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Best Neighborhoods For Young Professionals In New York

Following our post about the best family-friendly neighborhoods in NYC, we have decided to talk about best neighborhoods for young professionals. Being a college graduate or young professional, especially when you move to NYC to begin your career, can be a pretty stressful time. When you don’t know enough about the area, finding a nice apartment within your budget is a challenging task. But you’re a young, creative and persistent person. Nothing can stop you, right?

Despite the fact that the neighborhoods with an abundance of jobs usually have high living costs and high rental prices, of course, there are great places within your post-graduate budget. Especially because when you’re young and looking for a decent apartment, it’s more about the commute than space. You really don’t care about the size of your bedroom as you’re spending too much time at work.

Let’s have a look at our list of selected neighborhoods for young and eager professionals like you!

Upper East Side, Manhattan

Upper East Side

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Located east of Central Park, Upper East Side is one of the best neighborhoods for young professionals with dozens of landmarks, hundreds of great places to eat and drink, and the atmosphere attracting single people as well as families. It includes Lenox Hill, Yorkville, Carnegie Hill and areas along Park Avenue, Madison Avenue, and 5th Avenue.

The neighborhood is not only located close to Central Park with its greenery and space for running and biking but also has a beautiful Carl Schurz Park that offers great views over the river. UES is home to the Guggenheim Museum, the Jewish Museum and the Met.

You will always have a place to spend time after work. The UES offers a vibrant nightlife with multiple pulsing bars (The Penrose, Bemelmans, Drunken Monkey, Baraonda, Caledonia Bar, The Auction House), and swanky restaurants (Amali, Daniel, Ladurée, Uva, Two Little red Hens, Heidelberg, Sasabune, Sushi of Gari, Sushi Seki, Up Thai, Flex Mussels) and nightclubs.

Unfortunately, the Upper East Side is not so convenient for commute. There is just one main subway line (the 4/5/6) running through the neighborhood. There is also the F line at the very southern part of the area, then the N, R, and Q lines. You can also use bus routes and crosstown buses.

Don’t think that you can’t afford living here. There’re plenty of affordable apartments to share with a roommate, if necessary. An average rent is $2,100 for Studio and $2,700 for one-bedroom apartments.

Lower East Side, Manhattan

The next destination in our neighborhoods for young professionals is one of Manhattan’s fashionable areas, the Lower East Side is loved by all New Yorkers. It is trendy and vivid, with dozens of places to visit every day. You will definitely have where to go after dark, partying till the break of dawn. Taste every bit of the New York lifestyle.

Since low rents allowed young artists exhibit their works, the neighborhood has numerous art galleries: Mayson Gallery, Bosi Contemporary, Lisa Cooley, Sperone Westwater, Canada, Lehmann Maupin, Invisible Exports, and many others. The LES is also home to The New Museum, the main cultural hub, and the Tenement Museum. Spend one of your evenings, or maybe a date, at the Sunshine Cinema, or the Anthology Film Archives.

Start your perfect lazy weekend at Clinton Street Baking Company, Essex, the Fat Radish, or Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle. As for the restaurants, check out Azasu, Mission Chinese Food, Kiki’s, and Fung Tu. Copper & Oak, PKNY, Loreley bars will make your night more exciting.

Tired after a long week? Refresh yourself in Sara D. Roosevelt Park or La Plaza Cultural.

The Lower East Side is also good for young professionals in terms of commute. You can get several bus lines to get to the Lower East Side, or take the J, M, or Z subway lines. In case you need to get to LaGuardia Airport, a cab will take you there in 20 minutes in case there’s no traffic. Your ride to JFK Airport may take 30 minutes without traffic. It will take you 20 minutes to get to Times Square, and only 15 minutes to the Financial District by subway.

The LES architecture is famous for its iconic fire escapes and brownstones. An average rent for Studio apartments is $2,100, while it is $2,600 for one-bedroom places.

Murray Hill, Manhattan

Murray Hill Townhouses

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It’s another common destination for young professionals and post-graduates offering them exciting entertainment, countless options of food and drinks, especially during happy hours. If you work in Midtown, it’s one of the best neighborhoods for you.

