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6 Things I Gave Up When I Moved to New York

Bright lights! A big city! A bunch of sacrifice!

02.06.17
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I grew up on Long Island and always dreamed of living in New York, so when it came time to fly the coop, I had a one-track mind. My first four years in New York City — the college years — were what I can now safely call a cushy fever dream. I was living in Brooklyn with roommates in a pretty typical setup, but it was technically university housing and it was technically paid for by financial aid. When I graduated and the loan payments received turned into loan payments due, I had no choice but to move back to Long Island. The commute into New York City for work was long (90 minutes, to be exact), but I needed time to save up for an apartment of my own.

This past July, two years later, it finally happened. My boyfriend and I signed a lease on a one-bedroom of our own in Bushwick. To say we took the plunge because we felt financially ready to do so might be overstating it a bit. Neither of us felt particularly comfortable where money was concerned, but after a while, the cost-benefit analysis stopped coming up in Long Island’s favor. We wanted to be in New York. We needed to. The creative energy, the diversity, the incredible access to culture, it all seemed worth the sacrifice.

And I do mean sacrifice. After seven months living in New York on my own dime, reality smacked me right in the face. My college years here felt like a hazy memory. I don’t doubt my decision for a second — I love it! — but I’m also not without the occasional (okay, frequent) longing for the parts of my life I gave up to make it. Here are six things that spring to mind, in no particular order.

1. An actual bedroom

What constitutes a bedroom is truly redefined inside the sphere of New York real estate. Sometimes they have doors, yes, but sometimes they’re essentially just alcoves or big closets. Mine happens to be a windowless room in the middle of the apartment reminiscent of “the SHU” in Orange is the New Black. It’s so depressing in there that we keep our bed in the living room. We now call the little hole “our dressing room,” like we’re actors in a Broadway play.

2. Easily done laundry

Most New Yorkers have, at some point, become intimately familiar with a laundromat. The lucky ones graduate to having an old machine in their basement; I’m pretty sure the only people with machines in their apartments are rich or famous or both. My laundry locale of choice (just kidding, I don’t have one) is two-and-a-half long blocks away from my front door. I kill half a Saturday or Sunday every single week schlepping my crap down the ice-slicked, snow-covered, dog shit-strewn street in one of those metal granny shopping carts. Seeing as most of our money now goes to rent, our expenditures are all subject to the same litmus test: Do we really need that? Wash and fold, unfortunately, never makes the cut.

3. Cable

I’ve always been a TV kid. Most of my childhood education was gleaned through the likes of Hey Arnold and Rocko’s Modern Life. During my post-grad years on Long Island I really grew up where TV was concerned — acclaimed classics such as Toddlers & Tiaras and Teen Mom were in my regular circuit. But when I moved away and a cable package failed the aforementioned litmus test, I was faced with a grim reality: I relied far too much on garbage media to entertain me. Shit gets real quiet when the low hum of My Strange Addictions is no longer the soundtrack to your home life.

4. Clothes shopping

What needs do earrings serve? The answer is not at all what I want to hear (ear pun not intended). Once-regular shopping-induced dopamine hits have become relics of a former life. I haven’t bought anything superfluous for as long as I’ve lived in Bushwick. I miss it.

5. Dinner and drinks

Suddenly considering a margarita night with a friend feels like weighing the pros and cons of a down payment on a house. It’s not that I never do it, it’s that weekends no longer feel like the social playground they once were. Plus, the long working hours New York is known for means I’m spending most of my food budget on cheap takeout at 9 p.m. because I don’t have time to cook.

6. Peace and quiet

Based on the cacophony of music and arguing outside my window, you’d think I lived in a club. The stomping and shouting, the clip-clop of heels around 4 a.m., the barking dogs, the blasting of Teddy Geiger (why?) — none of it is particularly out of the ordinary, except that it’s happening literally six feet away from my sleeping head. I can’t help but miss the quiet of a more secluded home sometimes, but maybe that’s the price of admission when you want to live where the energy is.

