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Old 06-17-2012, 11:18 AM
 
Location: London, NYC, DC
1,068 posts, read 1,070,365 times
Reputation: 566

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost_Boy View Post
Why do people like Williamsburg so much. Its gritty, and still the hood. You hipsters basically can't afford manhattan so go to brooklyn and try to hype up an area that isnt anywhere as great as soho.
Yet Williamsburg (or at least the Northside) is just as expensive as parts of Manhattan now. You could probably get an apartment in a far prettier brownstone on the Upper West Side for the same price as one of those modern ones surrounded by a sea of vinyl siding in Williamsburg. I don't get it.
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:38 PM
 
1,411 posts, read 1,052,503 times
Reputation: 1138
I should have clarified a little...

Greenpoint is indeed a long shot, which is why I gave alternatives, but I do think a room for $650 in Greenpoint is barely within the realm of possibility. The neighborhood is still a little cheaper than Williamsburg, particularly as you go further north or east. It would take some luck, and there would probably be something undesirable about it like high floor walk-up, really small, really far from the train, etc., but it might be possible.

The other areas I mentioned kind of fall into two categories...the Queens neighborhoods on the 7 train would mainly be good because they offer pretty quick access to Greenpoint/Williamsburg and LIC. Ridgewood is another one that I forgot, someone else mentioned--it's actually a much better suggestion because it's right next to Bushwick, which is where almost all the low-rent artist types actually live and work, for better or for worse. Ridgewood is probably the way to go. Other posters here know about which parts are the best.

The south Brooklyn neighborhoods I mentioned because they have their own "bohemian" scene separate from Williamsburg, especially Ditmas Park. Windsor Terrace and Sunset Park (northern part) are mostly Park Slope spillover which might be too staid for you.
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:55 PM
 
48 posts, read 49,226 times
Reputation: 31
Thanks for all the recommendations! Highly appreciated. Was not aware that Queens neighborhoods along the 7 have good access to Williamsburg... will have to look at a map to see why - I'm guessing crossoverto the G train? Ridgewood sounds okay but from what I hear, the parts in proximity to Bushwick/BK may as well be Bushwick. Currently looking into Ditmas Park the most, as it sounds like the mix of bohemian vibe/working-class that I'm trying to find. Interestingly, I'm surprised that no one has just told me to just bite the bullet and rent in Williamsburg and that it'd be worth going over my initial budget plans...
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:52 PM
 
1,411 posts, read 1,052,503 times
Reputation: 1138
Ha, I don't want to overstate how convenient those 7 train neighborhoods are to Williamsburg/Greenpoint, it would still be kind of a pain. The advantage over Elmhurst would be that there would be at least SOME people like you in the neighborhood, if not a ton.

It's true that the nicer parts of Ridgewood are further north, but the M train connects you to Bushwick/Williamsburg.

Honestly from what you've said about yourself you might not even LIKE what Williamsburg is now. Combined with how much it sucks to worry about money, I don't think it's worth going over budget just to live there.
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:20 AM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
1,415 posts, read 1,596,633 times
Reputation: 1351
MFA from the New School and it's $18K/year or per semester? Please tell me your loan will be $50K or less when you finish? Most MFA grads I know from higher ranked schools are now working at Starbucks. I hope you are aware of the financial realities of loan repayment. At 6.8%, at 10 yr repayment- your loan payment will be more than $500/month and don't think of deferring because that increases the principal.

(ok now that I am done going off on that tangent..)

As far as neighborhoods go, I think Queens will serve you well. Ive always found it more affordable than Brooklyn..the areas along the 7 line are somewhat safe, affordable and very close to midtown so access to NYC is quick. Plus many houses in Queens are converted into rental space so finding a cheap roommate/share is pretty easy. $600-800/month is the usual range.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:17 AM
 
1,529 posts, read 1,572,103 times
Reputation: 1096
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickcommie View Post
You mentioned Bed-Stuy being on the "beginning" stages of gentrification - I heard the more Western half of it is not that hood. Should I reconsider it? It's within my price range but I'm not set out to be an "artist pioneer" and go to a slummy neighborhood just for it's access to other hoods and risk being a target.
.
Full disclosure: I'm a property owner in the western part, I'm new to the neighborhood and I grew up in the most non-hood place imaginable (an ultra wealthy NYC suburb)...Be sure to expect some comments from the peanut gallery on here about Bed-Stuy but here's what I have to say about it:

The western edge, specifically Classon Ave to Nostrand Ave, is much further along the gentrification path than the eastern parts- with the exception being Stuyvesant Heights which I think is more bougie black people than so called "hipsters". The northern part (what's near the G train) has the most spill over from those who were priced out of Williamsburg and it's the northern part that has most of the, um, "new resident" entertainment like bars (Black Swan, One Last Shag, Project Parlor) restaurants (Do or Dine, SUD, Umi Nom), coffee shops (Dough, Bedford Hill, Brooklyn Kolache) wine, not liquor, stores (Bouchon and some new place that just open on Bedford near Green, last week) and the beer garden (Brooklyn Tap House). The southern part, what's near the C train, probably seems more "hood" or whatever but that's because of Fulton street. Fulton street has a lot of fast food places, dollar stores, and your typical cheap-o low quality clothing stores. People also tend to loiter around the C train entrance.

