Manhattan v Brooklyn December 22, 2010 9:38 PM   Subscribe

Post asking about NYC apartments has devolved into Manhattan vs Brooklyn sniping.

Posted here so that those interested in parsing the relative merits of Manhattan vs Brooklyn can bitch and moan here.
posted by dfriedman to Etiquette/Policy at 9:38 PM (142 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

This is not the thread where things are happening.
posted by carsonb at 9:45 PM on December 22, 2010 [10 favorites]


OP's friend may want to do temp housing until he figure it out.
posted by k8t at 9:46 PM on December 22, 2010


The issue, to me, seems to be that the person in question wants to live in a certain neighborhood, but according to the original post there's virtually no way they can afford to live there. All we can really do is give alternatives. I can't think of any appropriate alternatives but upper Manhattan, brownstone Brooklyn, or a couple of Queens neighborhoods that would really be pushing it but might appeal to him as someone who's never lived in New York.

What was I supposed to do, say that if he can't live in the W. Village he should just not move to New York at all?

I agree with the temporary housing idea. Though said housing will still need to be in some neighborhood or other, and probably won't be in the West Village.
posted by Sara C. at 9:52 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Post asking about NYC apartments has devolved into Manhattan vs Brooklyn sniping.

No it hasn't, unless a bunch of shit has been deleted. There a maybe a couple of answers with some back and forth, but pretty much everything in the thread is an answer. You may need to rethink your definition of both "devolved" and "sniping".
posted by dersins at 9:53 PM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wait, Brooklyn has merits?
posted by Eideteker at 9:54 PM on December 22, 2010


Nothing has been deleted. The thread seems totally under control to this point. Metatalk is always available as a venue for metadiscussion or redirection of a serious derail but this feels like it's jumping the gun a bit, dfriedman.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:55 PM on December 22, 2010


(C'mon, we gotta get this sniping thing underway here ppl, before this thread stalls.)
posted by Eideteker at 9:55 PM on December 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


your favorite place to live sucks
posted by floam at 9:59 PM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Sorry, no, Portland is lovely, actually.


If you don't need a job, I mean.
posted by dersins at 10:00 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


everything except schenectady is bullshit, and even then
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:02 PM on December 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


If the gun has been jumped, I apologize.
posted by dfriedman at 10:02 PM on December 22, 2010


Wow. Fifteen feet of snow at Mammoth in the last day.
posted by rtha at 10:08 PM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Whoops.
posted by rtha at 10:09 PM on December 22, 2010


Clearly OP's friend should move to California.
posted by special-k at 10:16 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]



op here....all this is legit. just want the best place for my friend to live., In NYC.





thanks
posted by pearlybob at 10:21 PM on December 22, 2010


I was posting on the gray long before the hipsters moved in...
posted by schmod at 10:48 PM on December 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


Maybe pearlybob's friend should just move into the space in this comment above; which seems about the size of a New York apartment anyway.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 11:28 PM on December 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


why come nobody raps about the west village
posted by eddydamascene at 12:07 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who wants to live in New York?
Who wants the worry, the dirt, the noise, the heat?
Who wants the garbage cans flaming in the street?
Suddenly, I do


"Opening Doors" by Stephen Sondheim
posted by MattMangels at 12:15 AM on December 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


The best place to live in New York is "not in New York".
posted by DU at 3:15 AM on December 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Everyone knows that New Yorkshiremen are famous for their love of new morris dancing, new yorkshire pudding and new ferret legging. Why these abominable persons are allowed to persist upon God's good Earth is a constant mystery to all right thinking folks, but the ferrets seem to like them, so what the fuck do I know.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 3:42 AM on December 23, 2010 [25 favorites]


Brooklyn wins, I say so, argument over.
posted by Decani at 4:07 AM on December 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


At least it's not that shithole LA.
posted by nomadicink at 4:13 AM on December 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


let's make it really ridiculous and tell him to move to staten island.
posted by TrialByMedia at 4:45 AM on December 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


I enjoy the Bronx.
posted by sciencegeek at 5:03 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Queens!
posted by jonmc at 5:22 AM on December 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yonkers!
posted by mikepop at 5:25 AM on December 23, 2010


If we want to make it REALLY ridiculous, we're recommend NJ.

I grew up in NJ, so I'm allowed to make jokes about it.
posted by Grither at 5:26 AM on December 23, 2010


ugh, we'd. Not we're.
posted by Grither at 5:27 AM on December 23, 2010


Wooooo, Long Beach!
posted by Brian Puccio at 6:02 AM on December 23, 2010


let's make it really ridiculous and tell him to move to staten island.

Shaolin style!
posted by .kobayashi. at 6:15 AM on December 23, 2010


I don't really think it would be possible to get this question answered without a Brooklyn vs. Manhattan debate. Deciding where to live in New York involves, de rigeur, putting the question to a diverse group of New Yorkers, and letting them argue with each other. He's getting a head start here.

