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Hamilton Heights for families???

We are looking to move up to Hamilton Heights and buy a place, around 148 and Riverside Drive. We have offers in but no contract signed yet. We have heard several things recently that have made us think twice - that there is loud partying/music all night most nights (especially in warm weather) and that it is generally unsafe after dark. With small children we would really love to hear from anyone who has had RECENT experience living up there, or from people who live up there and have seen how/if the area has changed over the last few years. We love the idea of more space for our $$ but not the idea of paying for it with our personal safety and sleep. Thanks for any info you can give!

I know people who live there, and almost moved there myself with family (we ended up in Central Harlem instead).

Some of the streets there are among the most beautiful in Manhattan (e.g., Convent Ave north of CUNY and the nearby cross streets). Riverside Drive is lovely.

However, there are NO services there at all, and no prospect of that changing (given current economic conditions), and no change in that situation in the last 4 years. Unlike in Central Harlem, which is changing, and continuing to do so.

Its not "unsafe", but you do have to be smart enough to live in what essentially is a poor, immigrant neighborhood. And willing to tolerate the downsides of that (including Dominican late night parties) as the tradeoff.

For me - I needed to be just a little closer, and to be somewhere with more local services (i.e., restaurants, shops, etc.)

"We have offers in but no contract signed yet. We have heard several things recently that have made us think twice - that there is loud partying/music all night most nights (especially in warm weather) and that it is generally unsafe after dark."

That is the understatement of the week.

So far.


"With small children we would really love to hear from anyone who has had RECENT experience living up there, or from people who live up there and have seen how/if the area has changed over the last few years."


Describe "changed".

If you mean gentrified to the point that it's like the Upper West Side, absolutely not.

If you mean there are no longer people openly doing drug deals and shooting up in the streets, yes. At least during the day. It's a completely different world at night.

FYI a friend of mine was stabbed in the back (yes, literally, with a knife) while walking down 145th Street towards Riverside.

At 6:30 PM.

I spend a lot of time below 125th and a more limted about of time above 125th (bid on something at 158th and riverside). Things vary block-by-block uptown, but generally its fine. Teh amenities are a bit weak - not too many good restaurants, bars, etc.

Central Harlem is as safe as midtown - check the crime stats.

You should walk around in the area at night this week and weekend. It's a small investment of your time.

Thanks for the comments....
NYCMatt - your friend was stabbed at 6:30pm when, this year? Last year? 5 years ago?

Pawn, we noticed the crime stats for the 30th precinct were comparable to many UWS neighborhood precincts, which is why we were surprised to hear how bad it would be moving up there... we are generally not out past 8pm with the kids.

It varies by block, but only in annoyance. There's virtually no crime that would affect you, except the ice cream trucks blaring their "music". The loud-music culture is largely gone, from individuals. That location might get loud music from the skating rink in Riverbank Park. It's not a completely different world at night. Nobody shoots up in the streets, day or night. The presence of "corner boys" on Broadway probably indicates some drug dealing, but it seems to be mid-level, the street-level dealing having been chased elsewhere.

A former co-worker lives in the building you're probably talking about (from when sales began), and has been extremely happy with her purchase, having moved from a few blocks down where she lived for a few years.

The alleged assailant probably just thought it was Matt ... case of mistaken identity, it can happen to any knifer.

We live (including two elementary age kids, third baby on the way and dog) on Convent Ave and 143rd Street and we've had no problems at all. We've had zero criminal encounters, no issues with loud music, and no issues with street noise. I run down Riverside to get into the park -- again, no problems. I take cabs home when I work late (say, post 10), but truthfully I did that on East 86th Street as well. As a plus, has anyone told you about Halloween in our neighborhood? It's awesome. Great trick or treating with mobs of kids going from house to house, and people are really into decorating. I agree that the neighborhood differs block by block, but our experience has been nothing but positive. I think it's a great area for families, lots of parks. We still need more restaurants and retail, but Covo is wonderful.

Go up there & spend as much time as you can & talk talk talk to everyone & then decide if the area is for you; only YOU can decide though getting input, of course, is very helpful.

Move to central harlem - below 125 and west of 5th. Lots of good stuff, minimal bad stuff. Plus property is 50% of downtown values.

