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Old 07-04-2018, 08:17 AM
 
2,871 posts, read 1,085,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ltjbukem73 View Post
They dropped AP course, but haven't dropped tracking students.

You are right about not tracking into different high schools like NYC. However, Westchester high schools still track within schools.

I guess it will be the OP choice of whether or not to participate in the pressure cooker. Even if most of the town is competitive, they will be able to find a few families that don't
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Unfortunately, NY
2,611 posts, read 553,548 times
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It's not the test prep for standardized tests. Most people in Scarsdale send their kids to private SAT/ACT prep courses for that (myself included). There is a lot of testing in the actual classes. My kids were frequently stressed about tests, tests, and more tests in their subject classes every week. There are plenty of families who want this kind of educational environment, and that is fine. The OP sounds like someone who wants something less competitive though.
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:52 AM
 
476 posts, read 518,650 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westchesterwannabe View Post
I've found that the only café/type / walkable towns are uber rich (Bronxville, Scarsdale, Larchmont, Irvington, etc.). Towns like Dobbs, Tarrytown, Ardsley, Pleasantville, Armonk, are great but the housing stock isn't nicely integrated into the town. If Jersey works for your commute I'd look to towns like Montclair, Glen Ridge, or South Orange as they sound like fit the bill.
I grew up in Scarsdale in the 80s. And we recently decided on Montclair / Glen Ridge when we moved out of NYC a couple years ago. We purchased in Glen Ridge. We really wanted humble people with a nice downtown, walkability, excellent schools and a short commute. Glen Ridge was perfect. Unfortunately, the Westchester towns such as Scarsdale and Larchmont check those boxes (minus the people). They have become such super wealthy towns that the snobbery is intolerable.

After going through Scarsdale schools I wouldn’t dare send my kids there. We grew up an upper middle class Italian American family and basically were siloed to being friends with other Italians, Irish, Indian etc. we literally called our group of friends the UN Club. The vast majority of the school were Asian and Jewish. Particularly Jewish. And the temple basketball leagues, summer camps, etc made the social scene hard to penetrate if you were outside of that circle. All of my childhood friends parents houses have been knocked down with 3-4mm new construction. The neighborhood has morphed even more so into this super wealthy keeping up with the joneses mentality. Taxes have gone through the roof. And the school system is even more of a pressure cooker situation than ever before. The ivy mentality is akin to raising your child to be a professional athlete and they feel that they failed if they don’t go pro. During college admission time, it was very apparent which parents were on their soap box, and which were in hiding. It’s pretty sad really.

In any regard I really could not speak more highly of Glen Ridge. It is a 30-39 min direct train and a jitney service that loops around town synced up with the train. You don’t even need to deal with a car during the week. Historical town very tight knit with block parties and people actively outside, actually using the parks, bicycling with their kids up and down the streets, and walking down the sidewalks with strollers. It feels vibrant. Kids are actually outside playing - which is rare nowadays. People are well off, but humble. The town is historic with gas lamps lining the streets and most houses are Victorians, renovated to be beautiful picture worthy homes on tree lined streets. Montclair is in your backyard with 4 mini walkable towns with cafes all with train stations. One town in upper montclair is as nice as Scarsdale or Bronxville village center. Oh and it’s about 25-50% less than Scarsdale or Larchmont.
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:24 AM
 
2,871 posts, read 1,085,044 times
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^^^THIS^^^

JaRuss01,

My husband grew up in Rye Brook. Your Scarsdale experience is very similar to his Rye Brook childhood.

I agree about Glen Ridge and Montclair. Also Nutley is pretty nice and down-to-earth too. With lower taxes too!
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:02 PM
 
49 posts, read 52,778 times
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Thank you everyone for all the advice on where to move. We are still here in Melbourne Australia as we have really loved the beautiful lifestyle and schools here. But, we are looking to still possibly move back to the NYC area in June 2019. So, I had another quick skim through the old suggestions. I am going to have another look at Glen Ridge. Thank you for the suggestion.

I had a look at Pleasantville, NY and I liked the "laid-back" attitude and walkability.

