Not quite ready for the land of artisanal snausages
November 20, 2012 9:21 AM Subscribe
Am I making a mistake in my choice of NYC neighborhood? Details within for your much-appreciated sanity check and suggestions.
I'm wondering whether I am making a huge mistake by not concentrating my search in Astoria - the prices seem to be a bit higher and the space a bit smaller, but the amenities and commute time seem to be slightly better. What are my options for $1250-$1400 up there?
I'm on the cusp of my late 20s and have a great job at a big, stable company. I make about $80K annually (with ridiculously good benefits and perks) and have a minor amount of investment income.
My commute takes me to Exchange Place in Jersey City at least 4, and usually 5, days per week - my office is almost on top of the PATH station. Thus, getting to the World Trade Center area with relative ease and in under say 45 minutes is important for me. I will also be traveling to East Midtown relatively often (4-5x per month) at rush hours.
I'd like to live somewhere with easy access to good grocery stores, one or more dry cleaners and drugstores, and a reasonably good selection of sit-down, delivery and take-out restaurant options (including cheap ethnic food). Other cultural things are nice but not mandatory (because I can always get there via subway); large green spaces are a BIG plus.
I'm looking to spend around $1300 a month on a 1-bedroom apartment in a reasonably quiet area with relatively good quality of life (nobody bothering me on my walk to the subway or blaring music at 2 AM). I can afford to spend more, but am not really interested in spending more on housing in which I'll have no equity.
Right now I'm strongly considering and in-process with a medium-sized medium-fit-and-finish 1BR in Kensington (at E 7th and Beverly), which is in my price range and close enough to Cortelyou Road and some good food options. The Q-to-4/5-to-PATH commute via Atlantic Ave or Union Square transfers could be better, but I estimate about an hour door to door.
I'm not sure in my price range that I can afford a nice place in Brooklyn that's less of a hassle and has the right mix of amenities, location, etc. I had considered the far UES and East Harlem but I think there I'm either out of a decent-sized space (UES border) or out of quality of life (East Harlem near 125th). I've seen Washington Heights and Hamilton Heights and was not impressed even though the commute would be great. Additionally, Jersey City seems to be an odd mix of extremely pricey apartments and shitty spaces/difficult transit to NYC, and Hoboken is going to be dysfunctional for a while after Sandy and I have the usual New York spit-take reaction when anyone suggests it (on the basis of zero evidence, mind).
Additionally, I'd be interested to hear your experiences in Kensington and surrounding areas - based on the above, will I like it there?
How are the Kings County Hospital area and the area up around Franklin Ave and Union? I was somewhat put off by the low-quality-commercial and residential mix up there but maybe I'm looking in the wrong areas.
Lastly, if I've made a total hash of things and you can fix it with a more thorough suggestion, I would welcome that too.
posted by Inspector.Gadget to home & garden (26 answers total)