Mandalapa's Excursions

Travel experiences, itineraries, tips, rants and more!

Currently in: New York | Miles traveled: 450,000 miles | Countries Visited: 27

Pros and Cons of living in New York City


So I live in this incredible city with so much energy and vibe that sometimes, I am blind sighted by the disadvantages of living here. Everyone wants to move to NYC after they visit the city for the first time. That’s how much people are attracted to the city. Before you take such a decision, make sure you know what you are getting into. Let me start by comparing the pros and cons of living in New York City.


1) Public Transit: No city in america has a better transit system than NYC. (Except if you are on the G line). The subway runs 24/7 and most bus routes are 24/7 as well. You can get to anywhere in Manhattan with not more than 5 block walk from the nearest subway station. You don’t have to worry about parking, theft, insurance, accidents, petrol prices (yes, I call it petrol) and drunk drivers.

2) Things to do: There is so much to do if you live in NYC. So many museums, restaurants, wine bars, sports bars, events, meetup groups, theaters, parks, social sports scene, music, concerts, alumni, shopping and this city has 7 pro sports teams if you want to support any of them. You also get random free swag in the streets!. One of my friend got a free dildo! from a trojan giveaway. Take that other cities.

3) Diversity of People: It is the melting pot of people from different cultures, religions and ethnicity and they all co exist in this tiny island. Before moving to NYC, most of my friends were white caucasian middle class or Indian friends who I went to school with. Here, I have an eclectic group of friends from Philippines to Pennsylvania, straight, gay, lesbian, older, younger, rich, poor, normal and weirdos.

4) Walking: You walk here a lot. A 10 block walk is nothing for anyone. Plus, you will get to see a celebrity or two when you walk.  One important thing is, its pretty safe to walk even at 4 AM in the morning in the city or take the subways except for the coney island bound ones :).

5) Professional Career: If you are a career minded person like me, there is no better place to live than in NYC with most multi national companies and fortune 500 companies having headquarters here. You will form an amazing network here, meetup with professionals in your field, access to seminars and conferences, if you put effort.

6) Delivery: The other day, I came to know that you can have your liquor delivered. How effin awesome crazy is that?. That is in addition to laundry, food, groceries, pharmacy, pet supplies etc. Just lay in your bed and call (If you are too tired to press the digits, use siri).

7) Single City: If you are single and ready to mingle, this is the city to be. Number of single women far outweigh single guys and there is hotness everywhere.


1) Small and Expensive: Everything gets smaller in the city, living spaces, grocery stores, bars, restaurants, roads and even car lanes. You pay around $1000 in the city for a room a size of a king size bed. But you can always live in bushwick! and its a lot cheaper but still smaller. A beer is $6 average, groceries are at least 60% more, movies are $16 a ticket. The moment you leave your apt, subtract $20 instantly from your bank account, no matter what you do.

grocery in nyc

groceries in NYC – all this costed $60.

2) Public Transit: There are times, where all you want to do is punch someone in the subway, because they are annoying, play loud music, smelly, panhandling, PDA’s [Yep, I am not a huge fan, get over it.] and the constant pushing/shoving. Once, I saw a homeless guy get naked in a subway car and chilled at the corner. Everyone just freaked out and left the car to another one. These weird things are bound to happen. If you live in Williamsburg, you dont know if its halloween or if people just dress like it is.

3) Noisy: Oh man, were do I start with this? I think people who live in new york for more than 5 years go deaf sooner. The subways are loud with screeching metal, emergency service vehicles run constantly with their sirens on, there are always some construction work going somewhere, dynamite blasts! (Yes, if you live on the second ave, they are constructing new subway line and they use dynamite to excavate rock.)

4) Over freaking whelming: There is so much to do that, you just want more than 24 hours a day. The commute times are long, sometimes you work way more than 8 hours, you meet a lot of people, keeping up with your social network (the actual one and not digital.), keeping in shape etc. They take a lot of toll on your body and at the end of the day, all you want to do is have a weekend to yourself just to sit on your couch, relax, may be go the park for picnic with friends.

5) Friends turnover: NYC is a busy city, you meet a lot of people and loose a lot of people as well. Most people leave after spending 5 to 8 years in the city and internationals who visit have a visa expire in a year or two. You constantly loose friends and its part of living in NYC and you have to accept that.

6) Relationships are not easy: Its easy to think that since there are a lot of people its easy to find someone special, but its actually the other way around. People can be bitchy, annoying, mean and inconsiderate. Most of my friends left the city to find someone special and to settle down in life, but they did spend an amazing 5 years in the city though.

Verdict: Do your research, make sure you have enough money to pay rent and look for a job etc and it is for you to decide if the city is a good fit or not. If you ask me, I love the city. It’s like having a long term girl friend. You only miss her when she is not there. Every time, I go to a different city, I feel NYC is way better and I miss it.


  1. kamalanaban

    Hi Raki
    Wonderful writing. it is happy to see and read your talent. i have no words to express my feeling. all the best.

  2. RC

    Dei Rakesh,

    This is RC (Priya, Harish – ring a bell?) from Lexington. Not sure if you remember. Accidentally stumbled on your blog. Man, the places you have been to. Keep up (and I am fcuking envious).


    • Rakesh Mandalapa

      RC! How are you man? Thank you for reading. Glad you loved it. Where are you working now?

  3. Abby

    I’m 18 and i want to start off living in new York City! I have everything packed budgeted and ready to go but still stuck on research! ): Thank You for the help!


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