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Culture Shock Moving to New York

Culture Shock Moving to New York
May 9, 2019


New York City. The Big Apple. Home of the Yankees, Broadway, and Wall Street. And contrary to popular opinion, NYC isn’t the only thing of interest in the state of New York.

While there’s a big distinction between New York State and the city of New York, anyone moving to New York may have to contend with the belief that everyone lives in the city and has abandoned the state for reasons unknown.

So let’s get this straight now: when considering a move to New York, there’s more to think about than just the city. Get away from the center of NYC, and you’ll find neighborhoods with actual houses, driveways, and possibly even lawns.

But why would anyone want to live out there when city life can be so exciting and fast-paced? Cost of living, for one thing. Everything in the city will be more expensive, probably even the laundromat. And if you manage to find someplace in the city that’s affordable, you may have to pay a broker’s fee just to get the apartment, and that’s between 10 and 15 percent of the annual rent.

Size considerations might be a problem in the city, too. The cost of a nice apartment in Georgia might net you a one-room apartment with a communal bath, which could also necessitate the use of a separate storage unit for your stuff.

Oh, and there’s taxes, too. Queens starts looking better every minute.


Like California and Florida, New York State enjoys a healthy tourist industry with an estimated 60 million people coming to visit the city. And while most New York State residents don’t live in NYC, many of them do work in the city.

Retail sales, marketing, banking, and the service industry will be in high demand here, not to mention the ton of municipal jobs within the city, whether it be in road repair or transportation.


January wins the award for coldest month, July runs off with the warmest month, and rainfall generally hits its peak in May. New York qualifies as the north, so it would be wise to anticipate snow and all the fun winter realities that come with it, from snowball fights to cold apartments.

Still, being in a place that experiences all four seasons while also being within easy distance of the most famous city in America can be fantastic. Imagine taking a trip to the Catskills or the Upper Delaware River in the fall to see the explosion of colors in the trees. Or going into the city to get a cup of coffee on a cold January morning. Or taking a boat out on Lake Placid during summer, especially if you’re used to the high humidity levels of a Southern U.S. summer or the unending rain of the Pacific Northwest.

And speaking of rain, wherever you go to experience the weather in New York, be sure to bring an umbrella with you. Rain comes down heavy and often here, especially in the city, and anyone not prepared can get to experience a first-class drenching.

Things to Do

Whoa, boy, does New York have a lot to offer in terms of activities.

Forget the obvious tourist draws of the city like Broadway shows, the Central Park Zoo, and the various professional sports teams (though you may be forced to eventually decide between supporting the Yankees/Mets, Jets/Giants/Bills, and Rangers/Islanders).

For landmarks, there’s sights like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Coney Island, and Lake George Battlefield Park. For anyone wanting to see Mother Nature at her finest, there’s Niagara Falls, Watkins Glen State Park, and Lake Placid. New York has so much more to show anyone who wants to look.

And we do mean “wants to look.” Many of the best parts of New York State require some hunting, and travel times can’t always be marked by the distance between two points on a map.

A couple of tips: keep an umbrella handy (remember the rain concerns) and invest in a comfortable and sturdy pair of shoes, preferably cross trainers. Even if your travel plans don’t include a trip into the city, keeping your feet comfy will ensure you find the sites you’re looking for.

Be eager to explore the state; you’ll never know what you’ll find.


New York City draws people from all over the world, so it’s reasonable to expect a wide variety of cultures on display. How those cultures get showcased depends on the parts of New York you visit, which will eventually lead to the use of a car.

Unless you plan on living in the city, that is.

Because of the numerous public transportation options available to city dwellers, more than half of the urban population doesn’t own a vehicle. The ones that do, however, tend to drive very aggressively. Given that nobody on the sidewalks seems to pay any attention to traffic signals and that parking spots have to be spotted and tracked like the Loch Ness Monster, drivers tend to be understandably short of patience.

Outside of the city, odds will be better that drivers will follow the rules of the road. Get into the habit of safe driving practices, though; sooner or later, a city driver will make it onto the freeway, and you may come across them while on the way to the beach.

Yes, New York does have beaches. Contrary to popular belief, California and Florida do not have a monopoly on beaches. New York boasts Rockaway Beach and Fort Tilden Beach, among others.

Also, back to the city of a moment, if you do plan on making use of the subway, spend some time learning the routes before you go. If you’ve ever taken a public bus in another city, you already have an idea of what riding a subway can entail. Learn the schedules, make plans if you miss the ride, and mind the gap.

And have fun. It’s a popular state.

Don’t forget to call us when your ready to make your long distance move to New York. We’ve got the experience and expertise to ensure your move is solid, straight-forward and stress-free. Call a Colonial Van Lines professional and see how easy and affordable it is to move to New York.


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