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Are you planning to move to New York? Preparing for relocation is an exciting transition. In New York, you’ll have the world at your fingertips. Everything from shopping and dining to culture and education is right here in the city, and as a bonus, you won’t need to own a car. Of course, there’s a learning curve to living in New York. Traffic jams are frequent, and temperatures can get uncomfortably high in the summer. Like all new cities you are, though, getting familiar with the place before moving can make a significant difference.
There’s honestly no other place like the Big Apple, but it can be a little overwhelming for those new to it. If the only knowledge you have of living in New York comes from watching friends or Sex and the City, you could be in for a rude awakening when you switch to living there. To prepare, there are a few things; helpful to know before moving. Whether moving to the city to start a new job or searching for an incredible adventure, here are seven things you need to know first.
Learn these 22 things before you move, and you’ll be a true New Yorker in no time.
There is more than meets the eye in almost any neighborhood.There is more than meets the eye in almost any neighborhood.
Being on the edge of a popular area can mean better deals for renters. There are five boroughs in New York City (Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island), and each has more and less sought-after neighborhoods. Consider the East Village’s eastern reaches or Manhattan Valley, located on the Upper West Side’s North End.
Expect parking to be an issue.Expect parking to be an issue.
No matter where you live in New York, parking will be a challenge. Thanks to the city’s excellent public transportation, you probably won’t need to drive a car. However, if you own a car, you might have to pay a monthly fee to park it in a garage. These charges can add up, especially if you’re trying to save money.
As a result, you’re better off getting on a subway. If you aren’t within a short walk of the train, make sure there’s a bus nearby. That seemingly pleasant eight-block walk to the New York City subway might be anything but on freezing winter mornings. It would be best if you also planned for potential delays. Scheduled maintenance is a part of New York life, and you’ll notice an influx of tourists during the weekend. Leave home early, and you’ll never have to worry about being late.
You probably won’t cook much.You probably won’t cook much.
Living solo in New York makes ordering takeout easier than cooking at home. Good food is abundant in New York City, and delivery services like Caviar and Postmates are readily available. Moreover, smaller apartments tend to have limited kitchen appliances. Consequently, you might have trouble fitting enough groceries in your pantry for the week. Avoid the hassle and order some beef chow mein from your favorite Chinese restaurant.
You’ll love to shop at New York’s Green Carts.You’ll love to shop at New York’s Green Carts.
Supermarkets in New York tend to be expensive (hence why it’s often cheaper to order takeout). If you insist on cooking at home, consider supporting your local green cart (produce stand). The fruits and vegetables at these carts are cheap and delicious, and you’ll run into locals from all runs of life. Slice some peaches for a quick dessert, or simmer mangos for a delicious chutney.
Prepare for your first lease in advance.Prepare for your first lease in advance.
Moving to New York City can be expensive. You’ll likely need a fair amount of money (typically a certified check). Plan to pay your first month’s rent, security deposit, and broker’s fee within a few days of signing your lease.
Understand evacuation zonesUnderstand evacuation zones
Severe weather can have a significant impact on the city. Neighborhoods are assigned to Zones 1 through 6, with Zone 1 having the highest flood risk. These areas get evacuated first, and it’s worth considering where your rental will be. Even if there’s no damage to your building, an evacuation will mean a temporary disruption. If your building is damaged, the upheaval will be much more significant.
Owning a dog in New York requires adjustment.Owning a dog in New York requires adjustment.
Many rental buildings in NYC prohibit pets or limit the size and breed of dogs they allow. As a result, you should check the rules of the pet-friendly buildings you find. Sometimes, you might have to use a side entrance if you return from a walk. You should also be aware that your dog won’t have a lot of space to romp. Fortunately, New York has plenty of dog-friendly parks. Look for a park near your place and breathe fresh air with your best friend.
Rental Apartments are not created equal.Rental Apartments are not created equal.
You can rent an apartment in a rental building, condo, or co-op building. Not all rentals are created equal. Many prefer renting condos but expect more red tape, such as lease duration restrictions and higher application fees.
You should also know that not all buildings will have doormen. Smaller and cheaper properties tend not to have someone screening the building’s visitors. If you’re looking for more affordable properties to rent, keep this in mind.
New York’s not quite like the movies.New York’s not quite like the movies.
Young hopefuls may very well move to NYC with nothing but the clothes they’re wearing and the drive to make it. However, very few of the films set in NYC describe an accurate picture. In reality, apartments as beautiful as Monica and Rachel’s are expensive to rent. Moreover, most newcomers come in with a game plan, and you don’t want to spend the first few months relying on tips from serving at a dive bar. As a result, you’ll probably want to have a job waiting for you in advance. You should also know your neighborhood’s local hotspots in advance to hit the ground running.
How you dress will probably change.How you dress will probably change.