I have been an owner in Hamilton Heights in the upper 140's slightly east of Broadway for more than 5 years now. I have also served on my condo board and frequently attend the police community meetings held monthly at the 30th Precinct. I live in a ground floor unit- facing the street- so I know better than anyone in the building precisely what is happening outside.

When I first moved here, there is no doubt the neighborhood was still dangerous and remained so for the first couple of years I lived here.Over the next few years- the neighborhood started changing rapidly for the better. Mind you- it still doesn't feel like the Upper West Side... but I would no longer be afraid of starting a family here. I am single, and purchased an apartment large enough to grow into when need be, so I have thought of this issue when I purchased the place.

As to the loud partying/music- the last few years it seems to be bad for the first month or so of warm weather (May/June-ish) but then the cops seem to clamp down on it. Last year we got a new head of the 30th Precinct- so it seems the few nice warm nights we have had in the last couple of months were pretty tame. I think the police are getting a good handle on this aspect- but time will be a better indicator.

As to the type of incident NYC Matt is referring to- 5 or 6 years ago it wouldn't have surprised me, but pretty rare today.

I've lived in Hamilton Heights for the past five years on 140th near Broadway. Yes, it can be a bit loud during the summer months, but not any louder than any other neighborhood in Manhattan. In terms of crime, I've seen far worse happen down at 72nd and Broadway than during my entire time up here. Admittedly, it would be nice to see better stores and services move in - one can only go to the laundromat, bodega and hardware store so many times. Otherwise Hamilton Heights is perfectly fine and being along the 1 line makes living here very convenient to the rest of Manhattan.

You could always move to a decent part of Queens or BK. Still a massive discount from NY proper...

I moved to 142nd between Bway and Hamilton Pl. last summer from the Upper West Side. I'm not going to lie, it was a big adjustment.


I don't regret it, even for a second! I love the sense of community up here, despite the prejudiced comments above to the contrary. There is occasionally music from apartments that is bothersome, but it only happens on the occasional weekend. I've never had an issue with safety, and since I actually know all of my neighbors, I feel much safer on my block than I did on Amsterdam.

There are a few really wonderful restaurants (Tonalli, Tanto Dulce, Covo, etc.) and of course Fairway is an easy walk. There ARE services, just not the ones that gravitate to neighborhoods with $4000 rents. The architecture is stunning, the trains are great and you have access to 3 parks, and Central Park is a 5 minute bike ride, 4 stop local subway ride away.

What's not to like!

Just to clarify- the noise that most people refer to is more often than not associated with parked cars with souped up audio systems with heavy bass and stoop parties- and often occurred about 3-4 nights a week- all night. So far there has only been one evening this year (although it is early in the year) where the noise issues returned- and that got shut down by the police in less than an hour. The next 8 weeks should be a better indicator of what's to come. Alechall moved onto that block a couple of years after a massive bust took place of gangsters and drug dealers (I think the gang was named Stack Money or something like that)...sounds like the bust made a massive difference.

I have been here watching the neighborhood get better and better every year...but the services are seriously lacking- and I am not talking about the types that gravitate toward $4000 rents. I could use a cobbler, a decent dry cleaner that doesn't give me back ripped shirts or stains that were not there prior to drop off. One dry cleaner (now out of business) stole my almost new custom suit. The diversity of restaurants has been getting better but is still seriously lacking. Prime Manhattan may have way too many banks, drug stores and coffee shops- but Hamilton Heights could use more. It would be nice to have an additional bookstore or two up here (yes, I know about Hue Man by 125th st). With the announcement of the (estimated) $100m portfolio of commercial properties last week - a couple of the properties are in Hamilton Heights- and could make a big difference. It would be nice if the El Mundo on 146th would be restored back to a theater- much of it is still intact (as photographed in the blog Harlem Bespoke).

Also be aware that the strip between 147th and 148th Street on Broadway will be redeveloped once the lease is up on the 99 cent store- by Columbia. This is a result of the C.U. campus expansion- relocating those that were eligible for HDFC apartments in the expansion zone.

