unlike some of the lesser-known cities in this series, you probably don’t need to be sold on the professional and cultural advantages of new york city.
but as a reminder, here’s what’s great!
museums: they’re here, and they’re abundant: from the met to the folk art museum and weird ones like the morbid anatomy museum in brooklyn, if someone important made it, chances are we display it somewhere in this city.
theater: in addition to the fancy bright lights of broadway (hamilton is playing here and only here, just saying) and their attendant ticket prices, there are also discount tickets and off-broadway theaters offering accessible and once-in-a-lifetime shows for snobs and populists alike.
music: from the grittiest underground club to dizzy’s jazz supper club at lincoln center, there are options for even the pickiest listener every night of the week.
food: when people coming to the city for the first time ask me for restaurant recommendations, i just sort of laugh. there are way too many choices to offer up one option that will suit everyone. my favorite is butter midtown, alex guarneschelli’s masterpiece on 46th st, for the record. we have every cuisine you can imagine at every possible price point, from the $2 gourmet food truck special to the $$$$$ plate at [insert exclusive fancypants resto here]. periodic restaurant weeks offer prix fixe tastes to those of us with smaller wallets.
according to the bureau of labor statistics, the top 5 industries in new york are:
- financial services (duh, didn’t you guys listen to hamilton yet?)
- health care, especially providing assisted living services for seniors
- professional, scientific and technical services
- retail trade and food service. it’s a tough climate, but if you can find your audience, it can be a resilient and rewarding field.
- manufacturing, particularly electronics and apparel
while the cost of living is intense (we’re always ranked in the top 5 most expensive cities in the nation, if not higher), new york is also home to a vibrant community of freelancers and self-employed creative types, from graphic designers to copyeditors. we make our workaday homes in coffee shops and coworking co-ops, and utilize nyc’s expansive (though occasionally dysfunctional) public transit to get from place to place so we can read on the train.
as manhattan’s up-and-coming neighborhoods in this year’s roundup for aspiring buyers included jackson heights, jamaica, and ridgewood in queens; kensington, bay ridge, and sunset park in brooklyn; washington heights in manhattan; and the south bronx. new york magazine also recommends renting in ditmas park in brooklyn, sunnyside in queens, cliffside park and bloomfield in new jersey, st. george in staten island, and hudson heights in way-uptown-manhattan.
nyc may not make sense for every professional or up-and-comer, but if you’re willing to broaden the scope of your housing search and make up for the expense of, well, everything with the availability of free, cheap, and discounted cultural abundance—it may be the city you’ve been waiting for.