mvot

  • Local Expert 1,250 points
  • Reviews 20
  • Questions 0
  • Answers 0
  • Discussions 0

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"Pretty good 'hood on the Upper West Side for affordable rents"

Manhattan Valley is part of the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It runs from about West 96th to 110th Streets from Central Park West to Broadway, so it's a bit in the center of the west side. In other words, it doesn't run all the way west. This incorporates Manhattan Avenue (which runs north from 100th Street), Columbus Avenue, and Amsterdam Avenue. In the past, parts of this area (farthest west in the neighborhood) were well-known for drug traffic. Like most of Manhattan, however, in the last 10-20 years, gentrification has changed the face of this 'hood to a large degree.

Central Park West, of course, is the pricier and more upscale part of the neighborhood. So, this small 'hood is actually quite different depending on where you are within it. Nevertheless, if you want to live on the Upper West Side, this is one of the least expensive areas. The farther north you go in the UWS, the better prices you'll find for apartments. There are numerous beautiful brownstones left, too.

Check out the immediate area of the apartment you're considering, making sure that it's truly safe. But for the most part, this isn't a bad neighborhood at all, and you're within just a few blocks of what I consider the best neighborhood in Manhattan – the Upper West Side just south of Manhattan Valley.

There's a well-known youth hostel and some housing projects in this area, as well as some nightlife and decent restaurants. Meanwhile, Broadway is filled with shopping opportunities.
Pros
  • affordable rents
  • close to Columbia
  • Good, reasonable restaurants abound
  • Live music bars provide much entertainment
Cons
  • crime rates
  • hilly streets
  • still a little gritty
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
Just now

"Quiet, inexpensive, island off Manhattan, but a bit boring"

Technically, Roosevelt Island is a part of Manhattan, but Manhattanites don't think of it that way. After all, it's a separate island. I used to live within eye-shot of the Roosevelt Island tram which is like a ski lift over the East River by the Queensboro Bridge at East 59th Street. You can also access Roosevelt via the F subway line from Manhattan; there's only one station there.

Roosevelt is a small island; from what I've read, it's about two miles in length. Mostly, it's a bunch of high-rise apartment complexes. One of the nicest things about this island is that part of it is free of traffic. There are bus lines and a few cars, however. There are quite a few families living there, and it's decidedly middle class – not super upscale, but nice. There are at least a couple of schools on the island, and it has its own library and newspaper.

For the people who live on Roosevelt, it's an escape from the speed of Manhattan, much like Broad Channel Island. For those who are accustomed to living in Manhattan proper, the idea of living on Roosevelt is just plain odd. So, it's a matter of what you're looking for. You'll need to do most of your shopping in Manhattan, and there isn't much in the way of nightlife on the island. But the good news is you can find a more spacious apartment for a lower rent without having to go too far out into the outer boroughs.
Pros
  • good for families
  • small town atmosphere
  • quiet
  • safe
Cons
  • boring
  • isolated
  • no nightlife
  • Poor retail options
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"Newly pricey private residential area"

Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village jointly make a private residential area on the lower east side of Manhattan. This is quite a historical area, especially with regard to the early days of New York City when the Dutch settled. (Peter Cooper founded Cooper Union where Abraham Lincoln gave a key speech.) The development runs from East 14th to East 23rd Streets and is far on the eastern part of Manhattan from First Avenue to Avenue C in Alphabet City. Stuyvesant Square and Stuyvesant High School are very well-known, and Beth Israel Medical Center is in this area.

They started constructing the current apartment buildings in the 1940s, and they were reasonably priced in the past. There are some larger apartments here, but they're decidedly pricey now thanks to a recent sale of the real estate. One-bedroom units go for about $3,000 and up a month. There's controversy here, too. Lawsuits have been filed because the new landlord is trying to charge higher rents of the current tenants.

Personally, I'm not all that fond of this area and wouldn't want to live here, especially since the controversy really rubs me the wrong way. And now that the rents have become so high, I couldn't consider it if I wanted to.
Cons
  • once affordable apartments made into luxury condos
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"Nice small neighborhood near SoHo and the Village"

Nolita stands for north of Little Italy. This is a tiny neighborhood in southern Manhattan that runs from about Houston Street to Broome Street and east to west from the Bowery to Lafayette Street. It's below NoHo and east of SoHo. Like Little Italy, it has traditionally been inhabited by Italian immigrants, but Manhattan is much more of a mixture of groups these days in almost all areas.

If you're interested in Mafia history, however, you'll definitely find it in Nolita and Little Italy. Like NoHo, the name of Nolita is fairly new. It's a bit of a shock when people start calling an area something you've never heard before, but it's pretty commonly used now. For me, there isn't much difference between NoHo, SoHo, and Nolita. The character definitely changes as you get into Little Italy proper and Chinatown, though.

There's a great old church at Mott and Prince Street, which is St. Patrick's Old Cathedral. Definitely give it a look. I only saw it for the first time last year and realized that I should have checked it out many years ago. The building you'll probably recognize most is the Puck Building at Houston and Lafayette. They used this building's exteriors for Grace's design office in the TV show, Will & Grace. I come to this neighborhood a lot because one of my favorite restaurants is here – Rice on Elizabeth Street. One thing's for sure: You won't find cheap apartments in this area (although it isn't the most expensive 'hood in NYC either), but if you search hard enough, you might get lucky enough to find a deal.
Pros
  • Great restaurants
  • Fantastic central location
  • Great bars
  • Very pretty
Cons
  • Crazy expensive
  • Tiny apartments
  • Tourist mobs on weekends
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"Nice neighborhood bordering SoHo, East Village, and Greenwich Village"

NoHo stands for north of Houston Street (just like SoHo stands for south of Houston Street). It's a neighborhood in southern Manhattan that runs up to Astor Place (8th Street) and west to east from Broadway to the Bowery. More or less, it's between Greenwich Village and the East Village. Like SoHo, it's filled with lofts, so apartments here are very much in demand. Good luck if you snag one (especially if you can actually afford it!)

This area used to be a bit seedy, but that hasn't been the case for a long time. It's a very nice area now, although I still prefer SoHo, even if SoHo is a bit more hoity-toity. For years, I considered this area to be part of SoHo, and I don't think I was alone. Suddenly, people started calling it NoHo. Joseph Papp's Public Theater is in this neighborhood, as well as the Astor Place Theater, where Blue Man Group has been running for years. These theaters are on the lovely stretch of Lafayette Street south of Astor Place (which has a great deal of history, by the way, and is named after John Jacob Astor.)

I'd love to live in this area, but I don't have delusions of being able to afford it, even if a loft became available. If you have the bucks, though, go for it! It's a great place to live, filled with students, professionals, and people in the arts. And it's right next door to SoHo, Nolita, the East Village, and Greenwich Village.
Pros
  • central location
  • close to major transport
  • great bar scene
  • Chic, stylish and very New York
  • excellent restaurants
Cons
  • Expensive to buy and rent because it is so desirable
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
Just now

"One of the first areas I'd look for an apartment"

Morningside Heights is a neighborhood that some say is part of the Upper West Side and others say is north of the Upper West Side. It runs from about 110th Street to 125th Street from Morningside Drive (which becomes Columbus Avenue farther south) to Riverside Drive. This was once a questionable neighborhood, but gentrification has made it much more favorable in recent years.

