First things first: as part of New York City, Queens is one of the best cities for anyone who wants to keep odd hours or be able to bar hop until dawn. It also scored three honorable mentions on our list, including a nod for its food scene because, hello, it's part of New York City! Adventurous diners can find pretty much any cuisine imaginable. Queens also received high marks for being easy on the wallet (for its location). According to Naked Apartments, the typical one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan will set you back about $3,000 a month, but in Queens it will only run about $1,350. IT folks who call New York City's second-most-populous borough home say the atmosphere is a lot more relaxed and collaborative as well, which earns the area a shout out for its community vibe.
"Queens is a different environment, a different attitude than the other boroughs," says Ben Guttmann, partner at Digital Natives Group, a digital marketing agency. "Compared to Brooklyn and Manhattan, Queens has much more of a creative vibe. There's much more of a relaxed atmosphere compared to the high-pressure, high-stress neighborhoods that you are going to see in Midtown."
Guttmann says he and his staff have been very happy since moving to their Queens location four years ago.
"The community of Queens, and also the neighborhood of Long Island City, has been really wonderful for us to live, to work, to play," says Guttmann. "Since we moved the business, multiple members of our team have actually moved to this neighborhood too, myself included."
Queens is also a great choice for freelancers and solopreneurs. Josh Springer has lived almost his whole life in Queens. He founded his one-man company, Northside Web Development, in the Queens neighborhood of Sunnyside. He notes that the Chamber of Commerce was instrumental in his early success.
"The president really took me under his wing," says Springer. "He had me do public speaking, lead a couple of workshops, and really connected me with other business owners in the area. Really the Chamber was my main source of clients for a while."
Both Guttmann and Springer say there are several active tech Meetups in the area, including the Queens Tech Meetup, which has almost 4,000 members. Another great community resource is the Coalition for Queens, which works to help foster the tech ecosystem in Queens. So if you want the New York City lifestyle, clients, and amenities without the outrageous Manhattan price tag, Queens may be just your ticket.