tips for living in New York city

Settling in to New York life can be tough. Regardless of whether you’ve conquered London’s Central Line during rush hour daily, driven with the Bangkok traffic for years, or you’re experienced in braving the bureaucracy of Moscow life, the Big Apple can throw new challenges at you which you just didn’t see coming. 

Stick with it though, and you’ll be richly rewarded by a city which just keeps on giving. So, with the help of professional movers NYC, here are 5 IDEAL tips for adjusting to life in New York City.


That there ‘New York attitude’ gets a bad rep. You’d think they invented the whole, cold ‘no smiling at strangers, no subway small talk and no salutations’ mantra which every metropolis believes to be their own. So yeah, if you’ve ever lived in London, all of this will sound wearingly familiar already.

You’ll also know it’s a stereotype largely undeserved, and that people – just like anywhere on earth – are generally, actually rather nice; they’re often just busy or in a rush. As a wise person once said, kill them with kindness, and don’t get sucked into the negative spiral of believing such an ‘attitude’ exists. Or at least, is exclusive to NYC.

tips for living in New York city


We have images of NYC as a sunny, vibrant place, perhaps permeated by glamorous shots on the big screen. Banish this assumption from your mind at once; the cold in New York City is real, and for a first timer, it can be pretty shocking. It bites, hard, owing to the city’s position so close to the North Atlantic Ocean via the Upper and Lower Bay. This is particularly accentuated by strong, bracing winds, which can get lodged in your bones even through the thickest of jackets. Be prepared.


If you’re moving to New York City, particularly Manhattan, then there are a few choice terms you should get learned to help you assimilate with ease. A long journey is often referred to as a ‘schlep’, particularly if done on foot (likely, as private cars aren’t widely driven here). ‘The City’ is Manhattan and ‘the bridge’ is Brooklyn Bridge. A ‘bodega’ is your local corner shop and if someone says it’s ‘brick’, it’s brrrr levels of cold. Oh, a ‘pie’ here isn’t topped with pastry and containing some delicious offal, it’s just a pizza. And those small steps you see on the films, which lead up to people’s houses and which host some serious heart to heart conversations, well, that’s a ‘stoop’. You’re welcome.

tips for living in New York city


New York City is big. And navigating it can be confusing, especially if you’re not familiar with how things work. Finding somewhere you actually enjoy rather than just tolerate is vital if you’re to settle in succinctly.

But, New York neighbourhoods vary hugely from one to the next, each with their own identity, pros and cons. It’s prudent – scrap that, essential – to organise some short term leases (sublet) in a few different areas of the city over a period of a month or two, to help you get familiar with the pace and energy of the city as a whole and each neighbourhood. Legally, a sublet needs to last for a minimum of 30 consecutive days in NYC, but going through Airbnb negates this, at a cost. A cheaper option could be couchsurfing (still going strong in the city) which allows you to experience multiple areas more transiently.

Should you be in a state of limbo in terms of housing your stuff, and don’t want to move it to a new sublet each time, contact long distance moving companies that provide storage services, so you have a safe place to keep your belongings while figuring out where to make your home in NYC. Also, take the stress out of moving around by hiring a maid service that offers move-in and move-out cleaning services. 

tips for living in New York city


If you’re here for the long run and wanting to settle in smoothly, then making some friends with insider knowledge is essential. As we said, that ‘New York attitude’ shouldn’t deter you from getting out there and meeting people, but if you prefer to do that in a more structured setting, then that’s available here, too.

The City Socializer App is a great place to start, like a platonic Tinder for lonely souls, and facilitating meet ups and gatherings neatly based on your location, interests and expectations. provides a similar service. Or, that couch surfing we already mentioned can help you establish yourself within a social circle. Alternatively, you could go about things the old fashioned way, and go solo to bars, comedy shows and classes, and just be open. Either way, good luck!