There are lots of colleges in this neighborhood, the most famous of which, of course, is Columbia University. The Cathedral of St. John the Divine – the most beautiful church in New York City, in my opinion – is also in this neighborhood. If you live there, you'll have the lovely Riverside Park, and the 'hood is just northwest of the northernmost border of Central Park near the Harlem Meer. Not bad! I live pretty far from this neighborhood now and almost never get up there, but when I do, I always appreciate it.

If you're a tourist, you'll definitely want to check out the Cathedral and Tom's Restaurant at Broadway and West 112th Street, the famous restaurant featured in Seinfeld (well, the outside of the restaurant, anyway.) The 'hood has a pedigree, too: George Gershwin and F. Scott Fitzgerald lived there back in the day, and George Carlin grew up there.

While no apartments in Manhattan are what you'd call cheap by standards elsewhere, you can still find some deals in this neighborhood because it's slightly off the beaten track. It's just a few subway stops from midtown or downtown, but if you work on the east side, you might feel like you're commuting from the outer boroughs by the time you get to your business via subway or bus.
Pros
  • feels like a college town
  • Buildings are beautiful
  • family-friendly
  • Home to the stunning Cathedral of St John the Divine
Cons
  • bars are full of students
  • Noisy and crowded, especially if you're not a student
  • Most restaurants located here cater to the student population and are not very good
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
Just now

"Nice part of the Upper East Side"

Yorkville is a neighborhood within the Upper East Side. While I've never lived there, I feel as though I have because I used to sit a friend's dog in this neighborhood, staying at their apartment for extended periods. I'm not entirely sure of the boundaries of this neighborhood, and I doubt they're official. I consider it to run from Third Avenue to the East River from 86th Street to 96th Street. Some people say it runs as far south as 72nd Street, though.

While I'm not that fond of most of the Upper East Side (having lived for 13 years considerably farther south than Yorkville on the UES), I like this area. 86th Street is a main shopping stretch, and there are some great groceries and shops around here. I love Carl Schurz Park on the river. There's a terrific running and biking path, and the mayor's home, Gracie Mansion, is in this park. So, I always felt safe there, even if I walked the dog after dark because there are cops outside the mansion at all times. It's a very pretty area, and there are lots of people walking their dogs. Most people are fairly friendly, too. It's a real neighborhood within the "Yupper" East Side.

It isn't youthful or trendy, though. It's definitely a little bit on the stuffy side, but I found it pretty comfortable and felt safe there. Rents are definitely high but not the absolute highest in the city. There are many very nice buildings with doormen, and you might be able to find a deal if you look hard enough.
Pros
  • Convenient
  • Lots to do but quiet
Cons
  • Only one subway line on Lexington Ave
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
Just now

"Posh and prohibitively expensive"

Sutton Place is a small midtown/Upper East Side neighborhood that stretches only a matter of a few blocks from 53rd to 59th Streets in the far eastern portion of the east side from about Second Avenue to the East River. It has long been known as a very upscale, posh area. If you have a Sutton Place address, there's a certain amount of prestige that goes along with it. Michael Jackson once had a place in this neighborhood, and one of the buildings was built by the Vanderbilts. It has been featured in books and movies for many years, so it has been a symbol of wealth for decades. You'll read about it in "Catcher in the Rye" and hear about it in the movie from the 50s with Marilyn Monroe, "How to Marry a Millionaire." In fact, Marilyn lived in this neighborhood back in the day. It's also used as a symbol of having "made it" in the original "Wall Street" movie. Today, actors, socialites, and designers live here.

Finding an apartment in this area isn't easy. People don't let them go frequently and move elsewhere, and if you do find a place, you can expect to pay plenty. You might be able to find a more affordable place not far from Sutton Place, so you can pretend you actually live there. If you're a tourist, though, it's fun to walk around the neighborhood. It's quite pretty, residential, and located fairly near a lot of other areas you'll be visiting.
Pros
  • Beautiful
  • Quiet
  • Luxurious
Cons
  • Very very expensive
  • Stuffy
  • Hard to get to by public transportation (but to live here, you'd probably have a car and driver)
  • Not much nightlife
  • An eldery population dominates the neighborhood
  • Very snooty co-op boards rule most of the buildings and don't let outsiders in easily
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
Just now

"One of my favorite Manhattan neighborhoods"

The Upper West Side is one of the neighborhoods in Manhattan where I'd most like to live. It has become a bit yuppie over the years, but it's still more hip and has more character than the yuppie Upper East Side. It's also more family friendly. It's a large neighborhood running from the western side of Central Park and 59th Street up to 125th Street. Rents have gone up in this area since the 80s, and that makes it difficult to find reasonably priced apartments. It's simply a very coveted neighborhood.

The restaurants in this area can't be beat. There are tons of great ones, and there's terrific shopping as well. You'll find plenty of grocery stores, chain stores, and little specialty shops. Culturally, it's also a wonderful neighborhood. The American Museum of Natural History (my favorite New York City museum) is in this neighborhood, along with Lincoln Center (home of the Metropolitan Opera and New York City Ballet), the American Folk Art Museum, the New York Historical Society, the Beacon Theater, and Symphony Space, just to name a few. Columbus Circle is also in this area.

The Dakota, where John Lennon was shot, is in this neighborhood, and as you move farther west, it really does feel like a neighborhood – moreso than most areas on the Upper East Side. I hate to compare, but I just prefer the west even though the longest I've lived in any Manhattan neighborhood was in the UES. And I really don't think it's a "grass as greener" syndrome. I always feel good when I'm on the UWS.
Pros
  • major cultural institutions
  • proximity to Central Park
  • Beautiful
  • great grocery stores
  • Great restaurants
Cons
  • Crowded
  • expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
Just now

"Nice but sterile neighborhood"

I lived on the Upper East Side for 13 years. It starts at 59th Street and goes all the way up to 96th Street from Fifth Avenue all the way east. I lived on the very southern end of the neighborhood which was on the border with midtown. It's a very old school, yuppie-laden, posh neighborhood with expensive restaurants. In fact, 10022, which is one of the "Yupper" East Side's zip codes is the wealthiest in the city and one of the wealthiest in the country.

It's a relatively friendly neighborhood in the less commercial, more residential areas. The rents had gone down in the 90s when I moved in. Because it isn't trendy like the Upper West Side, the rents have not skyrocketed as much as other neighborhoods. That said, you'll have to search for deals because this is still in the middle of Manhattan where there's no such thing as cheap.

The shopping is great in this neighborhood, and if you live off the park, of course, you're lucky and probably not reading this right now. Restaurants tend to be expensive, but the shops aren't all posh because other people do travel to shop here. You'll find Bloomingdale's in this neighborhood, for example. My feeling about a lot of the Upper East Side is that it's largely without character, but there are some less sterile areas, especially in the East 70s.
Pros
  • Relatively clean
  • Great shopping
Cons
  • Expensive restaurants
  • Primarily older yuppie inhabitants
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
Just now

"Expensive, busy, but nice neighborhood"

Turtle Bay may seem like a strange name for a New York City neighborhood (although there are wild turtles in Central Park.) But it's actually a very nice neighborhood in midtown on the east side just south of the Upper East Side. In fact, the upper portions of the neighborhood, especially close to the East River, are quite posh. I know someone who lives in that area, and the buildings have doormen and are really nice and expensive. The people I see in that area are older yuppies, however. There's a younger professional crowd that hangs out in the bars on Lexington and Third Avenues, but I'm not sure they live in the 'hood. They may just be the after work contingent.

