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Thread: Comparing Boston suburbs to Northern NJ

  1. #1

    Default Comparing Boston suburbs to Northern NJ

    Dear all -- I am likely moving with my family from the Boston area to the New York area for work reasons. We currently live in the town of Belmont, and we (or I) have at other times lived in other suburban towns outside of Boston (Natick and Brookline). For reasons not worth belaboring, some suburb in Northern New Jersey might be a convenient place for us to relocate. But I am not familiar at all with those communities and what they are like. I realize some might say that if you've seen one American suburb, you've seen them all, but I've also heard it said that the feel and lifestyle of Northern NJ towns is pretty different from the Boston versions -- yet I've haven't been able to find anyone who can discuss or explain how or why. If any of you are familiar with both (or maybe with NJ + suburbs of some other part of the country, even if it isn't Boston), and can try to comment on differences, I'd be very interested and grateful. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    New York area suburbs can vary a lot. It would be hard to lump them into one or several categories. They each have their own feel and personalities.

    Some might actually remind you of the ones you are familiar with up there and others not so much. The good thing with the diversity is that you have more chances to find what you like.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
    New York area suburbs can vary a lot. It would be hard to lump them into one or several categories. They each have their own feel and personalities.

    Some might actually remind you of the ones you are familiar with up there and others not so much. The good thing with the diversity is that you have more chances to find what you like.
    Many thanks for the reply!

    If you or any others can break that point down, though, and comment on some differences between North Jersey towns, or groups of them, and compare any of them to any towns near Boston, I'll be very interested (even if it's not possible to say anything about more general than that about North Jersey). If there are some North Jersey towns that are really unlike what one finds outside Boston, why are they different? If there are some that are very similar, which are those? If anyone knows! Etc.

  4. #4
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    That is hard to say in that, you are comparing areas like Cambridge to Sommerville in the Boston area to Montclair to Garfield in NJ.

    I guess what would be easier would be your definition of what you are looking for, and what restrictions/requirements you have.

    -Cost
    -Commute
    -Social venues
    -Walkability
    -General Attitude
    -Schools

    Etc etc.... Each area has its own ups and downs, and in a state that is this close to NJ, you pay for those "ups".

    One site that has some info:

    http://www.walkscore.com/

    And there are others.

  5. #5

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    New York area suburbs can vary a lot

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    Quote Originally Posted by FutureTransplant View Post
    Dear all -- I am likely moving with my family from the Boston area to the New York area for work reasons. We currently live in the town of Belmont, and we (or I) have at other times lived in other suburban towns outside of Boston (Natick and Brookline). For reasons not worth belaboring, some suburb in Northern New Jersey might be a convenient place for us to relocate. But I am not familiar at all with those communities and what they are like. I realize some might say that if you've seen one American suburb, you've seen them all, but I've also heard it said that the feel and lifestyle of Northern NJ towns is pretty different from the Boston versions -- yet I've haven't been able to find anyone who can discuss or explain how or why. If any of you are familiar with both (or maybe with NJ + suburbs of some other part of the country, even if it isn't Boston), and can try to comment on differences, I'd be very interested and grateful. Thank you!
    I've lived in Boston proper, Manhattan, and the NJ suburbs, so I can offer some opinions on NJ-Mass relationship.

    One of the differences is that some really sought-after, nice suburbs in Boston are directly adjacent to the city itself (Newton, Brookline, Belmont) and meld with it. NJ doesn't have an exact equivalent because there is the Hudson River, then a mainly urban strip on the Hudson(i.e. Hoboken, Jersey City, Weehauken), then the Meadowlands and Newark... all before you begin to reach NJ's equivalent suburbs.

    NJ has a number of towns that are exactly like Boston's tony, expensive, yuppie Weston/Wayland/Wellesley-type suburbs. They include Short Hills, Chatham, Madison, etc. Summit is like Brookline in that there is a bit more urban center. These NJ burbs are all a 50+ minute train ride to Penn Station or a 30-40 minute drive into Manhattan (without traffic). There is a geographic cost difference on par with the Boston-NYC ratio.

    If you have more specific questions... let me know.

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