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Old 10-27-2008, 06:37 PM
 
Location: NYC
53 posts, read 257,498 times
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Hi,

I just received valuable advice on areas to live in, accesible to both Manhattan/Bronx, since I´m moving from Denmark to US with husbond (who´ll be working in Bronx) and a toddler (5 yrs). I´d be really happy if you could help me on issues such as best public schools in the beforementioned areas, if my son can be admitted in February 09, the cost of commuting to Manhattan with public transportation from either Riverdale or Westchester on a monthly basis, which trainlines (or buses?) to take, the avg.cost of i.e. a 2br apt. or 3br apt.

Thank you very much in advance
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Queens
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First, where in the Bronx will your husband be working.
Second, how long of a commute are you looking for
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:26 PM
 
Location: NYC
53 posts, read 257,498 times
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Hi BXGEAR,

Thx for paying interest; he´ll be working at Gleason Ave/Commerce Ave., I´d like the commute to be no longer than 45 minutes to Manhattan by public transport.
Hope you can give us some helpful advice.
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,918 posts, read 29,486,275 times
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Riverdale is a great area, with a few distinct neighborhoods. Central Riverdale is akin to "downtown" with shops, banks, etc. and apartment buildings. North Riverdale has a mixture of single family homes and apartments and part of it swings east to Broadway by the subway in the 250s. Southern areas of Riverdale are Spuyten Duyvil, which has a "downtown" area along Johnson Avenue with a number of restaurants, shops, etc.

Riverdale to Manhattan is very easy via express bus or MetroNorth train. MetroNorth is the fastest, from either Riverdale or Spuyten Duyvil stations with Hudson Railink bus service to/from stations to other areas not within easy walking distance of the station. The train is about 30 minutes or less to Grand Central Terminal. Express buses serve the area, the BxM1, BxM2, and BxM18, which are east, west, and Wall Street express buses. The BxM18, Wall Street, bus runs only M-F and on a limited schedule, whereas other express buses run several times per hour. The BxM3 bus serves the areas along Broadway to the Yonkers border as well. The express bus takes about 45-60 minutes to Manhattan, depending upon where you need to go since the buses first start making stops in the higher 90s. The subway is the longest ride, since the 1 train is not an express route, and it takes close to an hour to get to points in Midtown and longer to go to Lower Manhattan beyond. In terms of cost, the subway is least expensive at $81 a month for unlimited travel pass, the express bus is $5 each way or $47 for unlimited express weekly pass, and the MetroNorth train is $146 for a webticket for a monthly pass. On weekends, it's $3.25 each way for non-pass holders to go to/from Grand Central, so that is always a good option for heading down to the museums or park with the family.

The Bronx commute on public transit is actually a little more convoluted. If your husband can drive, that would save him a lot of time. Otherwise, he would need to take a bus to Manhattan and then get on the subway headed back to the Bronx, since there's not an easy way to get across the Bronx to the area you stated. That would be a transfer to the 6 train on the subway to get back to the Bronx. And, overall, it would probably be around an hour and a half of commute time on public transit, versus about 35 minutes or so via auto.

Rents in Riverdale range, depedning upon the type of apartment. There are multi-family houses in which a 2-3BR apartment would range from about $1700-$2000 as a baseline, depending upon area, to higher amounts for high rise apartments with luxury features and amenities that include pools and health clubs. 3BRs are generally going to be closer to the $2000 mark for starters, and you can still find some 2BRs a little under $1700, but they might be JR4 apartments where a dining room or alcove with window and closet has been converted into a 2BR as opposed to a real 2BR apartment.

Generally, Riverdale is a very safe area. Some of the fringe areas nearer to Kingsbridge might have some issues at times, but it's not an area that's known for high amounts of crime. In fact, the 50th precinct which serves Riverdale-Kingsbridge-Marble Hill is actually one of the safer areas, statistically, in the city. Crime can occur anywhere in a city, however, but I have walked on the street at all hours in Riverdale and have never had an issue, but it does pay to be aware of one's surroundings.

Demographically, there are a mix of people in Riverdale, everyone from retirees to young families with children. It's a quiet area at night, and is largely residential in character. Even the places that are open later at night tend to be restaurants and coffee houses as opposed to clubs and/or loud bars.

Riverdale is home to some very good public schools and some superb private schools as well.

The area has a plethora of parks along the river with sweeping views over the Hudson to the Palisades, down to the George Washington Bridge, and beyond. Some of the same views can be had from some of the nicer high rise buildings along the shoreline as well. Van Cortlandt Park is also nearby and hosts an equestrian center among many other park amenities, including the golf course, trails, historic house museum, etc. Wave Hill is a sanctuary as an historic estate turned park and features numerous cultural events throughout the year in an intimate venue, in addition to fantastic gardens and lawns that are a true urban oasis.

For a family who wants to live in the city, Riverdale is a good option.

Where in Westchester would you be considering? There are many places available along the Harlem, Hudson, or New Haven train lines that go into Grand Central. Some have very fast times to Grand Central as well, though these areas can get expensive, and may not have much in the way of rentals. However, the schools in Westchester are excellent in many closer-in communities such as Bronxville, Larchmont, Pelham, Rye, Irvington, Hastings, and Ardsley. Train parking can be an issue in many areas of Westchester, however, so walking or commuter bus to the station would be a good way to look for an apartment or house. What sort of budget would you be potentially considering? That can help to narrow down choices among areas in Westchester where fewer rentals or areas made up largely of single family homes can be expensive.

Edit: The train to Manhattan, while equally as fast from Riverdale in parts of Westchester, will be more expensive from stations in Westchester as they are in a different fare zone than those that are already in the city. Costs vary, but can be over $200 a month. For example, Larchmont would be about $190 a month and about 30 minutes on the express train, and a little further out, Croton at about 45 minutes on an express would be $216 per month. And, these locations do not offer the benefit of the city fare on weekends for $3.25 as that exists only from city station to city station.

