10 Things You MUST Know About Living in New York City

So, you want to live in the Big Apple? Or are you thinking about making the jump but don’t know where to start? Or are you merely pondering it as a distant possibility? Whatever stage you’re at in your flirtation with the City that Never Sleeps, this post is for you.

Empire State Building | The Masculine Epic

Straight from a Native:

As mentioned on The Masculine Epic’s About page, I’m a native of New York City, born and raised, and though I’ve spent some time in Florida, traveling up and down the eastern seaboard, and a year in Connecticut, I truly know no other permanent, settled life.

1. It’s Doable:

The main angst people have is of course, the money. New York is notoriously expensive, fewer can afford to live here, and this was a big issue in the 2013 mayoral race.

It’s halfway true.

For a young, single man with a somewhat OK source of income, New York is an affordable place to live, and in a good area too. You won’t need to live in Harlem or Bedstuy. You can find safe and convenient neighborhoods for affordable rents. How do I know this? Because I’m a real estate agent.

Note, that when I’m mentioning prices below, I’m talking about a typical bottom range. Some apartments will obviously be more expensive. In fact, many will (and some will also be less), but you will likely need to pay at least that much (in rent) for an apartment.

Studios on the Upper East Side/Yorkville often go for a minimum of $1,700+ a month in rent, 1 bedrooms usually cost a minimum of $1,850-$2,000, and 2 bedrooms are around $2,500.

These are going to be old walkups with no doorman and no elevator, but I didn’t promise Versailles, I said it’d be doable. You’ll live safely and reasonably comfortably. There won’t usually be any parties in this area. Its main inhabitants are old people or yuppies with families, but I like it that way. I can go to the party and leave it behind me when I want some peace and quiet.

Williamsburg is a spot that got hot in the past decade or so. Hipsters have pushed rents up. A studio goes for $1,500 (though usually something closer to $2,000), a 1 for circa $2,200-2,300, and a 2 for around $2,500-$3,200. It’ll be a livelier neighborhood, decidedly younger, and you won’t have to go far to meet girls. It’s a couple of stops on the L train to Manhattan by way of Union Square – an excellent place to meet women, day or night. Still, it’s “Hipster Haven,” and I find them obnoxious. I prefer a quieter area to live.

Greenpoint is a nearby area, quieter than Williamsburg. A studio typically goes around $1,700 (though as I write this there are a shortage of them on the database) a 1 for about $2,000, and a 2 for about $2,300 to $2,500. A beneficial aspect is that you can easily walk to Williamsburg and come back when the party is over to a cheaper price and without giving the stinking MTA $2.75 for a commute. The main drawback of this area, I have found, is that there’s not much to do in its actual vicinity. Everything is outside it, but it’s safe and – there’s that magic word – affordable.

Bottom line, you can live in good New York City neighborhoods as a young single man. The price is not out of your reach, and there will be some good benefits to go with it.

2. The Major Sacrifice is Space:

Note that magic word affordable again. You can afford to live here, but the major consideration will be space, not money.

You will likely be able to pay that money a month for a 1 bedroom in Yorkville, for instance, but the apartment you live in will be somewhat cramped. Sometimes you may be living like a sardine, and the better the neighborhood, the more valuable the space per square foot. Are you OK with being cramped? Are you OK with having a roommate sometimes in very tight quarters? By the way, in the inevitable event that some of you need a roommate, I’d say to rent a 2 bedroom, which is why I offered the option in the preceding neighborhood guide. The quarters will be bigger and you’ll actually wind up paying less a month than had you been renting a 1 bedroom on your own. You could of course just do a studio, perhaps with an alcove serving as a “bedroom” (this is known as a studio/1 bedroom). It’s all about how much space you need, personal and otherwise, to live comfortably.

Whatever you decide to do, or if you have any questions, you can contact me and I’ll help you out, whether it’s just general questions or even assisting you in finding an apartment.

Apartments NYC | The Masculine Epic
Old walkups like these are probably going to be your abode. They won’t be luxurious, but you’ll live.

3. The Women are Better (and Friendlier) on Average:

Let’s just get this out of the way, since it’s undoubtedly one of the big draws for young men to live here – yes, the women are of superior quality to most other places.

They’re better in looks, as New York City attracts girls from all over the world trying to “make it” and was recently declared the world’s fashion capital. It’s a popular place to study, since it’s the financial center of the United States. You’ll be able to meet women from everywhere, so you won’t have to worry about not finding your “type” in abundance. Not to mention the tourist factor draws even more women in.

The women are also friendly. Check out some of my day game videos to see what you can typically expect, provided you don’t look and act like a loser, of course. Even at night the bitchiness is comparatively low. For a fast-paced city, women in New York are often quite happy to have a chat. If you come in to the city with a big bank account, you have an even greater advantage, as there are tons of broke students, “actresses,” and “models” looking for sugar daddies. If your game is tight you won’t even need to spend much money on them either.

