Finding the Perfect New York City Neighborhood: A Checklist

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Moving to New York City is hard enough. But finding an appropriate Big Apple neighborhood, well that’s just dizzying—there are five boroughs and many little quarters within them. So how do you pick the best one for you? Here’s a checklist to help you zone in on neighborhoods that would best suit you

 

Subway Proximity

The major mode of transportation in our great city is the underground rail system known as the subway—it’s gross, overpriced and crowded—but it will get you just about anywhere. So find neighborhoods that are well served by different lines and homes that are close enough to station. MTA has a nice map for you to examine.

 

Commute Times

We’re hoping you have a job or will soon get one. Find out how far the neighborhoods you’re considering are from your job and see if that works for you. Google map can help you figure out your commute times.

 

Parking

We do not wish a car on anyone in Manhattan attempting street parking, but if you have a car and need to park it, find out how congested a neighborhood is and how easy or hard it might be to park your vehicle. Remember street cleaning rules will have you playing musical cars several times a week and let us warn you it’s not as fun as the chair game!

 

Crime

It’s always a good idea to check crime reports to see a neighborhood fares. NYPD posts stats that you can peruse. It’s also a good idea to feel out a neighborhood by visiting after dark. And it’s always a good idea to ask around.

 

Grocery Stores

Unless you’re planning to eat out all the time, you want to be in a neighborhood that has some decent grocery store options or smaller well-stocked delis and bodegas. Visit the neighborhood stores and see if they fit your needs.

 

Nightlife

If nightlife is important to you, find out what people do in the neighborhood when the sunsets—locate bars and clubs and wherever it is you kids go to these days. You can look online at neighborhood guides—Time Out New York and New York Magazine are good resources.

 

Schools

If you have school-aged children, then looking at school quality would be smart—Zillow and US News and World Report both have ratings for New York Schools. It’d also be useful to research the schools’ new student acceptance policy.

 

Restaurants and Cafes       

New Yorkers live in small spaces and like to go out, so for many having quality restaurants nearby is important. Find out what kinds of eateries are available in the neighborhood. While you’re at it, have a meal or a coffee at a couple of places, it’ll give you a feel for the pulse of area.

 

Delivery Options

For those of you who like your food delivered, do a little research to see what might be available in each neighborhood. The easiest way to do this is to punch in an address in Seamless, Delivery.com or the likes and see what comes up.

 

That Feeling

Once you’re done with your quantitative checklist, try to feel out different neighborhoods. Sometimes a place just makes us feel welcomed and we’re happy though we can’t explain why. Embrace that sentiment. After all you want to end up in a place you’re happy to call home.