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Thread: Moving to NYC

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by floetry22 View Post
    You know, I didn't consider Queens...it just seems so large and spread out, lol...and I've heard that MTA does not run in some parts of Queens..What about Flushing??? But I will consider Astoria and Woodside...I like the fact that everything is right outside your door..I didn't think Queens was like that.

    Also, I've been to the area around Barclay's and there was a lot of traffic and things going on...I like the fact that the Atlantic stop is right there, not too far...the only thing I wasn't impressed with was the shopping..it was your typical strip mall, not enough stores..but I guess in the future more stores will be added.

    Queens is pretty spread out, but a good portion of it is accessible via subway (E,F,M,G,N,R,7,A,C,J,Z). The outermost parts of Queens (i.e., Bayside, Cambria Heights, Springfield Gardens, Kew Gardens, etc) are only accessible via bus with the exception of Far Rockaway and Ozone Park (Far Rockaway is out of commission indefinitely due to the storm). Woodside, Sunnyside, Astoria, Flushing, Richmond Hill (a little farther out, relatively nice, but might be expensive), Jamaica (a bit further out...area is kind of iffy but I heard it's cheap) are all accessible by train and generally takes 15-30 minutes to reach Midtown (especially if you can grab an express train).

    Astoria and Woodside is awesome. The vibe is really mellow; everyone goes about their lives and is cool so long as you're cool. A lot of different people live here; Arabs, Turks, Indians, Irish, Spanish, more black folk have moved in over the last couple of years (still no sign of West Indian food though ). LIC is experiencing a crapton of gentrification. The 7 train is going through a lot of construction work, so service to Manhattan is out until early March. BUT when service is normal, it's reliable. There's a CUNY school nearby also (as well as high school, so expect a lot of students on the trains when school is in session).

    Yeah, Fulton Street hasn't changed too much over the years from what I've seen...then again, I don't go there often. More stores are being added to the Atlantic-Barclay's area, so it'll be a whole different feel and aesthetic in a couple of years. So far as the rest Brooklyn goes, Canarsie is nice especially if you can get near the L train (which is the most reliable train in the system). I lived in East New York for a few years (right off the 3 train) and I hated how out of the way it was. It was also kind of sketchy at the time; a lot of nonsense near the train station (New Lots Ave), but the people were generally cool. Bay Ridge is okay to live but for shopping you have to go elsewhere. Not too sure about the rent there. Mostly Italians, Russians, Jews. Few times I've been out there I was never bothered and they weren't bothered by me. lol I avoid Brownsville like the plague, and I'm from Brooklyn. Last time I went there many years ago (I think in 05?) I got off the train, heard a shoot out, turned on my heel and got back on the train. NO THANKS.
    Last edited by Mikalia42; 01-19-2013 at 12:36 PM.


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  3. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl2012 View Post

    most reliable subway lines i'd say are the a,l,n,r, 2,3,4,5,6.. the other ones are iffy. the F train broke my heart many a time. G train is the magical train that appears not when you want it or expect it but when you need it and it might not even be at a place it's supposed to stop i swear it's like the knight bus in harry potter .


    this makes me miss NYC
    We call the G train the "G-host" train, because it shows up when you least expect it! I swear, when you don't expect that train to run, it does! LOL!


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    Quote Originally Posted by floetry22 View Post
    at the Knight Bus....You've described everything I plan to do while living in the city...taking advantage of the nightlife, shopping, entertainment, etc..and close to multiple train lines. My friend lives not to far from Columbia University, so he catches the 1 train, which is really accessible...the stop is not too far from his apartment. That's why I was considering Inwood and the Harlem area in general. So, I was chatting with one of my co-workers today, who is originally from NY and she's thinking about moving back as well. I was asking her about Washington Heights and she said that the area is mostly Dominican and Puerto Rican...as an african-american women, she wouldn't recommend it. What do you guys think?

