(Closed) Ok NYC bees, what areas would I want to live in around Manhattan?

posted 7 years ago in New York City
Post # 3
690 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

That depends on where you will be working. I assume you will be working in an area near Manhattan. I would find out which subways and other transportation are closest to your office and work from there. Some great neighborhoods include:

Queens: Astoria/Long Island City

Brooklyn: Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Park Slope of you are into the stroller scene

Hoboken/Jersey City: If you are looking to buy real estate, you may want to check into the NJ side- way less expensive and more space than Brooklyn. Also a lot of great places to rent and only one stop away from the City on the PATH train or a quick ferry ride. 

Post # 4
8738 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

Do you know where you will be working?

Do you know your budget?

I LOVE the area I live. I live on the edge of Gramercy and the East Village.

Gramercy is beautiful with all the parks and brownstones and the East Village is full of awesome restaurants and bars.

Plus it’s very close to Union Square which has a ton of subway lines.


ETA – Oops sorry, just saw you said “around” Manhattan.

I lived in Astoria Queens for a year and loved it. Great restaurants and bars, easy access into the city on the N/Q line.

I also really like Downtown Brooklyn/Brooklyn Heights/Dumbo area. Lots of great apartments there and only 1 subway stop out of Manhattan (or you can walk across the Brooklyn Bridge).

Post # 5
1013 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Fiance and I are living in the Financial District and we love it. His lease is up in June so we are looking in the same area but closer to the South Seaport!

Post # 6
3142 posts
Sugar bee

When I was contemplating moving there with my ex, we were looking at lofts in Brooklyn.  I adore it there.  The vibe is amazing.

My ex’s Mum lived in mid-town at 53 and 8th or 9th… (can’t remember.. the one with a ton of restaurants) and I loved it there too.  Bonus there was you could walk to so much, yet come home from it all too when you wanted.

Post # 7
2410 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

As a Brooklynite I can tell you that the nabes in BK that make sense depend on what you like:

Williamsburg – trendy

Greenpoint – less trendy and quite cheap but very close to Williamsburg

DUMBO – Right by bridges nice nabe, a bit smallish for my taste

Fort Greene, Carroll Gardens, Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights – pretty nabes, lots of brownstones, lots of restaurants and bars with different vibes depending on the neighbourhood.

*Special mention for Prospect Heights – it is nice in parts but still a bit up and coming so you gotta pick your spots.

All the neighbourhoods I have listed above are sound choices in Brooklyn. You should however be aware the in NYC, brokers often claim the apts are in one area when they are really in another. E.g they might claim an apt is in Williamsburg but it is really in Bushwick.

FYI – All the neighbourhoods mentioned are lovely but you should beware that they often turn out to be more pricey than an apt on the Upper East Side.

Post # 8
556 posts
Busy bee

I lived in Brooklyn Heights right on the promenade. I miss it SO much and it was the best place I ever lived.

Post # 9
3564 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Upper West Side! I’m biased of course–I’ve lived there for the past 4 years. I love it though–it has an amazing neighborhood-y feel and has tons of cute stores and little cafes and restaurants. It’s not super touristy and so it doesn’t feel very crowded. Plus you have Central Park on one side and Riverside Park on the other, so you’re never far from some green, open spaces.

Other areas in the city that are nice are the Village/West Village (but super expensive), and Gramercy (also expensive, unless you go pretty far east). I think that Chelsea can be pretty affordable, and there’s a ton  to do in that area, and it’s close to a lot of trains. I would NOT want to live in the East Village or Lower East Side–way too many bars and drunken people walking around on the weekends, and it’s just a grimy place IMO.

In Brooklyn, I love Brooklyn Heights–reminds me of a cross between the UWS and the Back Bay area in Boston.

In Queens, I grew up in Forest Hills, right by 71st Ave. It’s like a mini-Manhattan–tons to do, lots of stores/restaurants, and you’re steps from the E and F trains, which are express trains that get you into Manhattan in like 15 minutes.

Post # 10
3564 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

@Oneeleven: That’s like Hell’s Kitchen area–also a good place to look actually. TONS of restaurants and tends to be pretty affordable, especially if you look on 9th or 10th Ave.

Post # 11
1876 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@nycbrde2011: I used to live in the FiDi! I love the Seaport!

If you want to be IN Manhattan I highly recommend the Upper East and Upper West Sides. These areas can be more more affordable then Midtown or Downtown (depending on the location obviously). I like that they are quieter and not as hectic and loud as some of the other areas. You feel a little bit removed from all the action – which to me is a good thing. If you want to go out a lot I recommend looking in Murray Hill or the village. Every nieghboorhood has it’s own personality.

