New York City is the Promised Land in the eyes of many. It’s the big city of dreams, the city that never sleeps, the place you come to make it big, the Big Apple. We have no shortage of nicknames and Sinatra devoted a whole song to us. The truth is, New York City doesn’t have the allure it once did but even if it did chances are you couldn’t afford to live here anyway. As a born and bred Brooklynite it’s borderline sacrilegious for me to say anything negative about the town I love but the truth is there are some things you need to know before you pack up your Dodge Neon and make the trek over here from Middle America. Let’s go old school and make a pros and cons list for living in New York City.
1. The Women: New York has millions of drop dead gorgeous women from every walk of life, models, actresses, you name it. Plus, hot girls from everywhere else often come here to pursue their dreams. The best part is that any Average Joe can mix with the cream of the crop in terms of the ladies. All you need is knowledge of the nightlife and a top notch wardrobe. Seriously, you can’t walk down the block without tripping over a hottie. It’s unbelievable.
2. The Food: In the Big Apple you’ll never have to choose between Denny’s and Pizza Hut. We have thousands of restaurants and each one is better than the last. From world class French cuisine, to legendary steakhouses like Peter Luger’s, to impossible to get into Italian joints like the famous Rao’s. There’s no place on earth that has the bevy of quality cuisine that NYC does. Oh, and one other thing, pizza. No other place in the world comes close.
3. Convenience: In New York City you can have anything you want at any time of the day. Want a busty blonde, a turkey sandwich, and a pint of Jack Daniels at 5 in the morning? You won’t have any problem finding any of the three. The city really doesn’t sleep. If you’ve got the money this is a dream come true for most guys.
4. The Surroundings: When you live in NYC there are times when you’ll find yourself amazed by the beauty you’re seeing. I still can’t get over the awe-inspiring skyline from the Brooklyn Queens Expressway or Times Square on a quiet night.
5. Nightlife: New York City nightlife is like urban folklore complete with tales of drugs, sex, and other kinds of excess you can imagine. Some of it is true and some of it is not but we were the home of Studio 54, the greatest nightclub in history so we earned our legendary status. Don’t come here expecting that anymore though. Thanks to new laws and zoning rules, NYC’s mega clubs are a thing of the past. Still, we have a bar or lounge on nearly every block and no matter what scene you’re looking for, we have it. There’s no place in the world with better nightlife.
6. Culture: We have it all from Broadway, to MOMA, to the Met and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. New York City is full of culture and you don’t even need to look for it, it’s everywhere. Every street in the city tells a tale so it’s also full of history.
1. Cost of Living: New York City is outrageously expensive and don’t think you can sneak away to one of the outer boroughs to save some money. We’re so overpopulated that every borough is expensive now. If you want to pay two grand for a studio apartment or share a one bedroom with three other people then come on down. Between rent, food, cable, etc. you’re looking at a fortune. To live comfortably by yourself in New York City would take a salary of about $120,000 in my opinion.
2. The Filth: New York City is a dirty place. Between the garbage, the grime, and the rats, it’s almost unbearable. The population here is just too high to keep things tidy. And seriously, the rats are a problem. Just get on any subway and see for yourself, they’re everywhere and it’s truly disgusting. The summer months are especially rough. Just imagine the garbage of millions of people sitting on a sidewalk in 98 degree heat, not good.
3. Seediness: Thanks to Giuliani and compared to what New York used to be it’s essentially Disneyland at this point. I mean seriously, it’s pretty safe. However, make no mistake, it’s still New York City and that underbelly is still very much present. There are still streets where you can start on one corner and get offered heroin, a prostitute, and get conned out of ten bucks before you hit the next corner. A lot of people forget that.
4. Traffic and Parking: If you get in your car at the wrong time of day it could take you an hour to go twenty blocks and that’s no exaggeration. Street parking is in high demand so get ready for some competition. It may take you a couple of hours to find a good spot where you won’t get towed. But don’t worry, if you don’t want to deal with parking on the street you can shell out around 60 bucks for a few hours in one of NYC’s many parking lots.
5. Too Many People and Too Few Jobs: This is the case everywhere but New York City is home to nearly 19 million people. There’s a boatload of competition for even the worst jobs and those jobs won’t even come close to paying the rent. Unless you’ve got an extremely solid line on a job you might want to think twice before you move to NYC.
Okay, so here’s the verdict. The pros beat out the cons 6 to 5. What does that mean? It means that New York City isn’t what it used to be but it’s still a big deal. Everybody should live here at some point in their lives. However, New York is no longer the place you go to get rich, it’s the place you go after you’re already rich. Come on down and get ready to pay sixteen bucks for a Heineken.