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Old 10-02-2020, 10:44 AM
 
718 posts, read 728,236 times
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Originally Posted by hominamad View Post
Yep, I pretty much agree with this. But there is plenty to be derailed by in smaller schools too. I also don't know that its one of the largest in the state, but that doesn't really matter I guess. But it is true, for people looking for small-town type districts, WP is not a good fit. The thing I like about WP is that even though it technically is a city, it has a very suburban feel to it in the neighborhoods. There are definitely aspects of a small town I wish I had, but I don't know if it would be worth paying double my taxes to have that. I can drive to Scarsdale in 5 minutes from my house, so that's good enough for me!
Just looking at one source I found real quick, White Plains High is the 47th largest public HS in the state, out of 1458. I would say that makes it definitely one of the largest. And of the 46 public high schools that are bigger, exactly half are in NYC. Yes, there is plenty to be derailed by in smaller school districts, but I don't think any of them are because the district is small. A kid can be derailed by any number of things no matter where he or she attends school. But if a school has a very large population of "non-students" (just to use an inexact phrase), it can create an alternative culture that doesn't exist in many other places. But as stated previously, there are so many good students from good families at White Plains, that the "school within the school" may be larger and better (with more varied top academic offerings) than many great, but smaller, schools. In this respect White Plains is very similar to North Rockland - an even bigger public HS that many have described as having "students" and "non-students", and they very much co-exist as two separate school cultures.
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Old 10-02-2020, 12:52 PM
 
1,966 posts, read 1,357,220 times
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There is a lot of anti-NJT commentary in this thread, much of it justified, but I just wanted to chime in that I lived for 4 years in Metuchen and I just didn't have the experiences that others mention in this thread. Were there occasional blow-outs, like a broken down train etc? Of course, but only a couple times a year, similar to the MTA. The other delays were never a problem because there were so many trains an hour, that if one was delayed, you would just get on the next one. Unless you have the sort of job where a 5-10 minute variance is fatal, it really isn't an issue.

Regarding transfers, there are dozens of places to live on NJT train lines that don't involve transfers (including my former home town).

I was just amazed at how much more affordable NJ was, with similar schools and similar commute times, but part of it is driven by the perception that it's such a terrible place to live. I moved to Westchester from NJ and I have to say, I don't understand why people prefer Westchester over NJ, unless they are comparing places like Jersey City/Hoboken to places like Armonk. But compare Armonk, which is an hour 15 minute commute, to Short Hills, which is an ~hour commute, and the comparisons get, for lack of a better word... derailed.

All that said, I super hate commutes so ever since my stint working in Manhattan I only work for employers that are in suburbs and then buy a house near that employer. I've had a 10 minute or less commute for the past ~5 years with 3 different employers. I prioritize it. NJ also has a lot in this regard too as most pharmas are in beautiful parts of the state that are nowhere near Manhattan- Morristown, Princeton, etc. Get yourself a pretty house on an acre or two for $500k-$700k and have top rated schools and a 10 minute commute. Westchester has a lot of this capability too as there are large employers, but the houses are twice as expensive.
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Old 10-02-2020, 01:11 PM
 
424 posts, read 228,419 times
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Originally Posted by NYCresident2014 View Post
There is a lot of anti-NJT commentary in this thread, much of it justified, but I just wanted to chime in that I lived for 4 years in Metuchen and I just didn't have the experiences that others mention in this thread. Were there occasional blow-outs, like a broken down train etc? Of course, but only a couple times a year, similar to the MTA. The other delays were never a problem because there were so many trains an hour, that if one was delayed, you would just get on the next one. Unless you have the sort of job where a 5-10 minute variance is fatal, it really isn't an issue.

Regarding transfers, there are dozens of places to live on NJT train lines that don't involve transfers (including my former home town).

I was just amazed at how much more affordable NJ was, with similar schools and similar commute times, but part of it is driven by the perception that it's such a terrible place to live. I moved to Westchester from NJ and I have to say, I don't understand why people prefer Westchester over NJ, unless they are comparing places like Jersey City/Hoboken to places like Armonk. But compare Armonk, which is an hour 15 minute commute, to Short Hills, which is an ~hour commute, and the comparisons get, for lack of a better word... derailed.

