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Thread: Should I Move to New York City?

  1. #1

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    Should I Move to New York City?

    Hi all...I'm new here and i have a burning question that I need to ask all of you. Me and my boyfriend have been thinking of moving to New York City (from Toronto) for a couple of years to try out a new life...Toronto is not exactly boring but we're both young...so why not move somewhere else? The problem is...I have 0 planning experience and i am still in the midst of completing my graduate degree (Master of Environmental Studies) focusing on the planning of public space...I'm not sure if making the move is exactly right for me...and let's face it...York University is not exactly Ivy League either....so getting a job straight out of a graduate degree might pose some difficulties if i were to compete with other planning students in the states

    So my question is:
    1. Will it be hard for me to find a planning job in New York City with just a graduate degree and hardly any planning experience?
    2. What is it like to live in New York City?


  2. #2
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    I live just north of the City. There are jobs in the area... check out

    http://www.nyplanning.org/

    I don't know what is like to live in the city...but I love the area.
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

    Renovating the '62 Metzendorf
    http://metzendorf.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    If I could find a job, and affordable apartment, I would move there. I like Chicago a bit better, but NYC is still one of my favorite cities. When I was living just outside of Philly, I would drive the few hours north, hop on a train, and spend the day or weekend in NYC about once every other month or so.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  4. #4
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Never been to NYC, but I have thought about moving to T.O. for a year or two... that was ina former life though...
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    I don’t live in New York but have known a few people who have moved from my city (Chicago) to NYC. Because Chicago and Toronto are fairly comparable in terms of rent and job markets, I think you’ll probably have a similar experience to them.

    The first thing you have to understand is that Toronto has completely spoiled you in terms of housing costs. Yes, I know it’s supposed to be expensive when compared to the rest of Canada, but it’s on par with Chicago, which is considered very cheap by American standards (standards developed in New York and California). You’ll probably going to have to seriously reduce your expectations, and then reduce them again when you start looking.

    On a planner’s salary, don’t even think about Manhattan (except the very upper little neck) or any of the “fashionable” (which is to say, near) parts of Brooklyn. If you insist on the city you might be looking at outer Brooklyn, Queens, or the Bronx. And even then your apartment will not be nearly as nice as that to which you’re accustomed in Toronto. One thing you should consider is Hoboken or some other city with easy PATH access on the Jersey Shore. It sure beats taking a bus to the subway for a long and sweaty ride in from Queens every day, and the Manhattan snobs won’t sneer at you much worse for living there as they would for living in Queens.

    Anyway, I’d say that Toronto is a wonderful city and a great place to spend your youth, but if you really want to get away, why not consider another city where you can maintain a good standard of living like Chicago or Montreal? If you really want to insist on NYC, then don’t reject “uncool” places like Hoboken or Queens. No way you’ll be able to live in the “better” parts of Manhattan, but even then there’ll be tons of pressure to sacrifice comfort and disposable income to have a place in some other “acceptable” part of town.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    What about securing a work visa? Do you already have one, or do you plan to be sponsored once you find a job? If so, you will be stuck in that job for as long as you choose to remain in the U.S., unless manage to get a green card.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Ha!

    Quote Originally posted by jmello
    What about securing a work visa? Do you already have one, or do you plan to be sponsored once you find a job? If so, you will be stuck in that job for as long as you choose to remain in the U.S., unless manage to get a green card.
    I wouldn't worry about that....apparently WE give them out like candy while Canada treats every case as though one might be an axe murderer or even worse, a non french speaking american
    Skilled Adoxographer

  8. #8
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    I wouldn't worry about that....apparently WE give them out like candy while Canada treats every case as though one might be an axe murderer or even worse, a non french speaking american
    Actually, that's not true at all. If anything, I have heard the opposite.

  9. #9

    sure you should move to nyc....

    ....if you are a trust fund baby. I love hearing people wanting to move to nyc. I've lived in nyc all my life (and couldn't wait to move out). It is a city that most can't afford, and the inequity between the rich areas and poor boroughs are appalling. If you don't work in a good job in corporate america, and your parents' aren't paying your rent (which most 20somethings, even though they don't admit to it, have their parents doing), then you can't afford manhattan or those cool parts of brooklyn. And most people think of manhattan and those cool parts of brooklyn when they think nyc. Sadly the uglier, more uncared for, and congested parts of the other three boroughs, (one in which i used to live in) are also overpriced. Especially with a degree like the environment and planning, well again if you are a trust fund baby, welcome. There are many like you. If you aren't, get ready to be disappointed. NYC reflects inequity at its finest.