Also, making good money outside NYC and then having your sails deflated when you realize that by NYC standards, you make very little, is another ritual that many newcomers need to go through. He's been helped out in that regard too.

Finally, part of learning to live in New York is learning to live among confrontational people who will often tell you to your face that you don't know what you're talking about.

Sometimes it's okay to let the truth hurt, and this is one of those times.
posted by bingo at 6:16 AM on December 23, 2010 [6 favorites]


If the gun has been jumped, I apologize.

Yeah, you overreacted, for sure. There's nothing there that's out of line, just folks pointing out that the poster's BFF may want to rethink the idea that the West Village is the only happening place in NYC for a high end gay guy to live.
posted by mediareport at 6:23 AM on December 23, 2010


The comment about "doing Brooklyn things and having Brooklyn friends" was a little strange though. I live in Manhattan, and have friends in all five boroughs. Now, I don't visit those friends, but still... :)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:42 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


By the way, Williamsburg is now so unhip it's actually hip again. But it won't be by the time most people realise it.
posted by Decani at 7:05 AM on December 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


COME TO SCENIC BENSONHURST. WE MIGHT HAVE A BAR SOMEWHERE PROBABLY.
posted by griphus at 7:07 AM on December 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


The first time I ever came to NYC as a gay 21 year old, I spent all my time in the West Village because I wanted to be near where all the shit was happening. This was in 2001 though, not 1971, and so I did not see very much shit happening. It turns out that everything I knew about NYC was based on books that had been written years before I was born.

The idea that the West Village is where someone would move to be in the absolute middle of it all, whatever "it all" means to them, made me laugh out loud. Yes, you can still see a male go-go dancer during an afternoon happy hour, if you don't mind hanging out with a room full of sixty year olds. Otherwise the entire neighborhood is a tourist trap for history buffs. If you grew up there, as someone said, then it will be full of memories. For someone just moving there, it's just like living in Palm Springs except you don't have to drive.
posted by hermitosis at 7:15 AM on December 23, 2010 [16 favorites]


Otherwise the entire neighborhood is a tourist trap for history buffs.

Not entirely true. If you are a GLBT kid, the pier is a really good time in the summer.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:22 AM on December 23, 2010


If you are a GLBT kid, the pier is a really good time in the summer.

And depending on the tastes of the OP's friend, this could be the neighborhood's singularly desirable feature.
posted by hermitosis at 7:34 AM on December 23, 2010


I think the question in question would be helped a lot by a little more info from the OP. People have asked for it ("If you could tell us why he wants to move to the West Village, it could be easier for us to suggest more affordable neighborhoods. Is it just the location, or is there a particular vibe he's looking for?") and just keep getting "he's rich!!! and gay!" back. Pearlybob, give people a hand, tell them something about your friend as a person, or even something about what he imagines the West Village to be like, since neither of you live in NYC.
posted by donnagirl at 7:43 AM on December 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


Use more words and fewer exclamation marks, OP.
posted by special-k at 7:51 AM on December 23, 2010


I've worked in the West Village on and off for several years, and I agree that it can be a great neighborhood. It's packed with "stuff" in a way that seems unthinkable in other cities and is even noticeable compared to other New York neighborhoods. Everything you could ever want is mere steps from your door, from designer shopping to 20 different kinds of yoga studios to gay bars to some of the best restaurants on the planet. This makes it a pretty damn cool area.

But you really don't have to live in the West Village to enjoy the great things about it. This is one of the things that makes New York a great city. There's no real difference between someone who lives on Hudson St. and considers said restaurant, yoga studio, gay bar, or boutique their "neighborhood hangout" and someone who lives in Park Slope and rides the subway 15 minutes to make use of the same services. New York is democratic that way.
posted by Sara C. at 8:09 AM on December 23, 2010


There's no real difference between someone who lives on Hudson St. and considers said restaurant, yoga studio, gay bar, or boutique their "neighborhood hangout" and someone who lives in Park Slope and rides the subway 15 minutes to make use of the same services. New York is democratic that way.

I totally disagree with this. Very, very few people venture out of their immediate neighborhood for those types of things. Even in NYC.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:14 AM on December 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


I agree. You CAN go, but it's hardly the same.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:17 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd agree with the "democratic" position simply because both of you are right based on the kind of people you hang out with and the neighborhood in which you live.

Again, I grew up and live in fucking Bensonhurst (three stops up from Coney Island, represent!) so if I want anything outside of dirt-cheap super-fresh groceries, authentic Chinese food and leopard-print embroidered leggings, I have no choice but to venture out of my neighborhood.
posted by griphus at 8:18 AM on December 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


For restaurants and shopping? What NYC are you talking about, the one that is a resort in Vegas?

