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View Full Version : Am I crazy to commute from Hoboken to Princeton every day???



margotj
February 22nd, 2007, 07:03 PM
Hi, we're thinking about moving from Los Angeles to Hoboken. I have a job offer at Princeton and my husband will work in NYC. We really want to live close to Manhattan. It looks like it would take about an hour to Princeton by car, and a little more by train. Is that true?? Does anyone do this??

Thanks a lot!

lofter1
February 22nd, 2007, 08:18 PM
I have a friend who does Princeton <> NYC everyday during the week ...

It's about 20 minutes longer than the Hoboken <> Princeton trip.

He says after 6 months the trip has lost its charm.

Ninjahedge
February 23rd, 2007, 08:53 AM
It is a bit far, but there is a direct train ride (I believe) from Princeton to Hoboken.

And the 20 minutes makes a WORLD of difference.

If your husband is in NYC and you are in Princeton, Hoboken would be a good middle ground.

Thing is, if you are looking, look for conversions or classic brownstones. A lot of the pre-fab condo/apt developments are not the best out there (and are inflated in price).

Also, do not live right next to the station. It will make commuting shorter, but you will also hear trains 24/7....

ManhattanKnight
February 23rd, 2007, 09:35 AM
I've got a couple of friends who commute daily by rail between NYC and Philadelphia. That's a one-train ride. If I'm reading the NJ Transit schedules (at http://njtransit.com) correctly, Hoboken-Princeton is a three-train ride (with transfers at Secaucus Junction and Princeton Junction). Are you a big train buff?

Ninjahedge
February 23rd, 2007, 10:00 AM
You would have to see if your company offered a shuttle or something for the last leg of teh journey. Seems like the Princeton JCT and Princeton stop are close to each other, but why bother?


As for 2 trains, most people do that every day with teh city. Bus to Subway or Train to Path, or Train to Subway, so it is very common for suburban commuters.

Although you may also want to look at the Hoboken to Newark link and then Newark to Princeton Junction.

Needless to say Princeton+New York is a VERY large split!

kliq6
February 23rd, 2007, 10:04 AM
Hi, we're thinking about moving from Los Angeles to Hoboken. I have a job offer at Princeton and my husband will work in NYC. We really want to live close to Manhattan. It looks like it would take about an hour to Princeton by car, and a little more by train. Is that true?? Does anyone do this??

Thanks a lot!

Its a decent trip but if they pay is good it makes the trip better

Front_Porch
February 23rd, 2007, 11:43 AM
I find New Jersey Transit to be less-than-desireable -- in terms of comfort, scheduling, etc., not up to the standards of my beloved LIRR.

I wonder if there's some way you could do the trip 9 days out of ten -- that might be just the break you need.

Punzie
February 23rd, 2007, 12:11 PM
Am I crazy to commute from Hoboken to Princeton every day???
Do a careful assessment of your personality. If you are Type A, or mostly Type A, then after awhile you will be angry with this commute. The more laid back and mellow you are, the more this commute is a realistic longterm option.

Spoon
February 23rd, 2007, 02:05 PM
Why not live somewhere closer to the middle of both places. Live in Summit or Morristown so you'll be along a NYC train route but you can drive to princeton in 1/2 hour. Lots of rich yuppy towns all along that train line with nice downtowns etc...

I will say that Hoboken is better than all of those towns but your piece of mind is probably more important.

I commuted to NY over 1 1/2 hours each way (on a good day) on a bus for 6 months and I almost lost my mind so I moved to Hoboken.

margotj
February 23rd, 2007, 02:05 PM
Thanks, everyone! I do have some flexibility, since I'd be at the university and could not go in on an occasional day. What about driving to Princeton? Is the traffic bad going away from the city? I'm considering that too.

MikeKruger
February 27th, 2007, 01:16 PM
You will be going against traffic, which is a good thing!

