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 make the switch to living there. There’s honestly no other place like the Big Apple, but it can be a little overwhelming for those new to it. To help you prepare, there are a few things it’s helpful to know before making a move. Whether you’re moving to the city to start a new job or in search of an incredible adventure, here are seven things you need to know first.

1. You’ll need to (and will) get used to the noise

On first arriving, the noise is likely to keep you up for the first few nights. 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 in case it doesn’t you can always invest in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones.

2. 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. You’ll see the whole of the city passing by along with a fair share of oddballs and nonconformists. Whether it’s two total strangers having a saxophone battle or a Buddhist monk chanting sutras, time on the subway always offers something unique.

3. It’s pronounced House-ton, not Houston

There’s no faster way to mark yourself as an outsider than to mispronounce Houston Street. Don’t make the mistake of pronouncing it like the city in Texas. This might seem trivial, but Houston Street is a crucial point of reference when traveling through Manhattan.

4. The pizza and bagels truly do live up to the hype

Pizza and bagels are almost as 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 all throughout the city and with many places charging only $1 a slice you may soon want to consider a gym membership. Speaking of which…

5. You will do a lot of walking

The Subway may be very efficient for getting around, but once at your stop, you’ll most certainly have a bit more to walk before reaching your destination. Distances in NYC are measured in blocks, not miles, and you’ll soon get used to walking a lot of them. Make sure you invest in a good pair of shoes with thick soles. The upside to this being that you’ll burn a lot of calories.

6. Personal space does not exist

If you’re not used to walking busy city streets, then it may take some time before you get comfortable with walking New York’s. An average day walking down a busy street will result in upwards of 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 tend to be 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.

8. You’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 find yourself moving from time to time as your needs, tastes or expectations change. It takes a bit of time living in the city before you can tell what your ideal living arrangement and location is.


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