A bit off topic. If EVERYONE says there are not enough banks, drug stores, coffee shops, etc. Why does nobody open up a few? When "they" do open things, do others actually go?

that area is full of section 8 and HDFC, not a whole lot of disposable income to entice retailers to open up, unless you are C-Town or Associated type of discount supermarkets.

the times i've been reggaeton was present and loud but wasn't as annoying unless you happen to live next to the source of the loud reggaeton. same story in washington heights. i don't know of any non-latin living there that hadn't complain about reggaeton. that said, the areas right next to the hudson are beautiful imho and better if not that far from the Riverbank State Park. a professor from Columbia used to live there, when he learned we were looking into it a few years ago he told us "bring your own bat!" LOL

That's good advice ... along with your own tennis racket, ice skates, Speedo, basketball, spaldeen, football, Communist football, et cetera.

"Why does nobody open up a few? When "they" do open things, do others actually go?"

Because illegals (and let's face it, they're still the vast majority up there) don't use banks, coffee shops, or drug stores (at least not the nice clean ones that sell legal stuff like Duane Reade).

All the nicer cafes and restaurants in central harlem have done really well. Seems like a matter of time before that expands northward.

Matt is a fucking racist asshole. How the fuck does he know that "illegals" are the "vast majority" up there? Furthermore, poor people in GENERAL do not use those things, regardless of citizenry, while plenty of illegals with enough money do.

thank you for all of the comments. I went up again with my mom and children on a weekday afternoon. I definitely noticed several groups of guys on corners and in the park, which could be a little uncomfortable, but the noise at night and safety is most important to me bc of babies and sleeping babies. Does anyone have any comments about Riverside Dr at night? Seems like a lot of the noise is further south than 149 and further east as well.

and yes, the lack of shops is kind of a bummer, but that's why the apartment prices are not so much $$$ yet. We are also very interested in Central Harlem, but seem to have missed the boat - prices have gone up a lot this past year!

Central Harlem is booming!

The last 3 years, nothing happened, crisis, etc.

Now things are happening again... walk along FDB on Friday night, and see how it is hopping. Bars, restaurants (good, real ones, not terrible ones pumped up by desperate Harlemites). 2080 FDB hosting an art exhibition in its empty retail space. A-loft hotel bar hopping. Bier, 67, and countless others.

Hamilton Heights has beautiful buildings, but none of this...

In the end, its all about what you want...

what do you think about 126th, 127th, 128th, 129th west of 5th ave.?

Actually that was my next question, how far up is it booming? 125th - 131st West of 5th - what is that like?

I live in the area that you are considering and so do a bunch of families with babies. I have lived here for 3 years. Do I wish there were more shops and restaurants, sure. But, I have a beautiful home that I never could have afforded lower down. My dog has grass to walk on. Riverside drive is beautiful. Yes, there is street life, but it never disturbs us in our home. We like the liitle bodegas because of their interesting variety of fruits and vegetables that you do mot always find in other parts of town. The playgrounds along riverside drive are filled with children all playing together. The dry cleaner we use does the best job for us, and that is compared to having my clothes done on the upper east side for over 20 years. I hope this is helpful to the person who is considering the area.

"Matt is a fucking racist asshole."

No, I just call it as I see it.

NYC is completely overpriced. Harlem is no different. You basically pay $1-2MM for a rowhouse in a bad / ok part of town. Over time, only people with money can buy that stuff, so you will have monied RE owners and people on Govt subsidy. It could work. Maybe.

Um, monied RE owners *are* on government subsidy. The Bush temporary tax cut, for example.

"Um, monied RE owners *are* on government subsidy. The Bush temporary tax cut, for example."

Um, I know this is a hard concept for you to grasp, Alan, but believe it or not, every dollar earned in this country doesn't belong to the government. Ergo, what the government doesn't *take* from you is not a "subsidy".

Actually, every dollar does belong to the government. They print them, they put them in circulation, and only they can legally destroy them. And they take back what they don't let you keep. That's a fact, and always has been.

If you don't like it, trade in baseball cards instead.

Um, that's a technicality and you know it.

Not to mention a twisting of the facts.

