I rented in a one-bedroom in Kips Bay for four years, and moved to the Upper East Side (Yorkville specifically) just under two months ago.
I was living in a small walk-up building, with only four apartments, on 30th Street and Second Avenue. It was pretty loud -- I was right by a bus stop, and two doors down from a small gourmet grocery store, so there were always early deliveries.
I liked the neighborhood. I had moved from the West Village before, and while the West Village has all the cute restaurants and boutiques, I feel like in any neighborhood, if you make it your own, it can be great.
I was across the street from the Kips Bay movie theater, which was great because I love to go to the movies, and the area was definitely convenient for work (I work on the west side, in Midtown, so I used to take the 34th Street crosstown bus). I really miss Todaro Bros., the nearby gourmet grocery store, and their delicious prepared foods; there was also a good Greek place called Ethos that I liked.
For me, the neighborhood didn’t feel too frat-like. I didn’t live in one of those big doorman buildings where so many of the residents are right out of college. Third Avenue is really the heart of that, and Second Avenue feels a little removed.
At the end of July, I moved to a studio at 88th and York. It’s a co-op, and I pay $1,650 a month. I was a little hesitant to move so far uptown, since I had never lived above the 30s. If I had found something as nice further downtown, I might have taken it. But I really like the neighborhood.
It’s a little far from the subway, but my old place on Second Avenue was too, so I’m used to -- and like-- taking buses. Because you don't have to go underground, it feels like less of a production. I take the bus to the subway at 86th Street, but I also walk sometimes. It takes about 10 or 15 minutes.
The area is really nice -- it feels like there’s a real community. People make their homes here. It’s not as much a transitional place as my old area. I’ve met some people who have lived here for many years.
It's also much, much quieter than my old neighborhood. I face the back of the building, so I hear nothing; it’s really nice.
I’ve been away most weekends since I moved in, but I’m looking forward to going to Carl Schurz Park. So far, my favorite restaurant discovery is Felice, an Italian restaurant and wine bar at 83rd and First that has outdoor seating.
There are also a million supermarkets -- there’s a Gristedes a block away, the big Fairway nearby and a Food Emporium, too. I went to Agata & Valentina for the first time this weekend, and that was great.
I know a lot of people get scared about being so far from the subway, but I really don’t mind it. Plus, it helps that 86th Street has just about every chain you could ever need -- Barnes and Noble, Sephora, Starbucks, all the banks. Then on York and East End it’s beautiful and quiet... so I love it.