New York City isn’t the most populous city in America for no reason. The Big Apple is bursting with culture, great food, gorgeous sights, and limitless things to do. Sure, it’s super expensive, and dirty, and loud, and crazy and fast…but it’s worth it! They say if you can make it here you can make it anywhere, so here’s some tips to help you fake it till you make it.
New York City is comprised of five boroughs nestled where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean: Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. The total population is roughly 8.5 million people. It’s one of the most powerful financial centers in the world, so it’s no surprise that a large number of people you meet will come from the world of finance.
“You talkin to me”???
No, New Yorkers aren’t that rude. It’s a no-nonsense type of place but also more friendly than it gets credit for. Thousands upon thousands of transplants (just like you) move to New York each year, and as a transient place, lots of people are looking for friend groups and to be a part of a community. Beyond your 9-5, get out and get involved, enjoy the many opportunities to meet people just like yourself. Moving to places like, say, Omaha Nebraska, don’t afford you the same luxury, so get out there and take advantage of meeting ALL the people.
There’s absolutely no reason to drive in NYC. Which is great news, considering all your income is going to bar tabs and rent. The city’s transit system is vast and efficient; plus, it is literally the most walkable city in the country. Biking is another great way to get around the city, but don’t lock your bike to scaffolding, which is easily disassembled by thieves.
Download the subway system map and get yourself an unlimited MetroCard. Leave early, and plan for delays. In general, trains run less frequently on the weekend. Between the subway, the bus, and the occasional Uber, you are more than covered. During peak hours the subway is the fastest way to get around the city. Famous people even take the subway, so you should too.
Borough Talk 101: Which borough is right for you?
Manhattan is the center of the world, and it knows it. If it’s your first foray into NYC living, getting familiar with New York’s most famous borough is definitely recommended. It’s almost a rite of passage for first time NYer to pay 2K a month for a 600 ft living space with two of your closest friends. Quaint, right? But at least you’re in Manhattan.
Brooklyn is Manhattan’s trendy cousin, who’s come of age as part hipster, part cool suburban parent. Brooklyn is the largest by population and is fast becoming just as expensive and trendy as Manhattan. From the high rise apartments of Dumbo, to the brownstones of Park Slope, living options, and price ranges are varied.
Queens is super diverse; almost half of the population are immigrants, and it’s the largest borough by square miles. With so much square footage, there are lots of different neighborhoods to discover and lots of parity between them. Despite its size, it’s very convenient to get in and out of Manhattan—sometimes without even changing trains. Having an apartment near public transportation is a must, or if you choose to live farther out, a car might be in order.
The Bronx still has a bit of a rough reputation, but it has experienced an economic revitalization over the past decade. Despite the bad PR, it’s just as safe as the other boroughs and way more affordable. Convincing your friends to go north of 90th is another matter….
Staten Island isn’t usually the first stop for new transplants. First off, it’s tough to get to and it’s the only borough where car ownership is a requirement. It’s more for those with 2.5 kids and anyone with a strong desire for traffic jams or a house with a pool.
We’ve just scratched the surface of all you need to know before making the big move, but In summary, it’s big, loud, and amazing. Don’t be overwhelmed, be excited! Regardless of how long your stay in New York is, it will change you for the better and provide you with one of the best cultural experiences in the world.
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