The G train, which a lot of people slam as the most horrible train in the whole system, is remarkably reliable and would get you into Williamsburg in about 5-7 minutes, give or take. Also, there is a bike lane that runs up Bedford and Down Franklin Ave and you could bike there pretty quickly too.

Note, the extreme northern part, from about Flushing to DeKalb is Jewish Hasidic. Also be aware that the infamous Marcy Projects reside in the extreme northern part too- which quite frankly, makes for the most unusual mix of Hasdic/Hipsters/Hoods.

As for the thing about safety, IMO, it's safe and I don't feel uncomfortable, at all, in the neighborhood. However, there have been a recent rash of robberies, specifically of Apple products. As a result, the NYPD has posted patrol who literally stand on guard throughout the western section (there are two that are pretty much posted outside of my building). They also put up a Sky Cam watch tower outside of the G train entrance and have patrol cars that sit on the corners keeping watch. What's so interesting, and sadly predictable, is that for years this area was the gutter; crime infested and completely ignored. When condos go up, money comes in, and those Brownstones that you couldn't give away in years past are now pushing a million dollars +, safety of the residents (and really, the new ones) is of utmost importance.

You should move to wherever you can afford but most importantly,where you'd feel most comfortable. Comfort is also about a neighborhood vibe in addition to safety. For example, Although I looked at many places in Williamburg, I did not move to there specifically because the area felt "wrong". It was unfriendly, pretentious, unwelcoming, etc- full of people that would only speak to me because they had to. With Bed-Stuy, I personally made several trips to my new neighborhood, during the day and night, visited some of the bars and restaurants, walked to and from the subway, spoke to some people living on the block, etc to fully understand what I was getting into. It was warm, welcoming, and someplace to call home. And while it's certainly not without it's problems, it was a better fit, and has much more long term potential (I'm speaking specifically as a property owner which is something that wouldn't concern you).
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:26 AM
 
2,821 posts, read 2,546,434 times
Reputation: 1989
Quote:
Originally Posted by BinxBolling View Post
Look at Greenpoint. There are still cheap shares. It's completely safe and walking distance to Williamsburg.

Failing that, you can look at Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, or Sunset Park in Brooklyn or Sunnyside, Woodside, or Jackson Heights in Queens. They all have some "bohemian" types and are a lot cheaper than Williamsburg.

These are actually good neighborhoods for the OP since they're definitely not ghetto or as expensive as Williamsburg.

From the list, I would avoid Sunset park or Jackson heights though.
But Kensington, or Windsor terrace are pretty nice neighborhoods. Not much 'happening' in either one but they're close enough to the action.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:26 AM
 
Location: USA
6,706 posts, read 4,074,477 times
Reputation: 2330
just get in where you fit in, get
through school and don't complain.
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:11 AM
 
48 posts, read 49,226 times
Reputation: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by LegalDiva View Post
MFA from the New School and it's $18K/year or per semester? Please tell me your loan will be $50K or less when you finish? Most MFA grads I know from higher ranked schools are now working at Starbucks. I hope you are aware of the financial realities of loan repayment. At 6.8%, at 10 yr repayment- your loan payment will be more than $500/month and don't think of deferring because that increases the principal.

(ok now that I am done going off on that tangent..)

As far as neighborhoods go, I think Queens will serve you well. Ive always found it more affordable than Brooklyn..the areas along the 7 line are somewhat safe, affordable and very close to midtown so access to NYC is quick. Plus many houses in Queens are converted into rental space so finding a cheap roommate/share is pretty easy. $600-800/month is the usual range.
It's 18k per year. Actually it's 25k per year but I have an 8k grant/scholarship each year. I'm currently in about 13-14k in debt from my undergaraduate (which isn't that bad). So yeah, I will be around 50-60k in debt by the time I'm done with the New School degree. I'm definitely aware of how dangerous the loan repayments are, however, it's not true that you have to stick to 500 monthly payments over 10 years - you can consolidate your payments and make smaller payments over a longer period. Also, I don't mean to offend any of your friends, but anyone working at Starbucks after a Masters degree (even if it is an MFA), especially from a highly ranking school, is doing something very wrong. I took a year off between this initiative and finishing my undergrad and worked for a year at a very fast growing Canadian company, as a copywriter... at 23. I was making 32k a year (about 24-26k a year after taxes) which is actually lower than the standard entry-level copywriting job, so I expect my next office job to pay more. Point is, I am not going to work at Starbucks, because I already have solid professional work experience. I *am*, however, a little unsure how making those payments (even at 300 or 400/m) would work out if I was trying to do so in NYC, with 750/m rent, even if the job was slightly higher paying. I imagine the people you are talking about who finished an MFA and work at Starbucks, I don't know, maybe they never had a working career besides their academic career. During my high school / undergrad I worked in restaurants, cafes, call centers, grocery stores, a summer camp, a book store, a movie theater, and then during my year as a post-grad I worked the office job, in night clubs/parties, as well as freelance writing. I have a feeling that a lot of MFA students go into it straight out of undergrad, and then they have no work experience after and are surprised they can't get a job. I purposely took a year off so that I will be less likely to be in that position (long term I'm interested in teaching at a university level, working in editing/publishing, maybe another copywriting job, as well as TESL).