All considered though? I’ll take it — the cramped quarters, the loud nights, the empty wallet. The sweaty summers and painful winters and broken subway trains. I’ll even take a soundtrack of mice running through the walls in lieu of TLC narration. I’m not sure any number of lows could possibly counter the highs.

March 1971: Seen through a window yellow cabs fill a New York City street. (Photo by Ernst Haas/Ernst Haas/Getty Images)

Photo by Ernst Haas via Getty Images. Carousel collage by Maria Jia Ling Pitt, photographs via Getty Images.

  • Abby

    I have to say, shit like this is why NYC has absolutely zero appeal to me. It seems like even people who are obsessed with it complain about it constantly.

    • Rafaella Nicoletti

      I thought the same way, after I moved here I honestly don’t see myself living anywhere else, NYC is magic, I dont know how or what it is but this City is truly one of a kind, try it for 3 months if you can! (I like Manhattan more than Bklyn tho).

      • Abby

        It’s probably a “must experience it to understand” kind of deal, but I can’t see myself giving up my nice house and affordable mortgage in a city with comparable amenities just to say I live in NYC, you know?

        • CatMom

          Honestly, every city is a tradeoff, so I think it’s about what your priorities are. New York has more culture than anywhere else in the country. It has tons of creative opportunities. It’s full of ambitious people (and that’s not to say that other places aren’t – it’s just that you have to be a special kind of ambitious and/or crazy to say “I’m going to the TOP and I’m doing it in New York”). Some people really, really hate the kind of pressure that comes along with that environment, but some people thrive on it. And New York is punishing! It really is. It’s expensive and it’s a pain in the ass to get around and it’s loud. So you have to have a real connection to the things that it offers in order to not care about the challenging parts.

          But also, New York is, without a doubt, the most culturally and socially diverse place in the United States. It’s very real to say that if you’re “different,” whatever that means, then you can’t always be somewhere that’s culturally homogenous.

          I know this doesn’t apply to everyone, but if there is something about you that deviates significantly from the norm – sexuality, gender presentation, culture, religious expression, hell, even world view! – there aren’t a lot of places that can feel like home to you. New York is one. Do I wish that I had a house instead of the $1400 I put down in rent every month? Of course. But could I live most of the places where that’s an option? No.

        • lateshift

          there it is — the thing people who don’t live in NY inevitably say to make it sound (consciously or otherwise) like they’re somehow more serious or sensible or grownup or whatever than the Krazy Kids who live in That Hellhole. In reality, they’re just people who — sometimes by choice, sometimes not — live in a more boring place. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Many people PREFER more boring places, which also have many things to recommend them. Of course, way, way, way more people prefer New York, which has far more things to recommend it. This is why it’s more expensive, as popular and desirable things often tend to be.

          But sure — if, say, having a washing machine in your apartment instead of a few dozen feet away from it really is the most important organizing principle in your life: no judgment. Keep living your best life. I’m just saying, if I had a nickel for every “my god, how can you stand living in one of the most diverse, exciting, iconic cities on the planet when you could take all the extra money you’re spending on rent and waste it on a giant car, slightly larger television and property taxes instead??” comment attached to one of these stories — stories always, always written by a previously sheltered suburban transplant — I could afford to purchase a tiny NYC apartment of my very own, which I would live in happily to the end of my days.

  • Sam

    I think this might have cured me of my desire to live in NYC for a little while. Thanks!

    • lateshift

      good call. If don’t have what it takes to live here, then settling for a less challenging/less rewarding option is definitely your best bet. Good luck to you.

      • Sam

        Coulda kept scrolling, dude

  • Mariana

    I’m very appeal for big cities, I get energised by people, rhythm, different opportunities for me to choose, even if I do nothing and end up going home watch netflix. NYC is the ultimate symbol of that, but for my european lifetyle I think it could be “too much” to deal. Maybe sometime I have to see for myself?

  • Andrea Raymer

    Oh my god, Teddy Geiger! I havent thought about him in years!

    • Emily Zirimis

      Hi Andrea!! So random, right??

  • ella

    YES. Everything about this was perfect. New York isn’t for everyone, but the people who are meant to be here know it’s worth every penny-pinching second.

