I grew up in a small town of 1400 people in Minnesota. My graduating class had 32 students. Now I am in New York City, a city with a population of 8,550,000 people. A little geography lesson: New York City is divided into 5 boroughs—Manhattan, Staten Island, The Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. When people think of New York City they usually think about Manhattan, the Island. Manhattan has a population of 1,644,000. It is the most densely populated borough with about 73,000 people per square mile. The closest to that is The Bronx, with about 35,000 people per square mile. I live in Manhattan.
As a result, the small town ethics don’t apply in Manhattan. People in the city walk with purpose at a very fast pace. Everything they do is at a fast pace. You don’t stop in the middle of the sidewalk or you will be run over. If you are walking with friends you don’t walk side by side because the sidewalks are not wide enough. You are sharing the sidewalk with hundreds of other people moving at the same pace in both directions. New Yorkers know where they are going and how to get there in the shortest way possible, zig zagging through the streets to avoid stoplight. When riding the subway, a New Yorker knows exactly where to stand so when the subway pulls into the station, the doors open right where he is standing. He knows the subway system in his borough and every stop on it and able to direct visitors to the right subway line. A New Yorker won’t stop to help you, but if asked they usually are very helpful.
Finding a place to live in New York is very stressful. You need to figure out what you can spend, keeping in mind that your utilities will be two to three times higher than you might be used to. Once you know your budget, you narrow your search to neighborhoods you can afford. It is also best to hire a broker to help you find a place. And once you find a place, you need to move on it fast or it will be gone. You might be able to find a sublet at a much cheaper rate, but many of them are illegal and you could be forced out on a moment’s notice. So if you find a sublet, make sure you know your rights.
Parking in New York is very difficult. Parking garages are very expensive, some running $750 a month to park your car. Most New Yorkers do not own a car since the subway and bus systems take you wherever you want to go. And when you need a car, rent one for the day or by the hour.
But with all its difference from small-town living and large-city living, I’ll stay right where I am.
Do we have the same experience? Or do you prefer small town living? Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads so we can talk more about this experience. Grab a copy of my book, The Mosquito Bites, if you want a little suspense mixed in your daily life.
Author, The Mosquito Bites