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Old 05-31-2010, 12:50 AM
 
Location: Astoria, NY
84 posts, read 258,106 times
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Back in 2006 I lived in Woodside, off the 61st Street stop. I am a white female, I recall one time being on the train and just taking a moment, several months after living there, and I looked around and just happened to notice I was the only obvious white person on the train. There was every shade of person. And that is the beauty of that area. I loved living there. Every type of person, every color - all doing their thing in the same neighborhood - no one cared where other people came from, or what not, and everyone was friendly with everyone. It felt safe and comfortable. There did seem to be Irish and Hispanic more than anything - but truly, all colors were around. I don't think you'd feel uncomfortable there, or that people would necessarily notice you as "different" either.

The 7 train is a reliable train, but can be slooooooooooooow during rush hour. It probably took 30 minutes to midtown. In Jackson Heights, which is where I eventually had a job (I could walk to work!), you have more choices of trains, and I think even more a variety of people. It's another great area.
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:22 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Pkwy (da Bronx)
966 posts, read 2,052,271 times
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Thanks so much, everyone. I've definitely got my eye on Sunnyside, Woodside, and Jackson Heights. Had a look at craigslist today. These areas are also still affordable.
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:54 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
1,141 posts, read 2,802,966 times
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No, not many black people in both areas from my travels...seems mostly White & Asian. I think the west side of Harlem could fit the bill pretty well. Don't know if you'd be interested though.
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Pkwy (da Bronx)
966 posts, read 2,052,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorofnyc View Post
No, not many black people in both areas from my travels...seems mostly White & Asian. I think the west side of Harlem could fit the bill pretty well. Don't know if you'd be interested though.
Hello mayorofnyc. Thanks for your post. I appreciate your suggestion and can definitely relate. I lived on Sugar Hill for about five years. Coming back to NYC, after being away for about a year, I will be looking for a change. A brand new lifestyle; slightly more quiet; and hopefully only a hop, a skip, and a jump away from Manhattan, where I will continue to work and play.

Let me know if you think of any other affordable culturally-diverse areas where a youthful, forty-something, Black, independent yet community-oriented professor/poet/performer can live in peace with her neighbors.

Last edited by Nala8; 05-31-2010 at 08:52 AM..
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Pkwy (da Bronx)
966 posts, read 2,052,271 times
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Hey folks. I found this ad today on craigslist: Modern one bedroom, utilities included (http://newyork.craigslist.org/que/abo/1767690404.html - broken link)

Ok, so... What's the catch? Such a beautiful studio at such a low price? Truthfully, I am thinking the neighborhood must be a bit sketchy.

Feedback?

Thanks.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:50 AM
 
10,729 posts, read 20,944,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nala8 View Post
Hey folks. I found this ad today on craigslist: Modern one bedroom, utilities included (http://newyork.craigslist.org/que/abo/1767690404.html - broken link)

Ok, so... What's the catch? Such a beautiful studio at such a low price? Truthfully, I am thinking the neighborhood must be a bit sketchy.

Feedback?

Thanks.
It says 80th St. Jackson Heights. If it truly is a one bedroom and truly in Jackson Heights (south of Northern Blvd) then no, the neighborhood is definitely not sketchy. This is in the vicinity of coops buildings like Laburnum Court Jackson Heights Pictures - Pictures of Jackson Heights NY
and the Greystones
Greystones Landmark Co-op 3 Bedroom / 2 Bath 

It does seem to be below market, though, so you are right to question why. Could be rent stablized and a long-time tenant just moved (and therefore price would still be low even with new tenant increase). It could be a coop rental (though it doesn't say that) which require jumping through more hoops -even for renters--such as board approval, therefore brining the price down (still, it seems too low for this). Could be bait and switch.

