The Township of South Orange Village was named as one of the best places to live in America for 2019, according to a new set of rankings released by Niche. The Township received an overall Niche grade of A+ and top grading for public schools, nightlife, family life and diversity. The charming downtown with new restaurants, coffee shops and rich history make it a coveted destination for families from all over but especially Brooklyn and New York City due to the convenience of the commute by rail and proximity to Newark Liberty Airport, beaches, mountains, forests, farms as well as art and music venues. South Orange, on the steep side of South Mountain, is 18 miles from NYC. A 2.8 square mile community of approximately 17,000, residents live on pretty tree-lined streets lit by gas street lamps dating back to when the community was first settled. South Orange boasts a charming downtown featuring boutiques and creative eateries, and is the home to Seton Hall University. South Orange train station and the Mountain train station on the Morris & Essex train line to New York City and Hoboken are moments away from The Mignote on Second.
Built in 1916 by architect Frank J. Nies, the South Orange Train Station was designed in the Renaissance Revival style and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Today, it is one of the busiest stops for those who commute to NYC or Hoboken – catch the Express and you are in Penn Station NYC in 33 minutes!
South Orange enjoys a vibrant village with restaurants, shops and personal services businesses. Additionally, a number of excellent arts and entertainment venues including The Baird Center and the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) are located here.
The Baird Center site is in Meadowland Park. Essex County artists enter their works in the bi-annual “Essex Exposed” juried competition at the Piero Gallery of South Orange at the Baird. Past events have included “Giants of Jazz”, “South Orange Summer Nights”, “Concerts and Art in the Park” and “Moon-lit Movies.”
SOPAC opened in 2006 adjacent to the South Orange train station. The complex includes a 415-seat proscenium theater, a dance studio, and a five-screen movie theater. SOPAC offers major entertainers and well-known artists throughout the year. Current events include an open-air Holiday market, live-streamed events with Seton Hall’s Classical Concert Series: A Night of Italian Opera Arias, online Trivia Events, documentaries on Frank Zappa, Harry Chapin and The Pogues’s Shane McGowan, poetry reading and performances by Los Lobos, Joan Osborne and Aaron Neville.