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It’s universally agreed by all residents new and old that Ridgewood is an absolute delight. It’s a walkable town, divided into six residential districts, each named for the local elementary school. Ridgewood started as a summer getaway for New Yorkers, thanks to its convenient train station, which was built in 1848. As a result, a mix of Victorians and Colonials from the late 1800s and early 1900s that were built for the summer visitors still dominate Ridgewood’s housing market. Most have retained their historic facades, while boasting renovated interiors. There’s a quaint downtown with an Art Deco movie theater that hosts an international film festival, a popular bookstore with frequent author events, and more than 100 restaurants for every taste. The town pool, Graydon Pool, is very unusual and closer to a lake, as it has a sandy bottom and is fed with 3.8 million gallons of spring water.

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Living in Bergen County

Home to just shy of one million residents, Bergen County—New Jersey’s most populous—offers nearly as many lifestyles. It’s located across the Hudson River from Manhattan, the Bronx, and lower Westchester County with elements of overlap from all three, from the soaring co-op towers of Guttenberg and Fort Lee to grand several-acre estates in towns like Alpine, Saddle River, and Ridgewood. There’s little you won’t find along Route 17 in Paramus, a prime retail corridor with just about every big-box store and three indoor malls, the Garden State Plaza reigning supreme. NJ Transit’s Bergen, Main, and Pascack Valley Lines reach several area communities with direct service to Hoboken Terminal, and Penn Station via Secaucus. And while many locals commute to New York City by train and the George Washington Bridge, countless Fortune 500 companies have offices right in Bergen County: BMW North America, KPMG, and Unilever, just to name a few.