East Orange is for…lovers?

Reddog n Neenee, originally uploaded by Nudnik N Da Hood.

According to CNNMoney it is, ranking it at #21 of the 25 places that have the highest percentage of singles, and an over-30 scene. Hoboken is ranked #1 (ugh), while Newark is #20. (Hat tip to the Barista.)

Interestingly, this is the same East Orange that shares Bloomfield’s southwest border and, every step of the way through our homebuying process, was referred to negatively by, well, just about everybody! (Check the Barista’s comment section for a representative selection of bons mots.)

The worst was the security system sales rep (from Brinks, I think) who drove up the day we were moving in and chatted us up while pitching his services.

A youngish entrepreneurial black guy, he said all the right things up until his Rovian close:

“Bloomfield’s a pretty nice place, but East Orange is right down the block.”

The border is about three blocks away from our house and I’ve driven through the surrounding area a few times now and seen some nice old houses and what appears to be a solid, working class neighborhood of predominantly black folk, so his throwing the whole town under the bus for a sale rubbed me the wrong way. While I don’t doubt East Orange has its bad areas — as does Bloomfield and just about everywhere else of consequence — as someone who grew up in the Bronx and still chafes at its overly negative (if hard-earned) reputation despite years of steady improvement, I can’t stand those kinds of generalizations, especially when they’re often rooted in racial stereotypes and/or prejudice.

(The flip-side, of course, is the holy aura that apparently surrounds Montclair, a perfect mecca of peace and prosperity, if you believe everything you read online.)

Of course, considering almost every house in our neighborhood boasts a sign from one of the many security companies that promise to keep your home safe, I couldn’t help but think of that cheesy commerical for Slomin’s with the burglars who pull up to a house late at night ready to to do their thing, only to see the Slomin’s Shield on the lawn and deciding to hit the house next door instead since it doesn’t have a security system.

Cheesy but effective, I guess; we ended up signing with Slomin.

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