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Where to Live in New York

Finding a place to live in New York

Moving to New York? The Big Apple is no misnomer; New York City has the largest airport system, busiest road bridge, more restaurants, more bars, more taxis, more subway trains and more creative energy than any other US city. If you’re looking for the town where everything comes in more varieties, flavours, sizes and styles then move to New York City.

Deciding where to live in New York doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience. Check out our guide to different neighbourhoods in the five boroughs to get a feel for which ones suit your lifestyle.

Choosing one of New York City's neighbourhoods

Where to live in New York: Manhattan

Source: Flickr |Jeffrey Zeldman

Battery Park City If you want a room with a view of the Hudson, luxury high rise condos and parks, choose this quieter part of Manhattan. Though, the view is of New Jersey.
Chinatown Next to Little Italy and one of the few parts of Manhattan where the grid system isn’t always completely straight, Asian populations from Szechuans to Cantonese to Thai to Vietnamese people sell fruit, veg and fish along the streets – beware slippery pavements!
Financial District Wall Street’s office blocks are now dominated by Ground Zero and expensive condos being built across that part of the city.
Little Italy used to be bigger, and is mostly restaurants and trattorie with hanging hams and big sandwiches. Little Italy is mostly found on Mulberry Street these days
Lower East Side hipster town with cafes, knish bars, independent cinemas and clothing stores tucked away on narrow, well walked backstreets such as Orchard Street
Seaport touristy hotspot now, which was once at the heart of New York’s shipping industry. Pretty area where you’ll find bankers on lunch.
Soho & Nolita Soho stands for South of Houston. Cast-iron architectures and gentrified former artists’ community with restored buildings and stylish boutiques and coffee shops and shoppers
Tribeca the Triangle Below Canal Street is full of galleries, expensive warehouse apartments, cafes and the capitalist-chic headquarters of Miramax and other big corporations
East Village and Noho Combination between gentrified bars, hotels and boutiques and squatters and drifters hanging out on the street corners. Perfect for your inner New York hipster or bohemian.
Greenwich Village Famous for its cafes, jazz clubs, stand-up comedy and restaurants. A large gay community and many students from NYU, Parson’s School of Design and New School for Social Research circulate the area . Also where Friends was set.
Flatiron District Shopping and big name boutiques close to that slenderest of buildings, the Flatiron
Meatpacking District and Chelsea Trendy loft apartments, bars, trendy shops, nightclubs and other attractions belonging to the affluent art scene. Plus the High Line project, a park leading along elevated railway tracks
Midtown East Luxury shopping mecca contains 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue.
Times Square and Midtown West Theatres, the Rockefeller Centre, and hotels, hotels, hotels… Times Square is now partly pedestrianised and nearby is Penn Station and Macy’s.
Union Square Transport hub for this part of town, and mustering point for skaters. Food markets and a couple of big stores
Uptown Yuppified neighbourhoods of eateries, boutiques, hotels and museums such as American Museum of Natural History and Columbia University. Also home to the Lincoln Centre, a wonderful performing arts venue
Washington Heights A constantly changing neighbourhood that was once all Irish, with a vibrant Caribbean flavour. Great for youngsters, parents, professionals that what a community vibe in New York.
Finding a neighbourhood in Brooklyn, New York
Brooklyn Heights The classic, picturesque New York City neighbourhood. Check out the nearby promenade with its postcard view of Lower Manhattan.
Carroll Gardens Used to be an Italian neighbourhood but now is full of yuppies. Still lovely to walk around.
DUMBO Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass – turning into Brooklyn’s Tribeca with pizza places and bars, as well as snazzy condos.
Dyker Heights If you come here in Christmas you will see Christmas lights to blow your mittens off, and put a serious strain on the national grid.
Fort Greene Think flea-markets, craft-fairs and bustling streets close to Pratt University.
Park Slope Full of brownstone buildings popular among families, with plenty of bars and restaurants.
Prospect Heights Near a beautiful 585 acre park designed by the same Olmsted and Vaux that designed Central Park, with birdwatching tours, the Audubon Centre and a zoo
Sheepshead Bay quiet spot for recreational fishing, for when the city gets too much
Smith Street an area that was rundown until its recent bloom of cafes and restaurants
Williamsburg once a place for artists attracted by cheap rents, now it’s all art galleries, cafes and bars with eclectic shops – good for ‘young folks’. You don’t see many older people here
Where to move to in Queens, New York

Source: Flickr | Ricky Leong

Astoria Located in northwest Queens, close to the Hell Gate Bridge, Astoria used to be known just as a place to get delicious Greek food, but the area is changing and becoming more diverse. Perfect for families, foodies, and anyone who is laidback.
Easter Queens Out here, Nassau County has many suburban neighbourhoods with several older pre-WWII houses.
Flushing Historic northern district with bustling downtown and Chinatown.
Jackson Heights Name a type of cuisine and you’ll find it here. One of the more multicultural areas of NYC with several small parks and great transport links.
Jamaica Much hiphop comes from Jamaica, particularly the Southside. Recently there’s been a sharp influx of ethnicities making it a top notch neighbourhood for incoming expats from all over.
Long Island City An up & coming neighbourhood adorned with galleries and show spaces, with a sturdy industrial feel to it.
Move to the Bronx, New York City

Source: Flickr |H.L.I.T.

Fieldston Adjacent to Riverdale and a large park, this is definitely the upmarket neighbourhood of the Bronx. People here tend to send their kids to private school.
Morris Park With excellent Italian food due to the large Italian-American population and a decent nightlife scene, single professionals and families alike will like the parks, suburban feel in the heart of the Bronx and good schools. Bronx Zoo is across the Parkway.
Pelham Bay With access to the 6 train and a park, this is a very family-friendly and commuter-friendly neighbourhood.
Riverdale It’s like you never left Manhattan. Walk through parks and forest on one side, or walk down to the Upper West Side. Neighbouring Kingsbridge is a bit more urban..
Throggs Neck With great schools and affordable properties (by New York standards) by the bay, families thrive here and professionals can easily hop on a bus to Midtown.
Woodlawn Good public schools, a very Irish community,
Where to live in New York City: Staten Island

Source: Flickr |Henning Klokkeråsen

Oakwood Beach The appeal is in the name. Also offers that smalltown woodland country vibe that will make you forget about the skyscrapers across the river.
New Dorp This international, young, historic neighbourhood is highly sought after in Staten Island, especially since it has a beach. A bit crowded, but there are quiet areas away from the main streets.
Richmond Home to New York City’s only living historic village.
St. George Perfect for single professional or couples who commute into Manhattan (think ferry) with an assortment of housing options for a historic neighbourhood.
Tompkinsville A small neighbourhood in the northeast of Staten Island and home to delicious arrays of Sri Lankan food and one of the largest Sri Lankan communities in the States.
Ward Hill On the North Shore with a fabulous view of the Manhattan skyline. Great for deeper pockets.
West New Brighton Densely populated with families and pre-WWII buildings, oh, and the Staten Island Zoo.