  • Cate

    You guys, it is not this bad. Let’s be a little less dramatic here. If you want a quiet street, then don’t move to a trendy neighborhood that 22 year olds are flocking to – that’s common sense and something anyone who has spent time in BK can tell you.

    Also, things like cable-cutting are very standard among millennials. And we would all do better if we thought a bit more about throwing down $40 on a night of drinking or not buying the dress you don’t need – that’s not NYC, that’s being an adult.

    As a fellow LIer who ran the heck away to NYC in college and stayed, it definitely takes some getting used to. But the things that living here makes you do, like paying more attention to your finances, are GOOD things. And it is definitely worth the small inconveniences, if you love.

    • Sarah

      I totally agree – I live in Brooklyn, Crown Heights to be exact, and I
      get the benefit of below market rent, a quiet (more Suburban
      neighborhood), diverse (and cheap!!!) food, and access to all major
      subways and buses.

      I have the luxury of living in Brooklyn, close enough to everything and everyone that is important to me, with way less stress than a lot of other New Yorkers. Granted, I’ve been around Brooklyn for half a decade, but it definitely takes time to find the part of New York that is best for you!

      For anyone else looking to move to New York that is reading this and getting nervous, all of these issues Emily brought up can totally be avoided, even in New York! As long as you take the time to look around at your options and not move where everyone else is flocking (kind of the reason for most of these issues – more young people, rent goes up, more expensive restaurants and stores are built to accommodate, etc. etc.).

      • Jeanine Valente

        Thanks for this. I’ve been dying to move NY and the article freaked me out so I’m glad you said this!

        • CatMom

          Don’t be scared. Is it expensive? Yes. But if you avoid making the mistake that most new arrivals make (which is to look on Zillow and only in the neighborhoods you’ve heard of and end up moving into a poorly-renovated chrome monstrosity with fake “exposed brick”), then you’ll really be fine. I live by myself in a 2BR in a cute neighborhood and I’m not swimming in cash by any means.

    • alex

      Agree that this is a dramatization, but hey, that’s what makes writing interesting sometimes. Came to disagree about the noise. I live in an unhip neighborhood in Queens, and it is so damn loud with the honking horns. I listened to someone sit on their horn for a good 15 seconds this morning.

      • CatMom

        TBH I think New York is just loud.

        • alex

          It definitely is!

      • Jolie

        SAME. I sometimes have to leave my apartment to scream at people because they honk all damn day.

    • Emily Gregor

      Totally agree! I live in Astoria and it’s the BEST. So much space, a queen-size bed, remodeled space, nbd! Also I’m obsessed with wash and fold

    • Emily Zirimis

      Hi Cate, Thanks for your comment! I’m actually living on the very outskirts of Bushwick, purposely away from the trendier spots so that I can save on costs (which I am!) Trendy or not, there is still a lot of noise from families and people in general, which is what I was really highlighting here! Additionally, I’m not someone who drinks often, if at all, but when I do, it’s more difficult to spend those costs (as infrequent as they are) since they’re not deemed as “essential”

    • Jolie

      Yep, you’re exactly right. If I hadn’t moved here, where I had to quickly learn how to pay bills and work hard and save money at a young age, I have no idea how messed up I’d be by now. My friends (who stayed at home in the suburbs or went away to college) are still, a couple years after graduation, clueless about renting apartments, paying taxes and bills, and having “real” jobs.

  • Ouch although I think London is pretty similar! x

    http://www.wonkylauren.com

  • Marianne

    Maybe this sounds like a really naive question from someone who lives on a different continent, but why don’t apartments in NYC have washing machines?They aren’t particularly expensive nowadays and they don’t take up that much space either…

    • The apartments in the city don’t usually have the plumbing or space for it. But I have one of those washer-dryers in one and its AMAZING (but I live outside the city and had room and the proper plumbing to handle it).

    • Miss J

      With the overpopulation of Manhattan, (which has been going on for over a century), space is very limited. So limited that people really do make bedrooms out of closets (as mentioned here in the article). It was common practice to turn small bachelor pads into one bedroom apartments, one bedroom apartments into “two bedroom” apartments, and so on. A fantastic book on that topic is “20 Minutes In Manhattan” by Michael Sorkin.

