Moving to New Jersey

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Moving to Princeton

Nov 2005

We are considering a move to New Jersey for professional reasons. Someplace between Princeton and Hanover. Does anyone have advice to areas to move? Maybe most comparable to Piedmont? What is it like? I am native midwest, but my husband is from the west. Is leaving this gorgeous area worth moving to NJ?

Princeton is a beautiful college town. I lived in NJ for 19 years before moving to California. While Jersey is a nice place to live, I have fallen in love with the weather in the Bay Area. It's a tough call, but Princeton is really nice. David
The area between Princeton and Hanover is huge, so there's probably lots of suitable places to move to there. I lived near the north of your search area for a little while, so I can recommend Madison, Florham, Chatham, Morristown and Westfield as all nice areas, somewhat similar to Piedmont. Morristown and Westfield are both more crowded than the other places I mentioned, but that comes along with more shops, restaurants and other amenities. Really, all of the communities along Route 24 between 287 and 78 are very nice. Avoid anything around the I-95 corridor north of New Brunswick. There are nice patches there, but it's quite a bit more urban, and I don't think that's what you're looking for.

As for whether or not it's worth the move, it depends on what you're looking to gain from it. People who live on the East Coast have a different general personality, and things are much more fast-paced. I found living there (Philadelphia area mostly) to be more stressful than California has so far been, but people mind their own business a lot more too. Be an agressive driver or you'll never get where you're going. If the professional reason is compelling enough, the move will be worth it. New Jersey is actually very pretty and has quite a lot of outdoor opportunities, if you're into that.

Good luck! Sorry I can't be of assistance on the areas in the southern half of your search, but I'm really not very familiar with Princeton and environs. Jessica

Hi, I am from NYC myself and have never actually lived in NJ but have camped there and such. It's quite pretty in spots and the proximity to NYC could give you a dose of ''culture'' if you needed it. I have to be honest though and tell you that it would have to be a very good reason for me and my husband to move back to the East Coast. A very fulfilling career choice but not just a better salary. I really don't think I could be paid enough to literally settle there indefinately. Once you move out of CA,it's economically tricky to get back.It does snow in NJ so driving in it is something you'll be doing and it does get very cold. I'm not sure about now (laws have probably changed, I hope) but in the 70's the air quality in NJ was not the best and they were known for having lots of industry and thus lots of factories and plants and pollution. I remember seeing the plants, etc. belching out smoke from the highway going to my Grandma's house as a kid.I know some folks out there from NJ are probably thinking of all the nice things they know of NJ but I figured since you asked the question is it worth leaving CA to go there, I would have to say ''not for me or my husband''.
Princeton is beautiful and bucolic- there are probably many neighborhoods there and surrounding that are fairly like Piedmont. I grew up in northern NJ near the Hudson River but visited friends in Princeton occasionally. They have a great high speed train I think it's just an hour to NYC (not by driving but by train) and generally you'll find public transportaion actually better than here. I don't know the specific public schools but several are as good as Piedmont (I think local property taxes are quite a bit higher there, contributing to good schools- they were a lot higher where I lived in NJ 15 years ago than my current property tax bill for a much less expensive house there.) Of course, the weather is your call on whether it's worth it, and there may be more overt snobbery than in the bay area. (my mother's friends there include a renowned NASA scientist who finds it intellectually and otherwise a bit snobby.) Certainly not exactly a laid-back sort of place, but the university brings vibrancy, well- educated folks, etc. Also, the person who wrote in referring to air pollution was probably not actually referring to the Princeton area. So, of course it's not the Bay Area, but.... NJ's kinda nice
Oct 2003

We're considering moving to Princeton, NJ with our elementary- aged children. We'd appreciate input from people who are familiar with Princeton and the surrounding communities. Where do you go for art, theater, good restaurants, and shopping in the area? How are the elementary schools in Princeton? What are the private school options? Any likes or dislikes about living in the Princeton area? anon

As a NJ native, I can honestly tell you that Princeton is one of the only places I would consider moving to, if I were to go back to NJ to live. Princeton is a beautiful little town with great restaurants, shopping, and greenery. Many shows on their way to broadway, the NY Opera and symphony use Princeton as a testing ground, so you get to see wonderful shows with first- class directors, actors, dancers, musicians, etc. at a fraction of the NY price (and before it goes to NY).

