Montclair and Glen Ridge
New York Times: I Can See New York From My House!
Montclair, a popular walkable suburb with a population of nearly 38,000, is known as a haven for artists and writers. From Montclair Center to Upper Montclair, Walnut St., and Watchung Plaza, the housing stock varies from condos to traditional homes built in the 1920’s and 1930’s to impressive estates and contemporary homes, many of which have NYC winter views. Bloomfield Avenue in downtown Montclair is reminiscent of 7th Avenue in Park Slope Brooklyn with tons of trendy restaurants and shops, an art house film theatre, and the Montclair Art Museum. With seven train stations, Montclair is a NYC commuter friendly town.
Raymond’s on Church St. has one of the best brunches around, definitely worth the wait. Zeugma Grill and Mish Mish Café are also favorites. Veggie Heaven in Upper Montclair is amazing, your kids will start begging for crispy tofu! So many new restaurants have opened, make sure and check out montclaireats.com. Home to Montclair State University, Montclair also has 3 public swimming pools, an indoor ice-skating rink, several parks and public tennis courts. The Montclair school system is a "Magnet" school system consisting of seven elementary schools, three middle schools and one comprehensive high school. The elementary and middle schools specialize in various disciplines such as Environmental Studies, Gifted & Talented, Visual & Performing Arts, Global Studies, Science and Technology, and Montessori. Regardless of where you live, you may apply to the school of your choice.
A quaint town that neighbors Montclair, Glen Ridge has a population of nearly 7500, with a mid-town direct train station. It’s consistently named one of the top school districts in the state, which makes for an extremely competitive housing market. Homes here reflect all the major architectural styles from the mid nineteenth century on with many grand estate-like homes along Ridgewood Avenue. With only 3,000 gaslights remaining in operation in the entire United States, Glen Ridge along with South Orange, is one of the few communities that retain a charming old world feel. Glen Ridge is especially proud of its Recreation Program. The facilities include 9 parks, 4 schools, the town pool, and the Glen Ridge Senior Community Center. Included in the recreation areas are baseball, softball, soccer, football, field hockey and lacrosse fields, playgrounds, tennis and platform tennis courts, and a seasonal skate park.