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So I was back in the city for the first time in a while and I decided to take a bicycle and go all the way up past the northern tip of Manhattan, to places I've never been to before.
(There are some discussions about them on SE, but they're mostly from 2008-09.)
I took the West Side bike path and Riverside Drive most of the way and eventually went to Spuyten Duyvil (a place I'd live in just for the awesomeness of the name), but the most pleasant part was discovering that if I came back to New York to work on Wall Street, and had the same 50-minute bicycle commute that I have now, I could live as far north as Washington Heights and Fort George, two neighborhoods where RE prices are downright reasonable.
Broadway south of about 180th didn't impress me much, but north of 181st sure was pleasant. Kids in nice-looking school uniforms; adult crossing guards making things feel safe, and some amazingly quiet side streets.
Lots of Spanish speakers but I also saw one sign in Russian (put out your cigarette in Isham Park, because nye kurit' na territorii parka, comrade!); is there a Russian neighborhood there?
Was I being fooled by the timing of my visit -- it was daylight all the way -- or are Fort George and Inwood really nice places to live? I still can't get over how peaceful the streets were. Over the bridge into Marble Hill and it starts getting noisy again. But right around Columbia's football field... so quiet.
What's it like to live up there? Anybody want to share some thoughts?
We bought in Washington Heights (W. 187th St.) because we could afford it, and our old haunt of UWS was out of reach. Haven't actually moved, but spent some time there and like it a lot. Not too much in the way of restaurants, but 2 inexpensive fishmongers, Korean greengrocer, several drugstores, and several small supermarkets within a block. So for daily needs, it's okay, and anticipated to gentrify as time goes on. When I moved to the city, one didn't go onto Amsterdam at night. What a difference even 5 years can make!
I stayed on the non-Amsterdam western side of Broadway and it felt like the gentrification was complete. In fact, getting onto Cabrini Boulevard, I was thinking, "A street named for Mother Cabrini; is this going to be safe?" ^_^;
How about when you have to take the train downtown? I've heard that the local trains can be exhausting. And is it safe to ride a bike there at night?
They're lower than where you're discussing but why not visit Chipped Cup or Harlem Public - 149th - or Antika - 163rdish - when up. After living on 157th St. for five years I think these places give a great sampling of how the area is progressing.
Triple Zero- the "A" is incredibly quick: ~35 minutes to Chambers St. That said, late night when the A is running local- or if you have to take the "1"- a trip from downtown can be unbearably long.
There actually are a few grocery stores. "Associated" between 181st and 184th on Broadway, Publix (I think that's the name) on Ft Washington and 187th, and Frank's (a gourmet grocery story) on 187th between Carbrini and Ft Washington.
Having bought a place on Bennett Ave I'll admit to a bias. But I really think that Cabrini and Ft Washington between 181st and Ft Tryon park is one of the prettiest parts of the island. And even though I like my street, there is a huge difference once you go two blocks over.
Aside from 181st and a "village center" on 187th there isn't a lot of retail/restaurant presence, so that'll probably stop the area from ever becoming anything remotely like the UWS.
Triple_Zero, you'll have to wait for Matthew to post for specifics on life in Fort George.
Cabrini Boulevard was not named for Mother Cabrini, but for that downtown hotbad of MRSA, the late counter-saintly Cabrini Hospital. Named, of course, by the catty doctors of nearby The Presbyterian Hospital.
eliz181144, "Harlem Public" is a very interesting name for a bar in a neighborhood where public drinking is everywhere ... as evidenced by the endless stream of Night Train and T-Bird flasks in all the gutters throughout Harlem. Triple_Zero, surely you noticed quite a few during your bicycle ride. I'm glad they didn't make you lose control of your bicycle.
hope the russian mafia can kick the amigos out, tired of the burdo ligo and dominican gangs there
Oh Alan, caonima how I miss you guys when I am not able to log on and read your recycled racist rants. I'm guessing you both have one of those "Let's put the white back in the White House" T shirts I see on the news when they show redneck rallies.
One day, do you promise to tell the root of your racial inscurities? Or is it just basic bad breeding?
