New York City’s Top 5 Neighborhoods — According to You

Rush Hour by Giacomo Carena is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

New Yorkers can be fiercely dedicated to their favorite part of town. Each borough and neighborhood has it’s own personality, steeped in the city’s history.

And though the top New York neighborhoods chosen by local reviewers may seem more like a fanciful wish list for many of us mere mortals, it gives a taste of some of the best that the city offers.

#1: Carnegie Hill

Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum by See-Ming Lee is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The prestigious Carnegie Hill neighborhood is arguably the most sought-after part of town for wealthy families to raise their kids. Just far enough away from nightlife and tourism, the tree-lined streets boast swanky brunch venues and children’s boutiques alongside pre-war brownstones. The competition is fierce to get into the nearby prep schools, which are some of the most elite in the city. Access to Central Park and mansion-museums (like the original Carnegie mansion itself, now the Cooper Hewitt Museum) top off this extremely posh slice of the Upper East Side.

#2: Roosevelt Island

From Roosevelt Island by Sopasnor is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

This thin strip of land on the East River is squeezed between Manhattan and Queens. What was once the home of a prison, an insane asylum, and a smallpox hospital is now a quiet neighborhood full of apartments. Aside from a lone Starbucks, there are no amenities in Roosevelt Island, but locals love the community, the views, and the affordable (for NYC) rent prices.

#3: Gramercy Park

Gramercy Park: Early Spring by Jeffrey Zeldman is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Home to the likes of Kate Hudson and Jimmy Fallon, Manhattan’s Gramercy Park neighborhood is shamelessly exclusive. Renowned for it’s beautiful architecture, opulent restaurants, and pristine streets, these densely packed blocks are mainly reserved for the rich and famous. The verdant park itself is locked away behind an iron fence, and only locals who can afford to pay a hefty fee are allowed an access key.

#4: Riverdale

Wave Hill-7137 by Fernando Sanchez-Magrane is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

This neighborhood in the Bronx is most loved for it’s abundant green spaces, lush forests, and sweeping views of the Hudson. At 30 minutes from Manhattan, it’s also significantly more affordable — though still affluent. True, you’ll have to travel farther for amenities, but Riverdale’s high safety ranking and tight-knit community make it a favorite place to buy a home.

#5: Upper West Side

Amsterdam Av by Sean Davis is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The Upper West Side is the neighborhood you always imagine when you daydream about living in New York. Central Park on one side, Riverside Park on the other, its main asset is the diversity of people who call this thriving, bustling, eclectic neighborhood home. Celebrities, artists, and students alike pay extortionate prices for their shoebox apartments in order to live in the beating heart of the city. Transportation is abundant, the cultural scene world-class, and amenities are plentiful. Plus, it’s just far enough away from the nightlife that you can actually enjoy a quiet night’s sleep.

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