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Old 01-15-2011, 01:03 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,503 times
Reputation: 10

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I've been browsing here for a little while, decided to make a post!

Here are my stats:
- mid 20-something yo male, just get a job for 100k a year up in Englewood, NJ, right across the bridge.
- If I keep the car and do the reverse commute I think I can live most anywhere in Manhattan or western Brooklyn. Upper West Side would be best choice commute wise but I get the feeling there's not much up there for a single guy in his 20's.
- So I'm looking for a one-bedroom apt, probably no roommates, looking to spend up to $3000 a month, or even a little more if they'll rent it to me. (>=500 sq ft would be nice)
- No idea about the neighborhoods. Someone recommended Williamsburg in Brooklyn. I now understand that is the hipster capital of the world. I drove through there and saw it has a feeling similar to Grove St in Jersey City, but larger.
- Manhattan seems great, but it is a) pricey, and b) touristy. Where can I live that's not so touristy? Any pointers or ideas would be helpful so I could go check it out / read about it / talk to people.

My first priority would be location, living in a nice neighborhood, with people my age (important), without having to go far to get to the local action (restaurants, cafes, bars, comedy, etc). I don't need anything to be super "trendy". I just want people to care about where they live and not treat it like ****.

I'd love to find an area with lots of character, otherwise I feel I'd be better off just saving my money and trying to move someplace in NJ.
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:11 PM
 
16 posts, read 39,596 times
Reputation: 13
Hey,
I grew up in Englewood and live on the Upper West Side.
The Upper West Side is definitely your best choice commute wise and for several reasons. The only concern I would have is budgetary, but given your stated budget it is not a worry.
Contrary to what you were told, the UWS is definitely great for 20 somethings. It's not the Village, but there are plenty of 20's and 30's professional and artsy types there, Columbia/Fordham/Juilliard students, etc, there is a decent bar scene on Amsterdam & Columbus in the 80's (and a smaller one near Columbia), and subway and taxi access to the rest of Manhattan is very good. Overall it's a beautiful vibrant, very Manhattany neighborhood (without the tourists!) with excellent access to Central and Riverside Parks
The UWS is the closest decent city neighborhood to Englewood, the most car friendly (easier to find street parking there than most neighborhoods of Manhattan), and, if you're reverse commuting to Englewood, you can actually do it without a car, since you have decent subway access to both Port Authority (NJT 166 (X or T) and Coach USA 20, both run express buses (24-40 min) to downtown Englewood) and the GWB bus Terminal (plenty of buses from there). Assuming that you're not hanging out in Englewood past midnight, you have easy access back home without the car.
Williamsburg is hipster capital (although it has gotten a bit expensive for hipsters) and comparing it to lame Grove Street is kind of ridiculous. But do yourself a favor - do NOT commute from Williamsburg to Englewood! That will be an absolute nightmare. I would only consider Billyburg for your purposes if you are a hard-core, dyed in the wool hipster. If that's the case, you should not be considering anything in NJ. But since you say that you are, and that you don't care about 'trendy', I take it you're not. So do yourself a favor and scratch all Brooklyn locales from your list. You really want to stay on the West Side of Manhattan, or bite the bullet and stay in Jersey.
As for Jersey - Englewood is very pretty and not bad for a suburb, but it is just that. It's no place for a 20something single person to live. The only places in all of Jersey that are are (arguably) Hoboken and Jersey City. But if you can afford Manhattan, there's no reason to consider them: it is far far better, and is actually just as easy a commute to Englewood as they are (actually, if you're using public transport - a far easier commute to Englewood, since Hoboken and JC require you to commute via Manhattan).
Go with the UWS, Morningside Heights, or the gentrifying parts of Hell's Kitchen and Chelsea and you will be much happier. Another possibility is the Hudson Heights section of Washington Heights (right near the bridge) - but I still think the UWS is best for your needs.
One more tip: you may want to give preference to areas near the Columbus Circle or 125th Subway stops (be careful with the latter! Only West of Morningside Park!) since they are express stops with the A train, which will save you a great deal of commuting time if you choose to take the GWB Bus Terminal.
Best of Luck!
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:29 PM
 
37 posts, read 101,214 times
Reputation: 63
Upper West Side is indeed your best option given what you've described. If you want to live in a nice, reputable building, though, I doubt you'll find anyone who will rent a $3,000 apartment - much less more than $3,000 - to you if you're making $100K. More realistically, you'll be limited to around $2,500, which will likely not get you more than 500 square feet in a prime Upper West Side location. Perhaps a walk-up building with no elevators, or something that's far away from the subways would give you more space for the money. You can call around, though. Some buildings are more flexible with the rent-income restrictions, but if you really want something that bends the ordinary practices like you're suggesting, you'll probably be dealing with older buildings (though that's not to say you can't find a really nice older building; just saying your choices will be limited).

If you want something non-touristy, I'd avoid Columbus Circle or Lincoln Center. Something in the 70s or 80s would be the sweet spot, as anything above there starts to get questionable in terms of safety.