If they only people who shopped at Marc Jacobs, bought food at Murray's Cheese and Magnolia Bakery, ate at The Spotted Pig, and took classes at Jivamukti (not technically the W. Village but bear with me here), those businesses would have been shuttered within months of opening. The Village as it is today survives based on visits from outsiders, whether that's people from Cleveland, Montclair, or Williamsburg.
posted by Sara C. at 8:21 AM on December 23, 2010


Well, I guess I'm lazy. I've got a Trader Joe's and a Fairway within 2 blocks of my apartment. Ain't no way I'm going to the West Village for food.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:24 AM on December 23, 2010


You've never eaten in a restaurant in the West Village?

Really? Really?
posted by Sara C. at 8:25 AM on December 23, 2010


Yes, I have. About as often as my mother from New Jersey eats in Manhattan.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:27 AM on December 23, 2010


Exactly.
posted by Sara C. at 8:30 AM on December 23, 2010


You've never eaten in a restaurant in the West Village?

I avoid eating in the WV at all costs, unless someone else is paying.
posted by hermitosis at 8:31 AM on December 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


If someone else is paying, I'll go ANYWHERE. Even Brooklyn.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:34 AM on December 23, 2010 [6 favorites]


The very essence of luxury is finding someone who will pay you to stay home.
posted by hermitosis at 8:36 AM on December 23, 2010


This thread is really making me miss the Cubbyhole.
posted by avocet at 8:39 AM on December 23, 2010


But you can go there and have been there, right? And sometimes leave the 5-block radius of your apartments to do other things, right?

Because if you genuinely don't and aren't just being all "Oh I Would Never Go Below/Above 14th Street" about it, you're really living in the wrong city.

And I say this as someone whose social radius is generally within a 3-mile radius of Prospect Park. Still, sometimes they have a show I want to see at the Guggenheim. That's why I live in New York.
posted by Sara C. at 8:40 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


(Also, yes to missing the cubbyhole! That place was worth a trip to the West Village even when I was a self-avowed hater who Never Went West Of Astor Place.)
posted by Sara C. at 8:41 AM on December 23, 2010


The very essence of luxury is finding someone who will pay you to stay home.

"We can talk or not talk for hours and still find things to not talk about."
posted by griphus at 8:41 AM on December 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Because if you genuinely don't and aren't just being all "Oh I Would Never Go Below/Above 14th Street" about it, you're really living in the wrong city.

Again, totally disagree. What I love about NYC is that my neighborhood is so awesome I don't have to go anywhere else.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:47 AM on December 23, 2010


NYC has always struck me as the sort of city that's big enough to accommodate people who live there for all kinds of different reasons.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:51 AM on December 23, 2010 [9 favorites]


...my neighborhood is so awesome I don't have to go anywhere else.

In that case, were I you, I would seriously look into expanding my interests.
posted by griphus at 8:54 AM on December 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


cortex: "NYC has always struck me as the sort of city that's big enough to accommodate people who live there for all kinds of different reasons"

Get out of here with you "reason" and "sense", cortex.

I love NYC because there are neighborhood hermits and neighborhood whores* and everything in between!

* - You know what I mean, get your head out of that gutter/actual definition of the word.
posted by Grither at 9:01 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


You're slightly confused, cortex, but that is understandable.

NYC can only accommodate exactly one individual's personal conception of the city and everyone else living here is living here incorrectly. This rule holds for everyone, which is why, simultaneously, it seems that everyone is getting along and yet completely unable to acknowledge that someone else is Doing It Right.
posted by griphus at 9:02 AM on December 23, 2010 [8 favorites]


"...who Never Went West Of Astor Place"

What's east of Astor Place? St. Mark's for a block, then the edge of the world, right?

(Riverside Park is lovely in the spring, if you ever want to come visit us strange west-siders.)
posted by Eideteker at 9:16 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I enjoyed the West Village just last night! If you can call peering into windows on Perry Street like a staving orphan in front of a bakery and crying a little bit "enjoying."
posted by oinopaponton at 9:22 AM on December 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Weird, the thing that I love about living in NYC is that I can explore different neighborhoods. There is always a new block, new restaurant, new coffee shop to try.
posted by joeyjoejoejr at 9:29 AM on December 23, 2010


I heard that New York is a concrete jungle where dreams are made. Apparently there's nothing you can't do, when you're in New York. Although I suspect that the laws of physics actually prevent certain activities.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:32 AM on December 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Look, if you're not living in Western Queens, you're not doing NYC right. When the Brooklyn vs Manhattan thing comes up, we in Astoria; LIC; Sunnyside; Woodside; Jackson Heights sit back and think how quaint.
posted by Pineapplicious at 9:36 AM on December 23, 2010 [10 favorites]


Eideteker, I have since mended my ways and happily visit all corners of the city. I discovered the wonders of Riverside Park when I got a bike and decided to ride it to the Boat Basin for a cocktail with friends. Even though it happens to not be in spitting distance of my apartment, they still let us Foreigners hang out there. Can you believe it?
posted by Sara C. at 9:39 AM on December 23, 2010


I have a theory about Western Queens. The reason the whole scene there popped up is because shady real estate agents tricked some people into living there, and once they realized it would take over an hour to get out of there -- assuming the trains were even running -- they decided to put down root and claim they didn't need to go anywhere else.

