When Frank Sinatra famously sang “Theme from New York, New York,” he was speaking not just for generations of star-struck New Yorkers-to-be before him, but many, many more yet to come. New York City has been the promised land to millions of people all over the world for over a hundred years, and for good reason.
If you’re hoping to “make a brand new start of it” yourself, here are some things you should know about life in the Big Apple.
It Sure Ain’t Cheap
New York City is known as a place of glitz and glamour, and it’s certainly earned that reputation. As one of the most iconic and beloved cities in the world, it’s a major draw for the rich and famous. It’s a major hub of commerce and industry. All this is a roundabout way of saying that it can be really, really expensive. Of the five boroughs, you’ll pay the most for a prime piece of Manhattan real estate, but nowhere in the city is cheap, per se. Grocery prices are roughly 30% higher than the US average, utility prices are 25% higher, and gas prices are almost 35% higher.
No One Does Pizza Better
As pricey as the cost of living in New York can be, it’s hardly a place only for the wealthy elite. In fact, some of the Big Apple’s greatest pleasures are its cheapest ones. Case in point: pizza. The birthplace of American-style pizza thanks to the opening of Lombardi’s in 1897, New Yorkers have adopted this Italian import and truly made it their own. You can’t turn a corner without coming face to face with at least a half-dozen pizzerias, with many offering their delicacies at just 99 cents a slice. Accept no substitutes; NYC is the pizza capital of America.
Everyone’s in a Hurry
Fun fact: pizza used to be sold by the pie, not the slice. That changed when pizza-makers realized they could better serve New Yorkers on the go by cutting their pies into easy-to-carry triangles. In other words, just like pizza sauce, the hustle and bustle of NYC is part of the city’s DNA. Fresh-faced transplants would do well to invest in a sturdy pair of walking shoes, as you’re sure to spend a lot of time hurrying this way and that. If your feet are sore, you’re better off taking public transportation instead of driving yourself, considering gas is so pricey. A taxi or subway car will get you where you need to go.
Diversity is Our Strength
America has long prided itself on being a multicultural melting pot, and nowhere is that truer than in the Big Apple. Sure, living in the city necessitates a lot of rushing, but when you actually stop and look around you now and then, what you’ll see is one of the most diverse, welcoming populations anywhere on Earth. Whatever your nationality, race, religion, gender, or sexuality, you’re sure to find a place to call home in New York City.