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Mod Note (Andy): #TBT, Originally posted on April, 2012

The New York City area is home to nearly 20 million people and 20 trillion cockroaches living together in blissful harmony. Well over 1 million people alone are packed into the 23 square miles that make up the island of Manhattan. New York is known for high rents, high couture, and of course - high finance. Every summer, waves of newly-minted investment bankers descend upon the city, snapping up apartments left and right in several of the many neighborhoods and areas in proximity to Wall Street.

Let's take a walk down NYC's East Side and survey the typical mistmaker lifestyle in a few of the City's most banker-heavy nabes:


The sweet nectar of Bud Light

    1. The Murray Hill Bro-Shak

    Four banker bros just graduated together from the same frat and all landed jobs in finance in NYC. At first, they considered trying to find an apartment on the Upper East Side, because that's where the smokeshows on Gossip Girl lived. Then they realized that 90th and York is actually pretty quiet, and man, there are like, so many families up in that area.

    Inevitably, like a ten-ton magnet, the wafts of Victoria's Secret perfume, the blaring tunes of The Boss, and the familiar stank of sweat-n-booze-stained wooden floors attracts these strapping young fist pumpers to the Hill. Armed with fray-brim Duke Lacrosse douchetops, you'll find the typical inhabitants of a Murray Hill Bro-Shak throwing "totally sick pregames" every Saturday night somewhere around East 34th.


    2. The Stuy-Town Single

    The fifth bro of the group got in the rental market a little late - as the one guy with a long-term girlfriend in another city, he was the obvious odd man out, and fell behind in the apartment hunting game.


    The world's biggest post-college dorm

    While he still wanted to be close to his college bros and Bar XII, there weren't any studios or 1-beds available in Bro Shak Country. So he caved in and called the number on the banner ad on the 6 train, and ended up in a small convert in Stuy Town. What he didn't realize at the time is that he'd stumbled upon a goldmine. Packed with similarly-clueless college grads, this banker bro's go-to mass text quickly became "Stuy Town then Still Bar!"

    Needless to say, the long-term relationship didn't work out - trolling the elevator banks in Stuy Town was just too easy.


    3. The East Villager

    Below 14th Street, you find young bankers in an identity crisis. Too inexperienced to navigate the trendy yet hit-or-miss LES apartment market, yet savvy enough to avoid the neverending jello-shot parade that dominates life north of 20th, the East Villager decides to settle into an overpriced renovated walkup on lower 2nd Ave.


    So, so awful... yet so good.

    In stark contrast to his roommate - an old friend who took a decidedly different path in life and works at Generation Records - this young banker suits up every day, slogs past the piss-stained KFC on East 14th, and takes the train from Union Square to his midtown office feeling like a sellout. He chose the East Village because hey - he's not really a frattastic banker bro. He snags Mudd Coffee and hits the Greenmarket on the weekends. In the evenings, he takes pleasure in trading his pressed shirt and tie for a rumpled flannel. He voted for Obama and might even do it again. But once in awhile, he'll dig deep into his dresser, throw on a polo, and hit 13th Step. Secretly, he thinks Carly Rae Jepsen is insanely catchy, but don't tell that to anyone at Knitting Factory.


    4. The SoHo Sophisticate

    In every first-year investment banking class, there is always a son of great privilege. Raised on the Upper East Side and educated at Trinity, upon graduating from Penn, this young man had the sophistication and parental means to secure a 2,000 square foot loft on Mercer Street. On the weekends, the Yankees game buzzes on the 55-inch wallmount flatscreen as the young banker sips top-shelf liquor with his cadre of cokehead college friends before heading out to cocktails at Pegu Club.


    Comes with basketball hoop and NBA player.

    An avid sailor and scratch golfer, this young banker may have an incredibly refined social skillset - but even with the comforts of a multimillion dollar apartment, life in the city presents challenges. When walking, he gets lost within blocks of his own home - non-numbered streets are confusing. He has no idea where the nearest subway station is, nor does he possess a Metrocard. He's a "Giants fan" but he can name more green jacket winners than football players. Despite these and several other glaring real-world deficiencies, within the cocoon that is New York City, he is a king.


