5 Struggles Every New Resident of New York Goes Through

NYC skyline | © Mehmet Canli / Flickr
NYC skyline | © Mehmet Canli / Flickr
Photo of Tillie Adelson
Blogger8 March 2017

New York City is the place that Carrie Bradshaw personified for nearly a decade, the city that never sleeps and where dreams are made, and don’t forget – it’s been waiting for you (shout out to Jay-Z and Taylor Swift). People flood to New York for a life full of thrills, opportunity, and excitement, and yes, the city is all that and more. However, until you’re actually a New Yorker, you will not know the ups and downs that each New Yorker goes through on a daily basis. Here are five struggles every new resident of New York faces.

Apartment hunting

Think that perfect West Village apartment is just prime for the picking? Think again. Those stock images on Street Easy use a special lens to make the room look bright, airy, and spacious. So while that space on Christopher Street overlooking candy store sensation Sockerbit looks roomy, it is, in fact, a small studio with a kitchen/bathroom combination. Think that lens is deceiving? Well, don’t be surprised when the “no fee” apartment may actually have a fee. Brokers are a staple of New York City apartment hunting – just embrace them. Oh, and do you enjoy sunlight? Sorry, the windows only face a brick wall of another apartment building in that 6th-floor walk-up.

West Village | © Eva Powell / Flickr

The Subway

Riding the subway is a rite of passage in NYC. However, make sure you have your subway card out and ready to swipe so that you won’t get yelled at by the hoards of commuters pushing to get on the platform. Also, you’ll have to perfect the swiping of the card – otherwise, think of Hillary Clinton struggling to swipe her subway card on her famous subway ride in 2016. (Awkward.) And your boss will probably have to get used to you getting in a little late every day: Sorry Mr. Boss Man or Lady, I was late because some guy wouldn’t get his foot out of the train door, hence, delaying its departure and my arrival to work on time.

Crowded Subway | © [Bettyx1138 ]/[e.g. Flickr]

Buying groceries

Buying groceries and cooking your own meals at a reasonable price is a totally normal way to conduct your life. Many people come to New York City with a love of Trader Joe’s snacks and easy meals, but what they may be unaware of is what a trip to Trader Joe’s will cost them in time. The lines will be out the door and around the corner. Then once you are actually in the store, don’t bother walking around to shop: save time by shopping while in line. Remember you should only buy a few items at a time as you’ll be hauling them back with you up to that 6th-floor walk-up. Seamless created the perfect solution for the food shopping struggle in NYC.


Not a big coffee drinker before coming to NYC? Well, you will be now! Coffee is a way of life in NYC, and no one is truly awake until they’ve had their caffeine hit. As a result, there is a constant struggle between your need for your morning lattes and your understanding that said latte is a tad overpriced. However, don’t let a little inflation stop you from getting your morning cup of joe.

Rainy day feeeeels ☔️

A post shared by Tillie | My Stiletto Life (@tillieadelson) on


Payday is basically Christmas every two weeks. You think you’re rich for approximately one day until your Con Ed, rent check, and Time Warner bills are taken out of your checking account, and you’re back to being poor (those daily lattes are not helping the cause either). Just get used to living by the mantra, “pay check to pay check,” and hoping that the 401K plan you have at your job will accrue money one of these days.

Despite these day-to-day struggles every new resident of New York will inevitably face, New York City will always continue to prove why they are worthwhile.

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