Expats considering moving to the bright lights of New York City are bound to have plenty of questions about life in this world-famous city. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about living in the Big Apple.
How do I find cheap accommodation in New York City?
'Cheap accommodation in New York' would be considered by many a contradictory phrase, but the one thing expats can do to reduce rental costs is to live in an area outside the city centre in one of the outlying boroughs like Brooklyn or Queens. Shared accommodation is often cheaper than renting a studio apartment, so single expats should consider subletting as this can work out to be economical.
Do I need a car in New York City?
No, public transportation in NYC is exceptional; subway, buses and rail lines even run out to the suburbs. Taxis can also be widely used but can become expensive if travelling longer distances. Owning a car is often an unneeded hassle as on-street parking is nearly impossible to find. To rent a parking bay in a covered garage is also usually outrageously expensive.
Are New Yorkers rude? Is this difficult for expats to adjust to?
New York is massive and plays host to an incredible variety of different cultures and people of different backgrounds, many of whom are expats themselves. So making new friends is likely to be a similar process to what it would be in any other expat destination. New Yorkers do have a reputation for being abrupt and curt but this attitude is more a reflection of the pace of the city rather than the demeanour of its individuals.
Is New York a safe expat destination?
Despite its gritty reputation (mostly earned in the '70s and '80s), New York is a safe place to live with about the same amount of criminal activity that would be expected from any large global metropolis. For the most part, crime is relegated to specific city areas; certain parts of the Bronx and Queens have somewhat rough neighbourhoods that are not recommended, though other parts of these boroughs and the city in general are perfectly safe. However, it's still a good idea to remain security conscious, especially when walking home alone at night or taking the subway after 11pm.