The Most Affordable & Fabulous Neighborhoods Outside of NYC
So you want to live in NYC but the thought of the price tag that goes along with it is enough to send your running for the hills, literally. NYC is arguably one of the most desirable places to live in the world. The fabulous nightlife, the abundance of amazing restaurants and eateries, spectacular musuems and art galleries, rewarding career opportunities, the list goes on and on.
The tiny apartments with the hefty price tags, the noise, the furry and not so furry house guests that seem to appear at the most inopportune moments, not to mention noisy and nosy neighbors-the struggle is definitely REAL.
While you can get lucky and find a hidden gem in NYC that is affordable, clean and in the neighborhood that you want to live in, these types of finds are definitley not the norm. If you are ready to venture off Manhattan island there ARE affordable and fabulous neighborhoods right outside of NYC that rival the city's offerings without the ridiculous price tag.
Astoria,Queens is a top choice as an affordable neighborhood and it literally is right outside of NYC.
When you think of Astoria, the first thing that may come to mind is the prevelance of it's Greek Community. While there is a large Greek population, Astoria truly is a melting pot of various cultures, nationalities, and people.
Astoria is a neighborhood that is commutable to Manhattan by the N, W, and Q trains, and you can find much more affordable housing options that are often times larger and less expensive than what you would be paying in most areas of NYC. You can find out more about apartment rentals in Astoria here.
There are great bars, restaurtants, ethnic food trucks, and fabulous nightlife options. Some of my favorites in Astoria include Ovelia, a family owned eatery and craft cocktail bar on 30th Ave. The vibe is upscale but laid back, always positive, the food is a mix of Greek cuisine with unexpected and inventive twists, and the outdoor seating and bar that opens up onto the sidewalk makes it a perfect destination for day drinks as well as evening cocktails. Ovelia also offers an amazing Brunch menu that rivals some of the best brunches in NYC.
Trattoria L'Incontro on the corner of Ditmars and Steinway is hands down the absolute best Italian in the neighborhood and has been since 1999. Another Astoria mainstay that never disapoints other than the huge wait times on the weekends, is Kyclades Taverna on Ditmars for an authentic taste of a Greek fish tavern right on the streets of Queens.
Cliffside Park, NJ is another great choice if you are willing to move to GASP, New Jersey. This is a super affordable area right across the Hudson River that is an easy commute back into the city.
Cliffside Park, New Jersey is a great little town in Bergen County NJ that sits right across from Upper Manhattan on the other side of The Hudson River. Cliffside Park has swanky neighboring towns like Edgewater and Ridgefield, but for some reason has been able to maintain much lower rents than it's surrounding towns.
Basically, by living in Cliffside Park you can still enjoy an amazing location, possible Hudson River views depending on where you are, without the hefty price tags that you would be paying in Edgewater or the surrounding areas. You can find out more about rents in this quaint NJ town here.
Other than the lower than normal rents, the best part of living in Cliffside Park is it's proxitmity to Edgewater. Only 1.5 miles away, you can enjoy the many waterfront restaurants like Son Cubano, Frank's Waterside, The Haven, which has a KILLER Sunday brunch, not to mention fine dining establishments with outdoor dining overlooking the Hudson River.
My ultimate favorite is Le Jardin. Beautiful interiors complete with indoor and outdoor seating, an extensive wine list, amazing Parisian fare completed with a baby grand piano in the lobby/inner bar set the stage for sophisticated but approachable ambiance. A must see if you live in Cliffside Park or anywhere in Bergen County and the NYC area
This neighborhood has got to be the most Instagrammable place in all of Brooklyn. Not only is is super close to Manhattan, the cobblestone streets, small alleyways, and the views of lower Manhattan and The Brooklyn Bridge give it a feel that is hard to find in any other borough.
Dumbo's storied manufacturing years have given rise to buildings that have been converted from factories and warehouses to lofty apartments with sweeping views of Manhattan, The Brooklyn Bridge, and The Manhattan Bridge. The neighborhood is filled with tons of ultra hip eateries, cafe's and bars and it seems that you can always find something new around each corner.
If you are looking for Manhattan style living at a slightly lower cost, Dumbo is definitely worth a look see. You can check out more infomation on rents and housing in Dumbo here. Although rent prices are much higher in Dumbo than they are in Astoria, they are still less than comprable rentals in Manhattan. Throw in a roomate or two to share living costs and you are good to go.
Dumbo has also quickly become a technology and retail hub with a mixture of Mom & Pop stores, big box chains and corporations, and unexpected mixes of old and new that all come together to give Dumbo an unmistakeable identity all it's own.
One of my personal favorites for dining in Dumbo is Al Mar. Al Mar is a quintessential Italian restaurant that has a different, and all fresh menu every day situated right in the heart of Dumbo. It serves up culinary delight with a heavy focus on Italian cuisine with eclectic variations and to die for flavors. One caveat if you go, bring cash. Al Mar doesn't accept credit or debit.