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Thread: i don't want to die young (or at all really) and live cheap

  1. #1

    Default i don't want to die young (or at all really) and live cheap

    there was another post about living in the "hood". i am NOT interested in that, but i am interested in living cheap. especially the LIVING part.
    my stats:

    20 year old artsy female

    i was raised in madison, wi and it's my first time living on my own (read naive, softy)

    i want to live alone
    i am willing to sacrifice space and aesthetics for this

    i'd prefer at least 600 square ft ( i'll compromise for location/safety)

    oh, god! no, vermin if at all possible. rats, roaches forget it. though, i can deal with the others and can deal with any thing as long as it is not <i> inside </i>.

    i can afford at the absolute, very most 1500 per month, but i'd prefer alot cheaper. no really, ALOT cheaper.

    i'm coming to NY for excitement so i don't want to live in a boring, completely residential area.

    also, i don't mind different lifestyles or ethnicites, but poor = crime and i like my brain inside my head and not splattered on a sidewalk.

    1. safety
    3. entertainment

    i've seen a lot of listings for washington/hamilton heights, inwood. should i be scared?


  2. #2


    i was being dramatic. i think you are being a little, too. it's difficult for me to believe that NY is so reformed that there aren't places that have frequent crime or a general aura of danger or at least seem unnerving on occassion; places that if you could avoid them you would. even dinky wisconsin's got places like that.

    what areas should i stay away?
    where can i get the most safety for the least amount of money?
    can i walk around at night? with headphones on?
    can i give people eye contact?
    do i have to hold my my purse to my chest?
    am i going to hear police sirens daily/nightly?
    do the police even come?

  3. #3


    Are those serious questions? It's not 1980 anymore.

    There are very few isolated areas which can be rather unsavoury at night. They're scattered in some of the more remote corners of the outer boroughs generally. You needn't worry about most parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, or even the Bronx. You'd actually attract more attention looking paranoid by doing such self conscious things as "holding my purse to my chest" than by tuning out the world with headphones as most New Yorkers do. More than a few subway riders are zoned out to their personal choice of music and buried in a book, newspaper or magazine at any time of day or night.

    Excessive eye contact is generally undesirable lest you have romantic intentions.

    Constant sirens are inevitable, but they are usually the ambulance sort and have more to do with heart attacks than stabbings and shootings.

    Your criteria would lead me to recommend such places as the East Village, Alphabet City, or the Lower East Side, but if someplace a bit more suburban (by which I mean ethnic families and low-slung rowhouses) fits your fancy, look into South Brooklyn or some of the vibrant immigrant neighbourhoods of Queens.

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by czsz
    Are those serious questions?
    no. i figured that if i rephrased with some farcicalness i'd get a helpful response. i was right! thanks for the info. as for us not living in 1980s, i only know what's been presented to me. the stereotypes of the people, living conditions etc. much like people think that wisconsinites are cow milking, cheese eating, fat, binge drinking pasty white people. i'm not condescending when they inquire. i inform and move on.

    washington/hamilton heights, inwood?
    Last edited by miyom; June 15th, 2005 at 01:04 AM.

  5. #5


    From about 181st street up to the cloisters on the west side of manhattan (Fort Tyron or upper washington heights) is a good area. Chic Restaurants have opened up, and it has a number of shops. It is a little island within upper manhattan with plenty of very nice parks. It is not where the heartbeat of manhattan is though. It remains distinct and is more quiet.

    Hamilton heights and inwood have less things to do, and these areas are not as good as the above-mentioned area.

    You might want to try the Morningside heights area, which has more action than any of the above areas, and it is where Columbia University is located.

  6. #6


    Though Washington Heights and Inwood are in Manhattan, there are far more vibrant parts of Brooklyn and Queens that are closer and more easily accessible to the more bustling regions of the island.

    You could even look at cities in New Jersey like Hoboken or others along the PATH train line, which functions like a subway extension.

