2004_04_askmap2.jpgI'm moving to a new neighborhood that my out-of-town parents are convinced is dangerous. They've been trying to talk me out of it, but everyone tells me it's safe, and, more importantly, it's affordable. How do I convince my parents it's a good place for me to live?
Liz, Manhattan

To begin with, it may not even be necessary to convince your parents. Unless they are offering you financial assistance, or unless you are moving somewhere dangerous, you're an adult and can make your own decisions about where to live.

However, we understand the desire to convince one's parents. Our father still calls whenever there's a crime committed within a twenty block radius of our apartment to make sure we're okay.

The best way to convince your parents is to be armed with as much information as possible. Google the neighborhood, and you'll probably find many wesbites. Real estate agency websites often have factsheets about neighborhoods. The Village Voice and the Times and some of the other local papers do neighborhood profiles periodically. New York Magazine has profiles of some neighborhoods too. (Although information about neighborhoods outside Manhattan is conspicuously absent.) Find out as much as you can about the block you'd be living on: Are there major attractions there? Is it mostly families or professionals or hipsters? Is there a park nearby?

The NYPD website has crime statistics by precinct. You could do some comparison; check out the statistics of your new neighborhood against one your parents consider safe; chances are the stats won't be that different. And the City offers My Neighborhood Statistics where you can get all manner of stats.

And, of course, bring your parents to the neighborhood and show them around. (This didn't really work in our case, as the suburban parents were alarmed by the homeless man who greets people at the end of the block.)