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The 7 Best Neighborhoods in NYC

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New York City is a world city. It has been the largest city in the United States since the United States was founded. And it has a vibrant, diverse culture unlike anywhere else in the world. That’s why even New York’s neighborhoods are so famous – an area of a few blocks can be extremely culturally distinct in its own right. People often argue when talking about the best neighborhoods in NYC. So, U.Santini Moving & Storage compiled a list for you. Here are some of the best – which one do you think is the best neighborhood in NYC?

What are the best neighborhoods in NYC?

1. Lower East Side is one of the best neighborhoods in NYC

A hundred years ago the Lower East Side was one of the biggest slums in the world. More than a million people, mostly Irish and Italian immigrants, lived in the tiny square of southeastern Manhattan – almost as many as the entire island today. Since then, it’s become a bohemian art utopia, and is slowly becoming a luxury neighborhood. If you like the charm of old New York with modern ingenuity alongside, it’s the best neighborhood in NYC.

A building in Lower east side, which is one of the best neighborhoods in NYC
Building on the Lower east side – one of the best neighborhoods in NYC.

LES, also known as Loisaida, is a very historic neighborhood where many popular performers such as Eddie Cantor, Al Jolson, George and Ira Gershwin, and the Beat Generation have grown up or spent some time. Nowadays, Lower East Side has everything one may need. It is full of fancy and stylish nightclubs, bars, coffee shops, and other places to go out. It also has many churches, synagogues, museums, and restaurants. This mainly liberal neighborhood has just under 60,000 people currently living in it.

Pros

This neighborhood is perfect if you are into going out and socializing because of the various options it offers. Many people consider the Lower East Side the best place for partying and dining. Also, LES is considered very welcoming and diverse, so everyone can find their place living here. If you decide to move here, it will be easy to find some storage NYC. Additionally, compared to some other NYC residential areas, the Lower East Side has some very affordable housing options and just a few luxurious buildings.

Cons

Even though LES is pretty calm during the day, for some it is too much. Have in mind that this is not a quiet neighborhood like some in the suburbs.

2. TriBeCa

Triangle Below Canal Street, but don’t worry about it. Everyone just calls it TriBeCa. Land of boutiques and artsy penthouses, it’s the most expensive neighborhood in New York – even though it’s right next to one of the poorest, Chinatown. If you love celebrities and film, it’s the best neighborhood in NYC.

The view of TriBeCa
TriBeCa is one of the most beautiful parts of NYC.

This neighborhood is where the Tribeca Film Festival happens. This festival started after the September 11 attacks by actors such as Robert de Niro and others to revive and bring entertainment to this neighborhood. During this time, TriBeCa is maybe the liveliest of all the neighborhoods. With less than 20,000 inhabitants, TriBeCa is significantly smaller than the Lower East Side but does not offer fewer options.

Pros

There are plenty of dining options and places to go out. The community is very friendly and it is considered very safe to live here. TriBeCa also offers some of the best public schools in the city, so it is great to live here with your family.

Cons

Housing in this area is one of the most expensive ones in the whole of New York City. There are many new or renovated buildings which require you to spend a couple of million dollars to purchase. Also, TriBeCa does not offer that many shopping options. There aren’t any big shopping centers like in some other neighborhoods in NYC, but there are various small shops that should be enough for one’s basic needs.

3. Upper East Side

Old Money. It’s synonymous with the Upper East Side. The old great New York families who used to live in midtown mansions a hundred years ago all live here now. If you love old-school luxury, the lifestyle of the aristocracy, the UES is the best neighborhood in NYC.

Upper east side neighborhood.
A street in the Upper east side of NYC.

Referred to by locals as the UES, this huge and popular neighborhood has a population of over 120,000 people. One of the upsides of this neighborhood is that you will never run out of things to do while living here.

Pros

The Upper East Side is on the east side of Central Park. It has countless museums, two of them being Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It has many shopping options for every budget nearby. Also, you can easily find affordable moving companies NYC to help you move here. Furthermore, because everything you need is nearby, and also many important sights are close on foot, living here is very convenient.

Cons

Apartments and housing can be quite expensive. Even though it is not the most expensive neighborhood in NYC, the median asking price here is $1.7 million. Transportation is not ideal here. There are very few train options and sometimes stations are not very close.

4. Harlem

Harlem has been largely African-American for 100 years – a stark contrast to the shifting patterns elsewhere in the city. Through good times (the Harlem Renaissance) and bad (the blaxploitation era), in poverty (the ‘60s) and wealth (today), it’s a center for black life in America, making it arguably the best neighborhood in NYC.

