Where should i live in New York


Aug 22nd, 2011, 08:31 PM
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Where should i live in New York

Hi me and my girlfriend will be moving to New York in the next month I will be working in Staten Island and she will be working in Manhatten, we r both in are upper twenties and like to have fun but safety and quality of living is very important to us. My price range is around 1800 for a apt. for a 1bedroom. I was wondering the best midway location or easiest place that we both could commute to work and like I said before a safe neighborhood is a must if anyone has any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated thanx.
timhawk is offline  
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Aug 22nd, 2011, 08:52 PM
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Please note it is spelled Manhattan.

It all depends where you work on Staten Island. Public transporation is very limited.

Many take some form of transportation to the Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan and from there the location of the job dictates how she gets to work. There are also Express buses to Manhattan from Staten Island.

You will not get much for $1,800 in Manhattan and Brooklyn and Queens are a tough slog to Staten Island.

Here is a map of the Staten Island line:


Here is a list of the Express bsues:

Aduchamp1 is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 12:24 AM
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I live in the East Village and the article Starr cited is 10 years old. And few people call it Alphabet City, it almost always called the East Village. It is like the Big Apple and Gotham, rarely do you here anyone who lives call it that except people with a commercial interest. I am sure there are people who do, but it is never from someone who lives there.

The name East Village was started in the 1960's by real estate agents to give it the same cache as the West Village. Until then it was all the Lower East Side. Ironically the name Alpahbet City came into existence and popularity when crack and murder were at its highest in the 1980's.

Tompkins Square Park, one of the most identifiable places in the East Village was so bad 25 years, the police had to bring in tanks to get rid of the drug dealers and squatters. Now the Park is filled with children and families.

There is nothing that you would want to live in for $1,800 a month for a one bedroom. There is a lot of devlopment in the area and if you should be lucky enough to find a place at that rent, it will be at least a three floor walk up.

That is the reason the kids started moving to Williamsburg 15 years ago and now further out on the "L" subway line because the rents were high.

And on top of that, there is matter of getting to the job in Staten Island. If it is near the train or the ferry that is one thing, otherwise it could be a problem.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 03:54 AM
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$1800 is a VERY modest amount for a 1 bedroom apartment in Manhattan - you are unlikely to find anything in a place you want to live.

As for in between Staten Island and Manhattan - there is nothing but water. I fear your only option may be an apartment on Staten Island -- and your girlfriend commute to Manhattan.

Also - since you obviously haven;t started to look yet - be aware that landlords will want you to have proof of total income that is many times the monthly rent, as well as security and first month's rent - plus large fee if you use an agent. I hope you have significant savings and jobs with high enough incomes - or you may find that renting a studio is more realistic.

Susggest you immediately contact one or more agents on Staten Island to get an idea of rental costs there (I haven;t a clue).
nytraveler is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 04:10 AM
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Hi timhawk,
Congrats on your move to NYC. You said you are - "upper twenties and like to have fun but safety and quality of living is very important to us." A family member in the same age range and with the same goals sublet in different neighborhoods for a few years and not long ago signed a long-term lease on a new apartment. When I asked the area she chose her response was "Alphabet City" and for the reasons you list. She's loving it.

As you know, rents are high and for $1800 you'll probably end up in a studio and/or walk-up. Here's a link that may be useful. It's TimeOut NewYork's Apartment Guide and shows apartments in different neighborhoods that were available for under $2000.