Note: This theory also applies to Bushwick, DUMBO and the entirety of Staten Island.
posted by griphus at 9:40 AM on December 23, 2010 [7 favorites]


When I lived in Cobble Hill, I went out in the neighborhood a lot. Now I live in DUMBO, and like never go back there, spend more time in the city. That's all I got.
posted by sweetkid at 9:42 AM on December 23, 2010


Yeah, no, in DUMBO you need to go somewhere else. Ain't a whole lot there. But I kinda like that.
posted by sweetkid at 9:42 AM on December 23, 2010


(In five years, my theory will also apply to the South Bronx SoBro.)
posted by griphus at 9:43 AM on December 23, 2010


I used to work in Cobble Hill as a teenager in the early 2000s and fantasize about living there someday. I'm seriously considering buying an apartment there once I get a Real Job.
posted by griphus at 9:45 AM on December 23, 2010


Yeah, Cobble Hill is definitely my neighborhood of choice when/if I ever get a job where I don't have to live paycheck to paycheck. I'm kind of amazed that sweetkid left.
posted by Sara C. at 9:47 AM on December 23, 2010


Lwt me just say as a member of the quote unquote creative class (fuck you I said it) PHILLY is where its at. It's rent, you can afford it. Your pitchers, we have them. Hipsters. we got that shit too.
posted by angrycat at 11:03 AM on December 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


We have the grocer apostrophes too, apparently
posted by angrycat at 11:04 AM on December 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


So on a lighter note, anyone else hit by the Big Brooklyn Crime Wave?
posted by The Whelk at 11:14 AM on December 23, 2010


*hugs his little corner of Harlem*

No hate for Bk, but I wouldn't want to live there.

And I was in Queens, once. I think. (Other than to see the Mets play.)
posted by Eideteker at 11:17 AM on December 23, 2010


I live on the border of Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens, and it's great. If I could just work from home, I'd be set. I would be okay with never entering Manhattan again.
posted by bingo at 12:00 PM on December 23, 2010


I left New York a long, long time ago, so, remind me - this "Brooklyn" you're all chattering about, do I have to have a car to get there? Is it near East Hampton?
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 12:36 PM on December 23, 2010


Lwt me just say as a member of the quote unquote creative class (fuck you I said it) PHILLY is where its at. It's rent, you can afford it. Your pitchers, we have them. Hipsters. we got that shit too.

QFMFT. [NOT NEWYORK-IST]
posted by The Michael The at 12:58 PM on December 23, 2010


I wonder if I am as annoying when I talk about my hometown/city as New Yorkers are when they talk about theirs.
posted by Aizkolari at 1:02 PM on December 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


To all who have contributed, thank you!! My friend got a big promotion with a major clothing line. He knows NYC well, thus the pick of the west village. May need to rethink his budget but that's not an issue. I'm in the middle of a move myself so haven't been able to follow all this but I appreciate your participation. Continue the discussion, every bit it helpful!! Happy Festivus!!!
posted by pearlybob at 1:08 PM on December 23, 2010


theory about Western Queens... once they realized it would take over an hour to get out of there

An hour to get anywhere?? I leave 25 minutes before my appointments with me therapist on the UES. Two stops on the F train.

(Yay Astoria.)
posted by torticat at 1:09 PM on December 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


Deciding where to live in New York involves, de rigeur, putting the question to a diverse group of New Yorkers, and letting them argue with each other.

As a New Yorker (and a Brooklynite), I can't imagine a more boring argument. Except maybe the other one I have to hear all the time: Macs vs. PCs.

Anyone who engages in either of those arguments -- EVER, EVEN ONCE, EVEN AS A JOKE -- should have a capital B branded on his forehead.
posted by grumblebee at 1:30 PM on December 23, 2010


I can't imagine a more boring argument.

Really? You've never been on the sidelines of "I love living here" vs. "You're gentrifying this neighborhood!" (vs. "I don't give a shit")?
posted by griphus at 1:46 PM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


He knows NYC well, thus the pick of the west village.

If his thought process was "I can spend $2K/month on rent, I should totes live in the West Village," he can't possibly know NYC as well as he thinks he does.
posted by Sara C. at 1:49 PM on December 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


You're right, grumblebee. Anyone who can't see that Macs and Brooklyn are the obvious choices really isn't worth arguing with.
posted by bingo at 2:00 PM on December 23, 2010


Bklyn.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:19 PM on December 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


I didn't even really want to get into a Brooklyn vs Manhattan whatever in that thread. I know that a lot of people really love Brooklyn for a lot of reasons. I think it is a lovely place to live. But it is not the west village and it makes me roll my eyes over and over to hear it claimed otherwise. This was not to me a clear-cut case of "you really can't live in Manhattan anywhere on anything near your budget, to the outer boroughs you go!" He almost certainly can find a small but acceptable place in the w. vill or chelsea for $2500 or less, and you're telling this guy to go look in Queens? C'mon. That shows a serious lack of perspective for what it is people that desire and truly would prefer to live in Manhattan are looking for.

