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Old 04-06-2007, 10:32 PM
 
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We're moving from the Seattle area to NYC in a few months. I'm in desperate need of some good advice on a safe place to live with my family. I have a 2 year old and 6 month old. My husband will need to commute to the Willis avenue swing bridge project (between Harlem and the Bronx...sorry if this is obvious). My 2 year old will be starting preshool soon and will probably go to at least kindergarten while we're there. I'm overwhelmed by the options...and wish I could get some solid advice from people who know the area. Salary ~$130K.
Where can we afford to live that we can feel safe with our small children?
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Old 04-06-2007, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
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That's a pretty good salary. The bridge is fairly accessible from the Lexington Ave subway lines (4,5,6) and also from Metro North's 125th Station.

That area is East Harlem & the South Bronx so it is a little bit rough around the edges, but is generally safe.

I think you need to provide more info for us to help you. What type of area are you looking for? More urban or rural? Suburban? What type of area are you accustomed to living in back in Seattle? Do you drive a lot or are you ok with public transportation?

With 130k you shouldn't have a problem finding an apartment in the NYC area, but it'll probably be difficult to find a 2br in Manhattan within your price range. Is this only a temporary assignemnt, or are you considering purchasing a house?
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Old 04-06-2007, 11:48 PM
 
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Default Thanks for the help

I'm trying to take the "when in Rome" philosophy. I'm open to options using public transportation and living in a more urban environment if it's cost effective. My greatest concern is being able to feel safe with small kids and being able to find a preschool and kid friendly activities. Is this possible without a huge commute? Is it possible to find a 3 bedroom with a small yard? (We currently have a 4 bedroom with a big yard...suburb city).
We're used to commuting...40 minutes would be great...too much over an hour (has been) and would be a drag.
We might buy since we'll be there for a minimum of 2 years and up to 5.
My overriding concern is the safety issue...
Ugh...I really need an insider's guide to living in NY.
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Old 04-07-2007, 12:21 AM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
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Here's a link you should bookmark: http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/20...N_GRAPHIC.html It shows the different commuting times to the city from the suburbs. I think it is pretty helpful for new people moving to the area.

Alright if your main concern is feeling safe then you might want to abandon the outer boroughs (with the exception of a few neighborhoods) and consider moving to the 'burbs.

I would reccomend some nice neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn but it would be hard for you to get from those neighborhoods to Harlem. Also there are a number of nice neighborhoods in the Bronx, but for the most part they are really ethnic white neighborhoods (Italian, Irish, Jewish) and I think this might be a little bit too much for you since you are coming from the Northwest. New Jersey and Long Island are for the most part out of the question because their commuter trains go to Penn Station instead of Grand Central Station (where Metro North trains go) and Penn Station is not conveniently located in order to get to where your husband is going in Harlem.

I would suggest that you start looking at towns in lower Westchester and Fairfield, Conneticut that have Metro North train stations. There is a Metro North station on 125th st and your husband should be able to walk from there over to his job. If your husband finds the walk too long there are buses that run along 125th st. Driving is probably out of the question because of the crazy traffic that exists in the area.

It is possible to find a 3br with a yard in some type of garden apartment or multifamily house that has a lawn, but it is more likely that you will find something in an apartment building. Try using craigslist to find prices on an apartment: http://newyork.craigslist.org/aap/ . Most of the towns in lower Westchester can provide you with about a 30 minute commute into the city. Fairfield county is a bit longer. It is about 45 minutes from Stamford, CT on Metro North to the city.

When looking in this area most of the smaller towns in Westchester and Fairfield are extremely nice suburban type towns. You might want to avoid or be wary of Mount Vernon, Port Chester, parts of New Rochelle, parts of White Plains/Greenburgh, parts of Stamford, and parts of Yonkers. For the most part all of the other towns are really nice.

