So it's Sunday, day of rest. Let's talk a little about "living in New York" in case you're all glossy-eyed with that idea.
My wife and I talk about this enough that I could make this a very long post. But I'll really try to keep it short and sweet:
- There's 5 boroughs in NYC, home of 8.4 million people. But what people mean when they "go to New York" is Manhattan.
- Food is good. You can find about everything you want. Price and quality can vary wildly, and are normally not in direct correlation!
- Rent is expensive. As you go away from Manhattan it gets lower, although nicer = more expensive. There's lots of openings all the time.
- You really don't need a car as long as you are fine staying inside the greater NYC and have Uber and/or zipcar. Lots of bus, train and plane options in this city as well. Having a car would help you explore the rest of NY state which is worthwhile.
- Yes, there are still restaurants that are cash only, especially if it's new, but with time everyone accepts credit/debit cards, even if it's just with square and an ipad.
- Hotels are expensive - airbnb is hit or miss to be honest.
- Subways run fine and especially in rush hour are the fastest way in and out - just expect anything to happen and use Google Maps, and read the signs :)
- Most people are honestly nice - what could be interpreted as coldness is respect of each other's time and privacy.
- Don't get swayed by the few rotten apples. It's amazing how this many people live in harmony.
- This is a town of tolerance - you will learn new cultures here. It really is the best city for the United Nations to be in.
- There's so much people, and such high turnover - it's difficult to see someone more than once unless you really try or because of work. Most people don't stay in NYC for the long term, nor most people you will meet were born here.
Living in Bushwick, Brooklyn
Bushwick really is something like this SNL skit. It's next door to Williamsburg (which is the world's hipster epicenter - and easily double as expensive) so you find lots of the same kind of shops. It's also very close to the famed Marcy Projects that Jay Z sings about so there is still that "keep your eyes open" thing - although everybody will tell you this area has cleaned up a lot in the last few years.
Living here is not bad - it's definitely cheaper than living in Manhattan or Brooklyn near the water (dumbo, williamsburg) or BK downtown. Commute times to Manhattan can be 20-45 minutes depending on where you are headed. It's really not far from Manhattan, and you have options (you can take the M, J or L lines)
Economics is changing Bushwick. You see this frequently - run down house gets bought, new 3 story or more apartment building gets built, hipsters / young salaried professionals without kids move in. People that have lived here complain about Bushwick getting "gentrified", but you can't say the neighborhood isn't getting nicer. I'll say this about NYC - it does more than other cities to try to do something about it, like rent control and public housing.
Bushwick traditionally has a strong latin (mexican and dominican) presence, and quite a few housing projects - I do feel that it's an advantage and it helps keep overall costs down. You can find different cuisines, and overall, people that are trying to make a living.
If you work in IT
- My internet's pretty good and stable - Verizon fiOS 50/50 for around $50. You could go cheaper with wireless from Optimum.
- Big plus - meetups. There's a meetup in the NYC area (typically Manhattan) almost every week on whatever you want. This is where having 8.4 million people living closeby helps.
- NYC salaries are famous. It just comes with the cost of living.
- I find the job market to be healthy. I've been offered several jobs, and I'm not looking.
I'll keep it there. Another weekend I'll make a listing of my favorite spots in NYC so far.