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Nice place to live commutable to Manhattan

(41 Posts)
HtheH Tue 05-Mar-13 13:51:55

My dh has been offered a job in NYC. They will pay for the move and our rent, school fees efc. So it is all quite exciting. However, I don't think we want to live in Manhattan or immediate surrounds - Brooklyn etc. i think we would prefer a smaller community within 40 mins or so commute of the city. Can anyone help? Budget not too much of an issue. Important that it is safe for children, parks, playgroups, school etc. The white picket fence American dream - if that still exists? Thanks

Dlb1234 Mon 28-Jul-14 17:03:03

Hi. I'm curious to know which area you chose? We are moving to New York for husband's work in Midtown and reading up on areas within or outside manhattan with good school for pre k and kindergarten.

LarkinSky Sun 02-Jun-13 22:16:56

Where did you end up choosing OP?

MorrisZapp Thu 30-May-13 09:09:55

Love this thread! I'm not moving anywhere, but if I was...

sleepdodger Thu 30-May-13 08:59:58

For my 2p head to ct, Greenwich is stunning, seas side, quick 55 min into central, Stamford nearby has the express amtrack train services eg to Boston etc
And picket fences wink

FamousFiveForever Sun 19-May-13 16:59:56

Hiya, do you mind if I revive your thread? Have you found a nice place, H?
We are due to move in a couple of weeks and looking around Long Island.

Bonsoir Mon 18-Mar-13 18:38:18

Friends in Paris moved to NY for the husband's job (banking) and bought a house in Larchmont. They are very happy with the lifestyle and the quality of the public schools.

stopgap Mon 18-Mar-13 11:56:43

I've lived in NYC for ten years. My husband's family is from Westport, which is a lovely CT town on the beach, good shopping and schools. It's a longer commute than White Plains, but a much nicer town. But if I was going to live in southern Westchester, then I would choose Bronxville. It's a charming village with incredible public schools and only a half hour commute to the city.

skratta Thu 07-Mar-13 18:46:03

We lived in Greenwich, where I commuted to NYC. We moved further away to Oxford, from Greenwich, which had been an easier commute (but meant that DH couldn't earn much as his own business workshop was too far to be effective but moving it would cost too much) and even on this length of a commute, it's an okay journey, and living in Greenwich was great for the commute, sad we had to move. Nice schools, short 35min commute!

Kungfutea Thu 07-Mar-13 18:32:24

The lirr only goes into Penn unfortunately but the E and F lines all run express across to midtown so towns like forest hills, kew gardens and Jamaica estates are all possibilities - but they're more like typical London zone 4/5 suburbs. I'm not sure if its what the op is loiking for.

OP, pm me if you want info on private schools in queens and Manhattan. We went through the application process last year.

storynanny Thu 07-Mar-13 13:23:21

My son and family live in Queens, easy to get into manhattan by the Long Island railroad, ( LIRR ) baby is in a nursery, but apparently there are lots of nice schools around but for secondary age they plan to move further into Long Island as they are "better". My son commutes to manhattan every day, it's an easy journey

HtheH Thu 07-Mar-13 13:04:35

Thank you all so so much. You have been so helpful, and I am sure I will be pm'ing a couple of you. I have my work cut out! Think the posting will be 3 years. DS currently at a Montessori preschool, so makes sense to look at those out there. Can't thank you enough for invaluable advice. Will get booking a trip out asap.

TheCatInTheHairnet Thu 07-Mar-13 12:43:44

I agree with you mummy time, as long as you are living in the Pocantico Hills district. The Tarrytown schools (which a lot of SH falls into) are not anywhere near as good though, solely I believe because of the high proportion of kids that have English as their second language. I do really like Tarrytown, and if I was moving here again, I would have looked much more seriously at it.

mummytime Thu 07-Mar-13 09:15:42

If you lived in Sleepy Hollow I would look very carefully before sending my child to a private school, the Elementary/Middle school there looks amazing, and has a huge budget (via Rothschild money). But its a hard community to get a place to live.

natation Thu 07-Mar-13 09:11:45

PATH trains map

blackcurrants Thu 07-Mar-13 08:52:40

Kungfutea yes!! Lookup the PATH train. Goes from the west side of Manhattan to Hoboken, Jersey city and etc.

natation Thu 07-Mar-13 08:51:46

Timetables for Metro North

Timetable for line 7 from Queens to 5th Ave

natation Thu 07-Mar-13 08:38:50


why don't you type in "Queens" "Westerchester" "Fairfield" etc into google maps, you'll see the delineations of boroughs / counties. Queens has subway lines going through Grand Central too. You can highlight the subway lines on google maps by clicking on the M signs and it shows you the routes.

Then take the subway and train maps, mark off which stations are in which boroughs / counties. Look up the timetables and which stations are 40 minutes max from Grand Central. Draw a line at that point, disregard any stations more than 40 minutes.

