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Old 04-15-2012, 09:12 PM
 
Location: the Great Lakes states
798 posts, read 2,166,957 times
Reputation: 534

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My new job search is getting started, and some of the first postings that I'm interested in happen to be in NYC. Just wanted to ask a few questions, and maybe your answers will help me feel that yes, this is possible, or, I might decide otherwise. Thanks in advance.

Here's the rundown:

1. I'm a native Chicagoan, so city life is okay by me.
2. I like having a car. If it stays parked except for my weekend trips, I'll still keep it.
3. Prospective salaries if I take a NYC job would be between $50K to $80K.
4. I'm not against commuting to work by any means possible (subway, driving, car, city bus).
5. Reasonable distance to gay nightlife & gay-friendly areas would be a plus.
6. Jobs I'm looking at are in Manhattan, but at this stage anything's possible.
7. I've always enjoyed living near universities, because of the inexpensive options for arts, athletics, libraries, recreation facilities, food, etc.
8. If there's a "near suburb" or decent city neighborhood (think Bridgeport, Portage Park, Evanston, or Oak Lawn in the Chicago area) that would be affordable and a 30-45 minute commute to Manhattan, I would probably be fine with that.
9. I don't need anything larger than a studio, but if I have that small of a space, I want it to be nice (roomy, light, somewhat modernized.) An old building is okay as long as everything works!
10. I like safe parks, some sense of nature (even if its just a small yard with a lawn and garden), nighttime walks. Possible or not?
11. Would like to have a dog.

I've only started looking into NYC apartments, neighborhoods, etc. So far, a couple threads about Astoria caught my attention.

Thanks.

Last edited by summer22; 04-15-2012 at 10:02 PM..
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:50 PM
 
Location: NY,NY
2,899 posts, read 8,576,671 times
Reputation: 2035
Well, first, you will have to tone down your wants and desires considerably!!

Your salary range just isn't enough to meet most of your listed items. $50 to $70K won't cut it, and $70 to $80K is bottom line for single living in the outer boroughs and/or suburbs.

I suggest you peruse some of the many threads re "budgets" in order to get a sense of what you will likely be capable of affording.

Chicago may be a big city, but is vastly different in terms of salaries, living costs, rents, and quality of life. In NYC you WILL have a lower quality of life, but perhaps a richer social, including nightlife, arts, theater, etc. IF you have the disposable income to partake of things.

For example, Astoria is a relatively affordable neighborhood, but the housing which is most affordable is OLD and no, everything will not "work", and dogs are not generally welcome, plus there will be an extra cost when they are. Most LLs in NYC do NOT accept dogs! Certainly not large dogs.

A studio in Astoria in a new building begins roughly at $1500 and can be somewhat higher depending on location and amenities.

Anything less will not meet your criteria.

Lessor neighborhoods may be cheaper, but will have less and less of your criteria. Better neighborhoods will have higher costs, particularly for newer buildings where everything works!

Again, focus on determing your budget, because you may find the perfect NYC neighborhood only to discover you cannot afford it; and what you can afford, sorely disappointing. In which case you'll need to decide IF NYC is worth the low quality of living.

All that said, you may find much of what you want deep in the outer boroughs or suburbs, but you will have to compromise, in terms of, commuting time, nightlife, proximity to Gay community and activities, etc.
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:53 AM
 
87 posts, read 200,901 times
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why did you say her salary range (assuming she's a she)
wouldn't cut if for her "listed items" but, uh....really none of the things she listed have anything to do with money.
50k will cut it. i hate hearing people talk about "you can't make it on this, with that amount of money, etc." it's all about how you want to live.
then you said "In NYC you WILL have a lower quality of life, but perhaps a richer ..." that doesn't even make sense. for godsakes. nyc is a great city. what is quality of life? how can she have a lower quality of life but have a richer everything else?

the fact is, moving to new york, unless you REALLY got money, you will struggle no matter what. money will be an adjustment but you can do it.
my advice is what i tell everyone - you have to go to new york first. if you've never been don't even think about moving. i would also advise trying to go for more than a weekend....go for a week, a month if possible and just check everything out. spend time in neighborhoods. new york is not a place you can just move to and be happy when you know nothing about the city. well, you can, but the chances of you being happy aren't that great....better to try and PERSONALLY get to know the city, trust me. Reading about it is one thing, being there is another. I only say this because some people may like living in bushwick for 1000 a month while others will hate the area and scoff at even living there for free (that would be me)...I personally love the Lower East Side, East Village, Soho, Chinatown, etc. while others care more for parts of Brooklyn. ....

if not, move near the nyu campus. anything in a 10 mile radius or so and you'll be good. plenty of gay nightlife nearby (chelsea), parks, etc. and decent areas. i say ditch the car.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:38 AM
 
1,431 posts, read 2,182,416 times
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A good rule of thumb, and a requirement for many landlords, is that you make 40 x the rent. If you only make 50k, you can afford $1250, which can get you a studio or 1 br in Washington Heights, Inwood, or Ditmas Park, which are neighborhoods that seem to fit your criteria. If you make 80k and can afford $2000 in rent, you can probably get a studio in a lot of nice areas of Manhattan or a 1 br in gentrified Brooklyn.

