This weekend we caught the subway down to the southern tip of Manhattan. We walked on Wall st, walked to Battery Park, to the South St. Seaport shopping area, and a lot of places in between. Our goal was to check out the neighborhood. The FIDI (financial district) area has been adding residential buildings and many of those were offering 2 months free rent and other incentives.
The moment we popped up out of the subway, the thing that struck us was how cavernous that area is. The streets are really narrow- European narrow- and the buildings are super tall. The effect is...rather darkish and intimidating. Walking around the streets (which are not in a grid like they are further north) was so unlike what we're used to on the Upper West Side!
We were also on the lookout for restaurants and the like. We were told to check out Stone st and Broadway. If you're looking for a tavern, a bar, and anything else that serves burgers and beer, you could toss a rock in any direction and hit one. Nicer restaurants are harder to find, and there seems to be little variety. It's a neighborhood of caverns and taverns. Filled with tourists.
Then we walked to Battery park to check out the recreation spot. We use our parks a lot on the Upper West Side, so any neighborhood we consider would need to have good park access. Battery park is quaint, but such a tourist spot that you can't walk two feet without being solicited for some schlocky tourist trinket or food or whatever. It was not a way to relax. From there we walked to the South St. Sea Port. It's a shopping area that is sorta like the on on the pier in San Francisco...nothing really new. It is cute, but it doesn't sell the neighborhood.
Finally we looked at a few of the apartments up for offer. We had already decided that unless the apartments were huge at huge savings, this neighborhood wasn't for us. The apartments were pretty cool- both were new in newly renovated buildings. The first ones we saw were a touch too small to be considered a price savings. The second one we saw was also nice. It was equivalent in square footage to what we have, had a half bath and a huge master bath (with two sinks!) and super nice kitchen appliances (and the required for us washer /dryer, which is unusual in Manhattan). They had a roof top deck that was more than sweet, with amazing views of the city. An amazing gym, great facilities. I could go on. With their two months free offer, we would save something like $500 a month. But only for the first year, and their leases were minimum two year leases. If that building were in a different neighborhood, we might have been taken in by it all. BUT being stuck in a two year lease, in a neighborhood we don't love, in a place equal in size (around 900 sq feet) just doesn't make it worth it.
We headed back up town and walked a little (by this time I was dragging with fatigue) and went home. It was nice to be in the relatively open streets of the Upper West Side.