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Old 02-28-2009, 09:26 PM
 
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What are the schools in Fair Lawn like? Are they highly rated? Is the community nice? I was looking for a nice, family friendly, affordable town in Bergen County with an easy commute to NYC.
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Westwood, NJ
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Schools were once Blue Ribbon winning, don't think they rank that high anymore. Fair Lawn has a train station for easy access to NYC. Try to stick to the Radburn section if possible. Its a little more pricey but its a good section for raising kids.
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:37 PM
 
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As a product of Fair Lawn schools myself, I can tell you that the schools are good. The town is a decent town, and housing, while still expensive, is reasonable for the area. The schools compare very favorably when compared to other town of similar socioeconomic status, and even to some towns of higher status. The schools are not quite in the same league as those in the wealthiest communities in the area, but they are good.

Fair Lawn has grown increasingly diverse over the past two decades or so. There are large Russian and Israeli communities, and a growing Latino population, but there are still plenty of Italians and Germans in the town as well.

Fair Lawn is one of the larger towns in Bergen County. The eastern half of the town (near Glen Rock and Paramus) tends to be the wealthier and more expensive side. Radburn is a good choice.

Some other smaller towns worth considering: Westwood, Waldwick, and Midland Park. All of these towns will be a little more expensive than Fair Lawn, but not too crazy by Bergen County standards. New Milford and Dumont are pretty good towns too, and might be slightly less expensive than Fair Lawn, but Fair Lawn has the better schools.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:31 PM
 
Location: "The Sunshine State"
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I lived in Fair Lawn for 14 years but did not have a child go thru the school system. I loved the town, it was close to everything, yet a bit tucked away. The school system is good. I lived on the south side of town which would be on the side of where the GSP is on Rt. 4. Near the CVS. It is a nice area of Irish, Italian and other nationalities. It is mostly cookie cutter Cape Cod homes but most people have updated them somewhat. Within 5 min. of anywhere in Fair Lawn you can be on Rt.80, Rt,4, Rt.17, Rt.46, Rt. 21,20 and the Parkway. I give the town a up! You can be in Manhattan within a half hour depending on traffic!
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:04 PM
 
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Fair Lawn is nice, and VERY ethnically mixed. A lot of Russian Jews, a lot of Jews, and a lot of Italians and a smattering of several other ethnicities. This makes for some great food choices! Perfect Pita. Giovanni's. Compania's- and of course THE best bagels in the county. If you're not Jewish, you should stay out of certain areas, only because the people are a Little bit snotty, Radburn is not what its cracked up to be, so don't believe the hype. If you stay in the center of Fair Lawn, between Route 4/Broadway and Fair Lawn Ave., you're golden. Lots of charming Craftsman Style homes, good people, hard working, no one snotty and lots of diversity. Schools are actually great up until High School. HS isn't TERRIBLE, but just average. There are great programs in the elementary schools for special needs and autistic kids. Great 'community' town, and cheap. It's a good bet, central to everything.
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Old 03-02-2009, 07:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseygirl4now View Post
Fair Lawn is nice, and VERY ethnically mixed. A lot of Russian Jews, a lot of Jews, and a lot of Italians and a smattering of several other ethnicities. This makes for some great food choices! Perfect Pita. Giovanni's. Compania's- and of course THE best bagels in the county. If you're not Jewish, you should stay out of certain areas, only because the people are a Little bit snotty, Radburn is not what its cracked up to be, so don't believe the hype. If you stay in the center of Fair Lawn, between Route 4/Broadway and Fair Lawn Ave., you're golden. Lots of charming Craftsman Style homes, good people, hard working, no one snotty and lots of diversity. Schools are actually great up until High School. HS isn't TERRIBLE, but just average. There are great programs in the elementary schools for special needs and autistic kids. Great 'community' town, and cheap. It's a good bet, central to everything.

Fair Lawn High School may not be quite what it was twenty years ago, but it is still WELL above average, and as I stated, it comapres favorably to other towns in its district factor group (a measure of socioeconomic standing). Check this chart out:

NJ SAT search

Out of nine districts in Bergen County in the same GH DFG, Fair Lawn has the third highest total average SAT score. And except for Westwood and Rutherford, all of the other towns are wealthier than Fair Lawn (especially Paramus). That's pretty good, especially considering that Fair Lawn was moved up a notch on the DFG scale in 2000 (along with Rutherford and Midland Park, which, shockingly, has the highest SAT scores of the group).

I agree Fair Lawn is a very diverse town, both in terms of ethnicities and the levels of wealth of its residents. There are areas which are quite wealthy (and yes, a bit snobby), and some not so much.

And yes, food options are great here. Hot Bagels on Saddle River Road may be the best bagels in the COUNTRY, not just the state. Turvino's is just a hair over the border in Glen Rock and makes some of the best pizza in the area. Kosher delis? We have Petak's, and again, just a hair over the border in Glen Rock is the incredible Kosher Nosh.

As far as Fair Lawn housing being "cheap", well, it does seem to be a bit more reasonable compared to comparable towns. Of the towns listed on the chart I posted above, Rutherford, Fair Lawn, and Teaneck have the most reasonable housing prices. But why? I can understand Rutherford has a bit more of an urban vibe than the suburbs in the northern part of the county, and some ignorant people may be turned off by Teaneck's large African-American population, but why is housing cheaper in Fair Lawn than it is in a town like Waldwick? Waldwick is a bit wealthier, but not much. In fact, I lived in Waldwick for seven years, and honestly, the town looks a bit like a mini Fair Lawn (minus the Jewish influence). Are people turned off by the increasing diversity of the town? It makes me wonder.
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Old 03-02-2009, 07:16 PM
 
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A few things I can say about Fair Lawn in passing:
Excellent Borscht, Crepes, and Falafel
Strong Russian Orthodox and Jewish Influence leading to high level of municipal incompetence aside from their excellent snow and leaf clearing abilities.
Great High School with well paved tennis courts and extracurricular activities, which are important.
Rivara's Bar has quite possibly the friendliest staff and patrons I have ever encountered. I also hear the cook a mean rack of ribs to be enjoyed while listening to the live music.
Ask for Joyce, tell her Dan sent ya!
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Old 03-02-2009, 07:42 PM
 
Location: Westwood, NJ
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Also, Fair Lawn has good sports programs for the kids, including a new Recreation Center for the kids and adults in the community. Sizeable library too in town.
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Old 03-02-2009, 07:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kevin1975 View Post
Also, Fair Lawn has good sports programs for the kids, including a new Recreation Center for the kids and adults in the community. Sizeable library too in town.

The library is indeed large, but boy oh boy does it need a remodel! It looks exactly the same as it did when I first moved to FL, well over thirty years ago. Very 60s looking inside. Most other towns in the area have updated their libraries, but Fair Lawn has not! Plus parking is horrible! Still, if you can deal with the ugly decor and walking a bit, the library does have a lot to offer.
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Westwood, NJ
774 posts, read 2,127,690 times
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Originally Posted by zhelder View Post
The library is indeed large, but boy oh boy does it need a remodel! It looks exactly the same as it did when I first moved to FL, well over thirty years ago. Very 60s looking inside. Most other towns in the area have updated their libraries, but Fair Lawn has not! Plus parking is horrible! Still, if you can deal with the ugly decor and walking a bit, the library does have a lot to offer.
LOL, sorry I hadn't been in there probably since high school in the early 90's..guess it probably looks exactly the same.
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