Go to real estate websites, find what sort of housing you can afford near the stations 40 minutes or less, if anywhere is too expensive, take them off the list too.

Finally go and research the schools and facilities in those areas left on your list.

Here is the Metro North map for Westchester and Fairfield

Here is the subway map for Queens

Towns in Fairfield county

Towns in Westchester county

Kungfutea Thu 07-Mar-13 03:27:30

Is there an underground to Hoboken blackcurrants??

TheCatInTheHairnet Thu 07-Mar-13 03:27:30

Sorry, I just read back. You can find preschools to suit any chance. If you want a pushier (for want of a better word) one, you'll find one. If you want a very laid back, play orientated one, you'll find that too.

I wouldn't live in White Plains. The first few weeks in the country living there were enough for me!

TheCatInTheHairnet Thu 07-Mar-13 03:17:44

I would come out for a (preferably mid week) trip and go and look at the various towns. Scarsdale is very Jap-y and wealthy. As good as the schools are, I knew it wasn't for us. I didn't want to live in a town where the High School seniors drive better cars than the principal. Bronxville is even more so.

If the company will pay for school fees, consider Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow. Tarrytown has got a great town centre with lovely restaurants and views of the Hudson, but the public schools are not so great.

Mamaroneck is nice, bit expensive for what it is IMO.

Chappaqua is more low key than Scarsdale, but further out. Excellent but very competitive school district. Pleasantville is lovely, and more low key but, again, a bit further out.

It really depends on your budget and whether you want to live somewhere exclusive or more mixed. Be aware, that the very exclusive towns can be very hard work. Feel free to pm me for more advice.

anonymosity Thu 07-Mar-13 02:48:48

Don't be put off by one person's bad commute from "somewhere" in CT. I'm sure it is bad from some places. The thing about Riverside, Old Greenwich and Greenwich is that they have the shortest commute, the best schools and the nicest real estate (and some of the most expensive, but that's beside the point).

I don't know the preschools there any more. But when we lived on the East Coast with our DCs we found some of the more formal Montessori preschools to be excellent. You do have to go and inspect them and if they inspect you, probably all the better.

Good luck in your search!

blackcurrants Thu 07-Mar-13 02:05:02

Do consider Hoboken NJ, its 35 minutes from NYC by bus and more/less by underground, depending in where you live on the line. It considers itself the sixth borough of NYC, feels a bit like living in Manhattan (I ve done both), but a smaller and cosier community. Pricy housing, but totally lovely for Dcs. I would move back there in an instant if dh,s job want so far down in NJ! Google it, it is fab!

Kungfutea Thu 07-Mar-13 01:43:45

No, he'll be too young to start k in September this year wherever you are. You can either put him in a public pre-k although spaces may be limited depending on schoo, district and likely just for half a day or a private one.

How long is the move for? I wouldn't worry about him being bored. I personally far prefer the early years approach here. There's more an emphasis on play, creative learning etc. it's still structured and well thought out in good pre-schools

The only thing is that for a shorter posting, he may be a bit behind what's been covered in England. I think they catch up, especially as they prepare for middle school, but that won't help you if you've already gone back. The privates tend to even more laid back in k and 1st grade than the publics which have mandatory testing.

Most people I know in westchester live around Scarsdale/Edgemont, the commute to midtown is reasonable and schools are fab. I wouldn't do ct. I have a colleague who commutes to ct, it's nightmarish for her.

Look on trulia and zillow or ny times real estate for rentals. Itll give you an idea what's available.

Don't forget Queens! Did I say it's great? smile you could send your ds to a pre-k attached to a private school, your dh would have an easy commute by subway to midtown, all the wonderful diversity of new York!

HtheH Wed 06-Mar-13 20:12:22

Thank you all. DS bday is May '09 so he won't be old enough will he? It is my biggest problem with the move. He is so excited about big school and is reading and writing etc. already so really wouldn't want him being bored and frustrated for another year or so. I am a teacher so am sure I could set up activities at home etc. but then he would miss out on the social side. And we are all keen to make friends as soon as possible. How structured are preschools? I am not remotely pushy, but obviously don't want him bored orv'falling behind' compared to the school system here. When we return to UK he could effectively be 2 years behind... It is all so difficult from so far away. A couple of recce trips are going to have to be booked in asap I think.
Don't know where to start. Where is good in Westchester? White Plains? Where are places to avoid? Are there such things as 'villages' outside the big commuter towns? Would we get more house in CT? So many questions! Thank you for all your help so far.

anonymosity Wed 06-Mar-13 17:12:06

CT also has a Jan 1st cut off date so that's helpful, potentially. The majority of the states have a Sept 1st cut off. As in, your child must be 5 on or before. If you are up to 6 weeks after the cut off they can in some circumstances do academic testing / interview and let you in the year above. But you'd need to check with the local district.

I would be wary of signing up for any preschool until you've seen it for yourself first hand. We moved coast to coast and I did a lot of research online but its really only when you walk in that you know if its going to work for you or not.

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