So from Hoboken I guess you take 3 East and then the TP south....
I would say you can take the time given by online directions and add half an hour and that should give you a pretty conservative estimate of the length of your trip.

media35
February 27th, 2007, 01:43 PM
yes, you are crazy. before you take the job rent a car, do the drive back and forth the hours you will be commuting. next day do the train. then imagine snow, rain, traffic accidents. a horror show.

kliq6
February 27th, 2007, 01:47 PM
but if you could drive in LA, which ithink you said you are from, you can handle NY

Ninjahedge
February 27th, 2007, 02:04 PM
Hoboken at rush hour is not too pleasant. I would probably say the drive would be about 45 minutes on average (w/o looking at the directions).

The killer would be how many miles you would put on the car, and how much gas it would use. 45 minutes of commuting is not HORRIBLE, but it still i not nice...

You could also look for ways to hybrid the commute. Drive to the junction (I think you can do that) and then catch the train... Or only have a cheap vehicle for the last little princeton to princeton jct...


Long and short of it, it will be difficult for you both to work so far from each other.

Punzie
February 27th, 2007, 06:54 PM
I did a L.A.-Orange County driving commute for a year. A one hour drive each way during rush hour in the L.A. area is child's play compared to the same commute in the Northeast U.S., and it's almost entirely due to the weather. If you want to know what the quality of your drive will be like on a regular basis here, imagine driving the Santa Ana Freeway rush hour during one of the worst weather days of the year.

margotj
February 27th, 2007, 07:50 PM
Thanks for your replies, everyone. I'm originally from Boston and have only been in LA for 5 years. I've spent quite a bit of time in NYC but have never commuted in NJ. I'm skeptical, though, that an everyday commute going away from the New York area is like the worst day's commute in LA. It rains all the time there! There are *so* many singly-occupied cars on the road here, and things are *so* far apart. It's insane. I live 4 miles away from work and it often takes me an hour to get there on the bus.

Anyways, I appreciate the feedback and will probably just have to rent a car on my next trip there and try it out.

Punzie
February 28th, 2007, 02:36 AM
Whose idea was it for both of you to live in Hoboken? Was it an idea that both of you came up with equally, or was it more your husband's idea, and you kind of think it would be a good thing?

The way I see it, your husband is going to be, (relatively speaking), on easy street. Even if he works the typical grueling NYC day, he's going to have a relatively easy commute. After a small rest and a shower, he'll be all ready for a little "evening activity".

You, on the other hand, are going to come home tired and kind of haggard from your Princeton commute. You're going to feel like taking it very easy, relaxing, not doing much of anything but catching up. In your husband's eyes, you're going to morph into a slightly boring wife.

If you take the Princeton job, you must insist on choosing a more central living location -- for the health of your marriage! Your husband should be just a bit more tired so that you can be a bit more perky.

I'm 45 years old, and I've seen it all thousands of times, and here's the equation:

Energetic husband +
Worn-out wife +
Glamorous, energetic Manhattan women =
<YOU DO THE MATH>


Margotj, I'm on your side; I want your marriage to be strong. And I'm telling you how to do it.

margotj
February 28th, 2007, 01:49 PM
Living in Hoboken was actually my idea because I like the city. He's willing to live anywhere. So although I appreciate the commuting advice, perhaps you should stick to that. I'm all for a good chuckle and all, but your relationship advice is pretty stereotypical and also pretty sexist. If you're a woman, I'm surprised.

Ninjahedge
February 28th, 2007, 02:01 PM
Princeton would be tough. ANd the city there is nice, although nothing compared to NYC and the area surrounding it.

If I were you, I would give the commute a try one day. Take a "sick" day and train it over there.

I think this will be rough for you, and you may eventually want to change.

Look for a place that may be on the line that you need to take to Princeton, but is still a direct line to NYC. I do not know if they have that, but you may want to take a look.

Downside will be that you will be on a schedule if you ever want to go out, or come to Hoboken, but it all depends on what you are willing to put up with.

GL!

Schadenfrau
February 28th, 2007, 02:06 PM
Living in Hoboken was actually my idea because I like the city. He's willing to live anywhere. So although I appreciate the commuting advice, perhaps you should stick to that. I'm all for a good chuckle and all, but your relationship advice is pretty stereotypical and also pretty sexist. If you're a woman, I'm surprised.