I didn't mean anything negative by my Brooklyn things and Brooklyn friends comment. Hell, there's a lot of cool shit and people in Brooklyn. But the thing is, I have friends in Brooklyn and I see them about half as often as I see my friends in Manhattan. Similarly, I know there's cool things that I want to do in Brooklyn, but I am about half as likely to do them as I am to do the cool things I want to do in Manhattan. Because I am lazy, I get tired of schlepping around on the damn train. If your friends were mostly living on the upper west side, would you really want to live in carrol gardens? You'd make new friends pretty fast if you did. That's my only point about Brooklyn friends and things.
posted by ch1x0r at 2:24 PM on December 23, 2010


That shows a serious lack of perspective for what it is people that desire and truly would prefer to live in Manhattan are looking for.

The person in question has never lived in New York, and the person posting on his behalf cannot say at all what he likes about the West Village or why he's leaning that way, or anything at all about what he's looking for in a home or a neighborhood.

In my experience with friends who've moved to New York from elsewhere, typically they move to Astoria or Long Island City and I feel bad that they're not getting the full experience. So I happen to know firsthand that a lot of people who move to New York from elsewhere voluntarily choose Queens over other parts of the city - hence my tentative suggestion that he should look there.

One thing Astoria and LIC have going for them is that construction tends to be newish and apartment interiors are more like what people in other parts of the US are used to. Large square footage, amenities like balconies, in-unit washer/dryer and dishwasher, parking, stuff like that. It's hard to reconcile spending $2500 a month for 250 square feet when you're used to spending $1500 for a three bedroom home. Thus a lot of people who think they want the West Village actually want Astoria - as counter-intuitive as that sounds to us.
posted by Sara C. at 2:37 PM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes, sometimes people don't actually know what they want, which is why of course the recommendation to sublet for a bit to get a feel for the city was actually by far the best advice in the thread. Still, that does not make brownstone brooklyn, upper manhattan, or queens the same as the west village. Not WORSE, just not the same. If he really does know what he wants, and he really does want the west village, he is not going to be as happy in those places.
posted by ch1x0r at 2:57 PM on December 23, 2010


I still maintain that, since the only constraint was a dollar amount, the correct answer to the original question is still "here are some neighborhoods your friend should look at that are comparable to the West Village and in his price range".

Whether the snobs like to admit it or not, Park Slope and Astoria do have a lot in common with the West Village, especially in a situation where we have literally no idea what exactly this guy sees in the West Village and know NOTHING about what they are looking for aside from very vague associations that might not be shared between locals and transplants.
posted by Sara C. at 3:01 PM on December 23, 2010


I'm not even sure I would say park slope and astoria have much in common with each other, let alone the west village. Isn't part of the beauty of NYC reveling in the individual character of the neighborhoods and celebrating their differences? Character, I will say, is what the west village actually lacks most of all, because for the most part it feels like it is full of people passing through, or those so rich you never really see them. It's the theme park everyone accuses it of being, it just happens to be a very convenient theme park.
And seriously, did you really have to get that little snob ding in there? Thanks, I'm glad you think I'm a snob. Being treated like preferring Manhattan makes you a snob is one of my least favorite things about these stupid debates.
posted by ch1x0r at 3:36 PM on December 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Philly's a good city except that the public transportation sucks and the alcohol-selling laws are ludicrous, so I must live in NYC to fully accommodate my public drunkenness hobby.
posted by Greg Nog at 4:59 PM on December 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


How precious. Only New Yorkers would liken a 1/2 hour subway ride to a Polar expedition.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 5:33 PM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


But it is not the west village and it makes me roll my eyes over and over to hear it claimed otherwise.

Dude, the West Village isn't even the West Village anymore. (FWIW, it's an OK place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.)
posted by jonmc at 5:33 PM on December 23, 2010


How precious. Only New Yorkers would liken a 1/2 hour subway ride to a Polar expedition.

The New York City public transportation system enters a continuous timewarp around midnight. That "1/2 hour subway ride" becomes two hours at 3:00 AM.
posted by griphus at 5:35 PM on December 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


I should totes live in the West Village

Please stop using the word 'totes.'
posted by jonmc at 5:49 PM on December 23, 2010 [6 favorites]


Philly's a good city except that the public transportation sucks and the alcohol-selling laws are ludicrous, so I must live in NYC to fully accommodate my public drunkenness hobby.

Weed is cheaper. Philly vs. NYC, I mean, the weed is cheaper. TAKE THAT
posted by angrycat at 6:05 PM on December 23, 2010


(also, for great affordable ethnic food, Queens by far outstrips both Brooklyn and Manhattan.)
posted by jonmc at 6:17 PM on December 23, 2010 [8 favorites]


Similarly, I know there's cool things that I want to do in Brooklyn, but I am about half as likely to do them as I am to do the cool things I want to do in Manhattan. Because I am lazy, I get tired of schlepping around on the damn train.

