I hate to push my area each time I respond to a similar question but Montclair sounds exactly like the town you are describing. As you probably already know, Montclair is only 12 miles west of Manhattan and has direct train and bus service into the city. The commute on Route 3 into the Lincoln Tunnel takes 20 minutes with no traffic.
The beautiful homes of various styles of architecture generally range in age from the late 1800s to the 1930s and in price from $500,000 to over $3 million. The restaurants of every ethnicity are numerous and highly regarded -- we have our own restaurant row! Montclair has more than 4 distinct shopping areas including the Upper Montclair Village, Watchung Plaza, Walnut Street and the trendy downtown Bloomfield Ave. area. We are within driving distance to many upscale malls as well. Montclair is known for its numerous parks two of which, Brookdale and Anderson, were designed by Frederick Law Olmstead who is best known for his design of NYC's Central Park. Large mature trees are abundant throughout the town.
Montclair is culturally, ethnically and racially diverse. We have a public magnet school system which is made up of 6 elementary schools which offer different themes and programs geared towards students' special interests i.e. Science and Technology, the Arts, the Montessori method, an International school, etc. Parents get to choose schools best suited to their children. We also have two excellent private schools and others within driving distance, as well as religious schools.
Finally, we have theaters and a world class art museum and we are home to a large community of artists, writers, actors and, oh yes, financial movers and shakers!
If you would like me to send you a packet of information on Montclair and neighboring towns, please call 973-509-3970 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be happy to email you listings of homes which might interest you and give you a town tour at your convenience if you'd like.