As of 2013, Brooklyn, New York had almost 2.6 million residents. As the second largest borough of New York City, it could actually be the 4th largest city in the United States in population surpassed only by New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. My team and I see so many families that make the move from Brooklyn to Maplewood or South Orange, NJ. In fact, in October of this year, the New York Times even featured an article, Maplewood, NJ.: If Brooklyn were a Suburb, talking about this trend. I suspect 2015 will be no different and decided to sit down and compare some of the arts, gardens and food scene, all of which make the move so appealing. Here is what I found, and why I think moving from Brooklyn to Maplewood and South Orange will continue as a 2015 housing trend.
Brooklyn has a wonderful variety of museums. Home to the second largest museum in New York City, the Brooklyn Museum, this world-class art museum has over 1.5 million different works of art. It prides itself on housing “cutting-edge” exhibitions and programming that feature popular artists. Another unique museum is the City Reliquary. It has a permanent display of New York City artifacts and tries to connect visitors to both the past and present of New York City. The outside looks like an intriguing curios shop, and it’s a real treat for the entire family.
Similarly, South Orange, NJ offers the Pierro Gallery of South Orange, which embraces local artists and their work. The Museum seeks a diversity of local artisans and promotes them as well as their visual art in a beautiful, non-commercial venue. Another highlight of South Orange and Maplewood is a fabulous event every year called Meet the Artists Studio Tour. Over 60 galleries and studios of local artisans participate, and residents hop from place to place and marvel at the arts and crafts. One other annual festival, MaplewoodStock, offers food, music, art and fun every summer and draws a huge crowd from all over New Jersey.
The Borough of Brooklyn has the 52 acre Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a beautiful expansive garden retreat with over 10,000 taxa of plant species. With an array of programming geared to families and children, it makes for a wonderful day of fun-filled activities. It also offers a lovely reprieve from the hustle and bustle of New York City.
South Orange has a beautiful garden retreat of its own, Llewellyn Park, which includes the home of Thomas and Mina Edison, Glenmont Estate. The Edison family lived at Glenmont for 44 years, and Mina planted unique plant and shrub species from all over the world which adorn the gardens even today. There is also a working greenhouse with some plants descending from species planted by the Edison family.
Brooklyn has restaurants of every variety and a highly regarded Chinatown in Sunset Park. In 2010, Sunset Park eclipsed Manhattan’s Chinatown with its growing population of Chinese residents. Recently, Edible Brooklyn featured an article touring the variety of dumpling “haunts” in Brooklyn, A Dumpling Tour of Sunset Park, which gives you a sense of the vast number of food options in Brooklyn’s Chinatown alone. Fette Sau is known for the best barbeque amongst the 5 boroughs, and virtually every type of cuisine imaginable is represented somewhere in Brooklyn. It’s hard to keep up with all of the food options, but luckily the New York Eater has The Brooklyn Heatmap: Where to Eat Right Now which will keep you posted on the the ins and outs of the incredible Brooklyn food scene.
Maplewood and South Orange similarly have an amazing array of restaurant and foodie choices. There is great Ethiopian food, Lalibela, contemporary French, Verjus, or even savory Thai food, Wild Ginger. If you are looking for a really unique dining experience, there is Portuguese barbeque, Valley Portuguese BBQ, or an authentic Irish pub, St. James Gate. Maplewood and South Orange are foodie havens with plenty of kid-friendly options suitable for the entire family.
So, if you have decided that the boroughs of New York, and Brooklyn in particular, are no longer for you, consider the enclaves of South Orange and Maplewood, New Jersey. With convenient commuting options to Manhattan, these unique communities offer families the arts, parks and dining in much the same way as Brooklyn. Contact Victoria Carter at (973) 220-3050 or email: email@example.com. I would love to show you around!