Well, most of what I need for everyday life is available within a couple blocks here in Astoria. But as for cool things you might want to do... you're really saying that for you it's all within walking distance? That's crazy. To me, the "damn train" is pretty damn awesome. I can get anywhere I want to go really quick, and I love that.
posted by torticat at 6:42 PM on December 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


I have a theory about Western Queens. The reason the whole scene there popped up is because shady real estate agents tricked some people into living there, and once they realized it would take over an hour to get out of there -- assuming the trains were even running -- they decided to put down root and claim they didn't need to go anywhere else.

It takes me less than 30 minutes to get from Astoria to my job in midtown. That includes a 7-minute walk to the train, and it's no longer than it takes to ride the subway from one area of Manhattan to another.

Sure, many of the buildings in Western Queens are ugly. It doesn't offer many of the same kinds of cultural experiences that are plentiful in Manhattan in terms of things like art galleries, theater, live music. But for daily living, it is one of the most convenient neighborhoods imaginable, and it is so easy to live cheaply and well at the same time. And when I do want to do or buy something that isn't available to me here, a trip into Manhattan is not a big deal.
posted by wondermouse at 7:02 PM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


When you only have a little money, you live where you have to and go out of your way for everything and everyone.

When you have a lot of money, you live wherever you want because everything and everybody comes to you.

The village the ideal spot for people who have enough money to avoid daily inconveniences; but not so much to be beyond inconveniencing. (I say this as a resident)
posted by 2bucksplus at 7:24 PM on December 23, 2010


jonmc: "(also, for great affordable ethnic food, Queens by far outstrips both Brooklyn and Manhattan.)"

I thought Taco Bell had the same prices in every location.
posted by gman at 8:40 PM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


A gay guy in the fashion business who wants to move to the West Village is a guy wants to move to the center of his universe. Not to Brooklyn.
posted by nicwolff at 8:46 PM on December 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


The village the ideal spot for people who have enough money to avoid daily inconveniences; but not so much to be beyond inconveniencing.

The problem is that $2000 a month for rent is not "enough money to avoid daily inconveniences". That's a roughly average rent for a person who'd be considered barely middle class in New York City. The neighborhood OP's friend wants to live in is a neighborhood for wealthy people.
posted by Sara C. at 8:50 PM on December 23, 2010


A gay guy in the fashion business who wants to move to the West Village is a guy wants to move to the center of his universe. Not to Brooklyn.

You'd be surprised. New York isn't like other cities which have a gay ghetto, and other parts of the city are devoted only to hetero folks. There are gay people, gay couples and families, even, in every part of the city.

I know one gay couple who lived in the West Village - they later bought a place in Riverdale, in the Bronx. This is the beauty of New York; a gay family can feel welcome in just about any part of town.
posted by Sara C. at 8:53 PM on December 23, 2010


I thought Taco Bell had the same prices in every location.

Yeah, but the combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell is on Jamaica Avenue.
posted by moonmilk at 10:11 PM on December 23, 2010


A gay guy in the fashion business who wants to move to the West Village is a guy wants to move to the center of his universe. Not to Brooklyn.

There are gay guys in the fashion business who live all over the city. But his wanting to move to the center of his universe is moot if he can't find a nice enough apartment in his desired neighborhood in his price range. We just don't know what the friend's standards really are in terms of how big/nice he wants his apartment to be versus how close he wants to be to the west village.

And ch1x0r, no one said Brooklyn or Astoria are just like the West Village or even any sort of substitute. I do think that someone who enjoys the West Village, but wants a nicer apartment than he could get there, should at least check out the nicer areas of Brooklyn that have subway lines that run through the west village.
posted by wondermouse at 10:30 PM on December 23, 2010


(also, for great affordable ethnic food, Queens by far outstrips both Brooklyn and Manhattan.)

I hear you, but why then are you always posting about what stupid triple decker fast food burger you just ate?
posted by mlis at 12:18 AM on December 24, 2010


Yeah, but the combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell is on Jamaica Avenue.

Suckers! The combination KFC Taco Bell is mere blocks away from me, in Greenpoint! Put THAT in your bloodstream and cholesterol it!
posted by Greg Nog at 5:02 AM on December 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I hear you, but why then are you always posting about what stupid triple decker fast food burger you just ate?

Because, when I post stuff like that, I'm usually just back from the bar and grabbed something quick in Manhattan on the way home from work.
posted by jonmc at 5:18 AM on December 24, 2010


Anyone who doesn't live on Central Park East is fucking disgusting and I wish they would die or rot or something. I never ride the train and I eat Starbucks food everyday! I hate expanding my horizons.
posted by fuq at 7:59 AM on December 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh. Very good.
posted by mlis at 8:41 AM on December 24, 2010


The social history of Greenwich village is interesting, from outlying suburb to genteel enclave to cholera outbreak zone to working class immigrant center to bohemianized art center and then back to weathly nugget with large sections given over totally to NYU students.