NYC is completely overpriced. Harlem is no different. You basically pay $1-2MM for a rowhouse in a bad / ok part of town. Over time, only people with money can buy that stuff, so you will have monied RE owners and people in section 8 housing and "the projects".

Rather than buying in neighborhood you're not sure of why not rent there for a year...

Buy now or be priced out forever!

if we keep renting we will just stay in our current neighborhood, low 100s and West End area. We are just trying to take advantage of the low interest rates while they are here, but can only afford the areas we have been asking about, at least 3Br apartments anyway.

And, we are wondering if Hamilton Heights is a neighborhood that will appreciate over the next 10 years, so a good investment opportunity as well... We know that our current neighborhood was not so great 10 to 15 years ago...

mrs1007, given that there are only so many parts of Manhattan left that haven't experienced the same wave of capital (read: white gentrification) influx in the last 10 years, there is really no conceivable way that Hamilton Heights WON'T 'appreciate' in the way you would want it to.

Three primary factors: Firstly, It's on the street grid, which ends at 155th. It is the furthest uptown part of the city on the original grid. This has a big effect on making people feel like they are still in Manhattan, as opposed to a place like Inwood, which has a decidedly outer-borough feel to it.

Secondly, the housing stock is impeccable. No other area rivals it in the city for this level of architectural excellence that hasn't already turned into Park Slope or the Upper West Side.

Thirdly, it has fantastic train access. When the MTA finally decides to fix the tracks at 135th, the time from 145 to West 4th will be 20 minutes. All that part of the city in between isn't exactly flyover territory either.

If the idea of 'groups of guys' in Harlem bothers you but not in Williamsburg, then I think you have serious issues of racial prejudice you need to address before you move to a predominately non-white neighborhood.

As for NYCMatt, just because you 'call it like you see it' doesn't mean you aren't a shit-eating fuckhead who sees things through a lens of racist stupidity.

I'm sorry alechall, I'm not sure what Williamsburg groups of guys you are referring to - we live on the UWS right now and haven't mentioned groups of guys anywhere but in Hamilton Heights - and, we are definitely NOT prejudiced. I haven't mentioned our race or the race of the groups of guys, the GROUPS of guys are what bothers me, being a younger female with small children who is often alone during the week. Groups of white, Hispanic or black guys would bother me hanging out on corners everywhere for numerous reasons aside from race.

Aside from that, thank you for your observations - the rest of your info seems well laid out, and your reasoning persuasive.

"there is really no conceivable way that Hamilton Heights WON'T 'appreciate' in the way you would want it to."

Actually, there is.

With the decline of real estate values of late, Below 96th Street has become affordable again. Now there's really no reason to to settle for Hamilton Heights.

Below 96th street is not affordable for us.... we could afford a 2 BR or smaller while up in hamilton heights we are looking at 3 and 4BR, part of the appeal. Right now our major debate is whether to continue renting a good size apartment on the UWS that we like but increases in cost every year, or to buy a large apartment in Hamilton heights while interest rates are low and the neighborhood is not prime real estate (yet). We are just looking for opinions who have experience with this situation or in either neighborhood - so far this thread has been pretty helpful!

I understand your wanting to buy.

Just don't expect Hamilton Heights to ever be considered "prime" real estate.

Never going to happen. Not in this lifetime.

