You just got your college diploma and now like thousands of other people in their early-twenties or many others in their twenties in general, have acted on the decision to move to NYC. So you search up the areas of the city to live in, find affordable apartments, and want to know where to live to enjoy your time in the city. While you will read about the fanciest bars based on Yelp reviews or get a general description, I make this list for all young people (particularly men) who are looking to make the move and describe each area for you.
The list serves the purpose to give you an idea of what each area is about and it’s character.
Lower East Side (LES) and East Village.
College in your twenties and IT IS TIME TO PARTY!
Bars on almost every corner, quite dumpy looking but arguably one of the most fun parts of the city. The crowd is usually fresh out of college or very much a crowd of people stuck in their having fun, drinking, and getting wasted part of life. At times safety does become a concern and it is not the cleanest area but in terms of young energy, tough to rival. For a young guy looking to have the time of his life, tough to rival. Expensive apartments but the area is changing as you start getting more luxury apartments being built.
The infamous rooftop is Mr. Purple but it is largely a tourist spot, largely consisting of people from New Jersey and Connecticut. Outside of Mr. Purple you get a lot of local favorites such as Los Feliz which is a huge dance spot that gets packed, Pianos which has its own character, and East Village has its own bars.
East Village is more of a tame version of the Lower East Side, slightly less wild but that’s not saying much.
NYU and yes, college in your twenties!
Home to NYU, largely a college crowd, many dive bars, and slightly more quirky than the Lower East Side which leans more towards being fratty. West Village is its own place where you get NYC locals, mostly in their twenties, partying and having fun. The vibe is more chill and relaxed compared to being wild college atmosphere of the Lower East Side, bars are also more relaxed. Overall feels less dumpy and a lot safer than the Lower East Side but still retains its young energy. Bars also have more of a local Manhattan crowd to them which means more local women.
Classy, fashion, and bars that are tough to get into.
Lots of Europeans to be found here, many tourists go since it has that brand name, and apartments are very expensive unless you get lucky. You will drop a lot of money at bars in the area, highly recommended you go with a large group as some bars will have a cover charge unless you are coming with hot girls. If you are diligent and do enough exploring, you will find bars where a lot of the wealthier young people party at. You can also find a lot of European women out and about here.
I do not go out here much as it is mainly the fashion scene but the area is also surprisingly dumpy, going through a lot of reconstruction. The scene is very high-end but you will luck out at certain bars where the people who would normally be rude elsewhere are nicer here.
Expensive, classy, and brand name.
One of the most expensive areas of the city to live in unless you get lucky. While not known for its bar scene and largely known for its film and arts scene, you will find a few good hole in the wall places that will give you a great experience. I have not been out here as much but expect to drop a lot of money here.
The scene in Tribeca is also a good bit older, a lot of older guys out and about with younger women than elsewhere in Manhattan. Stone paved streets found in this area often give it the look and feel of a European city, which is popular with tourists. I have not gone out here to party much or go out much myself although a friend of mines swears by some spots here as being fun and hidden gems.
Chelsea and Midtown West.
Home of Time Square and as you go further west, the infamous Meatpacking District.
Tourists galore, high-end club scene, exclusive mainstream nightclubs, a lot of rich kids, and the main place everyone goes to part at. Depending on where you go, expect a lot of Jersey crowds in places like Brass Monkey and bars near it while Europeans will often go to the fancier nightclubs in the area. A few good rooftop bars and the who’s who of nightclubs are all found here. The scene is very image heavy and you will often find a celebrity or two partying at the amazing spots in the area every now and then.
Go to the German themed Biertgarten for a nice pre-game and then head on out and about to the other clubs in the area. Wait in line for a long time if you get in after 10 PM, expect to be turned away or pay a high cover if you are only there with guys, and go about striving hard to be a part of the elite that can live that life. Expect all of your friends who are gung ho about NYC nightlife to go here at least regularly in their first year in the city.
Murray Hill and Midtown East.
Frat bro central with lots of good Indian food, another area which is to some degree college in your twenties.
An up and coming area of the city with the United Nations not that far away, often in the area depending on how you look at it (Kips Bay is interchanged with Murray Hill a lot). Expect to see a lot of Penn St, Syracuse and Michigan gear for some odd reason as you are out and about. The bars are largely either all Irish themed with many bartenders right out of Ireland or Midwestern themed with flags of Midwestern schools hanging outside.
A great deal of people move here fresh out of college in their twenties, giving it the younger vibe. Bars are very much gathering spots for everyone in their young to mid twenties looking to party hard. A lot less grungy than the Lower East Side with less bars but still an overall fun scene. Everyone still opps to party in the LES when it is all said and done.
Stuy town in nearby with its unique brand of apartments and own community. You get Gramercy which has its own brand of bars that are also real fratty with some bars filling up fast in the summer due to intern season.
Upper East Side (UES) and Upper West Side (UWS).
Alright kids, time to settle down! Time to take a walk in Central Park. If done right, cougar paradise.
Families, peaceful (relatively speaking), and the place in NYC you go to raise a family when you are rich and have made it in the city. UWS and UES are places where affluent New Yorkers who hate the idea of moving to Jersey or Long Island raise their kids. Significantly more Republican than your typical Manhattan neighborhoods but if you do it right, it can have its fun with being a cougar paradise. While I do not recommend any young guy live there if he wants to have fun, I highly recommend going out every now and then to have your cougar fantasy.
Financial District (FIDI).
Quiet! It’s the weekend.
A place where people go to work and on weekends leave. Not much of a scene to be found there but do expect to get some really good real estate deals if you can grin and bare it. Older crowd for the most part or just type A personalities that prefer the peace and quiet. Expect higher quality apartments but sacrifice a lot on the fun as a result.