By the way, if you sign up for my email list, you’ll receive a free guide to meeting women in Central Park, which is probably one of the best day game venues in the country if not the world. I’ll show you where to go and what you can expect.

4. Flakes are High:

There’s a catch. While New York City has some great women for all the reasons described above, the major price you will have to pay is flakiness.

In the age of smartphone and social media-driven attention spans, flakiness is already a pandemic, but in New York City, with an infinite number of entertainment options, it is amplified many times over. Don’t take it personally. Get used to the grind. You’ll want to get to the point where you can go big with your game, because as in most things in this city, it’s best to go big or go home. Flakes are simply the price you must pay.

5. You can Quickly run up the Bills:

The MTA are shysters that keep jacking up the fares for consistently poor service. It’s currently at $2.75. That’s $5.25 you’ll have to pay just to get where you need to go and then back home. It’s probably cheaper than gas in the long run (depending on circumstance), but you’re going to be hit by much more than that, even if you live a minimalist lifestyle.

The sales tax in the state of New York is 7.875%. Then there’s the New York state income tax of 4 to 8.82%, and for good measure, the city income tax of 2.907 to 3.876%. The prices of every day products will be jacked too. Just shop around in the purgatory called New Jersey for a day to compare.

Go out for a night and you might find yourself paying $5.25 for travel, $8-12 for each drink, a possible cover, and all kinds of other expenses. $50-60+ a night out is far from uncommon.

Be mindful of your money when you live here.

6. You can do things for Free:

For all the talk of expense, you can still do things for free. Once more, the venerable park system currently forms the backbone of my own activities in this area. I love to just go out, go to the parks, take some pictures, read my book of choice, write what becomes the core of many of my posts (including this one), and wait for opportune girls to approach. There’s also a lot of things the parks do, such as festivals, movie nights, concerts, and other events that you’ll be able to get into for free, though this obviously won’t be your routine in winter.

You can also go to many of the museums, like the Met and Museum of Natural History. They say that you’re supposed to make a “suggested donation.” You know what I do? I give peanuts. They don’t bother you. These are particularly good spots for picking up tourists.

Not a fun of parks or museums? You can look up other free events here.

You might have to pay the MTA their blood money to get around, but you need not spend much just to find things to do in New York City. Just look around.

10 Things You MUST Know About Living in New York City
Writing the genesis of this post.

7. Real Estate Pays off More:

Remember when I wrote that ownership is one of the lies you’re being sold? Remember how I also wrote that real estate in New York City is one of the few places where you can get paid more than in stocks?

If/when you’re a little bit more advanced, owning properties in New York City may be something you want to look into. Again, for full disclosure, I am a real estate agent, and the disadvantages of real estate such as illiquidity still apply. However, that is less of a disadvantage in New York City because panic selling doesn’t really happen here – people want to live and work here. As you can see in this survey by the New York Fed, the city was spared the worst of the bust.

Whereas in 2008, the average home in ass end, suburbia lost most of its value. New York City on the other hand, was cushioned, coming out relatively well, all things considered.

So even in big crashes in real estate, New York is relatively safe, and as we saw, real estate here can outperform other kinds of investments.

Once more, if it’s something you’d like to discuss further, feel free to contact me. Always remember though, that the best investment is in a successful business. That matters here even more.

8. You Can Find Relaxation:

They say that New York is the City that Never Sleeps, that it’s hustle bustle 24/7. This isn’t entirely true. It depends what neighborhood you’re in, as I alluded to in my first point.

There are plenty of places you can go for some peace and quiet, depending on your tastes. You probably won’t find any relaxation in Midtown or the Lower East Side, but you can find it elsewhere, in quieter areas. Even in the high-traffic places, you can find nooks and crannies that are relatively quiet. As I’m writing this section, I’m at Bethesda Fountain in Central Park.

There are a lot of people, sure, but the noise is low, the atmosphere is peaceful, and the scenery is beautiful. It’s a perfect place to clear your mind and get a post written.

Just go exploring. Find places, indoor or outdoor, where you can relax. They are out there. If you’re a new arrival and need assistance, contact me.

Maybe you’re the type that need not get away from the bustle, but most I think will, including me.

Bethesda Fountain Central Park | The Masculine Epic
Bethesda Fountain.

9. There are a lot of Annoying Parades:

New York City has a lot of parades that are generally annoying to those who live here. You can find the schedule on the city’s official website.

Look at the schedule and avoid 5th avenue on those days.

10. Go Big or Go Home:

Those words just about sum up the entire city. New York is where the big boys come to play, and if you want to get the most out of it, you need to continually strive to go big – big money, big game, etc. If you live here, instill this mindset as quickly as possible – go big or go home. The grind can wear a lot of guys down, but if you’re a young man looking for something more, looking to be worth the title of “hero” (he who is worthy), there are few better stages on which to take your place. This is an opportunity to break the mold and be immortal – or sink beneath the waves.

Are you up to the challenge?

New York City Skyline | The Masculine Epic