Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Small-Town Feel Helps Soften Move

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Small-Town Feel Helps Soften Move

Article excerpt

Melissa and Steve Carucci, fifth-generation Lyndhurst residents looking to leave the town of their roots, were on the hunt for new construction. Yet they did not want to abandon the familiar feel of a small town.

"Everybody knew each other," said Melissa of the tight-knit quality they had come to love about Lyndhurst.

Their journey from Bergen to Morris County would put these high school sweethearts miles from many family members still residing in their hometown as they moved out of a two-family house they owned for the last 12 years.

Throughout their search of the last four years, Melissa, a 39- year-old school teacher in Clifton, said: "The town was very important to us. We wanted to feel part of the community."

In Pequannock, they found another small town to raise their three children, ages 41/2 to 9, and residents with a welcoming spirit.

But for the couple, Lyndhurst was more than a town with a big heart. "We had roots there," said Melissa, describing how her father served as a police officer and grandfather a commissioner in Lyndhurst.

"There's family history on both sides," said Steve. The two- family house they outgrew was situated on his great-grandparents' property, directly across from the family business of 80 years -- a mother-of-pearl button factory now closed.

Melissa described living with her in-laws right behind them as being like the TV show, "Everybody Loves Raymond."

"The house and the property we came from have been in my family for over 100 years," added Steve, the 38-year-old head of operations for the Northeast branch at the Doka USA construction company in Little Ferry. "It makes the decision to move a high impact one."

Yet the couple wanted more space both inside and out, and it's hard to find a spacious backyard in Lyndhurst.

"Lyndhurst is mostly urban, with a significant number of two- families. …

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