It was only what, a hundred and fiddy with change years ago that anything above Canal was unfathomable wilderness.
posted by The Whelk at 9:08 AM on December 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: from outlying suburb to genteel enclave to cholera outbreak zone
posted by Greg Nog at 9:14 AM on December 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


(In five years, my theory will also apply to the South Bronx SoBro.)
posted by griphus at 12:43 PM on December 23 [+] [!]


A little piece of my soul died when I read that.
posted by deadmessenger at 10:06 AM on December 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Chelsea. Why would you recommend queens over Chelsea? Or Brooklyn? It isn't the solution to everything. I live here and loved queens but damn you all give bad advice sometimes. Astoria might as well be a different country to the w village. That's why they are both awesome.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:49 AM on December 24, 2010


A quick skim of the Craigslist results for Chelsea reveals that it's unlikely he would find anything acceptable in his price range. I saw one result under $2000, and it was for a 250 sf studio. Which, maybe, if this guy has no other requirements but proximity to Rawhide?
posted by Sara C. at 1:47 PM on December 24, 2010


I am going to pretend that this entire thread actually did in fact take place in the askme, and had to be deleted, and that this metatalk therefore had a good reason to exist. MERRY XMAS, NYC.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:17 PM on December 24, 2010


You'd be surprised. New York isn't like other cities which have a gay ghetto, and other parts of the city are devoted only to hetero folks. There are gay people, gay couples and families, even, in every part of the city.

New York is not an anomaly in this matter. Generally, the cities with "gay neighborhoods" are the ones with the highest gay populations overall.
posted by desuetude at 2:18 PM on December 24, 2010


Can we keep this thread open forever so that the NYCers have a permanent place to discuss the center of their universe? It would be useful for nearly any AskMe that mentions New York.
posted by desuetude at 2:19 PM on December 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why aren't people suggesting the East Village or LES more? He won't be living in luxury for $2000/mo, but that's pretty adequate for a 1 bedroom or studio. The areas are younger and hipper than the West Village but within easy walking distance.
posted by decoherence at 2:19 PM on December 24, 2010


The reason I went directly to Brooklyn from West Village is that I assumed he was attracted to the aesthetic - narrow treelined streets with 19th century townhouses and lots of hyper-local businesses. Also, you get a whole lot more for your money, apartment-wise.
posted by Sara C. at 3:58 PM on December 24, 2010


MERRY XMAS, NYC.

AND MY DICK GREW THREE SIZES
posted by Greg Nog at 4:49 PM on December 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why aren't people suggesting the East Village. . .

Because you can not walk a block anywhere in the East Village without bumping into a gaggle of fucking NYU students.
posted by mlis at 7:48 PM on December 24, 2010


If you go to a broker you'll find places for under 2k in Chelsea. After Christmas, you'll find places for under 2k on Craigslist. If you simply walk around and look at the "for rent" signs, you'll find places for under 2k in Chelsea.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to live in a neighborhood that has multiple gay bars, lots of clothing for fashionable men, businesses that celebrate Pride Week, gyms, spas, etc. that cater specifically to gay men. It doesn't mean you're living in a "gay ghetto".
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:52 AM on December 25, 2010


Why didn't anyone from upstate New York participate?

Because they were at a wedding.



see, everyone from upstate New York is related
posted by zippy at 12:30 PM on December 25, 2010


There are gay guys in the fashion business who live all over the city.

Tim Gunn lives on the Upper West Side, two blocks from me. I've seen him several times, and always get a thrill. I was even on the subway with him (yes, he takes the subway). I'm working up the nerve to say hello.
posted by kimdog at 6:34 PM on December 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


I live near Jon Hodgman!

That is all.
posted by The Whelk at 6:36 PM on December 25, 2010


The thing about Brooklyn is, and I will never be able to get past this: You live. On. Long Island. And people just get that 404 Error look on their face when you say that; it's just impossible to reconcile in their heads that Brooklyn Long Island. I live on Manhattan Island. You live on Long Island. No, I know it's hard to grok, but you really do.

I still love you, but you have to face facts.
posted by Eideteker at 7:51 AM on December 26, 2010


Anatomy of a Discussion
An Ode to Bridge & Tunnel People

Bk: Come to Brooklyn. It's fine. In fact, it's even better than Manhattan. Yeah. [entreaty to live in Kings County]
M: You can't be serious. [shocked disbelief, possible Manhattan-centric geography lesson regarding river crossings, mentioning "outer" boroughs, and a favorable comparison/relation between living "in New York" with actually living in New York County]
Bk: [indignant rejoinder]
Q: [obligatory mention of Queens County, which either passes largely unheeded or is met with dismissive scorn]
M2: [joking reference to Richmond County, the forgotten borough]
Bx: [timid mention of how nice certain areas of the Bronx can be, in certain circumstances (the Bronx, of course, being the other forgotten borough; the one that it's no fun to joke about)]
J: [smug mention of how nice it is to live a PATH or, in nice weather, ferry ride away from the city and how there's plenty of great restaurants and night life available without even having to go across the river if you don't feel like it]
Bk: [Jersey Shore reference]
J: [Defiant remark reminding everyone that the Jersey Shore cast are mostly from Richmond County/the Isle of Staten]
M/Bk: [derisive laughter that devolves back into a continuous self-involved love-hate makeout fest]
posted by Eideteker at 8:59 AM on December 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Q: [watches, crying while masturbating to the M/Bk spectacle while:]
J/Bx: [play each other on XBox live]
posted by Eideteker at 9:00 AM on December 26, 2010


