The ultimate guide to the five boroughs of NYC

The decision to move to NYC is an easy one to make. However, choosing which of the five boroughs on NYC to move to is a different thing entirely. All of them come with their pros and cons. Also, all of them are magnificent places to settle in. Still, it’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for in order to be able to find what you need. Therefore, before you even start looking for a place to move to in NYC, you should think about what kind of place you are going to need. Then, you should come back and read this article again. Today, we are going to share with you the most important information on each and every one of the five boroughs of NYC. So, once ready to make your decision, come back here and let us help you choose the right borough for you.

FDR Drive
Manhattan offers a lot to those who move here, but asks a lot in return as well

The five boroughs of NYC

Before we go any further, we need to start from the basics. How many boroughs of NYC are you familiar with? To decide to move to one of them, you need to find out as much as you can about them all. So, before you start looking for moving reviews NYC, let us help you by naming all five of them:

  • Manhattan
  • Brooklyn
  • Queens
  • The Bronx
  • Staten Island

While you might have not known that all of these are the five boroughs of NYC, surely you have heard of all of them. So, let’s get more into details now, shall we?

Manhattan

Manhattan is the most famous of all of the five boroughs of NYC. In fact, more often than not it is used as a synonymous for the whole city of NYC.

Manhattan is an island situated between the Hudson and East rivers. To the west, just across the Hudson River lies New Jersey. If you were to look to the east and across the East River, Brooklyn and the Long Island await. Heading to the north and across the Harlem River, you would find yourself in another borough of New York – the Bronx. The south of Manhattan is made out of the shores of the Upper Bay and the Governers Island, the southernmost tip of this borough. Grab a ferry and within 20 minutes you will find yourself upon the docks of the Staten Island. Geographically speaking, Manhattan represents the heart of New York.

Not only is this the most famous of all five boroughs of NYC, but it is also economically the most important one. Down in the Financial District is where the stock exchange is located. Wallstreet is perhaps the most famous street in the borough. Different international companies, corporations, and banks have their headquarters located here. However, the Financial District is not the only economic powerhouse here. The whole of Manhattan represents one large corporate headquarter. Even the United Nations Headquarters is located on the East Side. Therefore, if you are looking to live in the epicenter, the so-called concrete jungle, is to place to be at.

The costs of living

However, the question that needs answering is whether you can afford to move to Manhattan. There are plenty of those who can’t.

One of the biggest issues about living in Manhattan represents the costs of housing and living in general. With the wave of gentrification that began about twenty years ago, many long-time residents had to look for a new place to live in. Simply, Manhattan has become too expensive for the working class to live in. In fact, as time goes by, the construction industry and the general amenities that Manhattan provides people with are turning Manhattan into a refuge for the rich. Therefore, make sure to take a look at the diagram below in order to fully understand the costs of living in such an exclusive place.

 

cost of living

The best neighborhoods to live in

In the case that you are certain that you can sustain yourself while living in Manhattan, you should choose the neighborhood to live in. These are the best ones to look into moving to. The following are the top five: Upper West Side, Lenox Hill on the Upper East Side, Washington Heights, Battery City Park, Gramercy Park.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Living in the most diverse place in the country
  • Plenty of job opportunities
  • Leisure activities easy to find including nightlife options
  • Finely organize public transportation system

Cons:

  • The costs of living are very high
  • Crowded streets and public transport
  • Streets tend to get jammed due to a high number of cars, trucks, etc.
  • Hectic environment

Brooklyn

With more than 2.5 million people living here, Brooklyn is a larger borough of New York than Manhattan and is the largest borough of New York. In fact, if all boroughs were denominated cities and compared as such to other cities in the country, Brooklyn would come in third, just behind LA and Chicago. Hopefully, know you will have a better idea of how large this place really is. It is located eastwards from Manhattan, just across the East River. While it used to be frowned upon by the residents of the most famous borough of New York, Brooklyn today represents a vibrant and desirable place to live in New York.

Bridges connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan
Brooklyn and Manhattan are very well connected

The costs of living in Brooklyn as one of the five boroughs of NYC

You are going to be hearing a lot about gentrification in this article. The reason behind it is the fact that it has had a very high influence on living in the whole of New York City. As Manhattan became too expensive to live in, its residents had few options on their plate about what they could do in order to bridge the income gap. One option was to try and get a better paying job that would allow them to stay and live in this amazing place that Manhattan is. The second option that they had was to find a new place to live in. Moving to Brooklyn and to any other of the five NYC boroughs became a legitimate decision. Given the fact that New Jersey is located so close, it also attracted some of the former Manhattan residents.

Usually, this second option is the one that became the dominant one. Since then, Brooklyn turned into one of the popular places to live in NYC. With a vibrant social and nightlife, far more affordable costs of living and good connections to Manhattan, Brooklyn nowadays represents the go-to borough of New York City for living a normal life.