A building in Harlem
Harlem has a lot of beautiful architecture.

Harlem, originally a Dutch village, and named after a city in the Netherlands, has come a long way since its foundation in 1658. With a population of almost 200,000 people, it is a fairly large neighborhood but still one of the best neighborhoods in NYC. In case you are moving to Harlem from another country, check out one of the best international moving companies NYC. Picking the right moving company can help you save a lot of money.

Pros

Harlem is quite an affordable neighborhood, especially compared to some very close to it. It offers very convenient public transport, unlike many other neighborhoods. It has many beautiful parks and fun places to go out. Music and music clubs are one of the things Harlem is famous for.

Cons

This neighborhood is seen as a safe place to live in and very family-friendly. However, it is important to mention that the crime rate in Harlem is slightly on the rise in the past few years. Harlem has a couple of hills, so if you are the type of person that hates walking up the hill, this can be a problem for you.

5. Wall Street

Locally known as the Financial District, Wall Street juxtaposes the extreme wealth of the financial industry with the oldest part of New York – sorry, New Amsterdam. The New York Stock Exchange is right next to Trinity Church, established in 1696 and one of the largest landowners. If you like wealth and weird streets, it’s the best neighborhood in NYC. This area is not as commercial as some people imagine it, but it is not yet fully residential. It is still significantly small and there are about 25,000 people living here.

Wall Street
The most famous part of Wall Street.

Pros

This is one of the most beautiful parts of Manhattan and affordable housing can be found. It is rapidly growing and is expected to be more family-friendly in the next few years. If you are working in finances, your job may be very close to you.

Cons

There are fewer options for nightlife and going out. There are still many restaurants and places to visit during the day, but going out at night me not be as fun.

6. Inwood

Okay, even this neighborhood is obscure. At the very top of Manhattan, it’s one of the most affordable neighborhoods in the city, and it not only has stunning views of the Palisades (the Jersey cliffs), it has an authentic medieval monastery – actually, four. The Met’s medieval museum, The Cloisters, is in the area and made from four different reassemble French monasteries. Thanks, Rockefellers!

a street in nyc
Everything is close when you are in Inwood.

This is a quite small neighborhood. There are fewer than 40,000 people living here, but this number is growing fast. A lot is being invested in this part of New York City and it is believed that its residential areas will be very desirable in the near future.

Pros

Even though it is located in central Manhattan, you can find a relatively cheap place to buy or rent. It is one of the quietest and most family-friendly neighborhoods. It is very beautiful architecturally and has many green spaces.

Cons

Some parts of this neighborhood are still in transition, meaning there are some unsafe parts of it that should be avoided. It does not offer as many nightlife or shopping options as previously mentioned neighborhoods.

7. Williamsburg is one of the best neighborhoods in NYC

New York isn’t just Manhattan, although Brooklyn. Williamsburg is close enough, though. One stop away, it’s party central and art central at the same time, and the hippest new neighborhood. Get there before it gets too expensive – tick tock! One of the most desirable living locations in NYC, even though it is in Brooklyn, is this one. It has a population of over 150,000 people and more and more people are considering this neighborhood as their next home.

A street in Williamsburg
A busy street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Pros

Transportation is very good and Manhattan is very easy to reach. It is very peaceful and the housing is very buyer-friendly. There are many interesting museums to visit.

Cons

If you are used to living in Manhattan, this may be a big change for you. It will take some time to get used to it. Also, do not expect a very posh neighborhood. Even though this neighborhood is on the rise, it is still not as fancy as some other neighborhoods in New York City.

These guys are TRUE PROFESSIONALS! We've now moved with them twice (once in 2017 and then again this week) and we really can't say enough good things about them. Simi is incredibly easy to work with for scheduling and quotes, and the crews - John, Super Mario, and everyone - are just awesome. They're quick, incredibly careful and conscientious, and super friendly. If we ever move again (and god I hope we don't have to) we're absolutely calling them.

Allison "Elnoods" N.

From Brooklyn, NY

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Absolutely! We offer various types of insurance to protect your belongings, including a full replacement option. The cost depends on how much your things are worth and the deductible you choose.

How soon should I schedule my move?

It's a good idea to book your moving company at least 8 weeks before your move. If you're moving during the holidays or in the summer, it's best to schedule it 12 weeks ahead. But if your move is between September and May, you can often book movers with just 2 weeks' notice. The key is to secure your moving crew as soon as you have all the details about your move.

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Yes, we do. Along with the necessary boxes and packing materials for your move, we offer various 'Saver' packages tailored to the size of your home. If you don't use all the boxes you purchased, you can return them to our team after the move, and we'll refund the unused portion.

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