  10. #10
    maudit anglais
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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    I wouldn't worry about that....apparently WE give them out like candy while Canada treats every case as though one might be an axe murderer or even worse, a non french speaking american
    Not every case...just yours.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally posted by terri3
    ....if you are a trust fund baby. I love hearing people wanting to move to nyc. I've lived in nyc all my life (and couldn't wait to move out). It is a city that most can't afford, and the inequity between the rich areas and poor boroughs are appalling. If you don't work in a good job in corporate america, and your parents' aren't paying your rent (which most 20somethings, even though they don't admit to it, have their parents doing), then you can't afford manhattan or those cool parts of brooklyn. And most people think of manhattan and those cool parts of brooklyn when they think nyc. Sadly the uglier, more uncared for, and congested parts of the other three boroughs, (one in which i used to live in) are also overpriced. Especially with a degree like the environment and planning, well again if you are a trust fund baby, welcome. There are many like you. If you aren't, get ready to be disappointed. NYC reflects inequity at its finest.
    ok, i agree that there are a lot of trust-funders and rich wall-street and media types, but i lived in ny (ft. greene, brooklyn) and paid $425 a month for a shared apartment. i paid my rent MYSELF, and my neighborhood is fairly decent. i have plenty of friends who make $20-35,000 per year and manage to survive and who DON'T have to resort to living in only the worst neighbhorhoods. it's called being industrious and creative in your apartment searches.

    ha, sorry, this is a touchy subject for me

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally posted by Meghan
    ok, i agree that there are a lot of trust-funders and rich wall-street and media types, but i lived in ny (ft. greene, brooklyn) and paid $425 a month for a shared apartment. i paid my rent MYSELF, and my neighborhood is fairly decent. i have plenty of friends who make $20-35,000 per year and manage to survive and who DON'T have to resort to living in only the worst neighbhorhoods. it's called being industrious and creative in your apartment searches.

    ha, sorry, this is a touchy subject for me

    Off-topic:
    Ah-from one overpriced place to another, I see. Berkeley at least has better weather

  13. #13

    you're right...

    You're right meghan. I think I just lost my cool, because I recently went back to the city, and well every time I go back, I get sad how rich certain parts are getting and how poor other parts are getting (and yet both parts still rather expensive), as there is this whole other world of immigrants and blue collar folk who are just struggling to get by. And don't get me wrong. Living in Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and certain parts of Brooklyn definitely doesn't mean your poor and is not necessarily scummy either (just other stereotypes). But like recently a study came out with the 5 dirtiest subways in nyc. 4 in the Bronx and 1 in Staten Island. That sucks. Equity among boroughs would be nice. Just in my humble opinion, the city always got me down for that reason (but i've lived there for too long, so I guess I'm allowed, (and I've worked that high paying corporate job, and have seen other twenty, thirty, and forty-somethings paying their dues as well, but its tough either way, especially as a lot still end up with little savings to show for it (but those are through all the other vices that the big city poses as well (like $20 MOMA tickets!)..... Anyways, Kudos to all the savy creative people out there! If NYC is your kind of place and if you do live there, remember to love your outer borough neighbors!

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quote Originally posted by Meghan
    ok, i agree that there are a lot of trust-funders and rich wall-street and media types, but i lived in ny (ft. greene, brooklyn) and paid $425 a month for a shared apartment. i paid my rent MYSELF, and my neighborhood is fairly decent. i have plenty of friends who make $20-35,000 per year and manage to survive and who DON'T have to resort to living in only the worst neighbhorhoods. it's called being industrious and creative in your apartment searches.

    ha, sorry, this is a touchy subject for me
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  14. #14
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    terri-


    thanks for being so reasonable! yeah, i mean, ny is a TOUGH town (i don't live there now for a reason), but it's not IMPOSSIBLE. it really comes down to your volition, although it certainly helps to have a loaded bank account courtesy of grandma, or a brother who can score you a job.

    as far as gentrification is concerned...isn't it interesting how FAST it happens now? i mean, i'm just a kid (24) and only lived in ny off/on for 5 years, but i've heard a lot of people (including long-time residents) complain about this. when i first moved to ny, the street i ended up living on was a last-resort. now, across from my old place you have a hip bar, a thai restaurant, an organic food shop, a connecticut muffin (LOL!)....it's fast becoming the new park slope. i wonder how long a city can sustain that kind of rapid change, and what the consequences will be? for example, williamsburg has long been too expensive, and so everyone moved on to east williamsburg. now THAT place is too pricey, and people are shifting more and more into bushwick. there are also plenty of artists other similar types moving into bedford-stuyvesant, crown heights, and even bensonhurst. is everyone going to be living in east new york by 2015? or, god forbid, new jersey?

