Really, it depends on who you are, of course. I arrived here as a late 20 something and lived life as self-supported college student, worked, freelanced, did the corporate thing, then got married and have one kid; last year I homeschooled, but previously had her in a private school. I freelance; my husband works two jobs and we have a great, crazy busy life. Every single stage of my life was different than the others.
As a college student, I used to feel a splurge was Chinese food in a box ($5) or a slice of Pizza WITH toppings ($3.75) was a splurge. I lived in a shared 1 bdroom with one non-boyfriend roommate for $1275 a month (divide by 1/2) in 1996. Sometimes, I’d go dancing at the Palladium ($20 entry!!) and eat out with a friend for about $25 total bill, sharing everything.
There is alot to do in NYC even if you have no money but have flexibility, health, and time! Museums have free nights - having friends gains you access to lots of ‘work’ and BYO apartment parties (some on rooftops) where ppl will yell and throw buckets of water on you after certain hours.
In 2018, as a mother of a school-age child, date night with my husband is: $125 for a babysitter ($20–25 an hour), $300 for dinner. We still hardly go on vacation, because we work too much. Public school is free, but depending on the neighborhood you live in, you might want to send your kid to private ($45,000 a year, $15-30K for non-exclusive Parochial type private). I won’t get into rent because it can vary widely. A 2 bedroom in my building in Tribeca goes for $6,500 market rate - no private washing machine…) . We can’t afford to buy more than a studio in Manhattan in the better areas where we could send our child to a good public school - starting price 1.2 million for a 2 bedroom in our neighborhood.
The mileage VARIES so much. This is my life as a middle-class person with 2 income potential family. AM magazine recently stated that the median reportable income in this city was about $43K and that it wasn’t enough to live in a middle class life here and this number is highly skewed towards a majority who make far less and a few who make exponental $$.
I lived in Manhattan my whole life (21 years) and hearing cars and people is just as normal to me as hearing cicadas and roosters for you. Sometimes it can be very annoying when you are trying to sleep but otherwise it's okay. You also get used to planes/helicopters always flying over (way more annoying then the cars)
Living close to everyone is normal. Unless you are enemies with your neighbors, it's no problem. Just have to get used the noise they can sometimes make (partying, yelling...). The walls aren't too thick where I live so you can sometimes hear conversations next door.
The great thing about living here is that everything is close by. You don't need a car to get anywhere because of public transport like the subway. It can be inconvenient to use sometimes but otherwise it's good.
If you want some negatives about living here, it's expensive. From rent to food to cinemas.....EXPENSIVE. There are also quite a few bad neighborhoods around. I live close to one and let me tell you, I wouldn't walk through the place at night unless I had Kevlar and a helmet. There are a lot of homeless people on the streets which is sad to see but something you'll get used too. Also, lot of crimes here so that's another negative thing. Shootings are sadly a little common.
During the summer, I go to my mothers country which is very rural and the differences are dramatic. The place feels DEAD at night. I'm so used to hearing people and seeing places open but....everyone is gone and places are closed. You can actually see the sky at night which is weird for a city person like me. You need a car to get around easily. Walking is useless. I also get to "experience" household pests....spiders, roaches, mice, mosquitoes EVERYTHING. It bothers me so much that I'll spend time going around and killing everything in sight. People say I have to get used to it but I can't. I'm used to not having to deal with any of them.
Hope that was helpful.
I think it really comes down to how much you want to indulge in living the “high life” so to speak. As you and I both can attest, you can easily live here on less than 6 figures. In my mind $80k would be the perfect single person salary to partake in some of the finer things and save a decent amount of money. Then I may actual buy Broadway tickets at full price instead of doing rush!
Per the rent point: as an Astoria resident, our prices (and definitely LIC rent) are hiking fast. Granted, you still get a lot more space for your dollar than you do in Manhattan, but it won’t be long before we go the way of Williamsburg. Newbies looking in Queens should also check out Sunnyside for slightly cheaper rent.
P.S. I’d throw in breweries to the entertainment category! Such a cost-effective way to indulge in a fun afternoon.
