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Stereotypes about NYC that are actually true


By now, you have probably seen New York City depicted hundreds, if not thousands of times, in popular culture. TV shows, books, movies, comics books, you name it. Each media format has its own way of introducing us to NYC and helping us create a mental image of it. The television series “Friends” for example, would have you believe that all of your friends just happen to live across the street. And that they, just like you, have equally beautiful, sprawling apartments. More often than not, the majority of these stereotypes are grossly inaccurate. But, after you relocate here with the help of U.Santini Moving & Storage New York, you’ll quickly learn to separate fact from fiction. However, although the majority is untrue, there are some stereotypes about NYC that simply can’t be denied. Let’s explore a few myths about this fantastic city, which proved themselves true over time.

The constant rush of the residents is one of the main stereotypes about NYC

Life moves pretty fast in New York, that much is certain. There are work meetings to get to, all kinds of deals to be brokered, and there’s a slice of pizza waiting to be eaten just around the corner. There are cabs, subway cars, and buses to ride, at almost all times. Now, multiply all that by more than eight million people, located in less than 500 square miles, and you’ll get the final result. People go everywhere, at all times, as fast as humanly possible. So whatever you do, don’t abruptly stop in the middle of the sidewalk. If you want to take a photo or check your map, step aside as to not block the rush and the pack of foot traffic.

A street in NYC full of people
Daily life in NYC stops for nothing, so do your best to keep up!

On the other hand, there is something quite contagious about the ambitious attitude of New Yorkers. You’ll often catch yourself rushing to different places, even when you don’t need to. This city has a pace, and it’s very hard not to get caught in its busy rush. After moving to New York you’ll quickly learn that there’s a lot you can do with your time.

And, that it’s easy to try to do everything, to the point where rushing to the next thing becomes normal. There is one very important thing to remember though. Although New Yorkers are fast walking and seem impatient, there’s usually a reason. They’re not trying to be rude, they’re just more efficient!

The city is quite pricy in almost all aspects

If you want to live comfortably in NYC, you will need to make a bit more money than average. Compared to other neighboring cities, almost everything is more expensive in New York City. In fact, it is one of the most expensive cities in the world, right next to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Los Angeles. Some things, like dollar pizza, are cheap.

However, rent and groceries are some of the nation’s highest. On average, the rent in NYC is close to $3000 a month, which is considerably higher than the national average. And we’re not even talking about a normal-sized apartment, but a small one at that!

Manhattan Bridge in New York
The city is known for being notoriously expensive

The rent amount we just mentioned will be enough for a one-bedroom apartment. So, if you want to be a true New Yorker, you’ll have to be very creative with affording your rent and covering the NYC moving costs. To put things into a better perspective, a single ticket for the movies will set you back about $16.

A pair of jeans may cost up to $55, and riding a taxi for 5 miles will cost you around $23. If you want to go out for lunch, expect to pay roughly $16 for your meal. And if you want to make something yourself, a dozen eggs will set you back $5. So if you’re getting ready to visit, or move here, make sure to save up a bit of money.

Shockingly small apartments are among NYC stereotypes as well

As we’ve just mentioned, you’ll have to spend a large sum of money, on a small living space. And when we say small, we really mean small. And when people have such small spaces to work with, you’d be amazed at some of the creative solutions they come up with. Before you hire cheap movers in NYC, you’ll naturally have to do some apartment hunting. On your journey toward finding the perfect place, you’ll see quite a few unique and quirky living solutions, and see one of the most common stereotypes about NYC for yourself.

You’ll see your run-of-the-mill studio apartments, some of which have a “1 bedroom converted to a 2 bedroom” modification. This essentially means building a wall makeshift wall with furniture, to seemingly separate the living unit into two personal areas. Sometimes, you’ll sacrifice convenience to achieve affordability.

red brick apartment buildings in NYC
One of the biggest stereotypes about NYC is the miniature apartments

You may find a larger apartment, but it will be so far from the subway and other conveniences, that you won’t even feel like you’re in NYC, but in the suburbs. At other times, you’ll find an apartment so small that it doesn’t even have windows! Generally speaking, landlords in NYC have a bad habit of modifying apartments in their buildings to a high degree. This usually entails slicing up an apartment into a few fake bedrooms and then increasing the price drastically.

The simple truth is, there are too many people looking for an apartment, and not enough apartments to meet this demand. If all of this sounds ridiculous, know that it isn’t a localized occurrence within NYC. In Paris for example, you’ll also see compact and creative living solutions in quite a few places.

Noise is everpresent in NYC

People always say that New York City is a city that never sleeps. And chances are, if you’ve just moved here, you won’t get to sleep a lot either. Sirens blaring, garbage trucks rattling, cars honking, dogs barking, and people yelling, are all part of the urban symphony of NYC. But the thing about New Yorkers is that they’re completely indifferent to the cacophony of noise happening around them at all times.