The United Nations is in this neighborhood (you will see diplomat cars around), as well as the Chrysler Building, which is across the street from Grand Central Station. So, the western portions of the neighborhood are very convenient and centrally located.

As you move east, it's nicer and more residential, but there is also no subway. Some day (maybe), there will be a Second Avenue subway, but for now, you have to walk to Lexington Avenue for the subway or take a bus. There are a handful of decent grocery stores in this neighborhood, but the rents are far from cheap.
Pros
  • excellent restaurants
  • luxury buildings
Cons
  • high prices
  • nightlife is lame
  • Gridlocked traffic when dignitaries are in town for the U.N. sessions
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
Just now

"Nice neighborhood especially in the SE portion"

Murray Hill runs from East 34th Street to East 42nd Street east from Madison Avenue. I used to work in this neighborhood, so I'm fond of it, although it's very different depending on where you are within the neighborhood. I prefer the 30s from Lexington Avenue east. It's relatively quiet, quaint, and residential with plenty of restaurants, bars, and grocery stores. It isn't trendy, but there's a thriving bar scene on Third Avenue, mostly filled with young professionals. I would also consider this to be a decent area in midtown for families.

If you want Indian food, head to 28th Street also known as "Curry Hill." There are some decent Indian restaurants here alongside some that aren't very good (so choose carefully.) A lot of diplomatic missions are in this neighborhood, too – most of them closer to the East River.

As you go north, you get a bit more upscale on Park Avenue as you reach Grand Central Station, and it's certainly more commercial on Park and especially Madison. If you work in one of the nearby office buildings, though, it would be great to live in this 'hood. You could walk to work, which is always a plus in NYC. But while the rents here aren't the most expensive in the city, there's nothing cheap about them. You're in midtown where you have the convenience of being close to everything, and you'll definitely pay for that.
Pros
  • reasonably quiet
  • Good medical facilities
  • Home to one of Manhattan's 'Little Indias'
  • Close to Grand Central
  • Many good restaurants and bars
Cons
  • Parts are busy and noisy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
Just now

"Commercial, not residential - I wouldn't live here"

Madison Square is "sort of" a neighborhood in midtown Manhattan, but I've never really thought of it as a neighborhood. Still, from what I understand, it's a very small area surrounding Madison Square Park, which is a public park at 23rd Street where Fifth Avenue and Broadway meet. It isn't a very pretty park, nor is it very big or all that green. But it's historical, as it was built in the 1800s, and it was refurbished in 2001. What I can say about this area is that it's very busy, very noisy, and not a place I'd want to live. I think of it as totally commercial and not remotely residential.

That said, the shopping is great around Madison Square, and I often find myself in the area to buy things. The architecture in the vicinity is pretty interesting as well. You might think that Madison Square Garden is in this neighborhood, but not anymore. It used to be, but now, it's farther north in the West 30s.

There are some good restaurants in Madison Square. Everybody mentions Shake Shack, so if you're a burger lover, go stand in line. Of course, Shake Shack isn't really a restaurant; it's a food stand. If you do choose to live in this neighborhood, count on paying a lot for your apartment, but it's certainly convenient to all areas of Manhattan – just a few steps or subway stops from anything and everything.
Pros
  • Excellent shopping located nearby along Fifth avenue
  • good transport connections
  • The area is home to some great restaurants like Tabla and A Voce
Cons
  • Crowded
  • Expensive rents
  • Not many grocery stores in the area but small delis abound
  • Too many cars around
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
Just now

"Upscale, expensive, and yuppie neighborhood"

Lenox Hill is an Upper East Side neighborhood from about 60th Street to 77th Street. It isn't considered to go farther east than Lexington Avenue, and it runs west to about Fifth Avenue. The area is famous for Lenox Hill Hospital, which has catered to some stars. Miranda Richardson was treated there before her death. Don't think this means it's a fabulous hospital, though. It's average at best. Still, this neighborhood is decidedly upscale and caters to the wealthy, especially in the areas closer to Central Park. In other words, a Fifth Avenue or Park Avenue address will cost you big time. As you move east outside of Lenox Hill, you will find slightly more affordable rents.

It's a beautiful area containing some great museums, and it can even be quiet in parts considering that it's very much in the middle of everything. As you would expect, the stores and restaurants tend to be a bit more expensive and upscale as well in order to cater to the neighborhood inhabitants. For groceries, you might have to travel to at least Lexington Avenue. From what I understand, there aren't a lot of apartments available in Lenox Hill, as it isn't the kind of neighborhood where people let their apartments go. If you have one, believe me, you keep it!
Pros
  • The Park
  • Populated with wonderful cultural institutions -the Asia Society, the Whitney, the Frick Collection
  • Shopping
  • The neighborhood has some great restaurants il Riccio, Candle, Bella Blu, Terra Mare, Fred's at Barneys,Alice's Tea cup
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Dead at night
  • A bit snooty
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"Nice neighborhood near midtown"

Kips Bay is a Manhattan neighborhood on the east side from about 23rd Street to 34th Street. Generally, it runs east from Lexington Avenue, although I don't think these neighborhood markers are official. This is a nice neighborhood that is far enough east to actually feel residential. (As you go toward the center of Manhattan, it becomes more commercial.) It can even be relatively quiet in Kips Bay compared to a lot of areas in Manhattan. Yet, there's plenty of shopping and things to do (although not a great deal of nightlife.) The grocery stores are pretty good in most of this neighborhood, and there are movie theatres and bars.

This isn't a cheap neighborhood. After all, it's pretty much right in the center of everything in Manhattan, and that location comes at a price. But if you can afford it or share a place with others, it can be a great place to live, especially if you work in midtown on the east side, as many people do. There are tons of office buildings in this part of town, some of them even on Lexington Avenue or Third Avenue. The majority, however, are on Park Avenue South, Madison Avenue, and Fifth Avenue. If you work there, you'll only have a few blocks to walk or one or two subway stops to get to work.

This is also a great neighborhood for restaurants. As one of the other reviews said, it isn't a trendy neighborhood, and the apartments tend to be small. But it's still a nice area. I'd live in Kips Bay in a heartbeat.
Pros
  • Kips Bay is home to some good restaurants like Alibaba and Ethos
  • Great views
  • Movie theatre proximity
  • Nice Buildings
Cons
  • No distiinct ambience, can be best described as a mish mash
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Just now

"Fascinating history - just proceed with caution"

Harlem is famous for great music but also for its crime rate. While there is still more crime in Harlem than in many neighborhoods in Manhattan, it has dropped significantly in recent years. And so much music was born in these blocks in the northern part of Manhattan that it gives me goose bumps whenever I'm there. The Cotton Club and the Savoy Ballroom used to be there, and Duke Ellington once walked the streets. The Apollo still stands as a testament to the vibrant arts community that thrived during what has become known as the Harlem Renaissance. It's still exciting to see a show at the Apollo and just imagine what it must have been like back in the day. If you like soul food, you can find great restaurants in Harlem, too.

