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Thinking of Immigrating to the US, but to which City?
Edition 1 — New York City
We are putting together a series of short posts about different large cities in the US for those considering moving to the US and some of the pros and cons of settling in them. We will try to discuss the local economies, weather, lifestyle and different global communities that have a prominent presence in each city.
While we will be giving what we view are pros and cons, we should start by saying that there is no single best place. One of the main draws of living in the US is that this is a continent-sized country with a tremendous number of places to live. One size does not fit all. Also, for those seeking to reunite with family, the best place is likely wherever your family is. This short cheat sheet on cities may be more useful a few years into your American journey if you look to move.
NEW YORK CITY
Naturally, the first city we will discuss is the largest city in the US, New York City. Perhaps no city in the world is as associated with immigration as NYC. Nearly 40% of New Yorkers were born outside of the US, so immigrants here are common and widely accepted.
1) Training wheels. NYC is America with training wheels. It has large communities from all regions of the world. If you settle here, you will likely find a robust community of compatriots. That means you will have access to familiar foods, music and a large group of people that speak your language. No one will look at you weird if you speak with an accent. This can help ease the culture shock of moving to a new country.
2) Opportunities. Career opportunities in NYC are broad and plentiful. NYC is one of the few places where the top talents in the world congregate to create the future. This is the world capital of finance, advertising, fashion, tech, media, the arts, etc. If your goal in coming to the US is to make to the top of any of these industries, NYC is a great place to be.
3) Culture. Access to culture in NYC is nearly unparalleled. World class museums, performances, restaurants and nightlife exist throughout the city.
4) Diversity. NYC residents are diverse and talented. Few places in the world attract such large amounts of skilled and ambitious people. The chances of meeting people who will broaden your horizons, open doors to new opportunities or teach you something new are great.
5) Connected. NYC is hyper connected to the rest of the country and world. There are a huge amount of direct flights to most major and some minor destinations throughout the world.
6) Transportation. The public transportation system here is the most extensive in America. The subway system and buses may not be pretty, but they work. No car is necessary here.
1) Cost of Living. This is the most expensive city in America to live in. All of those pros listed above come at a price.
2) Taxes. The taxes here are higher than in any other part of the US except maybe California.
3) Population density. NYC is crowded. Many metro areas in the US are spread out and spacious. NYC is not one of them.
4) Small Living Space. If your vision of America is the huge house with a multi acre backyard, you won’t find that here.
5) Cold Winters & Hot Summers. NYC has all four seasons. The winters are cold, not as severe as say the Upper Midwest, but there is plenty of snow. And summers are hot. And humid.
6) Competitive. NYC is a competitive place filled with ambitious people. This competition is integral to its character and why it has so much to offer. But be prepared to compete for whatever success you find here. It won’t be easy.