If you’re a foreigner, you’ll have a tough time adjusting to Brooklyn, or any other borough for that matter. For the first few months of living in NYC, you won’t be able to sleep, probably at all. But soon enough you’ll adapt, and sleep like a baby despite the commotion going on around you. In fact, you’ll get so used to it, that you’ll feel uneasy without the constant honking and yelling to lull you to sleep.

busy street in NYC at night
The constant commotion and bustle are what give the city its unique charm

Many stereotypes about NYC revolve around food

When it comes to food, New Yorkers think they know best. In fact, they absolutely know that they know best. You’ve probably heard someone from NYC brag about how great the food is, even if you’ve never been anywhere near the city. But, although they may seem annoying with the constant bragging, the simple truth is that they’re mostly right. If you’ve never been to New York City, you’re really missing out.

It is home to some of the best restaurants, bars, and bakeries in the whole world. There are over 600 languages spoken in NYC, which makes it a true cultural melting pot. And with such a variety of cultures, comes an amazing variety of the most amazing foods. So if you ever hear a native New Yorker talk about food, make sure to listen closely.

New Yorkers will defend their preferred pizza with their lives

In 2014, the mayor of NYC, Bill De Blasio, was documented eating a pizza with a fork and knife. This caused a full-blown scandal in the city because any self-respecting New Yorker knows that you fold a pizza, and eat it while walking. That’s just the way things are in NYC. In fact, the city is home to over 9000 pizzerias, so it comes as no surprise that people take pizza extremely seriously.

Given how long pizza has been around, and how many places sell it, it’s truly shocking that there are only 10 well-documented pizza parlor feuds in existence. If you find yourself in East Harlem, you can try Patsy’s Pizzeria, or Totonno’s if you pass through Brooklyn. But if you ask 500 New Yorkers where the best pizza place is, you’ll probably get just as many answers.

A NYC pizzeria at night
Hot pizza is always a hot topic in New York City

For a true yelling match, find two New Yorkers and ask them the aforementioned question at the same time. Once the loud arguing is over, you’ll see a lot of head shaking, and maybe even experience a true tug-of-war, as each person tries to drag you to their preferred pizza place. Once there, they’ll proudly march you through the door, and ask the person behind the counter to enlighten your misguided palate.

They’ll then intently watch you as you take a bite, waiting for you to tell them just how right they were. Although this may seem intense, our advice is to just go with the flow. You’ll go on an amazing culinary adventure, and find your own favorite pizzeria. Then, you’ll be able to fully participate in this everlasting battle of the doughs, like a true New Yorker.

NYC residents are experts at minding their own business

Generally speaking, people in NYC are fully committed to minding their own business when in public. Everyone is in their own universe, just trying to get to their end location, or balance work and relocation. They’re usually oblivious to nearly everything going on around them. This is further backed up by the fact that they simply don’t care even when they see a celebrity in the street. Even if they see Jerry Seinfeld on the subway, they won’t fawn over him.

Mainly because they don’t have time, and because they respect the fact that Jerry is his own person, and deserves his own space. A smile or a wave is fine, but nothing more than that. So if you’re sitting on a park bench crying your heart out, or if an odd man enters a subway car and starts yelling, most of the time nobody will bat an eye.

crowded subway station in new york city
Even if you bump into someone in New York’s busy street, they probably won’t notice you

However, you shouldn’t mistake this for heartlessness. If you’re genuinely in need of assistance, New Yorkers will be more than happy to help. This is one of the stereotypes about NYC that is considered to be somewhat borderline. Sure, people are in a rush, preoccupied, and seemingly rude. They walk fast and usually avoid eye contact, but they’re more than happy to give you directions or help when asked. The NYC subway is as confusing as it gets, even for locals. Although they look cold, don’t be afraid to ask New Yorkers for help. But remember, they’re going to talk just as fast as they walk, so make sure to keep up!

Yet another of the many stereotypes about NYC residents is their territorial pride

You can only claim that you’re from New York City if you live within one of the five boroughs. The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island are New York City, and that’s that. Long Island and Westchester don’t count, end of the story. If you say you’re from NYC, and it later turns out you’re actually from Freeport, you’ll probably receive a few stern looks.

This territorial pride is one of the stereotypes about NYC that is as old as the city itself. You’ll hear people say they’re “born and raised, and will forever stay in Manhattan.” Or Bronx, or Queens, or Brooklyn, it’s interchangeable, because it applies everywhere. Local New Yorkers will tell you that their borough is the best one. When it comes to territory or neighborhoods in NYC, they’re taken seriously just as much as their favorite pizza places. And that’s as serious as it gets.

These guys are TRUE PROFESSIONALS! We've now moved with them twice (once in 2017 and then again this week) and we really can't say enough good things about them. Simi is incredibly easy to work with for scheduling and quotes, and the crews - John, Super Mario, and everyone - are just awesome. They're quick, incredibly careful and conscientious, and super friendly. If we ever move again (and god I hope we don't have to) we're absolutely calling them.

Allison "Elnoods" N.

From Brooklyn, NY

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