I think potentially our criteria has changed as our children have gotten older (we now have four!) so if any of these criteria fit the bill of a town, please let me know :-)

- Great nearby pre-schools (I have twin babies at the moment)
- A town where folks like to walk around with a nice cafe lifestyle
- Easy going elementary school with happy kids (Preferably 7/8 or higher on Great Schools, though as a teacher, I know those rankings aren't indicative of the school's quality)
- Secondary schools where kids have choices (i.e. athletics, music, arts, etc.)
- As close as possible to NYC Grand Central commute
- Things to do in the town with pre-school aged kids (like read-aloud at the library, etc.)
- My husband likes to think he's a bit' of a hipster; so a town a bit of a hipster would enjoy
- We don't use the term 'pressure-cooker' here in Melbourne, but it definitely sounds like something my children would not enjoy so I would prefer a town that's not a 'pressure-cooker' please


Thank you so much for your suggestions. I am checking all of them out and I really appreciate your time.
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:29 PM
 
125 posts, read 164,246 times
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i don't believe pleasantville has bussing for elementary schools, if that's a concern at all. it means if both parents are working, you won't be able to start your day until you drop them off at 820am or whenever school starts.

the trip from pleasantville to gct is also a solid 50+ minutes, so depending on where your office is, it could be a 1.5 hour commute when you factor in walking/driving to the station, etc.

from what i've heard, pville is not a pressure cooker SD, so you're in good shape there.
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Harrison
826 posts, read 2,147,881 times
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Larchmont ticks all your boxes. Not sure if it's "hipster" but otherwise it sounds like exactly what you want. The river towns are considered more hipster but I don't know them well. I'm sure someone else could weigh in.
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:46 PM
 
476 posts, read 518,650 times
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No clue what your budget is. But if youre a family of five, and want a 5 bedroom house great schools short commute in Westchester, you’re looking at a 1.5+mm house with 35k in taxes. Glen Ridge/Montclair will be 900-1.2mm with 30k in taxes. Assuming the house is fairly move in ready. Which I presume you would prefer after traveling so far to relocate. I certainly wouldn’t want to move to Australia and live in an extended stay hotel for 6 months with my stuff sitting in storage.
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:22 PM
 
2,871 posts, read 1,085,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madds14 View Post
Thank you everyone for all the advice on where to move. We are still here in Melbourne Australia as we have really loved the beautiful lifestyle and schools here. But, we are looking to still possibly move back to the NYC area in June 2019. So, I had another quick skim through the old suggestions. I am going to have another look at Glen Ridge. Thank you for the suggestion.

I had a look at Pleasantville, NY and I liked the "laid-back" attitude and walkability.

I think potentially our criteria has changed as our children have gotten older (we now have four!) so if any of these criteria fit the bill of a town, please let me know :-)

- Great nearby pre-schools (I have twin babies at the moment)
- A town where folks like to walk around with a nice cafe lifestyle
- Easy going elementary school with happy kids (Preferably 7/8 or higher on Great Schools, though as a teacher, I know those rankings aren't indicative of the school's quality)
- Secondary schools where kids have choices (i.e. athletics, music, arts, etc.)
- As close as possible to NYC Grand Central commute
- Things to do in the town with pre-school aged kids (like read-aloud at the library, etc.)
- My husband likes to think he's a bit' of a hipster; so a town a bit of a hipster would enjoy
- We don't use the term 'pressure-cooker' here in Melbourne, but it definitely sounds like something my children would not enjoy so I would prefer a town that's not a 'pressure-cooker' please


Thank you so much for your suggestions. I am checking all of them out and I really appreciate your time.
Pleasantville has a pizzeria, a cake shop, an upscale restaurant, a bookstore and the Jacob Burns Film Center on its main drag. I go to Pleasantville frequently and I am pretty sure, people who live in town, drive to where they are going.

However, I'm not sure what you think of as a nice cafe lifestyle. I'm used to the cafe lifestyle of Italy. I wouldn't say Pleasantville has a cafe lifestyle like Italy. Pleasant is pretty suburban. Strangely enough, Sunnyside in Queens is more of a real cafe lifestyle, much like Italy.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/22/r...r-midtown.html
https://www.tracysnewyorklife.com/20...eens-life-nyc/


My second idea would be Mamaroneck which has a larger downtown area.
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Old 07-10-2018, 03:55 PM
 
2,871 posts, read 1,085,044 times
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People in Westchester rave about Ridgefield CT. It is just over the Westchester border and is know for its town center and walkability. The CT forums would know more about it.
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