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Old 04-28-2012, 09:17 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,552 times
Reputation: 10

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I am a 38yr professional single mother of a 8 year old boy, who just got a transfer to Manhattan (October). Coming from Boston (Jamaica Plain) , while not the cheapest city, I know that what I pay here, will only be a mere fraction of what I will have to pay in New York. I lived in a 400sq ft studio in Chelsea for a few years after college. I absolutely loved the neighborhood, but I just know that's not happening this time! I'm not too familiar with the other 4 borough's, but I know that's where we will be going this time. It is important to continue to raise my son in a diverse and family friendly neighborhood, with good (public) schools. My son is also very involved in local theater and dance programs here in Boston, and we look forward to him continuing that. I am not 100% sure what I can afford, but have been looking at a few neighborhoods in Brooklyn (Dumbo, Brooklyn Heights), but they seem quite pricey for the space we need. I was thinking maybe Queens, but I don't know much about it. I am still paying off grad school (yea, yuck, I know...), so right now I'd say that my budget is probably $2500 a month for a 2 bedroom. I'm not too sure if I can get anything for that, so if I have to raise the budget a bit for the best neighborhood, that may be a possibility. My biggest concern (like middle of the night panic attacks lol) is that my son will be going to school in our neighborhood, and I'll be working all the way in Midtown. Considering the fact that it's just the two of us, it just really makes me nervous in an emergency. I'm not sure how long it would take by subway from Queens or Brooklyn, to my job in midtown. I'm a paranoid mother, what can I say?

Also one more thing, if I could get a bit of insight on how the school system works, in say Brooklyn or Queens (assuming we end up there). I've just read horror stories about getting your child into a good school in Manhattan, I'm not sure if it's everywhere or just there. Especially since my boy will be starting mid-year. A good public school with a wonderful arts program is important to us.

Thank you everyone (sorry for dragging this on!) It's always been a dream to bring my family back, and set down roots in the city. While I'm excited, I do have a bit of nervousness bringing a child with me this time
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:17 PM
 
Location: New York NY
4,133 posts, read 5,942,768 times
Reputation: 8680
...but have been looking at a few neighborhoods in Brooklyn (Dumbo, Brooklyn Heights)...

These are among the most expensive neighborhoods in NYC, so look elsewhere. In Brooklyn try Park Slope (the original Brooklyn Yuppie nabe) where you might find a 2 brm for 2500 to 3000, but maybe even less with a bit of searching. Its an upscale neighborhood with reputable elementary schools, very kid-friendly, and 30 -45 minutes to Midtown. In Queens, try Forest Hills or maybe Rego Park, which may be a bit more of a commute depending on where you land, but also have good schools, and your money will go further. It might also be worth a look uptown in Hudson Heights, north of the George Washington, which is a settled calm middle-class neighborhood with a strong elementary school right in the middle of it (PS 187). Its a half hour to Midtown.

Your problem will not so much be affordability as finding a good place for your second (third?) grader. If you are zoned for a particular school, however, your kid will have a spot automatically. (It's at the K and pre-K level, and then again at the middle and high school level that the hysteria begins.) But each school, even if they post good test scores, etc etc, has a different vibe, so do your homework to make sure its right for your kid. Check insideschools.org which maps the zone for every elementary school inthe city and has basic info (sometime a bit dated) on all of them too, as well as how to enroll if you're new to town and the possibilities for G & T programs, if thats on the radar.

Most single parents will drop the kid off before work, but have you thought about when school lets out? You'll either have to budget to get somebody to do that or find a school with an extended after-school program. Generally speaking, we don't let our kids go to and from school by themselves before 5th or 6th grade. After school programs usually run 'till six, but not every school has one, and there is often a fee for those which do.

Of course, if you are willing to incrase your travel time, there are several other neighborhoods that might be good for you, but they will put you further from Midtown. Perhpas others here can vouch for school quality in affordable, closer-to-the-city neighborhoods in Bklyn/Queens where I have little personal knowldege about the schools: Long Island City, Astoria, Sunnyside, Ft. Green, Prospect Heights, et al

Good luck and welcome to NYC
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:37 PM
 
7,551 posts, read 7,978,155 times
Reputation: 8025
Honestly, with your budget, I would settle in a suburb in Westchester, NJ, or Long Island. Just like the Boston suburbs, the schools are a hundred times better and you don't have to worry about getting selected by lottery, exam, etc. to get into a good school. Find a home/apartment in an area that provides bus service and you won't have to deal with transportation issues either. Plenty of schools offer afterschool programs as well. Many parts of Long Island, Westchester, etc. have the same or shorter commute time than parts of Queens or Brooklyn to midtown, depending on where you work in Midtown.

