The Call of the NYC Suburbs

“NYC suburbs” is a dirty phrase for some people, but there are awesome suburbs out there that allow former New York City dwellers to have their cake and eat it, too. Read on to find out about a few of the best.

What New Yorkers refer to as the siren call of the NYC suburbs happens when, for whatever reason, city life is no longer possible. Certain people always knew that they’d eventually move out to the suburbs once their families started to grow, while others had no idea that suddenly, living in the heart of it all just wasn’t doing it for them anymore. Still others are dragged kicking and screaming into the great real estate beyond due to financial or practical necessity.

Whatever the reason, at some point, many people make the trek to the NYC suburbs. The biggest question on most of their minds is the following: which one? Just because they’re moving out of Gotham doesn’t mean that they want to be cut off from society. They want to find a suburb that has its own self-contained charm, while providing them easy access back into the city should they need to restock on subway stress.

Rye, New York

Why Rye? Because Rye, a resident might reply, shaking her head, incredulous that you just don’t know. Located in Westchester along the Long Island Sound, Rye is a quaint, village-like city filled with highly educated people who work hard during the day in the city before retreating home to this lush, upscale community in the evening. Your commute into the city will take you from Rye (via the New Haven Line) into Grand Central in just under 40 minutes, giving you just enough time to shoot off a few emails and finish your iced latte. Real estate, ranging from Tudors to colonials to ranches, is pricey, and the taxes are nothing to sneeze at either. Those taxes, however, pay for the stellar school system and help keep the city’s parks, streets, and infrastructure looking photo-shoot ready.

Weehawken, New Jersey

Nestled in the mountains high atop the Palisades, Weehawken is directly across the river from the city, a constant reminder that you haven’t gone far away at all. Whether it’s a cozy attic apartment with brick walls, turrets, and a direct view of the NYC skyline, a chic loft, or a dazzling high-rise building chock full of amenities and doormen waiting to buttle and scuttle for your every need, you’ve got a wide range of housing options to choose from. To commute into the city, you take the Hudson-Bergen light rail line into Hoboken where you can hop onto the Path ($2.75 one way). The Path stops along the West Side in the city from the World Trade Center to 33rd Street. If you’re looking for a more direct commute, you can hop on one of the private minivans that run from Port Authority straight into Weehawken.

South Orange and Maplewood, New Jersey

Visiting my friend’s gorgeous, old Victorian home in South Orange, NJ, I wondered if I was in caught in some sort of loop in crazy world where no one else in the universe noticed this picturesque, sleepy town filled with a diverse cast of families, good schools, and gorgeous parks. Am I the only one seeing this? I thought as I headed back to the city. South Orange and Maplewood, located in Essex County, are often referred to as Brooklyn West thanks to the large number of Brooklynites who move there in search of more bang for their buck. (There’s even a special bus!). The Morristown line of NJ Transit runs from South Orange to Penn Station in 38 minutes. Good schools, eclectic restaurants, cozy bookstores, and a laid-back vibe make this a great choice for NYC expats. Nearby Maplewood offers a similar vibe but is slightly less costly.

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