You'll probably have better luck with the dog in Brooklyn. Dogs are more likely to be allowed in multifamily homes than in apartment buildings.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,898 posts, read 5,099,969 times
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I think that if you make closer to 80k, you should be able to find a nice and decent studio or 1br apt in Astoria for 1,300-1,800. Be mindful that the dog part is gonna narrow your search considerably, so if you didn't get it yet, you might want to reconsider it for the time being.

Astoria has somewhat of a nighlife but it's not much of a gay one. In any case, you would be a short commute from the gay nyc mecca, that is Chelsea.
As for nature, and depending of where in Astoria you end up, you got several options;
Astoria Park, the Socrates sculpture park, and if you have a bike (if not highly recommed to get one) you can go to Roosvelt and Randall's islands for great city views and very scenic bike paths.
In terms of commute, if you work near midtown, Astoria is a great location, since it's at most 20 mins from it.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:28 AM
 
Location: London, NYC, DC
1,118 posts, read 1,965,506 times
Reputation: 646
Killing the car requirement will save you a ton of money and open up far more neighborhoods. The problem with Chicago is that while it is a big city, its cost of living is so low in comparison to NYC that you're off to a disadvantage in terms of what you already have accrued and what you can expect to pay for not just housing but basically everything. Expect what's basically a NYC markup of around 5-10% on most purchases.
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:33 PM
 
Location: the Great Lakes states
798 posts, read 2,166,957 times
Reputation: 534
Quote:
Originally Posted by geoking66 View Post
Killing the car requirement will save you a ton of money and open up far more neighborhoods. The problem with Chicago is that while it is a big city, its cost of living is so low in comparison to NYC that you're off to a disadvantage in terms of what you already have accrued and what you can expect to pay for not just housing but basically everything. Expect what's basically a NYC markup of around 5-10% on most purchases.
Yeah, in Chicago, a car isn't a liability at all, and a dog isn't either, for the most part. Really amazing how different the #1 city and the #2 (or 3, depending how recent the data) are from each other. Thanks for the feedback, all.
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:44 PM
 
Location: New York NY
4,256 posts, read 6,316,125 times
Reputation: 9028
LIke others have said, the dog and car thing will make finding a place a bit more difficult. But I'd consider looking at Hoboken, which is a short PATH ride into Manhattan and goes through the Village. I think you might find a 1 -bdrm there in your budget. The area -- at least the main drag, Washington St -- is very lively and young and full of bars, retaurants, little shops, etc. But parking would be a hassle 'cause its a densely populated small city. With what you'd pay to insureand and garage a car any where, you could put toward rent and just use a Zip car or rental on the weekends.
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:48 PM
 
Location: NY,NY
2,899 posts, read 8,576,671 times
Reputation: 2035
Quote:
Originally Posted by cityinfonow View Post
why did you say her salary range (assuming she's a she)
wouldn't cut if for her "listed items" but, uh....really none of the things she listed have anything to do with money.
I wholly disagree with, and your comment is untrue.

EVERYTHING in NYC has to do with money! From where you live, to how safe it is, how enjoyable, schooling, everything!

My impression is that the OP is interested in a 'Yuppie' lifestyle; and a lifestyle and quality not much different than what can be had in Chicago on a comparably modest income.

A modest income in Chicago can provide a relatively comfortable and enjoyable lifestyle, much of it influenced by the better quality of housing relative to cost, AND the level of disposable income AFTER living expenses, etc. As well as, the cost of an active social/nightlife.

I did not get the impression that the OP is simply interested in NYC, at any cost, with the aim of just SURVIVING! Nor sacrificing too much Chicagostyle quality.

Considering all that, $50K just doesn't cut it. For example, I do not get the impression that the OP w/b satisfied (nor w/it be a good fit) for the OP in say, Bed-Sty, Washington Heights, nor Astoria. It appears to me that the more 'trendy' non-hipster neighborhhods w/b most suitable; and in ALL those areas, $50K is NOT enough income to support oneself w/o roommates.

My impressions were influenced by the fact of Chicago, and Items 2, 5, 7, 8 (short commute, decent neighborhood), 9 (modernized, everything works!), and 10 (safe parks). ALL of that along with a dog and car, COSTS!!! IMO and experience more than $50K.

Got it?

****

Quote:
50k will cut it. i hate hearing people talk about "you can't make it on this, with that amount of money, etc." it's all about how you want to live.
PRECISELY! As I have outlined above.

