Any suggestions for a gay-friendly town in Northern NJ
I live in Manhattan and commute via car every day to my job in Tarrytown. I'm looking to move to NJ to be closer to my aging parents, yet have a relatively short commute via the Tappan Zee Bridge. I've been looking at towns in Bergen County that dot the Garden State Parkway (Ho-Ho-Cus, Westwood, etc.) but they all seem way too suburban, white bread, and overwhelmingly het for my taste. Am thinking of looking a little more south, into Paramus, Bloomfield or Clifton. Are these gay-friendly towns. Do they have a somewhat visible gay population?
Maplewood (Gayplewood) and South Orange are famously gay - friendly.
Stay in the city. I understand your deal with aging parents, but do they need 24/7 care? And if they are up there in years, do you want to move to a "suburban, white bread, and overwhelmingly het" town, if your parents won't last much longer?
You could move to Hoboken...easy commute into NYC. There's a section in Plainfield that's popular with the gays who want the white picket fence. The gov who ducked corruption charges by coming out lives there with his partner.
Take my advice, stay in NYC!
I also agree, keep manhattan!
Sorry for my grammar mistake!
Thanks guys. My dad is not doing too well and will probably have to enter a nursing home by the summer. My mom is very active. However, with no other family and very few friends in the area, I know she will become incredibly lonely once my dad enters the home, and I want to be closer to her in proximity. We're extremely close. I suggested that she move in with me in NYC, but she refused, as she hates the city. I even suggested we both move to Riverdale in the Bronx, but again no dice. She wants to stay in NJ. I just want to be close to them without sacrificing a relatively short commute. Montclair sounds good. I'll look into that.
Nyack, NY. That Tappan Zee commute is a bitch and a half, the closer you are to the bridge the better. You'd still be a short drive from Northern NJ, but would have a much better quality of life. Nyack has the only gay scene in the area.
OP, does your Mom want you to move in with her? You write that she is very active. It will be lonely for her at first, but an active life will help her take her mind from her troubles. Be a loving, supportive son, but don't give up your own life.
R7 Montclair is great. The town has made a point of being a foodie town. Great restaurants. There is a good art museum and some good entertainment. It also has an art house cinema so you don't have to go to the city to see foreign films. Church Street is a pedestrian mall with nice shops and cafes.
You might also look at some of the surrounding towns like Little Falls and Cedar Grove. The taxes are lower.
The area has some vert good assisted living facilities, senior housing, and over fifty communities. It appears that you intend to live with your mom, but she may be happier in one of the structured communities with planned activities, etc. (Might be better for your social life as well.)
Both the Congregational churches in town have large Gay and Lesbian congregations. First Congregation tends to be more singles and more politically active. Union Congregational tends to be more partnered, often with kids.
r8, yeah I know that TZB commute is brutal. That's why I wanted to be as close to the bridge as possible. Living in NYC, I now just scoot up the West Side Highway/Henry Hudson/Saw Mill against traffic in 35 minutes. I don't want to give up the lifestyle of a nice commute. I've had killer commutes before and at my age, 45, I don't want to cede the quality of life that comes with a relatively short commute.
r9, at first she mentioned getting a place together, maybe a 2-family house, but I nixed that, telling her that I need my privacy, which she gets. She lives in Short Hills, so I think she'd be fine if I were in NJ as well, close enough to my job, yet close enough to her to stop by for dinner once/twice a week or maybe spend the weekend.
You sound like a nice guy, OP. Good luck with this.
The commute from the Montclair area is pretty fast and easy. There is both rail and bus options. The downside is that there is not much service at night. You pretty much have to drive into the city if you are going to the theater. I think the return options are 10:30 (just about when a play ends) and Midnight.
Thanks, r13, but I've got a car, which I take pretty much everywhere. I drive to work from Manhattan to Westchester, and luckily am able to find street parking in the city pretty easily.