    Going back to the car situation...I thought that would be an option because sometimes, a girl just get tired of walking I remember the first time I got on the train near the Times Square stop and looked at the amount of stairs..and the 125th train stop in Manhattan, the stairs are brutal if the escalator is not running...so at work, I've been parking as far as possible from the building to build up my stamina How do you guys handle it?
    Times I've been to Washington Heights, the people were cool. Wonder why she felt that way?

    Being born and raised here, walking is a part of life. LOL! Walked from Midtown to the Lower East Side, from Crown Heights to Bushwick (grew up there), from one end of Flatbush to the other (used to live there), walked across the Brooklyn and Queensborough Bridge (it's roughly 20 minutes walk across all the bridges). Your feet and lungs will adjust. Expect to wear out your best pair of sneakers too! LMAO!!


    Someone mentioned grocery stores. The trick to shopping healthy in NYC is knowing where to get your food and how to buy it. I'm lucky to live in a neighborhood whose supermarkets gave themselves an update and meets the demands of the residents (which was for fresher and organic foods at a reasonable cost). It would be a great idea to checkout the Farmer's Markets here also (http://www.grownyc.org/ourmarkets). There's plenty of them around, and they're almost always near a train. The prices are usually reasonable, the food is fresh (obviously) and as organic as it can get. I usually go to the supermarket, but when the market opens up in my area in June, that's where I go.


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    I grew up in New York City and have familiarity with all five boroughs (lived, worked there, have family).

    About the specific neighborhoods you mentioned:
    INWOOD: northernmost portion of the island of Manhattan. Served by only one subway line (A Train/8th Avenue Line). A haven for musicians due to relatively low rent. Many musicians work out of their homes. For a non-musician or anyone else who needs silence during their non-working time, this could be uncomfortable because the area is 'practice-friendly' -- meaning you will hear vocal and instrumental rehearsals, single and group, at all hours of the day and night.
    WASHINGTON HEIGHTS: northern Manhattan, but not as far up as Inwood. Served by the 7th Ave #1 and 8th Ave A Trains; the two platforms are separated by an elevator - a security issue. There is a Men's Shelter in a massive repurposed Armory, which is across the street from part of the Columbia Presbyterian Hospital campus. The W 168 St/B'way Station is on the corner of the street where the hospital and Shelter are located. Many of the Shelter users have criminal records and/or mental illness; policy states they cannot spend all day inside the Shelter. This neighborhood's flavor is also influenced by the local Dominican Republic population, many of whom are not legally in the USA. The staff at the hospital generally live in hospital-owned housing which is not located in the midst of the hospital campus hub, but rather at the periphery of the area; or in other neighborhoods in Manhattan (Upper West Side, Upper East Side, Greenwich Village); or outside the area altogether, in Harlem, the outer boroughs of the City, Westchester County, NY - or the state of NJ.
    HARLEM: This is divided into East and West by a series of Parks (Central, Morningside, and St Nicholas). Racially, East Harlem = Puerto Rican "Spanish Harlem" and West Harlem = "Black Harlem", or just plain "Harlem". Over the past twenty years, skyrocketing housing prices have led to re-gentrification of what have long been poverty zones on both sides of Harlem; which has opened convenient options for those who work in Manhattan, but has not eliminated elements of inner city living that are of serious concern to certain demographics (single women, families with small children, people who come and go from home late at night).

    The City is loaded with vermin: cockroaches, Norway rats, and bedbugs. These are impossible to eliminate due to the density of vintage buildings, the constant influx of new people, and the underground havens such as cold water pipelines and the subway tunnels.


    The Outer Boroughs are the other four (Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx) outside Manhattan Island - where, in fact, most New Yorkers live.