    5. But... I have a balcony! (FiDi)

Don't jump.

    Ah, the Financial District. The allure of towering skyscrapers, new units, rock-bottom pricing, and some good-ol'-fashioned broker bullshit ("this is where the action is!") sucked the unassuming young banker into a 1-year lease down in no-man's-land.

    Thinking he had come to New York to experience the vibrancy and excitement of the City That Never Sleeps, young FiDi banker failed to recognize that below Canal Street, that moniker is only true because everyone is always working. True, he's saving tons of money on rent, but the often-lonely lifestyle that comes with 80-hour workweeks isn't helped by the fact that nobody ever wants to come hang out at his 58th floor 2-bed. Plus, his next-door neighbor is the group's staffer, who's married with an infant child. Soon enough, he'll "trade up" to an apartment twice as expensive and half as spacious in the West Village.


So, what neighborhood do you live in, and what do you think about the lifestyle?

If you don't live in New York, what are the equivalent yuppie-heavy neighborhoods where you live?

Next up, West Side edition.



Aaron Burr is a retired investment banking analyst and currently works as an associate at a private equity fund. Email him at [email protected]

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Comments (109)

  • yeahright's picture

    It sounds like I'm gonna have to wait for the West Side edition...

    I live in Greenwich/West Village (depends on who you talk to, because my street is right on the line) in a 1BR with seperate LR and Kitchen. Fourth floor walk up. The lifestyle is awesome, bars and nice restaurants everywhere, my gym 10 blocks away, laundry pickup and drop off. Also, similar distance to all other parts of Manhattan so its pretty centralized.

    And I don't fall under the category of the kid who lives in SoHo, after all I only work in middle office :)

    Hopefully I can relate to the "West Side Edition" coming soon!

    Frank Sinatra - "Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy."

  • WSOusername's picture

    Idk why, but I always thought of Stuy-town as a Co-op City on Manhattan. No, actually I do know why- because it looks just like it. I first figured I was wrong when I looked up what rents were in there, lol. "The world's biggest post-college dorm". Sounds good to me.

    GBS

  • vtech243's picture

    Midtown East ... about a 5 minute walk to work. Def a double edge sword. Nothing beats the short commute to work, but I never really feel like I leave because spend 95% of my life in the same 5 block radius.

  • akim89sp's picture

    Might trade down my Gramercy apt and move to Stuy Town (picture looks like the projects, seriously.) if what you say is true. I think I'll break even after 3 months based on the incremental savings + lease-break fee. But first, I need to get over my fears of being stabbed at night... for those late office nights (read: every night).

  • In reply to vtech243
    Bearearns's picture

    vtech243:
    Midtown East ... about a 5 minute walk to work. Def a double edge sword. Nothing beats the short commute to work, but I never really feel like I leave because spend 95% of my life in the same 5 block radius.

    You try Tudor City. Feels like little separation there. I like Midtown East a lot.
  • analyst1609's picture

    Love this post!

    No contract means I have all the power. They want me, but they can't have me. - Don Draper

  • NYU's picture

    I go running through Stuy Town sometimes. Don't knock it. Place is really well maintained and has an outdoorsy feel with all the open space and grass. The basketball and roller hockey courts all have nets on the hoops and goals. The grounds are well maintained with farmer's markets on the weekends. They have coffee shops and restaurants. I havent been in any units but I hear they're huge.

    The only problem is that after it was taken over the rents skyrocketed to market value and of course you're a 10-15 minute walk to the closest train, unless you take the westbound L from 14th and 1st which is very close.

  • Commuter's picture

    I lived in Turtle Bay/Sutton Place when I first moved here.That whole bar scene over there is tad too broish for me. Nice area with the consulates and such.

    @JustinDDuBois
    WSO Company Database | Job Board

  • In reply to TheLastCall
    Bearearns's picture

    TheLastCall:
    Unless you're making $200K+, NYC is a miserable city to live in.

