As I mentioned before I grew up and still live in NYC (excluding 4 years in Westchester for college). It’s completely different from back in the 80’s. Crime was rampant and the quality of life was awful during that time. I’m surprised my parents didn’t move. NYC is now a very safe city with a higher quality of life. Here is a primer if you are thinking of moving here.
There are numerous neighborhoods to live in and raise a family that were not so great back in the day. Williamsburgh, Bushwick and Long Island City were not desirable areas back in the day. There have been major improvements to infrastructure, cleaning up abandoned lots and removing drug dens.
The problem is that gentrification has raised the rent in virtually every neighborhood. Gentrification is very controversial topic and understandably so. You take a “bad” neighborhood and improve it by cleaning it up, reducing crime, adding businesses and restaurants that normally wouldn’t be there and adding value to the real estate market. The problem then becomes that the people who already live there move out, and miss all the benefits of a “good” neighborhood, because they can no longer afford to live there.
I go back and forth on this issue because I see the benefits of fixing problem areas but the long-time residents, mostly minorities and the elderly, get priced-out and are replaced by higher income mostly white people. This arrangement is unfair because the city should have always made sure the ‘hood didn’t become “bad” in the first place. And another reason is that “affordable housing” has not been clearly defined.
An example of this is if you make $40,000 they city feels that a family of 4 can afford a 2 bedroom apartment for $1,025 a month. Your monthly Net Income on $40K in NYC is $2,806 according to ADP. That means you are paying over 36% of your Net Income towards housing. That is crazy because most experts say that you should pay at most 30% of your Gross Income on housing. And of course NYC has a higher cost of living than most of the US.
Sorry that I went on a mini rant on affordable housing but I felt that I had to write something about it. Anyways, if you are planning to move in NYC for I recommend looking at the outer boroughs to live. I think a lot of people think we all live in Manhattan; that is obviously not the case. You should know that about half of my co-workers live outside of NYC (Long Island, NJ and Westchester).
If you are a single person my choices for you to explore are Queens (Jamaica, Ozone Park & Queens Village) & Brooklyn (Bay Ridge, East New York or Brownsville). I’m sure there are good places to live in The Bronx and Staten Island but I’m unfamiliar with those boroughs. You can expect rents for a studio or 1 bedroom apartment to be from $1,000 to $2,000. That’s pretty good for a young up-and-comer. My first apartment was $750 for a studio back in 2000. The further you get from Manhattan the cheaper the rents become.
Lower than at any point since the 60’s. Murders were over 2,200 in 1990 and are now about 350 in 2015. That’s a significant drop. It’s a safe city if you ask me and the statistics back it up. I feel safe taking the subway to and from work. Of course, I would be a bit nervous at 2am, but that is expected. There is crime here, but it’s not as rampant as it once was. Go watch Taxi Driver or Mean Streets to see how NYC once looked. Now it looks like Disneyland.
Socially liberal but not too liberal. We have strict gun laws and are tough crime, look at Plaxico Burress. If you a Republican you will not feel that out of place considering the previous 2 mayors were the GOP. There is plenty of legislation that is pro-Wall Street. Just know that there is every language, food cuisine, nationality, religion, sexual identity, sexual orientation and race represented in this city and if you do not like to be associated with them, then do not live here. I have worked with all types of people and what I have concluded is this: people are people regardless of our differences.
A great transit system which includes buses, subway, LIRR, Metro-North, PATH & NJ Transit. So you can basically live anywhere and still get to work without driving. Let me make one clarification: when I say “great” I mean all the possible connections that can get you from Point A to Point B. I am not talking about the quality because sometime it goes haywire. For some reason the LIRR has so many delays. It’s shocking to me because those commuters pay so much just to go to and from work.
In NYC, there are some dead areas that require 2 modes of public transit. The monthly, unlimited ride subway/bus pass is $125, which is an excellent deal.
Look to live outside of Manhattan to save money on rent
Safest Big City in US
Politically Democratic but Republicans would not feel that out place
Plenty of public transportation to get around
Would you ever move to NYC? Any thoughts on gentrification or affordable housing?
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