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    RE Meghan and terri3,

    I don't know how to say this very well, but I see that kind of disgreement all the time -- where someone who isn't doing a particular thing has trouble imagining how anyone else COULD. I was a stay-at-home mom for many years and folks with a working mom can't imagine how we could "afford" it. And although my husband's military career provides excellent benefits that make it more feasible than average to live on one income, it isn't really about money per se: it is just a different LIFESTYLE. Same goes for homeschooling. Folks who have kids in public school can't imagine how we do it. It seems like such a huge burden, etc. But lots of homeschoolers think homeschooling is far easier than the hassle of public school.

    If you want to know HOW to do it, find someone like Meghan who DID IT or is still doing it and get the inside scoop on how their choices differ -- and how the resources differ too. For example, as a stay at home parent, I didn't need as much MONEY because I had the luxury of TIME (to cook meals from scratch, for example). And I didn't need to pay for daycare. And we lived with one car, not two, which makes a huge impact financially. In fact, any time I dreamed of having more money and was tempted to go get a job, I would run up against the fact that if I got a job, we would need a second car and daycare and, in short, I would be working to pay for the expenses caused by my job. I felt we would not be financially better off and our quality of life would actually drop. So I could never bring myself to go get a job, in the face of those facts. And after you have done it a long time, you just don't even feel like you are "making a sacrifice" because the lifestyle choices you make in order to "afford" it just become A Given and you stop thinking too much about it. It only comes up when having conversations with folks who don't live that way and who are getting all cross-eyed trying to imagine How On Earth cand you DO This???

    People who have this mental block are invariably mentally superimposing their present lifestyle onto a situation that would, by its very nature, eradicate their present lifestyle/situation. It is like when someone says they can't imagine how much more expensive it is to buy clothes if you live in a cold area instead of a warm one. Studies don't support the idea that the there is a huge difference in what is spent on clothes. If you move there, you have a large one time upfront cost and, thereafter, new coats or whatever are just a normal part of the clothing budget.
    Or maybe that isn't so off topic.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    One thing you should consider is Hoboken or some other city with easy PATH access on the Jersey Shore.
    Consider Hoboken only if you don't mind paying $1600 per month for a 2 bedroom apartment of about 650 sq. ft. The only other cities with PATH (ie subway) access to New York are Jersey City and Newark. Good deals there if you are willing to rough it.

    But to answer your questions:

    1. Yes, it is hard to find good work in NYC. In any profession.Thousands of ambitious people come here from all over the world every year just to test themselves. You know how the song goes, "If I can make it there......" Plenty don't.

    2. What is the City like?
    It's glamorous and stimulating, but also expensive, dirty (especially compared to Canada), and status-obsessed. All those ambitious people want the whole world to know when they've arrived. The whole world being, of course, New York.

    This may sound negative but that is the reality. I don't want to dissuade you, but it doesn't hurt to know what you're getting into.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Anyway, I’d say that Toronto is a wonderful city and a great place to spend your youth, but if you really want to get away, why not consider another city where you can maintain a good standard of living like Chicago or Montreal? If you really want to insist on NYC, then don’t reject “uncool” places like Hoboken or Queens. No way you’ll be able to live in the “better” parts of Manhattan, but even then there’ll be tons of pressure to sacrifice comfort and disposable income to have a place in some other “acceptable” part of town.
    I will echo that one, Chicago strikes me as being more 'Middle American', too. It has all of the cosmopolitan, multi-ethnic nature that attracts people to big cities and makes them fun places to live, without the extreme snobbishness and chaos that are hallmarks of NYC.

    I also see planner ad postings from Chicagoland suburbs on a regular basis. Note, the City of Chicago may still have a residency rule that states that you must be a city resident before they will accept a job application from you. I was poking around in the city offices about 10 years or so ago and there were two very juicy higher-level planning openings on their bulletin board, the kinds of openings that would have swamped the city's personnel people with resumés had it not been for that residency rule.

    From a rental-finder book that I picked up about two years ago, expect to pay USA$800-1500/month for a decent apartment in an attractive part of the city, less in the less attractive parts of the city and in the suburbs. MANY parts of the city are undergoing rapid gentrification, too, although there are good places to be had ahead of that crowd.

