flipflop831 (flipflop831) wrote in binghamton,

Need information about Bing!

I will be moving to the area in a few weeks and havent been able to visit yet. I was wondering what areas of town are the best to look in? I am hoping for a trendy, artsy section. Do you all have any suggestions for where i should be looking?
Thanks so much for all of you help in advance!
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Trendy and artsy? Part of me wants to say "good luck", but basically you want to be around downtown, for as close as Bing's going to get. (Although the "artsy" scene keeps expanding these days.)

Looking for apartments around here can be hell -- not so much because there aren't any, as in other cities, but because they're frequently not well kept up. On the plus side, rent is cheap.

My shorthand guide to living around here (others may argue)

Vestal: people with money.
Endicott: families, except for a couple areas.
Johnson City: Some students, families with less money, except for up toward Indian Ridge, which is like Vestal North.
Binghamton West Side: Student ghetto.
Binghamton East Side: Same but without the students.
Binghamton South Side: See Johnson City.
Binghamton Downtown: people who want to pretend that this is a "real" city.
I have to agree with spoothbrush.

I lived at Indian Ridge apartments for a couple years and thought it was great, except at the end. Now I hear it's practically all college kids, so who knows.

There actually are very nice city-style lofts in Binghamton (one's still left in the building I work in), but they tend to be VERY pricy...I know very few young adults who live by themselves in one unless (a)mom and dad are paying for it or (b)the building is owned by their family or the rare (c)they bought the building themselves.

And there is art in Binghamton!! I've spent the last (almost) two years of my life fighting tooth and nail for it, damn it.

Places you don't want to live: the scary ones mentioned by spoothbrush, and near the bars on State St. Or in a block and a half radius of them. Or you'll be walking through puke on Saturday and Sunday morning.
And there is art in Binghamton!! I've spent the last (almost) two years of my life fighting tooth and nail for it, damn it.

There is. And it's gotten much much more prominent over the past few years. It's not as developed as other cities I've spent time in, but then expecting Binghamton to be Montreal or Boston (or even Halifax) is a little ridiculous anyway... and "trendy" neighborhoods might be a block here or a block there, which I don't think is really what you (OP) have in mind. Take the town for what it is, and add your own awesome, is my advice.
Spoothbrush and Manda_nut:
thank you so much for your help! I hope you didnt misunderstand my "trendy and artsy" interest. I've lived in every type of city- from Rural Maine to Boston, so I am moving to Bing with these experiences in mind. I'm not expecting Montreal, and am excited to be making Bing my own and enjoy the culture it has! I've read a lot about the museums, galleries, cafes, etc and am soo excited! Thank you both for the "which sides of town to live on". I dont think a realestate agent would be too interested in telling me that. I also just wanted to get a feel for where the grad students/young professionals hangout. Thank you all soo much! Please post anything if you have any more suggestions (for living) or places to go to check out (cafes, restaraunts, theaters, etc).
Once again, thank you both soo much!
where the grad students/young professionals hangout

I'm just about to move to Johnson City myself, and all the grad students I've met when I've visited all say they go to Cyber West (http://www.cybercafewest.com/) and/or the Belmar (http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=81469373 ).
It's true that a number of grad students hang out at both places. But the Cyber Cafe is not just a little messy but flat-out dirty and grimy, and I spent too much of my first two years of grad school trying to fix the toilet at the Belmar while other women peed into a trash basket. When you've been here a while you find other options that are... less unpleasant.
Haha, I see... care to recommend any less unpleasant places we should check out then? ;)
I start grad school in Binghamton this fall, and came up for a visit this past weekend for the first time. Spent my days driving around the city with a map, figuring out where it seemed cool to live, and where not. Strangely enough, there are very few places that seemed dumpy. Lots of folks take care of their yards, and the pedestrians seemed out and about everywhere. There's a shit-ton of family residences though, and for the life of me I couldn't seem to find any particular area that was mainly students, or mainly apartments, or mainly duplexes. They seem peppered throughout. Also couldn't find an area where it seemed artsy, or where the gay community lives (though at least one Pride Fest sign assured me that, thank christ, at least there is a gay community).

Near campus, in Vestal, is chain-store row. Walking to campus is pretty much not happening. Biking - maybe. Everything is an easy drive though, and the roads/freeways were not a problem to navigate. They have a ton of green space and parks, which was nice to see. Haven't developed their river-front though, sadly.
Found a couple of Starbucks but couldn't figure out where students go to study and hang out, or find non-big-chain cafes.

I did manage one find on my last night though. In downtown Binghamton is a cafe called The Lost Dog. It was eclectic and had character; interesting and cozy decor with an artsy feel. Not to mention a mean cup of french press coffee, a good but small collection of good wines & beers, and insanely good food - way better than I would have imagined. It was also the only place I found that was very vegetarian-friendly. Seriously delicious; those fuckers know how to spice their food!
Anyway, I talked to the folks who worked there to get a few ideas on other places in town I might like, along with that artsier feel, and definitely NOT a chain place. Here's the list they made me:
Cyber West (cafe & bar)
Belmar (bar)
Balls Head
Ale House
Java Joe's
Whole in the Wall
Hooka bar (I can't tell if this is the name, or they were just letting me know that at least the area HAS a hooka bar)

Hope that helps... Now it's onto the apartment hunt... ::groan::
wow, I should really look at dates more... this was last year. Crap.

So tell me, now that you're there, have you found any of the things you were looking for? (that I too, happen to be looking for...)