Stats: Jess Dukes, 46, Digital Editorial Director, & Twumasi Weisel, 44, Software Engineer,

Kids: Alanna, 9; Sakon, 6

NJF: You moved to New Jersey last September. How did you decide on Fanwood? 

JD: We lived in Brooklyn for 18 years—16 of them in the same tiny apartment! After our son was born, we finally admitted that we needed more space and convenience, so we began house hunting. We looked at all the towns where Brooklyn families tended to land throughout New Jersey and New York, and discovered Fanwood simply by driving around on the weekends. It’s the best fit for us—a small, quiet town where the houses are nice and the property taxes aren’t outrageous.

NJF: What are the benefits of raising kids here?

JD: Now that we’re out of the city, we hover a lot less. It’s safer to be outside—fewer cars, less chaos—and as parents we can exhale a little. And we finally have some space, so there’s new freedom they’ve never had like opening the door and running around the yard! We love their new school, too. 

NJF: What’s your daily schedule like?

JD: Twumasi leaves for work as I’m taking the kids to school, so it’s go-go-go in the morning. I’m fortunate to work from home full-time and come back to a quiet house, drink coffee in my cozy office and work until I pick the kids up at 3. We either run a few errands after school or go straight home to finish homework. I work for a few more hours, then we have dinner, take showers and head to bed. On the weekends, we try to get at least one house project done, whether it’s painting, cleaning or any of the other to-dos on our list.

NJF:  What’s your idea of a great date night? 

JD: Recently, some friends came to visit and we went to Sheelen’s Crossing for drinks. It’s a solid local bar (actually the only one in Fanwood), with good drinks and friendly people. I hear they have a great brunch. Otherwise, we like to explore towns around us. Scotch Plains has great taverns and Westfield is packed with options. Fiamma Wood Fired Pizza in Westfield is delicious.

NJF:  What’s your favorite place to hang with the kids in Fanwood?

JD: We love Nick’s Pizza and Rocko’s Ice Cream. When Twumasi has to work late, I usually treat the kids to a night out. We also live three blocks from La Grande Park, where there’s a big playground, tennis courts, ice skating and huge soccer fields.