    Well I think many will disagree with this statement. Yes maybe you cant club every night or eat $100 steak dinners and sushi, but you can clearly still have fun and enjoy it.
  • In reply to NYU
    WSOusername's picture

    NYU:
    The only problem is that after it was taken over the rents skyrocketed to market value

    Problem? Nothing wrong with a little gentrification, lol. Besides, if I'm not mistaken- the fact that that DIDN'T happen is what caused the project (no pun intended) to go ass up.

    GBS

  • BTbanker's picture

    Has anyone ever attempted living at the office? Great way to save 20-30k/year.

    You've got your bathrooms, high ceilings, lounge area, home office, maid + house guest (2-in-one), unsurpassed security, seamless for food, and free internet/tv.

  • Ron Paul's picture

    Wait, what about midtown as a neighborhood for analysts? I thought most junior bankers lived there b/c, according to other threads on WSO, you absolutely have to live within walking distance of the office as an IB analyst.

  • In reply to TheLastCall
    AgentBishop's picture

    TheLastCall:
    Unless you're making $200K+, NYC is a miserable city to live in.

    I suppose in Manhattan and the places listed, but as a native New Yorker I'll have to disagree. It's most certainly true for some people, but unless you know them personally you'll most likely just see the people whom stand out the most such as the panhandlers on the subway if you take the subway, which might certainly lead you to think the way you do.

    One place people can check out is prospect park and its outlying neighborhood. That is if they don't mind an extra 15-25 minute commute. That said, there are a lot more non-New Yorkers/non-immigrants in Brooklyn as of late, particularly in that area. Hell, I've noticed that a lot of those same non-NY/non-immigrants are preferring to live right at the border of neighborhoods with immigrant Asian communities in Brooklyn and Queens (NOT Manhattan unless you're from NYU or something) simply b/c of the relatively low crime rate despite the low rent.

    EDIT: Though this is irrelevant to the banker discussion. Nice place if you want to be different and hipster I guess, heh.

    73 good sir!

  • nonos's picture

    I'm in the UWS and would never, absolutely never, move to the giant dorms you mentioned. UWS is somewhat affordable, with grocery stores and quiet!

  • In reply to nonos
    DonVon's picture

    nonos:
    I'm in the UWS and would never, absolutely never, move to the giant dorms you mentioned. UWS is somewhat affordable, with grocery stores and quiet!

    I don't live in NYC, but have visited a lot and want to echo these sentiments: UWS is awesome. Really great atmosphere, nice people, all the goods are within walking distance of most (cheaper) apartments. Far from work for a lot of people, but definitely a sweet place...I would hands down live on the UWS if I moved to NYC.

    "An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows."
    - Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Check out my blog!

  • WallStreetOasis.com's picture

    love the post Burr...curious to hear your thoughts on the West side. I've lived at 50th and 8th, 55th and 8th, 46th and Lex and 38th and Park. (from 2002 - 2008)

    All midtown, because I always wanted to be able to walk to work.

  • johndoe89's picture

    golden post

  • jpc100's picture

    I live on the Upper East Side, and the OP nailed it. I live with two friends in an awesome apartment, but it's quiet and there are tons of families up by me. Bars are good though.

  • brandon st randy's picture

    SoHo is not really on the east side. Neither is the financial district for that matter. The island of Manhattan gets narrower as you go further south and the whole east side vs west side distinction becomes increasingly less pronounced until it almost converges together at battery park where my building is located.

    From a subway standpoint, in the financial district (I hate the neologism FiDi with a passion) the 2 and 3 line stations are actually to the east of the 456.

    Too late for second-guessing Too late to go back to sleep.

  • brandon st randy's picture

    I think it makes sense to do 3 editions: east side, west side and lower Manhattan/downtown, the last one would comprise of neighborhoods below Houston st where the streets are not numbered, such as SoHo, TriBeca, Financial district, BPC, the LES etc.

    Too late for second-guessing Too late to go back to sleep.

  • In reply to DonVon
    holla_back's picture

    DonVon:
    nonos:
    I'm in the UWS and would never, absolutely never, move to the giant dorms you mentioned. UWS is somewhat affordable, with grocery stores and quiet!