Tripe Zero you rode along the West Side on a beautiful day. It can get very windy and cold in the winter with the wind whipping from the water. Plan on limiting your 50 minute bicycle and mostly taking the subway. That said, having taken the A train from 175 to Wall Street for 15 years I can tell you it's pretty fast during rush hours. I've also rode it as late as 9 and always found it safe even when Washinton Heights was not what it was today.
Triple, I should have said that when I cited the "don't go onto Amsterdam" I was living on the UWS in the late 70s, but by early 80s was already different. Purely from curiosity, since I'm not in finance, is Wall St. hiring again?
The A train gets from 181st to 59th St. in about 20 min. I don't bike where there are cars though.
Seaver, do you not think that with time restaurants will come in? How long ago did you buy? The markets you mention are the ones I mean--but having spent almost 25 years in giant Krogerland, they seem small to me. Funny!
We have been visiting a friend on Cabrini for 30 years and have not had a problem regarding safety of person or purse. Neither has she.
Alan, I do not live in Fort George. Fort George is EAST of Broadway. I'm very much WEST.
Triple, the rule of thumb in WaHi (and Inwood) is to stay west of Broadway; the housing stock is nicer, better kept, streets are quieter and cleaner, etc.
I moved to WaHi from Brooklyn Heights and was amazed at how quickly I could get to Columbus Circle on the A from 181 (FIVE stops! That's it! -- 15 minutes when it's running express). Also handy is having the 1 train as well, in case there's a problem with the A (and when the A is running local at night, the 1 is faster -- there are more frequent trains at night on the 1 than on the A).
Retail leaves much to be desired. Unless "urban" is your style, you will still be doing your clothes shopping downtown. There's quite a bit of restaurant/diner variety up here, and some of the Dominican restaurants are among the city's best-kept secrets (although don't expect any bargains -- this is still Manhattan). There are more hardware stores than you can shake a stick at, as well as some nice floral shops. Grocery shopping is another matter altogether. With the exception of Frank's Market on 187th, the neighborhood is a black void. Thank the Sweet Baby Jesus for Fresh Direct, or at the very least, the Whole Foods right in the Time Warner Center, a quick jump right onto the A or the 1 back uptown (and you will see quite a few Whole Foods bags on those trains back uptown!).
As I said, if you stay west of Broadway, life can be quite tranquil up here. My apartment is library quiet all the time. Plenty of amenities like dry cleaners, restaurants, banks (even Apple Bank has a branch on Broadway/181st), etc. ensures that on your off-days you really wouldn't have any reason to leave the 'hood unless you wanted to. There's even a gay bar up here (again, it's more "urban" in its demographic, but still).
The neighborhood also has the most interesting and varied topography of all of Manhattan. Who knew Manhattan had hills and valleys?? And from an architectural standpoint, WaHi is among the most beautiful neighborhoods in the city. Since the 'hood never really became "hot" over the past half-century, there was no incentive for landlords to slice and dice -- very little subdivision has happened here. Most of the buildings still have their original prewar layouts. There's quite a lot to be said for 10-foot ceilings, spacious entry foyers, and giant living rooms.
"The A train gets from 181st to 59th St. in about 20 min."
This is always a bit deceptive...including walking to and from stations at both ends and waiting for the train your commute time is more like 30-35 minutes to midtown. This only applies if you work on the WEST side. If you work on the East side, forget it. Add another 15.
"This is always a bit deceptive...including walking to and from stations at both ends and waiting for the train your commute time is more like 30-35 minutes to midtown. This only applies if you work on the WEST side."
And stopping to check your mail. And dropping off the dry cleaning. And buying your cup of coffee. Yadda yadda yadda.
I think everyone knows that when we talk about times, we're talking about from train door closing to train door opening.
"If you work on the East side, forget it. Add another 15."
This could be said for living anywhere on the West Side.
eliz181144, since when anti-gangster becomes racist?
i bet you are much much more redneck than we do when it comes to the real issues
The A train only makes its fastest times during midday non-rush hours. That's great if you're unemployed ("consulting"), but otherwise if you travel during rush hours, be prepared for "express" service that's no faster than local service, at least in the morning. Both the A & D run the tightest possible headtimes at rush hours as it is, and then they need to share a platform at Columbus Circle Station. Bottleneck, backup, be late to work.