    Staten Island. Relatively isolated - both a strength and a drawback. It is connected to Brooklyn and New Jersey by toll bridges; the free Staten Island Ferry runs between its northern coast and the southern end of Manhattan Island. Most people of color live in the northern portion; the central and southern portions are suburban to semi-rural in flavor. As it is the southernmost part of the City, it took part of the brunt of the landfall hit by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

    Brooklyn. Black Brooklynites have been traditionally concentrated in: Red Hook, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, East New York, Canarsie, and Ocean Hill-Brownsville.
    I would not recommend Red Hook for anyone who is new in town, because it is cut off from the rest of Brooklyn by natural waterways, lack of subway, and part of the Interstate Highway System, and has high crime; there are rumors regarding packs of drug dealers' dogs running about at night. Fort Greene, Clinton Hill (the Cosby Show neighborhood), and Bedford-Stuyvesant have relatively upscale, middle-class, and also poverty housing, due to nearby large NYCHA ("the projects") apartment complexes and substance dependence programs. The nicest housing in these neighborhoods is in the brownstones (less congested, owner often living on the premises). With a budget of $1400/month, you are looking at the top floor of a brownstone in Bed-Stuy, a room in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill, or a ground floor room in nearby but tonier Prospect Heights/Lefferts Gardens. Bushwick had urban decay of majestic stone and brick housing, but recently some renovations of these antique buildings and new middle-income housing have been put in. Poverty, personal safety, car break-ins, and the street drug trade remain serious issues there. The local subway line is the BMT/J train, which is elevated onto outdoor platforms. Crown Heights is ethnically divided between Afro-Caribbeans and Lubavitch Hasidic Jews. It is congested because both these communities have large/extended families; brownstones and limestones built a century ago for one family have been subdivided, then jam-packed as more and more immigrants, many of whom overstay tourist visas, flow in. This translates into a crush of humanity during rush hour on the subway serving the area (7th Avenue Line, #3 Train). Forget about easy parking. Flatbush/East Flatbush/Rugby are heavily Caribbean, but not all British Caribbean; there is a high proportion of people from Haiti, so you will frequently hear Haitian Creole being spoken. Only a tad less of the house division/crowding/parking situation compared to Crown Heights. Depending on which stretch of Church Avenue you are near, the subway (7th Avenue Line, #2, #5 Trains; 6th Avenue Line, D Train) varies from a one-block walk to a two-mile bus ride. East New York has a mix of the NYCHA "projects" mentioned above, vintage apartment buildings, and private houses, some of which are new construction. Low-income rentals dominate, but some of the houses are owner-occupied. East New York has a reputation for being 'tough'. Personal safety is definitely an issue there. There is a high degree of poverty and many people are part of the street drug trade. The local Long Island Railroad station is on an outdoor platform that is not easily viewed from the street due to stone bulwarks. Canarsie has a high percentage of middle-class Black homeowners, many of whom work long hours to pay the mortgage. I have heard that this neighborhood was built on landfill. Ocean Hill-Brownsville is the toughest neighborhood in Brooklyn, possibly the entire City of New York. Extremely high poverty and crime rates. Crack cocaine trade endemic and deeply established. Grown men, women, teenagers, and children are all in real and constant danger of being made the victims of serious personal injury. A car, if you have one, would be a source of worry. It would be at great risk of vandalism, auto theft - or worse, a potential trap for a personal safety-type crime. Not the place for a newcomer without local family connections to start life in the Big Apple.

    Queens. A vast, far-flung borough; NYC's biggest. It is possible to live one's entire life in one's local Queens neighborhood and know nothing about the rest of the City. Traditionally, most Black Queens residents live in Western Queens (East Elmhurst, Corona) and Southeastern Queens [a large cluster of villages between the LIRR/Jamaica Station transit hub and JFK Airport]. Western Queens gives you a quick subway/LIRR commute into Midtown Manhattan. Also, many people live and work in Queens; stretches of Northern Boulevard, Queens Boulevard, and Yellowstone Boulevard have become mini-Midtown Manhattans. Most of Southeastern Queens is not served by the subway. You must take a bus to get to the beginning of the 8th Avenue/BMT (E, J) subway line at the LIRR/Jamaica Station transit hub. Parts of Southeastern Queens are within walking distance of certain stations on two branches of the Long Island Railroad - but as these are not part of the LIRR Main Line, there are times when these stations do not get trains.

