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Old 12-08-2013, 12:49 PM
 
23 posts, read 53,827 times
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Hello everyone!

I am in the process of deciding on an area to start my life. I am a single mother, currently living in northeast PA. This is not the area for me, too rural, not enough diversity (I am African American, my son is biracial) and jobs are terrible. There is an area outside Philadelphia that I am strongly considering(Media) but I am originally from Jersey and would love to go back if I could. I grew up in Scotch Plains and had a terrific childhood (safe, strong sense of community, great schools, tons of activities, and a very diverse group of friends) and would like a similar experience for my son. The only reason I'm not really looking into scotch plains is because I'm still in my twenties and would like an area with a bit more going on . I've always loved Montclair and think it could be a great fit as well. But I haven't done more than drive through recently so I'm not sure, and I'm completely unfamiliar with the reputation of the school system... Any insight or tips would be appreciated. Thank you in advance
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Old 12-08-2013, 06:54 PM
 
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Nothing wrong with Montclair schools, but Montclair is a lot more expensive than Media (which isn't all that cheap either) so a lot depends on what you can afford.
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Old 12-09-2013, 12:18 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,546 posts, read 20,188,174 times
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Where in NEPA are you? I grew up north of Scranton. Scranton seems to be more diverse now than years ago, but the surrounding area is not, and is also quite close-minded still. It's cheap there, so if you can find a decent job, it's a nice place to raise a kid.

I live next to Montclair, definitely a good place, but also expensive. Media is nice too, but the suburbs of philly aren't very diverse either.

You should come out and spend some time in a town like Montclair before you move. Hang out downtown for an afternoon, etc., and see what you think.
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Old 12-09-2013, 04:51 PM
 
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I'd check out Clifton too. more affordable than Montclair.
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:51 PM
 
23 posts, read 53,827 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradykp View Post
Where in NEPA are you? I grew up north of Scranton. Scranton seems to be more diverse now than years ago, but the surrounding area is not, and is also quite close-minded still. It's cheap there, so if you can find a decent job, it's a nice place to raise a kid.

I live next to Montclair, definitely a good place, but also expensive. Media is nice too, but the suburbs of philly aren't very diverse either.

You should come out and spend some time in a town like Montclair before you move. Hang out downtown for an afternoon, etc., and see what you think.

I'm in the Poconos. Scranton is definitely much bigger but like you said, not much diversity in the surrounding areas. A friend suggested Media. After researching I was pretty much sold on the schools and I assumed with it being close to the city it'd be more diverse. I'll make plans to spend some time in both towns soon.

Thank you. I'll look into Clifton also.
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:03 AM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
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I haven't been to Media in a while, but my sister lives in King of Prussia and i have a lot of friends in some other towns down there. it's very "white". i dunno, i just don't think diversity when i think of the area surrounding philly.

i grew up in Carbondale, north of scranton.
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:15 AM
 
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Without knowing your job or budget.

NJ near Philadelphia with a great vibe, Collingswood, NJ.

Short train ride into Philadelphia and cost of living isn't too far out of hand compared to some of the nearby towns.
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Old 12-10-2013, 08:11 PM
 
23 posts, read 53,827 times
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Thanks! I'll be sure to look into Collingswood also.

The only towns I've been to outside Philly are New Hope and Wayne. But I had heard that the "main line" towns don't have much diversity. My friends from the area are very open minded so I guess I automatically assumed that most in the region would share a similar mindset.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:35 PM
 
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Default Media

I came across your post because we're moving from Philly to the NYC area for work and are looking at Montclair. I grew up in the Philly area, moved away for about 15 years, then moved back 3 years ago, moved to the Main Line (because that's what you're supposed to do, move to the upper crust burbs), realized we didn't like the burbs in general and moved into Center City, which we love. I'd say move to CC if you can afford private schools because the biggest con in Philly itself is that the public schools are bad (and that's not meant in a racist way-they almost didn't open this year because of a huge budget shortfall so they fired 3000 vice principals, all of the teachers aides and other employees with direct student contact_and you have to bank on getting into a charter or magnet school. Also, my brother lives in Media so we've spent a decent amount of time there.

The pro's of the general suburban Philly area vs. anywhere near NYC are:

-cost is just much less overall and you get a ton. You can get a job that pays just as well as NYC but the cost of living is half.
-the public schools are really good in general. Media Rosetree is a really good district.
-you can be pretty close to Philly but get a beautiful suburban or near rural feel quickly. For example, Media has a great downtown area, but there are neighborhoods that feel like you're in the woods and you're not far from real wilderness. And it's only 30 minutes from Center City (20-25 mins off peak).
-while everyone anywhere will complain about public transport, it's much easier with shorter commutes here than NYC if you work in Philly simply because the metro area's not as big. And there's a good chance you could get job a closer to Media.
-I just really like the Philly area in general-good amount of things overall to do, Philly's a great city, great education system, great weekend day trips, not far from the Shore or the Poconos, etc, and compared to the NYC area, it's just so much less expensive.

Media:
-while I've seen a few non-white people there, it's predominately white as are most of the nicer Philly suburbs. I find Media to be pretty liberal though and there are a good amount of more creative types who move out of Philly when they have kids, so you get a lot of people who spent their 20's/30's in the city.
-neat little downtown with restaurants, shops, bars, etc whose target demographics aren't 21 year old kids partying, but adults. If you live in one of the areas near the downtown, it's a walkable place.
-they always seem to have something happening on the weekends in the nicer weather months-they close down the street some day of the week and the restaurants take over the streets, they have parades or some other thing going on, etc.
-it's on the Blue Route (I-476) so, while that can be a parking lot, it allows you to get to most of the employment areas easily-Valley Forge/King of Prussia, Philly, etc.

My general view, and this is while we're looking at Montclair and other towns near NYC because my career is taking us there, is that unless you make large amounts of money in an industry that's keeps you in NYC (finance, etc) and need to be there, I'd do Philly. Your dollar just goes so much further.

Good luck.
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Old 02-15-2014, 02:04 PM
 
23 posts, read 53,827 times
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Thank you! Your reply was very helpful. It seems like Philly is the way to go for me. I'm planning on making a few trips to see more of the area once the weather's better.
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