    Good luck!

    Mike

  18. #18
    Cyburbian eightiesfan's avatar
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    It is so interesting to hear people discuss NYC! For me, NYC will always be a place I plan on returning to when my finances return to a level that can support my current lifestyle in the city. At this point in my life I would not be comfortable being back with the income I have, I guess I have adjusted to much less expensive surroundings. But when it is all said and done, that city has a vibe you can't find anywhere else in this country. I like Chicago, it's a nice city but it is not NYC.

    The chaos is part of what makes the city beautiful, you just have to see it. It's like standing in Shibuya Station in Tokyo, it seems mad but if you stop and watch it it's unreal in a good way. And the comments about NY being snobby are definitely blown out of proportion. I think shows like Sex and The City have given people a false image of NYC. You have to remember that NYC is much more than Manhattan, LES, Tribeca, etc. Growing up in Corona Queens I never felt that vibe.

    My advice to you is take a couple of weeks (minimum) and visit the city. Go get your feet wet. NYC is a city you either love or hate, but you have to experience it to make that call. Best of luck to you!
    Regrets, I've had a few; But then again, too many to mention.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Yeah.....

    Quote Originally posted by Tranplanner
    Not every case...just yours.
    I think it must be the Goatee

    No way, if anything Canada is getting more and more hostile towards us Yanks....heard on NPR that the Canuck approval rating for the American's has gone down to the neighborhood of 58% from mid 70%'s a few years ago...
    Skilled Adoxographer

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by The One
    No way, if anything Canada is getting more and more hostile towards us Yanks....heard on NPR that the Canuck approval rating for the American's has gone down to the neighborhood of 58% from mid 70%'s a few years ago...
    Is that hostility? Or does that really reflect the flood of Americans trying to leave here? If the number of applications has gone way up but the number of approvals have stayed the same, that would show a lower percentage of approvals.

    Just a thought.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    My dad's family is from the Flatbush/Kensington area of Brooklyn and i my old man was living in Flatbush up until a few years ago so i've spent some of my youth there plenty of time since.

    Manhattan is exhilirating to say the least. But it can also be overwhelming. Whenever i go there for the day and come back to Philadelphia i'm always struck by how quiet and calm Philly is in comparison (and it's really not quiet here at all). I'm also reminded of how long it takes to get just about anywhere in NY that you can't walk to. When i used to take the train up to B'klyn to visit my dad or when we go up to Queens to visit friends 1/3 of the trip time is spent on subway rides within New York.

    When i worked there in '97 and all of my peers were living in B'klyn they would ask me how long it took me to get to work. I'd say "about an hour, how 'bout you" they would say "yeah, about an hour." I lived 40 miles away in NJ. They lived 10 miles away in Brooklyn. Sure their commuting costs were lower and sure the trains run 24 hours but it's not as if there was a whole heck of a lot to do in their neighborhoods compared to the one i was living in (4 blocks from the beach i might add) and their rents were a lot higher. There's a lot more going on in Brooklyn now but it still seems to me like a high price to pay for the privilege of being able to say "i live in NY."

    It's also really hard to meet people there outside of work. In Philly i can walk up to the bar and start talking to the person next to me and it's not weird and no one will think that i'm trying to hustle them. Same thing at the bus stop or wherever. In NYC that kind of interaction is difficult and at the very least uncomfortably awkward.

    If you're set on it I def. wouldn't rule out NJ. The PATH trains run all night and get you into Manhattan in about 10 minutes or less (if you're coming from Hoboken or Jersey City) and a little bit longer from Newark. The fare is still only $1.50 and they're remaking the turnstiles to acccept Metrocard.

    Hoboken is a great town that's a lot closer to most of manhattan than just about anywhere in Brooklyn or Queens. When i was looking into it in the late 90's the apt. prices in Hoboken were about 1/2 per square foot what they were in Manhattan.

    Don't listen to what people say about Jersey City. It's the same thing here in Philly. When i'm talking to people who live in Center City and I tell them where i live i always get the "how is that?" which is a polite way of asking "is it safe" and/or is there anything to do down there?" A lot of kids i went to high school with moved to Jersey City after college. You've seen the movie "the Royal Tenenbaums?" it was filmed in JC. Access to Manhattan is just as good as it is in Hoboken with more reasonable prices.

    This map shows the light rail trains, PATH (subway) trains, commuter rail, and ferry service (shown as small dotted lines in the river).

    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

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