Also, anywhere between 60th Street and 80th Street on the Upper East Side has a similar vibe. I lived in this area for a while and liked it. Lots of grocery shops, 24-hour drugstores, movie theaters, shopping, etc. I've found driving around the Upper East to be just about the most manageable area in Manhattan to drive and find parking, so that's a plus. Any other "non-touristy" part of Manhattan is non-touristy for a reason, so I wouldn't venture beyond the UWS or UES.

As someone who has done the reverse commute to New Jersey multiple times in the morning, I can tell you you'll have no problems. It's a cinch to get out of the city. However, making the return trip can be difficult. Even though a lot of people will be going out of the city at 5:30 - 7:00, there are a great deal of people who live/work in New Jersey and come into New York to hang out after they finish work. So, the "reverse commute" back into the city can mean delays of up to an hour on the Lincoln Tunnel or GW Bridge. In fact, almost always when I'm heading into New Jersey at around 6:00 PM, I tune into the local AM radio to hear that there are greater delays coming into New York than there are out of the city. Keep this in mind.

Hopefully this helps you in your search. Good luck!
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:46 PM
 
13,046 posts, read 26,184,346 times
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1. General rule of thumb in NYC is your annual income divided by 40 is the amount of monthly rent you qualify for. $100k / 40 = $2,500. Not $3,000. Not more than $3,000. You can still find a great apartment on the UWS for $2,500. Especially since you'll be driving to work, you don't need to pay a premium to be within a block or two of the subway.

2. FYI- Your net pay, after paying NYC and NYS taxes (based on residency, not where your job is) will be about $5,500 monthly.

3. UWS has tons of young people- Columbia is just north of the UWS and lots of grad students in their 20's live on the UWS. Also Lincoln Center/ Juliard brings a lot of youth to the area. Beyond that, it is a nice safe beautiful neighborhood close to Central Park- there ARE going to be tons of people of all ages there for those reasons.

4. Living in Brooklyn and commuting to NJ is a ridiculous idea. Take whatever the commute from UWS to the office is and add another 60-90 minutes EACH WAY to get a good idea of what a BK commute would entail. You can play there on the weekends.

5. Manhattan is home to 8 million residents of NYC. It's hardly "touristy" aside from Times Square/ 34th St between Empire State Building & Macy's/ Rockefeller Center. Many city residents enjoy the museums, the great shopping and restaurants, the arts, and Central Park even more than the tourists do. It's likely you've never spent time in a residential Manhattan neighborhood and noticed regular people out doing regular things (errands, exercising, picking up after their dogs, etc). It's also likely that even when you were in a tourist area like Times Square, you fails to realize how many office buildings were behind all the neon signs & Broadway billboards....hundreds of thousands of real New Yorkers (and committed from NJ/CT/PA/DE) work in those offices every day.
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Old 01-16-2011, 03:03 PM
 
Location: QUEENS NYC
442 posts, read 1,251,875 times
Reputation: 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurtleCreek80 View Post
1. General rule of thumb in NYC is your annual income divided by 40 is the amount of monthly rent you qualify for. $100k / 40 = $2,500. Not $3,000. Not more than $3,000. You can still find a great apartment on the UWS for $2,500. Especially since you'll be driving to work, you don't need to pay a premium to be within a block or two of the subway.

2. FYI- Your net pay, after paying NYC and NYS taxes (based on residency, not where your job is) will be about $5,500 monthly.

3. UWS has tons of young people- Columbia is just north of the UWS and lots of grad students in their 20's live on the UWS. Also Lincoln Center/ Juliard brings a lot of youth to the area. Beyond that, it is a nice safe beautiful neighborhood close to Central Park- there ARE going to be tons of people of all ages there for those reasons.

4. Living in Brooklyn and commuting to NJ is a ridiculous idea. Take whatever the commute from UWS to the office is and add another 60-90 minutes EACH WAY to get a good idea of what a BK commute would entail. You can play there on the weekends.

5. Manhattan is home to 8 million residents of NYC. It's hardly "touristy" aside from Times Square/ 34th St between Empire State Building & Macy's/ Rockefeller Center. Many city residents enjoy the museums, the great shopping and restaurants, the arts, and Central Park even more than the tourists do. It's likely you've never spent time in a residential Manhattan neighborhood and noticed regular people out doing regular things (errands, exercising, picking up after their dogs, etc). It's also likely that even when you were in a tourist area like Times Square, you fails to realize how many office buildings were behind all the neon signs & Broadway billboards....hundreds of thousands of real New Yorkers (and committed from NJ/CT/PA/DE) work in those offices every day.

lol 8 million people in manhattan? no way try like 1.5 mill
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Old 01-16-2011, 06:10 PM
 
13,046 posts, read 26,184,346 times
Reputation: 12826
Quote:
Originally Posted by StreetBAller85 View Post
lol 8 million people in manhattan? no way try like 1.5 mill
Regardless....most people one sees in Manhattan aren't tourists. They either live there or work there.
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