The school systems in Princeton are fantastic, because the parents (who are mostly Princeton grads or professors) demand it. Of course, you also have Princeton University as an asset in town and you are only an hour from NY City and less than 45 minutes from Philadelphia. Former Jerseyite

I have a brother who lives in Princeton and has a 4 and 1 y.o. so he may be able to provide lots of answers to your questions. If you would like to send me your email address I will put you in touch with him. eld
We just moved here from the Princeton area. I grew up there and decided to go back after grad. school. It's a wonderful place to live and we miss it. There's really too much to post so here are some highlights. If you want more info, please get in touch with me. I'd be happy to tell you all I know.


Princeton public schools are highly rated. If you end up not living in Princeton proper, some surrounding communities with excellent schools include: Montgomery, Hopewell (including Pennington) and South Brunswick. There are also outstanding private schools althought they don't all have elementary programs. There is Princeton Waldorf, which my friends love (their kids are little ones -- I don't recall what ages the school accepts) and a Montessori school. I've heard good things about Chapin school and about Stuart (all girls). But since the schools in the area are strong, the elementary private options may be limited. There are also a number of charter schools.

Arts: Princeton is home to McCarter Theater, a Tony winning venue. They have original theater, world music, dance, etc. You are also driving distance to New Brunswick, NJ, home of the State Theater and Crossroads Theater Co. And, of course, you are an hour by train (or by car) to NYC.

Food: Princeton's restaurants are surprisingly mediocre, overall. But there are a few jewels:

- Small World coffee (Witherspoon St.)- the best coffee i've ever had
- Sushi: There's an outstanding little place on Chambers Street (I can't remember the name but it starts with an 'A'. The owner is a former Nobu chef)
- Ferry House (Witherspoon St.) - New American (and BYOB)
- Mexican Village (Leigh St.) - inexpensive, casual and yummy
- Masala grill (Chambers St.) - good food with fresh ingredients

good places for provisions:
- Corkscrew wine store (Hulfish St.)
- Halo pub (hulfish) - good icecream
- Thomas Sweets (Nassau St.) - more good ice cream
- Whole Earth (Nassau St, past Harrison)- a wonderful health food store with a great deli in the back and excellent baked goods. all produce is organic so you never have to wonder, the people a re friendly and the prices are decent. there is a wild oats store nearby but i find the store dirty, the staff unknowledgeable and the produce of poor quality.
- Bon Appetit (Harrison St. shopping center_ - gourmet foods

There are also great places in Lambertville (a picturesque river town), New Brunswick and Trenton. Way too many to list but I would be happy to tell you in another e-mail or phone call.


groceries: Whole Earth, Pennington Market, McCaffery's (harrison st. center). There's a Wegmans 5 miles outside of town, in this huge shopping center that also houses walmart, home depot and target. there is a whole foods opening up on rt. 1 as well. but for smaller venues with good quality, stick with the above.

clothing, household items -- the town of princeton has mediuem and high end stores, Lambertville is an antiques mecca, NYC is always an option.

contact me, i can give you more info about drs., dentists, hair salons, gyms/health clubs, yoga, pilates, etc. shari

Moving to Hoboken, NJ

July 2003

Hi, We're moving soon to New York City suburb (Hoboken, NJ) and we have 16 mo old son. I would like to jump start my effort to find resources for my son. I used the internet to search, I'm not that impressed with what I found; for example, the closest Gymboree is 10 mi away (the one in NYC is only 4 mi away, but I have to cross the river, not a convenient option).