Addressing some of the comments I have seen on here- both by the original poster and other posters on this thread...
1. I don't live on Riverside, but as I stated earlier in this thread- I do attend the police community meetings. Riverside was no different than the rest of the neighborhood with the sound complaints during the warmer months. People were partying in the park in the evenings all night. During one of the police community meetings there were a small group in attendance that wanted to publicly thank the police for the silencing of the evening music in the park on Riverside Drive. I don't recall whhich blocks this was for- but I believe it was a large stretch of Riverside Drive in Hamilton Heights. I do think you should take a walk past on a Friday or Saturday evening after 10 pm when the weather is nice. That will be your best indication. Also if it is your big issue- also consider soundproofing windows such as CityQuiet or its competitors.
2. Groups of guys hanging out. Most of these guys are very protective of women and watch out for their safety. As a guy- they treat me differently, but I have heard very nice things coming from women that come up to visit me.
3. You can't beat the train access- at 145th in Hamilton Heights you have the 1, A,C, B, D trains. I have actually made it from West 4th Street to 145th in less than 20 minutes- although typically it's a 23-24 minute ride.
4. The neighborhood is benefiting from the Columbia expansion. I know others will dispute the net effect of the expansion on the neighborhood- but I have more than a few reasons to back my reasons. Watch who now owns here as well as commercial properties and how they are moving in this market.
5. Sure prices have come down in prime Manhattan...but when you consider the total carrying charges, it can get out of control. Sure I can afford the purchase price of an apartment downtown- but when you factor in common charges and tax- forget it. Even if my tax abatement were to end today (and it is scheduled for another 20 years), the taxes on my apartment would still be a tiny fraction of the taxes of a similar apartment downtown.
6. Yes there are plenty of Section 8 and HDFC apartments in Hamilton Heights. There are very few housing projects though. As for the HDFC- I have a couple of friends that are looking for HDFC apartments. One is a cop, makes a little over the limit- but she was told to apply anyway. She is jumping at the chance to buy a tiny 3 bedroom in a totally rehab'ed apartment for about 34k. Another friend (with a Master's degree from NYU) is a personal assistant to a Ultra High Net Worth family- and is searching for a classic 6 or 7 in Hamilton Heights (yes a few exist). She will pay mostly cash for the apartment. I know of an adjunct college professor that owns an HDFC apartment in Hamilton Heights...Many HDFC's are turning into typical middle class buildings (as defined by the rest of the nation, not Manhattan standards)- slowly this is happening.

I have lived on Riverside a little south of your area for 5 years now. I was also concerned with all of the same things as you are when I moved in. But having lived here, I would highly recommend the area.

Safety: There are definitely corner boys, but they never bother me or even really seem to notice me. I have never felt unsafe, but also don't tend to go out alone late at night... About 5-8 years ago, a friend lived on 155 and Amsterdam, and block by block, I would feel uncomfortable walking to his place, even during the day. I don't really go east of broadway now, so don't know how it is now. Riverside seems ok to me (common sense of course).

Noise: The noise in the summer can be annoying (I hear it actually from Talay down on 12th avenue, they are very obnoxious...), but you'll be farther up so I doubt this will affect you. I've rarely heard the car-stereo noise described above. And since commercial vehicles are prohibited on Riverside drive, I have never had problems with the ice cream trucks (which would be during the day anyways). There are definitely summer parties, but I've lived all over the city since childhood and this seems to be an inevitable part of life (I have a horrible time sleeping with either noise or light, and have rarely had a problem with it, and when I did it was from Talay...).

Services: The restaurants are definitely not as glossy as they are around 100s/WEA... no real outdoor/cute cafe seating (except Covo, which is great and very family friendly). No starbucks except around 145 down the hill (but Tanto Dulche (sp?) on broadway around 142 (?) makes a mean latte. For more options than what's local to you for order-in food, you can also try (it takes a while... so you have to plan ahead if you use them).
Riverbank is awesome, and is so great for kids. You can swim for 2 bucks... And there's a cute children's park at around 147th on Riverside... Fairway is nearby.
They are trying to rezone the whole zone (there was a recent community board 9 meeting where this was discussed...). The idea I think is to bring better services into the 145th street corridor... along with other changes to the zoning laws (building height restrictions for eg). And of course the columbia expansion which will bring new services...

Good luck! I would say go for it if you like the apartment!

Dharma - thks for comments, are you single or with a fam, btw? We love the apartment and the price - we actually have to decide very soon one way or the other. I think my husband will make a few night trips up to the area before we sign anything. I will miss Riverside Park and Central Park ALOT, but it's only a few stops on the red, right? Ugh, i hate big decisions like this. We don't want to miss out on a great opportunity, but like our current place and neighborhood alot so we have alot to lose...

"a few stops on the red, right?"

No, wrong. It's a few stops on the Number One. The red line is in Boston or Washington.

