U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 05-01-2015, 10:50 PM
43 posts, read 59,559 times
Reputation: 24



So I'm working as an AmeriCorps currently and am living out in Rego Park, Queens. And unlike most transplants, I was born here... but I did grow up in PA

I really dig this neighborhood and all the ethnic food and culture.

Though, I must say, that after living on a stipend for close to a year now, it has been extremely rough. I think the process of just obtaining housing through Craigslist was crazy: I have never seen the most shadiest **** in my entire life (ex: attic in Astoria with walls coming out, disgusting kitchen and roommates: $600 a month 0_0)

Even the credit score bs is so unrealistic to the point where good old rich daddy has to sign off for anyone to get an okay deal here (since no one has college loans right? -_-)

But, as everyone in the area has noticed, the damn cost of living near the city has been climbing with no cap in site. AND to top it all off, its so depressing to see that no real New Yorkers are even here anymore, just a bunch of rich kids with their dads paying their rent and driving good people out.

So, I'm just curious as to what people would suggest in terms of a good second tier city in terms of the following things I like to do:

- Music: This is key because I have always loved going seeing show for cheap (Thank you Brooklyn, but I absolutely hate your hipsters that go to them , mean bastards). I want it so that bands come to me, and they always come to New York on a tour. Plus I go to record stores sometimes and buy vinyl too.

- Food: I am the whitest dude on earth, but absolutely love falafel, gyro, etc. I love the food that New York has to offer (though hate not looking it up on Yelp before paying $15 for a gyro platter near Columbia that sucked balls )

- Museums: This part is cool too because I'm a very art-centered kind of guy too.

Otherwise, you can have Times Square any day of the week honestly because I hate Broadway shows. I play guitar and really would love to gig soon.

For some reason, I've also liked Upper West Side. The architecture of some of the buildings on Amsterdam Ave are so awesome, plus it still has a vibe I just can't describe why I like it (like towards 96th street up towards Columbia Uni.)

Places I've considered include Pittsburgh and Philly at the moment. Reason being is that I absolutely love Pittsburgh, its got some weird vibe that I just can't describe. Just the right amount of safety, scenery, city vibes, but not too too big either. Plus the river views with the skyline was always cool to me too (visited a few times because of my sis who went to college there). Also, I'm considering Philly because it has distinct neighborhoods. Though a friend of mine that has been from LA to NY to all over told me that nowhere in his entire life has he ever felt like he was going to be more mugged than on Philly metro.

The only trade off with it all is that I've solely used the train to get to work. But honestly, anything (hopefully) beats the 1 hour and 10 mins commute simply to Manhattan from Queens.

Anyway, hopefully I don't sound too jaded. I just know that the city really isn't going to hell in terms of prices and after visiting my Dad for the last 5 years (he lives in Greenpoint btw), and see that neighborhood turn from Polish to yuppie town, I can honestly say I'm pretty pissed off how they let the financial midwest yuppies take over everything.

Another thing to add is that I honestly aspire to be a doctor who wants to work in underserved areas (outer boroughs, New Jersey, rural areas, inner city etc) and am studying whenever I can for the MCAT as well.

Having come from a low income family, I just only feel sorry for all of the low income people that the process replaces (in addition to AmeriCorps, I help out at a soup kitchen in Manhattan on the weekends).

Regardless, lemme know ![LEFT]
Read more: Good Second Tier Cities With Queens Vibes?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 05-02-2015, 06:13 PM
56,741 posts, read 81,061,259 times
Reputation: 12549
You may like neighborhoods/areas of cities such as SE Quadrant of Rochester, Allentown/North Park/Elmwood Village in Buffalo, Westcott or maybe Downtown in Syracuse, Center Square/Delaware Ave in Albany or perhaps places like Ithaca, Downtown Troy, the Union Street Corridor(Triangle/Upper Union) in Schenectady, South Utica, Binghamton's West Side(south of Main) or Saratoga Springs in Upstate NY. I would look in the bigger cities first and all of them would offer what you are looking for to some degree. There would other places in the bigger metros that would allow access to what you want along with walkability and relative safety. Kenmore and Cohoes come to mind.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-02-2015, 07:09 PM
Location: Auburn, New York
1,775 posts, read 2,517,068 times
Reputation: 2935
First of all, it's going to be hard to find a place as diverse as Queens, as walkable as Queens, and not undergoing rapid gentrification. However, these are my suggestions:

Baltimore! Hands down, this is my top pick for you. It's similar to Queens in terms of architecture, but much more laid back and much more affordable. We have great music, fun bars, and cool neighborhoods. I wish it were a little more diverse (particularly in terms of immigrant communities and LGBT stuff), but you could hop on the train and be in DC in 45 minutes to take advantage of everything it has to offer. Due to our proximity to DC, it seems like we have the best of both worlds: big city cultural amenities whenever we want it, but without the absurd cost of living and gentrification. Also, all the protests that have been going on down here will scare away the yuppies for some time.