    I don't live in NYC, but have visited a lot and want to echo these sentiments: UWS is awesome. Really great atmosphere, nice people, all the goods are within walking distance of most (cheaper) apartments. Far from work for a lot of people, but definitely a sweet place...I would hands down live on the UWS if I moved to NYC.

    The UWS is a pretty awesome neighborhood if you're a 75-year-old Jewish grandmother.

    Anyway, here are the best neighborhoods for a young-but-not-brand-new (i.e. post-analyst yet pre-family) banker (in no particular order except for the fact that the West Village is the best place to live in all of NYC):

    -- West Village
    -- Nolita
    -- Soho
    -- Noho
    -- Greenwich Village (might as well rename the neighborhood NYU)
    -- Certain parts of the EV/LES

    EDIT: I've always thought that Tribeca is horribly overrated.

  • Ches's picture
  • SamuelClemens's picture

    I'm trying to move to east village.. more specifically avenue C & 13th. can't wait.

  • In reply to akim89sp
    SamuelClemens's picture

    akim89sp:
    Might trade down my Gramercy apt and move to Stuy Town (picture looks like the projects, seriously.) if what you say is true. I think I'll break even after 3 months based on the incremental savings + lease-break fee. But first, I need to get over my fears of being stabbed at night... for those late office nights (read: every night).

    I laugh any time anyone mentions fear of being stabbed/mugged/murdered/whatever ANYWHERE in Manhattan...

    I used to live in a city with over twice NYC's (the WHOLE city) murder/violent crime rate and I was fine... And I'm a scrawny 5 foot 8 white kid. Get a fucking grip.

  • In reply to holla_back
    SamuelClemens's picture

    holla_back:
    SamuelClemens:
    I'm trying to move to east village.. more specifically avenue C & 13th. can't wait.

    Are you sure about this? 13th and C is really just East River Station (Con Ed) and projects.

    I know it's not the greatest part of the east village but it's certainly affordable. I've been around the area quite a bit and it's perfectly fine. Avenues A - D have a bad reputation in general but that area has been quite gentrified in my opinion. I'm not worried at all, especially since the studio I'm wanting is in pristine condition.

    edit: also it's a bit south of the east river station so it's barely visable from the building. I don't want to give out the exact location :P

  • In reply to SamuelClemens
    brandon st randy's picture

    SamuelClemens:
    I'm trying to move to east village.. more specifically avenue C & 13th. can't wait.

    That is in alphabet city. Do you work in Midtown? If you take the subway to Midtown you would first have to walk like 15 minutes just to get to the station.

    Too late for second-guessing Too late to go back to sleep.

  • In reply to brandon st randy
    rufiolove's picture

    brandon st randy:
    I think it makes sense to do 3 editions: east side, west side and lower Manhattan/downtown, the last one would comprise of neighborhoods below Houston st where the streets are not numbered, such as SoHo, TriBeca, Financial district, BPC, the LES etc.

    So you hate the neologism FiDi, but you're fine with SoHo and TriBeca? That doesn't really make any sense...

  • In reply to SamuelClemens
    holla_back's picture

    SamuelClemens:
    holla_back:
    SamuelClemens:
    I'm trying to move to east village.. more specifically avenue C & 13th. can't wait.

    Are you sure about this? 13th and C is really just East River Station (Con Ed) and projects.

    I know it's not the greatest part of the east village but it's certainly affordable. I've been around the area quite a bit and it's perfectly fine. Avenues A - D have a bad reputation in general but that area has been quite gentrified in my opinion. I'm not worried at all, especially since the studio I'm wanting is in pristine condition.

    edit: also it's a bit south of the east river station so it's barely visable from the building. I don't want to give out the exact location :P

    Fair enough. My brother lives around 10th and C and loves it -- there's a lot to do on Ave C (awesome bars and restaurants) these days.

    Be aware, though, there's a pretty weird invisible border that exists between Ave C and Ave D, especially at night. The neighborhood east of C is one of the few shitty places that still exists in Manhattan (like pit bulls running around free, obvious dealers and neer-do-wells hanging out everywhere, etc.). I'm a pretty physically imposing guy who grew up here, and even I completely avoid Ave D at night.

