It’s not much of a secret that I am not a fan of living in New Jersey. I am not saying that New Jersey is a terrible state. It’s that, for me, NJ is not a good fit. I moved to Jersey City/Hoboken end of May 2013 because we thought we would buy a co-op in Manhattan over the summer and my lease on my old apartment in Astoria was up. There was no sense in renewing a lease when we were going to move in the fall and by moving to NJ, I was going to save on rent for a few months. Well, those few months turned into almost two years. For various reasons, we didn’t end up buying until Fall 2014. And we own a house in Brooklyn instead of a co-op in Manhattan. I’m not complaining. I’m laying out what we thought we would do and what we actually ended up doing.
I think Ben was secretly hoping that I would end up falling in love with living in New Jersey and that we would just stay at his condo. Once in a while (once a month) Ben pointed out something and ask hopefully, “See? Don’t you think it’s better in Hoboken?” To which, I always answered ruthlessly, “No. I can’t wait to move.”
But for Ben, I’ll think long and hard about what I did like about living in New Jersey.
- Our friends who live in Jersey City. It will be harder to see them now that we’ll be separated by two rivers, an island, and a state line. I’ll miss hanging out and running with them.
- Not paying the NYC city tax. If you’re not from the NYC metro area, you probably had no idea that NYC is one of the few cities that has a city tax. By moving back to Brooklyn, I’ll be paying federal, state, and city taxes.
- Gas. Thanks to lower NJ taxes, gas is much much much cheaper in NJ. Plus I don’t have to get out to pump my own gas. All gas stations are full service stations. It’s great when it’s freezing cold.
- PATH train that connects NJ to Manhattan is always very clean and well air-conditioned in the summer time. I won’t say anything about the scheduling or how I feel about it when it has problems because this is a list about what I like.
- Driving into work with Ben in the morning. One of the best parts of my day is starting my morning with Ben. We get up, Ben makes coffee, and we sit and drink our coffee together while talking and/or reading the newspaper together. It’s a quiet hour of us time. Often we go into work together. I drop Ben off a few blocks from his downtown office, while I continue my drive to Long Island. While we still have coffee time together, the commute into the city is now gone.
- Having a gym that is around the corner from our unit. It was so easy to do a quick work out because the gym was 30 seconds away. One minute if you walk really slowly.
- Underground parking. I really liked having my own underground parking spot – for all two weeks that I had it. I had to park out on the street for most of the time I was in NJ because Hurricane Sandy destroyed the building’s parking garage and it took 2 years to deal with the problem (legal, financial, construction, etc). Of course, the parking became available again just before we moved out.
- Waterfront. Gorgeous views of Manhattan and excellent place to run – beautiful, flat, terrific views, no traffic, and miles and miles of it.
- Liberty State Park. Another fantastic place to run with lovely views of the city and the Statue of Liberty. It also hosts a number of 5Ks.
- Having a concierge. There are nice things about living in a doorman building. Packages are always received and signed for. If I forget my keys, they can let me into my unit. They handle small problems (A friend needs something from me, but I won’t be around, so I can give it to the concierge to hand to my friend. I need to borrow a screwdriver or a hammer. Help me with bags and packages.).
- Apple kouigns (pronounced queen) from Choc Au Pain. They’re like mini flaky, crispy apple pies. Utterly delicious.
I can’t think of any more things that I’ll miss about living in NJ. I’m sure Ben will say that this is a much longer list than he had expected. The most important thing is that no matter where I live, Ben and Bandit are with me. So, hello, Brooklyn!