Many people who visit New York City end up falling in love with it – so much so that they decide to stay here for good. What’s not to like in this city that never sleeps, after all? NYC is full of activity, culture, and diversity. There is always something to do, to explore, and to visit in this famous city. If you are one of those people who want a juicy bite of the Big Apple themselves, go over this list of the best places to live in NYC. Your next neighborhood is waiting for you!
Located in Queens, this middle-class commercial neighborhood has plenty of reasonably priced homes. When you are on a budget, Astoria is a good place to look for affordable real estate. This is why many families have lived here for generations.
If you lead a green lifestyle, you can take advantage of the pedestrian and cycling options available in the area. You can walk or bike without much hassle to nearby destinations. However, commuting using public transportation takes a bit more time and effort because Astoria is in the northwestern corner of Queens. Still, it is only 15 minutes away from Midtown Manhattan via the N and W subway lines, making it one of the prime residential areas in NYC. It is also a quick drive away from Bronx and Harlem through the Triborough Bridge.
Astoria does not have a lot of parks, but there is always Astoria Park along the East River. This spot offers stunning views of Upper Manhattan which you can enjoy while walking along the riverside early in the evening.
Astoria has lots of restaurants that serve various cuisines including innovative cooking, but it is mostly known for Greek food. This is because many ethnic Greeks from Greece migrated and settled here back in the 1960s. So, if grabbing a gyro for a quick lunch sounds perfect for you, then you will fit right in this place.
But aside from Greeks, many immigrants from other countries have settled here over the decades, making Astoria quite a diverse neighborhood.
One of the most prominent areas in Brooklyn, this historic neighborhood is known for its blocks of row-houses representing different architectural styles from various eras, including Greek Revival, Victorian and Federal. You will also find a few authentic mansions here along Pierrepoint Place. With all these historical attractions – including several public parks – Brooklyn Heights is an option worth exploring.
For your shopping needs, there is Montague Street, a quaint strip downtown where you can find stores ranging from local, eclectic shops to well-known national retailers. It is a complete shopping district fit for any urban city, but it still retains its small-town charms. A must-visit spot is Borough Hall Farmer’s Market in Cadman Plaza. The market sells fresh local produce, as well as baked goods and cheeses. You will find healthy ingredients here for your home-cooked meals.
If cooking is not your thing, you can always eat out or grab a takeout. Montague Street also has plenty of dining options, such as restaurants, bars, cafés, bakeries, delis, dessert shops, wineries, and grocers.
Brooklyn Heights is also one of the most expensive places after Manhattan. But if you work in the city, this area is a convenient choice because of its easy commute options. Take subway lines 2, 3, 4, or 5 and stop at the Brooklyn Borough Hall, one of the NYC’s significant landmarks. You can also take the R line and get off at Court Street, then walk a few blocks away to the A, C, and F Jay Street-Borough Hall stop.
This area was once a part of the Lower East Side, but it developed its own culture in the 1960s when students, artists, musicians, and bohemians started moving here, thanks to its cheaper rental fees compared to other parts of NYC. Because of this mass movement, the East Village has become one of the most diverse neighborhoods in NYC.
Nowadays, the population in this area is mostly young professionals and college students who like to party after a busy day at work or school, respectively. This is precisely why the East Village has the highest concentration of bars in NYC. If you love the nightlife, you will love it here.
During the day, local art boutiques, record shops, bookstores, and cafés are all open for business. It is at this time that you will feel the bohemian vibe in the air, which is reminiscent of the East village’s glory days. But all is not lost –- you will still come across some old-timers who have lived in the area for the past decades.
Rent is relatively affordable in the East Village compared to other neighborhoods, but the commuting is a bit more challenging than usual. The green subway line is the only line running through the area, and if you are from Alphabet City, you will ll have to walk at least 10 minutes to reach the nearest station. Fortunately, several bus lines travel to the East Village, so if spending more time on travel is not an issue, you will be happy with the rental rates here.
Located in northernmost Brooklyn, Greenpoint is a working-class neighborhood with a multi-generational population and reasonably priced real estate. Many of the families here have lived for decades.
GreenPoint is also known as “Little Poland” because a lot of Polish immigrants first settled in the area, though currently, other groups such as Latinos, Asians, and Africans are significant in numbers as well.
Public schools in this area are among the highest ranked in NYC, so it is a good place to live in if you have kids in high school or younger. If you are working in Manhattan, commuting also is not that difficult because the G subway line and several bus lines run through the neighborhood.
On weekends, you can take a stroll in McCarren Park or McGolrick Park, which are both open green spaces, though McCarren is much bigger than McGolrick. You can also head straight to the Greenpoint Historic District, a tree-lined path dotted by old yet picturesque merchant houses.
