The Best Places to Live: NYC Neighborhoods

Where is the best place to live in New York City? That all depends on who you ask. There are so many great New York neighborhoods from which to choose, each with its own defining character, its own rhythm, its own strengths and weaknesses, that there are almost as many different types of communities here as there are different types of New Yorkers. And that, needless to say, is a lot.

Even better, most NYC neighborhoods have such vitality, and have so much going for them, that most of us could settle down in any number of places and have it satisfy much, if not all, of our own personal "best place to live" criteria.

AND, of course, because New York City has one of the most extensive, most reliable, and least expensive public transportation systems in the world, your "best place to live" doesn't have to be the same as your best place to work, or to play, or to drink, or to shop, or to eat, or to whatever else you like to do.

In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find a single New York neighborhood in all of the 250 or so listed in the Urban Edge Neighborhood Guide that didn't have its advocates as the best place to live in town. You can continue reading about New York neighborhoods in general, or go directly to the boroughs below to get more in-depth information about each area.  


New York Neighborhoods: Variety Is the Spice of Life

New York City is so huge, and so diverse, that it can support and embrace an enormous range of completely different neighborhoods. Single family detached houses--complete with front and back yards--dominant the landscape in certain New York neighborhoods such as Forest Hills, and Riverdale, and Howard Beach, whereas other communities consist almost entirely of soaring high-rise apartment buildings, like in Midtown, and the Financial District, and Co-op City.

There are New York neighborhoods filled with young people and artists and other creative types which, unsurprisingly, tend toward the raucous (Williamsburg, the Lower East Side), and there are the more genteel New Yorkers who love the majestic old mansions, town houses and apartment buildings in places like the Upper East Side, Riverdale, and Brooklyn Heights.

Families with young children tend to nest in places such as the Upper West Side, and Park Slope, and Greenpoint. And the best place to live in New York City if you love the outdoors could be anywhere near Central Park, Prospect Park, or, for that matter, Rockaway Beach.

Of course, within many New York City neighborhoods there can be a big difference on a block by block basis, usually, though not always, due to the presence of stores, bars and restaurants lining the sidewalks. Christopher Street and Barrow Street in the West Village, for example, or only a block or two apart, but the former practically defines the Village's hedonistic side, and the latter its quaint charm. And in Chelsea, too, the avenues (especially 8th and 9th) can feel like an all-night party, whereas the streets are (especially in the high 20s), are quiet and pretty and loaded with lovely old townhouses.


Urban Edge NYC Neighborhood Guides

The pages that follow features profiles and pictures of some 250 different communities throughout all five boroughs—Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island—as well as areas in Northern New Jersey and Westchester that comprise the Tri-State Area.

On these pages there are an extraordinary variety of  neighborhoods, from bustling Jackson Heights to placid Belle Harbor; from wealthy Tribeca to working class Red Hook; from historic Harlem to spanking-new Battery Park City, and on and on and on. So much variety, in fact, that the best place to live in New York City can be wherever you decide to move.

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