Choose Night Train instead.
The Associated on Fort Washington is really BAD, but the Key Food is handy, as is Franks if you have the money/a quick need.
"The A train only makes its fastest times during midday non-rush hours. That's great if you're unemployed ("consulting"), but otherwise if you travel during rush hours, be prepared for "express" service that's no faster than local service, at least in the morning."
Don't be a hater, Alan. Some of us worked the rush hour grind quite a long time to be able to make our own hours.
Brooklyn's awesome ... sort-of
"I think everyone knows that when we talk about times, we're talking about from train door closing to train door opening."
Nope. I always say it takes me an average of 25 minutes from the time I close the front door of my apartment unit to the time I am logging on to the computer at my desk. That is ALWAYS what I mean by "how long is your commute?" 100% of the time. If you live in the far west village and take 10 minutes to walk to the train, wait an average of 5 minutes for said train, and then have to walk another ten minutes to get to your mid-town office from the mid-town west train station, your commute is not 10 minutes, its 30.
>Nope. I always say it takes me an average of 25 minutes from the time I close the front door of my apartment unit to the time I am logging on to the computer at my desk. That is ALWAYS what I mean by "how long is your commute?" 100% of the time.
If I had to put together a top 10 list of people I'd want to have at my dinner party before I die, you'd definitely be on the list.
The Broadway/187th grocery is the Key Food, much better than Associated, but we could only dream of a Publix.
"Nope. I always say it takes me an average of 25 minutes from the time I close the front door of my apartment unit to the time I am logging on to the computer at my desk. That is ALWAYS what I mean by "how long is your commute?"
Then that is ridiculous.
How do I know whether you're 1/2 block or 15 blocks from the subway? Or whether you sprint or toddle along like an 85-year-old woman.
I think he sprints along with a retard helmet on.
Thanks for all the great responses! Matt in particular; all the info is good to know, and indeed west of Broadway was pleasant, quiet (really, there were very few people even walking the streets), and safe-seeming. The ball fields were unpopulated even on a beautiful early-autumn day and there weren't many people running in the parks. Those parks (Fort Tryon around the Cloisters, Isham, and the one north of Payson) are underrated gems -- at least from the perspective of a single day's visit.
I actually went within a few feet of the highest point in Manhattan without paying attention -- not until I was done did I find out that it's in Bennett Park just a block east of Cabrini Boulevard.
I love Whole Foods -- how amazing that store is! -- so the lack of one was a disappointment. I had only been to the one in Chelsea and the one at the Bowery and Houston (?), but that store is seemingly everywhere now. Can't get enough of it. If I lived up north I'd probably be lugging sacks of stuff from the WF every few days.
As for commuting times: I'd say that when we're talking about what the train does, it's train-door-opens to train-door-closes, and if you have to change trains, you count the time spent waiting for the pther train, but when talking about commutes in general, it's out-your-door to at-your desk. When I said I had a 50-minute bicycle commute, I meant door to desk. So if I'm taking the train, I want door-to-desk to be less than 50 minutes. It doesn't help me if the train portion is only 20 minutes but I've got a ton of walking and waiting and changing trains mixed in there.
No its not ridiculous. If someone asks how long your commute is (or will be, if you are considering moving someplace) they OBVIOUSLY take into account how far you are from the subway, bus or train on both ends!
FYI- since you mentioned WhLenole Foods- they just announced they are adding a Harlem location today- 125th and Lennox. This is directly above the 2/3 Trains. http://harlembespoke.blogspot.com/2012/10/read-harlem-whole-foods-location.html
sorry, that should have read Whole Foods.
If you can afford Harlem, do Harlem over all of the above. Its so obviously already farther along the gentrification path, projects and all. Besides this new whole foods are all sorts of things like 4 Starbucks and a lot more in the way of passably-upper-middle-class restaurants. Not nearly enough, and not like below 96th. But way more than WH etc.
And its much closer to all the chic-er parts of Manhattan.
"If you can afford Harlem, do Harlem over all of the above. Its so obviously already farther along the gentrification path, projects and all."
