Should I move to New York?

Everyone’s 20s are filled with endless uncertainty and streams of existential questions. Who am I? What should I do with my life? Where should I live? If you are considering any of these questions, you may be looking to make a big change in your life. For many of us in our 20s, this big change may be a move to New York City. As cliche as it sounds, New York City is a wonderful place to go to explore all the questions we have about ourselves. So, when deliberating should I move to New York?, here are some things to consider:

1. Tons of professional and creative opportunities. NYC is a place that many go to in hope of achieving some personal and professional ambition in arts, culture, finance, business and music. There are many interesting and fruitful career opportunities available in New York, if you are savvy and determined.

2. Experience BIG CITY LIFE. The U.S isn’t necessarily known for dense metropolises, which is why New York City is one of the most eccentric and fulfilling American cities out there. Full of people, energy and excitement, learning how to coexist with people far different than you is an important skill to acquire and take with you into whatever you are doing.

3. Anonymity. While New York City may seem full of people, in many ways, New York City makes you entirely anonymous. If you ever were concerned with being too out there, in New York City you will blend right in. There is nothing that makes you too different, because everyone in New York has seen it all before.

4. Vibrant around the clock. In most parts of NYC, there is a culture of 24/7 convenience. Whatever you need, at any time of night can be available to you. In NYC, most bars stay open until 4am. There are also many delicious food options like 24/7 grocery stores, diners and bodegas that are open throughout the night.

5. Transporation. NYC has some of the best Public Transportation systems in the country. The Subway System operates 24/7 and costs only $2.75 to take! The Subway is a great hub for cosmopolitan life. It’s not uncommon to see musicians and dancers perform on the train on your way to work. Commutes may be tricky and frustrating, but at least the NYC Subway is never boring. Moreover, public transportation gives you a lot more freedom. You don’t have to worry about paying for gas, car insurance, repairs and other expenses that come along with owning a car.

6. Nature! People say NYC is a concrete jungle, but there’s so much more! There are many Rivers, Parks and Beaches throughout the 5 boroughs that are beautiful and serene. Check out Domino Park in Brooklyn, Central Park in Manhattan, Clove Lakes Park in Staten Island, Rockaway Beach in Queens and Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx for some fun outdoor adventure on a warm day!

7. Good beaches. Aside from Rockaway Beach in Queens, there are many beaches across Long Island which are easy to get to from the city. In the summer, many New Yorkers travel to Long Island to go to the beach. Aside from the Hamptons, there are other great beaches across Long Island, including Fire Island, Long Beach, Shelter Island and Jones Beach. And if you take the LIRR, remember to bring some beer!

8. Upstate trips! Luckily, NYC is not far from the Hudson Valley and the Catskill Mountains. There are so many beautiful lakes and mountains to explore nearby. Especially, in the fall, when the trees turn different colors, many New Yorkers spend their weekends going apple picking upstate and gazing at the foilage.

9. Being around young, creative people! If you are interested in the arts, New York City is a great place to explore that desire. New York City has some of the best film festivals, theaters and music venues, where you can experience competitive talent and a universe full of people with similar passions as you.

10. Broadway Shows. New York City has some of the best theatre in the world. Broadway is the longest avenue in NYC, and also how New Yorkers characterize calibers of theatre. There are Broadway shows, Off-Broadway shows and Off-off Broadways—with the number of “Off’s” indicating theatre size and production value. Broadway shows tend to be more expensive, with celebrity cast members and larger theatres. Meanwhile, off-Broadway shows can be in smaller black-box theatres that can exist anywhere in the City like BAM and LaMama.

11. Museums. New York has some of the best art in the world. For instance, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, Whitney and Brooklyn Museum are great destinations to see Picassos and Van Goghs and other globally renowned art exhibits. Moreover, if you are a New Yorker, many of these museums give you free admission.

12. Nightlife. NYC is a fun place to go out! Aside from old-school clubs like Le Bain and Up & Down, there are many cool underground clubs and music venues opening up around Brooklyn and Queens. Some of the newer and cooler clubs worth checking out are in Ridgewood and Bushwick.

13. Food. In NYC, you can probably find just about any cusine. Indonesian, Georgian, Thai, Dominican, Lebanese, Greek… the list goes on. There is a high concentration of immigrants from all over the world, which means New Yorkers do not have any shortage of choices when deciding what to eat.

14. Different neighborhoods to choose from! Some people who say they could never live in NYC, probably haven’t seen much of the city. NYC is not just a city of glass skyscrapers and hot-dog stands. There are so many neighborhoods throughout the 5 boroughs that stand out from one another. Many neighborhoods in NYC are actually quite cozy and low-key, like Ditmas Park in Brooklyn and Forest Hills in Queens to name a few. In many of these neighborhoods, people live in family homes instead of apartments and have more suburban styles of living.