Even though it's famous as an African-American neighborhood, that is a 20th century phenomenon, and the name of Harlem actually comes from the early Dutch settlers. Some fascinating architecture remains, and there are some great churches as well.

Modern day gentrification has been gradually taking place for more than ten years now. New apartments resulted, and prices went up. It's still a less expensive neighborhood than the majority in Manhattan, and there's a real family atmosphere. Just be careful about the immediate vicinity where you decide to move. Ask around about its safety before you sign a lease.
Pros
  • Good transportation
  • Rich history
Cons
  • Dangerous
  • Dirty in places
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Just now

"Affordable but with some crime"

Hamilton Heights is an uptown Manhattan neighborhood between Harlem and Washington Heights. Technically, it's supposed to run from 135th to 155th Streets, and it's named after Alexander Hamilton. The area has become increasingly diverse as it continues to gentrify, attracting young professionals and students because of its lower rents. You'll find City College of New York in this neighborhood.

Like Washington Heights and Inwood, the apartments are often larger in this neighborhood than in other parts of Manhattan, so it's well suited to families who need more space. The downside is there isn't much to do in the area, although there is Dance Theatre of Harlem and a handful of music clubs. Grocery and incidental shopping is ever so slightly cheaper than farther downtown, but you won't be able to find some specialty items. Luckily, you aren't far from the more happening areas of Manhattan (just a few subway stops), so you don't have to travel far for entertainment or the items you may need to buy.

While Hamilton Heights has become safer over the last few years, it still has a higher crime rate than many neighborhoods. So, exercise caution as you're looking for an apartment. Ask residents if the immediate area around your proposed building is safe. At night, you should be careful, especially if you're female.
Pros
  • affordable rents
  • No great restaurants though cheap food abounds
  • close to Columbia
  • Parks add a green factor
Cons
  • far from downtown
  • dead at night
  • Crime rates have skyrocketed especially crimes against young women
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
Just now

"Nice neighborhood just north of the Village"

The Flatiron District is a Manhattan neighborhood in the 20s that is named after the Flatiron Building. I'm in this area on almost a weekly basis, and I like it a lot. It's a fairly busy neighborhood, but I'm told the apartments are quite nice. And if you're a tourist, stroll around for the shopping and the architecture. I love the clock at 200 Fifth Avenue and the famous golden pyramid at the top of the Met Life Tower.

I do quite a lot of shopping on Sixth Avenue in this area. There's a mall that includes Bed Bath & Beyond and T.J. Maxx. You'll also find a Burlington Coat Factory, Old Navy, and Staples on Sixth Avenue, among many other stores. Fifth Avenue also has a wealth of great stores, although they tend to be pricier than the ones on Sixth Avenue. There are plenty of restaurants and other service businesses, too, like shoe repair places and nail salons.

The Flatiron District borders Gramercy Park and Chelsea, and it's just a few blocks from Union Square, which is a major hub in the southern part of Manhattan. The nightlife is a bit limited, but you're so close to Greenwich Village and other areas with happening nightlife that you don't need it right in the Flatiron District itself.
Pros
  • Great shopping
  • Interesting architecture
Cons
  • A bit on the commercial side
  • Nightlife limited
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Just now

"Busy during the day, quiet at night"

The Financial District of Manhattan is an exciting neighborhood. Of course, it's where the World Trade Center existed prior to the attacks on 9/11, but there's much more to the area than that. It's where Wall Street is located, the New York Stock Exchange, and the famous bull sculpture. What a lot of people don't know is that this is where the Dutch first settled New York. It's so rich with history that it deserves a lot of attention from both tourists and locals. I ignored this history for years, and when I discovered it, I became totally fascinated.

Check out the Fraunces Tavern and Museum. Washington spent time there, and the museum has some of his artifacts. My favorite street in the Financial District is Stone Street off Coenties Ally – the first paved street in New York City. Today, it's lined with restaurants and is an old world pedestrian block. Delmonico's on Beaver Street is purportedly the first restaurant in America. George Washington was inaugurated as our first president where today's Federal Hall National Monument stands at 26 Wall Street. And that's just the beginning. Don't miss Trinity Church and St. Paul's Chapel either.

This area is a must-see for tourists and history buffs, and it isn't bad for living either, although it isn't the most affordable neighborhood in Manhattan. More people are moving into the area, and there are more grocery stores in what used to be an almost exclusively commercial 'hood.
Pros
  • Affordable rents
  • Many streets are undiscovered by tourists, still charming and quiet
  • Some relatively unknown good restaurants and pubs
Cons
  • Boring
  • Mostly commercial/business
  • No nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
Just now

"Affordable but still somewhat crime-ridden neighborhood"

East Harlem is actually Spanish Harlem, a traditionally Latino neighborhood (largely Puerto Rican) that has gentrified a bit in recent years and become slightly more diverse. It runs on the east side of upper Manhattan from 96th Street up to the Harlem River. Al Pacino hails from this neighborhood, as well as singer Marc Anthony.

You'll find a bunch of museums in this area on what is known as Museum Mile, which runs through part of East Harlem and extends south of the neighborhood. El Museo del Barrio contains Latin American art and is located at Fifth Avenue and 104th Street. The wonderful Museum of the City of New York is one block south on the avenue at 103rd Street.

East Harlem has had crime problems and has been known as a neighborhood for the poor, but the crime rate has improved at least a bit in recent years. Today, you'll find both housing projects and luxury buildings in the area. It's still more affordable than most of Manhattan, but if you decide to live here, you should thoroughly check out the immediate area around the apartments you're considering. Ask questions of the locals about safety, and make sure there's a grocery nearby, as the neighborhood doesn't really have enough.
Pros
  • affordable rents
  • the new shopping mall at 125th which has the city's only Costco outlet and Manhattan's first Target
  • Great South/Central American restaurants
  • East Harlem hosts the bulk of the city's Charter schools
  • close to Columbia
Cons
  • crime rates
  • far from downtown
  • Dirty
  • terrible grocery stores
  • Still a bit dingy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
Just now

"Going to court? This is the place!"

The Civic Center neighborhood of Manhattan isn't really what I'd call a neighborhood. It's more of a district filled with court buildings. If you work for the city or the courts, it's a great place to live because you have no commute. But there aren't a lot of apartment possibilities in this small area other than a handful of high rises.

Primarily, this area is for going to court, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, or visiting Pace University. Pace is where "Inside the Actors Studio" is filmed, and there are frequent events there worth attending even if you aren't a student. Of course, the Civic Center is also a prime tourist area. You can have someone take your picture on the famous court steps and pretend you're Sam Waterston in "Law and Order."

The buildings here are stately and infinitely photogenic, and as long as I've lived in NYC, I never tire of seeing the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge. In summer, it's a lovely walk over the water. The Civic Center area borders the Financial District, and the South Street Seaport is sometimes considered to be a part of the neighborhood. The Seaport is a must-see for tourists and a lot of fun in general. It can be crowded, but it's right on the water. Locals even brave the crowds to go there.
Pros
  • South Street Seaport
  • You can get married here
  • You'll probably end up here on jury duty at some point
Cons
  • dead at night
  • Few restaurants outside of the South Street Seaport area
  • not really residential
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Tourists
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
Just now

"Beautiful, trendy but relatively quiet neighborhood"

Tribeca (which stands for the triangle below Canal Street) is a beautiful part of Manhattan that Robert DeNiro has made famous by naming his restaurant after it and starting a film festival in the neighborhood after 9/11. Tribeca is just north of the Financial District on the west side, so it suffered a bit after the attacks on the nearby World Trade Center.

