Talk to newcomers and you often hear the same story: A young couple is fed up with high rents for cramped apartments in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Queens. Maybe they're expecting a child. They approach the suburbs warily, unwilling to move too far from New York, where at least one of them works. Bergen County prices are out of reach. Then someone says, "Try Maplewood."
Maplewood's Norman Rockwell image is not just an illusion. Nothing much has changed here in 30 years. Sure, there is an art gallery and a bagel shop in town, but there's also an old-fashioned luncheonette, where neighbors sit and talk. The four-square-mile township is a vision of sidewalks, parks, and tranquil streets lined with tall trees and Colonial and Tudor homes. It's four-block downtown affectionately known as "the village," is filled with quaint, family owned shops. Even the downtown Kings, the smallest of the sixtTeen-store chain, is more like a country store than a supermarket. This small town atmosphere is what attracts people to Maplewood, along with the town's natural beauty and amenities. Maplewood abuts the South Mountain Reservation, a 2,020 acre recreational preserve that includes picnic grounds and hiking trails. The town also has six parks and an award-winning outdoor pool. Many couples are drawn to the socioeconomic mix of the community's 23,000 residents, which some say, gives it a down to earth feel. "No one's too rich or too poor or of one particular type."
The scenery in Maplewood attracts people to this 4 square mile township, but a strong sense of community keeps tradition strong and neighbors close. A collection of Tudors, Victorians, and Colonials predominate most of the single family housing. Beautiful established landscaping is a common thread throughout.
Maplewood is 18 miles from Manhattan and many residents commute daily by train and bus (about 45 minutes at rush hour). The Township shares a quality school system with South Orange. There are six elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school and a reputation for academic excellence. Columbia High School offers advance placement, college prep and vocational courses as well as classes in film making and journalism. Columbia offers 25 clubs from astronomy to chess and 23 varsity sports.
Maplewood is governed by a Township committee, made up of 5 men and women.
For more information on Maplewood, visit www.twotowns.org.
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