Since it’s a great place for those who work a lot, the neighborhood may seem like a quiet kingdom during the daytime. But Murray Hill has a lot to offer at night. Living in this nabe, you will always know what to do after a long work day. It offers a great variety of restaurants, such as Penelope, Broken Spot Rotisserie, The Cannibal2nd Ave Deli, and so on and so forth. Friendly bars in Murray Hill (Cask Bar, The Ginger Man, Duke’s, Middle Branch, and many other) are usually open late. The diversity of cute cafes and bagel shops will let you choose some special places. The neighborhood has everything you need for a late night. Pizzas and bars are open late here.

But Murray Hill offers not only its nightlife. Bryant Park and the New York Public Library, the Morgan Library & Museum, and the Chrysler Building should be mentioned among the neighborhood’s cultural spots.

In case you enjoy running, Murray Hill has a great running path near the East River. Enjoy its hypnotizing view during the run.

The neighborhood’s residents are attracted by its convenient location and commute to Midtown. Murray Hill’s proximity to Grand Central makes it the perfect place for young professionals.

It will take you only 28 minutes to get to Wall Street by train, and 18 minutes by car. The commute to Union Square is even faster:  18 minutes by train, and 8 minutes by car. Don’t feel like using a train? Take the Ferry across the river.

When looking for an apartment, you will be able to choose between multi-family dwellings, gorgeous brownstones, co-ops or condo buildings, as well as high-rises. You can rent a Studio for $2,200 and a single-bedroom apartment for $2,800.

Harlem, Manhattan

Harlem Graffiti

Photo credit: hragv via Foter.com / CC BY-ND

An iconic black neighborhood in the past, Harlem becomes more and more gentrified today. It is not only associated with African-American culture but also known for its soul food, jazz music, spectacular cathedrals and landmarks. The neighborhood residents are friendly and outgoing. Harlem has become safer than it used to be half a century ago, but you still should keep an eye on your things in a crowd, and you definitely shouldn’t go alone in the park at night.

Harlem’s nightlife is diverse and exciting. You should definitely check out Chez Lucienne, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Lido, Zoma, Red Rooster restaurants. As for the bars, Bier International, Ginny’s Supper Club, Corner Social, Harlem Tavern and many other will amaze you with their live music and dancing.

Being young means looking not only for a job but for a relationship, too. You should know that there are 51% single residents in Harlem. Its pool has something to offer you!

Just like in other neighborhoods, people in Harlem use public transit for commute. It has good access to subway and train lines, and also local buses to move within the nabe. It will take you up to 45 minutes to get to the Financial District, and about 25 minutes to the West 40s.

An average rent for a Studio is about $1,700, while an average rent for one-bedroom apartment is $2,100. Harlem apartments are pretty affordable, especially if you live with a roommate. The neighborhood offers a great architecture with all its breathtaking prewar brownstones.

Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Located in Central Brooklyn, this immensely populated neighborhood keeps attracting more and more young people every day. Just think about it! Its population density is six times higher than in New York! It’s a culturally diverse place with a great choice of bars and restaurants that keep opening all the time.

The nightlife in Crown Heights is vivid and exciting. Franklin Avenue is full of interesting restaurants and bars: Glady’s, Barboncino, Mayfield, The Crown Inn and Butter&Scotch. There are also a lot of other bars that are open late and offer great drinks and food: Franklin Park, Covenhoven, Berg’n, Catfish, Branch Ofc, The Way Station and the list goes on.

There are also great landmarks located in Crown Heights: The Brooklyn Museum, The Brooklyn Botanic Garden and The Brooklyn Children’s Museum. In case you’re tired of the nightlife and looking for some outdoor recreation, spend your Sunday in the 585-acre Prospect Park. It offers

Although it’s not so close to Manhattan, the neighborhood offers decent public transportation. There are 4 train lines crossing the nabe, 14 subway lines, some bus lines, as well as local bus lines to reach any place in Crown Heights.

The median rent Studio apartment is $1,600, and it is $1,900 for single bedroom apartments. Considering the fact that you may still have an entry-level salary, it’s more likely that you will only be able to afford an apartment with roommates.

Bushwick, Brooklyn

In case you are one of the Brooklyn lovers, find an apartment in this friendly gentrifying neighborhood with relatively low rents. This place is amazing for young and creative professionals, and artists. There are so many graffitis that you can even make a tour to discover the best ones.

