Living in New York City is a dream for many people all across the world. Personally, New York City has been a beacon of hope for me ever since I was a little boy and I couldn’t wait to live there. The big apple is an amazing place full of amazing people, culture, food, art, and experiences. I have no doubt that if you want to move to the big city that you will achieve your dreams and you will love it. To help get you on your way to the concrete jungle here are 10 things you should know before moving to New York.
1. Finding somewhere to live
If you know you want to move to New York or you’ve been offered a job but have no clue where you are going to live here are a few helpful tips. The most obvious option for house hunting in New York is to use a real-estate agent. If you are more the solo type you can opt to utilize the many options the internet has to offer. Facebook is great resource for people seeking out housing in any state. There are tons of Facebook groups that are dedicated to housing. One I have used in the past is Gypsy Housing but there are many others. Simply search “New York housing” on Facebook and off you go. If you do not have Facebook there are many other options on the internet such as “Stephanie’s Listing Project” that sends out weekly listings. Do some research and make your first step to move to move to the big city! Before moving to New York, make sure you find a place you can afford and see yourself in for awhile. Places to live are hard to come by.
2. The subway!
The subway is one of the many things that New York City has to offer. It is by far the easiest and fastest way to get around the city. Before you buy your monthly unlimited metro card (which is a whooping $120) see if your job will help out with the cost or even pay for it. Some companies will pay for the employees metro card as a kind of transportation budget. You should also know that there is always some kind of construction going on with the subway. The subway is growing to offer more people access to its usefulness but this means many, many delays. As a rule of thumb you should always check the MTA website or look out for posters about constructing going on that may affect your transit route. Another helpful tip is that the subway is ALWAYS busier on the weekends.
3. Cash only
New York is notorious for being cash only. A lot of restaurants, bars, clubs etc. will be cash only. Fortunately, you can find an ATM on almost every corner and some places that are cash only will actually have an ATM inside. Unfortunately, if your bank doesn’t exist in New York you could end up paying three dollars in withdrawal fees every time you take out cash. That being said, before you move do some research and see if your bank exists in New York and if it doesn’t you might want to consider opening an account or switching banks to a New York based bank. Also, if you are someone who isn’t use to carrying cash all the time you will still be able to enjoy the city. However, a lot of places that are worth going to will be cash only so you might want to start getting used to carrying cash! This is super helpful to know before moving to New York.
4. Live closer to your social life than your job
If you have a choice of where to live when you move to New York you will be much happier if you are closer to your social life than your job. New York has an amazing night life and you will be much happier if you live closer to where you like to live your best life than where you clock in for you 9 to 5. Also, living slightly away from your job will allow to separate your personal life from your work life and give a nice break from work.
5. Everything is more expensive in New York City
Everything, and I mean everything, is more expensive in New York City. From rent and groceries to a night out on the town, things in New York will have a higher price tag than wherever you currently call home. Before moving to New York keep in mind that your paycheck will not go as far in New York as they do at home. Living expenses alone will greatly increase as well as your expenses from your social life. You should also keep this tip in mind when accepting a job in New York. If you are stuck between two job offers that pay the exact same amount, your amount of disposable income will not be the same in New York as it will be other places. This is definitely something you need to know and understand before moving to New York.
6. Hot and Cold
If you think moving to New York is your escape from unbearably hot temperatures you are mistaken. New York may get very cold during the winter months and experience a lot of snow, but that does not mean that the city does not get blazing hot. New York in the summer months (June – August/September) is very hot and humid. Daily temperatures can easily be in the 90’s and humidity can be almost as high. Also, keep in mind that you will be doing a lot more walking than you probably do back home which will mean you are out in the elements way more often. Another thing to consider is that a lot of New York buildings are very old and still do not have A/C and the subway platforms will not have A/C either. Upon your move to the big apple prepare yourself for cold winters and very hot summers.
7. No parking
New York City is already one of the most expensive cities in the world, so why not minimize that cost as much as possible. If you are living in New York City you do NOT need a car. New York offers plenty of public transportation like the subway and bus systems as well as ferries and Citi bike that you can navigate the city with ease without a car. If you are living outside the city I would highly recommend driving to a public transportation system that will bring you into the city and park your car there. These stops will usually have large parking lots for commuters. Parking in the city is very expensive and few and far between. If you decide to park in the city you will find that parking is very limited and you will end up spending a fortune just for parking your car. When moving to New York, you will need to understand that you will never be able to find a parking spot.
8. Avoid Times Square when you can
Times Square is an amazing experience and it is the epitome of New York City for tourist. As a native New Yorker you will find that you will be much happier if you avoid Times Square. This part of the city is always full of tourist at all times of the day. Tons of tourist also means tons of tourist traps such as way over priced and below par food, pick pockets, and annoying solicitors.
9. Forget about personal space
After your move to the city you will quickly learn that one of the things you lost in the move is your personal space. When you are out and about around the city you will constantly be surrounded by people at every turn. New York City has a population of a little over eight million people and it will seem like every single one of those eight million people had the same idea to get a cup of coffee on your morning commute. The lack of personal space does not leave you when walk in your front door either. Unless you have an absurd amount of money, odds are your apartment will be very, very small and you will most likely have a roommate (or 2 or 3 or 6).
10. The city that never sleeps
New York City is considered the city that never sleeps and I am here to tell you that it most definitely lives up to that name. There are times that it is nice that everything doesn’t close promptly at 9 p.m.. However, when you are trying to get a good nights rest before a big meeting tomorrow, it isn’t so nice. New York City is full of sounds (mostly the sound of honking horns) at all times of the day. Be prepared to get used to tuning out the sound of your neighbors bickering outside your window at 2 a.m. because if you can’t, you are in for a rude awakening (literally). No need to call off the move just yet though! New York City is full of loud noises and it will take some getting use to but I guarantee you that you will indeed get used to it.