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Bloomfield has it all: well-priced housing with good parks, shopping, schools, and transportation. Buyers looking for a nice suburb with a good vibe will find it here.

There is a wide variety of housing and price points in Bloomfield, from older homes on the southeastern end of town to post-war development on the northern end. Lots are generally smaller than those in neighboring Essex County towns, so Bloomfield can be a a good entry point into the housing market.

Located 18 miles west of Midtown, many recent city dwellers feel at home in this eminently walkable suburb. It has several neighborhood shopping options within its five-square miles, two train stations and several bus lines. It is home to a “midtown direct” train line, meaning commuters can get into the city without switching trains – a real time-saver and selling point.

The northern end of town shares Brookdale Park with Montclair – a regional gem great for running, walking and general recreating. The 121 rolling acres include a dog park, rose garden, tennis courts and a public rubberized running track. There are lush groves, lawns, and sports fields. The park also hosts an annual juried fine arts and craft fair, and summer concerts and fireworks.

The Brookdale area surrounding the park has a desirable collection of one-family homes and its own mini shopping area along Broad Street that includes Holsten’s, an old-school candy counter, soda fountain, and restaurant now famous as the setting of The Sopranos’ finale. Check out Stamna Greek Taverna a few doors down as well! Brookdale also has a large Shop-Rite near the Clifton border as well as Bella Napoli Ristorante.

Another commercial district a few miles south on Broad below Brookside Park anchors a neighborhood with slightly smaller lots and more multifamily housing. It’s home to a couple of local favorites; Gencarelli’s Bakery and Obal’s – an old-time neighborhood bar with what called “New Jersey’s best ribs.” The Nevada Diner is also a crowd pleaser.

Further south still on Broad, the downtown abuts an historic district that is home to Bloomfield College and a “green” that dates to the American Revolution. There is a mix of Victorian homes, pre-War apartment buildings and an eclectic central business district. The area has gotten a shot in the arm in the last decade from new mixed-used development, including luxury apartments near the train station and upscale dorm space for the college.

You can find just about every cuisine downtown as well as the Bloomfield Train Station near Watsessing Park; try the Blue Steel Pizza Company nearby. A second station, Watsessing Avenue, is just to the east of the Garden State Parkway, where neighborhoods include include Fairview, where the old Westinghouse Electric plant that looms over the Parkway was converted into luxury lofts.

The Oakside-Bloomfield Cultural Center is a former mansion on Belleville Avenue built by the scion of a local woolen mill in 1902. In addition to cultural programming Oakside is also the site of one of three community gardens.

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