Essential tips for living in NYC

You’re now all packed up and ready to go. You’re finally doing it! You’re moving to New York! A new and exciting life is waiting for you, and…

Editorial Team

By Editorial Team

Times Square in NYC

You’re now all packed up and ready to go. You’re finally doing it! You’re moving to New York! A new and exciting life is waiting for you, and you probably can’t wait to start living it right away. It’s awesome to be so pumped up about moving, especially to such a diverse and exciting city. Before heading out the door though, are you absolutely sure you know everything you need to know about living in NYC? After all, it can seem like a complicated place for those who aren’t prepared.


You’ll need cash

It might be surprising since New York is so cosmopolitan and modern, but you’re going to have to learn to carry cash with you. Most food trucks and small delis or grocery stores, as well as quite a few restaurants, don’t accept cards.

A girl paying with cash


Yes, it’s annoying that you might have to pay withdrawal fees if you can’t find your bank, but there’s little you can do about it except plan ahead. Take out some cash before starting your trip, just to hold you over until you get used to things. It’s the New York way, so you won’t have much of a choice other than to adjust. Or you could avoid all the great eateries that require cash payments. Although that would mean missing out on so many delicious options. 


You’re going to have to speed up

When you’re living in NYC, you’re not going to be able to stroll aimlessly. You won’t be able to take your time when paying at the grocery store, and you definitely shouldn’t be fumbling with your MetroCard and holding people up at the subway turnstile.

A man wearing a blue shirt and grey pants is running through the city while he is holding a brown leather briefcase

Generally, New Yorkers are a pretty friendly bunch, but the one thing they won’t put up with is you holding them up. They move fast, and you either learn to move at the same speed or be prepared to have people be unpleasant to you as they rush by. This can be a little overwhelming at first. It’s natural that it might evoke feelings of homesickness. Don’t worry, though. You’ll soon pick up on moving around fast and you’ll join in with other locals who are berating the slow tourists. 


Parks are a serious thing

Lake in Central Park NYC with skyscrapers in the background

When living in NYC, you’ll find that you need a break every now and again from all the concrete. Your first instinct might be to head over to Central Park, seeing as it’s the most famous. However, New York has so many other beautiful parks that it would be a shame not to see them. Places like Fort Tryon Park, Fort Greene, Bryant Park, and Riverside Park are all incredibly beautiful and should be on your list of places to visit. Plus, a nice break among greenery will do wonders to keep you sane in such a fast-paced city. 



Gentrification is changing the identity of certain areas

New arrivals, and even visitors here, will find that gentrification is a hot topic of conversation in NYC. Many consider gentrification a positive thing since it improves neighborhoods along the axis of safety and infrastructure. 

Opponents of this urban shift find that the biggest problem with gentrification is that it can slowly but surely alter the history and traditions of certain areas. In some neighborhoods of NYC, for instance in Brooklyn especially, things have changed tremendously over the last decade. 


Personal space will become a long-lost memory

Whether you’re walking down the street, riding the subway, or doing pretty much anything else while living in NYC, get used to the idea that personal space doesn’t exist. People will bump into you on the street, you’ll impersonate a sardine on the subway, and you’ll get up close and personal with people you’ve never met in a club that goes from full to overflowing. No matter how off-putting it might be, you’re going to have to get used to it. New Yorkers don’t have any notion of personal space. If you’re lucky, it won’t be long before you feel the same way. Then your friends back home really will think that you’ve been replaced with a New York native when you go back for a visit.


Don’t wait if you’ve found a great apartment

Most New Yorkers consider an apartment with a private bedroom to be spacious. So, the moment you find an awesome apartment, don’t think twice about it. You don’t have time. There’s a queue of other hopefuls right behind you, so grab it up as soon as possible. Looking for a place to live in New York is typically not a very enjoyable process. It can be downright unnerving after you see all the horrible places people are serious about renting out. So, the moment an apartment you like comes on the market, take action. One way to find an ideal pad without all the hassle and discouragement is to rent from a company like Blueground. Their apartments are completely furnished, equipped and move-in ready. Located in the most sought-after areas, they are a serious step up from the shoeboxes most New Yorkers accept as the norm. Plus, you can sign up for the apartment before you even arrive here, which will save you a lot of time and aggravation. 


Get used to the idea of going car-free

Ever marvel at the fact that a lot of New Yorkers seem to be pretty fit? You probably thought it was from eating right and hitting the gym.  In most cases though, you’d be wrong. New Yorkers walk everywhere. Getting around by car is too frustrating, and parking is akin to cruel and unusual torture. So, most people walk, run, bike, skate, etc. and you’ll need to get used to doing so too. The good news is that it is really great exercise and it will help you to truly get to know the city well. Just make sure to invest in sensible walking shoes, which will wear out before you know it.

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

The Blueground editorial team covers the best things to see, do, and experience in our cities around the world.