I, personally, hate it when people chose to apply their personal frugal/meager sacraficing lifestyle and choices to others, w/o considering, as well as can be, the individuality and standards of the person they offer advice to.

Just because some people manage on $50K, and may be satisfied with their choices, does NOT mean that EVERYONE can, nor would chose to do so, nor would WANT to!

What I also hate, are people who are loathe to admit what a meager lifestyle $50K affords, particularly when one chooses an independant lifestyle of some certain standard, free of roommates, closet sized apartments, and unfamiliar risks of crime and exposure to social issues related to poverty.

Most of my position stems from the point of view of, true and full middle class and above Americans, who have a desire and/or want to continue, for the greater part, a similar lifestyle in NYC. $50K will NOT achieve that!

Quote:
then you said "In NYC you WILL have a lower quality of life, but perhaps a richer ..." that doesn't even make sense. for godsakes. nyc is a great city. what is quality of life? how can she have a lower quality of life but have a richer everything else?
First, w/o rereading, I believe what I said, was a lower quality of LIVING! I also suggested that in exchange, one might have a richer SOCIAL life!

So, please, in the future, get the facts straight.

If you cannot or do not comprehend that, and fail to see the sense, then it is more a statement of either your lack of experience of living outside of NYC; OR, your personal over-value of trading, poor quality housing, crime, exorbitant costs, for those thigs which NYC offers that YOU value, and feel a fair exchange.

Again, you are applying your personal values with the ASSUMPTION that everyone interested in investigating NYC, shares YOUR value system, opinions and outlook of life and NYC.

You may think NYC a great place, but there exists in this country a HOST of people who do not and would not live here under any circumstances, sorry to pop your bubble. Also, there are MANY who have a false impression of NYC, are ignorant of the sacrafices necessary to live here, along with the daily struggles and question of whether living here is worth it.

Quote:
the fact is, moving to new york, unless you REALLY got money, you will struggle no matter what. money will be an adjustment but you can do it.
Again, the question is NOT whether it can be done! Crap, there are plenty of homeless and those of even lower income that live, struggle and manage to survive, in the most literal sense.

The question is whether the OP wishes to so STRUGGLE!!!

Your presumption is that EVERYONE w/make the choice to "struggle". I do not make such a presumption. Rather, I choose an objective viewpoint of the choice to NOT struggle.

Specifically, from a full middle class view where people, unfamiliar with the sort of "STRUGGLE" which awaits those unprepared, unaware, and with questionable income, in relation to their aims and/or expectations.

It would appear that you choose not to consider reality in a complete objective manner.

Quote:
my advice is what i tell everyone - you have to go to new york first. if you've never been don't even think about moving. i would also advise trying to go for more than a weekend....go for a week, a month if possible and just check everything out. spend time in neighborhoods. new york is not a place you can just move to and be happy when you know nothing about the city. well, you can, but the chances of you being happy aren't that great....better to try and PERSONALLY get to know the city, trust me. Reading about it is one thing, being there is another. I only say this because some people may like living in bushwick for 1000 a month while others will hate the area and scoff at even living there for free (that would be me)...I personally love the Lower East Side, East Village, Soho, Chinatown, etc. while others care more for parts of Brooklyn. ....
Your advice is sound.

My advice is specifically aimed at those who w/NOT be happy paying a $1000 to live in Bushwick! The OP gave me the distinct impression that he/she would certainly not. Bushwich does NOT meet the criteria outlined in the original post.

To meet the criteria costs a LOT more than $1000, in rent.

Do you disagree with this?

Quote:
if not, move near the nyu campus. anything in a 10 mile radius or so and you'll be good. plenty of gay nightlife nearby (chelsea), parks, etc. and decent areas. i say ditch the car.
Now THIS is PRECISELY what is WRONG with your advice!

In what manner of reality, given the totallity of the OP's criteria, the possible income, can the OP afford to live near the NYU CAMPUS?????

Preposterously poor advice.

$50K is IMPOSSIBLE.

$80K is also IMPOSSIBLE!

Keeping a car, living in a modernized apt, light, airy, OR in an older apartment where everything WORKS! Oh, and, also, to continue a Chicago quality of housing and quality living.

It is just NOT realistic, but you keep selling the fantasy....

Perhaps the OP will choose to make the sacrafice necessary, perhaps not; but frank honest information is what s/b provided in order for someone to make an informed, intellignt decision.

NOT prejudicially jaded personal opinions!

I hope that cleared things up for you.
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:02 PM
 
Location: BK All Day
4,480 posts, read 8,573,298 times
Reputation: 4299
Quote:
Originally Posted by cityinfonow View Post

if not, move near the nyu campus. anything in a 10 mile radius or so and you'll be good. plenty of gay nightlife nearby (chelsea), parks, etc. and decent areas. i say ditch the car.
Manhattan is only 13.5 miles long you realize.

Things that are "10 miles away from NYU" are actually quite far for New York Standards.
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