  7. #7
    Forum Veteran
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    Sep 2004


    I don't think there's any reason to make fun of an arty 20 year-old woman from Madison for being concerned about safety. Statistically, NYC is the safest big city in the country, but there are lots of places miyom wouldn't feel comfortable living - espcially not having any street smarts. A woman was raped on the subway in long island city last week - there is still crime here - not as depicted in on television, but waaay more than Madison, WI. Naive newcomers are also targets of crime in away native ny-ers aren't.

    I suggest you concentrate your search with the east village at the center, and spiral out until you find something affordable. Washington heights is up and coming, but friends of mine who moved there left b/c it was boring and far away from the nightlife they wanted (east village/williamsburg, brooklyn) Park Slope, Brooklyn would have the cultrual vibe closest to madison, but a lot of ny-ers think it's boring (ny standards for boring are quite different from madison) or anything between there and manhattan on the F train. Also consider williamsburg/greenpoint, bkln, astoria, qns if you are open to the outer bouroughs.

    Your criteria are a bit limiting (though I'm sure with an intense search you could find what you want - perhaps not from WI though - you might want to move into a roommate situation, and look for an apt of your own from there). Because of your heightened concern for safety, I think you might be better off in a roommate situation permenantly (you would be able to live in a much more upscale area that way - often people with rent control, or who have live in an apt forever have the best deals)

  8. #8
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Sep 2003


    Quote Originally Posted by czsz
    Though Washington Heights and Inwood are in Manhattan, there are far more vibrant parts of Brooklyn and Queens that are closer and more easily accessible to the more bustling regions of the island.

    You could even look at cities in New Jersey like Hoboken or others along the PATH train line, which functions like a subway extension.
    Hoboken is where I am coming from. VERY quick access 24/7 to lower and mid manhattan.

    Rent control on all buildings built sometime before 1970-something. The landlords will not tell you this, however. Try Carol McLaughlin at 201-420-2396 to check on a place after you are in to make sure your rent is not over-inflated to match the new rents in town.

    JC is also good, and some areas better than others. I believe JCMan has a post going on that in the, what is it, NYC 'area' forum section (I forgot what it is called).

    As for things like rats, they are pretty easily controled. Roaches are more difficult and even the poshest of restaurants has to keep a constant eye out for the little buggers, much like ants and other critters out by you.

    Also, the guys here are right, you really do not have to worry much about personal safety unless you worry too much about it. The surest targets are the ones that look like victims before they are even hit.

    Don't walk around clutching your purse, or constantly looking up at the buildings and you will do just fine.....
    Last edited by Ninjahedge; June 15th, 2005 at 02:19 PM.

  9. #9


    Are you going to be attending school in the city?

  10. #10
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    Sep 2004


    Quote Originally Posted by Law & Order
    I wasnt making fun of her ryan. I am saying she said she is an artsy female, she will probaly want to go to the Greenwhich, Soho, places like that. And Vermont does have the best Chedder Chesse in the world. Cabot won the award. Sorry to block your question Schadenfrau.
    L&O - I didn't mean you. I definitely appreciate cabot cheese (and its vegetarian labeling)

  11. #11


    Quote Originally Posted by Schadenfrau
    Are you going to be attending school in the city?
    i'm going to NY to avoid going to school.

  12. #12


    If you're not tied to a neighborhood for school, it will make it easier for you to pick a neighborhood.

    Do you have a job lined up? You might want to find a place that's closer to work.

  13. #13


    Hey, I just pm-ed you... sounds like we might have a lot in common. I read this post and had to say something... I'm also a 20-year old "artsy" female - I plan to move to NY next spring sometime. I just quit school and don't plan to go back.

    If I get lucky and find a place I can afford, I want to live in the village or LES. I've been planning to move for a good while now and so I've done some research - with your budget, you could get a place in the east village or LES. If you do enough looking, you could get something decent. It would be tiny and the kitchen may well be a converted closet, but you could find something.

    When are you making the move? Is there anything in particular you are moving to NY to do?

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