Update: After following comments on several threads (like this one!) and numerous visits to the area, we think we are going to take the plunge and move to HH this summer. We really enjoyed a twilight picnic at Riverbank last weekend and a walk with our kids afterward. We were able to witness some of the noise, from cars and from apartment windows. So far, it was only during the day and not on our block. Also, my husband went up during the wee hours (12-1am) and walked around for a while with no trouble. Yes, there are services and stores missing but if they were there we wouldn't be able to afford an apartment there, right?
We just hope we're getting a good deal per sq ft. and that the move goes smoothly, and that we have nice neighbors.
Thanks for all of the input - we'll keep the post updated as to how it goes. Likewise, if anyone has any stories from the past month in HH, good or bad, we'd like to hear them - esp. if they involve loud noise or incidents in the high 140s and Riverside :)

mrs1007 - I'm further up than you on 157th and Broadway. We love it - even tough there are no services to speak of. Two kids, one infant and one toddler. Send message if you want to talk schools, etc.
Good luck with the move.

BTW--regarding noise - def go to the community meetings. We do religiously and it's made a huge difference. Instead of calling 311 we call the precinct and they respond immed. That said - it was only twice in ~9 months where it was loud enough to do so. 4th of July and one obnoxious ice cream truck.

ice cream truck: my archnemesis

"services and stores missing but if they were there we wouldn't be able to afford an apartment there, right?" ... much worse would be to pay so much for housing in a fabulous area chockablock full of amazing restaurants and bars that you could hardly ever afford to go to said amazing restaurants and bars.

if i only had an RPG for every ice cream truck...

congrats though, good luck with the move and welcome to the community!

Just a technical, nitpicky comment - okay for families? Who do people think lives in HH now, strictly single people? I get your question, but it reminds me of when people say things about a neighborhood like, "People are moving there now. There's lots of people who live there now. Well, you'd be a pioneer." All of which are a way of saying that the residents of the area in question are not people, though I know that's not what you mean. Another one I see a lot on this forum is "amenities." Actually, that area has lots of Mr. Softy trucks, and that's an amenity. There are bodegas, and those are amenities.

I totally get your point lowery. I think my question stems from the fact that every time we mentioned moving up there, people would say "that's not a great neighborhood for families. Or, that's not a safe place for kids." And, I didn't ask if families lived up there, I assume that many do. I was asking if it was a good location for families to do so - just to nitpick myself.

"Who do people think lives in HH now"

People who can't afford any place better.

People who can't afford a walk-up in Fort George with Formica brand counters everywhere.

While we could afford an apartment further south, there is no way we would be getting the space of the HH condo for more than double the price on the UWS. So it's not just a matter of affording, it's also a matter of "willing to pay."

Alan, where is this Fort George of which you speak?

You won't regret moving up. Services are lacking compared to UWS but the essentials are here and growing (though not super fast). The neighborhood is beautiful and very safe and the residents are generally very nice. A bit more suburban than prime Manhattan, but that can be a good thing IMO. Riverside Park up here is pretty nice (though can't compare to UWS) and train access is good. Very convenient to everywhere except LES and BK. Can be over the GW or on the Hutch is less than 5 min.

I have lived on 158th and Riverside for over 2 years, have a great apartment and haven't regretted it at all. I've seen the neighborhood change a little bit since moving and honestly even if I could afford a similar apartment on UWS I'd probably opt for a bigger one up here, or possibly even further up around the Hudson Heights area.

Also, are you buying a condo from citi-habitats (i.e. the major developer of maybe a half dozen renovated condo buildings in the area)? If so and you have any questions, feel free to message me as I own one of their units.

Hudson Heights is only a few stops farther up the A line, and is a much more established neighborhood for families. It has seriously become stroller central up here!

Apt, thanks for the comments. Not buying from citi-habitat, though I am aware they represent many condo buildings in HH. Ynotie, I think Hamilton Heights is the furthest north we're willing to go as far as distance from Riverside and Central Parks for our kids' sports activities and for the morning commute.