OK here are my questions: 1. Is there a similar internet-based parents network like this one (What I really mean here is the exact web site address to register)

2. What is the equivalent term for ''Mother's Club'' in East Coast? And if it's also a common thing that mothers do. When I apartment-hunting, none of the agents seemed to understand me. The term ''playgroup'' was also not well- understood. Preschool in West Coast, Nursery School in East Coast is the example of different terminology.

3. I live in Martinez now and I registered my son to all these wonderful resources (affordable and quite good parenting classes, play-and-learn classes, etc) in the adult community centers or recreational centers. I have search in the internet, but I can not find something comparable. I either did not put the correct search term or it simply does not exist (which I seriously doubt).

If any of you have lived in the NJ suburb of NYC (or have friends/relatives who do) and can give me a head start on this matter, I can not thank you more!

4. Lastly, any other advice for me that you think necessary to make an easier adjustment, would me more than welcome. Maybe any Indonesian community out there? Thank you all in advance. Laura

I did a couple of Google searches on Hoboken, found a site that looks really promising...including an email address for people new to town to get information, by age of child! --- Here's the link, and good luck:

I lived in Hoboken for almost 5 years about 10 years ago. So Imay not be completely up to date, but it hasn't been that long since I visited (2 years) and I don't imagine it's changed much. I loved living there b/c it was so close to the city and yet not the city. That said, you should know that Hoboken is not a suburb. Far from it, and my feeling is that it gets more gentrified every passing day. Hoboken, when I lived there, was not a fashionable place to live but for $1100 (ten years ago) I lived in a lovely 1 br apt (a brownstone remodeled) when $1100 in NYC got you a closet. It is now much more desirable to live there for the same reason, and wonderful shops, delis, clubs and restaurants abound. Did I mention that it's not a suburb? That is not to say that children don't live there, they do of course, but this is not what I'd call a family friendly town....I knew one couple who had a baby and they moved within a year of his birth. Mostly b/c of the space. The buildings are all right next to each other...which is a benefit if you are the neighborly type. The other great thing about Hoboken is that it is like Albany, about 1 square mile in size (though much larger population) and so you can walk anywhere! It was wonderful. And the city is truly only 10-15 minutes away. Just hop on the PATH train (the train systems are awesome out there) or the Red Apple bus! You don't need a car if you live in Hoboken. I think you'd be surprised how really convenient the city is to Hoboken. Try to remember that on the East coast, time isn't at all treated the same way as it is here. Everyone crosses a river (be it the Hudson or the East) to get to NYC.

Living there is truly the antithesis of living here, but it can be wonderful. I miss it like crazy! But I have to say, out of all the towns in NJ, Hoboken is not where I'd choose to raise a child, and it doesn't surprise me that the terms you use, like ''mom's group'' isn't one they are familiar with. Hoboken is mostly young career people and older italian families. Are you set on this city? There are lots of others that are close to the city that have more of a suburban feel and probably have what you are looking for. Email me if you have any other questions or concerns. Otherwise, good luck. am

Although a bit hard to find, it looks as if these might be some resources of use for the move to Hoboken, or at least a start. I have never lived there, but have moved to the East coast and back to CA and know how the differences in local terminology, local culture, and variability of website maintenance can make this type of info hard to get to from the other side of the country. Best of luck.

Moving to Morris County

Dec 2003

There's a possibility that due to a job transfer my family and I may be moving to New Jersey. Does anyone know about living in Morris County? I believe some of the cities include Morristown, Morris Planes, Maddison. Any suggestions on how to find good pediatricians? Playgroups? Activities? Thanks

My sister-in-law lives in that part of NJ, and has two children, ages 1 and 6. I asked her advice, and she sent the following:

There are a number of publications that have a lot of valuable information about the area: NJ Monthly does annual rankings of towns & schools: Parent Guide lists a lot of happenings, as well as schools/camps/activities/associations:

The main thing I would warn anyone thinking of moving to this area would be, to not judge commute by the miles. Get some advice from those that live & work around here - to know the commute you are getting into. But I guess that is no different than from your area.

Good luck to them! R.K.