Your Guide to Living in New York from a Real New Yorker

New York   /  

New York City is one of the most exciting cities in the country, but living there and visiting are very different. As a tourist, you can explore the popular tourist attractions and leave feeling like you had a fantastic trip. You might feel a little different about the things that you loved as a tourist once you live there, which is why we decided to sit down with a real New Yorker and get the inside scoop on the city. We went to Libby, a Midwestern girl who moved to the city a few years ago, for the real deal on New York.

Thanks for joining us today Libby. We know that moving from a small town to a big city was a big change for you, so why don’t you tell us about your experiences?

Thanks for having me, and you’re right, moving to New York was a big change. I went from living in a town with just a few thousand people to one of the biggest cities in the world. It was a huge culture shock for me, especially when it came to rent.

Go Living In New York

Photography by Ivo Jansch

That brings up a really good question. We’ve heard that the New York housing market is pretty crazy. Did you have any idea about where you would live when you moved? How did you find a place to live?

Honestly, I was lucky when I made the move. A friend of mine from high school already lived in the city, and she was able to give me some advice. She told me where I needed to live, which areas I should avoid and how to deal with real estate agents. I think that was the hardest part for me. I came from a town where you can find rentals from family and friends or friends of friends, and I didn’t know what to expect.

Can you tell us a little more about that?

Go Living In West Village New York

Photography by Charles & Hudson

Sure. New York is a landlord’s market, and renters have a hard time finding a place. I went from looking at places at home where rents were less than $500 to finding a closet that rented for more than that. A lot of landlords will only rent to you if you pay a year’s worth of rent in advance, and some places want a huge deposit before they’ll even look for a place for you. I also heard warnings from people about scam companies that take your money and never find you an apartment.

Thanks for bringing up the scam angle. I imagine that you probably came across a few scams in the city when you first moved. How did you know what to do?

The funny thing is that NYC sometimes has a bad reputation for scams, but it’s not hard to make smart decisions. I never give money to people on the subway because most of them are scam artists, and I never open my wallet or purse in public unless I have to for some reason. I also avoid anyone who hands me a CD because I know that even if they say it’s a sample or a demo, they want money for it.

It can’t be all bad though. What do you love about the city?

Go Living In Chinatown New York

Photography by Alejandro Mallea

Everything! I love exploring new neighborhoods, trying new foods and seeing shops that sell stuff I’ve never seen before. New York always seems to have some kind of fair or festival going on, and I can’t tell you how many great things I found at the little flea markets and street fairs. I also love that you never know what you might see.

I love that I can see the naked cowboy in Times Square, hop on the subway and wind up in Chinatown for a quick dinner with friends. Living here is something that I’ll never forget.

Wow, it sounds like you really do love the city. We want to thank Libby for sitting down to talk with us today. We hope that if you consider moving to the city, you have as much fun as she does.

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Miki Mo

I am a traveler. I have seen lots of places – from exotic Asia to sophisticated Europe! What makes me appreciate every place the most are the warm people who welcome me – and their willingness to show their culture and tradition! Most of the events I really love, involve feasts and celebrations – each country, each ethnic group has a unique way of celebrating nature, and each has unique tradition – which is such a magnificent scene to watch. Truly, there is a lot to learn in the world – a lot of things to explore, and the journey never ends, well, at least for me ☺


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