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Please tell me horrible things about living in NYC

1042 Views 38 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  UrbanPlanter
Dh and I first visited NYC last year - ds1 was 3yo, and I was about 6 months pregnant with ds2. We LOVED it. We were there for a week, and had an absolute blast. Dh and I both have been wanting to go back ever since, and are thinking about planning a trip for next year.

I keep having these fantasties about moving to NYC. They are really just fantasies - we love where we live, we own a house, all our family is here, dh has a great job, etc. etc. But I am having a hard time getting NYC out of my head. I wake up thinking about it. I find myself missing it, jonesing for it!

I already live in a big city, and an expensive one at that, so the typical "city living" negatives aren't enough for me. So please tell me all the really horrible things about living in NYC, so I can quit obsessing about i!
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Can't help you on that- my brother LOVES NYC since moving there years ago and all I hear are its good points! Maybe your heart is calling you back.
well at the risk of sounding like a total freak...but its sort of a target for all the attack sort of things that happen---that would kind of keep my paranoid self from living there. otherwise, i think it sounds like an amazing place.
MamaMonica - You're not helping! :LOL

Stirringleaf - Yeah, I thought of that. But the city I live in is pretty high up on the list as well, so I can't say I feel all that much safer here!
my sister lives in manhattan and said there are rats everywhere. they are not afraid of people and come up to you in the park.
: also i remember visiting her @10 years ago and there were cockroaches the size of my feet(wm 5.5, sometimes 6) crawling on the ceiling and walls
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Originally Posted by oceanbaby
I already live in a big city, and an expensive one at that, so the typical "city living" negatives aren't enough for me. So please tell me all the really horrible things about living in NYC, so I can quit obsessing about i!
I love NYC, and consider myself more of a Nyer than anything else, so I don't know how much help I'll be... but here I go:

How expensive is the city you live in now? NYC is *really* expensive. I knew I would never own a home there. Do you need to live in a "nice" area? I hope you've got about a mil lying around to devote to homeownership.

Well, that's the best I can do... I miss NYC.
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If you need to use a stroller, it is such a PITA on the subway, as most stations don't have elevators. Of course, slings can go anywhere...
When I was little my grandfather was the manager of the Hotel Empire right across from Lincoln Center so I spent lots of time visiting NYC as a child. In High School I had a number of friends who lived in NYC, including a boyfriend and I visited him often too. I thought then that living in NYC was the logical next step for me. So I went to NYU. I only stayed for one year, here were my reasons:

I hated hearing sick come-on comments all the time, on every block, every day.

Everyone on the street always acted guarded and like they'd kill you if you ever dared to make eye contact and so I, too, ended up always wearing sunglasses so that I could look around when I walked and not feel like I was prying if I happened to look at someone's face.

When it got at all warm the streets smelled like piss.

It was really expensive to do fun stuff but everywhere I'd look people were doing fun things so it made me feel really bad about having too economize all the time. It would have been really easy to run up huge credit card bills.

I never felt like I could get friendly with a stranger unless I met them in a class or in my dorm, and so I had virtually no friends (I transferred in my sophmore year and cliques were pretty well developed when I got there and of course, all my friends who had grown up there had gone elsewhere for college).

It is soooooooooo cold in the winter when the wind comes whipping down those streets! Brr!

Even when it is a sunny beautiful day, the sunlight doesn't get down to street level for very long because the buildings are so tall.

It's dirty, at the end of the day the amount of black soot that would be on my body and clothes was just totally disgusting.

All that said, it is a great city to visit. It is fun to walk around and see the sights, go to excellent live theatre, opera, dance, etc. The smell of roasting nuts at Christmastime is to me "The Smell of Christmas". The variety of etnicities is refreshing with all of the foods, shops and customs that go along with each one. It is an exciting place to be as it feels like things have more immediacy, like somehow they matter more than in other places. However, you couldn't pay me to live there again.

Hope that helps!
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Okay, I have been living here for 10 years and have had children for 2.5 years. Here is why we are leaving (soon God Willing!):

*We live in a nieghborhood where the parks *SUCK*. Not only are they super dirty, but the *freakin* teenagers sit and smoke pot far too close to the kiddies. This doesn't happen in every hood, especially the upscale areas, but I am in what is now a very EXPENSIVE area and it still happens here. If you say something to the kids about the smoke it turns into a situation where they get really aggressive and then you feel threatened for your child.

*We live in a nieghborhood where drunkards, on weekends mostly, walk screaming down our street at night. The often leave presents of puke behind. We live on the 4th floor and you can still hear them plain as day.....

*In the summer the air is so polluted and it is so muggy you don't want to leave your house. I don't even have air conditioning, and I live right next to a highway and I still don't want to leave.

*In the winter it is so bitterly cold you don't want to leave your house

*The subways with kids SUCK! People don't give a crap and like my friend said "Um please don't push my son down the stairs while your rushing - he is only 3!!!" The sidewalks suck - people don't give a crap and will push right past you 9 months pregant pushing a toddler in a stroller or not. I don't even take the subways anymore. I got stuck on one during rush hour under the east river for a half hour and never recovered - it was terrifying. Right after that the subway bombings in Russia happened, followed by the train bombings in Madrid. I can't help but think about 1 of the 3 every time I get onto a train.