Examples from their NYC apartment guide -
Alphabet City - 1br - $1698
Chelsea - studio - $1875
East Village -studio (with backyard!) - $1890
Hell's Kitchen - studio (less than 500sf) specially priced at $1908

The neighborhoods in TimeOut's apartment guide include:
Alphabet City | Battery Park City | Chelsea
Chinatown and Little Italy | East Village | Financial District
Hell's Kitchen | Lower East Side | Midtown East | Murray Hill and Gramercy
Soho | Upper East Side | Upper West Side | West Village
Bedford-Stuyvesant | Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo | Bushwick
Cobble Hill | Fort Greene and Clinton Hill | Greenpoint
Park Slope | Sunset Park | Williamsburg | Astoria
Long Island City | Sunnyside | Jersey City

It may be helpful in giving you an idea of what's available in your approximate price range
starrs is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 04:38 AM
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For that kind of money, you'll probably be living in Staten Island if you really do want a 1-bedroom apartment, to be perfectly honest. You could no doubt find an apartment in Brooklyn for that price, but you'd have to commute by car or express bus, and that would really eat into your income.
doug_stallings is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 05:26 AM
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As nytraveler mentioned, typical fees to sign a lease in Manhattan might include paying first month's rent, plus last month's rent, plus one month security, plus a broker's fee of 15% of annual rent. So even if you find a place to rent in Manhattan for $1800, at the moment you sign the lease you might have to pay about $8000. And then 30 days later you owe another $1800. Read listings carefully to see how many of these fees may or may not be included.
ellenem is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 06:42 AM
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My niece lives in a fourth floor walkup, bedroom alcove off of hall, LR and Kitchen,old tenement building, no a/c, so she put a window unit in herself, pays $1800. She loves the area.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 06:46 AM
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That Time Out article may be less than accurate.

For example, the midtown East listing--the first one I looked at-- shows an apartment at an address in Brooklyn.


The term Alphabet City is not used much by locals, or at least any local who spends any time in the area. A friend who lives at Avenue B near 10th Street, calls his home turf "Lower East Side."

Agree with the consensus here that you either need to raise your budget, or look in SI, or perhaps in south Brooklyn (??) which would certainly be safe, if a rather tedious commute.
ekscrunchy is online now  
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 07:01 AM
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You need to think about it more broadly than just rent. Rent is one component, but depending on where you live you need to factor in parking (if you have a car), the ability to commute to a Staten Island location by public transit, and the cost of tolls if intending to drive to Staten Island.

If is incredibly expensive to drive into Staten Island via the Verrazano Bridge. $13 each per day unless you are a Staten Island resident. So, if planning to live in say Brooklyn or Queens, consider that public transportation TO Staten Island is limited and driving will add about $250 per month for just the tolls.

Driving into Staten Island from New Jersey won't be much cheaper and you can hit really bad traffic. The Bayonne Bridge is the least travelled. But, tolls will be heading towards $12 to $13 per day in 2015 with a deal being worked out. Every year between now and then the toll will increase.

What is reasonable is public transportation from Staten Island to Manhattan. If you look at something in a town like Great Kills or Eltingville, there are trains that express to the Ferry terminal. Ferry is free, connection to subway in the city is free.

As you are working in Staten Island, you can avoid the tolls on a daily basis. You can also find a place and NOT have to pay for parking. If you move into Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, or parts of New Jersey like Hoboken or Jersey City you will need to pay for parking.

I grew up in Staten Island and my parents and siblings still live there. There are issues with congestion, but that is true for many parts of New York. There are plenty of decent locations to run, parks, etc.

For social life, easy enough to head into Manhattan on the weekend. Also, easy access to the Jersey Shore in the summer which is waht everyone else does.

I have no idea what rents are in Staten Island. I can say they are a lot less than the other boroughs, especially if you will have a car and can avoid tolls.

If looking at somewhere in Staten Island, let me know the neighborhood. I haven't lived there in over 20 years, but I did grow up there and my family is still there. There are a few parts that I would avoid, but a lot fewer than the other parts of NYC.
Ryan is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 07:02 AM
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ekscrunchy, I'm guessing that it's more likely that someoone made an error in the address
"1235 E 53rd Street between Second and Third Aves, No. 4D"
than made an error and listed an apartment in Brooklyn between Avenues I and J.

