When in the market to buy or rent a new place, many New Yorkers shop for a neighborhood first. And once they have their hearts set on a location, many will sacrifice square footage and pay a premium just to live there.
Distilling each neighborhood's trials and tribulations is the aim of our Transitions column, in which one New Yorker each week contrasts their latest 'hood with the one they left behind. What’s resulted is an unvarnished firsthand guide to dozens of NYC nabes (and micro-nabes).
There are the cross-borough moves, like West 14th Street to Carroll Gardens and the West 11th Street to Prospect Heights, that has left many Transition-ites swearing they’d never return to too-busy, too-crowded and too-expensive Manhattan.
We've heard from die-hard Manhattanites too. There was the woman who discovered that she was paying less in the West Village than in Williamsburg, the Queens refugee who was thrilled to return to Upper Manhattan and the current Astoria-dweller pining for "the city."
Among the findings that may or may not affect one's decision to colonize a particular neighborhood: the Lower East Side is party central on the weekends, some of the best Manhattan deals are near the Second Avenue subway construction, Bay Ridge has got a young Brooklyn vibe without the Park Slope prices, and DUMBO's got Brooklyn "cool" down pat, but the pricey area is lacking in some conveniences, while perhaps most surprisingly, one of NYC's most bustling Midtown nabes can feel downright neighborly.
A comprehensive list of Transitions is below. Look out for more every Friday.
Upper East Side to Kips Bay: I still don't really hang out where I live
East Village to the Upper East Side: Singing the Trader Joe's blues
Astoria, Queens to Upper Manhattan: Glad to be back
UWS to Yorkville: "If you want to live in Manhattan and you're not rich, you have to give some things up"
East Village to Chelsea: Regrets only
Prospect Heights to the Upper West Side: More families, less CSI
Escape from the UES: Goodbye douchebaggery, hello Hell's Kitchen
Central Harlem to Midtown West/Hell's Kitchen: More restaurants, a shorter commute, and $6 movie tickets
Manhattan Valley to the East Village: Fewer strollers...and lower cab fare
West Village to Midtown: The crowds turn locals into neighbors
Murray Hill to the Upper West Side: The real estate equivalent of growing up
Williamsburg to the West Village: One of Manhattan's most desirable neighborhoods for less
Midwood, Brooklyn to Washington Heights: Higher rent and a friendlier Orthodox community
East Williamsburg to Hell's Kitchen: From hosting the party to living above it
Greenpoint, Brooklyn to Hudson Heights: Two tucked away, cool neighborhoods
East Village to Midtown East: A familly friendly neighborhood with many more conveniences
Gravesend to Bay Ridge: Authentic Brooklyn with a younger vibe + lower prices than the Slope
Jackson Heights to Prospect Heights: From loving my apartment to loving my neighborhood
Lower East Side to Brooklyn Heights: No sleep 'til Brooklyn
14th Street to Carroll Gardens: "Even if we could afford to move back to Manhattan, I wouldn't"
Park Slope to Fort Greene: Fewer strollers, more diversity
Hell’s Kitchen to Astoria, Queens: I'll take Manhattan
West Village to Prospect Heights: "I was Manhattan-ed out"
Brooklyn Heights to DUMBO: What it lacks in groceries, it makes up for in cool
Astoria, Queens to Ditmas Park, Brooklyn: More space, inside and out