The suburbs also offer wonderful opportunites for children interested in the arts. May I also suggest a day camp program with a diverse population on Long Island that is superb for artistic children, including theater and dance.
Usdan Center - America's Premier Summer Arts Day Camp in Long Island, New York
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Orlando
30 posts, read 41,162 times
Reputation: 14
Default hi another single mom with 61/2 yr old boy

[quote=xlauragx;24074276]I am a 38yr professional single mother of a 8 year old boy, who just got a transfer to Manhattan (October). Coming from Boston (Jamaica Plain) , while not the cheapest city, I know that what I pay here, will only be a mere fraction of what I will have to pay in New York. I lived in a 400sq ft studio in Chelsea for a few years after college. I absolutely loved the neighborhood, but I just know that's not happening this time! I'm not too familiar with the other 4 borough's, but I know that's where we will be going this time. It is important to continue to raise my son in a diverse and family friendly neighborhood, with good (public) schools. My son is also very involved in local theater and dance programs here in Boston, and we look forward to him continuing that. I am not 100% sure what I can afford, but have been looking at a few neighborhoods in Brooklyn (Dumbo, Brooklyn Heights), but they seem quite pricey for the space we need. I was thinking maybe Queens, but I don't know much about it. I am still paying off grad school (yea, yuck, I know...), so right now I'd say that my budget is probably $2500 a month for a 2 bedroom. I'm not too sure if I can get anything for that, so if I have to raise the budget a bit for the best neighborhood, that may be a possibility. My biggest concern (like middle of the night panic attacks lol) is that my son will be going to school in our neighborhood, and I'll be working all the way in Midtown. Considering the fact that it's just the two of us, it just really makes me nervous in an emergency. I'm not sure how long it would take by subway from Queens or Brooklyn, to my job in midtown. I'm a paranoid mother, what can I say?

Also one more thing, if I could get a bit of insight on how the school system works, in say Brooklyn or Queens (assuming we end up there). I've just read horror stories about getting your child into a good school in Manhattan, I'm not sure if it's everywhere or just there. Especially since my boy will be starting mid-year. A good public school with a wonderful arts program is important to us.

Thank you everyone (sorry for dragging this on!) It's always been a dream to bring my family back, and set down roots in the city. While I'm excited, I do have a bit of nervousness bringing a child with me this time hi I am in a similar situation as you...I was even considering rockland county upstate, the bus ride is one hour and the apts are nice and roomy, the area is artsy and the schools are good. Let me know what you find out. marce197@yahoo.com ps. I also lived here before
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:17 PM
 
Location: New York NY
4,133 posts, read 5,942,768 times
Reputation: 8680
Every address in all boroughs has an elementary school (K-5) zoned for that address. In general you bring the relevant documents to the school -- proof of address, immunization records, etc,-- and you are usually guaranteed a spot in that school. At elementary school level, demographics are destiny. The vast majority of the time, the more affluent , stable, and middle-class the zone is, the better the school. You can go to the DOE website, plug in an adress, and find your locally zoned elementary school. Then get at least an overview on the insideschools.org site. Kids can be tested for various citywide and districtwide G&T programs, but if you go to one of the better elementary schools IMHO you won't need that.

Queens has some zoned middle schools (5-8) and high schools, and some that you have to apply to. Your goal should be to land somewhere with a strong zoned middle school as well as elementary school. District 26 in northeast Queens has long had a rep as the best district in that borough, but it is a long schlep from there to Midtown and I have no idea what the rental prices are. Closer in neighborhoods might be Forest Hills, Sunnyside, Astoria, or Long Island City, but I'm no expert on Queens schools and neighborhoods. Maybe start a thread on Queens schools to get a better idea from someone more familair with them.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:36 PM
 
30,325 posts, read 31,201,438 times
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I would suggest Rego Park or Forest Hills in Queens.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:03 PM
 
912 posts, read 1,712,777 times
Reputation: 429
Don't listen to people who say you can't live in NYC. Plenty of tremendous options with that budget, try Craigslist. There are a lot of scams and crap you just must persist
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Old 02-25-2018, 04:09 AM
 
2 posts, read 4,338 times
Reputation: 10
I know this is an old post and the woman posting has already moved to New York. This is for other single parents: Even if you have to share a one bedroom with a child to be able to live and work close to your child's school, do it! Giving up having extra space will never replace the security of being close enough to get to your child if there is an emergency. The sooner you are home after work, the more time you get with your child and the less you pay for childcare. It's not that much of a savings to live in a borough. Not enough to justify a commute when you are all your child has. Pick a good school in the city and figure out a way to live close to it!
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Old 02-25-2018, 06:30 AM
 
251 posts, read 87,892 times
Reputation: 393
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelaD View Post
I know this is an old post and the woman posting has already moved to New York. This is for other single parents: Even if you have to share a one bedroom with a child to be able to live and work close to your child's school, do it! Giving up having extra space will never replace the security of being close enough to get to your child if there is an emergency. The sooner you are home after work, the more time you get with your child and the less you pay for childcare. It's not that much of a savings to live in a borough. Not enough to justify a commute when you are all your child has. Pick a good school in the city and figure out a way to live close to it!
It's a different era now. My parents started out in a busted studio when I was born. By the time I became of school age they were able to get stable good paying city jobs and move to a 2 BR in a good school district. Those days of being able to start humble and stretch a little to make ends meet are over for the most part as far as the 5 boroughs are concerned or USA in general to be honest.
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Old 02-25-2018, 04:59 PM
 
161 posts, read 72,114 times
Reputation: 182
you can do a 2 bed for $2500 in good neighborhoods in queens. also, queens is less likely to have absolutely sheeet schools, y'know? i'd find a neighborhood in eastern queens with a decent chinese population. the local schools should be better too. or get your son tested into a gifted and talented program (highly recommended if he gets in). do not send him to a piece of crap school with misbehaving students who don't value education, there's so many of those in nyc

another option: 1-bedroom in a nice neighborhood in an apartment where you can block off/curtain off the living room easily. so you'll have a 2-bed place.

everyone is different but you plan this right and long term i think your son will enjoy growing up in the city. he'll have much more freedom, exposure to culture and opportunities and ambitious people while living here but you just have to make sure he has good values and doesn't end up with the wrong crowd
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