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Old 09-13-2009, 06:58 PM
 
94 posts, read 305,978 times
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We have narrowed our search to these three towns, recognizing that absurd property taxes are part of the deal with each. It seems Glen Ridge may have the best school and least crime, South Orange the shortest commute, and Maplewood the best town center. All three seem to have easy access to large green spaces (Eagle Rock, South Mountain), which is critical for us, as is close proximity to the train station for commuting to Penn Station.

Any recent insights on the transition to and your experience in these towns, good and bad, especially from people with young families who moved from Manhattan or Brooklyn, would be appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.
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Old 09-13-2009, 07:10 PM
 
Location: NYC
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If you do a search you will find plenty of threads, these areas have been discussed at naseaum
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Old 09-13-2009, 08:10 PM
 
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Glen Ridge for sure. Maplewood and South Orange both are bordering some very sketchy areas...
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Old 09-13-2009, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Montgomery County, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GiantRutgersfan View Post
Glen Ridge for sure. Maplewood and South Orange both are bordering some very sketchy areas...
I don't quite agree with this assessment. First, "bordering" some sketchy areas is only a problem if crime follows a gentle gradient. But actual crime maps suggest otherwise (to trace out the border between Irvington/Newark and South Orange/Maplewood, joining the dots on the Essex County homicide map will give you an excellent approximiation. I'm not kidding.)

Part of the reason for this is that there tend to be geographic buffers (some natural, some man-made like the fence along Seton Hall University) Another part is that the local police tend to be attentive to these issues.

Besides the fact that crime does not follow a gentle gradient, if you can afford Glen Ridge, you can also afford to be in "the good part" of South Orange or Maplewood (very affluent and very suburban).

But besides all that, Glen Ridge borders some sketchy neighborhoods too. Sure, Montclair is a decent town, but all of the "affordable housing" in Montclair is right near the Glen Ridge border. To the South, Glen Ridge borders East Orange, and to the East, it borders the less desirable part of Bloomfield (e.g. the part of Bloomfield near East Orange).

So if you're into this whole border contamination theory, it's not even terribly clear that GR comes out in front.
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Old 09-13-2009, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Montgomery County, PA
2,771 posts, read 5,937,154 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swb212 View Post
We have narrowed our search to these three towns, recognizing that absurd property taxes are part of the deal with each. It seems Glen Ridge may have the best school and least crime, South Orange the shortest commute, and Maplewood the best town center. All three seem to have easy access to large green spaces (Eagle Rock, South Mountain), which is critical for us, as is close proximity to the train station for commuting to Penn Station.

Any recent insights on the transition to and your experience in these towns, good and bad, especially from people with young families who moved from Manhattan or Brooklyn, would be appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.
GR is a hop step and a jump from the Montclair town center.

GR has top schools. I think part of the low crime numbers is due to the fact that the entire town is very affluent (take a look at the income distribution in the CD pages). I suspect the more upscale areas of SO and Maplewood have substantially lower crime.
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Old 09-13-2009, 10:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by elflord1973 View Post
But besides all that, Glen Ridge borders some sketchy neighborhoods too. Sure, Montclair is a decent town, but all of the "affordable housing" in Montclair is right near the Glen Ridge border. To the South, Glen Ridge borders East Orange, and to the East, it borders the less desirable part of Bloomfield (e.g. the part of Bloomfield near East Orange).

So if you're into this whole border contamination theory, it's not even terribly clear that GR comes out in front.
Montclair is a very desirable town nowadays. The "bad part" of montclair was never really bad in the first place, and the town is getting more and more gentrified.

East Orange only borders a tiny part of Glen Ridge. Bloomfield is not a bad area at all. even in the "less desirable" areas... Bloomfield is a far cry from Newark or Irvington....
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Old 09-13-2009, 10:30 PM
 
Location: Montgomery County, PA
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Originally Posted by GiantRutgersfan View Post
Montclair is a very desirable town nowadays. The "bad part" of montclair was never really bad in the first place, and the town is getting more and more gentrified.
I understand that Montclair is a very upscale town. I don't really follow what you mean by "the town is getting more and more gentrified". In the vast majority of the town, it's very upscale, so there's not really anything to "gentrify".

There are a couple of streets (Mission St and New St) where most of the "affordable housing" goes, and I don't see many hipsters walking around in these areas.

Quote:
East Orange only borders a tiny part of Glen Ridge. Bloomfield is not a bad area at all. even in the "less desirable" areas... Bloomfield is a far cry from Newark or Irvington....
I must admit, I don't really follow how this "border contamination" theory works. Why would it matter how much of Glen Ridge borders East Orange ? The entire town of Glen Ridge is a short distance from EO.
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by elflord1973 View Post
I must admit, I don't really follow how this "border contamination" theory works. Why would it matter how much of Glen Ridge borders East Orange ? The entire town of Glen Ridge is a short distance from EO.
I have seen it happen by me to places like Haledon and the parts of Clifton near the Paterson border. And this is just from being bordered by a small city like Paterson (which is not even that bad comared to Newark).

the section 8 housing moves into town, middle class folks move out, and the town turns to garbage. Haledon is the perfect example.

It doesnt happen in every case, but it happens a lot (Hawthorne and Elmwood park are examples of places where proximity to Paterson has had no major effect).

If you are buying, you have to think long term.
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:10 PM
 
58 posts, read 104,788 times
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None. The best town is MILLBURN: best schools, green, close to NYC, lower taxes, low crime, people from Brooklyn. Not much of a downtown although trader joes is coming. You can easily walk to maplewood.

Keep in mind: glen ridge has no weekend service to the city.
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:20 AM
 
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I am moving from Brooklyn too, &we have 3 kids under 10. Schools, crime, commute to NY, home value, community & diversity were all on our list. We chose Montclair (as you say, figuring taxes are high in all that you listed). Montclair schools are a little better that Maplewood/South Orange (they share their HS). Glenridge schools are better than all, but Glenridge was out of our price range and did not offer the diversity we were hoping for. Montclair, Maplewood & So. Orange are roughly 70% white & 30% Non White where Glenridge is mostly White. Montclair also has more "town" to enjoy although West Orange has a great town center as well. The train in Montclair is fast & there is the bus option too.There is a very small poorer section which is just older homes etc but its still safe. NJ people think its the "bad" section but coming from NY I just laugh. I don't think they really know what bad is! Maplewood seems to have a larger shabby section that I was not as comfortable with. Montclair also has access to the greenery you are looking for & all the parks you mentioned.

You might want to add Montclair to your list. BUT if its strictly a choice between West Orange, Maplewood & Livingston I'd chose 1) Livingston (if you can afford it & diversity is not a concern for you) It gives you the great schools & low crime OR 2) West Orange (but think about a private high school. elementary & middle public are OK) It gives you a nice town/community, low crime & decent commute.

Maplewood has a pretty area but not much town & the elementary & middle schools (while they don't suck) are the lowest rated of all 4 towns. Also the largest "sketchy" area of all four.

Good luck! I know I'm going to miss the anything-everything-24 hour availability of NY, but I know it'll be great for my family.
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