We sometimes are getting comments that make me rethink moving, but everytime we go up to HH things have been nice, more comfortable with each visit in fact. Yes, I wish they had a nicer grocery store and more "amenities" but that's what Fresh Direct and Pea Pod are for!

mrs1007 - I was thinking more about this code word "amenities" that is part of the wink-wink, nod-nod, nudge-nudge language you've no doubt encountered in telling people you're thinking of going there - Fairway. It is not far from HH, and people who shop there are driving from all over Manhattan (and other places). I'm fond of HH, because of things like those views from Edgecombe Avenue and Riverside Drive, and the treelined Convent Avenue. I do remember once walking through the area when there were outside block parties on a summer afternoon and it was too noisy and rowdy for me. But I also wandered into Jackie Robinson Park's bandshell area one hot summer day by happenstance and stumbled on a great jazz concert. I know you're not a wink-wink/nod-nod person or you wouldn't be thinking of living there, but I'm sure you will encounter a less subtle form of it later if you do move there. Examples: "Are you the only white person there?" (If you're white) Etc. ad nauseam.

About Hudson Heights, absolutely stunning, Cabrini Blvd and ye olde ivy covered coops on the block to the west. However, it is a longer commute, and those wink-wink sayers who paint invisible boundary lines around their little enclave are clueless.

Does Fairway deliver? Could I walk down and shop and then get the groceries delivered to my apartment? Yep, lots of the raised eyebrows when we mention neighborhoods, but an equal amount of people ask a lot of questions and seem interested in the area themselves. Since we started looking, 2 other couples we know have started serious searches for apartments in HH. Both have young children and are in their 20s-30s.
We know there are risks involved with purchasing - but I also like to try out new things and to show my children new experiences, so here goes!
Of course, the closing process in itself is an experience, so one thing at a time, right?

Fairway is not walking distance from much housing, but it's crammed with customers. I think most drive. Might deliver, dunno. Everything your friends raise their eyebrows about was on the Upper West Side back when. And the Village. And Chelsea. You're looking because of the price. That's what happened in .... see above.

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fairway delivers for $8--go buy all that you need on foot and then walk home!

there are a lot of things to like about the neighborhood, and enough things that are lacking, but the 133rd st fairway is what pushes it over the edge into the better side of the ledger. it's a huge store, much bigger and better than the UWS one, and has many more things.

despite what anyone tells you about south harlem, that hood only just got a halfway decent grocery store, and it's small and overpriced (best yet). HH has a nicer feel, i think, better architecture by far, and has the same feeling as the UWS because of riverside park and fairway.

Here is the school we are zoned for:;%2010031&formtype=location

Looks okay to me, and sounds like it has been improving. But honestly if it didn't work out I wouldn't hesitate to try one of the private schools like Our Lady of Lourdes nearby, district lottery or even homeschool. My oldest is disabled so schools do not go by zone, and the next oldest won't be in school for 4 more years. Plenty of time for improvement and planning.

We plan to stay put for at least 5 years...

Fairway sounds like a good bet.

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Fairway is actually quite walkable. There's a path on riverside around 137th I think that leads down to a few restaurants, the piers, and fairway. Delivery as mentioned is $8, but you can easily get a cab as I do from the fairway exit fir around $5-6.

Restaurants in the area worth mentioning:

12th ave by Fairway:
Hudson River Cafe
Dinosaur BBQ---

Tonalli (149th Bway)
Picante (139 bway) - amazing Mexican!
Parilla (139th bway)
Antika pizza (165 bway)

Yes, I agree with the above poster - aparently black and brown and poor "people" and "families" do not count.

They don't know how.

okay, I was afraid to mention schools, AR, but, knowing full well that NO ONE in this forum will believe me, here goes. I ran into a former fellow student working in a Staple's recently. We had taken a foreign language course together at a private institution. Her mom had paid for her; I had paid for myself. That private language course had had a college professor, a lawyer, two high school students whose parents were pushing them into top-tier college admissions process, etc. My friendly acquaintance the high school student and I swapped notes about what a lousy language course it had been, what would be better ways to teach a foreign language in methodology. To illustrate HER point, she talked about how much MORE she learned in a New York City public school in Harlem, Frederick Douglass Academy, 2581 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, around 148th or 149th Street. So I wouldn't be so dismissive about public schools in the area. Oh, I know, the Heights are really up on the hill, Edgecombe Avenue and points further West, but still ......... wink-wink/nod-nod "but what about the schools?" Vomit.