Not necessarily. While Harlem may be more gentrified, it's just not as *nice*; the hood remains, at least for the indefinite future, very gritty and still sketchy around the edges.
"And its much closer to all the chic-er parts of Manhattan."
In distance, perhaps. But in all practicality, again, not necessarily. If you're not convenient to the 125th Street train stations, you're stuck with local trains until you can transfer to the express either at 72nd or 59th Street.
"YI- since you mentioned Whole Foods- they just announced they are adding a Harlem location today- 125th and Lennox. This is directly above the 2/3 Trains."
Not convenient for WaHi.
If you're going to schlep your groceries on the subway, you might as well just go to the Columbus Circle location.
When we were looking, the good part of Washington Heights (worth calling Hudson Heights for clarity) appealed a lot more to us because the Harlem part of Broadway is IMO very sketchy indeed. Our part of Broadway doesn't rival the UWS, but is functional and not scary.
Speaking of sketchy, someone explain to me this: on Broadway in this area there were all kinds of signs advertising that ATMs would give out $10 bills. Was this because it's just easier to pay for a small item with a $10 bill, or is it becaue people living there were down to their last ten dollars and didn't want to be turned away by an ATM that only had twenties?
"Was this because it's just easier to pay for a small item with a $10 bill, or is it becaue people living there were down to their last ten dollars and didn't want to be turned away by an ATM that only had twenties?"
It's sad how close to the margin some people live in this city.
Regarding commuting times:
I like to get the office early, so take the 6 a.m train from 181st. I leave my apartment at 5:55. It's always nice to get some walking in, so I get out at the canal street stop (around 6:35), and am at my desk (7 WTC) by 6:45. That's 55 minutes door to door, but could be 45 minutes If I just stayed on until the Chambers St stop.
palomalou: There are restaurants, just not the variety other neighborhoods offer. As in: there is one incredible Italian restaurant, one good Irish bar, one good sushi place...Thai, Mexican, vegetarian...etc (about 15 different chinese take-out places, but that may not be a selling point). Not having as many options is fine with with me, but I understand how some people view that as a detriment.
I bought the end of 2010, and and have even noticed changes since then. Walk into any restaurant bar West of Broadway and north of 181st during happy hour and you'll see a clientele that screams of quickening gentrification.
"Walk into any restaurant bar West of Broadway and north of 181st during happy hour and you'll see a clientele that screams of quickening gentrification."
VERY true! I moved to Hudson Heights in 2006, when I was 26. I was already well on its way to being a nice neighborhood, but that was before most of the restaurants arrived (no Thai, Mexican, LeChelie). Another huge difference then, there were virtually no young people. Most of the gentrifiers were families who moved there for the extra space or professionals in their 30's an up who moved their for its charm.
I noticed a huge shift in the summer of 2011, when what seemed like a flood of young hipsterish people moved in. My guess is that a number of them were priced out of Brooklyn or deemed it cliche and wanted to venture elsewhere. Now walking past Le Cheile @181 or Buddah bar @ Broadway on a weekend night looks like a different world compared to 2006.
One aside regaring others' comparisons to Harlem. There are many fewer affordable housing complexes above 155th street than there is in harlem.
In general, I think uptown has reached its tipping point where the pace of gentrification will quicken every year.
"One aside regaring others' comparisons to Harlem. There are many fewer affordable housing complexes above 155th street than there is in harlem. "
Certainly true. There are also more of them in Lincoln Center and Chelsea and the LES. And the crime rates are higher (by a lot in one case) for most of these areas versus most of Harlem, amazingly. Yet people fear living near projects in Harlem but not along the high line. Makes little sense to me.
ANyway, its personal preference. My zip code does have higher crime than the upper-most part of Manhattan but lower crime than Chelsea, Hells Kitchen, Murray Hill (which also has projoects), Tribeca, or other hipper places. And its much faster to work for me than from all but Murray Hill from the aformentioned. Murray Hill would be a tie.