The neighborhood was primarily industrial until the 1960s. Then, like SoHo, artists started to move into the area, using the empty commercial spaces. As a result, it slowly gentrified and became a hip, upscale neighborhood. It isn't as youthful as SoHo, Greenwich Village, or the East Village, but it has great restaurants and shops. Its proximity to the Hudson River can make it windy, though. A good friend of mine lives there, and whenever I visit her, I get pummeled by the wind as I walk toward the river.

A lot of famous people have lived or live in Tribeca. The most visible famous resident was John F. Kennedy, Jr. He may even be partially responsible for its resurgence, as his presence gave the neighborhood even more allure. Rents are not inexpensive in Tribeca, but you might be able to find something within your price range. It's certainly a great neighborhood to live in for just about anyone.
Pros
  • Loft apartments
  • Celebrity residents
  • World class restaurants
Cons
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 1/5
Just now

"A Tourist Mecca but don't get stuck here!"

Times Square is the tourist heart of New York City. To my knowledge, there are no apartments in this immediate vicinity. The closest residential neighborhood is Hell's Kitchen. So, if you're in Times Square, one of three things is true of you: You have the misfortune of working in an office building in the area, you're a local on the way to a show, or you're a tourist. Locals actually avoid Times Square like the dentist chair. In fact, when I have to go into the area for a show, I allow extra time just to get through the pedestrian crowds from the subway to my destination.

That said, if you're a tourist, it's a lot of fun to be in Times Square. Don't spend your entire visit here, however, and think you've seen New York. While too much of Manhattan is becoming filled with chain stores and restaurants, this area is more ridden with these kinds of businesses than the rest of the city. I assume that most tourists have an Olive Garden in their own back yard, so why not walk a couple of blocks over to Ninth Avenue where you can eat at an authentic Italian restaurant with excellent food? All it takes is to walk that one block or two, and you're in the real New York. If you think you'll be spending more for your meal in the "real New York," think again. Times Square is overpriced for tourists. You'll get better prices at the better restaurants. It's a strange New York phenomenon, but it's true.

In other words, have your fun in Times Square. Take pictures of the lights, enjoy the hoards of people, and see shows. But be sure to see other parts of the city that are really what makes it tick.
Pros
  • at least it's iconic
  • Proximity to theatre district
  • Well connected by the NYC subway
Cons
  • Noisy, crowded, dirty
  • Chain restaurants
  • everything's overpriced for tourists
  • few authentic, non-tourist bars
  • Tourist infested
Recommended for
  • Tourists
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
Just now

"Highly coveted but expensive neighborhood in Manhattan"

SoHo (which stands for south of Houston Street) is an artsy neighborhood in the southern part of Manhattan. It's hard to imagine that it was once full of brothels and factories. As long as I can remember, it has been upscale and hip, known for its huge loft apartments, narrow streets, and historic cast iron architecture. If someone says they have a "loft in Soho," Manhattanites will inevitably "ooh" and "ahh". In the 1960s and 70s, these lofts were cheap because they were converted industrial spaces. In the 80s, that began to change, and SoHo slowly became the upscale, expensive neighborhood that it is today.

Soho in 2010 is a prime shopping area with lots of small boutiques and art galleries. It's expensive, but even if you don't buy, you'll love strolling these beautiful streets filled with character and history. You can find great food and original clothing that you won't find anywhere else. It's worth it just for the window shopping. The nightlife in SoHo is pretty good, too, and the neighborhood is conveniently located near both Greenwich Village and the East Village.

As far as living here, it isn't an easy proposition, but if you have the bucks, you can probably find something fabulous. For most people, however, living in SoHo is a pipe dream.
Pros
  • great designer shopping
  • gorgeous buildings
  • great bar scene
  • central to everything
  • Loft style living
Cons
  • Crowded
  • expensive
  • Lots of tourists
  • artists who were the original inhabitants of Soho are being shut out of the neighborhood which has been bought over by wealthy financiers.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Just now

"Expensive but exquisite part of Manhattan"

Carnegie Hill is a gorgeous upscale Manhattan neighborhood on the Upper East Side. It runs from 86th Street to about 96th Street and is central on the east side from Fifth Avenue at Central Park to Third Avenue. Some of New York City's most beautiful architecture is in this section of the city. If you're on Fifth Avenue, you'll overlook Central Park, and it can't get any better than that.

You'll find the old Andrew Carnegie mansion here, which now houses the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, and you'll find the Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The real estate is highly coveted and very, very expensive. Nevertheless, it's largely family oriented, and the schools are purported to be some of the best in the city.

There isn't much in the way of nightlife here. You'll need to go farther east, to the west side, or downtown for that. The 92nd Street Y offers lots to do from a cultural perspective, however, especially if you get tired of the museums. There are always lectures, concerts, and classes available there for all ages.

For shopping, you won't find much on Fifth Avenue. You'll need to walk east for groceries and incidentals, but anyone with a Fifth Avenue address doesn't mind that walk. An address on Fifth Avenue in this area is a bit like owning a rare diamond.
Pros
  • Beautiful
  • Gorgeous architecture
  • major museums
  • great schools
Cons
  • astronomical rents
  • No nightlife
  • Crowded
  • stodgy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Just now

"Great place for a special meal, but not for apartments"

The Meatpacking District of Manhattan is so-called because it was the home of more than 200 slaughterhouses at the turn of the 20th century. Fast forward 30 years ago, and you would find a seedy neighborhood filled with prostitution and drugs. As has been the case with most Manhattan neighborhoods, though, it began to gentrify in the 90s and has become an upscale area with exclusive restaurants like Jean-Georges Vongerichten's fantastic restaurant, Spice Market. In other words, these days, it's a happening 'hood, especially for dining and nightlife.

Part of the new High Line green space is in the neighborhood, and there is also a downtown Whitney Museum in the area. Because of the Meatpacking District's proximity to Greenwich Village, apartments aren't nearly as inexpensive as they once were and are pretty much only available on the fringes of the neighborhood. Most of the area is zoned for commercial use. During the last decade, apartments have gone like hot cakes in this up and coming, trendy area. So, if you want to live there, good luck finding anything at all, let alone something you can afford.

If you're a tourist or a new resident of the city, though, definitely check out this neighborhood. If you can afford a meal, do it because the restaurants include some of the best in the city.
Pros
  • Restaurants
  • Hip and trendy
Cons
  • Expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Schools 2/5
Just now

"Good for everything but living!"

Midtown Manhattan is not so much a neighborhood as a force of nature – or a force of mankind, I should say. There's very little natural about it. Don't get me wrong; I love midtown. It's the pulse of New York City, and it's great for tourists. It's also great if you need to shop or do business. But it certainly isn't for living.

