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I live in New York City - Ask Me Anything!

(396 Posts)
allfurcoatnoknickers Wed 01-May-19 15:11:36

I see NYC advice threads popping up on the travel boards a lot - anyone got any questions for a current Manhattan and former Queens resident?

I'm also married to a born and raised New Yorker, and we're imminently about to have a baby, in case anyone's wondering what it's like to be pregnant in the US.

Flatwhite32 Wed 01-May-19 15:29:52

Do you like living in Manhattan? How do you feel about raising a child there?
We went on our last 'blowout' holiday for a while to NY last year when I was 17 weeks pregnant. We had a great time!

cakeandchampagne Wed 01-May-19 15:34:06

Where were you born & raised?
Do you wear colorful clothing?

allfurcoatnoknickers Wed 01-May-19 15:36:09

@Flatwhite32 I absolutely love it. can't imagine living anywhere else now. It's a bit overwhelming to being with, but quite "neighbourhoody" really.

I'm really excited to raise a child here, although it's going to cost a fortune. My closest local nursery is $3700 per month, and the cheapest one near by is $2500 a month. I think I'd find it harder without DH though, who doesn't really know any other way of raising/being a child, so he's very blase about the whole thing.

I love how everything is in walking distance, and if I ever need something I can get my hands on it instantly. Despite not living in one of the most child friendly parts of the city, there are three playgrounds and three parks near me - although one of those is the Highline, which possibly isn't the most baby friendly.

I'm glad you enjoyed your trip! I find with people visiting, NYC can be a bit marmite. My parents HATE it.

Mummyoftwo91 Wed 01-May-19 15:37:08

What do you love about living there and what do you hate

Sarcelle Wed 01-May-19 15:39:01

Love NY. Would like to experience living there. Do you live near a landmark. Also, a bit random, not many supermarkets (marts?) other than Trader Joe or Wholefoods. Where do you buy food?

HollowTalk Wed 01-May-19 15:39:32

I wish I'd moved there in my twenties instead of marrying a dickhead grin

How old were you when you moved over?

allfurcoatnoknickers Wed 01-May-19 15:40:42

@cakeandchampagne Oxfordshire! Nowhere like NYC. I met DH when we were both postgrads in the UK.

I do wear colorful clothing, although all my outerwear is dark because the subway isn't the cleanest. I'm wearing a black dress with rainbow pinstripes today! Typical causal Friday outfit pic attached.

Laodamia Wed 01-May-19 15:41:12

Does it feel that nowadays Manhattan is a place for the super rich only? If so do you think that makes it feel a bit sterile?

Jackiebrambles Wed 01-May-19 15:42:49

Do you work? I was just wondering how you felt about the difference in maternity leave provision in the US compared to UK?

FlyingMonkeys Wed 01-May-19 15:43:07

Do you live in a house or an apartment? Are daily living costs expensive?

Etino Wed 01-May-19 15:43:39

Do you think ‘OO! I’m living in New York all the time?’ I lived in a similarly iconic place and swear I thought about it all the time. I live in London now and still get moments of ‘look at me driving round Hyde Park Corner. OOO! Get me on a double decker!’ grin

MozzchopsThirty Wed 01-May-19 15:43:43

I'm going to nyc with my dcs at the end of the month
Any must do's for pizza, burgers etc

Any areas you would definitely avoid with children?

I'm buying an explorer pass for the sightseeing

allfurcoatnoknickers Wed 01-May-19 15:48:25

@Mummyoftwo91 LOVE that there's always something happening. We spontaneously got cheap tickets to a Broadway show this weekend. I can pop into one of the best museums in the world whenever I want and there's always something interesting/free/cheap happening. If you want to see a band, you can guarantee they'll pass through NY/NJ at some point.

HATE the winters. Hate, hate, hate them. I'm miserable in January and February. The cost of living gets wearing too.

allfurcoatnoknickers Wed 01-May-19 15:51:32

@Sarcelle I live a block and a half from the Highline, if you can count that as a landmark? Also 5 blocks from Hudson Yards. I used to work in Midtown and my local bank branch was in the ground floor of the Chrysler building.

