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Old 09-23-2008, 10:26 PM
 
27 posts, read 63,754 times
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Hi everyone. I'm relocating to nyc for work reasons as a new college graduate from the Midwest.

I'm a freelance event coordinator, so a lot of work I'll be doing is late in the evening/night, so keep that in mind for commutes around Manhattan, where most of my work will be.

My first option is a studio apt that I'd be subleasing for a year from a friend of a friend, near 148th and bradhurts in wash heights/harlem (not sure where the breakdowns are for neighborhoods in northern manhattan, to be honest). It's in my price range, but what's the area like for someone who has worked in midtown on projects, but never ventured north of 100 area?

The second option is a 3 month sublet (while conducting an in person apt search for a long term solution) in Astoria that's slightly more expensive, and comes with a roommate that I've spoken to but not met. The apt is off Ditmars ave.

What are the commutes like from the two different areas to the Midtown area, both during the day and later at night? How safe are the two areas (my main concern)? Is street parking available and reasonably found in Astoria (I get the feeling it's not in Manhattan).

In general, what would YOU recommend for a person new to the city, in his early 20's, who had visited but never lived in NYC?

Thanks!
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Old 09-23-2008, 10:41 PM
 
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Even though you haven't met the roommate, I'd recommend that route. It's only for three months, and it'll give you the chance to look for a longer-term situation in person.
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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148th & Bradhurst is Harlem, and it's transitional around there. It's different than the UWS in the 100s, and during the day it's probably not going to be an issue, but at night with the park right there, I'd not venture out too late at night if it could be avoided, i.e., taking a cab back instead of walking from the subway, though that could get expensive. The real downside to that area is that it's an island, and within a few blocks in each direction you encounter NYCHA projects, some of which are massive.

And, while the majority of people in the projects are law-abiding, some developments have worse records than others when it comes to neighborhood safety. Given the number of such projects in the general vicinity, it's a concern. And, if you have a car, it might mean having to park a few blocks away late at night and walking back, which may not be the best thing in that area either. There is limited street parking in the area, but it all depends upon what you drive as to whether or not you'd want to leave it on the street.

Astoria is a better area in terms of safety, for the most part, especially since you do not have the combination of a highly urbanized environment with numerous housing projects and urban parks with which to contend in the night for returning home in the overnight hours. You might have some noise from LaGuardia with which to contend, and a slighty longer commute to Midtown, but the trade-off is likely worth it, even if it's a little more expensive.
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Old 09-24-2008, 12:14 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
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I think the Astoria option would be best for you. It is close enough for transportation to Manhattan that it should not be an issue and you will probably have a better chance at parking. It is also a safer area. Not that I find Harlem unsafe but from someone just moving into the city, Harlem can be overwhelming.
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:38 AM
 
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Is the transportation still around late at night for Astoria? I wouldn't like trying to get on a train and waiting 30-45 mins to get out to Queens at midnight after working a 16-18 hour day on-site at an event lol. From my limited understanding of the city, it's a bit easier to catch a train uptown to Harlem in the middle of the night than over to Queens. Is that true?
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:50 AM
 
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[quote=dave1mo;5399371]Is the transportation still around late at night for Astoria?

Subway is 24/7.



I wouldn't like trying to get on a train and waiting 30-45 mins to get out to Queens at midnight after working a 16-18 hour day on-site at an event lol.

Whether Astoria or Harlem, it's going to take 30-45 minutes on late night trains.



From my limited understanding of the city, it's a bit easier to catch a train uptown to Harlem in the middle of the night than over to Queens. Is that true?

No, but it is easier to catch a bullet/beatdown/mugging/coke in Harlem.
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Old 09-24-2008, 01:19 PM
 
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So the general consensus is that it's worth the extra 200 dollars a month and a roomie for the flexibility of a sublet and a safer area?

I was told that that area was definitely up and coming, but did not know it was essentially an island with some less...reputable areas surrounding it, especially the park.

The guy that found the harlem lease for me has hired me for several projects over the years, and his son (my age, but a life-long NYC resident) lives 3 blocks from the apartment on 148th and Bradhurst.
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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For a New Yorker, they could deal with the area. It's coming into the area from another that's the hesitation. It's transitional, yes, certainly safer than it was ten years ago, but it's not to the same level of safety as an Astoria. It's difficult to say if you would be comfortable in the environment, especially at night, since there are issues in the areas once you get above the UES and UWS.

I think that you can walk to/from the Harlem apartment without going by the projects, but would you feel comfortable on the streets late at night? Can you look at the apartment and its area before you have to decide? That might help you to make a decision, but crime is more of a factor there, and you're looking for safety.
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:33 PM
 
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I vote for Astoria. I don't know the exact location of the Manhattan apartment, but I do know that my friend who lives north of there in Inwood complains about how long the late-night train ride takes and sketchy looking people who sometimes hassle her verbally.

(I do realize that just because her street in Inwood is sketchy it does not make all of northern Manhattan sketchy, but I guess my point is that just because an apartment is in Manhattan does not make it #1 Nice #2 easy to get home at night.)

I really like the Ditmas area in Astoria and if you ever have periods of time when you are NOT working 16 hour days, I think you will enjoy the area more as a 20-something. Check astorians.com for what the locals are saying.

I do think, however, that car parking is not necessarily going to be easy, mainly because of street cleaning. Are you aware that you'll have to be moving it all the time - like maybe every day? Sometimes people moving here from elsewhere are not aware of that.
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Old 09-24-2008, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn
47 posts, read 148,949 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave1mo View Post
Hi everyone. I'm relocating to nyc for work reasons as a new college graduate from the Midwest.

In general, what would YOU recommend for a person new to the city, in his early 20's, who had visited but never lived in NYC?
I would recommend you move to Chicago instead.
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