Living In NYC: Debunking 5 Common Myths & Stereotypes

woman living in NYC calculating the average cost of living in NYC while standing next to the traffic in New York

There’s a distinct picture that TV shows and movies have always painted about what living in NYC is like. Believe us when we say that most of these depictions are ever so slightly exaggerated in the name of entertainment. Living in NYC has been romanticized by artists, poets, and cinematographers alike because of the cultural mix and the dense history that the city offers. So, if you haven’t visited NYC or lived in the tri-state area, some of the common myths and stereotypes in our list may come as a shock.

This is why we are here to debunk these myths and help you look at this beautiful city with a fresh pair of eyes.

Myth 1: Living in NYC is like ‘Friends’ or ‘Sex & The City’ (or anything else on the small/ big screen)

When you think of living in NYC, you imagine yourself walking up the street looking all fashionable and confident with bypassers admiring you. You find yourself wondering about the average cost of living in NYC. Or of a gorgeous apartment like Monica’s from Friends. Or maybe even finding your Tom Hanks because you’re Sleepless in Seattle. Well, sorry to break it to you, but the stories that unfold in Friends, SATC, and most movies are unrealistic.

These protagonists that spend their time in extravagant apartments, eating out, shopping and hailing cabs mostly couldn’t actually afford that lifestyle on their salaries. (Especially Carrie Bradshaw whose apartment in Upper East Side – with the killer closet – would probably cost a glaring $3000/month in rent.)

LIVING IN NYC

Related: Movies That Capture Cities Perfectly, Part 3: New York City

Myth 2: Living in NYC is super expensive!

We cannot completely throw this one out the window. Is living in NYC expensive? YES! Is it unaffordable? Not really!  NYC still ranks up in the world’s most expensive cities to live in. However, not all neighborhoods in NYC are expensive; some are more affordable than the rest of them. An apartment in the Upper East Side, or close to Times Square, would cost a bomb compared to an apartment in China Town.

Proper budgeting, planning, studying neighborhoods, and finding roommates will cut your expenses dramatically.

This blog estimates the average cost of living in NYC to be  $2,524.50 per month.

Myth 3: New York City is Manhattan

No friends, not true! This is the biggest myth out there. There are a total of five boroughs in NYC, and Manhattan is just one of them. While Manhattan is the most romanticized borough, a New Yorker would admit that each borough has its own subculture and charm.

The five boroughs of NYC are:

  1. Manhattan
  2. Brooklyn
  3. Queens
  4. The Bronx
  5. Staten Island

Related: Guide To Renting Affordable Housing In New York Amid The Pandemic

Myth 4: NYC is a concrete jungle with no nature

Yes and no! I mean, it’s not your regular US city with a traditional lawn and backyard. However, contrary to what folks unacquainted with New York think, the city has beautiful greenscapes that happen to be quite popular too. Like Central Park that takes up about 843 acres of prime Manhattan real estate. This might come as a surprise to many, but Central Park is actuallythe fifth largest park of the city. The largest, Pelham Bay Park, is nearly 3,000 acres in size.

Reality check: There are more than 1,700 parks of different sizes in NYC!

Myth 5: New Yorkers are rude & hate tourists

New Yorkers are abrasive and rude – at least, that’s the reputation that precedes them. They are rumored to avoid eye contact or friendly smiles with strangers on the street. In reality, that’s sometimes true and sometimes not. NYC is a pretty busy and populated city, and people are generally in a rush to be somewhere. So if you find your takeaway restaurant attendant not passing you warm smiles or much conversation, that’s because there’s a long queue behind you that they need to tend to.

Having said that, a lot of tourists have reported that New Yorkers are nice and helpful. Especially if you stop and ask them for directions. So, build up the courage and you could be rewarded with some inside advice from a local. And before you decide to move to New York, figure out your expenses. And relate that with the average cost of living in NYC. Some basic research, followed by a little planning is all you need to have a smooth experience in New York City!

Want to debunk the NYC myths for yourself? LuggageHero provides luggage storage in New York so you can go explore!

D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its readers debunk some myths about living in NYC? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match! Download the app here and hop on the easiest ride home, ever!