What do we love most about Maplewood?
Salted caramel cupcake at Able Baker around the corner on Maplewood Ave downtown (umm, although the cream cheese frosting on the red velvet gives it a run for its money)
Bouncing on the comfy chairs at the Bowtie Cinemas next to the train station in South Orange while watching action movies in 3D
Playing tennis on the convenient public courts next to town hall in Maplewood
Catching the conference on “Women and Gender” at Seton Hall University (not JUST a Big East Division I basketball school…)
Standing around at our annual holiday party arguing with the neighbor as to whether or not we may as well combine these 2 towns into one new big SUPERTOWN and call ourselves South Mountain, NJ (“…lower taxes! loss of identity! Schools are shared anyway! Hipness loss! OMG just do it already!!!”)
Block parties. Endless block parties. I think all spring/summer/fall long there is a block party on E-V-E-R-Y block in both towns…
Garage sales. Endless garage sales. I think all spring/summer/fall long there is a garage sale on E-V-E-R-Y block in both towns…sometimes they even coordinate them on the same day for maximum garage sale exposure for the hoarder inside each of us.
Arturo’s in Maplewood – best pizza dough in the world…so gluten filled and chewy…best eaten with a dash of good balsamic and grated cheese. Also order the crostini with beautiful black sea salt sprinkled on top…YUM SO HUNGRY!
SOPAC – more music, better shows, loft space for rentals parties/readings/dance events. Supporting local artists and musicians. Applause please.
Clinton Elementary School – Best PTA ever! Now with more parental involvement!
35 Minute NJ Transit train ride to Penn Station during express rush hour time from South Orange (oh, and unlike the Montclair train line, the green line runs hourly on the weekends). Every street in both towns is spitting distance to a jitney stop that takes you to the train station. Beat that.
Excellent pool at the Orange Lawn Tennis Club. Excellent golf at Maplewood County Club. In case you want an exclusive place to while away the summer days.
Maplewoodstock. Gen X bands with open bottles on the grass in the summer. Nice.
One of the Biggest PRIDE events outside of NYC – am so proud live here!
http://campsocool.blogspot.com/p/camp-sessions-2013.html has the best sessions for inquisitive kids
Memorial Park. Maplecrest Park. DeHart Park. Borden Park. South Mountain Reservation w/ dog park (yeah, I know, the deer control program breaks my heart, too.)
The Baird Community Center – programs for kids, the best summer camp and membership to the pool – all subsidized by a trust and worth every tiny penny.
Nicest neighbors in the world. Period.
Maplewood used to be called “the little Montclair” for its similarities - charm, diversity, emphasis on the arts, and access to New York City. Today, this geographically well-positioned Essex County town of 24,000, originally part of South Orange, has long since become a destination to be reckoned with and was recently named one of the best towns in NJ to live in by Niche.com.
With far more starter homes on tree-lined blocks at affordable prices than its pricier cousin, and a 35-minute Midtown Direct commute on the Morris & Essex Line, it answers many homebuyer needs. Maplewood also has an inventory of exquisite larger homes, many just a stroll from downtown.
Adjacent to the train, the town center has a breezy, European feel - a truly gem-like layout with many adorable shops and eateries, a movie theater, and a King’s supermarket.
Maplewood’s joint public school district with neighboring South Orange boasts many famous graduates of Columbia High School, including performers Lauryn Hill, Zach Braff, Jason Alexander, and Theresa Wright; writers including TV and Broadway’s David Javerbaum, and humorist Judith Viorst.
Proximity to Newark Liberty Airport (5 mi) is a plus for those who travel for work.
Multiple town jitneys from leafy neighborhoods located a bit further away from the train run during commuter hours on weekdays.
Among Maplewood’s jewels, the 1978 Maplewood Arts Center and Burgdorff Cultural Center. South Orange’s business district is close-by, as is Millburn’s, so shopping and entertainment options are plentiful. Not too big, not too small, Maplewood’s virtues shine through for many on the very first visit.