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Old 04-13-2012, 01:00 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,073 times
Reputation: 10

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I currently live in UWS, upper 70's, paying $1550. I absolutely love the location but I am not so happy with my studio apt itself. It is in a great, clean, elevator building but it is 12x13 with no sunlight. The sunlight has started to bother me. I've looked at some other places around UWS but couldn't really find one that I fell in love with within my budget, below $1800.

I need to stay on the upper west side of the city due to my work. I'm planning to look at an apt on 186th st on Bennett Ave. for $1650. Is this a good neighborhood? Any recommendations on a specific area? I've also read Seaman Ave in Inwood is a nice area.

I'm concerned that although I might get the sunlight I want, I'll lose all the things I love about UWS - Trader Joes, Fairway, Zabars, restaurants etc. Just all the convenience that I've gotten used to.

Do you think it is a good decision to move? Should I just deal with no sunlight and enjoy the awesome environment?

I just can't make up my mind!
Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:08 PM
 
215 posts, read 451,738 times
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Your current apartment is very cheap by UWS standards. It is very hard to find a studio in elevator building below $1800.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,898 posts, read 4,829,088 times
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I also used to live in an apartment like that years ago. My rent was cheap and it was in a nice neighborhood, but the 'cave' (that's what I used to call it) was pretty depressing.

Having a bright apartment, believe it or not, does affect your mood and overall mental health.

I don't know much about the area that you're planning to move to, but it won't certainly be like the upper 70's.

It looks like you'll have to make some trade-offs.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:49 PM
 
Location: NY,NY
2,899 posts, read 8,144,351 times
Reputation: 2019
You need to fully comprehend your circumstance:

Fact 1: a "nice" studio in a modern building with amenities cost $3000 or more, in the heart of the UWS, Yuppieville.

Fact 2: $1550 or anything below $1800 in the 70s will ONLY be something UNDESIREABLE.

Fact 3: you cannot afford that location!! Unless you take something no one else wants, except those who also cannot afford the UWS!

Fact 4: 186th Street is NOT the UWS, it is Washington Heights!! There you should be able to afford.

Fact 5: Convenience?? You cannot afford Manhattan conenience!!

Final Fact: In order to know where you are going, you NEED to know where you are.

Adjust yourself to Washington Heights and good luck. Btw, there is a Fairway, larger and busier than Broadway, over by the river a few blocks up from 125th St. There's also Dinosar BBQ, which is very popular.

Generally, the area is steadily, but slowly gentrifying Dominican ghetto, it helps to speak Spanish. You will find everything you need along Broadway, just that Dominicans dominate rather than Yuppie Transplants; YES, you will need to take more care at night than living in Yuppieville, but there are worse alternatives!
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:56 PM
 
1,431 posts, read 2,048,586 times
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Jcoltrane's description doesn't really apply to the part of Washington Heights you're looking at, which is not a "Dominican ghetto" at all but rather a mixed neighborhood of Jews, yuppies, and Dominicans. Jews especially predominate on Bennett Ave. It's very safe and quiet. It doesn't offer anything like the lifestyle you're used to on the UWS though. More of a sleepy residential community.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:08 PM
 
Location: No Sleep Til Brooklyn
1,413 posts, read 4,618,556 times
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186 & Bennett is perfectly safe. It's a heavily Orthodox Jewish neighborhood. We lived nearby for nearly 10 years before a recent move to Brooklyn.

Yes, you will miss Trader Joe's, Zabars, etc. But you will be incredibly close to the the A and the 1 and it's pretty easy to get to the UWS for shopping. I know - I did it for years.

I agree that sunlight can be incredibly important. We stayed in a dark apartment for years because it was cheap, but it was truly depressing. A few weeks after moving to a sunnier place in Washington Heights my husband said to me, "I feel like we are on vacation!" I was thinking the same thing.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:57 PM
 
10,259 posts, read 20,207,106 times
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Could you afford a one-week sublet in the area you are thinking of moving to? It might help you decide. Check airbnb.com to see if there is anything available.

I lived in an apartment without much sun and it was truly depressing. On the other hand, living in an area without the vibe and amenities you are used to could be depressing too. I suppose if you are a real home-body, then you should choose the sunlight and if you like to be out and about, then just come home to sleep in the cave.
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Old 05-05-2016, 09:24 AM
 
23 posts, read 18,075 times
Reputation: 16
Inwood is different from Washington Heights. We used to and still often do claim that anything 'west of broadway', down to say Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, is a cut above those blocks that are to the east and closer to the bronx. Pinehurst Avenue, right to the north of 181st Street, is now affluent, at least by uptown standards. Seaman Avenue, once again to the west of broadway, houses more prosperous Dominicans than does washington heights, and the last of the Irish populace that was once a stronghold of Inwood, as well as adventurous artists and YUPPIES who are not concerned about status issues. the parks are vast, so it's possible to take walks in the nature daily if one is preferably accompanied by a man. If you dislike the pulsating beat of merengue music, these neighborhoods, with the exception of pinehurst avenue, are not for you. The A train runs express from 181st, and is reasonably safe before 11PM, or so. Even the #1 train is one of the safer lines, with those from the bucolic Riverdale section of the Bronx, riding it until its last stop. Parking on the street is often nightmarish. If you are looking for extreme peace and quiet and find residing with white-ethnic, predominately Judaic retirees with a wannabe Mamaroneck (Westchester County) mentality less unsettling, take the #1 train to 242nd Street and check out Riverdale's eastern edge, or take its express bus up to around West 232nd Street. Sunfilled coops, mostly red bricks from the 60's, are relatively cheap, but do buy a car because late night travel requires doing so, as does living in inwood or washington heights, although to a lesser extent, or use uber or lyft, at least. the streets of riverdale are empty at night, so if walking alone bothers you, even if it's for five or ten minutes, take appropiate measures with pepper spray, etc.
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Old 05-05-2016, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Eric Forman's basement
1,592 posts, read 1,486,010 times
Reputation: 794
If you are thinking of renting in Inwood or Washington Heights (or anywhere in the city, really), check out the building beforehand at the Department of Building's website.

I was looking on behalf of my daughter a few months ago. Any Inwood rental listing that looked good to me, I crosschecked with the DOB. Invariably, each building had about 75 violations on it, some even more. Also, things like bedbugs were common (even in the same apartment that was advertised for rent!), no hot water, no heat, nonworking elevator, sketchy wiring, etc., along with more minor violations like peeling paint.

I'm sure these conditions exist elsewhere in the city, but I happened to be checking Inwood for lower rents.

I like lots of things about Inwood, including the parks, but the housing stock is old.

Here's a link to the database:

http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/bispi00.jsp

Good luck!
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Old 05-05-2016, 10:34 AM
 
3,096 posts, read 1,578,579 times
Reputation: 1518
What about looking for a rent-stabilized apartment on the UWS?
They do exist.
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