Some other neighborhoods are technically considered to be in midtown (as opposed to uptown or downtown), but they are west or east of the central avenues of Fifth Avenue, Broadway, Madison Avenue, Park Avenue, and much of Sixth Avenue (aka Avenue of the Americas). There are some residences in this central midtown area, but for the most part, it's a commercial neighborhood with office buildings, stores, and landmarks. This is where tourists go – and should go. It's where you'll find Times Square, the theater district, the giant Toys R Us store, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, Radio City Music Hall, and Rockefeller Center.

But I can't imagine living in this area. It's entirely too expensive, crowded, and noisy. The truth is that locals only go into midtown proper to see a show, go to work, or shop. We steer clear of touristy areas otherwise because we're trying to get from point A to point B, not stroll and look around. Whenever I have to go near Times Square, I cringe because I know I'll have to fight crowds of tourists to get where I'm going. But as I said, this is the life blood of New York, so you've gotta love it.
Pros
  • Transportation
  • beaux-arts architecture
  • Byrant Park
  • The Grand building of the New York Public Library
Cons
  • Crowded
  • Tourists
  • everything's overpriced for tourists
  • Absence of good grocery stores in the area
Recommended for
  • Tourists
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
Just now

"Lively, vibrant neighborhood that's still funky"

The Lower East Side of Manhattan has changed enormously in the last 30 years. It used to be quite seedy, and Alphabet City (Avenues A, B, C, and D, which are east of First Avenue) was well-known as the place for drug addicts. But that has mostly changed. Today, it's a hip yuppy atmosphere for the most part with fine restaurants alongside a few stores that maintain the neighborhood's original funky character and immigrant roots. There are quite a few historical synagogues in the area, too.

The Lower East Side is still a bit up and coming, and it's trendy enough that rents are not all that cheap anymore. I have become very fond of the area. In years past, I didn't feel safe walking around a lot of this neighborhood at night. That's no longer the case, so I often find myself in the area having dinner with someone. The gentrification has been a bit distressing to those who want to hold on to the neighborhood's history, and I can understand that. But I appreciate the fact that it's a safer place to be now, and it's still a youthful and vibrant neighborhood.

If you're a health nut, this is your 'hood. I suspect there are more health food stores in this area, many of which specialize in raw foods, than any other in the city. In fact, if I need raw foods beyond what the average health food store carries, this is where I go.
Pros
  • great bar scene
  • great music venues
  • Great restaurants
  • nice mix of old and new
  • A wonderful sense of history
  • Lots of energy
  • Home to the Tenement Museum which catalogues the history of NYC's immigrants
  • The Essex Street Market
Cons
  • far from subway
  • Loud all the time
  • Rising rents
  • Rapid gentrification is destroying the soul of the neighborhood
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
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"Great for a visit, but don't live here"

Little Italy is a small neighborhood in Manhattan with tons of character and history. Mulberry Street is the main street in the area, and it's always busy. I have friends who live on the street, and they complain about the noise and crowds. You especially don't want to live there during the annual Feast of San Gennaro, when the neighborhood is overrun with people. If you don't mind the crowds, though, it's certainly a fun time to visit Little Italy.

It's a very touristy neighborhood that is packed with Italian restaurants. It borders Chinatown, though, so when you get tired of pasta, you can always take a short walk for dim sum. That walk toward Chinese food has gotten shorter and shorter as Chinatown continues to expand into Little Italy. These days, there isn't much left of the neighborhood really except for Mulberry Street.

There's a lot of mafia history in Little Italy, if you care to read about it. It's fascinating stuff. For tourists, Mulberry Street is a must. The restaurants are basic Italian, but the food is usually pretty good. It's also a great place to get Italian pastry and gelato, especially in summer when numerous street vendors line the sidewalk. But for living? I wouldn't want to live in this neighborhood. It's just too busy and dirty.
Pros
  • close to major transport
  • Cute streets
  • affordable rents
  • You won't go hungry
Cons
  • Crowded
  • noisy at all times of the day and night
  • pushy, in your face restaurant folk who try to lure unsuspecting tourists into their establishments
  • Dirty
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
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Editors Choice

"Affordable, but be careful where you settle"

Washington Heights is a neighborhood in the far north of Manhattan Island starting from about 155th Street and going north to Inwood around 191st Street. I lived in the upper portion of Washington Heights for a couple of years near the border with Inwood, and the truth is that this area is very different from the southern portion of Washington Heights. Farther south in the neighborhood, the crime rate is worse, although it has steadily improved since the 80s.

On the plus side, the rents are cheaper in Washington Heights, and you can often find larger apartments. My place was huge – the largest apartment I've ever had. On the down side, you need to be careful where you live and try to find out if the blocks surrounding your apartment are truly safe. It can change within a matter of a block or two.

When I lived in this neighborhood, I was heckled a great deal by men, so for women, it can be a bit uncomfortable. It's a downscale area with lots of discount stores, and the prices are definitely a bit less than in midtown for groceries and household items. That said, there are many families and children in Washington Heights, and it has a lot of character. There are also a lot of Spanish-speaking people, so if you speak the language, you'll fit in well. (The musical "In the Heights" is set in Washington Heights.)

If you need to frequently visit Fort Lee, New Jersey, this is a very convenient area for it because you're very near the George Washington Bridge which leads right to Fort Lee. You can take a bus across the bridge from the Port Authority Bus Terminal for about a buck.
Pros
  • affordable rents
  • close to Columbia
Cons
  • far from downtown
  • Crime rates continue to be a problem
  • terrible grocery stores
  • Not much nightlife
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
BS5
BS5 Hardly unsafe... Safer than Soho, Midtown, West Villiage, etc... Only Upper East and West Sides and Inwood are safer.
http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/crime-safety-report/ranking
2yrs+
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
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"Affordable, larger apartments in Inwood"

Inwood is one of the northernmost neighborhoods of Manhattan, which means that most Manhattanites don't even think of it as part of the island. It "feels" like you're living in one of the outer boroughs if you live up there. I lived just three blocks south of Inwood for a while, and it was still like having a commute from midtown. On the plus side? It costs less to take a taxi home late at night than to Brooklyn, Queens, or the Bronx.

Inwood isn't bad, especially if you want a larger apartment that you can actually afford or if you have a family and need more space. There are more large apartments up there than in midtown where space is at such a premium. The shopping is also a bit cheaper (lots of discount stores), and Inwood Hill Park is pretty nice. In fact it's wooded enough that you'll occasionally see raccoons and possums.

The area has become a bit safer, in my experience, over the years, so I wouldn't hesitate to live there. It's definitely preferable to some of the areas south of Inwood in Washington Heights. Inwood is quite hilly, and if you have to walk up and down hills, you could get stuck during a snow. The subways in this neighborhood have elevators to get to the platform. One of them went out while I lived in the area, and it took 20 minutes to walk down the steps.

If you're a tourist, head up to this neighborhood to see the Cloisters, especially if you've become overloaded by the hustle and bustle of midtown. It's very peaceful.
Pros
  • affordable rents
  • The Cloisters and the park
Cons
  • boring
  • far from downtown
  • far from trendy NYC neighborhoods
  • The grocery stores could be better
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
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"New York's Funkiest Neighborhood"

The East Village remains the funkiest neighborhood in Manhattan, even though it has gentrified a great deal over the years (much to the dismay of many long-time residents.) This is where the musicals "Hair" and "Rent" were born and set. This is where Andy Warhol, Quentin Crisp, the Velvet Underground, and my friend, Penny Arcade, walked and developed a lot of their artistry. This is where poor artists lived and took care of each other.