Amen to that, and I'll add that the advice went beyond stereotypical and sexist to being ignorant and rude. That neverending Valentine's Day thread is bad enough without spilling all over the forums.

Front_Porch
February 28th, 2007, 06:47 PM
I think living in Hoboken for the city feel is a reasonable decision. I reiterate that as long as you can train it sometimes, and drive sometimes, and possibly not do it one day every two weeks, it will be doable.

Why are all we New Yorkers reacting like your commute is the assault on Omaha Beach? Because there are two differences, as I see it, between a one-hour New York and a one-hour LA commute (I have never lived in LA, but hubby sometimes goes there for business).

1) In a car, stuck in traffic, you can at least listen to an audiobook. NJ Transit, on the other hand, will not be quiet. There are so many cell phones on the train these days, it's hard to use a train commute as reading time, so that hour can make you feel frazzled instead of relaxed.

2) In LA, everyone has to commute. If you're working in Princeton, you'll probably have co-workers who live in the area who don't commute, and they won't be all that sympathetic to your war stories.

come try it out. And welcome to our coast, you really will love it here.

Punzie
March 1st, 2007, 01:17 AM
. . . your relationship advice is pretty stereotypical and also pretty sexist. If you're a woman, I'm surprised.

My relationship advice isn't sexist because I would give the exact same advice if the situation were reversed -- that is, if you were a husband commuting to Princeton, and your wife were commuting to the WFC.

I would present the exact same equation, in reverse:

Worn-out husband+
Energetic wife +
Exciting, energetic Manhattan men =
<YOU DO THE MATH>


You may not like what I say, nor agree with it, but there's nothing sexist about it.

There is one thing I found out from your reaction: You have a lot of Type "A" in you. That is especially bad news for a Princeton commute.

You may think that advice about your commute should in no way address your marital status -- but in fact, they are linked. Anybody in any committed relationship has to seriously ponder how a commute like this will affect the relationship. That is why I incorporated relationship advice into commuting advice for you.

Punzie
March 1st, 2007, 02:37 AM
That neverending Valentine's Day thread is bad enough without spilling all over the forums.

I did not extend the Valentine's Day Gifts thread by posting to myself. Other people were posting too, and asking many questions. I'd say that the length of the thread is the "fault" of not just me, but all people who posted after February 14.

If you or anybody else feels that the Valentines thread should not be bumped through March, please post there and say so. Or get a moderator to lock the topic.


As for my opinions flowing everywhere... what would you like me to do, change them? They are my opinions. They are consistent. And they don't conflict with this website's rules.

I am a strategic planner; a proactive and comparative thinker. I draw upon a mammoth wealth of experiences that I don't think any other active member on this site has had. You call my remarks "ignorant" and "rude"; I call them "perceptive" and "altruistic". http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i130/Rapunzel61/Smileys/Smile-Grin/grin-vanish-tabby.gif

Schadenfrau
March 1st, 2007, 09:21 AM
While your comments didn't conflict with the rules of this forum, this is conceivably a forum about architecture and New York City, and this is specifically a thread asking about a commute. I don't think that unsolicited relationship advice has much of a place here, and such advice detracts from the general pragmatic nature of these boards. It's assumed we're all functioning adults here, and as such, are not likely to appreciate strangers telling us how we should behave in the bedroom.

ablarc
March 1st, 2007, 06:22 PM
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hector

Schadenfrau
March 1st, 2007, 10:07 PM
No one cares:

http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/member.php?u=2154

Punzie
March 2nd, 2007, 12:10 AM
"What is the daily commute like from Hoboken to Princeton?"

If the question had been worded this way, then only straight commuting answers would be appropriate.

But she asked:

"Am I crazy to commute from Hoboken to Princeton every day???" (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12748)

This question is emotionally worded and implies that answers pertinent to the overall commute situaton -- ie. marriage, children, personality type, etc. -- are acceptable.