  • In reply to holla_back
    yeahright's picture

    holla_back:
    DonVon:
    nonos:
    I'm in the UWS and would never, absolutely never, move to the giant dorms you mentioned. UWS is somewhat affordable, with grocery stores and quiet!

    I don't live in NYC, but have visited a lot and want to echo these sentiments: UWS is awesome. Really great atmosphere, nice people, all the goods are within walking distance of most (cheaper) apartments. Far from work for a lot of people, but definitely a sweet place...I would hands down live on the UWS if I moved to NYC.

    The UWS is a pretty awesome neighborhood if you're a 75-year-old Jewish grandmother.

    Anyway, here are the best neighborhoods for a young-but-not-brand-new (i.e. post-analyst yet pre-family) banker (in no particular order except for the fact that the West Village is the best place to live in all of NYC):

    -- West Village
    -- Nolita
    -- Soho
    -- Noho
    -- Greenwich Village (might as well rename the neighborhood NYU)
    -- Certain parts of the EV/LES

    EDIT: I've always thought that Tribeca is horribly overrated.

    :) right off bleecker

    Frank Sinatra - "Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy."

  • Boothorbust's picture

    This is so right it's scary

    Made the FiDi mistake in 2009. Never again.

    Jesus Christ I miss NYC.

  • In reply to rufiolove
    brandon st randy's picture

    rufiolove:
    brandon st randy:
    I think it makes sense to do 3 editions: east side, west side and lower Manhattan/downtown, the last one would comprise of neighborhoods below Houston st where the streets are not numbered, such as SoHo, TriBeca, Financial district, BPC, the LES etc.

    So you hate the neologism FiDi, but you're fine with SoHo and TriBeca? That doesn't really make any sense...

    The etymology of SoHo and Tribeca date back to the early 70s while FiDi is a much more recent invention.
    Also the areas comprising what is nowadays SoHo and Tribeca used to consist only of abandoned industrial lofts until artists started moving into the areas in the 70s . These neighborhoods did not exist before so they are justified to give them new names. The Financial District has been around forever.

    Too late for second-guessing Too late to go back to sleep.

  • In reply to holla_back
    APAE's picture

    holla_back:
    Anyway, here are the best neighborhoods for a young-but-not-brand-new (i.e. post-analyst yet pre-family) banker (in no particular order except for the fact that the West Village is the best place to live in all of NYC):

    -- West Village
    -- Nolita
    -- Soho
    -- Noho
    -- Greenwich Village (might as well rename the neighborhood NYU)
    -- Certain parts of the EV/LES

    EDIT: I've always thought that Tribeca is horribly overrated.

    Nolita, god I love it here. I'm still young too, it was a stretch on rent but I'm just the guy who puts a premium on home so it was worth it.

    Most people do things to add days to their life. I do things to add life to my days.

    Browse my blog as a WSO contributing author

  • EdwardDementia's picture

    Writers, artists, families and working/middle class are now replaced by the "Bro" and the "Like Yah" millennium transplant Frat crowd. And the saddest thing about this is that you all think you're cool. Even Bud Fox would hate your guts.

  • In reply to brandon st randy
    rufiolove's picture

    brandon st randy:
    rufiolove:
    brandon st randy:
    I think it makes sense to do 3 editions: east side, west side and lower Manhattan/downtown, the last one would comprise of neighborhoods below Houston st where the streets are not numbered, such as SoHo, TriBeca, Financial district, BPC, the LES etc.

    So you hate the neologism FiDi, but you're fine with SoHo and TriBeca? That doesn't really make any sense...

    The etymology of SoHo and Tribeca date back to the early 70s while FiDi is a much more recent invention.
    Also the areas comprising what is nowadays SoHo and Tribeca used to consist only of abandoned industrial lofts until artists started moving into the areas in the 70s . These neighborhoods did not exist before so they are justified to give them new names. The Financial District has been around forever.

    The point is that they are shortened forms of the names they were given. South of Houston and Triangle Below Canal. FiDi as a shortened from of Financial District is every bit as valid.

