The Best And Worst Things About Living In New York

This is a post pulled from my old blog, Girl Meets Life. It was helpful to many people, so I figured I’d “resurrect” it to live somewhere!

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About nine out of ten of the emails I receive from readers ask me about life in New York – the pros, cons, and how I’ve balanced the two. Up until recently, I viewed NYC with rose-colored glasses through and through. There was next to nothing about this city that I wasn’t head over heels in love with.

…but as always, the honeymoon ends. Don’t get me wrong – I still love living in New York and will continue doing so until God leads me elsewhere. This city still surprises me, romances me, and excites me. But in the city that never sleeps, it’s inevitable that you eventually have to take the good with the bad.

best worst things nyc

So to end things on a good note, let’s start with the cons, shall we?

1. It’s expensive.
No surprise there. It’s nothing a good plan and budget can’t deal with while you’re here, but you’re typically still stretching your wallet at all times.

2. It’s lonely.
It may be one of the most populated cities in the world, but living in New York and being one person in a sea of millions can actually make you feel more alone than ever.

3. It’s exhausting.
With public transportation, places being open until 4am, and everyone here suffering from at least some level of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), relaxation is not an easy thing to come by here.

4. It’s intimidating.
For the most part, people move to New York for a specific reason…and that reason is typically career-related. That leaves you with a city full of extremely determined (and sometimes cutthroat) people. Sometimes the intimidation can be a great motivator, but it does get a little old after a while.

5. Not having a car.
This actually used to be one of my favorite things about living in New York, but now it’s sort of annoying. Gone are the days of simply walking out the door and hopping into a shiny pearl white Ford Escape. It’s still a relief to grab a cab after a late night, but having to walk to and from the subway when the weather isn’t cooperating is pretty dreadful.

And now…the good stuff. The best things about living in New York City.

1. It’s convenient.
Pretty much anything you can possibly need can be found within walking distance or – even better – delivered right to your doorstep.

2. It really does feel like a movie.
I still regularly have “New York City moments”…those moments where I look around and still can’t believe I live here. It can be the simplest of things: looking at the skyline, riding my bike through the Village, making eye contact with a stranger, or just walking down the street with friends. Those moments make the rough parts entirely worth it.

3. Ample opportunity.
Pretty much whatever industry you’re in, there’s an opportunity for you here in New York. And the saying really is true – if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!

4. It’s fun!
Restaurants, shows, clubs, festivals, shopping, outdoor activities, sports, Christmas time, close to the beach…the list goes on, and on, and on. Bottom line – It’s nearly impossible to get bored in New York.

5. It builds character.
For me, this is probably the #1 thing about New York. I can honestly say that living here has forced me to grow into the woman I’m supposed to be. The hardships here are actually blessings because they’ve taught me so much about myself, other people, more of what I hope my future will look like, and most importantly my relationship with God.

…So for that, I’m beyond grateful for this roller coaster of a ride called New York City.

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