    • Jolie

      When I worked in real estate here, I found out that most apartments don’t have them because of plumbing regulations. Since everyone is sharing space in (mostly old) buildings, it’s a pain in the ass for landlords to allow people to screw with the building plumbing. Almost all NYC apartments specify in their leases that installing a washer/dryer is not allowed, but apartments in newer buildings sometimes have them.

  • Emily

    Just here to say — it does get better. My third year living in NYC was so much easier than my first, because I was both making more money and finally had my money saving strategies down to a science (e.g., find dive bar happy hours, brave Trader Joe’s 1x/week to save on groceries, make friends with promoters [lol], etc.)

    I second Cate’s thought above though — def consider moving to a cheaper neighborhood (or find a nice, peaceful apartment share) if you can. If the bulk of your income is going to rent, that can be a bummer for both your wallet and your spirit. But keep chugging along — you’ll hit your NYC stride soon enough!

    • Rafaella Nicoletti

      the promoters part … LOL me too AHAHAHAHAHA

  • Camille

    Thank you for sharing your experience! I too grew up on Long Island with the exact same goals in mind. However, once I started working post-college and facing the financial reality, it dawned on me that I would be making intense sacrifices to live “The Dream.” Still, I pressed on, until I was recruited for a new job in Nashville, Tennessee.
    I had never been to the south, but the pay bump and the prospect of a lower standard of living drew me there. I love it here – the city is very different from New York, but still vibrant, warm, and lovely. I love that I live in a luxury apartment in the middle of the city with every amenity I could dream of – while still making less than the city median income. My dream of having a beautiful living space and creating a nice life for myself unfortunately did not align with and outweighed my dream of living in New York.

    That being said, I still plan and hope to make it back to New York someday. Maybe when I have risen a little further up the corporate ladder and I can afford a better apartment!

    Sincerely,

    Camille
    http://www.serialoutfitrepeater.com

  • I had the same path of moving back to LI after college and then forging out on my own into Queens. I hated it for all the reasons you listed (plus being really lonely and feeling totally isolated when I didn’t have money or time going out with friends) and moved back out to LI because I was so miserable I couldn’t handle it anymore. The lack of space, nowhere to be outside, no money to actually enjoy the city. It was a nightmare.
    My bf and I moved into a much larger apartment with out own yard before buying an apartment in the same town (with laundry, on the beach, near all our friends and a fun downtown area). The commute is long, but its so much better for my quality of life.
    If all the sacrifices you feel you’re making are worth it, that’s great, but NYC isn’t the be all end all. If you start to feel miserable, get out before it gets worse.

  • nicolacash

    I feel like these things aren’t NYC-specific. I’m also from Long Island and had to give up all of these things when I moved to Boston almost 2 yeas ago

  • BK

    Yikes. Did you say that *most* of your money is going towards rent? I wouldn’t recommend that as a financial tactic in any city. I read somewhere (was it on here on MR, even?) that rent should never be more than a third of your income, period. I’ve tried to stick by it ever since and have always had the money to save for long-term goals as well as live relatively comfortably in real time.

    • Rafaella Nicoletti

      As a real estate agent I can certify that your analogy is correct. But in Manhattan doesn’t apply at all … even people with money spend more than 25% of their income in rent!

    • Emily Zirimis

      Hi BK, Thanks for your comment! You’re correct! I put way too much of my income toward rent, but unfortunately, it is my only option if I want to continue pursuing a job/career that I love in a city that I love and accomodates said career! With crippling student loan debt, and high rent, I am left with few options. Hence the reason I chose to live on the very outskirts of Brooklyn, in a non trendy area (to save on costs as much as possible)

  • Hannah Cole

    I live in suburban Sydney, and it’s EXACTLY THE SAME! (except we are lucky enough to have our own laundry space – not sure how I would cope without that). But with all the downsides and occasional stresses, there’s always a million positives too 🙂

  • chouette

    1. My Jeep
    2. My Jeep
    3. My Jeep
    4. Driveway in which to keep my Jeep
    5. Carport over the driveway to keep tree poop off my Jeep
    6. Did I mention my Jeep.