All that said, I super hate commutes so ever since my stint working in Manhattan I only work for employers that are in suburbs and then buy a house near that employer. I've had a 10 minute or less commute for the past ~5 years with 3 different employers. I prioritize it. NJ also has a lot in this regard too as most pharmas are in beautiful parts of the state that are nowhere near Manhattan- Morristown, Princeton, etc. Get yourself a pretty house on an acre or two for $500k-$700k and have top rated schools and a 10 minute commute. Westchester has a lot of this capability too as there are large employers, but the houses are twice as expensive.
I agree, I think that New Jersey gets a raw deal. In general, it's cheaper than New York. If you work in downtown Manhattan, it may even be a quicker commute from certain parts of Jersey.

This is why I wouldn't completely discount New Jersey if you are searching, especially if you don't have a very high budget which most people don't.
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Old 10-02-2020, 06:21 PM
 
2,866 posts, read 1,080,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCresident2014 View Post
There is a lot of anti-NJT commentary in this thread, much of it justified, but I just wanted to chime in that I lived for 4 years in Metuchen and I just didn't have the experiences that others mention in this thread. Were there occasional blow-outs, like a broken down train etc? Of course, but only a couple times a year, similar to the MTA. The other delays were never a problem because there were so many trains an hour, that if one was delayed, you would just get on the next one. Unless you have the sort of job where a 5-10 minute variance is fatal, it really isn't an issue.
I agree! If my husband didn't work in White Plains, I would have preferred Summit or Madison. Nice downtowns and lovely parks. Drew University's The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey has good performances. Morristown has a large walkable shopping area. Washington's headquarters is nearby too. It has a lot going for it.
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Old 10-02-2020, 07:13 PM
 
101 posts, read 54,407 times
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Madison is really pretty. If I never had to work in manhattan I would definitely consider nj. But since we both work in the city I would never consider it. I’ve done every day commute from northern nj- to Hoboken with no transfers and then path; also a bus into PoA and I would never live there. I also know people who live in Westfield and I seriously considered that town and based on what I’ve heard it is not a good commute. Again, everyone’s idea of good and doable is different. My SIL lives in maplewood. It is a nice town and supposed to be a good commute but it is not. Only 2 express trains in peak hours! And it is not just that but also how unreliable they are. To truly judge about nj commute u need to live there and go to manhattan 5 days a week. I wouldn’t even do it for 2. On paper and schedule it looks so doable. In reality it is a mess.
But again I don’t argue how nice their towns are and how It totally makes sense to buy there if u don’t need Manhattan
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Old 10-02-2020, 07:16 PM
 
101 posts, read 54,407 times
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Summit had a nice commute- more trains but it is just as expensive as many westchester towns. I considered Madison too but the ride is like 53 mins ;add 10 more for accuracy- and add the walk u need to do from Penn and to the train station.
Agree about the schools too- lots of great options there
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Old 10-02-2020, 07:22 PM
 
321 posts, read 630,328 times
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When we were looking for houses we looked in NJ too. Looked at Montclair, Maplewood and some other towns. The main thing that turned us off was the commute. I worked right next to GCT and it was a breeze. I absolutely hate Penn, although eventually it will be redone. Anyway, something about NJ is just not as nice as Westchester. Those towns I looked at were really nice, but as soon as you leave them, it gets really ugly really quickly. Almost like crossing the street. I think other parts of NJ are more Westchester-like, but you have to go sort of far out. I like that from Westchester (specifically White Plains), I can go 20 min north and be in the middle of nowhere, or 20 minutes south and be in the city. It's right in the middle, so I can access LI where I have family, or drive to NJ if needed. The drive from NJ to LI is pretty terrible! In all, NJ isn't really as bad as the rap it gets, but NY-ers get a bit of pleasure of ribbing people for it's inferiority.
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Old 12-31-2020, 06:55 PM
 
26 posts, read 6,997 times
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Just wanted to thank all the contributors to this thread. Such a wealth of info.
I have been off the forum for several weeks - was starting a new job so got sucked into that - but feeling a bit more grounded now and picking up again on my research.
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