If apt is truly in Jackson Heights and not across Northern Blvd in East Elmhurst, my guess is that it should be about $1300-$1500 for market. That's just a guess.
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Pkwy (da Bronx)
966 posts, read 2,052,271 times
Reputation: 552
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henna View Post
It says 80th St. Jackson Heights. If it truly is a one bedroom and truly in Jackson Heights (south of Northern Blvd) then no, the neighborhood is definitely not sketchy. This is in the vicinity of coops buildings like Laburnum Court Jackson Heights Pictures - Pictures of Jackson Heights NY
and the Greystones
Greystones Landmark Co-op 3 Bedroom / 2 Bath 

It does seem to be below market, though, so you are right to question why. Could be rent stablized and a long-time tenant just moved (and therefore price would still be low even with new tenant increase). It could be a coop rental (though it doesn't say that) which require jumping through more hoops -even for renters--such as board approval, therefore brining the price down (still, it seems too low for this). Could be bait and switch.

If apt is truly in Jackson Heights and not across Northern Blvd in East Elmhurst, my guess is that it should be about $1300-$1500 for market. That's just a guess.
Right, Henna. Astute as usual. Nice little Freudian slip on my part here, assuming that this is an ad for a studio, when it is actually for a one-bedroom apartment. I still wonder if there is a catch.

How can I (or anyone for that matter) avoid bait-and-switch rental scams?
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:27 PM
 
10,729 posts, read 20,944,532 times
Reputation: 8301
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nala8 View Post
Right, Henna. Astute as usual. Nice little Freudian slip on my part here, assuming that this is an ad for a studio, when it is actually for a one-bedroom apartment. I still wonder if there is a catch.

How can I (or anyone for that matter) avoid bait-and-switch rental scams?
I think that after you decide on a neighborhood or a handful of neighborhoods, you could try to get some recommendations for local brokers in those areas. Other than that, I don't know, as the bait and switch thing seems pretty prevalent.

A friend told me she has been looking for apartment rentals on streeteasy and nybits, however, I don't know if those are less prone to bait and switch than craigslist.
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:45 PM
 
Location: NY,NY
2,899 posts, read 8,368,914 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nala8 View Post
Not simply African-Americans but also those of us who come from or have roots in the Caribbean, Latin America, or Africa?

Being the first generation in my mother's side of the family to be born in the States, I consider myself to be African-American, but I also have cultural roots in the Caribbean. I am also studying Spanish (the language and the cultures). I am a college instructor, community/nonprofit educator, and poet/performer who teaches and performs in genuinely multicultural/international settings. I get along with people of all nationalities, but my experience here in Madison, Wisconsin has taught me that even if the population is gradually diversifying, being one of very few Black professionals (let alone artists) can be a daily challenge. I could tell you stories.

I am pretty independent, and I don't mind standing out a bit. Still, I would prefer to live in a community within a reasonable commuting distance to Manhattan where I am not considered a cultural anomaly. lol. A community in which I could sit comfortably in a little cafe, diner, or restaurant to study, grade papers, write, prepare for upcoming shows, etc. without having to break the rules or social barriers. That just gets a little old, you know?

Anything you can tell me about Sunnyside or Woodside in terms of current demographics would be helpful. I am also still open to suggestions re other boroughs or communities that might be a good fit. Thanks so much.

Edit: I really hope this question doesn't offend anyone. I just don't want to jump from frying pan A to frying pan B.
Gosh, you worry a LOT! Either that or perhaps stepping away from the keyboard might be a good thing for awhile.

Anyway, "working-class" are low income by definition and "the projects" generally have a lot of working people (as well as non-working types). In those neighborhoods most blacks will be find in the projects; but, you'll find black folk like yourself sprinkled throughout, though not to the density of creating a "community".

Frankly, why not just move to a middle-class Carribean dominated community????

In Queens, you'll find areas of West-Indians in Jamaica, Springfield Gardens, Hollis, St. Albans and Jamaica Heights.

In Brooklyn, you'll also find whole neighborhoods of West-Indian folk. Flatbush, East Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Midwood.

I'm Brooklyn born and bred and know it like the back of my hand, from how you've described yourself and circumstance, I'd suggest Flatbush/Midwood, specifically the "Junction" area near Brooklyn College and Midwood H.S. The last stop on the IRT, Flatbush Avenue puts you right smack in the middle of the commercial area, the junctions of Flatbush and Nostrand Avenues. You can find a studio or 1 bedroom in the $1,000 to $1,500 range in a nice, clean, safe building.

