Dreaming of the big city life and planning your move to NYC? Well, you’re definitely not alone. Let’s see how well do you really know this city.
Why move to New York City? NYC is a city of opportunity where dreams can come true. In movies and shows, the city is portrayed in various ways, but the majority of the time it is romanticized. The overall theme of the Big Apple is seen as a beautiful concrete jungle that never sleeps and is filled with endless possibilities with various spaces for everyone to fit in.
Additionally, New York City is a melting pot full of cultures, subcultures, and various lifestyles. However, shows may not be able to portray all the diversity seen within the city. Instead, many shows choose to focus on a specific genre of people and their lives in a more simplistic fashion rather than the complex reality of how groups intermingle within the city.
Despite how Hollywood’s shows and movies may not fully represent NYC to its fullest, many relocations to New York City happen each year. In fact, 264,000 people moved to New York in 2018. Of all these movers, almost two-thirds of them are young adults between ages 18 and 34. So why are so many people moving to the city? This is because NYC really is the land of opportunity and many relocate for college or career opportunities. These opportunities can come up in various fields such as finance, entertainment, research, technology, art, fashion, politics, commerce, and so much more.
What to know before moving to NYC
Before you make the big decision to move to NYC, here are a few upsides and downsides to living in the city you should know about:
1. It’s expensive
The largest downside to New York City is its cost of living. Those who move to the city will know that money goes fast here, especially due to the cost of monthly rent for an apartment.
How expensive is NYC exactly? Well, NYC’s cost of living is 129% higher than the U.S. average and housing is even more expensive at 369% higher than the national average. Apartments for rent in New York City have a median monthly rent of $5,100 and this can vary depending on the borough and neighborhood you look at.
Specifically, Manhattan is the most expensive borough to live in. As for other costs of living, NYC’s grocery prices are 28% higher than the United States average, utility prices are 25% higher, and transportation expenses like gas prices are 33% higher than the average.
2. You’ll need the subway
If you’re going to be living in the hustle and bustle of the city, then you’ll have to rely on the subway for transportation. While many people do own cars and drive in the city, it’s a lot more convenient and cheaper to ride public transportation. That way you won’t need to worry about parking costs and gas prices.
The subway and bus fares are relatively affordable at $2.75/ride, $33 for 7-day unlimited rides, and $127 for 30-day unlimited rides. There are also reduced fares available for seniors and customers with disabilities. With NYC’s extensive subway system, you can find the city filled with subway stations and the majority of them are within walking distance to apartments, making them an easy and convenient way to travel.
However, just like any mode of transportation, there are some downsides to riding the subway. You should be aware that millions of New Yorkers ride the subway daily for their commute. So if you’re on the subway during rush hour, then you can expect to find it packed with people.
Since the subway is an enclosed space, it can also be hot and stuffy without much ventilation. Additionally, the subway isn’t an all perfect system and can have some technical difficulties and delays, which can potentially make you late for work or an appointment.
3. It’s a food delivery heaven
New York City is home to many different types of people from different cultures and backgrounds. So, it’s no wonder why there are various types of food, restaurants, and dining to choose from.
Best of all, NYC is epitome of convenience and food can be easily delivered right to your door. If you’re used to living in the suburbs, food delivery is possible but can be limited in terms of restaurants and delivery services.
4. Apartments are old
While NYC is constantly growing and developing, many of the residential buildings are old (we call it “pre-war” in the local language). Depending on how old a building is, this can mean limited amenities, older heating and AC units, inconvenient layouts, drafty windows, and some other issues. Not to mention building codes and improvements have been made in the last hundred years, which means older buildings could be built to a lesser code standard.
On the other hand, many still appreciate the charm of older buildings along with their unique designs, quirky layouts and larger room sizes. Additionally, many older buildings have been well-maintained despite their age and some even renovated to reflect more modern finishes.
