NJ Transit 30mins direct to NY Penn (weekdays only, otherwise Hoboken). Still a very traditional NJ town. No big box stores or heavy retail. Safe enough with no major poverty/crime/unemployment. Housing prices start $250K (3/2 & a bit of TLC).
NJ Transit to Newark Broad St for RBA or get on the GSP to the 280 for one of the easier car rides to RBA,
Bloomfield is a very good recommendation, in my opinion. I lived there for a year.
The NJ Transit train is extremely convenient and a great option, being only a 30 minute trip to NY Penn during the week. From what I've been told, this improved service is a relatively recent expansion, as Bloomfield has seen an increased # of people moving in that commute to NY, as opposed to choosing the pricier neighboring towns like Glen Ridge and Montclair. Very easy trip to RBA, as well. There's some pretty good food and bar options next door in Montclair, as well, if you're looking to stay local and low-key.