AS THIS MONTH’S ISSUE CAME together, I just couldn’t shake the words of that
old Petula Clark song: “Things will be
great when you’re downtown. No finer
place for sure, downtown.”
The tune is a cinch to remember—
but picking our favorite downtowns was
not so easy. We started by developing a
list of 25 towns for consideration. Next,
we polled a group of our Facebook followers. Armed with their input, we dispatched a team of reporters to visit the
the top contenders and report back on a
number of factors, including ambience,
amenities, architecture, dining, shopping, cultural attractions and parking—
all the elements that can make things
great when you’re downtown.
In the end, we narrowed our list to a
sweet 16 favorite downtowns (see page
49), plus four more that we tabbed as
“Small but See-Worthy.” We’re sure our
readers will have strong opinions about
our picks, so we’ve created a “
Downtown Showdown,” which kicks off September 1 at njmonthly.com. Throughout
the month, readers can vote for their favorites among our 16 downtowns. Each
week we’ll narrow the field in a bracket-style playoff. The final face-off between
the last two contenders will start September 22. Be sure to vote!
IN ADDITION TO OUR DOWN TOWN
rankings, this issue contains our much-antic-ipated list of the state’s Top 100 Towns.
Unlike the downtowns, this ranking is
based on data that reflect such factors as
taxes, home values, school performance,
crime and commute time—in other
words, all the concerns that homeowners and potential homeowners share.
If you don’t see your town in our Top
100 list, please go to njmonthly.com after September 1 for a printable PDF of
the complete ranking of 510 towns.
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