Upper West Side?
March 25, 2010 7:48 PM   Subscribe

NYC neighborhood filter: Help me figure out if living on the Upper West Side is right for me?

I'm thinking about moving into an apartment on the Upper West Side in the coming months but I don't know as much about the neighborhood or living in Manhattan as I'd like.

I was hoping that I could get some insightful comments from any Metafites who live in the area!

More specifically I am looking at the area from like W. 90th St (off of Riverside Drive) to around W. 70th.

I'm concerned about safety mostly. While I did visit to check out the apartment I was only there during the day. As a young college student this would be my first time living on my own. I'm a tiny white dude, if that matters.

(anon because I would rather not have anyone who knows my main account see this with my name linked)
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (24 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I work on the UWS in the 60s and 70s (a few different locations.) The place is perfectly safe. I'd live there in a heartbeat.
posted by nevercalm at 7:53 PM on March 25, 2010

If your primary concern is safety you have literally nothing to worry about. Nothing. Nothing nothing nothing nothing nothing. It's hard for me to even imagine a safer place than the UWS of Manhattan from W 70 to W 90 along Riverside Drive.
posted by boots at 7:54 PM on March 25, 2010 [3 favorites]

I grew up on 77th and West End and have been a small white guy for most of my life. My strong impression is that the entire area you're considering is very safe.

During high school, I used to run up and down between about 72nd and 96th for exercise, in the middle of the night (about 12 - 3am), and never had any scary experiences.

If you're into murder, you might check out this cool interactive homicide map from the Times. You will see that that broad neighborhood has had about 1 homicide in 8 years, which is very few.
posted by grobstein at 7:57 PM on March 25, 2010

One of the safest, if not THE safest neighborhood. You'll be fine. In fact, it's a lovely, lovely place to live and you will, in fact, be envied.
posted by minervous at 7:59 PM on March 25, 2010

I live in the 80's on Broadway. This is a very, very safe neighborhood. Thirty years ago it was considered edgy, but now, it's one of the safest places in the city.
posted by kimdog at 8:02 PM on March 25, 2010

posted by dfriedman at 8:04 PM on March 25, 2010

Absolutely safe, as everyone says. The only danger there is getting bumped into by a stroller.
posted by keener_sounds at 8:05 PM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

The upper west side is rich people, old people, rich people with strollers, and yuppies. If you are one of these people, you'll fit in just fine.

/former lower east side resident
posted by Afroblanco at 8:08 PM on March 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

Manhattan as a whole is incredibly safe. Assuming you're moving from somewhere else in the U.S., you'll almost certainly have a significantly lower rate of violent crime in that neighborhood than wherever you're moving from.

If you're a young college student, a lot of other neighborhoods (East Village, Chelsea, anywhere downtown) might be a lot more fun/interesting. But if you're new, it'll all be exciting regardless.
posted by anildash at 8:10 PM on March 25, 2010

Don't believe Letterman and his 30-year-old hookers&crooks gibes.
Manhattan has been safe for 20 years, and totally safe and non-threatening since crack evaporated in the mid-90s.

The rents may kill you though.
posted by hexatron at 8:23 PM on March 25, 2010 [2 favorites]

Super duper safe. NYC born and raised, and that's where my dad lives now. Safe.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:29 PM on March 25, 2010

According to one of my native New Yorker friends, even back in the worst of the early 80s crack epidemic/crime wave, the UWS was the one place in Manhattan where you could live without worrying about getting mugged.
posted by Ashley801 at 8:33 PM on March 25, 2010

Yeah, safe. Affordable? Another question entirely.
posted by greta simone at 8:41 PM on March 25, 2010

I live in the 90's on the UWS. Like everyone says, it's a perfectly safe neighborhood. Biggest problem you'll have is which place to wait on line for brunch at on Saturday.

Welcome to the UWS.
posted by jourman2 at 8:48 PM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

We live right off West End in the 70s. Nthing "it's super safe". I'm a tiny girl, and I never feel unsafe, if I'm out by myself.

Rent can be affordable. We have rent stabilizaton, but even the apartments by us that aren't stabilized aren't TOO crazy expensive, for the UWS.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:12 PM on March 25, 2010

Safe, nice, but a bit dull. Maybe that's a good thing, you can always take the subway to interesting if you'd like.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:31 PM on March 25, 2010

Dear tiny white dude,

I'm a tiny white chick who lived on W 92nd between Riverside and West End Ave for a couple of years in the late 1990s. I walked babies and fluffy small doggies all over that neighborhood and never had any safety concerns. You will be fine.

(And oh--Zabar's!)
posted by onepot at 10:15 PM on March 25, 2010

The Upper West Side hasn't been dodgy since about 1973. I used to go running along RSD late nights/early mornings near my ex's house, alone and with headphones on, and the biggest danger I encountered was tripping over someone sleepily walking an excited yappy dog.

The only danger there is getting bumped into by a stroller.

If small children horrify you, then the UWS is the second scariest place on earth after Park Slope.
posted by elizardbits at 3:51 AM on March 26, 2010

It's like Whole Foods, only richer.
posted by callmejay at 6:16 AM on March 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yep. Concur with everybody else here.

If your knowledge of NYC dates from the 1990s, forget everything you know. Giuliani bused all of the criminals out to New Jersey, and then priced the rest of the poor people out of Manhattan. It's one of the safest, and most 'vanilla' places in the US.
posted by schmod at 7:56 AM on March 26, 2010

Perfectly safe.

But never be tempted to go to Senior Swanky's near 85th and Columbus, no matter how awesome of a name it is.
posted by General Malaise at 8:20 AM on March 26, 2010

Hah. Definitely no to Senior Swanky's. I worked there. They don't pay their employees. It was terrible. But yes; those areas are very safe.
posted by amicamentis at 9:39 AM on March 26, 2010

I live on the UWS. It's great; I love it. The only things you have to worry about are (i) restaurants being crowded/expensive, and (ii) your Brooklyn friends whining about how long it takes to get there on the subway.
posted by albrecht at 10:01 AM on March 26, 2010

I work on the UWS, and it's perfectly fine and safe. Like others said, it can be a bit dull-ish, but you'll find what you need and the subway or bus will get you elsewhere.
posted by cmgonzalez at 1:41 PM on March 26, 2010

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