If you’re worried about all the issues that can come with an older apartment, Localize will give you the truth about any home in the City. It not only have information on the building like when it was built, but will let you know if there are any building violations or tenant complaints. That way you can easily find an apartment, no matter how old, that is still well maintained and fits your lifestyle and needs.
5. You don’t actually want to visit the tourist attractions
It’s no surprise that NYC has millions of tourists from in and out of the country, visiting all its famous landmarks and movie locations every year. While tourist attractions may seem exciting, once you start to live in NYC, you’ll realize that you won’t actually want to visit these places on the daily.
Not only will they be filled with the tourist crowd, but the City has a lot more to offer. There are plenty of gems waiting to be found in various neighborhoods throughout the city where locals go to enjoy. Additionally, the tourist populated places won’t fully represent all the culture, lifestyles, cuisine, and fun that can be had within NYC.
6. You’ll need to know the grid system
If you’re looking to move into the epicenter of the city that never sleeps, then Manhattan is where you want to go. Living in Manhattan means you’ll have to know the grid system so you can easily get around.
The way the grid works is that east-west routes are called “streets” numbered in order from south to north and routes that run north-south are called “avenues.” Fifth Avenue separates the east and west sides of the borough with the street numbers increasing as your move away from Fifth.
For example, 1 East 53rd Street would be east of Fifth Avenue while 1 West 53rd Street would be just west of it. Broadway is a must older road and cuts diagonally across the grid. Wherever it crosses through an “avenue”, the spaces are called “squares” such as Times Square.
7. It’s pizza heaven
If you’re a fan of pizza or have looked up NYC, then you’ve probably heard of the New York City pizza. New York-style pizza is something special to the city and one New Yorkers take a lot of pride in. So, it’s no wonder why the city is filled with numerous pizza joints, pizzerias and pizza restaurants that all serve their own variations of the NYC style pizza.
The NYC pizza is characterized by its hand-tossed dough, larger size, and thin crust. It’s usually 18-24 inches in diameter and is most often cut into eight slices. The crust of a NYC pizza is usually thick and crispy along its edge and soft and thin in the center so it can be folded in half to eat on the go with one hand.
It is traditionally made up of a thin layer of tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese on top. Any other toppings can then be added over the cheese. While original pizzerias that still use coal-fired ovens only serve whole pies, there are plenty of joints that serve them by the slice. So be warned, you’ll definitely have your fair share of pizza once you move to the city.
8. It rains a lot, even in the summer
Despite what movies and shows depict, New York City experiences a lot of rainy days. The Big Apple gets an average of 47 inches of rain per year, which is nine inches more than the U.S. average of 38 inches.
Additionally, the average annual amount of rainy days the city gets is 121 days with May being the most rainy on average and September being the least. If you don’t love the rain, then you’ll have to be prepared to face them once you move to the city.
9. Your life will be like in the movies
While shows and movies filmed in New York City may not fully represent how living in NYC is like, the city does look exactly like it does on TV shows. This is because many television shows film right in the bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and streets of the city.
In fact, there are plenty of famous movie locations and iconic spots from TV shows tourists flock to the city to visit. While walking through the city, you can find yourself in the same spaces you’ve seen characters on a show interact in and recognize buildings that have been featured in various films. If you’re an avid TV show and movie watcher, you’d be delighted to know you can live and visit the same spaces characters on your favorite show did.
10. You can be and become whoever you want
New York City really is a place of endless possibilities and opportunity. It is also a melting pot full of people with different cultures, interests, and lifestyles. This means no matter who you are, you can come to the city and find people who relate to you. Even better, you are surrounded with so many different people that you can easily explore various interests and hobbies you’ve never had the chance to before.
Despite how popular NYC is with tourists and people looking to make the City their home, just like any other city it has its pros and cons.
Just as important it is to get to know the city for those looking to relocate, checking out apartments and prices are just as important. Localize is here to help you easily search for your perfect NYC apartment from the comforts of your own home.
Localize’s insights can help you get to know a neighborhood and the surrounding area of a space without having to leave the comforts of your own home. Happy apartment hunting!