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Old 11-01-2009, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Valley Stream, NY/ New York, NY
6 posts, read 20,357 times
Reputation: 11

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Hello,
I posted pretty much the same thing about Brooklyn, but was quickly shot down. Maybe Queens holds some hope (I am keeping my fingers crossed).

This is going to be a lengthy post, and I apologize. I just want to make sure all the vital info is in here.

I am a grad student from Tufts currently looking into the internship application process, as I need to complete an school psychology internship this coming September. I have been living in Somerville, MA (just outside of Cambridge and 10 mins to Boston) the past year. However, I was born in Prospect Heights, grew up in Rosedale, lived in Valley Stream for two years, and lived and went to undergrad in Manhattan (at Hunter College).

I would like to complete my internship on Long Island, most likely in Nassau County, as it might be an easy-in to a pretty decent salary when looking for a job the following year. However, I really could not picture myself living on Long Island at this point in my life. I am a city girl, and Long Island just doesn't have the character and culture that some of the outer boroughs have. I was interested in perhaps living in Queens and wondered how feasible that would be.

Here are some of my competing interests right now:
1) Our budget (me and my fiance's) is up to $2000 a month. We need at least a one bedroom apartment, but a two bedroom would be nice (as this is what we have now).
2) We also have a cat and would like to keep him at all costs.
3) We need parking for two cars (either easy on-street or driveway).
4) I would like a subway stop (I guess an LIRR would suffice as well) within walking distance (or a short bus ride) and about 30 min or less trip to Manhattan.
5) My fiance and I (he will be working as a teacher on Long Island) would like to be able to get to the highway and into Long Island in under 50 mins on weekday mornings. Remember we should be leaving around 7 am at the latest and we are going from west to east. We would like to end up on the southern shore of Nassau because this is where we have experience working in schools. We will probably be leaving for home around 3 pm, or 4 at the latest.
6) Activities like bars, arts, museums, good restaurants, etc. are nice, but not essential. If these things are accessible by car or subway, I would prefer them to be about 15 mins away. Taking all other interests into account, this is the least of my worries.
7) I would like the area to be relatively safe.

We are used to something similar but I guess...not as hardcore?...as alternate side parking. Here in Somerville, on my street, we can't park our cars on one side of the street on Mondays and the other side on Fridays. Also, different streets have different days, so if you park around the corner, you have to read the signs carefully. Street sweeping is in effect from 7 am to 12 pm. Sometimes we have to wake up at 7 am and move our cars, but we both leave for work at like 6:45 am so its usually not a problem. But believe me, we paid about $300 in our first three months living here just in parking tickets...and we still continue to pay every now and then.

We are used to paying high Long Island car insurance. I don't know how LI insurance compares to NYC insurance, but we managed. Also in MA, on top of insurance and monthly car loan payments, we had to pay a pretty hefty tax just for owning a car. The newer the car, the higher the tax. Our 2008 was pretty expensive. We managed. I have read post after post on here that says owning a car in NYC is a silly idea because of parking and it being so expensive, but I am not concerned about the money. I am more concerned about the availability of parking.

With this in mind, where should we think about living? Is it even feasible to live in Queens with these demands?

I realize that this is a lot to take in. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks so much!

Jenny
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:49 AM
 
7,079 posts, read 33,733,092 times
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Queens won't be much different from Brooklyn. Long Island is still your best bet.
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:04 AM
 
10,612 posts, read 20,739,640 times
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If you look at your budget as having $1600 for rent and then $200 for each car for parking, maybe that would help. I don't know driving times, but I did a google map directions search for Kew Gardens, Queens to Hempstead, LI and it says "19 min. Up to 40 min. in traffic"

So I am going to suggest you look at Kew Gardens, Forest Hills (25 min./45 min.) and Jackson Heights (26 min./45 min.) The minutes are from google maps from those places to Hempstead. I don't know if they are accurate.

All of those areas of Queens are by the E and F trains, which run express in Queens. Jackson Heights is 3 stops from Manhattan, Forest Hills is 4 stops, and I'm not sure about Kew Gardens (5?). They would all meet your requirement of being less than 30 minutes to Manhattan, although the reality is that if you have an appt in Manhattan you might have to leave an hour beforehand in order to get to the train station and to wait and all that. The mta.info site has train schedules so you can look up E and F and see how frequently they run and the exact # of minutes it's supposed to take from each stop.

In Jackson Heights, the cheapest garage spots are about $175 a month. I imagine the same is true for the other two places but I'm not sure. East Elmhurst, which is next to Jackson Heights, is mostly houses with driveways so it might be possible to get a driveway included if you rent one floor of the house. [important distinction - I am talking about EAST Elmhurst and not Elmhurst - both border Jackson Heights, but they do not border one another and are very different neighborhoods.] The street cleaning is only one day per week on each side, and if you are leaving so early every day then you won't have to concern yourself about being on the correct side at night.

Good luck -- I think you will figure something out.
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Old 11-01-2009, 03:40 PM
 
784 posts, read 2,469,533 times
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You want a safe area with a subway that's at most 30 mins to Manhattan and 50 mins to Long Island (on weekdays).

