Posted by: Debbie Abrams Kaplan | December 4, 2009

Cities that are BFFs

In the Bay Area, do we call San Mateo, San Carlos & San Bruno “the Sans?”  Do you group East Palo Alto and Palo Alto into “the Palo Altos?” Nope.

So that’s why I found it so funny to find groups of cities here named like BFFs (best friends forever, for those not hip to the lingo).

South Orange, East Orange, West Orange and Orange (strangely, no North Orange) = THE ORANGES. If you’re a history buff (or from New Jersey or a city planner), you can read the history of these townships here on Wikipedia. You’ll see here these towns greatly differ in their ethnicity – and their socioeconomic status.  The only governance they share is that they’re in the same county. The highway signs (or rather the Turnpike and Parkway signs) say “the Oranges” as the exit (along with an exit number, of course).

This is a pattern in New Jersey. There’s also:

the Caldwells (North Caldwell, West Caldwell and Caldwell)

the Amboys (Perth Amboy, Amboy)

the Brunswicks – though no one we’ve heard calls them that (South Brunswick, East Brunswick, North Brunswick and New Brunswick – no West Brunswick)

the Plainfields (North Plainfield, South Plainfield and Plainfield) – interestingly in three different counties, but all in the same area

the Ridgefields (Ridgefield and Ridgefield Park)

the Wildwoods (Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, West Wildwood, North Wildwood and Diamond Beach – the only town listed here that doesn’t share an actual name).


  1. And why is “Newark” so close to “New York”? Inquiring minds want to know

  2. We lived near the Windsors (East and West for sure, but I don’t remember a North or South).

    I’m going to start saying that we used to live near the Altos in CA (would Los Altos count in that, too??)

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