Jason, not to be petty (and I apologize for appearing so) but aren't the projects in "Murray Hill" actually in Kips Bay? I assume you are referring to the Strauss Houses on 27th-28th Streets on 2nd and 1st Avenue as well as 444 Second Avenue at 25th St. I'm not aware of projects in "prime" Murray Hill (north of 34th), although its possible they are there and I just didn't realize it although I am pretty familiar with that area. Honestly, the (and this is totally irrelevant to the thread topic again my apologies) but the Bellevue Shelter is a much bigger impediment to quality of life in Kips Bay/Murray Hill than the projects.
You are right it might be kips bay. Whatever, my point is that gentrification has happened and is happening despite projects all over NYC. The PPSF for sales and rentals bear this out - people are willing to pay 20% or so more to live in market-rate Harlem versus WH.
But anyway I can see the allure of WH and Inwood for sure, if you want pre-war housing that is far cheaper than anywhere else in Manhattan but to still be on the Island.
Why do out-of-towners love to refer to Manhattan as "the Island"?
When I think of the Island, I think of Alcatraz.
Well I don't -- it's cold and it's damp.
"Why do out-of-towners love to refer to Manhattan as "the Island"?"
Brooklyn and Queens are on an island as well, and yet that is never noted.
We moved from WH to Clinton Hill in the spring and I miss WH more than I expected to. While I bemoaned the lack of restaurant choices or decent affordable groceries in WH (I was one of many on the subway with bags from Whole Foods or Trader Joe's), I would gladly trade many of the elements of our current coolville for the small-town friendliness of our former corner of Washington Heights.
And I have to agree, when the A is running express you can't beat it. I found it even ran faster during midday due to faster loading/unloading times. It also helped that we were less than 5 minutes from the entrance. However, I simply did not go to the east side when we lived in the Heights. (This is only slight hyperbole - I would go to the Met. But nothing else was worth the trek.
I lived in Harlem before we moved to WH and while the neighborhoods share some drawbacks (oh god, the noise), WH was a much more pleasant place to live.
Did anyone answer the OP's question about Russians? Yes, there is a sizable community up there. I heard Russian spoken in the neighborhood every day, but then we lived near the Russian shop on 181st.
>We moved from WH to Clinton Hill in the spring and I miss WH more than I expected to.
Would you prefer Washington Heights to Clinton Hill?
The area is beautiful, quiet, great for kids/pets... Frank's is atrociously expensive but enough retail for all the basics (though the old woman who runs the bagel place on 187th St is really rude). But frankly its often very hard living there for one reason - the A train is a nightmare and is the only reason I moved away from WH. A few years ago it was shut down on weekends all the time - I imagine its better now, but even when it runs normally there are always problems, and unless your entire life is spent on the western side of Manhattan its very time consuming to get anywhere. And hopefully you dont have many friends in Brooklyn, because no one will ever come up there to visit.
"The area is beautiful, quiet, great for kids/pets."
"Frank's is atrociously expensive"
Yes, but not nearly as atrocious as Gristedes on 170th/Broadway.
"The A train is a nightmare and is the only reason I moved away from WH. A few years ago it was shut down on weekends all the time - I imagine its better now, but even when it runs normally there are always problems, and unless your entire life is spent on the western side of Manhattan its very time consuming to get anywhere."
Depends. When it's running as it should, it's fabulous. Until it's not. And the trick to avoiding the perennial summertime weekend shut-downs north of 168th Street is to live within walking distance of 168th Street ... or just take the 1.
"And hopefully you dont have many friends in Brooklyn, because no one will ever come up there to visit."
True. Irony of ironies.
Because Governor's Island, Roosevelt Island, and a sliver of the Bronx are all legally and actually part of the borough of Manhattan. That is why. I mean to distinguish between living in the Bronx or RI but being part of "Manhattan."
This is Manhattan the borough. Its not just one island:
Well, now we know that Wikipedia can be used by even retards, which is truly fantastic in today's egalitarian information age.
and if you are biking to shop for food, Fairway is only 10 minutes from 187th street riding along Hudson...
Anyone have any comments regarding safety in Hudson Heights? Specifically, a lone female making the walk at night from the A train stop at 181st to a coop on Cabrini? E.g. after a concert, opera, or dinner "downtown". I've read often that this is a "safe" area, but also have seen some mentions of lone females preferring to cab it back home after a late night, rather than take the subway.