    Seriously, been here 7 years, can’t stop thinking about it. Have the under-market rent-controlled apartment with one-day-a-week alternate side parking. I’m seriously considering making a worse financial decision than the Balenciaga jacket I had to have and getting another used Jeep.

  • Bekah

    The thing I find hardest about living in NYC is making friends with people, only to see them move away. New York attracts people during transient phases of life – college, early career etc. I love New York but I don’t think I’m a “lifer”. I will miss going to the Met so much when the time comes to leave, though 🙁

  • Free2Fly2011

    I grew up in Queens. Yes, I agree that it can be fun, but it all gets sucked out when you live, work to pay rent and transportation. I live in another state and will be visiting next week, I’m looking forward to seeing family and visiting some restaurants. But, I’m trying not think of what might crawl into my travel bag when I return home. Ugh!

  • Pamela Forman

    This sounds like complete hell to me, you couldn’t PAY me to live there…but glad you’re happy!

  • Kristina

    America has an urban housing crisis.. which continues to make every last city bland / cities morph into one massive bank-meets-brunch establishment for wealthy people who are boring but want others to think they have good taste.

    I’m not talking about established artists or the exceptional person who was raised in NYC ( I do envy you) .. i’m speaking to anyone starting out in fashion, media, art (basically every quintessentially NYC industry), you’re going to struggle unless you have a trust fund or wealthy parents. Those jobs have not increased pay in relation to housing costs. I say this with a heavy heart because I do fucking love New York City and hate that this narrative has become so common/ cliched (that David Byrne op ed about NYC remains a favorite. See also Kim Gordon’s comments in her memoir)

    … but alas, change is the only constant in cities! That’s what makes them so dynamic and exciting!

    It hit me recently when two of my favorite music venues in manhattan closed, then my mom and pop owned journal/type store closed, and the best leftover art supply store (abstract expressionists shopped there) closed. Then I worry… “am i anti progress?” But when progress means corporate exploitation and more Chase banks and chains, I give it not one, but both middle fingers. I left the burbs to get away from that, not to see it become the hellish reality of my favorite damn city in the country and maybe the world.

    Incidentally I just moved away NYC after living in Williamsburg (NOT Bedford, mind you Graham stop. Still somewhat $$ but a different neighborhood entirely) followed by Morgan Ave area. A dissenter below said Bushwick is expensive and while it is compared to, say, Crown Heights… it’s still much cheaper than the majority of Manhattan, WBurg, Ft. Greene, Prospect Park, you name it. Basically, every neighborhood is pricey… I personally got frustrated as a writer / artist / freelance marketing person that I felt constantly held back by the specter of paying rent. It breaks my heart but I had to go. By paying those rents I felt complicit in validating real estate trends that infuriated me daily.

    I still travel to NYC for work and friends… but have decided to take the digital nomad route and will be living in Thailand this spring, followed by summer in Europe (both, especially SE asia, are tres cheap….).

    Someone save NYC from itself, please. I hate that so many of us struggle like this. You say it’s worth it now, but after a few years the “worth it” lost its luster.

    • Olivia!

      You touched on something that I can’t shake. I’m assuming the op ed you’re referring to is the one about leaving New York if the “1% stifles the creative culture”.

      I don’t understand how an attitude of “screw you guys, I’m going home” is admirable, especially as David Byrne admits in the article that he is extremely wealthy. Why not try to be part of the solution?

      Instead of begging someone to save NYC from itself, why not be that someone?

      • Kristina

        Ah yes! He has stayed, and I think that title might be more for effect. and I think he’s part of the solution by working with young artists on super progressive new projects (his newest, Neurosociety, is pretty cool (https://thecreativeindependent.com/people/david-byrne-on-not-being-afraid-to-fail/)

        I think that’s a start! But I feel you, why just complain and then do nothing to be part of the solution, especially if you have the means to do otherwise. Another good question is raised: what IS the solution? is it antithetical to progress? when does progress spiral so far out of control that it’s no longer progress but some kind of regression and or monster?

