This is part two of our piece Where Should You Live in New York City. If you missed part one of the NYC neighborhoods of Manhattan and Brooklyn, you can read it here.
The birthplace of hip-hop music and culture as well as a stronghold of Latin music and dance, the Bronx is a cultural hotspot that offers a wealth of spacious and affordable living arrangements. It seems that the Borough has gotten a bad reputation in the eyes of most out-of-towners, so while the getting is still good, the Bronx is where it’s at for savvy folks relocating to New York City and the Bronx has great deals.
The Riverdale neighborhood is tucked in the northwest of the Bronx and dominated by large private homes, giant old trees, and shady roads that are more reminiscent of Upstate than the City itself. There are a few luxury high-rise apartment towers and mid-rise complexes along the Henry Hudson Parkway, but the old-fashioned Tudors and Georgian revival homes definitely dominate the landscape.
Riverdale is home to significant expanses of green spaces, and though shopping and dining opportunities in Riverdale are a bit limited, a quick ride on the MTA’s 1 Train or Metro-North railroad will get you downtown in less than half an hour. Riverdale residents can benefit from the green, suburban feel without living too far from NYC’s mega-hub.
Real estate prices in Riverdale somewhat reflect the more suburban feel, with the median home price at $440,000 and the median rent around $1270 a month — though definitely expect the rental market to be a bit more challenging because of apartment scarcity.
- Throgg’s Neck
There really isn’t one way to characterize this neighborhood of the Bronx. With some of the longest waterfront in the Bronx affording residents a seaside lifestyle, and significant variety between the more urban vibe of the northern end and the suburban townhouses and bungalows to the south, Throggs Neck is a unique little corner of this Borough for those who want to stay close to the City but enjoy a more suburban lifestyle with that ocean flavor. This part of the Bronx is a few miles from the nearest Metro station, so it is primarily a car-centric neighborhood with access only to the Express Bus service — but you can get pretty much everything you need and find a fair selection of diverse restaurants on East Tremont Avenue.
Like the Bronx, Queens has a mixed reputation among those who aren’t familiar with some of this Borough’s biggest attractions – including Citi Field, home of the Mets, and the New York Hall of Science, as well as La Guardia and JFK International Airports. Rockaway Beach is a surfer’s mecca while the Manhattan commuter has easy access to the Long Island Railroad – so here are two of many options if you have your eye on Queens.
Located in the bustling northwest of Queens, Astoria remains one of the most desirable and affordable neighborhoods in the area after a few years’ growths welcomed new development while maintaining the neighborhood’s essential character. The Steinway Piano Factory is still a beloved attraction offering daily tours, and with multiple pedestrian-only streets, the Socrates Sculpture Park, and a well-rounded selection of excellent ethnic restaurants, Astoria has plenty to offer. The oldest beer garden in town, Bohemian Hall, can pack up to 800 drinkers with indoor and outdoor seating — or take one of many MTA trains into downtown in just under 20 minutes for your night out.
Median house value is around $609k, and rentals run about $1275 per month and are mostly in attached, two-story, multi-family houses, though there are plenty of mid-rise apartment buildings here as well.
If you want suburban feel without being too far from the Manhattan skyline, Sunnyside is just your style. New York Magazine called Sunnyside “a hidden gem if there ever was one” in 2010, and this small neighborhood has a decidedly humble feel while still providing the quality of life that city-goers desire: easy access to Midtown via the 7 train as well as a host of ethnic restaurants along Queens Boulevard and Greenpoint Avenue. Sunnyside lacks a little in its public green space, but the abundance of private gardens in the Sunnyside Gardens area, as well as the members-only “Park”, provide access to a little bit of fresh air amidst the buildings.
Real estate sales range around $500k or more, while rentals hover between one and two thousand a month — and you can choose from condos, apartments, or co-ops in historic walk-up buildings.
The least densely populated borough of New York, Staten Island offers the most breathing room, the most parks (170 of them), and stunning architecture. No subways run to Staten Island, so residents get familiar and friendly with the ferry — a quick, 25-minute ride to Battery Park that runs 24 hours a day — or make trips over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, so this Borough might be the one that feels most separate from the City itself. But if you’re looking for space and less density, have a look at these neighborhoods.
This neighborhood really epitomizes Staten Island’s less densely populated feel. There’s little commerce, which has both its pros and cons, but it does mean that traffic is kept to a minimum and the streets are dominated by modern family homes. The proximity to the south shore beaches is also a plus, and if you really want the posh lifestyle you can buy your home right on the South Shore Country Club’s golfing greens.
Huguenot has excellent schools for the many families that choose this part of the island, and a look at a map of the area will show ample green space for recreation. Median prices for homes in the area are around $650k, and rentals are fairly affordable at around $1,200 a month.
- St. George
Situated on the northern end of the island, this neighborhood is densely populated, full of vibrant nightclubs, art galleries, and restaurants, and highly walkable. It’s framed by the harbor, and residents tout its easy access to the free Staten Island Ferry as well as the unique and interesting architecture. Currently, the neighborhood is seeing significant investment into its infrastructure — a new observation Ferris wheel is slated to be finished sometime in 2016, along with accompanying restaurants, bicycle rentals, and a theater. The hub of St. George is Hyatt Street, where restaurants fill with workers from local businesses after work and do solid late-night business. Try Enoteca Maria, an Italian restaurant that prides itself on having authentic food from the many regions of Italy.
Real estate prices have gone down in the past couple of years, with homes selling for around $350,000 and rentals going for around $1,400 a month.
Once you find a neighborhood you’ve decided to call your new home, consider booking a full service moving company as moving in NYC can become tricky.