Would You Rather?

Which is better: a party 'hood or a sleepy spot?

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One of the best things about living is NYC is how the streetscape can radically differ from one street to the next. Translation: There is a perfect neighborhood for everyone. This week, we asked five New Yorkers: Would you rather live in an area brimming with nightlife, or one that goes quiet after 5 p.m.?

  • Safety in numbers My neighborhood--Harlem--is a bit of a party neighborhood, or it’s become one in the past six or so years I’ve been here. Before, it was quieter, and frankly it was a little bit sad on the weekends. My apartment was a place to sleep and anywhere else was where I’d go to have fun, then a take cab home. In “quiet," i.e. “dead,” neighborhoods, I felt it could be dangerous to walk home from the subway alone late at night. But since restaurants have started to pop up, it’s become much more lively and there is a safer vibe. - Mariah, Harlem
  • Sleep of the dead Well, that depends. I live in an area that’s not exactly dead--but I don’t count laundromats and bodegas as “lively places." I don’t really go out anywhere around here. But after a night of hard partying at the bars elsewhere, I can still get a full night’s sleep because in the morning it’s quiet enough. If the noise level was constantly up, constantly at party level--like when I briefly stayed with a friend close to Chinatown--shoot me now. I’d rather live in a quiet neighborhood and be able to get some peace and quiet at home. Going out to another area to party is not a problem. It’s called “going out” after all.  - Charity, Bushwick
  • 24/7 boredom I lived on Ann Street in the Financial District for a while--it's the saddest place on earth once the sun goes down, as far as I’m concerned. It’s not even that there aren’t any cool restaurants like in “party neighborhoods.” It’s that everything closes! Even the tiny coffee places and bodegas. It. Is. Dead. And sad. And there’s a convenience factor, too. That thing you love about living in the city--24-hour shops where you can get anything--those are not there. Or rolling out of bed and stumbling into a great brunch place. I’m much happier where we are now. - Mack, West Village
  • Skipping the pub crawl My boyfriend lived in Murray Hill and now we’re in Long Island City--which isn’t exactly “dead,” just dead boring for going out or doing anything really fun on the weekends--and forget going out at night. I mean, a park and two non-bad restaurants do not a cool nabe make. Especially for going out at night.  However: that is still better than living in the middle of non-stop pub crawl. It gets old, believe me. Or maybe we are getting old! - Mena, Long Island City
  • Rockin' retail My neighborhood has changed radically since we moved in two years ago! It was this quieter neighborhood at first that would die down completely as soon as the City College let out after the night session. There was a cafe around the corner which was really good. But other than that, there was nothing. It was boring, sad, and inconvenient. In this short span of time, five cool restaurant/bar and bistros have opened. And those are just the ones I know about. There is a lot of construction going on, and old storefronts being renovated. It’s really exciting. I love checking out the new places and we pretty much don’t need to ever leave our own neighborhood to have a great night out. We can stay within a five-block radius. The best part is feeling like I am supporting my neighbors, who are doing great things for the area. I hope it continues like this and more and more places open up! - Andy, Hamilton Heights

Results: Party hardy: 3, On the QT: 2
Verdict: Party On!

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