Ladies and gentlemen the main event you’ve all been waiting for– in the red corner: the suburban dream, the Village with retro charm, the overlooked and hidden gem of all underdogs…Marvelous Maplewood, New Jersey! Taking on in the blue corner: the long-time reigning champion of both the culturally hip and those new to the stroller pushing scene…Brooklyn, New York!
Tonight’s fight will be a five round bout for the title of “Best Neighborhood Near NYC to Raise a Family” Both competitors have had the rules explained to them, we will have a clean fight based on facts. At the conclusion of the fight the judges will award the title to the most deserving locale. Best of luck to the both of you.
Round 1: Transportation
The first round is all about getting around. How long does it take you to get to work? What are your options for getting to where you want to go at night? How EASY and CONVENIENT is traveling?
Maplewood NJ starts off with a jab:
-28 minute direct train ride commute to Penn Station, NY.
Brooklyn is unable to protect itself with “31 minute subway ride on the F” in time.
Maplewood pushes on: “Concierge service at the train station to drop off and pick up dry cleaning”
Brooklyn’s mouth goes agape at the courtesy and takes a hard hit on the jaw.
Maplewood hits again with “You don’t have to worry about your MetroCard every time you want to go out, nor do you have to practice hailing a cab after a night out in my town.”
*DING* The bell rings and Brooklyn goes to its corner a little dazed at how fast Maplewood came out swinging.
Round 2: Education
The fighters unleash a flurry of representative examples of Maplewood and Brooklyn preschools:
Maplewood NJ winds up and unleashes a brutal combination:
-Maplewood is part of the united Maplewood/South Orange School system with its sister town of South Orange, NJ. All of the elementary schools in the district are award winning and feature a 10:1 student to faculty ratio, below the average of 11:1 for the state. Parental involvement is a critical component to the success of the district.
-Maplewood’s public high school- Columbia Senior High School was ranked in the top 50 of all public high schools in the state of New Jersey in September 2012. Graduates of the Class of 2012 went on to prestigious universities such as Cornell University (4 students), University of Pennsylvania (5 students), Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, New York University, and the University of Michigan, among many others.
Brooklyn stumbles a bit and begins to feel slightly outmatched.
*DING* Looks like Brooklyn was saved by the bell in that round.
Round 3: Shopping/Restaurants
Surely Brooklyn is going to come out strong in this third round featuring things that only city-living can provide?
Brooklyn starts by taunting Maplewood with “Famous Williamsburg digs like Marlow & Sons, Fette Sau, Diner, and Dumont Burger.”
But Maplewood is having none of it, countering with Maplewood restaurants, “St. James Gate Irish Pub, Mt. Fuji Sushi, Cafe Arugala, Arturo’s Osteria & Pizzeria, ABOVE Restaurant & Bar, Toro Loco, Village Trattoria, Village Diner (Brunch), Strawberry Fields Frozen Yogurt, and Village Ice Cream Parlor.”
Brooklyn’s back is against the ropes, but Maplewood can’t stop the onslaught,
“For food shopping we have Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, Eden Gourmet Market, Pathmark, and Kings. You won’t have to carry bags back fifteen blocks from these stores in a tiny wheeled cart while pushing a stroller like you’re used to in Brooklyn. We also have mega stores like Home Depot, Target, and we’re only a short drive to the Mall at Short Hills.”
*DING* What just happened, Brooklyn was beat at its own game!
Round 4: Safety
Maplewood’s not playing any longer, “According to the 2010 National Census the Total Crime Risk for the State of New Jersey was a 74 (out of a 100 for National Average), compared to a 4 for Maplewood and a shockingly high 152 for Park Slope’s zip code of 11215.
-The robbery Risk rate is 15 in Maplewood compared to 372 in Park Slope. That means a robbery in Park Slope is 3.72 times as likely to occur when compared with the national average.
-In every single category of the Crime Risk Index, Maplewood is rated substantially safer.”
Brooklyn is just taking the hits, knowing it can’t offer anything to protect itself.
Round 5: Attractions
Boy things sure aren’t looking good for Brooklyn, but never count the city’s most populous borough out before the end of the match.
Brooklyn feels the need to make its presence known early on in this fifth and final round: “I’m home to the almost 600 acres famous jewel of BK-Prospect Park. Which also includes the 12-acre Prospect Park Zoo to entertain kids and adults alike. We’re also a subway trip away from Coney Island for summer fun.”
Maplewood looks un-phased by the attack, winds up and unleashes a haymaker:
“- We have an abundance of nature: the South Mountain Reservation- a 2,000 acre nature reserve with its own dog park, and magnificent views of the city skyline unparalleled to anything an apartment in Brooklyn can offer. We also have plenty of other parks in our area, from Memorial park (home to our town’s Fourth of July Firework Spectacular) to Maplecrest Park.
- We too have our own zoo, The Turtle Back Zoo, except that its 8 acres larger than its Brooklyn counterpart.
- We’re a short hour drive away from one of New Jersey’s most famous summertime family attractions – Point Pleasant Boardwalk & Beach. And the Maplewood Community Pool is a sight to be seen with newly installed water slides.
- Our seasonal celebrations are a MUST. From Maplewoodstock in July- featuring local bands, crafts, and artisans, to the the annual Halloween Parade in Maplewood Village, and the quaint community tradition of the Dickens Village display and activities in December.”
Brooklyn hits the mat! Down goes Brooklyn! Down goes Brooklyn!