Jad2k - Thank you very much for your breakdown of that area. I'll look into some of the parts you mentioned. I wonder if Williamsburg felt pretentious and unwelcoming to you because you didn't fit the demographic (which I have no idea if that's the case or not, and in any case that is certainly not a reason to be unfriendly and unwelcoming to someone) or if that's just how it would feel to anyone in general. I haven't spent enough time in the area to know. Although one of my friends in Montreal described it as "the Mile End on crack", which I think is hilarious, in the sense that the Mile End is Montreal's artsy, hipster-y, at times with pretentious residents, and that Williamsburg feels like that to the extreme, apparently...

Still thinking of looking in some south BK neighborhoods mentioned, or Queens neighborhoods along the 7.
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Ridgewood, NY
2,754 posts, read 3,418,407 times
Reputation: 1281
Quote:
Originally Posted by jad2k View Post
Full disclosure: I'm a property owner in the western part, I'm new to the neighborhood and I grew up in the most non-hood place imaginable (an ultra wealthy NYC suburb)...Be sure to expect some comments from the peanut gallery on here about Bed-Stuy but here's what I have to say about it:

The western edge, specifically Classon Ave to Nostrand Ave, is much further along the gentrification path than the eastern parts- with the exception being Stuyvesant Heights which I think is more bougie black people than so called "hipsters". The northern part (what's near the G train) has the most spill over from those who were priced out of Williamsburg and it's the northern part that has most of the, um, "new resident" entertainment like bars (Black Swan, One Last Shag, Project Parlor) restaurants (Do or Dine, SUD, Umi Nom), coffee shops (Dough, Bedford Hill, Brooklyn Kolache) wine, not liquor, stores (Bouchon and some new place that just open on Bedford near Green, last week) and the beer garden (Brooklyn Tap House). The southern part, what's near the C train, probably seems more "hood" or whatever but that's because of Fulton street. Fulton street has a lot of fast food places, dollar stores, and your typical cheap-o low quality clothing stores. People also tend to loiter around the C train entrance.

The G train, which a lot of people slam as the most horrible train in the whole system, is remarkably reliable and would get you into Williamsburg in about 5-7 minutes, give or take. Also, there is a bike lane that runs up Bedford and Down Franklin Ave and you could bike there pretty quickly too.

Note, the extreme northern part, from about Flushing to DeKalb is Jewish Hasidic. Also be aware that the infamous Marcy Projects reside in the extreme northern part too- which quite frankly, makes for the most unusual mix of Hasdic/Hipsters/Hoods.

As for the thing about safety, IMO, it's safe and I don't feel uncomfortable, at all, in the neighborhood. However, there have been a recent rash of robberies, specifically of Apple products. As a result, the NYPD has posted patrol who literally stand on guard throughout the western section (there are two that are pretty much posted outside of my building). They also put up a Sky Cam watch tower outside of the G train entrance and have patrol cars that sit on the corners keeping watch. What's so interesting, and sadly predictable, is that for years this area was the gutter; crime infested and completely ignored. When condos go up, money comes in, and those Brownstones that you couldn't give away in years past are now pushing a million dollars +, safety of the residents (and really, the new ones) is of utmost importance.

You should move to wherever you can afford but most importantly,where you'd feel most comfortable. Comfort is also about a neighborhood vibe in addition to safety. For example, Although I looked at many places in Williamburg, I did not move to there specifically because the area felt "wrong". It was unfriendly, pretentious, unwelcoming, etc- full of people that would only speak to me because they had to. With Bed-Stuy, I personally made several trips to my new neighborhood, during the day and night, visited some of the bars and restaurants, walked to and from the subway, spoke to some people living on the block, etc to fully understand what I was getting into. It was warm, welcoming, and someplace to call home. And while it's certainly not without it's problems, it was a better fit, and has much more long term potential (I'm speaking specifically as a property owner which is something that wouldn't concern you).
Surprisingly objective post... Agree with almost all of it. These type of posts are what people need to read when considering these up and coming neighborhoods. Both sides of the fence. As you mentioned, while Bed-stuy has gentrified considerably especially in certain pockets, there are things you need to be aware of and ultimately the person should feel comfortable with the area at all times before considering a move... It irks me to the core when I see people say I signed a lease and I'm moving to Bushwick/Bedstuy/Far Rock/Sunset Park/etc. in a month... How's the area? Like you did before your move, others should do the same. People need to stop being lazy and looking for answers online through a subjective forum and actually observe the area for themselves and see whether it's right for them or not. What might be okay for one person, may not be okay for another... How can you let yourself be guided by one person's opinion to make a living decision... To me, it's idiocy in its clearest form and it's why I warn people constantly about listening to others and check the area out for themselves...
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