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New York City. Three little words that have the power to spark energy in any American’s heart. The land of opportunity, the fast-paced, bustling, center of the action—the place where millions have taken their chances and given their best with the hope and dream of NYC success.
With all its allure, it’s no wonder that NYC is infamous for its expensive housing. Many have tried and failed to make things work in the big apple. And as you know, if you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere.
But who’s to judge if you get a little help making it in New York with a quick neighborhood guide and an insider’s map of the city? Below, we’ve narrowed in on the best places to live in New York City with helpful tips that’ll turn you into a fast-walking, streetwise New Yorker in no time.
We hope this was helpful, and if you decide to take the plunge, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Bellhop. We coordinate local and long-distance moving services in NYC, and we would love to help.
The super-exclusive Gramercy has been described as “a Victorian gentleman who has refused to die.” But New York Times writer Charlotte Devree didn’t know that when she wrote this in 1957, the neighborhood would still be kickin’ it over 60 years later. And we hope that the former home of figures like President Theodore Roosevelt, Oscar Wilde, and James Cagney won’t be re-developed anytime soon.
Gramercy is a private neighborhood in Manhattan that collects annual fees from its residents in exchange for a key into the community. At its center sits one of the two private parks in NYC, Gramercy Park. And while the park can only be used by residents, the surrounding streets and sidewalks are commonly spotted with dog-walkers and joggers.
One of NYC’s most upscale neighborhoods, Gramercy is commonly considered to be quiet and safe. But a few blocks away, businesswomen and men bustle around vendors and activists. Gramercy sits just north of the vibrant and urban Union Square—a stark and energetic contrast to Gramercy’s serenity.
What’s Happening in Gramercy
Gramercy residents have an easy reach to several landmarks on NYC’s east side (look below for an extensive list of Upper East Side activities). During your visit, check out the Spanish-language theater, Repertorio Español, the live music at the Gramercy Theater or Jazz Standard, and the National Arts Club. You can also stay at the Gramercy Park Hotel and have a sneak peek of what it’d be like strolling through your own private gardens.
Schools in Gramercy
Schools in the area include Learning Spring School, New Explorations into Science, Technology & Math School, and Stuyvesant High School among others.
Homes in Gramercy
The beautiful historic homes of Gramercy mesh well with the 19th-century buildings surrounding the neighborhood. You’ll find many Italiana and Greek Revival-style homes in the area. Here are some of the houses for sale and apartments for rent in the area.
Appropriately named, this area of NYC is home to many of the city’s financial institutions like the Federal Reserve Bank and the New York Stock Exchange. The Financial District also holds well-known landmarks like the One World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial.
Within the past few years, this district has been transforming into a residential-friendly neighborhood, with close to 30,000 New Yorkers calling it home. The area is an excellent spot if you want to be close to every mode of transit NYC offers. And sitting smack dab in the heart of the city, the Financial District is the quintessential New York neighborhood, densely populated within the Manhattan borough.
What’s Happening in the Financial District
If you can believe it, they’re still squeezing new construction and developments into this tightly-packed Downtown Manhattan neighborhood. Hundreds of new units and rental apartments are underway along the southern edge of Manhattan as well as on Platt, Broad, and Dutch Street.
The Financial District is also about to see some updates to their dining scene. Already an incredible drinking and dining hub, pulsing with the energy of world-class chefs, Pier 17 will have several new additions this year, like The Fulton seafood restaurant. David Chang—known for his Momofuku Noodle Bar—is opening Bar Wayō this summer. And fresh farm-to-table dishes will soon be served at the upcoming Malibu Farm. For an extensive list of FiDi’s best restaurants and bars, check out this piece by Eater New York.
Schools in the Financial District
Schools in the area include Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, Blue School, and Stuyvesant High School among others.
Homes in the Financial District
Housing in the Financial District doesn’t come cheap. Expect to lay down a few (um, like four) thousand dollars each month for your one-bedroom rent. Check out some of the houses for sale and apartments for rent in the area.