I lived in NY for many years and live in FL right now. I ahve spent half my life in both places.
It all depends on the area. I lived on Long Island for a time. The rent prices and everything is else is absurd there. But I also lived Upstate NY, where rent prices were cheap as hell and jobs were plentiful.
Florida has cheap rents for the most parts. Food prices are also pretty low. But one thing I found strange. When I left NY for FL I found that ORANGE JUICE was almost a dollar more per gallon than in NY. WTF?
Overall I say FL is the cheaper place to live. But finding a good well playing job down here is another story.
The diversity in cultures, perspectives, and fluidness of friend groups. You can always find a good group of friends no matter your values, background, or economic status. New Yorkers may seem mean at first (and they are), but you'd be surprised at how many socially compatible and interesting people are out there once you open yourself up.
Living in the city affords one the opportunity to live a lifetime in a day. From a morning run in Central Park, to some of the best food imaginable in the afternoon, to an evening watching world-class theater and comedy. New York really can be like the movies. There is always something calling if you just say 'yes.'
New York is the city that never sleeps. You could be out at any hour of the night and there's always something to do.
New York City is America's largest metro area, home to nearly 21 million people speaking more than 200 languages. It's a place written about in songs, it has served as the backdrop for countless movies and it's inspired people worldwide with its grandiosity. Brimming with some of the nation's tallest buildings and historic landmarks, New York City is never short on spectacle. For centuries, New York City has been a leader in trade and culture, redefining everything from fashion trends to what a proper bagel with schmear should taste like.
The metro area is a place of opportunity, which is why – despite the crowds and costs – people keep coming. Some of the world's best theaters, restaurants, museums, parks and cultural activities can be found here. New York City's communities are as diverse as its people, from Greenwich Village in downtown to Harlem in uptown. Beyond Manhattan, the city is comprised of four additional boroughs: Queens, which has a long history of fabulous immigrant food; Brooklyn and its thriving literary and arts scene; the Bronx and its abundant green space and wildlife; and Staten Island with its lovely coastline.
New York City is known for its fast-paced, around-the-clock lifestyle, which may be overwhelming for newcomers. Known as "the city that never sleeps," this relentless metropolis draws those seeking to advance their careers and push their limits. People come to New York City to pursue their dreams, achieve a better life and test the adage "if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere."
I am here, living in NYC since 1992… and I absolutely love it.
But, I was told very early, that loving NYC is very much like being pregnant… either you are, or you are not… there is no in-between.
I have met people that hate NYC…, visitors that come here and said it’s interesting, but they could never live here… reason of course is that they know only the tourist areas in Manhattan, which are crowded, hectic and loud… they don’t know the quieter, more artistic enclaves in the city itself, they don’t know the tranquility of some areas of the outer boros. They don’t know the nature preserves of Riis Park, the beaches, hiking opportunities… or that Bear Mountain is less than one hour north of the city…
The people are overwhelmed and either love the atmosphere and energy of NYC or they don’t.
I love the city, because you have everything… including the seasons… all cultures are represented with their own neighborhoods… a very rich art and music scene, from opera to indy rock events in some cellar.
Bustling city to a quiet beach with public transportation, tons of hiking nearby… all sports can be played… and having a coffee on a park bench, watching people.
That’s NYC for me and I hardly can imagine living somewhere else.
I come from Europe, with parents from Eastern Europe, I have been to 17 countries… New York City is my true home!
New York City has something for everybody, no matter how weird you think you are. Being such a culturally diverse city, no matter where you are from, there is a little bit of home here. NYC is probably the best place in the world to get your life started if you don’t mind the fast pace, because there are so many people to meet, get feedback from, or collaborate with. If you are generally outgoing, there is a lot of opportunity to meet people from all over, and if you keep to yourself, then you’ll find that despite the population density, NYC can be pretty impersonal too. New York has a reputation for being a fairly expensive place to live in, but we all manage to make due and find our way around without breaking the bank. I’ve been here for ten years now and the thought of leaving makes me sick. I find new things to love about the place on a daily basis. If you’re having a crappy day, or anxious about a deadline, or late getting somewhere, then you’ll likely see something hilarious happen on the subway that will make you forget about it immediately.
