Friday, April 23, 2010

Which Neighborhood Should You Really Be Living In?

By Brooklyn Bill

There was a lot to enjoy in New York magazine's special Neighborhoods issue (dated April 19). "Urban Villagers," was an interesting look at the history of the city's ever-evolving neighborhoods. "Clash of the Bearded Ones" examined the conflicts betweens hipsters and Hasids in Williamsburg, particularly over a bicycle lane on Bedford Avenue that exposed ultra-Orthodox Satmar men to the temptations of women in spandex.* And then there was Nate Silver's ranking of "The Most Livable Neighborhoods in New York."

It was kind of fun to see my neighborhood, Park Slope, at the top of the overall ranking, even though it didn't come in first in a single one of the categories used to quantify livability and was 40th out of 60 for housing cost, the category that was given the heaviest weighting.

Silver and his editors acknowledged that your priorities might differ from the ones they selected in creating the ranking. With that in mind, they put a Livability Calculator on the Web site that lets you figure out which neighborhood is best for you. I pumped up the weightings for safety, green space, and health & environment and dropped the weighting for schools. The results: I should really live in Tribeca, with West Village/Meatpacking, Brooklyn Heights, East Village, and Murray Hill rounding out my top five.

Where should you live?

*There were no doubt some Satmar men tempted by men in spandex and some Satmar women tempted by either men or women in spandex and some men and women who were tempted by both men and women in spandex, but they apparently didn't count to the Satmar leaders.

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