Even now, you can't ask for more character than you'll get in the East Village, but this is changing. The block of St. Mark's Place (which is actually East 8th Street) between Second and Third Avenues is one of my favorite blocks in the city. It has always been home to offbeat shops like Trash & Vaudeville and tons of tattoo and piercing parlors. Today, chain stores are starting to infiltrate and rob the area of its individuality. I hope that they don't take over entirely because it would be heartbreaking for those of us who appreciate the rich 20th century history of this neighborhood.

The area has a history before the 20th century, though. Abraham Lincoln gave an important address at the Great Hall of the Cooper Union. McSorley's Old Ale House on East 7th Street is purported to be the oldest saloon in Manhattan, and on East 2nd Street is the New York Marble Cemetery, the oldest non-sectarian public cemetery in the city.

While all of Manhattan is expensive by the standards in other parts of the country, the East Village still has a few apartments that are more affordable than in other areas of the city. This will continue to change as the neighborhood gentrifies further, so grab your apartment while you can. Of course, this 'hood is not for everyone. It's youthful and better suited for the non-conformist.
Pros
  • legendary downtown music and theater venues
  • Great bohemian legacy
  • Artsy boutiques
  • Cheap, great restaurants
  • center of hip culture
  • inexpensive nightlife scene
  • Very lively and vibrant at night
Cons
  • Noisy
  • Messy and dirty in certain areas
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
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"One of Manhattan's best neighborhoods"

The West Village of Manhattan is really just the westernmost portion of Greenwich Village. I've never actually thought of it as a separate neighborhood, but I guess it's considered as such these days. I love Greenwich Village, and the western part of "the village" – i.e., the "West Village" – is both beautiful and funky. Many of the streets are narrow and curved, having been built in the 18th century. Of course, this is one of the main reasons I love the area, but it isn't the only reason. It's also rich in history – particularly recent history from the 1960s. The Beat Generation and music counterculture centered and thrived in this neighborhood. There is history in the area prior to the 1960s, too, however. I used to hang out at the White Horse Tavern where Dylan Thomas also hung out back in the day.

Besides all of these great attributes, there are absolutely fantastic restaurants, boutiques, and gourmet food shops in the West Village. It's no longer the Bohemian neighborhood of old, but it still has a great deal of character. You can easily walk to the Hudson River at the westernmost border of the neighborhood and watch the boats sail by. This area really does have the best of everything that Manhattan has to offer.
Pros
  • excellent restaurants
  • Beautiful brownstones
  • great bar scene
  • Tons of history
  • Beautiful
Cons
  • expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
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"Idyllic neighborhood in Manhattan"

Greenwich Village is one of my favorite areas of New York City. If I could live wherever I wanted, this neighborhood would be in my top 3 choices. Located in southern Manhattan on the west side and just called "the village" by locals (even though the East Village is a separate neighborhood), a lot of the area is very European looking – hence, it's "villagey" look. This look differs from midtown Manhattan in that the streets are not laid out in a straightforward grid. Many of the streets are narrow and curved. I went Christmas caroling in the neighborhood this year and pretended I was in England. Bedford Street is one of my favorite streets in the area, and the oldest building in the neighborhood is on that street.

Greenwich Village is also where the 60s counterculture really took off in New York, so it has a lot of rich 20th century history. And it's where the famed Halloween parade takes place every year.

While I've never lived in the area, it used to be my main hangout, and I have always loved it. There are so many great stores and restaurants, including terrific small boutiques and gourmet groceries. While the neighborhood was once very Bohemian, it's now primarily inhabited by hip yuppies. Today, it's a very expensive area for apartments, and a lot of celebs call it home like Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, Mickey Rourke, and Uma Thurman.
Pros
  • central location
  • excellent restaurants
  • great bar scene
  • Great Vibe
  • Tons of history
Cons
  • expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
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"Lovely neighborhood in a thriving part of Manhattan"

Gramercy Park is a very popular area of Manhattan, so popular in fact that few people ever give up their apartments in the neighborhood. It's just too pretty, especially if they live near Gramercy Park itself, which is a small but lovely, quiet, and gated oasis in Manhattan. Whenever I walk in the area surrounding the park, I feel like I've left Manhattan entirely. There are so many trees, and the architecture is beautiful. The park is privately owned and was built in the 1800s, and the Gramercy neighborhood was named a historic district in the 1960s.

The neighborhood is on the east side and borders Union Square in the south. It goes up to 23rd Street in the north. So, while not all parts of the neighborhood are as quaint as the area right around the park, it's still a nice 'hood and quieter in most areas than many others in Manhattan.

Union Square is one of my favorite areas for shopping, eating out, and meeting people. Park Avenue South has loads of restaurants and shopping as well, including a few excellent grocery stores and some great thrift shops. Unlike some parts of Manhattan, this area manages to be both commercial and residential.
Pros
  • excellent restaurants
  • exclusive neighborhood
  • Beautiful
  • Gorgeous browntones
  • Tons of history
  • The park
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
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"Noisy, crowded neighborhood only good for visits"

The Garment District aka the Fashion District of Manhattan is not my favorite neighborhood. I lived in the area in the 80s when I worked in the district, which means that I could walk to work. But that's the only reason to live there, if you ask me. It's certainly a centrally located area, but much of it is very crowded and commercial. Depending on where you live, it can be difficult to find a decent grocery store because it just isn't that residential. 34th Street is miserable for walking due to the crowds. If you want to shop and visit Macy's, you'll definitely go there, but if you're a local, you'll avoid it like the plague.

That said, it's certainly in the middle of everything, and it borders the theater district and Times Square. Madison Square Garden and Penn Station are in the neighborhood, so if you take the train to Long Island or New Jersey a lot, you're all set if you live nearby. And if fashion is your life, this may be a perfect place for you to live because you'll be right in the center. It certainly isn't a cheap neighborhood for apartments, but it isn't the most expensive area in the city either. I also think the Garment District is better suited to single people and couples than for families.
Pros
  • central to everything
  • close to major transport
  • THE place for anyone who in the clothesmaking/design fields
Cons
  • crime rates
  • Crowded
  • terrible grocery stores
  • Ugly
  • overrun by tourists
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
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"Where everyone in NYC wants to live"

The area surrounding Central Park is the dream of every New Yorker. Everyone wants to live there, but it's a pipe dream for most of us. This is where some of the wealthiest people in the world live – people like Woody Allen and Mary Tyler Moore, for example. The buildings that line Central Park West and Central Park South are gorgeous, and you can't beat the views of the park.

Central Park is a marvel of landscaping, and I still find it amazing that it ever got built (I understand that it almost didn't.) Today, it probably wouldn't because greed would prevail, and the real estate developers would take it over. I'm sure they'd still love to get their hands on it, but New Yorkers would never stand for it. We love our beautiful park, which is huge and filled with animals (even raccoons), a skating rink, a theatre, a zoo, gardens, and all sorts of other things. It's truly an oasis right in the center of Manhattan, and to live right next to it would be wonderful.