If she decides that she only wants straight commuting answers, she should request that this topic be locked, and she should reword the question the way I did (first sentence above).

212
March 2nd, 2007, 02:09 AM
By NJTransit, Hoboken to Princeton is a 90-minute trip with a transfer or two.
http://www.njtransit.com/sf_tr_schedules.jsp?action=entry&resptype=U&MinB=0&MinA=0&Fare=Y&Line=&LineDesc=&LineLookup=&LineExt=&LineExt2=&STime=12%3A00+PM&RTime=1%3A00+PM&Oloc=Hoboken&OSID=63++++++&Dloc=Princeton&DSID=124+++++&back=sf_tr_schedules.shtml&ori=63++++++%3AHoboken&des=124+++++%3APrinceton&DOW=W&mm=3&dd=2&yyyy=2007&date=3%2F2%2F2007 (http://www.njtransit.com/sf_tr_schedules.jsp?action=entry&resptype=U&MinB=0&MinA=0&Fare=Y&Line=&LineDesc=&LineLookup=&LineExt=&LineExt2=&STime=12&#37;3A00+PM&RTime=1%3A00+PM&Oloc=Hoboken&OSID=63++++++&Dloc=Princeton&DSID=124+++++&back=sf_tr_schedules.shtml&ori=63++++++%3AHoboken&des=124+++++%3APrinceton&DOW=W&mm=3&dd=2&yyyy=2007&date=3%2F2%2F2007)
Plus whatever time you need to get from the each train station to your home and work.

By car, you'll want to figure in the time to find a parking space in Hoboken, unless you get your own dedicated space.

Depending on where in Princeton your job is (near the train?), and where in Manhattan your husband's job is, it might be easier for the two of you to live either near Princeton or near Penn Station. Some of the express trains from Princeton Junction to Penn take less than an hour:
http://www.njtransit.com/sf_tr_schedules.jsp?action=entry&resptype=U&MinB=0&MinA=0&Fare=Y&Line=&LineDesc=&LineLookup=&LineExt=&LineExt2=&STime=12%3A00+PM&RTime=1%3A00+PM&Oloc=Princeton+Junction&OSID=125+++++&Dloc=New+York+Penn+Station&DSID=105+++++&back=sf_tr_schedules.shtml&ori=125+++++%3APrinceton+Junction&des=105+++++%3ANew+York+Penn+Station&DOW=W&mm=3&dd=2&yyyy=2007&date=3%2F2%2F2007

margotj
March 2nd, 2007, 03:24 AM
Thanks. Yeah, we were just talking about that possibility tonight, actually. Where do people live near Penn station? Hell's Kitchen? I hear it's rapidly gentrifying. What are prices for a standard 1BR like there?

212
March 2nd, 2007, 04:43 AM
for a 1BR that's a walk to penn station ...
starts about $2,000 for something basic (walkup), $2,300 for midrange (elevator, doorman, basement laundry), $2,600 for luxury (gym).
you'll pay more for a view, convenient location and so on. and you'll pay a lot more for parking (!).

http://www.streeteasy.com/nyc/rentals/midtown-west-manhattan/no_fee%3A0%7Cprice%3A-3000%7Cbeds%3E%3D1%7Chas_address%3A0 (http://www.streeteasy.com/nyc/rentals/midtown-west-manhattan/no_fee&#37;3A0%7Cprice%3A-3000%7Cbeds%3E%3D1%7Chas_address%3A0)

212
March 2nd, 2007, 05:11 AM
as far as neighborhoods go, the closest stuff might be listed as "herald square" ... and there's hell's kitchen to the north and chelsea to the south.

in realtor-speak, "midtown west" covers herald square, the garment district, hell's kitchen, times square and clinton, but usually not chelsea.

- chelsea probably has the best neighborhood amenities (groceries, restaurants, movies, banks, small shops).
- near penn station, far west 34th has some big apartment buildings but feels a bit isolated as manhattan goes.
- herald square and garment district are mostly commercial, and the residential is more expensive.
- a lot of the hell's kitchen listings are above 42nd, which will be at least 10 minutes walk to penn station.

