The apartment: Bargain rent and more light
Over the summer, I moved from Hudson Heights in Upper Manhattan to live with my boyfriend in Boerum Hill and to be closer to friends, most of whom are in Brooklyn. I was sick of the hour-long trip to see him and the long train rides to see other people.
For over two years, I lived in a large studio and paid $1,090 a month. The pros: Lots of closet space. The cons: Very little light, since the apartment faced a brick building.
Now I live in a two-and-a-half bedroom apartment with my boyfriend, who'd been sharing it with roommates. It's the top floor of a four-floor walk-up. We have a big kitchen, lots of space and tons of light. The rent is also way under market--around $3,000. My boyfriend has been living there for a while, and the high-floor walk-up probably helps. (The median rent for a two-bedroom in the area is closer to $3,500.)
The new neighborhood: Low-key and convenient, but less green space
In Hudson Heights, I loved the proximity to Fort Tryon Park and the trail along the river, which runs from Brooklyn and is great for running, walking or biking. Also, Hudson Heights feels more diverse, in terms of race, economic diversity and types of people--families and singles.
One source of frustration, though, was the lack of grocery and restaurant choices. The neighborhood felt small and lacked conveniences. Though one place I really liked was an Italian restaurant called Saggio on 181st Street.
Where I am in Boerum Hill, there's no park nearby. I miss that, and the tons of dogs that were there for my dogs to play with.
Boerum Hill feels more low-key, and it feels like there are fewer people because they're more spread out. We live on a major street so it is busy, but right around the corner are the tree-lined, picturesque Brooklyn streets, and down the block is the Barclays Center. So the look and feel of the neighborhood is pretty varied.
The commute: Awesome transit, but a hike to work
Boerum Hill's transportation is a dream--I'm closest to the A, C and G, and not far from the Atlantic Ave/Barclays Center trains-- the B,D,N,R,2 and 3. Also, we're in the middle of so many neighborhoods, like Cobble Hill, Fort Greene, Park Slope, Gowanus and Downtown Brooklyn, so we get to take advantage of all of them.
When the weather is warm, I love exploring Prospect Park, which is about a 20-minute walk away. I also love the antique stores on Atlantic Avenue, which is the main commercial street in our neighborhood. I really like a restaurant called Bedouin Tent for Middle Eastern food and Betty Bakery is dangerously good.
Here's the burn: I work up at 168th and Broadway. Thank goodness for the A, so I'm up there in about an hour. The commute from my old neighborhood was only a 10-minute walk.