Queens second best place to live in city: Survey

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When it comes to which New York City borough offers the most for your money, Queens comes in at No. 1, according to a survey.

Overall, New Yorkers are satisfied with life in New York (84 percent) and in their individual neighborhoods, although Manhattan and Brooklyn residents earning $75,000 or more annually are more satisfied than those with lesser incomes.

More African Americans and Latinos are dissatisfied than Caucasians.

Without elaborating, the survey proclaimed Manhattan the best place to live in New York City, followed by Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx.

Although Queens was designated the borough where residents get the most for their money, there were no specific questions asked of the estimated 250 respondents, said Ann Coates, of the Municipal Art Society, which commissioned the survey.

Citywide, 61 percent of New Yorkers are quite happy with the green space available to them. Those living in Manhattan and Staten Island feel best about their park options, while many in Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn are much less pleased.

Some 46 percent of Queens residents, 41 percent of Bronx residents and 40 percent of Brooklynites consider their choices of parkland fair or poor. Latinos and African Americans consider their park space unsatisfactory at 47 percent and 41 percent.

As to availability of grocery stores and markets, 71 percent citywide are pleased, although nearly 33 percent of those in Queens call their choices unacceptable.

As for museums and other arts experiences, almost half of New Yorkers (48 percent) think their neighborhoods have insufficient culture with residents of the Bronx (55 percent) and Queens (60 percent) describing their neighborhoods as fair or poor. By contrast in Manhattan (65 percent) give their communities high marks as places to experience the arts.

New Yorkers are still optimistic about the future of the city, with an overall increase in the percentage of residents to 81 percent calling themselves very optimistic or optimistic.

Queens residents were the most optimistic last year at 80 percent, but the borough fell to third place this year to 75 percent, after Manhattan (87 percent) and Brooklyn (85 percent). The Bronx scored 75 percent and Staten Island 69 percent.

“While life in the Big Apple is generally good (84 percent), more than one-fifth of New Yorkers are worried about employment (22 percent) and safety (21 percent), slightly more than those who are concerned about that perennial source of concern: housing (19 percent),” the survey said.

To the question of what the city should invest in, 61 percent said New York should support a world-class ground transportation network — subways, trains and buses — but only 37 percent think having a world-class airport is essential.

In the category of Best Value for the Money, Queens leads with 25 percent, followed by Manhattan (24 percent) and Brooklyn (18 percent).

The 2012 MAS Survey on Livability was conducted by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.

“The MAS Survey on Livability is a roadmap for how to build a better city,” said Vin Cipolla, president of the MAS. “We hope it precipitates discussions, in the public and private sectors, working to make this amazing city ever more vibrant and livable for all New Yorkers.”

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at or phone at 718-260-4536.

Posted 11:24 pm, October 24, 2012
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