Last edited by bmwguydc; 10-28-2008 at 07:45 PM.. Reason: Added train info for Westchester
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:16 AM
 
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How is street parking in Riverdale? I hear there is a lot of car vandalism. Is that accurate?
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Old 10-29-2008, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doghead View Post
How is street parking in Riverdale? I hear there is a lot of car vandalism. Is that accurate?
Parking is not too bad in most areas of Riverdale. There are issues with property crime at times, but it's not everywhere. There are some very safe locations where one can park and be reasonably assured of no issues. Generally, better lit areas do not have as many issues. Is there a particular area of Riverdale about which you're wondering?
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Old 10-29-2008, 07:16 PM
 
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238th & Waldo?
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Old 10-29-2008, 07:36 PM
 
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Dont know much about either, although one of my classmates is from riverdale and hes always complaining about how his car keeps getting broken into.
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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The only bad thing about 238 & Waldo is the steps, since they tend to provide easy access for crime. It's also more congested in that part of Riverdale, with the hill, groupings of buildings, and 238th ascends from Kingsbridge. Further along Waldo, it borders the train yard as well, so I would say to stick to Greystone, or go across Riverdale Ave to Cambridge & 235th, but that's about 1/4 of a mile to walk back to Waldo & 238th.

Further up 238th nearer Riverdale, you have a good number of buildings and I have seen decent cars parked along the road and have not heard that it's a hotbed of property crime. Friends of a relative of mine live on Greystone and they either park on Greystone or on Dash, but I do think they'd not park on certain parts of Waldo. They have lived there for years and years and park a Benz and an Acura on the street and I've never heard of an issue.

Some parts of Waldo are fine, but the more desolate areas are where one needs to be concerned about property damage, that and too close to the steps down the hill as they can be a pathway to get to and from Waldo easily. I know someone who had his car broken into on Henry Hudson Parkway between 8 and 9 at night, hardly a desolate area and a very late hour, but that was a specific crime that targeted the in-dash navigation system, specifically for the software.

Similarly, parts of Johnson border the hill down to 230th, and I have seen evidence of property crime in the form of smashed glass on the sidewalk at times, once coming upon an acquaintance's Audi with a smashed window (and I did go to their building and tell them). But, in this case, the person was complacent and left a transportable navigation system on the dash and a nice leather jacket on the back seat, and it was near a set of stairs down the hill. It's usually the first block of stairs that seems to attract the most issues, from my causal observations, though I did see graffiti on a second set of stairs that ascends from Johnson, but it was quickly removed and did not reappear.

The other thing to remember about Waldo & 238th is that it's only a few short blocks from the subway at Broadway & 238th (less than 1/4 mile), and it's the border of that part of Riverdale. Generally, you are better the closer you are to Riverdale or the closer proximity to nearby houses and buildings. And, if you don't mind a bit of a walk, Cambridge and Oxford on the other side of Riverdale are generally much safer, since there are buildings and houses in close proximity and more isolated from Kingsbridge and the subway.

I think that with adequate precautions, and not parking in a borderline area, you should be fine.

Last edited by bmwguydc; 10-29-2008 at 08:41 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:41 PM
 
3,225 posts, read 8,204,516 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwguydc View Post
The only bad thing about 238 & Waldo is the steps, since they tend to provide easy access for crime. It's also more congested in that part of Riverdale, with the hill, groupings of buildings, and 238th ascends from Kingsbridge. Further along Waldo, it borders the train yard as well, so I would say to stick to Greystone, or go across Riverdale Ave to Cambridge & 235th, but that's about 1/4 of a mile to walk back to Waldo & 238th.

Further up 238th nearer Riverdale, you have a good number of buildings and I have seen decent cars parked along the road and have not heard that it's a hotbed of property crime. Friends of a relative of mine live on Greystone and they either park on Greystone or on Dash, but I do think they'd not park on certain parts of Waldo. They have lived there for years and years and park a Benz and an Acura on the street and I've never heard of an issue.

Some parts of Waldo are fine, but the more desolate areas are where one needs to be concerned about property damage, that and too close to the steps down the hill as they can be a pathway to get to and from Waldo easily. I know someone who had his car broken into on Henry Hudson Parkway between 8 and 9 at night, hardly a desolate area and a very late hour, but that was a specific crime that targeted the in-dash navigation system, specifically for the software.

Similarly, parts of Johnson border the hill down to 230th, and I have seen evidence of property crime in the form of smashed glass on the sidewalk at times, once coming upon an acquaintance's Audi with a smashed window (and I did go to their building and tell them). But, in this case, the person was complacent and left a transportable navigation system on the dash and a nice leather jacket on the back seat, and it was near a set of stairs down the hill. It's usually the first block of stairs that seems to attract the most issues, from my causal observations, though I did see graffiti on a second set of stairs that ascends from Johnson, but it was quickly removed and did not reappear.

The other thing to remember about Waldo & 238th is that it's only a few short blocks from the subway at Broadway & 238th (less than 1/4 mile), and it's the border of that part of Riverdale. Generally, you are better the closer you are to Riverdale or the closer proximity to nearby houses and buildings. And, if you don't mind a bit of a walk, Cambridge and Oxford on the other side of Riverdale are generally much safer, since there are buildings and houses in close proximity and more isolated from Kingsbridge and the subway.

I think that with adquate precautions, and not parking in a borderline area, you should be fine.
BMW, you are an amazing reservoir of great information about the city and its environs. Your knowledge and writing skills combined with your willingness to share your information is fantastic! I'm sure I speak on behalf of everyone when I say you're a definite asset to citydata here in NYC.
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