This week we got a great, straight-to-the-point reader question. Four AANY staffers tackle it below…
A: Yes, I would move here, but only if I had the resources to live here in the 20-teens; a very expensive time in what has become one of the most expensive cities in the world. When I first moved to NY, in 1966, it was actually the most affordable of all the world’s great cities. It was not cheap by Oshkosh standards, but compared to London, Paris, Tokyo, or Rome, it was very affordable. It no longer is—so you have those inevitable trade-offs; like, should you move here to live in an “iffy” section of Brooklyn or Queens, with a commute into midtown that could take an hour-plus? Or, should you live here in a two-bedroom apartment with 5 other people? Also, as a deeply creative person, who has always had a need to work on his art, moving here now might be daunting: it’s hard to freelance your way through life here, if not impossible. So, for an older person (40+) to come here without a lot of means, it’s difficult. However, for younger people with lots of drive, energy, talent, style, looks, and resourcefulness at their disposal—why not? You’ll kick yourself if you don’t. - Perry Brass
A: New York is great for go-getters interested in realizing their potential in a competitive field and connecting with the diversity of voices and perspectives the city offers. I’m not a native New Yorker, but I moved here because it seems to be, for many of us, the final frontier. For some, New York’s appeal falls behind Berlin, Buenos Aires, or Nairobi, but if you’re in the United States, why not be in the nation’s most international city? If you can make it here… - Darrel Holnes
A: Yes, yes, absolutely yes! New York is the best and the worst city in the world. It’s filled with a million amazing things to do, and it has way too many people in it to enjoy those things sometimes. It’s the easiest and the hardest city–the easiest because you can have your food, laundry, and marijuana delivered, and the hardest because you sometimes have to walk 15 blocks in the dirty, slushy snow just to get to work or to see a friend. It’s the dirtiest and smelliest, but the absolute best. The people you find in the city will inspire you and make you a better person, or punch you in the face and pee on you. BUT this city will make you a little older and a little wiser and make you WORK for it. It’s not a city for the lazy.You’ll go home everyday earning that smile on your face. - Lindsey Gentile
A: The truth is, I was a New Yorker long before I actually lived here. From the time I was a little kid, I can remember telling my parents about my dream to move to New York City. Once, my mom and I were in a checkout line when the cashier happened to mention that sheʼd grown up in Queens, and I spent the next ten minutes peppering her with questions about what life in the city was really like. I couldnʼt understand why sheʼd left.
In high school, Iʼd organize weekend bus trips to the city so my friends and I could catch whatever Broadway show Iʼd read about in the latest issue of InTheater magazine. In college, when everybody else was doing tequila shots in Cancun, I was crashing at a
cheap midtown hotel and taking in as many plays and museums as I possibly could. I moved here less than a week after grad school graduation and havenʼt looked back since.
When I meet new people Iʼm often asked why I chose to move to New York. I donʼt really have a good answer, other than that itʼs where Iʼm supposed to be. New York was my home before I lived here, and it will be my home if I ever decide to leave it, although
I canʼt imagine living anywhere else.
A few years ago a friend told me her “moving to NYC” story, which does a perfect job of summing up my own experience. Like me, she had long dreamed about moving to the city. When sheʼd finally made it, she arrived at her new apartment to find a card from her high school friends. The card said, quite simply, “welcome home.” - Rebecca Frey