Brooklyn has become the hottest new borough in New York City, growing much more rapidly than any other borough. Over the past couple of years, Brooklyn has transformed into the hottest, trendiest spot in the entire city, causing an influx of young families, young professionals, hipsters, and artists to take up residence in neighborhoods like Bushwick and Williamsburg.
The differences between Manhattan and Brooklyn were stark, even as late as the 1990’s. Now, they’re becoming more and more similar. However, there are distinct nuances that still give these boroughs their unique identity. Let’s compare the livability of both Manhattan and Brooklyn and see which suits you best.
Cost of Living in Brooklyn vs Manhattan (Housing Costs)
The average rent for an apartment in Brooklyn is $2,665. The average rent for an apartment in Manhattan is $4,091. Most people will be looking for apartments below the average rent, meaning it is crucial to compare the prices of rent from various neighborhoods in the two boroughs. Even though the gap is getting smaller, Manhattan is still more expensive to live in overall.
Read more about housing costs in New York City.
Manhattan takes the cake for having the most legendary skyline of all the boroughs, but what use is that if you can’t even see it most of the time?
Big City Life vs. Community
There is no doubt that Manhattan is what makes New York so famous: the towering skyscrapers, the flashing neon lights, the contagious, fast paced energy. It can be an incredible life experience to live day-to-day in this incredibly dynamic borough.
However, if you find yourself yearning for more of a sub-urban feel where you can have Manhattan access, Brooklyn might be the better choice. There is a greater sense of community here, and the neighborhoods are more tightly-knit.
Manhattan always has hoards of people, but many are tourists and out-of-towners, making it more difficult to establish meaningful connections.
World-Class Dining vs. Foodie Paradise
Manhattan is undoubtedly home to some of the most prestigious culinary establishments in the world. It is on the cutting-edge of the food scene and foodies have a unique opportunity to witness firsthand some of the most inspired cuisines in modern gastronomy.
While Brooklyn has its fair share of world-class restaurants, it is more centered around foodie attractions. Smorgasburg is the largest weekly open-air food market in America, attracting 20,000-30,000 people to Brooklyn each weekend to eat from 100 local vendors. .DeKalb Market Hall is another Brooklyn foodie destination. It is a 60,000 square foot food hall with 40 vendors, some of which are classics, some newcomers, and some of which are extremely trendy Brooklyn eateries, such as Bushwick’s ultra-hot Bunker and Southern-flavored Carroll Gardens eatery Wilma Jean.
From the Empire State Building, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to the shows on and off Broadway, there is no better place for attractions than Manhattan. However, living in Manhattan means you will constantly be tripping over tourists who don’t know their way around the city. If you’re a fan of museums and shows, remember that Brooklyn is only a 10 minute Subway ride from the insanity of Midtown and all its attractions. Also consider that Brooklyn has its own legendary attractions, like the Cyclone in Luna Park on Brooklyn’s Coney Island.
Type of People
One of the most important considerations when choosing a place to live is the type of people you will surround yourself with.
Manhattan has an almost depressing level of wealth inequality, meaning you will be brushing shoulders with Wall Street brokers who live completely different lives from the vast majority of us. Indeed, Manhattan is where the 1% survive and thrive.
If you would rather spend your time with people who are artists, creators, small-business types and entrepreneurs, Brooklyn is the place to be.
And the winner is…
There are many fantastic reasons to love both Brooklyn and Manhattan. However, where you choose to live depends on what you’re looking for.
The case for living in Manhattan is very obvious: there are still somewhat affordable neighborhoods sprinkled sparsely within the borough. Living in Manhattan gives you access to everything that makes New York City legendary without needing to cross the East River.
There is also a strong case for living in Brooklyn. It is an affordable option for those who want to spend their time in Manhattan but leave the borough and go home to Brooklyn, where it is easier to establish meaningful connections with a community of creative, hip, forward-thinking people. Brooklyn is also more family-friendly, due to the strong sense of community that fosters an inclusive environment.
Metropolis Moving has experience with both Brooklyn and Manhattan moves. We have the expertise necessary to ensure a smooth transition into your new home, whether that’s in Brooklyn or in Manhattan. Get a quote today and you’ll be on your way.