*Freshdirect the food delivery service is awesome, but if you are really into picking out your own foods you usually have to travel to Manhattan. If you live in Manhattan your apartment is probably too small to have kids and a significant other AND be comfy. Unless, of course, you are uber wealthy or won the jackpot of finding a rent regulated buildings. If you have to travel to get your grocercies, remember you have to carry them and your kid home (good excercise tho!), and prolly carry them up a walk up.

*Brooklyn has some of the highest car insurance rates in the country. So if you get a car be prepared to pay for it. Also tickets here now start at about $70 and parking is usually $200 or more a month

*You can't, generally, send your kids to public schools. Variances (a paper that lets you send your kid to another school or district) were suspended for a while, even if they have been reinstituted they are hard to come by. If you send your kids to private school, the tuiton is NOT tax deductible. If you live in the 'burbs you can write off your property taxes and send your kids to school, a double economic plus for me.

So there!

I know this sounds soooo pessimistic. It is honest. I could write just as many good things about the city too, but alas that is not what this thread requests!
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I hate Manhattan. Despise it. Filthy, nasty, busy. Obscenely expensive. People are heartless. I was mugged and almost raped while living in Manhattan.

The other boroughs are diferent. I moved to Staten Island years ago and would never move back. It's heavenly here. The beaches are clean and empty, the parks are filled with birds (DD and I saw a white crane this morning!). It is very, very child friendly around here. Can't say the same for the other boroughs. Just my opinion, of course.

Originally Posted by goodcents
*We live in a nieghborhood where drunkards, on weekends mostly, walk screaming down our street at night. The often leave presents of puke behind. We live on the 4th floor and you can still hear them plain as day.....
Oh yeah, forgot about the poop, puke, and pee (both human and animal) that's all over the sidewalks.

OMG, and when we lived in Queens, you could not breathe due to the sewage treatment plant.

Come to Staten Island, gc!! The dump is closed and the beaches are great.
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I love NY.

(though the rats in the park and the five-inch-long cockroaches do make me think dark thoughts about it ... sometimes ...)
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yo i'm native to this hellhole...can't go to a decent beach. perverts everywhere. lots of yuppie transplants blanding out the good ol' neighborhoods. gentrification sucks.
Cockroaches the size of rats. Rats the size of cats.

Or so I've heard. I've never actualy lived in NYC :LOL

Originally Posted by oceanbaby

So please tell me all the really horrible things about living in NYC, so I can quit obsessing about i!
It smells like urine and crazy people sleep on the streets. That's bad enough for me, anyway.
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i lived in manhattan for 15 years. i remember the rats running around outside restaurants. the cockroaches in my apartments ate my leftovers before i could get to them. i got mugged by a crack addict on the front stoop of my building, and my neighbors never answered their buzzers or my calls for help. i got trapped in the subway in summer without a/c for 6.5 hours - i can't imagine doing that with a bebe or two. when it gets hot in summer, everything smells like garbage or worse. it's insanely expensive.

... and i had some of the best times of my life there ... i miss it dearly ... and as much as i swore i would never raise children there, if my dh wanted to move there for some reason, i'd probably go. i really miss NYC. sigh.
I left NY. I do love it and always will but I did not want to raise my kids there.

The thing that bothers me the most is that children grow up so quickly there. I know, I was one of them. I look at 9 year olds with Coach purses and Burberry skirts, cell phones and attitudes. It really makes me sad. They all seem so materialistic to me, so into being fabulous. That happens with lots of teens but usually they are at least teens! Not 8 and 9 year olds.

I have a good friend who makes over a million dollars a year - and he lives in 850 square feet with a wife and two kids. Not that lots of people can't make do with 850 square feet but he doesn't even have money left over at the end of the month to save anything! Between the cost of private school (basically a must and he is paying $26K for one child in 2nd grade and $20K for his Kindergartener), rent, clothing, food, activities (theater, gym, etc.) is an absolute fortune to live there.

I don't regret leaving there for one second, especially when I go back to visit. But I understand the attraction, it is the greatest city in the world.
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I was the first person in about five generations of my mother's family *not* to be born in NYC. Needless to say, I love it... however, growing up with a houseful of ex-New Yorkers I heard nothing but negatives - bad public schools, really cold in the winter, really hot & humid in the summer, rude people, really crowded, competitive, etc etc etc.

My biggest problem with it is that it freaking stinks during the summer.
GoodCents, you listed all of the reasons that we decided to leave Greenpoint/Williamsburg, Brooklyn! I can't say that I really agree with the no good food/can't send kids to school points, but everything else is right on target with how we were feeling! We lived a block from the BQE, too!

So, six months ago we moved to the 'burgs, Jersey side, and love it. Our town is often referred to as "Brooklyn West." I know that you have been looking to move, so PM me if you would like more info!
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