The best neighborhoods to live in – Brooklyn

Given the fact that Brooklyn is much bigger than Manhattan, you will have plenty more options when it comes to choosing the neighborhood to move to. Today, we are going to take a look at the top five: Williamsburg, Carrol Gardens, Bay Ridge, Prospect Heights, and Brooklyn Heights.

Brooklyn bridge
Brooklyn Bridge is one of the points of interest for all of those who move to NYC

Pros and Cons

Let’s take a look at the good and the bad aspects of living in Brooklyn, New York.

Pros:

  • Easier to find affordable housing
  • Overall affordability
  • Good public transport connections to other boroughs
  • You can bike almost anywhere

Cons:

  • Gentrification is arriving in Brooklyn too. Therefore, it is expected that the prices will be rising
  • Not as quality jobs on offer as in Manhattan
  • Local convenience stores do not have opening hours like in Manhattan

Queens

We are still staying on Long Island. However, we are leaving Brooklyn, and are heading eastwards. We are making our next stop in Queens, NY.

Queens is the easter farthermost borough of New York. While it is the second most populated borough right after Brooklyn, Queens is the largest one geographically. In terms of population, we are talking about 2.3 million people living in this amazing place. As time goes by, more and more people decide to settle in right here. By moving to Queens, they are provided with more affordable living conditions than in the first two boroughs that we talked about. Also, given the lower prices of living and housing means that for families, Queens is one of the best places to move to.

Simply, for the price of a somewhat modest flat in Manhattan, where you can expect to rent or buy a house. Having your own backyard is priceless especially if you have kids or you may be thinking about having them soon. Therefore, you should make sure to take Queens into serious consideration when choosing which of the five boroughs of NYC to move to.

Queens as one of the Five Boroughs of NYC has its own train terminal
The rent can vary in Queens depending on how close or far from the train station you are

The costs of living in Queens

Before we get into the details of the costs of living in Queens, we need to point out one important thing. The greater area that we are talking about here is New York City. So, even though we may be referring to more or less affordable areas to live in, it is important to bear in mind that all of the boroughs are going to be very expensive for people coming in from basically any other part of the country. Therefore, just please keep in mind that, when we denote one is affordable for living in NYC when compared to a smaller town elsewhere, it is still going to appear pretty expensive.

So, even though you may be moving to Queens, you will not be moving long distance to Manhattan, you are still going to be on the rout the New York. Therefore, you can expect pretty high costs of housing and living. However, Queens makes the prices pretty relative comparing to Manhattan. Why is that? Well, first of all, while Queens does have a lot to offer in terms of quality of life, it is not Manhattan. Therefore, you can expect it to be more affordable. On the other hand, you will still be living in one of the most expensive greater areas in the nation. From this point of view, it is easy to understand why Queens will still be expensive.

The location matters

However, the location itself in Queens can tell you a lot about how cheap or expensive housing is going to be. In fact, the closer you are to Manhattan, thus shorter the commute, the expected price of the rent should go up. However, if you would be moving farther away, you could get so much more for the money you invest. On the other hand, the length of your commute will increase linearly.

Therefore, make sure to know your priorities. If you can afford to live close to the city, do it. Otherwise, if you do not have to, then choose to move to a part of Queens in which you will be living a more sheltered and comfortable life.

why live in Queens

 

The best neighborhoods to live in the five boroughs of NYC – Queens

As we have seen, Queens is very large. Therefore, you are going to have plenty of options to choose from. We would suggest moving to New York‘s best neighborhoods in Queens: Astoria, Jamaica Estate, Long Island City, Sunny Side, and Forest Hill.

Ultimately, the choice is going to be pretty personal for everyone. Therefore, know what you are after and choose wisely.

Pros and cons of living in Queens

Pros:

  • Easier to find affordable housing
  • Great place to move to with kids
  • Quality public schools
  • Great for outdoor activities
  • Vibrant nightlife

Cons:

  • High costs of living when compared to the national average
  • Expensive rent
  • Selection of jobs is not as abundant as in Manhattan

The Bronx

Finally, we are off of Long Island. Now, we are heading to one of the places that used to be used as a synonym for shady business and crime. At least, that is what the blockbuster movies wanted us to believe in. The Bronx is nothing like it today. Still, the atmosphere of these long-forgotten days can still be felt in certain areas of the borough.

The Bronx is located across the Harlem River and east from Manhattan, but north from Queens. Out of all five boroughs of NYC, this is the only one predominantly sitting on the mainland USA. This is the third-most densely populated county in the country and with slightly less than 1.5 million inhabitants, represents the borough with the fourth-highest population within New York City.

