Why it’s Not Always More Expensive to Live in NYC

I don’t really understand people who don’t want to live in New York. I’ve been to a lot of cities in this country. I’ve really only liked 2 besides New York, and even while I’m enjoying those places, I’m silently counting down the days until the wheels of my plane land in NYC again. I’ve heard a lot of reasons why New York isn’t number one on people’s list. These reasons range from the people are rude to it’s too chaotic to the one I hear the most – it’s too expensive. I’ll leave my personal thoughts on people who say this (*cough*poor*cough) and instead provide some cold hard stats about why this is not an entirely true statement. Sure our rents are absurd, but there are certainly other places with sky-high housing. There are plenty of things that are actually less expensive in NYC than in other locations. Here are just a few: 

1)      Manicures and pedicures – when I lived in Rochester, a manicure/ pedicure combo could run me upwards of $40. There were some places that would throw a $35 deal your way, but that’s probably the best you’d be able to find. When I was living there, I rarely treated myself to a manicure or pedicure, because on my Rochester wages, I couldn’t justify the spend on something so unnecessary. Enter the NYC nail salon. Because there are more nail salons than homeless people in this fair city, prices stay competitive. Every block you turn on to will likely provide you 3 or more options for pampering yourself. And most places are offering up a mani/ pedi for under $25. That’s reason enough to justify the spend, in my opinion.

2)      Cabs – this consistently shocks me; how expensive it is to take cabs in other cities. I’m literally speechless when I’m traveling and realize a $10 cab ride in NYC just cost me 30 bucks. Again, I’ll use the Rochester comparison since I spent so much time there post-grad. They used to charge you 2 or 3 bucks PER PERSON before the cab even went anywhere. It was absurd. I didn’t think anything at the time that a .5 mile ride from my apartment to the bar in the dead of winter costing $5 was a big deal. But there were 4 of us in the cab. A $20 fare in NYC gets you from the UES to Astoria (if you dare slum it in the boroughs, that is). Give me an NYC cabbie ANY DAY.

3)      Coffee – if you’re a straight up coffee drinker, NYC is your place to go. Some immigrants or something came up with the brilliant idea to sit inside these little metal boxes all day and sell breakfast goods and hot bevs to people on the street. Those people were geniuses in their own right (this does NOT mean you accept the man-in-the-box’s invitation to take you to dinner though. Gross). Now, because of them, New Yorkers can start their day with a cup of coffee that costs a buck or less. Tell me, San Fran’ers, Bostonians, Chicago-dwellers where you go to get a great cup of coffee for $0.75.

4)      Produce – ok lame you might be thinking, but hear me out on this. If you’re watching what you eat (and 99% of all women in this city are), a quick pick for a meal is a piece of fruit you can grab on the go. Also, limes are a necessary component to tequila shot taking. This is where the fruit stand comes in. Those aggressive guys polishing their mangos all day park right in front of the local Gristedes and charge way less for their fruit than any supermarket does. You can get like 4 bananas for a dollar. A million limes for 50 cents. It’s better than the junk from supermarkets and costs about 1/10th of what the same produce would cost from Whole Foods.

Ok, I won’t lie, I ran out of things that are less expensive after coffee and then stretched the produce thing, though I’m still right. I just wanted to show that it’s not always more expensive here. And if price is really the reason you’re avoiding making the move to the greatest city on earth, you should chat up the guy who bought the day old sushi from the local Japanese restaurant because it was cheaper. He spent 3 days puking. THINK ABOUT IT.


Posted on November 1, 2011, in new york city and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Bearded Hockey Fan

    All valid points, I wish cabs and coffee were as cheap here as in NYC. I don’t think I’d survive in the big apple though, to be fair not because of price, but I’m just a country backwoods and mountains kinda guy.

  2. and the fact…..that you do NOT need a car….really cars are pricey and a hastle!

  3. I agree with the produce. As for manicures, never had one, for coffee, I’m not a coffee drinker. As cabs, I’ve only really been ripped off in foreign countries. As for living in NYC, I’m still not in love. Sure, there’s enough things to keep you busy and entertained, but some people prefer the simple life. Having backpacked on at least four different continents, I can vouch for that. There are plenty of other places I could be.

    • well then by all means, perhaps you should head to one of those places. new york doesn’t do anyone any favors and you’re certainly not doing nyc any favors by being here. you’re probably just taking up a good apartment someone who actually wants to be here could be residing in. kindly stfu and gtfo

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