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Thread: Living on 94th Street on Upper East Side - south of the border

  1. #1
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    Default Living on 94th Street on Upper East Side - south of the border

    I am moving into this Upper upper east side - just south of the 96th Street that separates the area of tall buildings, clean streets and wealthy professionals from East Harlem with its poor housing projects and unattractive streets. To me it's amazing that the contrast is so huge - once you cross the 96th Street, the neighborhood gets much worse fast. Does anyone have experience living in this area? Is it safe? I cannot understand how is it possible that the area can be safe when just 2-3 blocks away it's not.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I lived on E 86th Street for a time, the whole area is safe. You'll be fine.

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    Yes I also wonder the same when I move to the city. I live on the Upper West side. The only poor projects closer to me are the ones behind Lincoln Square of the performing arts. Not a huge poor project development. (The buildings are less than 10 stories high I believe) Sometimes I walk through them to get to another avenue. Not a big deal.

    I believe East Harlem projects are in abundance than any othe projects in manhattan. They are tall towers fill with poor people. But it seems that 96th street is the seperation of both the rich and the poor.

    Also there are new residential buildings (market-rate for professionals) being built as we speak in parts of east harlem. Not sure how close to these housing projects they are, but I have seen advertisment.

    Although is not East Harlem... on Sunday I decided to take a walk on alphabet city (Lower East Side)... So I walk up on avenue D from Houston street, for the first time, where it separates the poor housing projects and the areas that are either market rate or rent control apartments. Anyway the area looks very dicey. Nothing happend to me even though some people looked threatening. But I also wonder how safe this area might be all the time. I did see the presence of cops around.

    But I think I witness a drug transaction. There was this guy in a car (with two children on the back of the car) then this two guys approached the car and I think I saw the exchage of a small bag of something and money. But I am not sure really if it was drugs or what. But the whole thing was fast. And the guys just left as quick as they came.

    It seems that crime is super down in the city so maybe for the most part crime is not so ovbious.

    Well good luck living there and keep us posted about the area!

  4. #4

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    I think you might be confusing safety with aesthetics. There's as much crime on 94th Street as there is on 97th.

    The idea of the 96th Street dividing line is as outdated as the idea that everything cool is below 14th Street.

    I'm not sure what you're getting at with this thread, other than congratulations on making the bold choice of living on a clean street instead of a housing project.

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    Schadenfrau: That is what I am trying to understand what it is, as you said, just "aesthetics", or living so close to huge public housing projects where the average yearly income is around 17-18K per year is dangerous. I am not so concerned about myself. But my wife works late many days of the week and I have some concerns that she will to take the #6 train to 96th Train Station and walk home at 9-10pm. Has anyone actually lived there or has some friends living in the area and has information rather than guesses?


    I can't imagine this is just "aesthetics" since the demand for housing in Manhattan is huge, apartments on Upper East Side are very expensive. Yet, once you go to 97th or 98th street on 2nd or 3rd avenue, the area looks dark, there are very few decent groceries or eateries, lots of strange characters are riding bycyles, etc. That's not how people live in safe areas. 96th Street does look like a border. The contrast between 95th and 97th street is much more evident than on the border between the US and Mexico in Tijuana.

  6. #6

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    "The idea of the 96th Street dividing line is as outdated as..."

    In your dreams. I´d bet if you´d ask the residents East Harlem if 96th is a dividing line, they would answer "yes".

  7. #7

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    I've lived in the area and can tell you that you're really overreacting.

    Have you lived in New York City before? There are "strange characters riding bicycles" everywhere. Not to mention the fact that there's no invisible forcefield preventing criminals from crossing 96th Street.

    The Gold Coast area has a real problem with purse-snatchings, and it has nothing to do with its proximity to the projects. The Upper East Side also has the highest rate of auto theft in Manhattan. Still, I imagine you consider these to be "safe" areas.

    MrSpice, you've already made plans to move to this area. Why are you now asking if it's safe? Are you looking for the historical reason 96th Street was considered a dividing line, or are you simply looking for a vague way to insult people who can't afford to live "south of the border"?

  8. #8

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    Fabrizio, I've lived in the area and was free to cross 96th without being forced to show my passport. The idea of a line has become much more fluid today than it was in the past.

  9. #9

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    "Are you looking for the historical reason 96th Street was considered a dividing line..."

    96th on the East side is STILL considered to be a dividing line.

    "I've lived in the area and was free to cross 96th without being forced to show my passport."

    Again I will repeat: ask the residents of East Harlem if 96th is a dividing line.

  10. #10

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    96th is actually considered the technical dividing line on both the east and west sides. Where are you getting the impression it's only the east?

    Still, it's absolutely ridiculous to expect that you'll be attacked with knives on 97th Street and greeted with flowers on 95th.

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    There's still a noticeable aesthetic change when you cross 96th street from one neighborhood into the other. However, I like to think that as demographics have changed, the division has become less and less severe and the line has blurred.

  12. #12

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    The contrast is not as stark on the west side. On the East side it is a huge difference in look and feel.

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    Schadenfrau: Why are you questioning my motvies and give me a hard time instead of helping and answering my question in a nice and helpful manner? Yes, I did make a decision and will be living there soon. But I want to know as much as possible about this area, how safe is it, and after I made the decision and signed the contract, I happened to take a short drive 4-5 blocks north and was concerned when I saw the area above 96th Street. I am not talking about Auto Theft and I don't care about the Gold Coast. These comparisons are unnecesary and bare no relevance to my question. If you are implying that East Harlem is just as safe as any other areas of New York including Upper East side then this is total nonsense and the statistics for the 23rd police precinct demonstrate that point.

    Does anyone else have an opinion about this?

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    I found article online on this subject: http://www.nyc24.org/2003/issue2/story5/page2.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio
    The contrast is not as stark on the west side. On the East side it is a huge difference in look and feel.
    No arguments there. But on the east side, both Yorkville and East Harlem have changed demographically over the years; both are definitely a bit more mixed.

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