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Moving to NY. East Village?

We're moving to NY from Seattle and wondering where we should live. After initially looking at the UWS because of access to CP, we've moved out area of focus to the east village and LES because every time I visit, that seems to be where all the cool little bistros, bars and cafes are. The price seems better there too and access to Chinatown is nice. I'm going to be working from home for the most part, so cafes with internet access would be a nice alternative to our apartment. We're 30 and NOT hipsters (we're from Seattle, after all), just like to go out for great food without pretension. We also cook quite a bit at home now, though not sure that will continue while we're there.

If you were only going to live in Manhattan for a year, where would you live?

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  1. I lived downtown for 4 years, in Brooklyn for 1 and have found my home on the UWS for the past 2. It's true that we don't have the same glut of trendy eateries I had when I lived in Chelsea or the Village, but we do have the best food shopping in the city. Fairway and the occasional trip to Pioneer allows me a foie gras diet at Oscar-Meyer prices. Some weeks my grocery bill doesn't even break $30. And living off the 2-3 makes travelling to the Chelsea Market or Greenmarket a 15-min. breeze. With the extra space that comes with living in an uptown pre-war, I can have large, high-quality dinners with friends at a fraction of the cost (both financial and mental) I paid downtown.

    And while I might not be next door to some raucous organic sake-hibachi for vegans, I am only blocks away from Telepan, Compass, Sushi Gari and Earthen Oven. I am minutes away from the best lox in the world at Zabar's and Barney Greengrass and a short ride from the ethnic delights of Harlem, Hell's Kitchen or Chelsea. And at the end of the night, rather than contending with drunken crowds on my doorstep, I can walk home and sleep in peace. I honestly cannot imagine a better deal. Oh, and the cheaper rent helps things, too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JungMann

      I think you have assessed it very well and made the right choice.
      Make your first Italian dinner Crispo.
      You will be pleased.
      Weclome to the Big A.

    2. Hi there - We recently moved from a very tiny apt in the west village, where the buildings are smaller and more charming, and everything seems to be more expensive, to a larger place in the east village. There are pro's and con's to every neighborhood. Ten years ago, the east village was a lot more seedy than it is now, and it's getting harder to find a good deal on an apt (but not impossible). If you like to cook you'll probably go through phases of eating out and cooking at home. I found shopping for produce and high quality meat to be much easier on the west side (you have chelsea market, and a stretch on Bleecker w/ Murrays Cheese + 2 butchers) than in the east village. I also work from home, and have been relying on Fresh Direct (grocery delivery; not cheap) a lot for just about everything.

      If you've been to the east village / LES and like it, then I'd say go ahead and start apt shopping here. I live between ave's B & C, and while it's not a pretty as other neighborhoods in the city, I certainly haven't had any safety issues. and like I said, you can still find a good deal. Tompkins Square Park is pretty big, and I love living right near it, esp for the dog run.

      Now on to the food - I've lived in the east village for almost 3 months, and I still feel like there is a LOT to discover... lots of hole in the wall ethnic food, and plenty of upscale foodie spots and everything in between (Degustation, Peasant, Cacio e Pepe, etc) in close walking distance too. In conclusion, if you like to go out, and feel that you're going to find yourself traveling down here often, it would certainly be worth it to live here... the year will definitely go by fast.

      Have fun & best of luck!

      1. Union Square is walking distance to East village, farmer market, west village, gramercy, meat packing, chinatown/tribeca/financial is a stop away or a leisurely walk, chelsea market, chelsea, & all the busses and train stops there including the L to williamsburg.

        1. It really depends on what you are looking for. Since you will be working from home alot be very careful about where your building in the East Village/ LES is. For example I live in a gorgeous historic building on the LES in a decent size 1 bedroom. However, I live right above a hip-hop sneaker store which often has events in their back yard. Not the easiest enviornment to work from home in. The UWS will be much quieter but has more of a suburb/ stogy NY feel than the LES/ EV. If proximity to great little restaurants is your thing then you can't beat the EV/ LES.

          1. My boyfriend and I have lived in the East Village for 2 years. we're in our 30s, not hipsters, and love the neighborhood. Moved here from SF. We try new restaurants all the time that don't break the bank, which is the best part about living here. But -- we've been looking for a new apt in the hood - and it's getting really expensive. We've seen apartments the same size as ours, going for $700 more p month. It's not impossible to find a place, but the neighborhood is becoming v expensive. You will have to compromise on what you're looking for, particularly if you want space. Also, beware of being on a street facing apartment -- most notably from Ave A. eastward -- it gets loud. especially on weekends when you have all the bridge and tunnel foot traffic and the kids hitting the bars. Just some considerations to think about. Great restaurants are a big perk, but no matter where you are in NYC - if you want a social life you will travel for good meals and drinks. We're now looking on the UWS. Hope this helps.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sugarplum599

              Thanks for the advice. We're not too picky on the place as we don't plan on being there for more than a year. I will search out an inward facing apt.