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Living in Queens NY | 5 Invaluable Tips

May 22, 2014

Did you know: If Queens collectively decided to rebel from the concrete establishment of NYC and do its own thang, it would establish itself as the fourth largest city in the United States, larger than Houston, Philadelphia, and even that one person town in Nebraska? (It would be Nebraska, wouldn't it.) And yet picky renters talk about Queens like it's a second-rate place to go, after you can't find that one perfect apartment for less than a million dollars a month or so. Let's prove them wrong, Queens! For those who are considering living in Queens, or those who are already here, here's 5 tips on how to best do your thang and live it up in the best borough of NYC.*

*Potential bias may be present due to the corporeal location of the author.

1. Get Used to the Diversity

And when we say diversity, we mean everything. The neighborhoods cover all walks of life, from the young professionals of Astoria to the Chinatown (and Koreatown, and Japantown, and etc.) of Flushing, to the overhyped glamour of Forest Hills. So do the people. You'll find East Asians, Indians, Armenians, Romanians, and every other -ians on the planet. Sometimes even Americans. If you're looking for a niche culture, you've come to the right place.

2. Everything Is Cheaper When You're Living in Queens

But actually. The average apartment rent in Queens is over $1,000 cheaper a month. One THOUSAND dollars. Imagine how many extra bars of chocolate that can buy you a month. And it's not only the apartment costs. Food, utilities, and the overall cost of living is lower too. By moving from Manhattan to Queens, you can probably save yourself an extra $20,000 a year: money that could be put to good use stuffing your face with chocolate.

3. Living in Queens Doesn't Mean You Can't Work in Manhattan

In fact, it's the complete opposite. Astoria, one of the biggest up-and-coming places in Queens, boasts a 20-minute train ride to Midtown Manhattan, and the drive is even quicker. The commute time is typically no longer than that of Brooklyn residents working in Manhattan, and who'd want to live in Brooklyn anyways?All-in-all, the extra ten to twenty minutes of commuting every day is definitely worth the gigantic chocolate eggs awaiting you at the end of the tunnel.

4. Gentrification Has Made Queens Enjoyable to Live In

Queens has never had the "artistic, hipster" vibe of Brooklyn that really just indicated tattoos and grungy looking bars, so its form of gentrification has been nowhere near as noticeable. However, its variety of small, ethnic enclaves are rapidly becoming larger and better developed, and its wealthier areas such as Jackson Heights and Elmhurst are spreading into the surrounding neighborhoods. Throughout Queens, gentrification is a slow but steady reality that's made it a viable location for many people in the past ten years.

5. Excellent Cultural Events Benefit Those Living in Queens

Queens, because of its high diversity and multitude of separate but flourishing cultures, has among the best offerings of free events in New York City. The Museum of Art now offers Passport Fridays, a free outdoor music or dance performance featuring international culture followed by a film. Weekly Latin Festivals take place at the Thalia Spanish Theatre in Sunnyside. Noguchi Museum is offering free concerts in its sculpture garden every other Sunday. Take advantage of all the opportunities available in Queens, cause there's some things you won't find anywhere else. (sit, down, Staten Island).

Need more reason to move to Queens? Just check out these freakishly low rents in Queens.