You live. On. Long Island. And people just get that 404 Error look on their face when you say that

That's simply not a useful way to frame it. Yes, technically, the counties of Brooklyn and Queens are located on an island called Long Island. And said island also contains suburbs which are not technically a part of New York City as Brooklyn and Queens are. So if you live in Brooklyn or Queens you don't go around saying "I live in Long Island". Because that's not a helpful way of communicating where you live.

(It cracks me up, by the way, the way that Manhattanites pretend not to know that New York City has five boroughs, which are all considered part of the same city and administered together - Brooklyn and Queens are not "suburbs" of Manhattan.)
posted by Sara C. at 10:27 AM on December 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Bx: [timid mention of how nice certain areas of the Bronx can be, in certain circumstances (the Bronx, of course, being the other forgotten borough; the one that it's no fun to joke about)]

Let me be the first to point out that "timid" is not an adjective that accurately describes most people from the Bronx. I know, I am one.

In other words: "I GOT YA TIMID RIGHT HEAH"
posted by deadmessenger at 11:03 AM on December 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

The problem is that $2000 a month for rent is not "enough money to avoid daily inconveniences". That's a roughly average rent for a person who'd be considered barely middle class in New York City.
Wait, wait. A single person living in this city, making $80-$100k per year (going by the 40-50x ratio of rent to salary) is barely middle class? Is this Sara C. being crazy (no offense, Sara C.!)? Because if not, well shit, I should have asked for a higher salary.
posted by !Jim at 9:58 PM on December 27, 2010


I'm not entirely sure that ratio is accurate for New Yorkers. Especially considering the people advocating this guy up his price range to get a place in his desired neighborhood, even if that means spending half his monthly earnings on rent.

I'll also say that, even though my rent falls within your ratio, my standard of living is far below what most people with my salary would be willing to put up with in other parts of the US. It's certainly not a "middle class" lifestyle, even though I make only slightly less than the median income for the US.

People paying $2K per month for rent are simply not the ultra-wealthy in local terms. The rich are just too rich, here.
posted by Sara C. at 10:32 PM on December 27, 2010


Oh, I know $80k here is way different than $80k elsewhere, but a single person making $80k in other parts of the country is like high upper middle class (assuming there aren't things like large student loans in the mix, I guess.) I was more reacting to the idea that someone making that much would be barely middle class... I would have thought they were more like comfortably, middle-of-the-road middle class.

I thought the 40-50x rule was something that came from landlords, as in if you don't make that much, you might need a co-signer on your lease. I think in most parts of the country, 40x would be considered really high.

Anyway, I wasn't so much trying to challenge anyone. I'm new here (NYC, not Metafilter) and trying to get a feel for things, is all.
posted by !Jim at 5:34 PM on December 28, 2010


You live. On. Long Island. And people just get that 404 Error look on their face when you say that

That's simply not a useful way to frame it.


Yeah, seriously. I live in Brooklyn, but close enough to Manhattan that I can see tourist flashbulbs going off on the top of the Empire State Building from where I'm sitting right now. I can get to Midtown in 20 minutes if I hustle.

I have all kinds of crazy pride about living on Long Island, it's an amazing place in its own right and I love exploring it, but I would never refer to myself as living on it, because it would be misleading w/r/t the actual geographical distance.
posted by hermitosis at 5:59 PM on December 28, 2010


Wait, wait. A single person living in this city, making $80-$100k per year (going by the 40-50x ratio of rent to salary) is barely middle class?

$2k rent per month would be 50% of a salary of $48k. It would be 40% of a salary of $60k. Where is this $80-100k stuff coming from?

Yeah, $2000 is a totally normal amount for a middle-class person to pay. Hopefully the person has a roommate.

I love the borough wars. Hanging out with some Brooklyn friends a few years ago, I was asked, "Oh, you live in Queens? What's it like out there?"

Ha. "Out there" equals ten to fifteen minutes to midtown, in my case. But, whatever.
posted by torticat at 10:21 PM on December 28, 2010


I'm talking about the idea that your salary needs to be 40-50 times your monthly rent as referenced in this comment and many others. If that's actually true, then salary =~ 40 * rent, ergo the salary of someone paying $2k/mo would be around 40 * $2000 = $80k.
posted by !Jim at 10:52 PM on January 2, 2011


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