Archives 2016

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Queens Plaza North
Queens Plaza North

Queensboro Plaza 7, N, Q Stop

This is the first stop from Manhattan and the default first stop of Astoria. There are lots of new developments in the area, but only recently have restaurants and food options popped up alongside the older bodegas. Rents here are very expensive and close to Manhattan prices but if ...

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If you ask a New Yorker where in the city they can find affordable roommate housing NYC you may get a wide range of responses. But if you narrow your question down to specifically NYC rooms for students (whether it’s NYC graduate housing, NYC intern housing, NYC international student housing or NYC ESL housing) the answer you are most likely going to get is to look at renting in Astoria with roommates. Learn a new word: Co-living, it means living with roommates in furnished shared spaces.

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Astoria MTA subway map snippet
Astoria MTA subway map snippet

Asrai, a new New York transplant by way of Washington State, has decided to volunteer her time to provide foreign insight into the different communities of New York City. Starting with a series of different blog entries, she will explore the different subway stops within a 5 minute walk of each side of the subway tracks to provide her unique perspective into these NYC neighborhoods.

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Mitchell’s Map of Manhattan and Brooklyn (1890)
Mitchell’s Map of Manhattan and Brooklyn (1890)

About me:

Entire life in real estate and construction management. Built hotels for general contractor of Marriott Hotels for 5 years. Entrepreneur for international student housing. Worked for New York City at HPD and EDC. Property management experience in industrial, hospitality, residential, office assets. Former grad student at Columbia and NYU. Buildings nerd. Urban planning aficionado.

After grad school almost 6 years ago, I was trying to find a work life balance and figure out what locations were the best for me on an entry level budget. The commute to work from Staten Island had been too crazy. Often, I would take a journey by walking 10 minutes, taking the SIRR, a Ferry, then the subway to get to a final destination. I needed to find a place that was affordable and safe, but also a 40 minute or less commute to the center of Manhattan. I looked for short walks to subway access, and no bus transfers.

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Intersection of Astoria Blvd and 21st Street
Intersection of Astoria Blvd and 21st Street

When stepping off the train you can look out from the overpass to the Triboro Bridge (now RFK) stretching away over the East River. Hoyt Park is below and constitutes the size of a very large block. There are tennis and basketball courts, park benches and wheelchair accessibility. Some medium sized trees line both sides of a wide walkway through the middle.

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Intersection of 31st Street and Ditmars Blvd
Intersection of 31st Street and Ditmars Blvd

The last stop on the N and Q trains brings you to a kind of town center. There is a general grocery store, CVS, pharmacy, delis, smoke shops, nail salons and second hand stores for clothing and furniture, among many other businesses. The community here has a diverse composition of mostly young adults, students, international students and old time families that have lived here for many years. It is friendly and bustling by day, by night you will find occasional bar hoppers, the standard Astoria taco truck and the low murmur of friends or couples walking by. The main commercial areas compose of Ditmars Blvd, 23rd Ave and 31st Street. This station is very convenient, all you may need can be found in this little alcove of a community. From groceries, hardware stores, banks and exotic foreign foods, one can just spend their free time without having to leave Astoria Ditmars to get what they need.

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