Yankee stadium is located in the Bronx, one of the Five Boroughs of NYC
By moving to The Bronx you get easy access to the Yankee stadium

Throughout history and especially in the second part of the twentieth century, The Bronx represented the working-class borough. In the second half of the 20th century, the situation got particularly bad. The living conditions deteriorated significantly and many buildings became vacated. Crime flourished. Fortunately, in the 1990s the borough saw new investments coming in. With them, the living conditions improved and the jobs became more available. Since then, The Brox came a long way. Still, this borough remains working progress still. Nevertheless, it is still part of the Big Apple and offers a lot to those looking to move to The Bronx. Therefore, if you are looking to get your thing going in New York, settling in The Bronx may be the path that you should follow.

Cost of living in one of the five boroughs of NYC – The Bronx

As you can expect, The Bronx is cheaper than all of the previous boroughs that we talked about. In fact, this is the cheapest borough to live in. So, if getting the most for your money, relocation to The Bronx is something that you should consider.

However, when choosing the place to live in, make sure to bear in mind the fact that there is the reason why the Brox is cheaper than the rest of the city. While the situation nowadays is better there than thirty years ago, it is still the least safe of the five boroughs in NYC. Additionally, the location and the selection of available jobs is going to play a role in the general costs of living. Given the fact that the commute from The Bronx to all major employers is going to be longer and the quality of premises lower, you should deduce why the rent is going to be cheaper.

why move to the Bronx

 

The best neighborhoods to live in the five boroughs of NYC – The Bronx

Even though it may be smaller, The Bronx is still big enough for choosing among the neighborhoods to live in. These are the top five that we would suggest looking into: Riverdale, Kingsbridge, Fordham, Pelham Bay, Concourse.

Pros and cons of living in The Bronx

Pros:

  • The most affordable of all five boroughs of NYC
  • Affordable housing
  • Finding parking easier than elsewhere in NYC
  • Home to the largest park in NYC

Cons:

  • Rent is expected to go up as the wave of gentrification splashes against the shores of the South Bronx, popularly known and SoBro
  • The rate of drug presence and violent crimes is higher than in other boroughs

Staten Island

Slowly but surely, we have reached the last borough. Welcome to the southernmost of all five boroughs of NYC – Staten Island!

A boat ride from Manhattan towards the Staten Island, one of the Five Boroughs of NYC

Staten Island is located to the south from Manhattan about a 20-minute ride with a ferry and shares bridge connections with New Jersey and Brooklyn. This island is the least populated borough of the five. With less than half-a-million, it is far below what we have used to from New York City boroughs. Nevertheless, it is third-largest in size. Therefore, we can freely say that, in the case that you were looking for a place with a feeling of space, Staten Island is the one to move to.

Unlike the rest of the city, this is the borough where most of the residents own their homes. While Staten Island offers a lot in terms of job opportunities, outdoor activities, restaurants and nightlife, it is very different from the rest of NYC. Life here tends to feel far more laid back and less hectic. The crowded streets are something that you should not expect to experience in this borough, for example.

Tourism and transportation

Staten Island is very popular with tourists as well. Given the fact that it is a ferry-ride away from Manhattan, plenty of tourists would rather choose to take a ride from lower Manhattan to the Staten Island for the joy of viewing the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Governors Island than wait for the line to see them from up close.

Similarly, for those who work in lower Manhattan, living in Staten Island is a very good idea. The waterway through Upper Bay is never jammed. Therefore, the commute can turn out much to be shorter than going to The Bronx for example. Still, given the fact that this place shares no road connections to another place than Brooklyn or New Jersey, travel and commute can be pretty difficult, depending on where you work.

Costs of living in Staten Island

Staten Island is far from a cheap place to live. Given the fact that this is a somewhat isolated place of living, the prices are slightly higher than the city’s average. Get more details from the picture below:

staten island population by year

While an island, it is still divided into neighborhoods. There are the top five to look for an apartment in the case that you are looking to move to Staten Island: West Brighton, Great Kills, Huguenot, Bay Terrace, and New Drop.

Pros and cons of living in Staten Island

There is probably no perfect place for living, but all of them have their good side and the bad ones. Therefore, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of living in Staten Island:

  • Less hectic environment
  • Quality education facilities available
  • Continuous development
  • Easy access to Manhattan, Brooklyn, and New Jersey

    Statue of Liberty is something that all Five Boroughs of NYC are proud of
    Instead of entering the Statue of Liberty, many decide to ride a ferry by it

Cons:

  • Pretty expensive housing for living alone in NYC
  • Limited transportation
  • Job availability in comparison to other parts of the city

The five boroughs of NYC – which one to move to?

The five boroughs of NYC can offer something for anyone. It is up to you to decide what you are after. Once you do this, use this article of ours to help you choose the best place to live in.

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