Aside from parks, you can visit one of the many Polish dining spots in the area for anything from a pastry to a steak. But if you want to prepare your own meals, you can get double-smoked Polish sausages at Steve’s Meat Market.
From time to time, you will catch a show or a movie being shot in the neighborhood, mainly because Greenpoint is near Long Island and Manhattan where many studios are headquartered. Also, Greenpoint serves well as an industrial backdrop. Some of the famous productions that were recently shot here are TV shows “Boardwalk Empire” and “30 Rock,” and movies “Date Night” and “The Bounty Hunter.”
Prior to its quick gentrification in the previous decade, this neighborhood was mostly working-class and full of ethnically-diverse immigrants for a tie. It also included parts of East Village. Now, the Lower East Side has evolved to a trendy and upscale place full of bars, restaurants, and shops. It is also dominated by the Dominican and Puerto Rican community.
Commuting is not a problem because it is already in the southeastern part of Manhattan. Due to the Lower East Side’s prime location, subway and bus lines are easily accessible from the Lower East Side. However, this translates to much more expensive real estate, as is expected for any neighborhood included in Manhattan.
If you thrive in a fast-paced lifestyle, the Lower East Side is the best neighborhood for you. You can head to bars such as Welcome to the Johnson’s and Max Fish for some beers, then catch a live show at The Living Room and Cake shop afterwards. Hop from one venue after the other if you want to carry on partying into the wee hours of the morning.
But there is so much more to the Lower East Side than just nightlife. It is a good place for dining and shopping as well, and it also has a thriving contemporary art scene. There is no shortage of galleries featuring this genre, the most popular of which is ABC No Rio, one of the first of its kind.
Found in western Brooklyn, this place is considered one of NYC’s most desirable neighborhoods. In fact, New York Magazine made it No. 1 in its 2010 list of best places to live in NYC. Even before that, the American Planning Association labeled Park Slope as one of the “Greatest Neighborhoods in America” back in 2010.
There are many reasons why Park Slope deserves its many accolades. For one, commuting is easy here because it has stops for several subway lines, such as the IND Culver Line, the IRT Eastern Parkway Line, the BMT Fourth Avenue Line, and the BMT Brighton Line. Three of these four lines stop at Atlantic Avenue, where people can freely transfer to other subway services.
Park Slope is also known for its safety, even at night, which explains why many young families live here. Other attractive qualities of this area include a wide variety of options for shopping, dining, and partying. There are also plenty of cool restaurants, bars, and stores that you can visit.
But it is not all about partying, shopping, or dining out in this place. If you want to go for a quick jog or a relaxing stroll, you can go to nearby Prospect Park, a sprawling public park with acres of greenery.
As can be expected, real estate in Park Slope is more expensive. High-earning professionals reside here, and most of their children attend exclusive private schools in the area. Also, the population is more or less homogenized, so it is not a very diverse place.
When you are looking for a fun place to live in, Williamsburg in Brooklyn is your ideal choice. Here, you will find hip restaurants and bars where you can meet interesting people with whom you can party the night away.
Williamsburg has a strong influence on the art and music scene, particularly on indie rock and hipster culture. As a result, the place is always teeming with concerts. The different venues in the area such as Public Assembly, Glasslands Gallery, etc., are always booked for events. One’s thing for sure: You will definitely never get bored here with so many things to do.
Getting around town via public transportation is not an issue. The neighborhood is served by three subway lines going to Manhattan, namely the BMT Canarsie Line, the BMTJamaica Line, and the INDT Crosstown line. If you are driving or riding a cab, you can also take the Williamsburg Bridge to the Lower East side in Manhattan. To get to Queens and back, you can drive through the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
Take note that Williamsburg is not typically family-friendly, and its public school education system still leaves a bit more to be desired as well. Also, real estate here is pricier than usual. Before the 1990s, rents were quite affordable, but post-1990s, prices have gone up. Some of them have even more than doubled following gentrification.
Nevertheless, Williamsburg is an exciting and diverse neighborhood to live in, so if you are going to live alone or with friends, you will most likely be happy here.
That is the comprehensive list of the best neighborhoods in New York City. Each one carries its own unique identity and appeals to a specific budget range at the same time, so it is all up to you to decide which of these neighborhoods will work best for your current lifestyle. There is no right or wrong choice in itself, so it is best to find a match based on your budget and need.
Now that you have read all your options, what place sounds like the perfect match for you? Why do you think so? Let us know what you think in the comments below and don’t forget to “SHARE” your love