to 350k I think).
However I recently realized that we never really made any friends in Haddonfield itself, we never tried to get into the community life and thus get a feel for the soul of the town. Now we have a young child and I find this a really important aspect of our decision. We are both working professionals but our HHI will be about 160k so I am afraid that puts us in the "poorer" category of Haddonfield. I am afraid of getting caught up in a keeping up with the Jones's culture (I dislike spending money when not necessary and would rather have extra at the end of the month than drive a newer car), of neighborhood cliques comprised mainly of stay at home moms (staying home is definitely not an option for me), of my child feeling like the poor neighbor in school.
Am I right to worry about those things in Haddonfield? Or am I grossly generalizing (I do not mean to offend anyone, I really am trying to get more information and this forum seems to be a great source). Could you tell me what we could expect as a professional couple with no family money but with desire to work hard and make a good life with good people around us?

If you have other suggestions for us - short commutes (30-40 mins max), good school district, walkability are important for us.

Thank you for your help.
have you considered Maple Shade.? I know that town is famous for there sense of community. People who grow up there usually stay there. It's next to cinnamon son
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Old 02-09-2015, 07:41 PM
 
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I'm from North Jersey and have considered same. Haddonfield, Collingswood and Moorestown pretty hip. Haddonfield, far and away the best of the lot having one of the best downtowns in NJ. Driving in on Kings Highway is very much like driving into Princeton, minus the university. A combination of Ridgewood and Montclair, but, not much in the way of a 'bar scene'. Moorestown too. A dry town, its downtown is quaint, but lacking the size and scope of great downtowns. Beautiful homes, nice people and named Money Magazine's best small town in America about ten years ago. Starbucks is located in a former, old bank building. Kinda' cool. Both Moorestown and Haddonfield are top school districts that rank top in top 25 every year, and as a reference, rival Madison, Chatham, Ridge etc. Collingswood is a former blue-collar enclave turning into a destination spot for young couples. More of an urban hipster vibe. Downtown is pretty hip with several good restaurants, and you have Cooper Lake. But, schools are not very good, a product of its past, but improving. Merchantville a hidden gem. Right down the road from Cherry Hill Mall. Awesome housing stock. You would pay half to one-third the price for an oversized colonial or Victorian there than you would up north. It has a cool little downtown. However, the downtown doesn't have much of a restaurant culture or hip vibe. Taxes are high, what you might see in North Jersey, yet the schools are below average and there is no high school. Pennsauken schools are terrible, but Cherry Hill would be the strategy there if you live in Merchantville. I"ve noticed that taxes have caught up some down south past several years, and is becoming more difficult to find bargains.
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Old 02-14-2015, 06:40 PM
 
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The people that complain about the "keeping up with the Jone's attitude" tend to be people that bought a house that they could barely afford in a "better town" and then are upset that they cannot enjoy the same things as their neighbors. If you have to stretch to buy in any town just for status, then you are going to be unhappy when the other people in town do/buy/talk about stuff that you cannot afford. It is you, not them, either get over it or move
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:53 AM
 
Location: NJ
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My thought is if you really want down to earth, non-pretentious families it's hard to beat west side of Cherry Hill. You'll get good schools, afordable, close to city, and regular people, that's my sugggestion. I wouldn't be too concerend about the lack of walkability. You're in the burbs either way.

I, too, came here from NJ about 15 years ago, and that's my impression knowing what I know now. I'm in Marlton, very close to 295 & 70. In my experience, there's a little more high and might attitude in Marlton. Cherry Hill West people embrace their label as the dead end kids, from the other side of the tracks. People around here have their ideas about what you are based on the town you live. It's silly, but that's been my outsider perspective. If I could go back 15 years, to when I was 30 and making this decision all over again, I'd move 2 miles west into Cherry Hill. The only difference is I'd be dealing with fewer stuck up people. Not zero, just fewer.
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