Astoria started gaining attention a few years ago, seen as an affordable alternative to the many pocket-emptying parts of NYC. Today, prices aren’t as cheap as they used to be. But, sitting directly on the river with picturesque views of the city skyline and some of the best cultural restaurants in all of New York, you’re still getting a steal.
What’s Happening in Astoria
Traditionally a Greek neighborhood, this area in Queens is now full of a diverse population with Italian, Brazilian, Baltic, Irish, and Egyptian heritage. The art produced in this entertainment production hub reflects the incredible diversity of its residents. And in our opinion, the food is some of the best in the city because of it.
Astoria appeals to young starry-eyed professionals and creative types. If this is your shtick, visit the Museum of the Moving Image and step into Old Hollywood. Looking for a unique dish or drink? Check out this list of excellent eateries and bars in the area.
Schools in Astoria
Schools in the area include 30th Avenue School, Our World Neighborhood Charter School, and Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School among others.
Homes in Astoria
You can still find apartments for $1500 a month and homes for less than $400k in Astoria—something unheard of in some of the other neighborhoods we’ve listed. Find your steal and check out some of the houses for sale and apartments for rent in the area.
Once a poor, working-class neighborhood, this inner-Manhattan district has steadily become one of the most sought-after and densely populated neighborhoods in the city. Skyscrapers, crowds, massive screen ads, tourists, and traffic jams—if you’ve visited NYC, you’ve seen Midtown. Closeby Broadway theaters, the well-known Actors Studio, and tons of nightlife hubs, this energetic area is a hot spot for young professionals and aspiring actors.
What’s Happening in Midtown
The options are endless in Midtown. Drinking, dining, shopping, touring—this is where NYC’s energy explodes. Midtown is also home to many of NYC’s biggest tourist attractions. If you haven’t already, visit Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Madison Square Garden, and Koreatown.
Moving slightly off Midtown’s center, you’ll find the more elegant Midtown East. This area boasts beautiful architecture and notable structures like Grand Central Terminal and the Chrysler Building. Midtown East is also home to several famous department stores like Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdale’s. For an escape from the crowds, visit the elegant New York Public Library.
Schools in Midtown
Schools in the area include The Epiphany School, Saint Thomas Choir School, and Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts among others.
Homes in Midtown
The demand for housing in Midtown hit a high a few years ago. But the supply outpaced the need slightly, giving buyers a negotiating advantage. Real estate investors are moving in fast, taking advantage of this window of opportunity. But it won’t last long. Check out some of the houses for sale and apartments for rent in the area and see if you can snag a deal.
UPPER EAST SIDE
Home to some of New York’s swankiest streets as well as down-to-earth spots like Yorkville, Upper East Side is like two neighborhoods in one. The area features gorgeous townhomes, the Mayor’s Mansion, and luxury shopping. And across the street, you’ll find casual eateries, families taking walks, dog parks, and sports bars. It’s a beautiful blend of what NYC has to offer—fame, wealth, fortune, and fun—all with nearby hubs like the East River Esplanade.
What’s Happening in Upper East Side
The seven world-class cultural institutions along Museum Mile deserve a day of your visit. Madison Avenue boasts of big-name designers and resale shops as well as every cuisine under the sun. For a longer list of this area’s many amenities, scroll through this helpful Upper East Side Guide.
Schools in Upper East Side
Schools in the area include Marymount School of New York, The Hewitt School, and The Dalton School among others.
Homes in Upper East Side
You can go big here and find a luxury, multi-million dollar home. But this area is also popular among families and new homeowners looking for something a little more affordable. Here are some of the houses for sale and apartments for rent in the area.
There you have it: the 5 best neighborhoods in New York City!
We hope this was helpful, and if you decide to take the plunge, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Bellhop. As we said, we coordinate local and long-distance moving services in NYC, and we would love to help. We also help coordinate moves for nearby cities like Philadelphia should you be interested!
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