Oh I also wouldn't reccomend purchasing anything until you've lived in the area for a year or two, so that you have a feel for the area and dont' end up hating where you've moved and feel trapped.
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Old 04-07-2007, 12:39 AM
 
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Default Bronx neighborhoods

I would be interested in checking out the Bronx neighborhoods you mentioned. We have a friend that lives there with his 2 year old but haven't been able to get any detailed info from him yet (he's been out of town). You've really given some great detailed information. Thanks for taking the time.
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Old 04-07-2007, 01:22 AM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
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Ok the nice neighborhoods I know of in the Bronx are Riverdale (Jewish/Irish neighborhood & probably ritziest place in the Bronx), Country Club (2nd nicest neighborhood in the Bronx, Italians/Irish), Woodlawn/McLean Ave in Yonkers (nearly completely Irish, with lots of Irish immigrants & a few Italians), Morris Park (the real Bronx little Italy, mostly Italian with a few Albanians), City Island (mostly Italian, but a mix), Throggs Neck (Italian/Irish).

I think Riverdale and Country Club are probably considered the "nicest," places to live in the Bronx, but personally I find them to be the most sterile/hum-drum (which can be a good thing, especially considering it is the Bronx). I think Woodlawn and Morris Park are the most interesting neighborhoods in the Bronx, although I don't know if this sentiment is shared by others. Throggs Neck is nice and falls somewhere in between.

I must warn you though that these areas are true NYC and might seem a bit rough around the edges to someone not from the area. A lot of people in these neighborhoods are immigrants & have accents (lots of Irish accents in Woodlawn and Italian accents in Morris Park) and a lot of the people born and raised in these neighborhoods speak with a typical NY/northeastern accent ("Brooklynese") which might be considered jarring to an outsider.
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Old 04-07-2007, 07:35 AM
 
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All the places Mead mentioned are nice quiet areas. Other places along Pelham Parkway are similiar, with a suburban feel, and all the houses have little yards. We live in a more urban environment with 2 kids in the Bronx, but still have our own yard-close to Mosholu Parkway in Bedford Park. It's a safe and beautiful area. There is more to do (Botanical Gardens, zoo, Little Italy, universities) here than the other areas mentioned and it's better connected (subway and metro-north), but more dense and racially diverse. (White is one of Mead's criteria for a good neighborhood.) Maybe Marble Hill, Norwood and Kingsbridge Heights would also be places to look into if you feel comfortable in diverse urban environments. I agree that it's good to rent, or at least take a long visit, to get a better idea of where you would want to buy.
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Old 04-07-2007, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
2,806 posts, read 15,961,268 times
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Yodel's right, if you look thru the threads you will notice that Kingsbridge Heights was just ranked as one of the top "up and coming" neighborhoods in the country.

Personally I wouldn't mind living in the neighborhoods you mentioned, however I don't know if the average person from out of the area would feel comfortable being the only non-african american / puerto rican / dominican on their block.

The Bronx has unique demographics which would be considered quite unusual in other parts of the country. Not many other areas of the country have nearly 50% of the population being hispanics (mostly puerto ricans and dominicans), and 35% of the population being african american. These figures are especially interesting considering that up until 40-50 years ago the Bronx had a population that was about 2/3 Jewish, and of course that number has fallen precipitiously since then.

The city on the whole has very unique demographics. Where else on the east coast can you find large communities of Chinese, Indians, Central Asians, Russians, etc. all living within a few blocks of one another? So the makeup of the city is just something to be aware of for a person moving to the area. I would suggest that anyone considering moving to this area read something like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demogra..._New_York_City in order to familiarize themselves with the different communities that exist in this area.

Last edited by mead; 04-07-2007 at 01:13 PM..
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Old 04-08-2007, 01:55 AM
 
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Default Great resources...

I must have spent an hour looking at the NYPD website. (http://nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/pct/cspdf.html (broken link)) I was able to compare all the precinct crime statistics and community profiles to all the bronx neighborhoods you listed. It was very encouraging. After reading the suggestion of moving to the suburbs It became apparent to me that I really want the experience of living in the city. I can live in the suburbs anywhere. I've been trolling the threads for tidbits of info...mead and yodel...you've been excellent help.
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Old 04-08-2007, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Pawleys Island, SC
1,696 posts, read 8,620,994 times
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Ellie, there is no experience like living in NYC, I hope you find it a positive one. The NYPD site is very informative but can also be a bit misleading for those not familiar with the area. But when you look at the historical perspective you realize what great transformation the city has gone through over the last 10-15 years. To think that homicides have dropped from 2300 a year to below 600 is just one indication. The rebirth of so many neighbothoods would be a another tangible indication along with the fact that that so many people like yourself would consider moving here with your family. Good luck.
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