Manhattan is such a representative of the New York lifestyle that even locals refer to it as “the city.” If looking for a vibrant challenge, or simply Manhattan dreaming of all the romantic action you’ve seen in the movies, we have a reality check for you. Moving to NYC is not your average move. If you’ve never lived in the Big Apple before, make sure that you thoroughly read these tips. And take notes.
Pros of Living in New York City when Manhattan dreaming
Great job market
People gravitate towards New York City for the ever-buzzing job market. Manhattan is the financial and publishing capital of America, is blessed with higher income. A number of Fortune 500 businesses and other global companies – like Pfizer, Verizon Communications, PepsiCo, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup – chose NYC for their head offices.
The economy is growing stronger in New York City and the unemployment rate has been declining. Even though New York City’s median annual income is above average in the USA, there is a significant wage gap in the economy. This happens because of a large variety of industries represented here. All in all, NYC offers many career opportunities: the world of finance, fashion, marketing, advertising, PR and food.
You won’t need a car
The public transportation is very organized: taxis, uber, buses and the subway make up a great system for getting around. Driving, on the other hand, especially in Manhattan, is extremely difficult. The primary reason is the horrendous traffic jams, but there is also parking.
The parking system is ridiculously expensive. In the event of you actually finding a good spot, lucky you, you’ll just have to move your car the next day. This street regulation is what makes efficient and frequent street cleaning possible. Keep your car for trips out of town, but on a daily basis – a vehicle storage unit is the best option.
Entertainment is everywhere
Manhattan dreaming of cool attractions in NYC, high culture, amazing restaurants, edgy bars and concerts by famous performers? If you enjoy celebrity spotting then NYC is a great place to be! Manhattan is not all bright lights though, it is also an island of history and culture. World-renowned famous galleries, museums, and iconic buildings are everywhere you turn.
NYC is home to more than 70 art museums: from the Metropolitan and MOMA to ethnic and national museums, academic galleries, and specialty museums.
Green lungs of Manhattan
Central Park is the most famous, most visited and most photographed park in New York. Each year, as many as 42 million people walk, run or fall in love on its paths. It is often referred to as Manhattan’s green lungs and is the first destination tourists visit when they go to New York.
Central Park offers great opportunities for sports enthusiasts. Here you can play baseball, football, tennis, throw frisbees, ride in a boat, skate, ride a bike, or do outdoors yoga or pilates. During the summer months, there is an open pool in the northern part of the park. If you are young and single it’s a great place for meeting people and dating.
New Yorkers are often optioning for spending the most important day in their life in Central Park. Weddings are very well organized, from the necessary documentation, through decoration, to the organization of the feast itself.
Safe and sound
Violent crime has been dropping since 1991 and, as of 2017, is among the lowest of major cities in the USA. Manhattan is a safe place to live and crimes from action movies from the ’80s and ’90s are now a thing of the past.
Downsize Your Lifestyle
This is a great plus of the NYC lifestyle. Square footage is in high demand. If you are buying rather than renting a home in the city, prices go around $1,800 per square foot. The cool way to save money on Manhattan apartments is to downsize to as few belongings as possible. As we’ve mentioned above, you probably won’t need a car in NYC. Clean out your home and prepare to toss anything that you don’t use. We all have that one whole section of the maybe I will use it one day closet. And It’s been sitting there for 5 years. Finally, a proper spring cleaning.
New Yorkers are also great at maximizing what space they have. Every last inch of your closets should be optimized for maximum use. Manhattan dreaming of that walk in a closet out of a 5th Avenue fairytale? Well, be prepared to pay for that 5th Avenue price tag. For the rest of us, staying organized helps utilize the space to the fullest. Maybe you’ll also be comfortable with sharing a Manhattan apartment.
Cons of Living in New York City when Manhattan dreaming
Reevaluate Your Budget
The cost of living in Manhattan is above average, and it might require a shock to your system kind of change in the way that you spend. A family of four who lives comfortably on $48,000 a year in Minnesota, would need $93,500 to keep the same lifestyle in New York City. Housing, childcare, and insurance top the list of the biggest expenses in the city. In April 2014, the average monthly rent for a Manhattan apartment was $4,000.
Real estate is too expensive for most people and rent prices are colossal. You end up living in a shoe box with few amenities for a crazy price.
It is an expensive place to live in every other way. A beer can be around ten dollars. Utilities, groceries, services, and eating out all add up to a high living standard.
It is noisy
It is the city that never sleeps, traffic is always heavy and noisy. Driving and navigating through the busiest streets on Earth with a bike is only for the bravest. The subway overcrowded at rush hour. Train delays and routes closed due to construction. It is all part of the Manhattan dream.
Simple chores become tasks so plan ahead
Without a car, simple chores such as grocery shopping become a sore. A good plan is to make smaller trips to the store, stocking up little every time. If you’re used to shopping in a big grocery store, you’ll have to change your ways. New Yorkers typically only buy as much as you can carry home in a single trip.
The weather is not so dreamy
Summers are hot, humid and heavy in a city made of concrete and iron. Winters are uncomfortably cold. People are cold and rude most of the time, so that adds to the atmosphere.
All in all, consider what changes you are willing to make. Manhattan is an exciting place to live. But it requires a unique lifestyle. Many New Yorkers live without a dishwasher or elevator. Most have no personal green space at their disposal. They have other, career and social benefits. Tough competition though. If you are competitive and ambitious, you’ll fit right in.
If Manhattan reality sounds just like the dream after finding out more about its lifestyle, pack your bags in a minimalistic way, put those old items in storage, toss them, or donate, and get ready for a new adventure.