Rusty J Shackleford
A typical day for me looks like this:
Morning: Get up and put some food I had frozen into my bag. I usually get on the train. Sometimes I make coffee in the stove top coffee maker and drink it. Then I get into work and do work-like activities.
Noontime: I heat up frozen foods and eat it. Sometimes I go out to look for any chips that are on sale because I like to eat chips. The most popular brands here are Utz, Lam’s, and Tropical Fantasy. If I forget to bring food I go downstairs to get ramen so I can rehydrate it in the microwave.
After Work: Sometimes my friends go for drinks inside McDonalds, either in my area or in the city. If it’s the city we go to Walgreens to find a brand of beer called Keystone. We also take Georgi’s Vodka and mix it with seltzer while playing cards. A lot of people play pokemon, mtg and D&D after work in fast food spots while drinking and smoking.
Many people congregate at the dollar pizza spot after work to eat pizza, drink beer and smoke weed. They also blast rap from boomboxes.
Another activity that we like to do after work is look inside dollar stores and LotLess for deals. Some nights I will go into the local housing project to look for my piano student so I will teach some piano.
During the summer many people go to the park to smoke after work. One day I went to the west village to visit my friend after work. We joined with a large pack of people in their 20s and 30s to drink beer and listen to rap aloud in the courtyard of a project.
Many NYers sit on a barstool in the street to holler at women. People also ride bicycles at night in large packs (midnight to 4 am) especially on Friday nights.
New York City is so large and diverse that I don't think there really is a “typical”.
I leave my apartment for work at about 730 each morning, Monday through Friday. I work until 6–8 pm barely taking time for lunch, return home, eat dinner, and pass out. Saturday I recover and Sunday I play.
However, when I do take a day off to relax or go to a doctors appointment, I am always amazed at how many people have completely different lives. The streets are full of people at 10 am or 2 pm on weekdays. What are they doing and where are they going? When I fly I to NY in the middle of the night and take a cab to my home in Brooklyn at 3 am there's traffic on the highways. Who are these other people and why are they awake at that hour? There are plenty of different answers to these questions. I'd say about 8 million of them.
I grew up in farm country in rural Oregon, and have lived in NYC for the past 7 years. I'm probably the guy to answer this.
It never really gets dark, because of the street lights and all the other lights. You can look up at the sky on a clear night and see MAYBE one or two stars. You always hear street noise (cars, people, etc.), even in the middle of the night. I think those are your specific questions.
But in terms of what it's like to live here -- it is completely incomparable to life in the country. Buildings everywhere. People everywhere. Things to do everywhere. Want to see a concert? A band you really like is probably playing in the city this week. Want to see a movie? Major release, limited-run, indie or foreign film? Sports fan? A game at the Garden or Yankee Stadium is an amazing experience, and Citi Field and the new Nets arena in Brooklyn are great as well, if less storied. What's your favorite kind of food? Favorite bar? Favorite bookstore? Whatever it is, it's here.
Today I'm the only one in my office because of the weather. I went to Seamlessweb.com to order lunch, and spent a significant amount of time dithering between multiple Chinese, Mexican, Indian, and other restaurants that would deliver me whatever I wanted, through the snow, for no extra charge. I was miffed that the good Korean fried-chicken place and my favorite Szechuan place weren't delivering.
THAT'S life in New York.
I live in Manhattan but travel a lot. The thing I usually miss the most, therefore what stands out to me as the most uniquely New York quality, is just the sheer variety of everything:
The most varied people on earth. The most kinds of restaurants, the most variety of bars, food, groceries, parks, places, events, even the biggest variety of places to fly to. It's easier and cheaper to get to almost everywhere from New York.
I would look for sublets in more affordable Brooklyn neighborhoods – Flatbush, Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Crown Heights, Bushwick and Brighton Beach are good places to start your search.