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Old 04-13-2011, 10:52 PM
Location: Auckland
5 posts, read 21,934 times
Reputation: 10


We are a young family with 2 girls aged 3 and 1. Me and my husband are both caucasian and we are moving from NZ to NY. I am a kiwi he's an American. I have found a townhouse that I have absolutely fallen in love with on 150th st between amsterdam and broadway. He's been offered a job at Columbia University starting next semester so I've mainly been looking on the upper west side, where I found an apartment that I also like a lot but its much smaller and much more expensive and I don't like it nearly as much as the hamilton heights one. To give you an idea about the places the Hamilton Heights one has a living room, family room, seperate dining room, library, massive kitchen and 4 bedrooms. While the Upper west side one has a Living/Dining room, small kitchen 2 bedrooms + family room or 3 bedrooms, and a small closet office.

Will I feel safe in Hamilton Heights? Will we feel out of place? Will we be judged, and looked unfavourably on by the community? Will I be putting my kids in unnecessary danger by picking the Hamilton Heights house over the one on the upper west side (83rd st between broadway and Riverside). We are coming over next week to hopefully sort out the housing situation and will try get a feeling of the area but we won't be there for long and would really appreciate opinions of people who are very familiar with the area.

Also schools are not much an issue as we are ok with private school, especially if we save a lot of money on the house. We will also try for the gifted schools but its hard to tell at this point if they stand a chance.
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:55 PM
12,340 posts, read 26,123,133 times
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You haven't been physcially to see them in person yet?
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:02 PM
Location: Auckland
5 posts, read 21,934 times
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No, will be doing that next week. But i've got a very good feel of the 2 places and have been in contact with the agents who have sent me extra pictures. Obviously we might get there and realise we don't actually like the places but if we do we will probably be putting an offer on one.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:12 AM
Location: The United States of Amnesia
1,355 posts, read 1,920,816 times
Reputation: 686
i would go for 83rd st between broadway and Riverside.
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:10 AM
Location: Beautiful Pelham Parkway,The Bronx
9,246 posts, read 24,069,701 times
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How would any of us possibly know how YOU would feel in Hamilton Heights ?
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:15 AM
Location: Auckland
5 posts, read 21,934 times
Reputation: 10
Ok in general, how would a family in our circumstances fit in. I will go and get a feeling of the place but that won't give me a perspective of what its like to live there permanantly. Is it dangerous? Is it particuarly dangerous for caucasion people? Does the community look unfavourably upon white people? How about the subway station is it dodgy as?
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:45 AM
Location: BX
340 posts, read 1,185,443 times
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u guys will look suspect without ur ebt card shopping in the local bodega so make sure u apply for one before u move then u will fit it. also make sure to apply for section 8 cuz u will look suspect if u dont pay for ur "hamilton heights" apt without ur voucher. also learn some spanish cuz u will be surrounded by non english speaking dominicans...also start smoking weed cuz u will be offered weed constantly in the summer while walking on broadway especially around 156th. good luck
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Old 04-14-2011, 06:36 AM
Location: New York City
395 posts, read 1,214,215 times
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Absolutely not! The neighborhood about 5 blocks south of you (around Convent &145th) is filled with City College students and young professionals who realize they can get more for their money by moving uptown and this trend is slowly creeping northward. Granted, 150th and Broadway can seem seedy at times, and of course just take extra special care walking around at night (not to scare you but my friend who lives on Convent&143rd has had at least two rapist alerts from the local precinct plastered around the building.)
Overall, I would go with Hamilton Heights instead off the 83rd and Riverside apartment, especially if you think you would like it better, but check out both places. No doubt, the Riverside apartment will obviously be a better neighborhood and closer to midtown, but I hate the 2/3, especially on weekends and living on 150&Broad means you have access to the ABCD and the 1.
In terms of schools, private schools are very competitive. I just graduated from one in '09. They are very rigorous and will scrutinize your child's grades and extra c's to the fullest extent. On that note, there are some very good public schools in Manhattan, but you'd have to search to make sure you find the right match.
And don't worry about being judged. This is New York City, we don't have the time to worry about other people moving into our city. Just don't act arrogant and make it a point to be friendly to your corner bodega owner and everything will be fine.

To answer your last post:
No, the don' look unfavorably on white people. There are white people everywhere in the city (except, perhaps, the northwestern section of the Bronx, when I go there, I don't see any white people around Kingsbridge). The train station is not dodgy. You will be commuting on the 145th street station for the ABCD and plenty of people use it everyday and the 1 train that runs along Broadway brings plenty of Colombia students home everyday.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:06 AM
1 posts, read 5,229 times
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I had similar concerns before moving up here from the UWS 3.5 years ago. I am so glad I moved - I've gotten much more space - the neighbors are friendlier up here and the transportation is better. There are lots of young families with small children and you will be between 2 parks, Riverside and Jackie Robinson. I haven't had any issues with crime - it's a big city, be careful. But if you do some research, you will probably find the area to be as safe, if not safer than the UWS. There is a police station right near where your possible new home is.

The negatives are - lack of decent restaurants - and Amsterdam Avenue is a pit - just plain ugly. It's not the kind of NY neighborhood where you stroll about and go to cafes. People entertain in their homes because they have more room to do so.

Lot's of artists and musicians have always called this area home and still do. The express trains at 145th make getting downtown a breeze because if the A isn't there, then the D arrives.

Are there poor people, pit bulls and trash. Do kids run around at night and make noise - YES to all of the above. But this is NY - it's a mixed area with lots of different types of people. I find some of the entitled rich people on the UWS to be more annoying than the poor people up here.

Check it out - walk around and you will get a sense of things - it's the only way to decide. The area is changing - that much is clear, but it seems to be happening in an organic way - without a lot of animosity. Some of the older black families are moving to the south (US). Younger white professionals some with kids - and students moving in. The area used to be white, Jewish and german before it became a haven for African Americans with money - so change is the only constant I know.

I love the diversity. I think your kids will have a richer experience growing up here as opposed to some lilly white enclave where the only black people are pushing white babies around in strollers while their parents slave away downtown to pay the high rent/mortgage.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:11 AM
Location: BX
340 posts, read 1,185,443 times
Reputation: 317
i dont know where these last 2 posters come from (probably kansas) but the area is still hood no matter how many musicians from nebraska with tight pants move there. Where is SuperMario when u need him?

Last edited by JeRrYcRaCk; 04-14-2011 at 07:29 AM..
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