“If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.” But should you even want to?
The City of New York – its 5 boroughs: Manhatten, The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island – is so unique of a place, offering such a unique experience that its appeal spans generations and national borders. It is a rich, vibrant cosmopolis filled with a wildly vast array of people, some ambitious, creative, devious, kind, or other.
Depending on what you’re looking for or what your expectations are going in, moving to New York City could be one of the greatest decisions you’re ever going to make in your life, or the most disastrous. (New York is all about extremes; it’s not a city that entertains tempered or half measures).
If you’re contemplating working and living in New York, in this short article, we’ll be taking a look at some advantages the city offers as well as some of the downsides including practical matters to be aware of before making the move.
PRO – The Diversity of Its People
Link to the royalty-free image by Tim Mossholder here
You see it all in New York City. And this holds true in regard to the people you see there, too. Not only does New York City continue to attract immigrants from all around the world, but it is also a popular tourist destination for people from inside and outside the US.
When living in New York City, you will be exposed to a variety of different cultures. Experiencing these cultures in New York can’t replace traveling since the diverse cultures do quickly assimilate to (or get overtaken by) the unique New York landscape, vibe, and way of life
CON – The High Cost of Living
Given the city’s limited space and the large number of people who wish to live there, it should come as no surprise to see that the cost of living is quite high, especially in terms of housing and accommodation. In fact, according to the NUMBEO cost of living index for US cities, New York City ranks as the 4th most expensive city in the US to live in behind Hamilton, Bermuda; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Santa Barbara, California.
Especially in the central borough of Manhattan – and in the outer boroughs with a close proximity to Manhattan – the apartments are small (more often under 700 square feet in size for a 1-bedroom) and expensive. This means sharing already limited living space is not uncommon (even for married couples).
PRO – The Entertainment
The song “New York, New York” claims it is the city that doesn’t sleep. And why would it sleep when there is always something exciting going on?
Though New York City is not even the capital of New York State, it does claim to be the capital of many other domains: the fashion capital, the literary capital, the jazz capital, capital of musicals and theatre, salsa dancing, baseball, and the list goes on.
Whether New York City is the capital of any or all of these domains is debatable. But what is not debatable is that all of these aspects of culture and entertainment are active and present in the city. Especially when it comes to the performing arts – be it live music, theatre, stand-up comedy, opera, ballet, etc – there is always something spectacular going on in New York.
CON – It’s Crowded
New York City offers us an interesting paradox. The testament to how great a city New York is (the number of people who continuously flock to it) may also be what keeps it from truly being a great place: the crowds.
The crowds are ever-present, but they are especially noticeable and problematic when taking public transport (or, heaven forbid, you were to actually find yourself trying to drive through the city).
New York is estimated to accommodate over 8.4 million inhabitants. That comes out to about 25,000 inhabitants per square mile, making it both the most highly populated and also the most densely populated city in the US.
PRO – Many Good Job Opportunities
If you want to find a job you are passionate about, you will have ample opportunity to do that in New York City. Nearly all industries, fields of study, or creative endeavors are present in New York. And with the city acting as a hub for the financial industry, there is also quite a lot of money circulating within the 5 boroughs.
For people looking for work experience rather than taking a more concrete step on their career path, Manhatten offers no shortage of temp agencies and staffing agencies. They can thrive in this environment thanks to the city’s relatively high transient nature (people always seem to be either coming or going). And since many young people move to New York to pursue their creative ambitions – whether that be in acting, music, dance, the visual arts, etc. – a lot of the city itself relies on temporary workers.
In a Nutshell
New York City is unique in many respects – the people who live there and visit, its architecture, its vibrant jazz scene, and live theatre culture, etc. On the other hand, it is much the same as any other city, town, or village: It is what you make of it. What you get out of the city will, in large part, be determined by what you put in.