        Is it his job to save the city? what can citizens and established, better off artists do to help?

        As far as being that someone…. I tried really fucking hard but the stress of being broke all the time killed me creatively. Does that make me overly sensitive? Weak? if that’s what you want to call it, sure. as a freelancer who sometimes didn’t get paid for 30-45 days after pieces ran, it got to be too much. i had to pay rent, health insurance out of pocket, nyc state taxes, metro card, etc. I wanted so badly to be a success story but i realized i almost had no desire to become wealthy there and be complicit in what i consider a dirty trend.

        this is all just my very subjective personal opinion / based off my experience. not casting judgment outward.

        • Olivia!

          I wish his article had ended with mentioning those projects! That’s what I kept waiting for while reading it.

          I wasn’t calling you out! 🙂 I obviously don’t know your personal situation. I raised those questions simply because it’s something I think about for myself. If something is bothering me, am I part of the solution? How am I defining that for me? And a lot of times I feel guilty, because how do you ever feel like you’re doing “enough”?

          More importantly, I don’t know what the answer is – how do you go about ensuring a society is balanced between creative / financial / sciences / etc? How do you become part of the solution without having access to a lot of money?

          But it’s interesting and important to think about!

          • Kristina

            Feel you. and didn’t mean to be defensive. i love discussing this topic. all important to think about… actually this is kind of something i obsess over.

    • “Am i anti progress?” But when progress means corporate exploitation and more Chase banks and chains, I give it not one, but both middle fingers.”

      *STANDS UP & APPLAUDS*

    • Paula Rodio

      Bravo! I’ve been considering moving to NYC for a couple of years now and in doing so, I’ve visited a half dozen times in the last 2 years…researching neighborhoods, trains, rents, and stuff. I love this city so much; however, after my last visit this past December, I realized paying obscene amounts of $$ for a studio apartment would only make me an accomplice of such atrocity. Sad, but true…I still heart NY though.

  • Sabletoothtigre

    All true facts, but I’ve had a similar trajectory as you and what I tell myself to put things in perspective is that the hardest thing to do in NYC is just walk in a straight line 🙂

  • YayNY

    Native New Yorker here! This is a super dramatic take on life here– though I guess if it’s new to you it’s new to you. I’ve always had a *personal* washer/dryer in my home and real, spacious bedrooms and we are neither rich nor famous. But you can’t move here unprepared financially and then move to a super, for lack of better phrase, trendy neighborhood and expect Long Island living (whatever that is?!?!). To be fair, it takes us a really long time to get used to you guys too lol

    • Emily Zirimis

      Hi! Thanks for your comment! I’m not sure what Long Island living is either actually! I lived in a low income area on eastern LI while growing up, and didn’t have any luxuries whatsoever. But the simple things that I didn’t deem luxurious at the time (ie; a washer/dryer, as well as peace and quiet) suddenly became luxuries once I moved to Brooklyn, and I missed them a lot. I also currently live in the most non trendy section of Bushwick, and that is how I’ve saved on the cost of rent!

    • Leslie Price

      Where do you live?!

  • Alessandra

    This should be called “6 things any person responsible for their living expenses considers.”

  • starryhye

    I think the idea of living in NYC is cool, but ultimately not for me. So big and overwhelming. I’ll take my house in the burbs where I can drink my wine in my backyard while watching my kids play in the sprinkler. I will say, however, that it seems like having to make sacrifices to live where you want, is ultimately probably a good thing, right?

  • garliclovers

    low key listening to teddy geiger now tysm xx

  • emily, does leandra pay you…?

  • CatMom

    This will pass. If you’re 2 years out of college, I’m guessing you’re 23-24. Those are hard years! But you’ll get more stable in your career and/or job and you’ll start making more money and things will feel a little more manageable.

    May I also suggest moving somewhere less overpriced than Bushwick? I’m sure you pay at least 1400-2000 for that 1BR and you could live in a pretty big railroad in parts of Queens and farther out in BK for less than that. Also, look for rent-stabilized! Pay a broker to find you one – it’s worth it.