Try googling 235 instead of 1235 and see if you agree that the apartment is Midtown East. I think it's a simple typo. Probably apt 4D above -

HappyTrvlr makes a good point. Most prewar buildings do not have a/c so people use window units. Even Yoko Ono's huge apartment in the Dakota uses window units. It was a bit of a surprise for me coming from the land of central airconditioining.
starrs is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 07:40 AM
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In fact, there's an apartment available in that building for $1900 - available 9/1/11
Apt 4C
starrs is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 08:06 AM
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Even if someone lives in the East Village or the LES, they would first have to walk to take a bus or maybe two trains just to get to the SI Ferry. The also have this crazy "select bus" system that has limited stops.

And as Ryan pointed the cost of commuting by car from Manhattan is ridiculous and wait until you have to buy even minimum insurance for the car.

The point of the Time Out article is that rents for decent apartments for under $2,000 are so uncommon, it merits an article where the writer speaks to the veracity of the ads.

Happy Traveler

The area is wonderful especially if you are young. There are over 20 bars in a five block radius from our place. And even with the increase of rents, it is the best eating neighborhood in terms of quality v. value.

The problem is the OP works on Staten Island which presents its own set of problems and whether someone wants a walk-up without A/C plus a few other inconveniences for a $1,800. And if you have a car, you have deal with the alternate side street parking.
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 08:27 AM
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A friend of the family moved to NY after college. He lived in a studio apartment on the LES that cost $1600 a month (about 4 years ago). He could reach everything in the kitchen while standing in one spot. He slept on a futon, so he'd have a square inch or two of space when not sleeping (as opposed to a bed).
sf7307 is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 08:31 AM
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Let's see.
Boyfriend will work in "A" and girlfriend will work in "B".
One possibility is for the couple to live in A or B - and one of them has a major commute.
Another possibility is for the couple to live in "C" - and then they both will have a commute.
Something for the OP to consider.

The OP mentioned $1800 as a price point.
That's going to be a studio or very small 1br in Manhattan.
The same amount of money will buy a larger apartment outside of Manhattan.
The OP will have to weigh the options to decide what works best for them.

The point of my posting the TimeOut link is to give the OP an idea of what's available - in different neighborhoods of the city - at a price point close to the one he quoted. Hopefully the link will be helpful to the OP and serve that purpose.

I'm not sure where the car/parking/taxes discussion entered the conversation. Does the OP plan to bring a car? If so, that's really going to be sticker shock. Monthly parking for the car can equal the rental rate for an apartment "back home". A friend fought to keep her company car when she accepted a transfer to NYC - and is lucky that the company is STILL paying for the monthly parking charges years later. Sweet.
starrs is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 09:16 AM
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I have no personal knowledge of these places, but a friend was there recently for a wedding -- how about Hoboken or Jersey City, which are both MUCH less expensive than Manhattan, easy access to Manhattan, and the OP could drive to Staten Island (and possibly have free, or less expensive, parking?)
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 09:34 AM
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Back when we were looking for an apartment for my DD - 2008 - we had to verify that our income was something like 8X the rental amount. (Am I remembering that correctly? Does that still hold true?) Luckily there were two girls and 2 sets of parent's income.

I do remember a very reasonable and nice apartment down near the Financial District. the apartment was somewhat across from where people get in line for the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. Sorry I'm not more specific, but I remember that area being more reasonably priced.
Austin is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 09:41 AM
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Free parking is not a NY thing unless yuo have a house with a driveway. Even in the nearby suburbs apartment complexes typiclly charge for parking.

It never occurred to me that the OP would try to bring a car- that simply not possible in Manhattan on a budget - monthly garage will be in the area of $500 and insurance $200 (if you have a perfect driving record). And where would you use it?
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 09:46 AM
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The key is the location of the job on Staten Island. We really can't give pertinent advice without knowing this.

Chances are the job will not be along the rapid transit train line. The OP will probably require a car to get to work. Based on this assumption, in my opinion the best choice is to find a place in Staten Island, so the OP can avoid hefty commuting costs and tolls for his car. His girlfriend can commute to Manhattan using the best method (ferry, express bus, whatever) based on their Staten Island location.
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