Similarly, Wilmington, Delaware might be worth looking into. It's a highly underrated city with a lot of cool stuff going on. It's small, but it's very cheap and overflowing with character You'd be just a half-hour train ride away from Philly.

Detroit (seriously): Great architecture, great art (the DIA is amazing), great Polish food, cool DIY stuff going on. Check out the Midtown, Corktown, or Hamtramck.

Otherwise, I think St. Louis, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Cleveland, and Louisville might (not) work for you. I think they all offer things you might like, but their "vibes" are very differ significantly.

This is out of left field, but you might be pleasantly surprised with Sacramento, Houston, and Miami. Or maybe not. They give Queens a run for its money in terms of diversity, but they both have a lot of sprawl and new architecture that's not very Queens at all.

Last edited by Dawn.Davenport; 05-02-2015 at 07:21 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-02-2015, 08:10 PM
56,741 posts, read 81,061,259 times
Reputation: 12549
Another Northeastern city that comes to mind is Jersey City, which is one of the most diverse cities in the country. Cost of living may still be an issue though.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-02-2015, 08:18 PM
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,447 posts, read 11,951,877 times
Reputation: 10561
Been living in Pittsburgh for 10 years now. I think you'd love it here. The one thing you'd miss out on from Queens is diversity though. Pittsburgh is one of the whitest cities in the country. Although there were originally pretty strong ethnic roots to a lot of the neighborhoods this has attenuated to the point where there's no identifiable ethnic enclaves per se in the city. There's of course a black population here, but it's smallish for a rust belt city (around 25%). Historically most of the Latino and Asian community has actually been exchange students or others associated with the universities. That's change a bit now - there are notable numbers of Somali Bantus, Mexicans, and especially Bhutanese in some segments of the city now. But coming from Queens it's going to be a culture shock how monocultural the area is.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-03-2015, 07:28 PM
43 posts, read 59,559 times
Reputation: 24
That's okay because I was mostly raised in Northeastern PA east of Scranton where it was mostly white anyway.

I've grown to really like the cultures involved in middle class neighborhoods because I ultimately want to serve underserved communities.

Regardless, awesome responses, thanks so much guys because honestly, New York is great, but I have to be looking out for a good #2 because of the way things are going.

I saw yuppies near Jackson Heights the other day too 0_o. Makes me anxious by the day lol.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-03-2015, 08:23 PM
Location: Pittsburgh
3,145 posts, read 2,833,533 times
Reputation: 2858
One of the big complaints of residents of Pittsburgh is the revitalization has brought loads of hipsters that have changed the vibe (and COL) of the city. Not sure if you would like the yuppies. Also, this is the worst food city I have ever lived in.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-03-2015, 09:57 PM
43 posts, read 59,559 times
Reputation: 24
I can't imagine astronomical rent hikes like here though.

I mean, I'm not too worried, but its just too much to bear sometimes under min. wage.

I am trying to gig around with a drummer soon though

Let me further say that I just don't fit in with Wall Street types or trust funders to be honest. Though, again, you would never know it was me because I do dress in full shirt and tie for work. There are different vibes with people though.

Not into bar stuff either btw, always found them to be stupidly expensive without deals half of the time.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-03-2015, 11:59 PM
Location: Cleveland, OH
3,844 posts, read 8,038,302 times
Reputation: 1607
Definately take a hard look at Cleveland -- fits the bill for ethnic food, music, and museums (especially Art).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 05-04-2015, 05:22 AM
43 posts, read 59,559 times
Reputation: 24
^ I heard the crime is pretty bad though, and very segregated in terms of blacks vs whites no?

Skyline looks okay...

I should have mentioned the actual existence of a skyline too. I dig skylines too, plus river views are cool too. That's why New York's appealling due to its island nature. Pittsburgh is nice due to the river views as well. Philly looked cool in some neighborhoods from afar where its like this Brooklyn effect where you see the skyline in the distance --> love that.

I'll check it out though. I heard Ohio is kind of bland, and this is coming from someone who lived in Northeast PA lol. All I know is that I don't want to live near Lancaster, PA after visiting recently. Way too flatland, and farm country. I would easily get bored without transportation.

I'm sure the next step could warrant a car but I like public transportation for the most part too.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top