JFYI, sidewalk cafes, in the outer boroughs are generally only found in the trendy neighborhoods or Eastern European immigrants neighborhoods. You can (still) find a few buppie spot cafes in Bed-Stuy, Harlem, (quickly gentrifying) and maybe in Ft. Greene (fully gentrified) or Clinton Hill (gentrying by the minute).

Actually, Clinton Hill, near Pratt University might be the perfect spot for you. It's gentrying at light speed, but still has a diversity (class/income) of black people. I think it has everything you desire; and, if you have just a little bit of street smarts you'll be able to find a decent quality apartment at a fair price.

I'm not as familiar with the Queens neighborhoods above as Brooklyn, maybe someone else can give you the low down. I know in Jamaica, you've got to pick your spot carefully.

Oh, again, jfyi, Clinton Hill is a trendy, college, yuppie, ex-buppie, neighborhood. In contrast, Flabush/Midwood area is not trendy, and is typically outer-borough with normal relatively everyday people and has zero nightlife, but is safe and affordable. Also, the housing is of a better stock than say Astoria and has good deal of pre-war apartments.

All the neighborhoods I mentioned have pros and cons which are dependent upon who your are as an individual, and what you can afford.

As far as commuting, overall, depending upon which neighborhood, in Brooklyn, it'd be an hour or less commute time. In Queens, again, dependent upon which neighborhood, an hour on average, though, in the neighborhoods I mentioned, you'll may have a two-part commute by bus then subway, which is par for the course in Queens save for the urbanized areas such as Woodside, Sunnyside and Astoria for example which most of the neighborhood served directly by subway (but go deep in those neighborhoods and you'll have to bus it to the subway).

While I'm at it, I guess I'll be a bit more frank. Personally, I would not move to either Woodside or Sunnyside.

If you do you won't have any "stories" to tell, but I don't think you'll find it as socially comforting as you might some other neighborhoods. Both areas are overwhelmingly first generation immigrant, and while you shouldn't have any overtly negative experiences it isn't Kansas Dorothy! and you'll very well be aware of the fact. Though, you will find, sprinkled about, young yuppie types chasing affordable rents. No Buppies to any appreciable degree.

You might wish to consider Astoria, the 30th Avenue corridor. While there isn't any community whatsoever, you may find the area more neutrally appealing. There is a housing project several blocks away, isolated and with little in the way of service shops, some residents do their shopping along the corridor near the subway.

In addition, there is a proportion of diverse blacks directly related to the steady advancing wave of gentrification saturating the neighborhood. Newly visible, 2 or 3, day or evening, along the avenue, separate and isolated.

Luck!
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Old 06-01-2010, 04:40 PM
DAS
 
2,530 posts, read 5,861,300 times
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^ Thank you for posting this response. I wanted to post the exact same things, however I did not want to offend anyone.

Sunnyside and Woodside while have a lot of brown people, not all brown people are the same, and not all brown people from one group welcome other brown people from other groups, but a White person maybe made to feel very comfortable. So you have to really go visit, walk around, shop, stop people ask for directions, and see the response that you get.

When people apply for public housing an apt can become available anywhere, so you will see people that live in public housing that are not part of the dominate group of the area. Also areas can have several changes of dominate groups since the projects were built in that area.

If you are on a limited budget you may have to take your chances, because most traditionally Black areas like Harlem and Bed Stuy maybe out of your range. But in actuality Hamilton Heights is really just what you are looking for now, since it is so racially diverse now, you would be surprised how much things changed in the past year. This past month everybody was out there these past weekends planting, pruning, and other maintenance on trees. There were the brownstone owners, along with coop and condo owners, and the tenement dwellers, all around the 140's from Riverside to St Nick. Everybody working together young and old, in what appeared to be harmony.

There are a couple of art galleries around there now, vegetarian, and middle eastern restaurants, as well as a real sit down Italian restaurant, the kind that closes to the public to host parties sometimes.

What I'm finding is that if an area is affordable now it is probably the home of a dominate group that wants to keep it that way for now. An example is Woodlawn in the Bronx, very affordable, but mostly Irish. I don't blame any group for doing this because as you are posting it is hard to find a place that is welcoming, and affordable.
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