R4, you kind of piqued my curiosity about Hoboken, isn't that where Frank Sinatra is from? Do they have some kind of marker near the house he grew up in if it is still standing? I did a tiny bit of research about Hoboken and apparently it was rather affluent in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and has a number of interesting Victorian mansions?? unless alot of them have been torn down or made into something else. Also read that, believe it or not, Hoboken had a large German community at one time and was noted for its German restaurants. I imagine Italian restaurants succeeded the German ones although I have no idea what is there now. If anyone could give a brief, general rundown on Hoboken it would be much appreciated. With the last big storm to devastate the Jersey shore I would be hesitant about living there although I have heard that Brick, Bricktown and Elberon have been gay friendly.
Ridgewood in Bergen County is gay friendly. Bloomfield, Clifton, and Paramus are working class.
Hoboken's known as the Mile-Square City. With conversion of Lipton Tea and Maxwell House Coffee into condos and new high-rises, it's gone from 33,000 in 1990 to 50,000 today.
r20, not Ho-Ho-Kus surrounded by the towns you mentioned?
Ho-Ho-Kus always seemed overpriced. Historic showbiz note: When The Jackie Gleason Show was televised from NYC, after the show wrapped at 9 p.m., Gleason and pals would head for the Ho-Ho-Kus Inn to booze until the wee hours. In later years his show originated in Miami Beach.
The Jonas Brothers grew up in Wyckoff.
What R1 said - you can't get more gay-friendly than Maplewood/South Orange. And it's right up the GSP from Rockland County.
Another vote for Montclair. You'll be close to your mom, and you just drive up the Parkway and over the TZB to get to work. New York Magazine did a cover article some years back entitled "Montclair: the Upper West Side of New Jersey?"
In the early fifties we moved to Ho-Ho-Kus. Soon after, a neighbor told my father that because of our German last name the realtor did an investigation to make sure we weren't Jewish.
Now in Manhattan
Piscataway is that away.
OP if she lives in Short Hills, forget Bergen. Montclair is a great town but I also agree with the poster who mentioned Morristown and Madison. They are very gay friendly and very close to Short Hills. Interstate 78 takes you right to the Holland Tunnel. They have very nice towns to walk around and not very suburban looking.
Asbury Park of course
Union City has plenty of rough trade.
Bobby Cannavalle is from Union City.
What's Bayonne like?
Bayonne is pretty but very clannish and not good with outsiders.
R15, stay away from Brick, otherwise called "Bricktucky" with good reason. Hillbilly mentalities. Elberon is just north of Asbury Park.
If OP is set on moving to NJ, and he wants to be close to Short Hills, Montclair would be the best move for the reasons mentioned by other posters.
Leonia, NJ is a town filled with interesting homes at attractive price levels. Couldn't be closer to the GW Bridge unless you encamped on it.
Liberal, enlightened town with good community services, from dpw to town library to town truck garden and recreation dept, town boasts of many musicians and artists who commute to Lincoln Center in minutes or have their own studios in their homes.
For where you need to commute, consider Ringwood, NJ. Right on the NY border (south of Tuxedo) and a straight shot to the Tap. Your money goes far and you are still only 45 min from the city. You have to love nature and privacy though. Suffern has a nice downtown but we are all about trees and lakes. Some local spots but definitely need to travel for nightlife and fine eats. Warwick is a little hike but oozes charm. And of course we are right next to Bergen Cty charm too (Ridgewood, etc). My partner and I moved here two years ago an have found nothing but open arms.
[quote]Ridgewood in Bergen County is gay friendly. Bloomfield, Clifton, and Paramus are working class.
Bloomfield is right next to Montclair (and pricey Glen Ridge) and parts of it (like the Brookdale section) are pretty nice.
In fact you can say that about quite a number of towns in the state.
Edgewater, Fort Lee are like cities. You can hop on the Palisades Interstate to the Tappanzee. Northwest Bergen county is snobby and provincial.
Maplewood is the Chelsea of New Jersey.
How about Short Hills? M was born there.
What's the Hell's Kitchen of New Jersey? I guess I'm asking if there are any NJ towns overrun with whores.
There is a he'll in Nj-Newark
Nyack (in Rockland County) is a great town. Very artsy, and gay friendly. Rosie O lives there.