"Anyone have any comments regarding safety in Hudson Heights? Specifically, a lone female making the walk at night from the A train stop at 181st to a coop on Cabrini? E.g. after a concert, opera, or dinner "downtown". I've read often that this is a "safe" area, but also have seen some mentions of lone females preferring to cab it back home after a late night, rather than take the subway."
Statistically, it's safer than anywhere else in Manhattan.
Realistically, it's probably safer than anywhere else in Manhattan. And the 180s west of Broadway are the safest part of Washington Heights.
Cabbing it back instead of taking the subway? That's more of an issue of feeling safe on the SUBWAY at that hour than it would be your walk home from the subway in Washington Heights.
The only advantage to cabbing it back home late at night is that the A train not only runs local during those hours, it also runs only every 30 minutes or so.
Thanks for the response, NYCMatt....I had seen a reference (I think in one of the prior Washington Heights threads on SE) to women being verbally harassed by young men who liked to hang out after dark around the 181st St subway entrance on Ft Washington Ave. Don't know how old the reference was though, so perhaps not an issue anymore, if it ever was. Btw, I really appreciate your opinions regarding your nabe...they've been very helpful to me in my research as I investigate possibly moving to this area!
The men are still there, mostly because of:
-- car service cars parked and idling at that corner
-- the 24-hour newspaper store
-- the 24-hour superette (which is great, btw)
-- the 24-hour pizza joint right on the corner.
Their bark is worse than their bite. Ignore them.
Actually a decent neighborhood .
Crime is not a problem , though fear's usually worse than reality
NYCMatt is wrong, but only a little. Battery Park City is far and away the safest area in the city per the crime stats. Inwood is the second safest, and the western part of WH is the third. But yes that part of WH is safer than anywhere else in Manhattan other than two places - so safer than Tribeca, Soho, Columbus Circle, Lincoln Square, Lenox Hill, WVill, Chelsea, etc. Yet white people never ask if its safe in those latter places, only places with scary black and Latin people.
That's "Latino", not "Latin". Stop Anglicizing everything. Bigot!
Tribeca and Lenox Hill are not dangerous.
Statistically, they are more dangerous than Washington Heights.
"That's "Latino", not "Latin". Stop Anglicizing everything. Bigot!"
"Latin" is the correct term when talking about both genders.
And yes, quite often the Latinas are scarier than the Latinos.
jason10006: If you're referring to me, I'm not white. ;) Nor am I "scared" of blacks or Hispanics. Just doing my best to research an area of which I currently know little about, prior to possibly making a big commitment. I would do the same for any neighborhood in the city. Best thing will be to get up there and explore at various times, to form my own opinions.
NYCMatt: Thanks again! Corner boys as you describe, I can deal with, especially with the safety of several 24 hr businesses nearby. I saw someone describe that area of WaHi as similar to the UWS in the 90s in its socioeconomic and racial diversity, which is appealing to me. Lots of Manhattan "proper" feels a bit too sterile and homogenous to me, these days.
Thanks everyone else for your helpful (or sometimes just amusing) comments as well!
"I saw someone describe that area of WaHi as similar to the UWS in the 90s in its socioeconomic and racial diversity, which is appealing to me. Lots of Manhattan "proper" feels a bit too sterile and homogenous to me, these days."
Nail. On. The. Head.
otokomae ok fine. But what I say is true in general.
@Lookingforhome - Thanks for the Russian answer! Suddenly seeing that Russian sign was totally off-the-wall; you see English and Spanish, and some Chinese, and sometimes Korean, all over the place, but I don't think I'd ever seen a park sign in Russian before. There was some graffiti next to it about "the revolution" and how the people must not be censored so it was a little surreal.
@Otokomae - Wait, if you're really "otokomae" shouldn't you be going out to the station to meet your wife and walking her home so that she doesn't get hassled? ^_^;
Triple_Zero: LOL! Good on you for getting the reference. But, you should know better than to think that a person's Internet "handle" is any true reflection of their actual identity. No, I'm just a tofu fan. ;)
Regarding things Russian in WaHi, I have always wanted to visit "Moscow on the Hudson", which Lookingforhome mentioned. From my excursions in Brighton Beach, I have found Russian grocery stores a great place for all sorts of unique foodstuffs. Love that there is a Russian community in the Heights.