If you can afford to live here, I doubt that I need to sell you on it. The restaurants and shopping are a block or two off the park, but with an address like that, who cares? Besides, if you can afford to live here, you don't have to shop for yourself.
Pros
  • Beautiful
  • Trees
  • central to everything
  • classy neighborhood
Cons
  • No street parking near the park if you need to park you have to put your vehicle in a parking lot
  • Extremely expensive neighborhood
  • terrible grocery stores
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
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"One of my favorite NYC neighborhoods"

Chelsea has been a coveted neighborhood in Manhattan for as long as I can remember, and it's no wonder. So much of it is really lovely. Expensive? Yes, but worth it, and it certainly isn't the most expensive neighborhood in Manhattan. You aren't in midtown, but you're just south of midtown. This means that you don't have to be in the very noisiest commercial area of the island, but you are within walking distance or just one or two subway stops away from the hustle and bustle. Parts of Chelsea, especially as you go farther west, are pretty quiet for Manhattan and look very much like a neighborhood in one of the outer boroughs. At the same time, you have plenty of shopping and restaurants available on the avenues.

You have the fabulous Chelsea Market, Chelsea Piers, the historic Empire Diner, the plant district, the wonderful Rubin Museum that houses a great Asian art collection, and even a Barney's. The new elevated green space, the High Line, is also in the area. Chelsea is one of the arts centers of Manhattan, so a lot of artists live in this neighborhood, particularly visual artists. I've never managed to afford an apartment in this area, but I'd live there in a second if I had the chance.
Pros
  • The Chelsea Market and the Chelsea Piers
  • Art galleries abound
  • close to major transport
  • Great discount shopping at the Housing Works and Angel Thrift Stores
  • the Highline
Cons
  • If you are looking to buy then expect to shell out an arm and a leg in Chelsea
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
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"Great funky neighborhood in NYC"

The Bowery is a funky neighborhood that borders the East Village and Chinatown. At one time, it was really run down and full of homeless people and prostitutes. In other words, it wasn't a safe area after dark. That has all changed, and it's an up and coming area, even if parts of it still look a bit … well, industrial. Personally, I love the area because it's hip and youthful, and on top of that, it's filled with history from the early settlers of New York to the incredible music scene of the 1960s through the 1980s.

The neighborhood and the street called the Bowery are both named after a derivation of the Dutch word for farm, and the street is supposedly the oldest one in Manhattan. George Washington reportedly led his troops in this area after visiting the Bull's Head Tavern.

Today, it's really a happening area with the Bowery Poetry Club and the Bowery Ballroom nearby, quite a lot of restaurants and nightlife. Unfortunately, CBGBs is no longer around. It isn't cheap to live here, but then, nowhere in Manhattan is cheap. It's fashionable and conveniently located to so many other great areas like the west village, east village, Chinatown, and Little Italy. I would live in the Bowery in a heartbeat.
Pros
  • great bar scene
  • The New Museum and Whole Foods means it's going upscale fast
  • close to major transport
  • great food
Cons
  • no trees anywhere
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
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"Better for tourists than for living"

Battery Park City is a very historical area, both in terms of the Revolutionary War and early New York history and, of course, in terms of 9/11 due to its proximity to the World Trade Center. The area is a must-see if you're a tourist. Battery Park itself now contains the damaged metal sculpture that was once in the center of the World Trade Center complex, as well as many other great sculptures, including one that's dedicated to the immigrants who entered the U.S. through this area of Manhattan.

The park is the place where you catch the Staten Island Ferry (which is free) and the ferries to the Statue of Liberty and/or Ellis Island. You can even see the statue from the esplanade along the river. There's a restaurant in the park and a World War II memorial. This is the area that Gene Kelly was singing about in "On the Town" when he said, "New York, New York, a hell of a town, the Bronx is up, and the Battery's down." Lots of vendors set up to sell artwork, caricatures, and other items in the park, and you'll see people dressed up as the Statue of Liberty, offering to take pictures with you for about 5 bucks.

As a neighborhood for living? Well, if you work in the financial district, it's certainly convenient, but there isn't much going on here. Mostly, it's filled with luxury apartment buildings and office buildings. It's hardly a residential neighborhood per se, but you do get great views of the river and a terrific bike or jogging path, especially if you don't mind the wind that comes off the water.
Pros
  • Gorgeous views of the water
  • Great Park
  • quiet
  • Upscale doorman residences
Cons
  • dead at night
  • expensive
  • Not too many shopping options
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
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"Great for a visit, but not to live"

I could never live in Chinatown. Why? Because I can't stand the smell of fish. So much of the neighborhood is smelly. Yet, I have friends who live in the 'hood and really love it. I also find it to be crowded to a degree that I can't stand. It's crowded like Times Square is crowded, especially Canal Street – the main street in the area.

If you're a tourist, you have to visit, though, if for no other reason than to have a great authentic Chinese meal. It's also interesting culturally. I've been to China, and the neighborhood is like the real thing in many ways. The shopping is a bit cheaper in Chinatown, and it's cheaper to live, too, although nowhere in Manhattan is inexpensive.

There are clubs in Chinatown now, and it's right next door to Little Italy. So, when you tire of Chinese food, you can swing over for some Italian. There are quite a few websites devoted to the neighborhood. You won't find that to be the case for every 'hood in Manhattan. And if you like to cook Asian food, this is the place to come for ingredients. I sometimes cook Thai food, and I come to Chinatown to the Thai markets for what I need. You can also get great cheap massages and acupuncture. But as I said, I wouldn't want to live in this area.
Pros
  • Great cheap restaurants
  • affordable rents
  • Dumplings and massage places galore
  • Reasonable prices on most regular items like groceries and household stuff
Cons
  • Dirty
  • Smelly
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Tourists
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
Just now

"Great area in the middle of things!"

When I lived in Hell's Kitchen in the 80s, it wasn't a great neighborhood. Since then, it has turned into a very happening, upscale area. The feel is a combination of both yuppy and funky. And if you like being right in the middle of things, it's ideal - especially if you're an actor or dancer because you'll meet many others in the 'hood.

Hell's Kitchen is just a few minutes' walk from the theater district (both Broadway and Off-Broadway), and the restaurants in this area can't be beat. There are literally tons of dining options. In fact, my friends and I often venture into the neighborhood specifically for a restaurant like 44SW or Pietrasanta on Ninth Avenue. Actors often hang out at the West Bank Cafe after a show, so the area can be great for some Broadway star-watching on occasion.

Don't be fooled by the Hell's Kitchen name. That's a throwback from the old days, and the name just stuck. Unless you really hate being in the middle of things - i.e., traffic and lots of things to do (in which case, you probably shouldn't be in Manhattan in the first place) - there's nothing hellish about Hell's Kitchen. I don't understand the people who say it's depressing; I find it to be a very exciting neighborhood. In the summer, people hang out in front of storefronts, so it isn't an impersonal area either. I once saw Mandy Patinkin leaning against a building passing the time.

This used to be an inexpensive neighborhood for apartments, but that's no longer the case. Still, it's worth it. I wouldn't mind living in the area again if I had the opportunity.
Pros
  • Proximity to the theater district
  • The Flea Market on 39th street between 9th and 10th avenues
  • Many diverse restaurants along 9th avenue
Cons
  • Noisy
  • Crowded
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish

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