I moved to Hackensack, New Jersey from Berkeley, California in the early 1970's and lived there until 1983. When I first arrived, I was shocked by the contrast between Berkeley and Hackensack. My first winter, I was ready to pack my bags and return to California. I arrived in September, and by November, I was considering not buying snow tires, because I did not believe that I would last the winter in Hackensack. After all, Hackensack had an intolerable climate that was unlivable in winter.
I decided to turn every negative into a positive. I used to walk in the Berkeley Hills and enjoy the view of the San Francisco Bay. Instead, I would go down to the Hudson River and walk and relax by the water. I learned to love living in a high rise. The view from my apartment was great, and there was more sunlight than I could ever have in a single family home. I actually liked living in an apartment. There was a certain atomicity. I closed the door to my apartment, and I was in my private world.
As for the snow tires, I actually bought them, and learned to love the snow. Hackensack is an easy drive to the Catskills. I would drive to Hyer Meadows near Kingston, NY where I cross-country skied. I learned to love the snow. I could go downhill skiing at Hunter Mountain. I could drive there and back in a day. It was very convenient and inexpensive, because I did not have to pay for a hotel. Best of all, living in Hackensack gave me access to Manhattan. I lived just north of the George Washington Bridge, and all the glories of Manhattan were just across the bridge. Nothing can beat NYC for theater, museums and restaurants.