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Old 03-27-2008, 01:36 AM
 
22 posts, read 85,340 times
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I'm a 21 year old male who recently graduated from college, and will be coming from Columbus, OH. I just received an offer to work for a company in Englewood Cliffs, NJ along the 9W above the GWB. I would rather not bring my car (insurance, parking, etc.), and I don't have many options in NJ because of this.

Hoboken/Jersey City would be nice due to convenient 24-7 access to NYC, except there are no convenient public transit options to Englewood Cliffs (from what I gather, only a few bus routes that involve transferring and more than an hour commute) which means I'd have to get a car. Fort Lee, NJ was a big suggestion made on the NJ forum, because it's slightly more affordable, right across from NYC on the GWB, and has decent public transit options. Only bad part is the NJ Transit buses are not 24-7, which would make a late night trek to/from NYC a painful one.

So this brings me to the NYC board.. can anyone make comparisons between Inwood/Washington Heights, Riverdale neighborhoods and Fort Lee, NJ? These are the areas closest to Englewood Cliffs that would be doable w/ public transit. My main considerations here are affordability, convenience and culture/'urban' atmosphere. I'll be making around 50k a year which is barely enough for Manhattan.. the outer boroughs (except Bronx) would make for a commute that lasts longer than an hour.. I'm looking to spend less than $1200/mo. on rent, rooming or not.

So my transit options are 1) subway/bus around NYC to the GWB, NJ Transit that has stop directly by office, 2) company shuttle that runs along east and west sides of Manhattan, from 14th to 125th, stopping about every 10 streets, monthly cost ~$250.

Any further recommendations on neighborhoods? Again, main priorities are affordability, convenience (commute times, daily necessities - groceries/convenience stores, bars, laundry, etc.), and culture. When I've visited NYC, the main neighborhoods that drew me the most were East Village and Williamsburg mainly for the music (shows, record stores) and atmosphere.

And I'd like to hear from the Midwestern transplants - is it worth it? I've honestly been dreaming about going back to NYC after finishing an internship I had in CT last year.. though I'm sure that if I do take up the offer and reality hits me, I won't have a rosy view of NYC anymore.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 03-27-2008, 07:06 AM
 
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You can find a one bedroom apartment for $1200 in Washington Heights.
I personally wouldn't like to live there but it is mainly becuase I own a car.
BTW, I wouldn't live in NJ without having a car...
Fort Lee: Prices almost as high as NY and nice area to live in (I would prefer this place.)
Washington Height: Under development (getting better). No parking space, lots of noice in the summer. You may not like the apartments available for $1200.
Hoboken: Lots of night clubs/bars, nice place for young fellows like us. Almost as expensive as Fort Lee.
Riverdale: You can't afford.
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Old 03-27-2008, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Bergen County, NJ
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I would still check Riverdale. Every once in a while a suprisingly low rent pops up there. The only thing is, it's a little far.
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Old 03-27-2008, 12:24 PM
 
Location: No Sleep Til Brooklyn
1,410 posts, read 4,998,199 times
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I love Washington Heights, but I don't think it's right for you. I don't think it has the urban feel you are looking for.

However, if you were to choose only between Riverdale, Ft Lee and Washington Heights, Washington Heights would be the most convenient for getting downtown when you want to go out.
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:22 PM
 
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Upsondowns .. could you explain what you like about Washington Heights and why I might not? Looking through these forums, there's a big mixed reaction over this neighborhood.. many of the people that say they live there don't have any problems, while many others mention the noise and how it still looks 'ghetto'. I've never been there before though, so more detail would help.
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Old 03-27-2008, 04:05 PM
 
Location: No Sleep Til Brooklyn
1,410 posts, read 4,998,199 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingpottymouth View Post
Upsondowns .. could you explain what you like about Washington Heights and why I might not? Looking through these forums, there's a big mixed reaction over this neighborhood.. many of the people that say they live there don't have any problems, while many others mention the noise and how it still looks 'ghetto'. I've never been there before though, so more detail would help.
Sure, sorry I didn't offer more info before.

Like many neighborhoods in NYC, Washington Heights has different vibes depending on what block you are on. It is very quiet where I live with lots of large apartment buildings built in the 1920s and 1930s, but if you walk a block east to Broadway, there is a lot of hustle and bustle. Allegedly things are bad on that side of the neighborhood but I've never had any problems over there. But, I am mostly at the library or the post office or shopping - not hanging out in bars or on the streets at night.

You mentioned in your post that you are looking for an urban life style. Since you are 21, I took that to mean that you would like to have easy access to clubs and bars where you can hang out with people your age. There isn't much of that in Washington Heights.

One of my single friends moved up here after visiting me and seeing the gorgeous large apartments. But he ended up hating it because it felt too far away from the action. For example, if he met a girl downtown he didn't want to spend the money on a cab home if it wasn't a sure thing.
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Old 03-27-2008, 05:58 PM
 
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Washington Heights is a good choice because again it has large rooms, and the price is affordable, and so are the amenities in the area, plus you are in manhattan

It is a very easy commute to englewood cliffs, believe me I know that area where you work and fort lee very well. Just take to #1 or A train to the GWB and take the $1 shuttle to Fort Lee.

Are you working for Citibank, CNBC, or Unilever Best foods. You could even bicycle there during the spring, summer, and fall?

If you live in NJ you are going to need a car, and car insurance is expensive, Washington heights living will be less expensive for you, and you wont live in a box
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Old 03-27-2008, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
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Rent-wise WH has some good deals. I don't know if I think the area Broadway and east is "bad" but it is sure as hell noisy. The Fort Washington area less so, and there are some very nice apts and an increasing number of restaurants, etc. I have friends who live there and it's a nice place. But East Village or Williamsburg it's not.

Of the places up for discussion, while WH is away from the nightlife action downtown, it's the best of the three. That problem would be even worse in Riverdale or Fort Lee/Englewood Cliffs. If you want to be closer to the East Village/LES/Williamsburg scene, the only option is to move farther downtown, but to get sufficiently close to the action is going to cost a lot more. You are right that a commute from Brooklyn or Queens would be pretty onerous.

Ultimately, it may not be worth it since you're only looking to spend $1200. That won't get you much anywhere within easy distance of the areas you prefer. WH may well be the best option, but you have to ask yourself if you feel like a $30 cab ride every time you're out at 3 AM.
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Old 03-27-2008, 08:52 PM
 
214 posts, read 955,704 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UpsonDowns View Post
For example, if he met a girl downtown he didn't want to spend the money on a cab home if it wasn't a sure thing.
Maybe the extra long cab ride would have given him more time to work it!
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:31 PM
 
22 posts, read 85,340 times
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Thanks for the info everyone.. I would be working at Unilever in fact.. NJ Chutzpah.. did you / someone you know work for them?

I noticed through Craigslist there are a few apartments I could room at not in Inwood/Washington Heights/Harlem.. for rooms going under $1200, are the quality of apartments significantly lower or is it just an issue of very limited space? ..if I were able to find an acceptable place within the $1200 range, is there a signifcant cost difference b/w there and Washington Heights for food/convenience store items? I wouldn't mind a slightly longer commute to work (as long as its within an hour) to be closer to where the 'action' is.. I could always take the subway to the GWB or pay for the shuttle.

Also was recommended Morningside Heights by someone as another possible place to live .. hear that its a nicer neighborhood than WH and more of a mid-point location between work and lower Manhattan. For under $1200 could I find an acceptable rooming situation in that area?
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