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South Orange

What do we love most about South Orange?

 

  • 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’s sister town is scenic South Orange, located on the edge of the rangy South Mountain Reservation nature reserve. Its picturesque home inventory is larger in scale and more architecturally varied, with multiple, well-positioned neighborhoods filled with grand vintage-era and latter 20th century homes. What is now South Orange was part of a territory purchased from the Lenape Native Americans in 1666. Popular neighborhoods include the Montrose Historic Section, and Tuxedo Park, to the East and nearest Seton Hall University; and Wyoming and Newstead, on the mountain to the West. Higher-priced homes also surround its town center, which sports a Starbucks, a bakery, a gourmet supermarket, takeout and deli shops, some small boutiques, as well as newer luxury trackside condo and rental developments.

With the presence of Seton Hall University and the intimate South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) – offering both live music performances and a movies, as well as the American Repertory Group theatre company in the mix, this town of 16,000 residents offers excellent cultural possibilities. Cameron Park, lake, and community center are also centrally located. Maplewood and South Orange share a public school system, each with its own primary and middle grade locations, and a joint high school, Columbia, whose graduates include Lauryn Hill, Zach Braff, and Jason Alexander.

Today, South Orange is a magnet for theater people who appreciate the easy off-commuter-hours commute of about 35 minutes from Midtown. South Orange’s downtown station is on the Morris & Essex Line Midtown Direct trains run every day and frequently! South Orange’s Mountain Station trains go into Hoboken – where you can take the PATH train into Midtown. NJ Transit’s 107 bus leaves from South Orange Train on its way to Port Authority in Manhattan. The town’s jitney service from various neighborhoods to Midtown Direct has 4 routes and 7 buses. Some residents drive to the PATH station in nearby Harrison, which can make the NYC commute even shorter, so check it out. South Orange was recently named one of the best towns in Essex County to live in by Niche.com.