If anyone asked me how it is living in New York City, I would reply that it is both exhilarating and depressing. This is a city famed for always having something to do, a city that is full of rude people, and a city that can give you your big break and make your dreams come true. It has drawn in everyone from celebrities sick of LA to Midwestern Americans looking for a change. It has also served as a long time beacon to many immigrants who come and see New York City as the foundation for their new life.
New York City is idealized in the media, but what is it really like to live here? One thing that no one will mention besides in a quick throwaway joke is that it is ridiculously expensive. Let’s look at transportation as a quick example. Many people in New York do not own a car and choose instead to utilize the crowded subway and bus system that costs $112 for unlimited rides for a month (called a Metrocard) and $30 for a week. If you wish to pay per ride, it is $2.50 every time you swipe in. New York City also has some of the best restaurants in the United States, but food also comes with a hefty price in the city. Luckily, there are many free events going on at any time, and many of them serve food or drink at a reduced price.
A perk of living in NYC is that there is always something going on. If you don’t have any plans for the, just hop on to one of the many websites that have a listing of all the free and cheap events around the city and you will be overwhelmed at the amount of things there is to do on one given day. If you don’t feel in the mood to do anything but dance, New York City has an active and bustling nightlife with last call at many bars and clubs ringing in at 4 am. Even if you want some peace and quiet, you can sit in one of the city’s many green spaces or parks and people watch all the interesting characters that populate New York.
One drawback to living in NYC is the constant presence of people. If you ever want to go somewhere to be alone or feel like you need to get away for a while, it is not an easy task. New York is the city that never sleeps and the city that is full of noise. Whenever New Yorkers go outside of the city, they are always struck by how quiet it is. We still have many beautiful places to sit and reflect, but many times it is interrupted by the passing music of a jogger or by the wailing siren of an ambulance. Even at the end of a trying work day and the thing you most want to do is just go home and relax, you are forced to be pressed against multiple people in a crowded subway train and then a crowded bus.
The good things about living in New York City far outweigh the bad, but it is important to see both sides of the issue.