I’m bored so I’ll give you a mini-breakdown of the areas.


Financial District: Close to the water, lots of business shut down earlier, busy busy during rush hour, empty during “off” hours besides tourists. Good places to look: Battery Park City, South St. Seaport

Chinatown/Little Italy: You don’t want to live here. Loud, tourist filled. Visit for lunch and that’s it.

Lower East Side (LES): One of the city’s newer “hip” hoods. Lots of bars, restaurants, etc. Very hipster.

SoHo: Great shopping, lots going on. Very hip and trendy. Very pricey – and apartments are generally really small for the price.

East Village: Artsy, great restaurants, cool bar scene, very NYU. Check out Stuy-Town, very cool place to live.

West Village: Lots of bars, less “artsy” then the East side. Beautiful brownstones. Very very pricey.

Union Sq: Nice area. Lots of shopping. Pricey (big surprise).

MeatPacking District: Clubbing headquarters. If that’s you’re scene it’d be a cool place to live, personally it’s not my scene.


Gramercy: Residential for still being a downtown area. Nice restaurants, Madison Sq Park is nice. If you work in Midtown you’ll have a really short commute!

Murray Hill: Murray Hill is a very young neighborhood. Lots of young-single-20-somethings. Big bar scene. Apartments aren’t cheap but a lot of people cram into a 1-bedroom (turn it into a 2 or 3 bedroom) and make do.

Midtown: Say from 34 – 59th St – personally I wouldn’t live here at all. Very busy. Lots of offices, not residential. Too hectic and crazy for my taste. There are some nice buildings though so maybe someone else will have a better expeirence.


Upper East Side: East of Lexington Ave you can find a really great deal. Also lots of great restaurants along 2nd Ave. Close to Central Park and a good mix of city life + quieter not so crazyness.

Upper West Side: Really fun place to be (if I do say so myself!). Close to the Park. Charming buildings. Good restaurants and a nice general attitude among the residents.

Harlem and beyond: Honestly I don’t have enough experience with these areas to comment.

Outer-Boroughs (some good places to consider)

Brooklyn Heights

Park Slope


Long Island City


Cobble Hill

Hope that all helps!!



Post # 12
34 posts
  • Wedding: July 2012

I was born and raised in South Brooklyn, not far from Coney Island, and I still have a soft spot for that area (best pizza in the world) but not great for commuting to Manhattan.  Long train ride.


I’m in Hells Kitchen in Manhattan now and I like this area.  It’s pretty quiet and walking distance to everything.  I had to see a LOT of crap apartments before I found mine.  Be careful, a lot of brokers try and sell you stuff that is either above the port authority or Lincoln Tunnel.

In Queens, I love Astoria/LIC and it’s really great for commuting in and out of Manhattan.  Plus they have not one but two great beer gardens (and many many nice restaurants.)

Honestly, I really think you need to just go out and explore each area and really take a good look when you see a place.  They are so funny with their words/ads. “Up and coming area” is a classic term that brokers like to use.  They’ll use it on the best and the worst areas lol. 

Good luck!





Post # 13
1645 posts
Bumble bee

I have experience with the area above Harlem!!

Inwood/Washington Heights is fantastic. Mostly residential with families, and the further up you go the more greenery. There’s no shortage of dog parks, etc. Plus the Cloisters are up there. Lots of wooded space. 

And the apartments? They’re BIGGER and CHEAPER. People really underrate living in the heights and above. They’re scared of the commute for some reason. That’s just stupid. It’s 15-20 minutes on the A-train (express) when headed to mid-town. YES when the train is running local it’s a pain, but every train runs local at some point. And it’s a pain to get out to Queens or Brooklyn at these times as well, so I hate it when people stick up their noses at upper Manhattan in favor of riding all the way out to Forest Hills or something. 

Give upper Manhattan a chance. Sure I’d love to live at 72nd and Central Park West, but right now I can’t afford that. So if you’re looking for some bang for your buck, check out what’s north of 170th!

Post # 15
2208 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

You got a ton of great advice so Ill keep mine brief – I lived UES for 4 years.  Just recently moved to Hoboken. Weehawken has some great house rentals as well.  Ive never lived in any of the other areas, but if you are looking for IN nyc, I loooooved the UES.  Neighborhood-ish, cheaper than a lot of other areas, and bigger apts (from my experience.)  Good luck!

Post # 16
43 posts
  • Wedding: January 2012

I can also vouch for Astoria – lived there for 3 years, loved it. Great restaurants and 15 minutes to Midtown.

I live further out in Queens now in Forest Hills – 18 minutes on LIRR and about 35 on subway. Very residential, mostly large Tudor single family homes and co-ops if you’re looking for something a bit more suburban within NYC.

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