May 23, 2024
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May 23, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

I have no documented proof other than my memory, but the Borough Park of my youth in the summers of the 1960s seemed to be just another beach town. My friends and I would finish class (or not), head to Meal Mart, pick up some barbecue chicken and knishes, stop at Duane Reade for reflectors and some baby oil, then ride the D train to a secluded spot at Brighton Beach for the day. This would continue through my Brooklyn College years, becoming an almost daily ritual, defining my summers.

Upon getting married and moving out to Bergen County, I was now faced with figuring out the best way to get my time in the sun. My husband, being a Monsey boy, didn’t understand what I was talking about. He said the only beach he ever swam in was 1,200 miles south in Miami and he was only vaguely aware that Brooklyn was surrounded by beaches on its southern end. This was perhaps my greatest challenge moving to the suburbs. The closest beach was now many more miles away than it had been. I soon discovered that the family car wasn’t just for getting groceries at the supermarket, but could also be used to travel distances that a city girl wouldn’t have thought normal. After discussing with my friends how to get to the water, it was agreed that a new beach might be the best choice for us New Jersey folk. Suddenly, Sandy Hook and Long Branch were destinations we needed to explore.

Fast forward a few years and I was lucky enough to merit many nice trips to the Jersey shore, but it never felt quite the same to me. Teaneck just didn’t have that same beach vibe I had grown up with in Brooklyn.

However, the Teaneck area does have something that we never experienced in Borough Park.

Swimming pools abound and having outdoor barbecues poolside is something you can easily get accustomed to. No sand to rinse off; no blankets to schlep back to the car. Tons of minyanim to choose from for Mincha, just minutes from the house. Best of all, you can put all the kids to sleep and enjoy your glass of wine knowing there wasn’t a long drive back.

A recent interaction with one of my old customers rounded out the picture perfectly. I had sold these buyers a four bedroom years ago and now they wanted a larger home with a pool. I took them to see a great house with a stunning pool and cabana. Living in this home in the summertime would be heaven and I was quite sure my buyers would step up. After a few days they called to say they were going to stay in their current house and buy a beach home on the Jersey Shore.

I guess some people are more committed to the idea of life by the beach than others.


Nechama Polak is the broker of record and owner of V&N Group LLC, located at 1401 Palisade Avenue in Teaneck. Send your thoughts and comments to [email protected] or call 201.826.8809.

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