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When I moved from 148th and Broadway (Central Harlem) to Tenth Avenue between 34th and 35th Streets (at the edge of Hell's Kitchen and Midtown West), I had one thing in mind: I wanted a shorter commute to my job in the Financial District and better access to restaurants and nightlife.
The Upper West Side was my first choice because it has a good "neighborhood" feel with Central Park nearby, but the commute to work wouldn't be any less than living in Harlem, and taking the A to Chambers.
While I miss walking out of my apartment during a weekend morning and hearing Dominican music blast from the stores, I am now just a short walk away from discount shopping at Herald Square.
The food options in Harlem were mostly limited to bodegas and tons of Spanish cuisines. In Midtown, I have access to so much more, from the 24-hour diner to the Tenth Rail sports bar or Potbelly Sandwich Works on 37th Street. I also have access to less expensive restaurants, like Alpha Fusion and Quiznos. And I’m now able to take advantage of the $6 movie tickets before noon at the AMC theater on 34th Street.
The buildings here are fairly new—there’s a lot of new development happening. Residents seem to be around my age, in their 20s, and for the most part, low-key.
It’s also much easier to meet up with my friends. I’m near all the major trains and catching a cab isn’t so tough
on 10th Avenue.
One big adjustment is that I have to walk two very long avenues to get to the train on Eighth Avenue. I never realized how much longer the avenues are in Midtown than in Harlem.
However, once I get on the train, my trip to work is so much shorter than it once was. For example, it now takes me about 15 minutes to get downtown versus 40 when I lived uptown. Cabs are less expensive, too. Most of my cab rides--whether coming home late at night or when I'm running late to work in the morning--average $12 compared to $25.