    The Bronx. This is the only NYC borough on the USA mainland. Which may be of importance to you if you are uncomfortable with living surrounded by major bodies of water, or if you are looking at working in Westchester County. Many, but not all, villages in the Bronx have a well-deserved reputation for being tough, high-crime, high car-vandalism & auto theft areas with a low quality of life. The subway serves much of this borough. There has been recent news media coverage of the way Bronx subway stations were left out of the NYC subway renovations that took place over the past twenty years, leaving them frankly disgusting and decrepit. The IRT train (#s 2, 4, 5, 6) lines branch out north of the E 138 Street transfer hub. The IND ("D") train goes far north, to end in Norwood village; the #5, #6 and #1 trains go far north, into Wakefield, Pelham, and Riverdale respectively. I mention these because you have a good chance of finding a clean, decent rental room or apartment in a relatively safe precinct within your budget in these areas. However, many of these areas have mini-mountains. I am not exaggerating here. There are actually concrete public stairs built onto what I assume is granite rock in many central and northern Bronx neighborhoods, to enable people to walk from one street to another without having to go around the mountain. This could present a problem during icy weather, if you have heavy/bulky packages, or if you have mobility impairments. If you happen to live near one of the MetroNorth stations, you can easily get to work in certain Westchester County cities (New Rochelle, White Plains) or in Manhattan. The villages of Soundview, Throgs Neck, and City Island have no subway stations, so unless you work close to home, it's the bus or a car to get to the rest of the borough/City.

    I realize this is kinda long, but I wouldn't want anyone to come to New York City without their eyes wide open as to what they will be facing.
    Please do plenty of reading and Internet research on the area before heading up North.
    Good luck.
    Last edited by Bithiya; 01-19-2013 at 11:30 PM. Reason: Had to take out some sentences & rephrase/respace - was over 10,000 characters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl2012 View Post
    i have 2 black friends who currently live in washington heights and they never have issues. both are single too.

    the only thing that would annoy me is the lack of decent grocery stores. i think there's a whole paycheck foods up there now but that's kind of pricey as a main grocery store i think. every grocery store i've visited up there were more like mega-bodegas where they had every flavor of chip, cookie and soda you can imagine, but very little in terms of healthy. both pretty much either do their grocery shopping in other neighborhoods.

    why exactly does your friend say stay away?
    From her experience, WH has always had a strong Dominican influence, while the African-American population has declined in the area. She was saying that there has been an increase in sexual assaults against women in the area...specifically, there was an instance were a black women was sexually assaulted while on her way to her apartment...Also, there's not a lot of diversity because the area is predominately Dominican....the people sit outside all day and night, blasting reggaeton there's massive infestations in some of the older buildings in WH. Basically, she says it's an area where everyone goes when they are priced out of other rental markets in the city, and it hasn't improved over the years. As for shopping, she says there's not a lot of retail stores but there's tons of .99 cent stores, bad bodegas and Dominican hair and nail salons...most people go downtown for shopping and grocery stores.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bithiya View Post
    I grew up in New York City and have familiarity with all five boroughs (lived, worked there, have family).