15. Better Renter Laws! In 2019 and 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio passed several laws aimed to help Renters in NYC. In 2019, these laws put a limit to how much renters could be charged for application fees on apartments. In 2020, Governor Cuomo passed a law banning Brokers Fees, meaning that renters no longer had to pay an additional fee (usually a month’s rent or so) to lease an apartment.

16. Because, WHY NOT? If you are in your 20s, this may be the best time to uproot yourself and re-locate to New York City. You may not have the same freedom and mobility when you are older. See what the hype is all about. New York City has been mythologized for decades on end. You may be curious to find out exactly what the city is really like. We think it’s important to discover that for yourself.

17. Finally, moving to a new city helps you build character. New York City is an incredibly challenging place to live. As Frank Sinatra once sang “If I can make it there, I’m gonna make it anywhere.” This city tests your character and abilities, daily. It’s a city where nothing is easy. The subway is a mess. The rent is high. However, if you can manage to succeed here, even if only for a short while, you will be better equipped to conquer whatever else life throws at you.

1. New York City is expensive! Currently, average rents for One-Bedroom apartments go for around $2800 a month, which means that much of your time in NYC may be spent trying to make money for rent. Moreover, for that price, your apartment may not even be particularly nice or spacious. You may have a tiny bedroom or no closet space, or have to share one bathroom for six people. The cost of NYC rent can be a huge deterrence for some people. In other cities, you can live for a fraction of the price.

2. High Cost of Living. Not only is it expensive to lease an apartment here, but NYC also has the 6th highest cost of living in the world! NYC is 33% more expensive that Los Angeles. Without accounting for rent, the cost of living in NYC for a single person is around $1,265.

3. Inability to buy Real Estate. In some other cities around the U.S, it may be feasible for a young person to save up to buy some real estate. However, this has become increasingly difficult in NYC. Many young people who spend their lives here may never earn enough to be able to purchase any real estate. So, if you are planning to purchase property in the future, you may not be able to do that in NYC.

4. Not a city for a leisurely pace of life. New Yorkers are always hustling and moving. The busy style of life means that you won’t always be able to spend quality time with friends or make time for your hobbies. If you are a creative person who needs an unrelated day-job to pay rent, make sure you have the discipline to keep pursuing your talents outside of work.

5. Fierce competition. Despite the abundance of opportunity in NYC, you need to learn how to network and make yourself known to other people. In New York City, there are thousands of other talented and driven people trying to do the exact same thing as you. Consider what opportunities are available to you currently, and see if you can accomplish your goals in a less densely-populated city. Some people may prefer to be a big fish in a small pond, allowing themselves to properly stand out.

6. Looooong commutes. NYC is a rather large city, which means that you will probably spend a lot of your time commuting from place to place. If you live in Washington Heights, and you work far downtown, you may have to spend up to an hour traveling from place to place. This can be exhausting and disheartening. Some cities, on the other hand, are far more contained, which means that you may not live more than 20 minutes away from work. In cities like Austin and Portland, you may have access to everything in far closer proximity.

7. Lack of Laundry/ Dishwasher/Applicances. Unlike big suburban homes, many NYC apartments do not have many basic household appliances. This means that many New Yorkers do their dishes by hand or take their clothes down the street to a Laundromat. For the expensive cost of living, some may be frustrated by the lack of amenities that come along with NYC life.

8. Bad Weather. NYC is not known for having particularly nice weather. NYC has all 4 seasons and in high intensity. The Summers are incredibly hot. The Winters are incredibly cold. But that doesn’t mean New Yorkers don’t get to experience good weather from time to time. The Fall and Spring are some of the most beautiful times to be in NYC.

If reading through this list has not crushed your ambition to move to NYC, then maybe you’ve found your answer— you should move to New York City. But if you are on the fence, consider some other exciting cities throughout the U.S like Portland, Austin, Philadelphia, Miami, Nashville, and so on.

Moving to New York City is a big financial decision. Every year, many ambitious people hoping to change their lives and accomplish new things take a big leap and move to New York City. However, at the same time, many ambitious people also leave New York City because they have found a better opportunity elsewhere or have decided that the city is not for them.

Perhaps we are biased, but we believe that moving to New York City is a fruitful experience through and through, which is why our list of reasons to move to NYC is significantly longer than our list of reasons NOT to move to NYC. There is a lot to examine when considering your personality, preferences and ambitions. But, no blog can answer this question for you. So, instead of sitting at home and researching, “Should I move to New York?” you may have to go out there and brave the city yourself!

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