I liked the answer Elizabeth gave you. I would go one better. Years ago I moved to NYC and didn't know where to live. I narrowed the area and then visited it at different times of the day and night. Finally I walked my favorite blocks. One woman seeing me stopped and asked what I was doing. She guided me to a rental not yet on the market. Live there for 3 years before buying in this area I loved!
When in doubt, talk to the folks who live there. They will usually tell you the truth.