  • In reply to rufiolove
    holla_back's picture

    rufiolove:
    brandon st randy:
    rufiolove:
    brandon st randy:
    I think it makes sense to do 3 editions: east side, west side and lower Manhattan/downtown, the last one would comprise of neighborhoods below Houston st where the streets are not numbered, such as SoHo, TriBeca, Financial district, BPC, the LES etc.

    So you hate the neologism FiDi, but you're fine with SoHo and TriBeca? That doesn't really make any sense...

    The etymology of SoHo and Tribeca date back to the early 70s while FiDi is a much more recent invention.
    Also the areas comprising what is nowadays SoHo and Tribeca used to consist only of abandoned industrial lofts until artists started moving into the areas in the 70s . These neighborhoods did not exist before so they are justified to give them new names. The Financial District has been around forever.

    The point is that they are shortened forms of the names they were given. South of Houston and Triangle Below Canal. FiDi as a shortened from of Financial District is every bit as valid.

    Yeah, except the only people who say "FiDi" are douchey real estate brokers and all of the poor people who were snookered by said brokers.

  • Determined's picture

    What about Harlem?

    Talent is hitting a target no one can hit.
    Genius is hitting a target no one can see.

  • Tommy Too-toned's picture

    I just live on the High Line now. Bitties are outta controllll

  • Relinquis's picture

    do any of you find the idea of being surrounded by bankers and finance folks after work in your neighbourhood... well... a bit too much?

    Wouldn't you want to live somewhere with a different social scene?

  • Tommy Too-toned's picture

    ^Come to High Line dawg, it's meatpackers and models, don't need no bottles. Just bring styles and smiles

  • WSOusername's picture

    Meatpackers? lol

    GBS

  • Kenny Powers's picture

    I still think brooklyn heights > everywhere

    My drinkin' problem left today, she packed up all her bags and walked away.

  • livingthedream86's picture

    A shot at the Chicago version of these neighborhoods...

    1. The Murray Hill Bro-Shak = Wrigleyville
    2. The Stuy-Town Single = Lincoln Park
    3. The East Villager = Wicker Park
    4. The SoHo Sophisticate = Gold Coast
    5. But I have a balcony! (FiDi) = Loop

  • In reply to livingthedream86
    brandon st randy's picture

    livingthedream86:
    A shot at the Chicago version of these neighborhoods...

    1. The Murray Hill Bro-Shak = Wrigleyville
    2. The Stuy-Town Single = Lincoln Park
    3. The East Villager = Wicker Park
    4. The SoHo Sophisticate = Gold Coast
    5. But I have a balcony! (FiDi) = Loop

    Wicker Park is definitely the Williamsburg/Bushwick of Chicago. I would consider Lincoln Park and Lakeview the Chi-Town equivalent of Murray Hill/UES. The Gold Coast is more like UES west of Madison Avenue, where the old money of Chicago historically resides.
    Agreed with the Loop being like the Financial District.

    Too late for second-guessing Too late to go back to sleep.

  • In reply to brandon st randy
    Ron Paul's picture

    brandon st randy:
    I would consider Lincoln Park

    i would consider them effing bro-tastic too bro!!! FUQ YEAAAAHHH!!!!
  • In reply to brandon st randy
    DonVon's picture

    brandon st randy:
    livingthedream86:
    A shot at the Chicago version of these neighborhoods...

    1. The Murray Hill Bro-Shak = Wrigleyville
    2. The Stuy-Town Single = Lincoln Park
    3. The East Villager = Wicker Park
    4. The SoHo Sophisticate = Gold Coast
    5. But I have a balcony! (FiDi) = Loop

    Wicker Park is definitely the Williamsburg/Bushwick of Chicago. I would consider Lincoln Park and Lakeview the Chi-Town equivalent of Murray Hill/UES. The Gold Coast is more like UES west of Madison Avenue, where the old money of Chicago historically resides.
    Agreed with the Loop being like the Financial District.


    IDK man, Logan Square battles hard for the Williamsburg/Bushwick of the Chi. Humboldt Park too.

    "An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows."
    - Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Check out my blog!

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