Forest Hills is your best bet.
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Old 11-01-2009, 04:28 PM
 
30,332 posts, read 31,201,438 times
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Forest Hills is your best bet. Rego Park would also be good but it would add about 10 min. to your subway commute as you have to transfer to a local train.
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Old 11-01-2009, 04:42 PM
 
10,612 posts, read 20,739,640 times
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Forest Hills is a nice neighborhood, with great amenities. There's an NYSC (same chain as Boston Sports Club), a Barnes and Noble and a bunch of totally decent places to eat. Also you are not a far drive to the only Trader Joes in Queens. It's a good suggestion if you can get it work with your budget and parking needs.

When you look at apartment listings, just be aware that brokers with apartments in Rego Park and some other surrounding areas are going to say their apts are in Forest Hills and you won't know it's not until you get the address and check on the map.
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Old 11-01-2009, 05:13 PM
 
7,553 posts, read 7,981,754 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viralmd View Post
Queens won't be much different from Brooklyn. Long Island is still your best bet.
Agreed.

I used to commute from Kew Gardens to Lawrence HS. Had to be in by 7AM That Van Wyck was not fun and I don't think it has gotten any better recently. It doesn't matter if the commute is east to west or west to east, either way it is long and tedious, especially in bad weather.

Perhaps you can manage the alternate side parking, as long as you only use the car for work. It gets diffcult if you decide to use it at night or late Sundays and then try to find a spot for the night.

Have you been to Nassau county lately? It is not much different from Queens.

Don't expect a new Nassau county public school teacher to be on their way home by 3 or 4 in the afternoon on a regular basis. That is not going to happen.

The price for rentals for Brooklyn, Queens, and Nassau is about the same. The only difference is if you end up renting an apartment in a private home, you may have to pay for your own heat, water, and other utlities in addition to your rent.

Depending where you live, the LIRR from Nassau to Manhattan can be faster than a subway ride from Queens to Manhattan.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Valley Stream, NY/ New York, NY
6 posts, read 20,357 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks for the advice! Keep the comments coming!

Here in Somerville, we have the same problem with parking. Forget about finding a spot within a quarter mile coming home at 10 pm on a Sunday night.

I was looking at a few real estate websites and I actually did see some apartments in FH and Kew Gardens with driveway parking, too (very few, of course). I realize these are extremely rare. However, that was a good point about listings...they could be lying about what area they are in.

If for example, we were to live in Forest Hills, will getting a $1600 a month apartment with a $200 a month garage spot be possible? If not, in what neighborhood will this be more likely?

I guess I don't really agree with Nassau being like Queens. I spent most of my formative years in Queens. I was a Queens Center mallrat. I went to Archbishop Molloy in Briarwood. I had a steady boyfriend who lived in Jackson Heights. We used to hit up the hookah bars in Astoria all the time. Living in Valley Stream in Nassau for 2 years, and then off and on the following 4 years, there is definitely a different feel. And VS is on the Queens border! There is something about living on Long Island that makes you feel guilty about ever wanting to leave. I hated that pressure from my family and friends to never move anywhere but LI. And the dirty looks from my friends when you wanted to go "into the city" instead of hit up the local crappy pub frequented by old men. I guess my decision to not be on Long Island is more personal, as once I am there, everyone will make it a living hell if I ever want to leave. I spent 13 years of my life in Queens and Long Island just never felt right.

Besides, I am cringing at the availability of apts in Long Island. The prices are not of concern to me. However, I've been looking and they either seem like you're in a basement, or you're living in an exclusive gated community, or you're in a not so good neighborhood. However, if need be, I will try my hardest to find what I am looking for there. Maybe I am looking in the wrong place?

My fiance is now a third year teacher and will be a fourth year when we move. He is in a HS, and he never stays later than an hour after school. Currently, he gets home at 3:45 at the latest even with an hour commute. I am not going to be a teacher. In my profession, we have stuff usually to do after school but most school psychologists I know usually don't stay more than an hour after school, unless there is a crisis.
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:40 AM
 
30,332 posts, read 31,201,438 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henna View Post
Forest Hills is a nice neighborhood, with great amenities. There's an NYSC (same chain as Boston Sports Club), a Barnes and Noble and a bunch of totally decent places to eat. Also you are not a far drive to the only Trader Joes in Queens. It's a good suggestion if you can get it work with your budget and parking needs.

When you look at apartment listings, just be aware that brokers with apartments in Rego Park and some other surrounding areas are going to say their apts are in Forest Hills and you won't know it's not until you get the address and check on the map.
The Trader Joes is actually in Rego Park.
Rego Park & Forest Hills border each other. The 67th Avenue local subway is actually in Forest Hills but if you walk 2-3 blocks from it you are in Rego Park. So again Rego Park isn't a bad option if it is in the area bordering Forest Hills.
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Old 11-02-2009, 01:13 PM
 
295 posts, read 1,331,320 times
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I agree with what most people wrote here: you should look at Forest Hills/Rego Park.

If being close to the city is what you dream about: do Rego Park/Forest Hills by Sears. It's walking distance to QC... so you know the area... and although street parking is not THAT easy, it isn't impossible either. The early time you guys get home will certainly work to your advantage. You will also be a short walk away from restaurants, ect. if you don't feel like going into Manhattan.

In that area, you could get a 1 bedroom easily within your budget & possibly even a 2 bedroom. You may still have $$ left-over to rent a garage.

Alternately, for an easier commute to LI, Bayside or even Flushing can be a consideration (though the LIRR would be your 30 mins into the city). Even Middle Village & Maspeth should be on your radar. You may have to walk 15 mins to the train, but parking will be a lot easier.
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