@otokomae - my 17 year old daughter takes A train to 181 st quite late at night for a few years now...I prefer the presence of young men hanging out on the corner, people walking their dogs to deserted streets
jazzobuzzo: Thank you! I was hoping that a woman with some personal experience of living there would chime in. Glad to hear that there are people out and about even later at night, as I agree this increases the safety factor. Appreciate your feedback very much and it has assuaged the last of my minor concerns about the area.
I'm a woman, with three small children, and live on 157/Broadway. I never feel unsafe. This is a true neighborhood. People look out for you. When I was pregnant with my 3rd, the local kids were always carrying my groceries and when I was hugely pregnant, would parallel park for me, and help me get the other two kids upstairs. In the Village, where we lived previously, we had more places to eat but people were far too self absorbed to even considder stopping for a moment. The elderly are treated like gold. Last night there was a coop meeting to storm plan how we will handle any power outages and who will assist the elderly in our building if the shit hits. Just to give another example.
I've posted a lot on this topic, the pros and cons...you can probably search under my name or Washington Heights and see all the posts. I don't want to repeat myself.
Good luck on your search!
I moved up here (west 181st/ft. washington) to "try before I buy"... I LOVE the neighborhood so far!!
I wish I could just stay up here all day and not have to go to work downtown!
Been here a year. Priced out of the Upper West Side.
Some things to consider:
*The A train is fine, but getting to it sucks. If you live in Hudson Heights proper ("up the hill") you will be taking an elevator to the subway. This adds a few minutes to your commute. On the plus side you get to say good morning to the elevator operator. Always nice to start your day with a smile!
*A cab home from midtown will run you about $30 including tip.
*The restaurant row on 181st is great!!! Italian, sushi, Irish bar, Thai, and more!
My favorite is the rigatoni at Saggio's. Yum.
*As mentioned by others, getting to the east side is horrible! If I'm going to the UES I sometimes take A to 145, switch to an uptown B/D then transfer at 161 for the 4 train.
*There are always tons of gypsy cabs (they will beep at you to get your attention). You can usually negotiate a lower rate than what you'd pay in a yellow cab. (I once got to w96th street for only $12!)
*There is a little "main street" type area on w187. I wish it were connected to the commercial strip on w181.
*There are quite a few empty storefronts in both commercial areas. I'm hoping we get some more good restaurants!!
*I feel very safe at all hours of the day. I'm a 5'7 white guy in my early 30s.
*The neighborhood is just gorgeous. Especially Pinehurst near Bennett Park. That's my favorite block.
*There is a barebones but very functional gym (J's Big Gym) on 181st and St. Nick. It's open 24hrs during the week. Has everything you need, including muscled-up Latino hunks for motivation/inspiration/salivation. A one-year membership costs less than two months at Equinox.
*The 1 train is quicker than the A local. But the elevator to the 1 train is usually more crowded (at 181st).
*Frank's Market on 181st is very expensive. I prefer Bravo on 181 and Broadway (although the selection isn't that great). Whole Foods is pretty easy to get to via the A.
*The actual time on the train from 181 to Columbus Circle is about 17 minutes when the train is running express.
*All of your friends who eventually visit you will be shocked to see how nice it is up here.
*I considered moving to Harlem (118/Lenox) but I didn't feel as safe walking around there at night.
Best of luck!!
*Frank's on 187 not 181. oops :)
Don't take gypsy cabs.
They don't have proper insurance.
It's not safe.
I'd rather ride in a horse-drawn cart steered by a Romany in a rural European town, than get into a gypsy cab uptown.
To get from the Heights to the east side, also consider the buses -- M98LTD (weekday rush hours) or the M4 (which includes some limited-service runs).
"*There is a barebones but very functional gym (J's Big Gym) on 181st and St. Nick. It's open 24hrs during the week. Has everything you need, including muscled-up Latino hunks for motivation/inspiration/salivation. A one-year membership costs less than two months at Equinox."