I do the bulk of my shopping in Trader Joes, and pick up a few bits from Whole Foods. Both within walking distance of my apartment. When I lived in a doorman building (I now live in a walk-up) I used to do the odd massive Fresh Direct order. There's also a Gristedes round the corner from me, but I tend not to use it unless desperate. It's like a more grotty Tesco Local/Spa.

allfurcoatnoknickers Wed 01-May-19 15:53:26

@HollowTalk I was 27. I'm 32 now. I moved over in February and the day after I arrived there was a massive blizzard, I woke up and just though "Oh God, WHAT HAVE I DONE?". Still not used to the winters TBH...

I came perilously close to marrying a total sloane ranger, red trouser wearing dickhead, but I dumped him for DH and never looked back.

allfurcoatnoknickers Wed 01-May-19 15:56:48

@Laodamia Bit of Manhattan are absolutely for the Super Rich (looking at you TriBeCa and the West Village) but some parts like Inwood, Yorkville, Harlem, Hudson Heights and Bloomingdale are still pretty middle class, and the odd bit like Two Bridges are still downright rough.

There was a triple stabbing on my block, opposite my apartment last week, and crackheads in my lobby last month - and I live in a nice area! So it certainly doesn't feel sterile, but it's certainly more sterile than in the past

Sarcelle Wed 01-May-19 15:57:25

Are the native New Yorkers friendly? Do you think they are more stylish than the British?

Grace212 Wed 01-May-19 15:59:33

is it true that NY has gone the way of London? I haven't been for years, but friends tell me it's gone all childfriendly and overcrowded etc.

allfurcoatnoknickers Wed 01-May-19 16:00:04

@Jackiebrambles I do! I work in non-profit. I have "good" maternity leave which is 3 months full pay, and up to 6 months off with my job guaranteed. NYC also has statutory maternity pay, which is up to about $750 a week. I'm choosing to take 4 months, but have the opportunity to extend if I want. DH works in finance and gets a month of fully paid paternity leave, and he's been encouraged to take all of it.

I'm happy with my lot, BUT the provisions overall are appalling and make me so angry. I'm aware I am incredibly lucky to work for a great, supportive institution with family friendly policies and a great manager. But I shouldn't be lucky, it should be standard.

FlyingMonkeys Wed 01-May-19 16:00:46

Would you ever move back to the UK? And is there anything you miss? Has your accent changed?

GiantKitten Wed 01-May-19 16:04:29

allfurcoatnoknickers DD has lived in Manhattan since July 2013, & she just loves it, for the same reasons you do smile She was in Chelsea for the first 5 years (2 blocks from the Highline) but is now on upper east side, working near Park Ave. She's single & has a very busy social life!

Laodamia DD is far from super rich, though it's fair to assume she'll never be buying there grin. Manhattan is less mixed than it used to be (we lived on Long Island in the 80s & there were some seriously dodgy parts then) but it's not all moneyed now by any means. From her old apartment (overlooking 8th Avenue) we used to see all human life passing by!

allfurcoatnoknickers Wed 01-May-19 16:04:31

@FlyingMonkeys I live in an apartment. Previously a luxury high-rise with a doorman in Long Island City, now we own a 1 bed, 1.5 bath duplex in a brownstone near the Highline. I love my flat. I'll be so sad when we have to sell it next year sad.

Daily living costs are expensive, but luxuries are cheaper. So my weekly shop is hair raising, but going out to dinner is really cheap. Renting/buying is $$$$ but the subway and cabs are much cheaper than in London.

There's also always a lot of stuff going on for cheap and free, which it's easy to take advantage of. New Yorkers LOVE a bargain - my friends and I are always trading tips on how to save money and get a good deal.

Jackiebrambles Wed 01-May-19 16:04:42

Wow three months full pay is great! That's more than standard in the UK (I think that's 6 weeks at 90%), which is what i got.

What are the schools like near you? Is it a case of everyone 'goes private'?

allfurcoatnoknickers Wed 01-May-19 16:07:18

@Etino All the time! Some days are grim and I stomp around going "why do I live in this hellscape?" but then more often I walk outside, see the sun glinting off the Empire State building as I walk my dogs to get my morning coffee and it's just magical.

My old apartment had a skyline view and I felt so lucky every day to live there. I'll see if I can dig out a pic later...

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