Jersey and NYC- Design, Transport, and the financial quest

Simple questions… I’d love your input.

If one is working in Manhattan, what are the ups and downs of living in Manhattan vs commuting from New Jersey. Is it worth it? Would it be better to live in the city? How long would it take to get to Penn Station from Princeton?

Also,in terms of $$… NYC is so expensive, and worth it for sure (to many anyway)… Can anyone give input in that area? Is it possible to stay afloat? I hear firms don’t match the increase in cost of living in New York bc they claim just living in NYC is a perk. With the cost of living in the city and or the cost of commuting is

I know this is all very broad, but I would be interested to know whatever you’ve got around the subject!

Thank you!

Firstly, let me start by saying that I’m just a student, but I’ve lived in the area my whole life, so I know a little something.

Many people do in fact commute from NJ to the city. One downside is that you need to pay a city tax (dont know the exact term), which basically taxes you for working in the city and living in NJ, so you might want to take that into consideration.

IMO, living in Princeton is too far of a commute, although I’m sure people do it. The train does go to Princeton, but it would be a pretty long ride (about 90 minutes). Alternatively you could also drive, but that would also be a pretyt long commute. Also, Princeton and the surrounding area is pretty expensive as well, so in the long run you might not be saving money.

Other areas you might want to take into consideration are Brooklyn and Hoboken. I was recently in Brooklyn, and was quite impressed with the area, not nearly as bad as I thought it would be, and the real estate is quite managable (as opposed to Manhattan). Brooklyn does have subway access as well. Hoboken is right across the rive from NYC, in NJ. Its a very nice area, thats completely transformed itself in past 5 years. Its now a very trendy area, and real estate prices are deffinitely rising, so it might be a good investment. There’s also a light rail that travels through the area, and you can take the PATH train for $1.50 from Hoboken to most points south of 33rd street in Manhattan.

Here is a map of the train lines in NJ.
And here is a map of the PATH system that connect Hoboken and surrounding areas to NYC.

Hope that helps.


Are you the same dude from awhile back who posted under the topic “dirty jersey”? If not, check that out - lots of good info.

I’m not a designer, but worked with designers. I worked in NYC for 2 yrs, lived in Manhatten for one, NJ for the other. There are benefits and detriments to both. Can’t answer your question without knowing a little more about you - age, single/married, have you always wanted to live in the city, are you a partyer, space requirements, do you mind wasting 4 hrs five days a week commuting, roommate ok, do you like ramen noodles, do you have ANY money for a downpayment to buy a place,… etc.

generally i’d say if you are young and single don’t even think about not living in the city - you can always move out and may never get the opportunity again. right now is a great time in nyc - in the sense that the city is on a roll in general and it’s spring! You’ll get to know your coworkers better living in the city too. so i guess i have answered your question.

if manhatten is too $$, try brooklyn, jersey city, for a reasonable commute, and hey what about red hook? that’s where i would be looking - still pretty industrial and isolated from what i hear but that absolutely will change and it is SO close - do they have a ferry yet? I wish I was still in the area - I’d buy a loft in red hook, plant some trees and just wait… to make big bucks when services arrive. of course, I’ve never actually BEEN there so I could be full of it…

sorry to keep harping (carping?) - i’m a prospector at heart

oh yeah and where in manhattan is your job? a major consideration when looking at commute/where to live.

If you want to go out to bars or whatever with coworkers, nothing beats living in manhattan as opposed to any of the other boroughs or NJ.

Check out Astoria. I recently moved here and the neighborhood is awesome. Totally safe, all the Greek food you could want (and others), and the commute via the N or W is excellent… from the last stop (Ditmars) it takes 15 min. to 59th & Lex, 20 min. to Times Square. My wife commutes to the village and it takes 45 min. door to door, compared to 1-1/2 hrs. from northern NJ (with three transfers).

The neighborhood is quickly gentrifying (read=costly) but there’s still time to get a good deal.