    But again, all these things come with experience. My first NY apartment was truly the worst and I paid WAY too much for it.

  • Vic

    Great article! I’ve contemplated moving to New York a few times post college. Each time though I found myself in serious relationships where long distance wasn’t an option. Long story short I’ve been single for a few months and I’m once again contemplating the move.

    I think the key for me would be to save as much money as possible before the move to reduce financial stress. However, I was recently in NY visiting friends and I left utterly confused about my desire to move there. I love the energy of the city and career opportunities but I’m not sure if the cons outweigh the pros for someone in their later 20s.

    -guy living in Chicago

  • Jolie

    Okay, I died at Teddy Geiger. Why do people blasting music always have to blast the most random shit?

    I moved to Manhattan from Westchester when I started college, but instead of having cushy college years, I had to work full-time as I went to school in order to pay for my crappy apartments. Emily, you’re lucky you got those wonderful years! I spent them running from work to school and back and not buying anything and only being able to eat like chicken fingers for dinner because I was so broke. Sometimes I really regret my experience, because I feel like I missed out on so much while I was learning “how to adult.”

    The reason I’m able to live a relatively fine life now even though I am underpaid and overworked? I moved to a small apartment in Queens with my boyfriend. It’s much cheaper than being in Brooklyn or Manhattan, the quality of life is better (bigger, nicer apartments), and it’s 30 minutes from my front door to my office in Chelsea. What I sacrificed? Living in a “cool” neighborhood with lots of bars and young people and stuff to do. Now I have to go into Manhattan or Brooklyn for that. Sometimes I hate it, but most times I leave Brooklyn on a Saturday night in an Uber I can afford and when I step into the warm, clean lobby of my building, I feel so happy to be home.

  • Jennifer

    So living in NYC is like being poor anywhere else.

  • Ms. Ainee C. Beland

    I can sympathize the laundromat schlepping several blocks ; we do have washing/dryers in our unit but they are always in use or so it seems. I have tried several laundromats with same horrible results; in that folks will not let me simply do the laundry; one must have inspection or confrontational of the same ethnic group in my face; as when done when I would do laundry with the husband on Saturdays; now that I walk several streets to get to the mats; I am seen as stealing men’s clothing with sparing women’s clothes. I imagine that I am seen and as a vagrant since I don’t drive. I am a Leominster resident who they would rather leave for the Franklin zoo or such place with parks for this vagrant. No matter, keep roof on your head, if you can make it in NY, remember, you can make it anywhere. thanks for sharing.

  • Cristina

    You can’t expect a good article – or a good array of choices even – from someone who describes Toddlers and Tiaras and Teen Mom as favorite shows. Oh, god no. As all the comments state, this is too dramatic. (Do you really work at Man Repeller? I was expecting higher standards…)

  • briana

    12 years in and I’m over it. Having to travel so often for work it’s pretty clear that we’re not as special as we think we are. Edison bulb dining is pretty common everywhere.

    I’ve also been privileged enough to have a job that affords me to live alone in a beautiful loft apartment. It’s lovely, but the older I get the harder it is to justify paying more in rent then my friends do on their MORTGAGE- A beautiful Craftsman style home with orange trees and. They have weekend antique fairs, farmers markets, hip brunch spots, cool bars, beautiful parks AND bike and walkability to all of these places in their city.

    I can’t help feeling a little bit like a sucker wearing a sticker that says “Yeah, but I live in NEW YORK!”

    • CT

      Nooo don’t give up!! I tried moving to New York in 2015 and had a horrible experience with a landlord in BK. (I got a job and everything within 3 weeks) but the BK situation killed it for me. Seriously, I almost had an anxiety attack. Anyway, I’m NOT giving up! I’m moving to New York THIS YEAR! So please don’t give up!!! Marry rich. (that’s my plan 😉 lol JK!

  • Mark Friedman

    stupidest nonsense article ever. None of those things actually are true… Do you even live in manhattan?

  • Christina Su

    Literally all of this sums up my last two years! It was hard, it was dirty, but absolutely amazing and worth it!