10 November 2007

Manhattan – Fairfield, NJ

NEW YORK En läsare ville skicka några frågor om att bo i New York. Jag skrev då att jag inte hinner svara individuellt i mail till alla okända som skickar frågor till mig, men att jag kan göra det här i bloggen så att det kommer fler till del.

Nu har frågorna kommit, och det är flera av dem som jag inte kan svara på utan att göra en massa research på nätet. Så om någon av er vet mer får ni gärna fylla på med information i kommentarfältet! Även om vissa frågor är specifika har de säkert allmänintresse.


If I move to New York...

1. Can I work in Fairfield, New Jersey and live in Manhattan?
I had actually never heard about Fairfield at all before and know very little about New Jersey. In fact, I always screw up when I try to go to New Jersey to visit some friend.
Now when I look at Fairfield in Google Maps, it looks like it's possible – but you will have to put up with quite a commute, I guess.
I have a friend who works in Somers, upstate New York, and who used to live in White Plains. Now, she has moved to Manhattan and drives to her work every day. I, who work at home and only commute between my rooms, think it sounds very cumbersome and tiring – but of course many people do these trips every day. Look at the map and compare Fairfield, NJ, to Somers, NY. Maybe that's a clue.

1a. Any particular place in Manhattan that makes it easier to get to Fairfield?
As close as possible to Penn Station, from where the New Jersey trains leave. If you want to drive to Fairfield, maybe consider Hoboken or any other place in New Jersey where it would be close to Manhattan as well but still not Suburbialand.

1b. Any idea of how long time the commute would take??
No idea. Check Google Maps for car distances, and the New Jersey Transit Trip Planner for the train.
Update: Google Maps says it would take me 37 minutes to drive there from my home in Harlem! I guess that is not during rush hours.

1c. Can I park a car at the train station in New Jersey and drive the last mile, or is it smarter to park in Manhattan and drive all the way? Cost of garage or parking spot in Manhattan?
I have vague ideas about garage costs in Manhattan, I only know they sound expensive to me. Maybe some blog readers are better clued-in about this? I guess people in Fairfield would be better sources for the first question.

2. I was thinking about a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom fairly new apartment – any idea of what that would cost to rent? I know it varies a lot but anyhow?
As of housing costs, check out Craig's List which really has become the golden standard for apartment hunts. I would guess maybe 4 000 dollars/month? Sorry, I don't really know...
I checked what Craig's List has as of 3BR's on Manhattan and here's the list that came up.

3. Any area of Manhattan you would especially recommend? We are two empty nesters, who aren't partying every night, or every month either for that matter.
There are so many nice parts of Manhattan, it's hard to recommend anything without knowing who you are (lest your budget). I suggest being close to a subway station and in a neighborhood that feels lively and vibrant without being too noisy. Avoid traffic.
I would say Upper West Side! It's close to Central Park, cultural events around Lincoln Center, nice restaurants and great food stores and other things I assume empty nesters like. It has several calm streets, yet is close to the action and has that fantastic Manhattan vibe to it. But Hoboken might actually also be a good option for you, since you would be going further into New Jersey – it is also cheaper than Manhattan, even though maybe not that much cheaper.
Another idea might be Washington Heights, which has some nice areas (for example just south of Fort Tryon Park). Washington Heights is generally cheaper than most parts of Manhattan, and also you would be close to George Washington Bridge (which leads you to New Jersey).
The large real estate broker firm Barbara Corcoran has a neighboorhood guide which might be helpful!


  1. Gunilla,

    Thanks, you always have some good insights. Not sure about Hoboken, but Upper West side sounds very nice.

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  4. Upper West Side is indeed very nice! I wouldn't mind living there myself; however, the area has quite a few different micro-neighborhoods that have vastly different characters. Living close to Zabar's could never be wrong, I think!

    I have friends who moved from Manhattan to Hoboken, because one of them worked somewhere in New Jersey. They recently moved back to Manhattan, after 2–3 years in Hoboken, because they realized they wanted to be in the City – and being in New Jersey didn't, after all, save that much commuting time.
    I understand why they chose Manhattan and would make the same choice – however, it was nice visiting them in Hoboken, it has an urban feel to it. And then there's the difference in rent...

    Upper East Side might be an option, too, although not very convenient for a NJ commute. The same goes for Park Slope and the other nice areas in Brooklyn.

    Chelsea has some nice townhouse streets, but I guess it's pretty pricey.

    In the area which is called Clinton/Hell's Kitchen/Western Midtown, there are a lot of new huge buildings, and maybe good deals can be made there – I don't know? I think it feels a little isolated, though, but on the other hand you would be close to the Lincoln Tunnel.