Start spreadin’ the news…..I’m leavin’ today!

Posted on July 15, 2011

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New York is….well its New York. We all know it and we’ve all seen it featured in way too many films and TV shows. It’s glamorous, scenic, iconic and just all round one of the most desired places to live. It must feel great being able to say that your a New Yorker when people from back home ask you where you live. But what’s it really like living in the city that never sleeps? We all know the fantasy, but what’s the reality?

Well I’m going to let you know about everything I’ve learnt in my house of research. Well, when I say research, I actually mean reading because the actual searching took roughly 0.27 seconds according to Google.

So lets lay it down on the line. The most important thing I’ve learnt from everything I’ve read through is this:

NEW YORK IS EXPENSIVE!

So given this knowledge, the first question I and anyone else that wants to move to NYC needs to ask themselves is, ‘Do I really need to move to New York?’ For me the answer is no, I don’t specifically NEED to move there, it’s just that a dream I’ve had for a very long time. I know a lot of people that live there and from their accounts it sounds like a great place, but truth be told they all have great jobs so I guess money isn’t as big of a deal for them as it would be for me.

It seems that the biggest expense you will have is rent, the amount you pay for rent will rule you life. So spending quite a bit of time scoping out the rent market is a good way to start your preparation for the big move. Now if your a fledgeling graduate like I will be when I hope to move, you’ll want a well paying job. Now a $35, 000 a year job might serve you very well in Denver, Colorado, but in NY its barely enough to get by on. So this leads us to move onto our second point, savings.

Everything I’ve read says I should save quite a large sum before moving. Some give numbers, others an estimate, such as five times the monthly rent of your apartment. But on thing they all agree on is that it should be a considerable amount.

So we move onto another very important aspect of life in NY, and life in general; job. What I realised after learning about the expense report NY will put on my bank statement is that a job is pretty crucial to life in the big city. The best thing of course is to have a job lined up before the move, however that is not always possible. I personally would not even consider making the move is I did not have a job waiting for me, but if you are going in without a safety net then the best thing I suggest is to save up considerably more than what I suggested before. It would also be helpful if you can type fast (temp jobs are plentiful in NYC) or work in an industry which has jobs in abundance, although given the economic climate of the world at the moment, that is very rare. Now whether you have a job or not, you’re gonna have to travel quite a bit, either to get you to and from work or to look for work. Which brings us nicely to our next topic, transport.

Having a car in NYC is a pretty stupid idea according to most living in the city. It’s a lot cheaper and faster to take the subway during the day and a taxi if its late at night. An unlimited monthly metro card costs $70 and will get you anywhere you need to be. Second thing you have to keep in mind is that walking will become a large part of your life. I for one used to despise walking, but over the past year I’ve had to walk almost 2 miles everyday to and from university, so it doesn’t seem like such a bad thing any more. Biking is an option, although not a very viable one. NY is a very crowded city so biking will be impossible in some areas plus chances are that your apartment will be rather small so unless your absolutely sure that you’re going to use your bike everyday, there is no point hauling it to the city for it to just eat up space in your home. And so we arrive at our next topic: space and belongings.

Even though you will be paying the lions share of your bank balance to your landlord, the space you will be getting won’t be very big. So it’s a good idea to only pack the things you need most in the world. Me, I can pack everything I need into 2 suitcases plus my laptop and guitar. Its usually the amount I take to university and it fits into my room pretty good, with enough room to move around freely. So for anyone moving I would suggest that 2/3 suitcases plus a few bits would be the right amount. So after you’ve arranged what little valuables you can fit into your small apartment, turns out your gonna have to get used to staying there, because according to most people being new in NY means finding a friend in solitude. You’ll make friends obviously, but all in time. NY is a great place to meet people, especially if you don’t mind hanging out in dive bars drinking cheap beer. The trick is the same with making friends in any new city, just being friendly and open minded.

So there you have it; all of the important things you need to know before moving to one of the greatest cities in the world. Sure it seems daunting, trust me, I’m feeling pretty daunted myself. But the fact still remains that if you want it enough, you can make it in New York. But that’s the key questions I’m asking you , and you should ask yourself: Do you want it enough?

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Posted in: Advice, Travel