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aboutready, Rosetta Stone Pashto or Rosetta Stone Irish would yield a better nerd alert than French ... not to mention fun. Switch files on her when she's not looking.

Feel free to throw vomit on me. But even if the schools are excellent, what is your comfort level with the demographics?

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AR (and others), this is a broad topic. I am alluding to the code language that is RE chat. Before the Internet and SE, decades ago I remember being mystified by ads that said, "close to houses of worship." It took me a long time to decipher what that meant. A friend who was "in" on that code understood.

I think you know exactly what I mean. Central Park is a dangerous place "we" must avoid. That changed when the people who were afraid reclaimed Central Park for themselves. Witness exodus out of the people they feared. Fear works that way. Reclaim what is yours and .... amazing the results. The public schools are a whole can of worms. You're the one, AR, who piped in with "but what about the schools?" How do you know the OP's children aren't in Dalton or some other private school? It wouldn't matter to them, would it? I'm sure in your lifetime, which seems to run exactly parallel to mine in time, you'd seen numerous assumptions about the invisible code of where to go and where not to go fall by the wayside. Economic realities have filled public schools with children whose parents might never have considered them in earlier decades. Why wouldn't the public schools in Hamilton Heights change with its demographics?

I am from the post-gentrification wave. And I mostly take things at face value. No coded meaning here. Simply curious about the school choices (didn't seem from the posts that privates were already in the picture).

I clicked through to the school survey, and the scores struck me as great BUT there is a G and T program. School scores are not usually separated for gened and g and t classes.

I have no idea what ethnic or religious background the posters are from but it can be hard to be a minority in a school. Yes, this is what URMs have to put up with in many educational institutions but push come to shove, this is your kid.

Still don't know what "close to houses of worship" means... I also want to point out that I have not been asking about color nor mentioned if we were black, white, etc. Our issues remain the crime levels, which seem comparable to our current zip 10025, the noise level, which seems slightly worse, the schools, which seem okay and improving, and the services, which are minimal but good enough to get by and close to the subway. We are mainly swayed by the space for the money on top of the previous criteria.

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Families with kids have lived there for decades and still do. What you clearly mean, but won't admit, is white and/or well-to-do families with kids.

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What makes you think the families with kids living there for decades have WANTED to live there? I mean not as their 932nd choice, but perhaps they would have preferred to live in Ho-Ho-Kus and couldn't swing it, so resignedly settled in Hamilton Heights and watched said children become career criminals?

That families were there doesn't mean that it's a good place for families ... OP didn't ask IF families live there, but whether it's a select place for choosey families who can choose to live there or in choice 10025 (or maybe even prime 10023).

Now the Dominicans, that's another whole discussion.

Jason: the question is, have college-bound children from families of any kind, typically attended the zoned elementary gen-ed school in the neighborhood?

Jason: Though, I agree, the original question, was not elegantly phrased.

"Jason: the question is, have college-bound children from families of any kind, typically attended the zoned elementary gen-ed school in the neighborhood? "


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Jason -- Your constant references to a Mediterranean climate are insidiously racist because that climate excludes all of Africa but North Africa.

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alan, your second paragraph of your last post echoes my sentiments exactly.
sorry if it wasn't elegant - sometimes with 3 kids running around coherent is the best i can hope for!

Huntersburg = Buyerbuyer = troll piece of crap

Up until recently, there haven't been many college graduates living in the neighborhood. Look at the 2000 census and compare it to the 2010 census data. In much of Hamilton Heights- you will see a dramatic shift when you look at the 2010 census for college grads and post graduates- and I suspect most of that change has been within the last 5 years. What that means for the zoned gen-ed in the neighborhood...well it's a bit early to say and I will leave it to others to speculate.

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"ason: the question is, have college-bound children from families of any kind, typically attended the zoned elementary gen-ed school in the neighborhood?"


The real question is, when will America finally wake up and realize that COLLEGE is not appropriate for everyone, and should not be used as a one-size-fits-all yardstick of desirability in any socio-economic demographic?

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The worthlessness of online degrees?

How about the worthlessness of bachelor degrees in general?

Most people would be much better off if they dropped out of school in the 10th grade and went into broadcast journalism instead ... a field with a bright future behind it.


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