    About the specific neighborhoods you mentioned:
    INWOOD: northernmost portion of the island of Manhattan. Served by only one subway line (A Train/8th Avenue Line). A haven for musicians due to relatively low rent. Many musicians work out of their homes. For a non-musician or anyone else who needs silence during their non-working time, this could be uncomfortable because the area is 'practice-friendly' -- meaning you will hear vocal and instrumental rehearsals, single and group, at all hours of the day and night.
    WASHINGTON HEIGHTS: northern Manhattan, but not as far up as Inwood. Served by the 7th Ave #1 and 8th Ave A Trains; the two platforms are separated by an elevator - a security issue. There is a Men's Shelter in a massive repurposed Armory, which is across the street from part of the Columbia Presbyterian Hospital campus. The W 168 St/B'way Station is on the corner of the street where the hospital and Shelter are located. Many of the Shelter users have criminal records and/or mental illness; policy states they cannot spend all day inside the Shelter. This neighborhood's flavor is also influenced by the local Dominican Republic population, many of whom are not legally in the USA. The staff at the hospital generally live in hospital-owned housing which is not located in the midst of the hospital campus hub, but rather at the periphery of the area; or in other neighborhoods in Manhattan (Upper West Side, Upper East Side, Greenwich Village); or outside the area altogether, in Harlem, the outer boroughs of the City, Westchester County, NY or the state of NJ.
    HARLEM: This is divided into East and West by a series of Parks (Central, Morningside, and St Nicholas). Racially, East Harlem = Puerto Rican "Spanish Harlem" and West Harlem = "Black Harlem", or just plain "Harlem". Over the past twenty years, skyrocketing housing prices have led to re-gentrification of what have long been poverty zones on both sides of Harlem; which has opened convenient options for those who work in Manhattan, but has not eliminated elements of inner city living that are of serious concern to certain demographics (single women, families with small children, people who come and go from home late at night).

    The City is loaded with vermin: cockroaches, Norway rats, and bedbugs. These are impossible to eliminate due to the density of vintage buildings, the constant influx of new people, and the underground havens such as cold water pipelines and the subway tunnels.
    This is what she was explaining to me...it's not an area where one chooses to live because of the safety issue, unless you've been priced out. But I like the fact that you can catch the 1 or A train to midtown or other parts of the city in no time.

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    @ mikhalia how did you like crown heights?

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    @Bithiya- Thanks for the info!! ITA, I am trying to read and do as much research as possible.
    I’ve come across numerous ads for apartments in Red Hook, Bushwick & Brownsville and wondered why they were so cheap… Now I know why ...Also, Staten Island doesn’t seem like a good option. I’ve never considered Queens before, but now I am adding Astoria / Sunnyside to my list…it seems like the commute to midtown Manhattan would be fairly easy. Also, it’s interesting that many people live and work in Queens because I thought that job opportunities would be limited outside of Manhattan and the financial district.… Is that true for Brooklyn as well? Are there any NP’s who work outside of Manhattan in the other boroughs?? I currently work for an accounting firm during the day and part-time as a nursing assistant on the weekends…so it’s good to know that there are job opportunities outside of the city.

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    red hook is up and coming. the closest train station is smith & 9th but i think it's been closed for renovations? the carrol garden station is also somewhat close but it's kind of a hike

    the people i know who lived in that area would bike to the MTA and go from there.
    like most up and coming neighborhoods in nyc theres a mix of artsy types, douchy hipster types, hood types and regular ole working class people who are trying to make a dollar out of 50 cents. there's a few cool places over there (cafes and bars and restaurants) and i thought they were cool but it was too hard to get too unless you lived there and that area is just a ghost town at night except for certain pockets.

    red hook is also the setting for an hp lovecraft stories (horror at red hook) and even in this day when you're walking down there at night it's so easy to see how a horror story can be set there. i got lost once coming home (luckily i was with people) because we were trying to find the bus top to get back to the train, it was so surreal. i was like in space no one can hear you scream but that's probably also true of red hook

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    Quote Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl2012 View Post
    @ mikhalia how did you like crown heights?
    Meh, I guess it was alright; I've lived there before, but was too young to remember. Went to high school there (Clara Barton) and it was "okay" for what it was. Trains nearby, some shopping over by Utica Ave and Eastern Parkway, but it's not somewhere I'd want to live these days. Too busy, too many people back then and I'm sure it's still the same even if the "face" has changed.
    Last edited by Mikalia42; 01-20-2013 at 12:27 PM.


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