EXTREMELY bare bones. Very overcrowded (often five or six people per machine). And the locker rooms and showers are absolutely disgusting. Lack of gyms is a definite minus in this neighborhood, but if you're used to NYSC/Equinox/Crunch, you will not like this place at all. Equipment is very old. The building is downright dangerous (it was never intended to hold the immense amount of weight from all those machines and free weights jammed wall-to-wall on floors that have very little midway structural support, and as a result you can see the floors and ceilings from below sagging at a dangerous rate -- I fear that whole place is a ticking time bomb.)
The old saying "you get what you pay for" certainly applies here.
"*The 1 train is quicker than the A local. But the elevator to the 1 train is usually more crowded (at 181st)"
YES! After 11pm, when the A train goes local, you're better off just sticking with the 1 train, as there are more frequent trains throughout the night (every 10 minutes or so) as opposed to the A (every *30* minutes). And I also hate hate hate the elevator at 168th Street.
*Frank's Market on 181st is very expensive. I prefer Bravo on 181 and Broadway (although the selection isn't that great). Whole Foods is pretty easy to get to via the A."
INSANELY expensive. It's almost comical how many people I see with Whole Foods bags on the A train, getting on from Columbus Circle.
*All of your friends who eventually visit you will be shocked to see how nice it is up here."
I'll add one more: how quick and easy it was to get there.
"I'll add one more: how quick and easy it was to get there."
He contradicted you though - its NOT easy from the East Side at all. I used to live in Fidi, and it was easier and faster for me to get up to you from way down there than it is now from East Harlem. Certainly than it is from East 50s, where I work. FOREVER. Easier to get to Riverdale on the Express bus from either location, no joke!
So hope your friends all live on the West side.
East Side people are used to dealing with pain-in-the-ass commutes to everywhere and anywhere BUT the East Side anyway.
The east 57th Street bus goes across town. Transfer for Broadway bus going uptown.
Not fast but doesn't take forever.
"Not fast but doesn't take forever."
Close to it.
You might as well walk it.
I used to travel on the bus when I lived in Manhattan. Never took the subway.
The Lexington Ave. bus down to the Village and transfered across town.
The Third Ave. bus uptown, transfered across town.
I would always walk West on 57th street to go to Time Warner Center and actually enjoyed walking to The Beacon Theater and home again, after concerts. Same for walking to Radio City. I walked to MSG quite a few times.
I like to walk.
"East Side people are used to dealing with pain-in-the-ass commutes to everywhere and anywhere BUT the East Side anyway."
I guess, but when I lived in Hell's Kitchen everywhere not WEST was a bitch too. Half the population of Manhattan always has a hellish trip if its east-west.
The cross-town buses crawl.
But it's not "hellish", jason.
Where is Triple Zero, anyway?
There was another earthquake in Japan the other day.
Hope you and yours are O.K., Trip.
Check in with us.
Thanks, Truth! Everything is fine here. The quake a few days ago would have been terrifying if not for the "real" one last March; now these regular ones are like water off a duck's back. Put the stuff back on the shelves and go on with life.
I'm actually planning another long bike ride in the city when I'm back home again next week and can't decide between visiting the parts of Brooklyn that I've been meaning to get to know, like Boerum/Cobble Hill and that area, or exploring the Upper East Side a little more. Inwood and environs were such a pleasant surprise. Now hopefully the prices there will either stay where they are, or go down!
Good to hear that you're O.K.
The Brooklyn bike-ride sounds nicer.
The UES bike-ride isn't one I'd take. Too much traffic and before you know it, you're in Harlem.
Dress warmly, it's nice this week but by next week could be cold out again.
Just found this thread. I have been looking at the Washington Heights area right around the 181st stop on the A and just love the area. Am seriously considering the move, but have concerns about the commute. I have ridden the train up from 59th twice (express) and both times it has clocked right around 20 mins. That works just fine for me. However, can someone please let me know how often I can expect this (of course taking into account that it switches to local past 10:30).
How often are weekend train problems now with the A? I have lived in Brooklyn for ten years, I am very familiar with these issues, but often time track work can make a huge difference, for example a couple years ago the F and G were nightmares, but now after extensive work they run often and steadily now for the most part. So-- for you guys that live up there, how has your situation been the last year or so?
Thank you in advance