Your wardrobe will likely evolve in a more chic direction. You’ll probably notice that many residents in the city are somewhat eccentric dressers. As a result, you should probably save money and look out for clearance sales so you can fit in.
Locals don’t call it the Big Apple.Locals don’t call it the Big Apple.
Tourists use many terms for New York City, ranging from the Big Apple to “The City that Never Sleeps.” Locals, however, call it “New York” or only “the city.” Use the local terms whenever you’re outside, and New Yorkers will embrace you as one of their own.
If you want to party, look for a neighborhood with a thriving nightlife scene.If you want to party, look for a neighborhood with a thriving nightlife scene.
Some regions seem to have a bar on every corner. If you love a good cocktail, consider the East Village, the Lower East Side, Murray Hill in Manhattan, and Bushwick or Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Likewise, you should stay clear of these neighborhoods if you’re worried that the noise and crowds will bother you.
New Yorkers are not as rude as you’ve probably heard.New Yorkers are not as rude as you’ve probably heard.
Don’t be surprised if you get shoved by someone running down the street late for work. However, you shouldn’t expect rudeness to be the norm. The city is primarily full of friendly people, many of whom were new to the town. Once you get to know them, you’ll make friends in no time.
Odd-numbered streets run west; even-numbered streets run east.Odd-numbered streets run west; even-numbered streets run east.
Getting used to any new city takes time. Fortunately, New York is a relatively easy place to navigate. Odd-numbered streets have westbound traffic; even-numbered streets have eastbound traffic. There’s no 4th avenue except Astor Place/Cooper Square and Union Square. The rest of the 4th is known as Park Avenue.
Central Park is an urban oasis.Central Park is an urban oasis.
Central Park will be your oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle. People of all ages find fun things to do, even if you only want to sit on a bench and enjoy your coffee peacefully. There are many free events in the park; look for festivals, parades, concerts, etc. As a bonus, there’s free Wi-Fi in Central Park. You can thus go online to do what you need to do while you unwind in the park.
New York is a large, vibrant city, and despite its quirks, the people who live here believe it’s the most magnificent city in the world. Check out our favorite activities if you’re looking for things to do in New York during the summer. With a bit of preparation, you will too.
You’ll need to (and will) get used to the noise.You’ll need to (and will) get used to the noise.
The noise will likely keep you up for the first few nights on the first arrival. In a city that never sleeps, there is an almost relentless crescendo of jackhammers breaking through the pavement, car horns honking like no tomorrow, and unruly pedestrians shouting at the top of their lungs. Give it time. Eventually, a strange thing happens: it will begin to soothe you. But if it doesn’t, you can always invest in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones.
Subway journeys can offer more entertainment than any show on Broadway.Subway journeys can offer more entertainment than any show on Broadway.
The NYC subway can be far from pleasant at times, with frequent delays and overcrowding at rush hour. But it can also provide some of the fascinating experiences of living in NYC. Whether two total strangers having a saxophone battle or a Buddhist monk chanting sutras, time on the subway always offers something unique. You’ll see the whole of the city passing by along with a fair share of oddballs and nonconformists.
It’s pronounced House-ton, not Houston.It’s pronounced House-ton, not Houston.
There’s no faster way to mark yourself as an outsider than to mispronounce Houston Street. Please don’t mistake pronouncing it like the city in Texas. It might seem trivial, but Houston Street is a crucial point of reference when traveling through Manhattan.
The pizza and bagels genuinely do live up to the hype.The pizza and bagels genuinely do live up to the hype.
Pizza and bagels are almost synonymous with New York as the Brooklyn Bridge and Lady Liberty. After trying your first bite, you may discover a lifelong love affair. You’ll find pizza shops throughout the city, and with many places charging only $1 a slice, you may soon want to consider a gym membership. Speaking of which.
You will do a lot of walking.You will do a lot of walking.
The Subway may be very efficient for getting around, but once at your stop, you’ll undoubtedly have more to walk before reaching your destination. Distances in NYC are measured in blocks, not miles, and you’ll soon get used to walking many of them. Make sure you invest in a good pair of shoes with thick soles. The upside to this is that you’ll burn a lot of calories.
Personal space does not exist.Personal space does not exist.
If you’re not used to walking busy city streets, it may take some time before you get comfortable walking in New York. An average day walking down a busy street will result in 10 people crashing into you. Instead of viewing it as a hostel act, try and trick yourself into seeing it as a friendly gesture and go on with your day. Some days on the subway can feel like being inside a car compactor, while nightclubs are like a fun version of Black Friday. You’ll quickly find that almost no one in New York pays any mind to the notion of personal space.
You’ll probably have to move at least three times while living thereYou’ll probably have to move at least three times while living there
Every neighborhood in the city is a little different, so it helps to do your research before choosing one to live in. Even with that, you may move from time to time as your needs, tastes, or expectations change. Living in the city takes a bit of time before you can tell your ideal living arrangement and location.