New York City is the dream of many students and young workers. Nonetheless, living there isn’t as simple as it seems to be…
First of all, finding a place to live isn’t easy. You will realize very soon that the cost of living is… crazy! A room in Manhattan will cost you at least $900 and beyond $1700 in fancy neighborhoods. Then, usually you have to make a choice between a large space and a nice location. Once you have found the apartment and the roommates of your dreams (and corresponding to your budget!) you can start finding your place in New York’s jungle.
Indeed, at the very first glance, New York seems to be a big anthill with so many busy people (and tourists!). If you look closer, the city is full of amazing places to visit and activities that you cannot do elsewhere. But, once again, everything has a cost in New York. Don’t be naughty: do not forget to tip the taxi driver, the waiter or the waitress (from 10% to 20%) as it is an essential part of their earnings. Restaurants, bars and cinemas are usually more expensive than in France. Same for the metro!
Not happy with the metro in Paris? Try the New York Subway… Always delayed when you need it the most, and the planned work during weekends can completely cut the traffic or reroute metro lines. In addition, be careful not to bump into a New Yorker in the subway if you don’t want to get into trouble! If you are planning to take the bus, you’d better walk! The New York bus system is quite good when you need to go uptown or downtown, but don’t even try crosstown…
It is also necessary to mention the weather in New York: be prepared to suffocate during the summer, especially in the subway where the average temperature is 45°C. During the winter, you will simply freeze because of gusts of wind and snowstorms.
Did I scare you already? Enough complaining…! Besides these disadvantages, New York is among the most incredible cities in the world.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) and the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) are unavoidable. Art lovers should also visit the Guggenheim Museum and its brand new golden toilet by Maurizio Cattelan.
For others, the architecture of the city is a simple source of wander and endless inspiration.
The Flatiron building (the oldest in New York) is a must see, as well as the Chrysler building, Grand Central station and of course the Empire State Building.
In the south of Manhattan, buildings get taller and taller. The financial district and lower Manhattan are full of emblematic places such as the 09/11 Memorial, Wall Street, the Brooklyn Bridge or The Statue of Liberty.
The 09/11 Memorial and its two reflecting pools called “reflecting absence” with the names of all the victims are striking and symbolic. The One World Trade Center is the main building of the World Trade Center complex and is the tallest of the Western Hemisphere. If you do not suffer from vertigo you should absolutely try the One World Observatory on the 102th floor and its 360° view on Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey.
Apart from the traditional tourist attractions, the biggest strength of New York is its diversity. New York is among the most diverse places in the world. The ethnic and cultural diversity attracts millions of visitors each year. All the boroughs of the city illustrate this incredible melting pot through restaurants, museums, stores, music concerts, etc… At the same time New York is the center of finance, business, publishing, fashion and culture.
New York is definitely the city that never sleeps! There is always something to do in New York : rooftop bars with amazing views and drinks, open air cinemas, clubs, open stages, and so on and so forth. Each borough has its own identity and the best way to discover the city is to walk through the streets to become imbued with the culture of the different neighborhoods.
One semester is definitely too short to fully enjoy New York’s diversity!
(By Justine Gazuit)