There’s no place on Earth like the Big Apple. New York City is known for sights like the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty. The five boroughs of Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, the Bronx, and Brooklyn straddle New Jersey and the state of New York, separated sometimes by the Hudson and East Rivers.
Living here is a dream of many, but it’s also one of the more expensive residential markets in the nation, so it’s challenging. If you can afford to live here, you want to find the best neighborhood you can. What defines the best neighborhood is subjective, ranging in factors and criteria anywhere from eating and culture to commuting distances and transit availability. While only you can know what’s perfect, keep reading to learn 10 neighborhoods many consider the best the Big Apple has to offer. Remember, if you’re moving in New York City the only company to choose is Last Minute Moving!
1) Hell’s Kitchen
Also called Midtown West, this former center of working class households has gentrified in recent decades. Over 50,000 call this place home, enjoying its easy access to numerous Broadway theaters. The famous Actors Studio is also nearby, which draws in many aspiring thespians. Commute times from here are short for the city, and the local nightlife scene is quite lively.
2) The Financial District
Nearly thirty thousand call this neighborhood home, which is the home of a lot of financial institutions. Here, you’ll find the Federal Reserve Bank as well as the New York Stock Exchange. You’ll also find the 9/11 Memorial and One World Trade Center.
3) The Flatiron District
The Flatiron Building is among the city’s most famous skyscrapers, as it’s one of the oldest still standing, towering over the intersection of Fifth Avenue with Broadway. The restaurant scene here is buzzing right now, and upscale real estate combines with impressive shopping opportunities. Fitness clubs are a growing trend here, but median rent is also growing, climbing towards two grand a month. That might explain why only thirteen thousand people are counted as residents here.
You’re not ‘dumbo’ to live here, nor are the less than four thousand that do. Rather than a reference to the cartoon elephant, the name stands for ‘down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass.’ It’s an area found between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. The enviable location makes this community rather appealing since it has seriously easy access to both Brooklyn and Manhattan. A robust tech community is here too, but this all adds up to being among the more expensive options on the list.
5) Greenwich Village
Join thirty thousand folks who enjoy this famous section of New York City, which has its own charm and distinct character. This historical center of creative classes and LGBT movements is home to New York University. While retaining the small community feel, this place has blended into a melting pot of different walks of life, all sharing similar venues and vibrant restaurants.
You might guess from the name that Nolita is just a little north of the neighborhood of Little Italy, and you would be right. It once was part of Little Italy but has morphed into a distinct community that’s not quite SoHo either. It’s a trendy place to live for young, hip adults and also models. However, it’s also cheaper to live in then trendier places like SoHo. Less than seven thousand live here as of the time of writing, but that might change over time.
7) Brooklyn Heights
Want some history? Check out an area considered New York’s first ever suburb. With easy access to Manhattan, this neighborhood sits just off the East River and Brooklyn Bridge. Hundreds of homes here date back to before the Civil War.
8) Battery Park City
This planned neighborhood is home to fifteen thousand currently, appealing to a little older demographic than usual for Manhattan, making it a great spot to raise or start a family. It sits in Lower Manhattan on the Hudson. Residents were displaced for many months following 9/11, but this community has bounced back.
9) Prospect Heights
Need some outdoor space, sunshine, and fresh air? Prospect Heights sits near Brooklyn’s center, giving easy access to Prospect Park. This public space of nearly six hundred acres enjoys a seasonal Smorgasburg food event many Sundays. For indoor culture, check out Brooklyn Public Library in this neighborhood, and get indoors sports and entertainment at the Barclays Center, home to the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA and many concert and event tours.
Perhaps famous for the annual film festival held here, the name of this neighborhood helps you find it on a map. It stands for ‘triangle below Canal Street.’ It has earned its reputation as an upscale and safe residential area that continues to draw in families. Its location provides easy access to most of Lower Manhattan. Walking the streets here means the possibility of bumping into celebrities who call it home, such as Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Taylor Swift. The number of commercial warehouses here continues to decline as they are converted to residential buildings and lofts. Less than seventeen thousand call this place home.
Again, this list is just what many consider the 10 best, but it’s certainly not conclusive. Places like SoHo, NoHo, Gramercy, and Murray Hill all have advantages and charms just as much as truly famous communities like Little Italy or Chinatown. Much of it boils down to budget, the size of your family, how much square footage you need, what amenities and culture you expect in your neighborhood, and where in the city you need to get to quickly on a regular basis. While much of the list might focus on Manhattan and Brooklyn, don’t neglect to look up the other three boroughs.