As more and more young artists come to Bushwick, it grows the number of galleries located there: Regina Rex, Harbor Gallery, Parallel Art Space, and The BogArt.

Bushwick has great restaurants, such as Bunna Cafe, and Faro, and also cozy cafes. It also has some places with best of New York pizza. You may already have heard of the extremely popular Roberta’s. New bars open here every week, so you’ll have lots of places for a night out.

For the better commute, find an apartment near the L or M subway. Your trip by cab to the JFK Airport will take 25 Minutes in case there’s no traffic. To go to Wall Street or Times Square, spend up to 40 minutes in the subway.

Rental prices are more or less affordable. You will find a Studio apartment in one of its colorful buildings for $1,800 on the average. Single-bedroom apartments cost about $2,000 per month.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Located right across the East River from Manhattan, this former industrial district is known today as Brooklyn’s hippest and inspiring neighborhood with the energetic atmosphere. Those who in-the-know come here for culture, fun and amazing cuisine. Williamsburg is home to many bands, writers, designers, and entrepreneurs.

They also say Williamsburg is one of the best places in NYC to shop.  It has plenty of countless trendy boutiques along with mass market and vintage shops, such as Monk Vintage Thrift Shop, Amarcord, Awoke Vintage, and Rabbits.

Williamsburg is one of New York’s top cuisine spots, so it’s hard to go wrong when you pick a place to eat. One of your first brunch stops should be the famous Le Barricou. The most known bars in Williamsburg are Maison Premiere (try their absinthe cocktails and oysters) and TØRST. We’re sure they’ll become one of your favorite places.

In case the weather is great on Saturday, go to Smorgasburg at Williamsburg’s East River State Park to try food from numerous Brooklyn’s best restaurants. You’d better come hungry, so that you could try all the foods and beverages offered there. You should also spend one of the warm Sundays at the Brooklyn Flea.

When you get tired of all the spending money process, go to McCarren Park and play, say, baseball, basketball, or soccer, or watch the sunset at the East River State Park .

The neighborhood offers great transit and easy commute to Manhattan. The L train will take you into the heart of Manhattan at 14th st., and the M and J will take you to other downtown neighborhoods. Your trip to Wall Street can take 30 minutes by train and 17 minutes by car. You will be at Union Square in 23 minutes when you go by train and 17 minutes when you go by car.

Rental prices are not so low here. Studio apartments are $2,900 per month, while single-bedroom ones are $3,100.

Inwood, Manhattan

When you want to live in Manhattan and look for affordable options, this northern peaceful area should be one of the top choices when finding a neighborhood for young professionals.

There were times when the neighborhood didn’t really have nice places for eating out, but the situation has changed significantly. It’s a friendly place with cozy cafes and restaurants, among which Mamajuana Café and Piper’s Kilt should be mentioned.

For those enjoying outdoor activities, the Inwood Hill Park offers its greenery and space.

74% of Inwood residents commute by car, and only 17% use public transport. Your trip to Midtown will take 45 minutes on the A train.  The daily journey to Times Square will take 33 mins by subway. You will spend 20 minutes going to Laguardia Airport by car, while the commute to JFK Airport will take 35 mins.

The Median rate in March was $2,000. It is possible to find a one-bedroom apartment within the budget of $1,800.

Astoria, Queens

Mentioned as a nice area for families, it is also a budget-friendly neighborhood for young professionals. Astoria newcomers are attracted by relatively low rental prices, which keep rising by the way, as the neighborhood keeps attracting more people every day.

Being one of the popular destinations for young people, Astoria offers numerous places for eating out, affordable gyms and beer gardens. You might have heard that this neighborhood is known as the Greek capital of NYC. Walk along 30th Avenue and Broadway and enjoy the local cuisine. We have selected the following cafes and restaurants for your attention: Taverna Kyclades, The Astor Room, Zenon Taverna, Elias Corner, Kabab Café, The Queens Kikshaw.

The area is home to the Museum of the Moving Image and Astoria Park. The latter offers breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline.

Astoria has a convenient commute to Midtown using the N and Q trains within 30 minutes.

As for rental prices, you can afford a larger apartment here, than in Manhattan. Studio apartments are $1,850 on the average.

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