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I just moved into the "east village," 10th and A with three other girls. I love the great restaurants and coffee shops everywhere, but am a little sketched out by the area and was not aware of how sketchy Tomkins Square Park is. Do you think it's safe where i'm living?
I take it you are not from the NY metro area - where you are is perfectly safe and has been for many years. Yes, there are still some bums and homeless people in Tompkins and surrounding area, but as is evident by the super popular playground, there are also tons of kids/families in the neighborhood and there is a huge police presence there as well. I've been living on A for many years with a child and I have never felt the least bit unsafe on Avenues A, B or C day or night mostly because whatever time it is, there are always tons of people about.
Avenue D is a little bit of a different story because of the projects there, but that is pretty far away from where you are talking about.
this is not the 80s or 90s or earlier. at that point, i can see what you are saying. nowadays, it is as safe as safe can be. i would not venture far off C and don't like C itself too much, but where you are, you are safe for sure.
I don't think the area has changed as rapidly as people anticipated a few years ago, when the definition of EV expanded and EV was said to become the next Chelsea or HK. There are some new developments in the area and many sold out at pretty high prices--but the area hasn't necessarily improved quite as much cosmetically and demographically, from what I have experienced...
I don't think it is dangerous, though, and I certainly feel safer there than I do in, say, Harlem or Washington Heights (sorry...I am not saying Harlem and WH are unsafe... I just don't really feel safe there.).
But it is true that people DO get "sketchier" as soon as we enter the Alphabet City. But I also think those homeless people, people seemingly suffering from mental disorders, and people under the influence are largely harmless.
Still, though, you DO need to be ready to face a chorus of "spare any change?" more frequently than you would in most other residential areas in Manhattan, as you walk around your neighborhood...
four girl share, "have to" live in the EV. Let me guess Olivia, you rented this sight-unseen based on your roommates opinions?
I spend a lot of time around there, and it is particularly sketchy right across from the park on A (tripped out people) but if you just put your head down and walk by your fine. Overall is totally fine, but some people are fucked on some serious stuff. But it is one block that is bad so easy to avoid and some great places around there.
"the definition of EV expanded and EV was said to become the next Chelsea or HK"
Good point; around 2000 or so you never heard Alphabet City being called the 'East Village'.
Technologic, when did it start to get better? I walked down A when back in the city a few months ago and it was fine; as a child 25 years ago I would never have done this. Was the area underpriced, say, 10 years ago when the image from the bad old days still lingered?
Sketchiness? Bring it on! I welcome it all back! This city has become way too clean and boring!
Worse than the sketchiness is the painterliness that prevails in that area.And those awful thespians. Plus of course The Gays. I'll stick to Old Greenwich, thank you very much.
10th and A?!? You're right around the corner from Momofuku Noodle Bar!....
you should really move. your parents will surely not approve of this.
Yup, tonnes of good stuff around there. Breat restos on B aroun 12th, and it is totally safe. But still some people who are totally fucked up and then brings stuff with it, so you have to be aware. But it isolated. same thing as in the east side of union square where I have literally had someone drop their crack pipe on me. Doesn;t mean not safe, but you do need to be aware.
OP: Apologies... for those who have lived in the EV in for a a long time the question is humorous given the how much the neighborhood has changed. There was an old expression: A(ware), B(eware), C(aution), D(death) but it no longer applies, alghough D is still a little sketchy after dark. The sketchy appearance around the Park is mostly just that - appearance. Overall the EV is a very safe neighborhood and one the most fun and diverse in the city. Emjoy it! Of course exercise common sense e.g., don't engage the street people or panhandlers, if you are by yourself at night take a busy street such as 7th or 10th or 14th rather than a quiet one. I add that last part out of the perverbial "abundance of caution".
I would say by 2003ish the neighborhood was pretty much gentrified, maybe before then?
Although some more conservative people might say more towards 2005-ish, when TONS of trendy restaraunts and bars started appearing which lured the early 20s/finance set.
I don't really consider panhandlers or street people dangerous - danger to me is the risk of harm to myself or my child, like getting mugged or attacked. I'm sure there are such incidents time to time, as there are in every neighborhood, but the EV is a busy neighborhood with lots of people about at all hours, which I think discourages that to some extent.
>I would say by 2003ish the neighborhood was pretty much gentrified, maybe before then?
>people might say more towards 2005-ish
technologic, that is just it! I think the gentrification process was well under way by the mid-2000s. But, as far as I can tell, the area hasn't really improved all that much since then. If anything, it has lost its "steam" at bit. That's what I meant when I said earlier that:
>I don't think the area has changed as rapidly as people anticipated a few years ago, when
>the definition of EV expanded and EV was said to become the next Chelsea or HK.
Lots of people, including several of my friends, bought in the Alphabet City, counting on further gentrification which never really transpired--thanks partly to Lehman, I am sure. They paid top dollar (for the area) to get into that neighborhood, but things haven't gotten as "super trendy" as they had hoped. They are frustrated.
Don't get me wrong, I sufficiently like the area to go out, although I won't buy there as things stand today... In my opinion, part of what makes that area "unique" (in a good way--as well as bad) is the overwhelming mix of the transient student-renter population and the lower socioeconomic residential population...
Even when I was an "out-of-towner," I loved Avenue A with all the cool second hand stores mixed with trendy restaurants, and lovely cafes which made me think of Paris. I have never felt the least bit threatened, and I'm in my 60s and walk with a cane, albeit a young looking 60 (if I say so myself!). The area called St. Marks is really fun for shopping and finding unexpected treasures.
@Technologic: Agree with you. During the mid 90's the neighborhood changed so rapidly but it feels that during the last five years the gentrification pace has slowed a lot. In addition to the economy I think a lot of the hispters headed for Brooklyn and to a lesser extent the LES (the way the word is used today i.e., below Houston). Plus the projects represent a sort of upper bound on gentrification here... certainly a High Line is not going to work right off of Ave D.
The Bloomberg administration decided that the east village would be the area of manhattan which would retain its "character." as such zoning was much more restrictive. although you can find a number of new buildings, and some conversions, with even some glassy type things on the Bowery and other avenues, for the most part building was muted, and demand was high. prices went through the roof, even for the fifth floor walk-up type of units. the young, also known as the hipsters, were priced out, and many moved to brooklyn. there are many large sites in the LES that are ripe for development, but a lot of them have been embroiled in battles for years, if not decades. eventually some significant development should take place below Houston, but unless the next administration decides to relax the building restrictions (always a possibility, and not necessarily a good one), large-scale development will be very limited in the east village.
>The area called St. Marks is really fun for shopping and finding unexpected treasures.
Yes, Riccardo65, that's the best part of EV--and it's a bit away from the Alphabet City. It is also as safe as elsewhere in Manhattan below 96th. St. Marks has been "cool" since the mid-1990s, and one used to find the VERY best of the "B-list" Japanese restaurants there (most of them, sadly, have since been either closed or taken over by the non-Japanese...).
>In addition to the economy I think a lot of the hispters headed for Brooklyn and to a lesser extent the LES
Totally, Bernie123! I forgot about that (and, as you note, I, too, tend to consider the Alphabet City more LES than EV...but that doesn't seem to be the definition in the RE world!).
Just as the Alphabet City was catching on in the mid-2000s, the young buyers/renters began to get pulled to Williamsburg, Downtown Brooklyn, Park Slope, Astoria, etc...that is so true. Maybe the prices in EV/LES went up so rapidly that it lost its intended audience...and one can never discount the impact of the omnipresent public housing in the area...
Think St. Marks was "cool" well before the 1990s. Home of Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable