While $2,500 isn't a huge amount to spend on rent in NYC, there are still plenty of options if your budget is around that amount. In Manhattan you'll likely only see one-bedrooms and small two-bedrooms in that range (except in Upper Manhattan), but head out to Staten Island and you're looking at a three-bedroom house.
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HAMILTON HEIGHTS, MANHATTAN: 2-bed, 2-bath condo with an open kitchen and a balcony facing a garden in a building with a keyed elevator and intercom at 529 West 147th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam). $2,500/month
GREENWICH VILLAGE, MANHATTAN: 2-bed, 1-bath with a small kitchen and western exposures in a building with a live-in super and laundry facilities at 183 Thompson Street (between Bleecker and West Houston). $2,495/month
YORKVILLE, MANHATTAN: 1-bed with crown and baseboard mouldings and wall-through A/C units in a pet-friendly private townhouse at 1634 York Avenue (at 86th Street). $2,500/month
PARK SLOPE, BROOKLYN: 2-bed, 1-bath with bay windows and a decorative fireplace in a four-story condo building at 181 Seventh Avenue (between First and Second). $2,500/month
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, BROOKLYN: 1-bed pre-war apartment with tree-top views, which takes up the entire top floor of a historic townhouse at 306 Hicks Street (between Joralemon and State). $2,500/month
ASTORIA, QUEENS: 1-bed with granite countertops and hardwood floors in a new building with a gym and virtual doorman at 29-16 Astoria Boulevard (at 30th). $2,500/month
RIDGEWOOD, QUEENS: 3-bed, 2-bath with windows in every room and an open kitchen with cherrywood cabinets on the third floor of a three-story building at 56-19 Metropolitan Avenue (between 56th and 50th). $2,600/month, no broker's fee
SPUYTEN DUYVIL, THE BRONX: 1-bed with western views and a large open kitchen in a doorman building with a swimming pool at 2500 Johnson Avenue (at Kappock). $2,500/month, no broker's fee
ANNADALE, STATEN ISLAND: 3-bed, 2-bath with two walk-in closets in the master bedroom in a single family Colonial-style house at 5309 Amboy Road (between Arbutus and Colon). $2,500/month