Ninjahedge
March 2nd, 2007, 09:32 AM
Brisk walk is about 4 minutes for the E-W blocks (typical avenue) and 1 minute for the N-S (streets).

Figure also about 3-5 walking through the station itself and a buffer for catching the train of at least 5.

Odd that Hoboken is a hub, but still has so many transfers to places. I guess that is because it was not designed as a commuter train station at first. I BELIEVE it was mostly freight!

Schadenfrau
March 2nd, 2007, 09:38 AM
Comfort-wise, you'd probably want to live in either Chelsea or Hell's Kitchen, then either walk or take the subway one or two stops. The area around Penn Station is probably the most non-residential-friendly in the city.

ManhattanKnight
March 2nd, 2007, 10:15 AM
If you're going to be commuting between the main Princeton campus (the area around Nassau Hall) and Manhattan, you should consider taking the bus instead of the train. The bus trip (on Suburban Transit/Coach USA) is about 25 minutes longer than the train ride, but the buses run directly between Palmer Square in downtown Princeton and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan (at the southern boundary of Hell's Kitchen). I lived in Princeton for 4 years and during 2 of those years commuted often to Manhattan. On my student budget, the train was too expensive. The bus was handy and bearable. The "Dinky," the one-car train between Princeton and Princeton Junction, is kind of cute, but I think that the two-train ride between Manhattan and Princeton could get old very quickly.

Also, as you evaluate commuting to Princeton by car, be sure to investigate the parking situation there. When I lived there, parking spaces were in very short supply.

Front_Porch
March 2nd, 2007, 12:04 PM
for a 1BR that's a walk to penn station ...
starts about $2,000 for something basic (walkup), $2,300 for midrange (elevator, doorman, basement laundry), $2,600 for luxury (gym).
you'll pay more for a view, convenient location and so on. and you'll pay a lot more for parking (!).

Those prices are, IMHO, low by about $300 on each range. Not that you can't get something for $2,500, but it will most likely be ground floor and small. The only thing at that price that seems kind of decent is Riverbank West, a rental building at 43rd and the river, but also not super-convenient to Penn.

I feel like $3,000 gets you a nice one-bedroom maybe not on the best block, and that $3,200 is around the breakpoint where you get something that might seem "nice."

Also remember that Manhattan landlords will probably want proof you make 40-45x times monthly rent, so be prepared to show off your six-figure income.

ali r.
{downtown broker}

margotj
March 2nd, 2007, 02:30 PM
Thanks, everyone. The bus is good to know about too. Yeah, if we live in Manhattan we definitely won't have a car. We don't need anything fancy or too much space, just something clean, with a kitchen that has appliances we can actually cook with. We don't mind a walkup. As long as I can walk to the train or bus within 15 minutes or so, it's fine.

It seems like brokers are much more common for rentals in NYC? Nobody really uses them in LA unless they're buying a place. Is a broker a good way to get a more inexpensive and better place?

Schadenfrau
March 2nd, 2007, 02:41 PM
It's nearly impossible to get your first apartment here without a broker. I would say they're worth the money, especially when moving from out-of-state and looking in Manhattan.

Punzie
March 2nd, 2007, 02:47 PM
Is the Princeton job a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity? Would you have deep regrets if you declined the job?

Or is it possible for you to find a similar job at a facility in or nearby New York City?

Punzie
June 18th, 2007, 07:01 PM
Margot, if you're still connected to us, how are things going?

artiu
September 14th, 2010, 11:07 PM
My husband and I just moved to Hoboken and he has to commute to Princeton everyday. Right now he is car pooling with one other person and if the schedules coincide would be open to having a 3rd person. If you're interested, let me know.

KenNYC
September 18th, 2010, 06:43 PM
Generous offer, but a little more than 3 years late, so I hope they've worked it out by now :)

Edit: Ninjahedge is mean.

Ninjahedge
September 20th, 2010, 10:21 AM
Hours?