Pros and Cons of City Living

Living in a big city like New York can be fun and exciting. But I think sometimes we get caught up in the fantasy of it all that we forget city life has its shortcomings too.

Here are some major pros and cons of living in New York (or any big city) to think about if you are considering relocating.


Pros:

  1. Everything is quite literally right at your fingertips

Any kind of food you could want is most likely no more than a block away. There’s a coffee shop every 300 feet, no joke (which is helpful if you’re a New Yorker and run on caffeine).

Photo Credit: Haley Shatrau
Latte from Citizens of Chelsea, Manhattan, NY

You basically live in a gigantic mall too. Every store imaginable is somewhere in the city and there’s probably one uptown and one downtown for convenience. Shop till you drop is not just a saying here, it’s a lifestyle.

There are bars and clubs everywhere that you never have to worry about driving to or having a DD from. You just hop the train home or grab an uber.

And let’s not even get started on the amount of things to do in the city. There’s always a museum or art exhibit to visit, a show, a concert, a new restaurant. The options are unlimited.

  1. The Energy

One of the things that first drew me to New York was the energy here. It makes you feel something you can’t get anywhere else. It’s a sense of invincibility. Like you could do anything you wanted no matter how crazy it seemed. You can follow your dreams, be who you always wanted to be, and the city would help you manifest that.

It’s an inspiring place to say the least. There is always a talented person on a street corner playing music, performing a dance, or selling their art. Being around other people that are pursuing their dreams always gives me a sense of belonging. I never feel alone in following my dreams either; we’re all in it together.

  1. Always a stunning view

New York is beautiful; there is no doubt about that. Most big cities are. There are so many pretty sights that you never get bored of for some reason.

Of course the NYC skyline is famous for it’s stunning view, but here are some of my favorite little spots that are just as gorgeous in my opinion.

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Grand Army Plaza near Prospect Park in Brooklyn
Photo credit: Haley Shatrau
View from piers on the Westside Highway

And I can’t forget to mention not only the beauty of the city, but also the entertainment of the other sights. It wouldn’t be New York without the crazy man offering hugs in Union Square dressed in all tie-dye. There’s always something interesting to look at. Big cities are the best for people watching in general.

Cons:

  1. The Job situation

The one good thing about New York is that there are always jobs out there.

Just not always the jobs you want. Actually, rarely the job you want.

Tons of retailers and restaurants are hiring constantly, but be prepared to only make minimum wage. Sure, New York is a city full of opportunity. But you have to be willing to fight for those opportunities.

There is competition in almost every industry because the city is so densely populated with educated, talented individuals. And finding the ways you stand out from the rest isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do.

  1. Loneliness is real

I know, I know. 8.6 million people, how could you possibly feel lonely?

Well, it’s the truth. In a city full of people, I oftentimes find myself feeling extremely alone.

Everyone here is super busy. We honestly just don’t have much spare time to hang out with people. And if we do, it’s not much. Or we’re sacrificing doing other things like grocery shopping, laundry, and sleeping.

Take the subway once or walk down a crowded street and count how many people have headphones in their ears. The culture in New York that makes us feel alone is one we have created ourselves. We shove our headphones in and tune out the world. Therefore, tuning out human-to-human interactions.

In the end, I guess it’s our own fault that we’re all lonely af.

  1. The Daily Grind

The major con for me at least, is that New York life is a grind on a day-to-day basis.

Everyone lives on a very tight schedule because if we didn’t we wouldn’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done.

We spend so much time waiting, in lines, for trains, for our laundry to be done.

To give you an idea, here is a little breakdown of how long things take me personally:

Train to and from work: 37 minutes each way (without delays)
Laundry: Minimum of 45 minutes, Max of 1 hour 15 minutes
Time I waited in line at Whole Foods on a Thursday night: 25 minutes
Picking up a mobile order at Starbucks: 15 minutes

Don’t even get me going on the Starbucks thing, I love them and their chai tea lattes but, c’mon.

You see my point though. If your time is precious, maybe consider your other options as opposed to a big city.


City life can be extremely fulfilling for some and frustrating for others. Hopefully this little Pro/Con list helps someone out there trying to deicide whether to move to the city or not. I love making lists so share some of your Pro’s and Con’s about city living in the comments below, I’d be interested to see what you guys think.

Thanks for reading!

How To Stay Fit in NYC

I’m a big fan of the gym. I’m also a big fan of running, so being able to find time to do either of those things has been a bit of a struggle when trying to balance a job, time with friends, schlepping back and forth from Brooklyn on the subway everyday and having some alone time as well.

Obviously it’s not hard to stay active when you live in a city that never sleeps. And when theres always something to do, you just kind of get a workout in without thinking about it. But when it boils down to it, some of us want to hit the gym or get a good run in anyway, so here’s some tips on how to do that.

1. Walk whenever you can, but not to an extreme.

Walking is great for burning calories and getting your heart rate up, especially if you’re dragging around groceries or your giant purse loaded with everything you need to survive in NYC. (See my post 5 Things to Never Leave Your Apartment Without) So walk when you can. Get off a stop early on the train when it’s only a few extra blocks to your destination. Walk to a store that’s a little farther from home instead of the one right around the corner. But remember not to over-do it. New York can get super hot in the summer, as I’ve learned. And with all the tall buildings and tons of people, there really isn’t much air flow here so be careful not to give yourself a heat stroke from too much walking. At the end of the day, cardio is the best way to burn fat, so walking is a great way to stay in shape.

2. Find cool places to workout that isn’t the gym.

I never minded running on a treadmill in order to get a run in. And the gym can have other equipment that’s nice to use once in a while. But that can get boring. Or, in my case, your gym can get super over crowded and have tons of broken treadmills that make it almost impossible to even find one to use. So, what my sister and I love to do is find other fun places to go for a walk or a run that gets us out of our boring gym routine and into the New York air (despite how dirty it may be at times.)

My current top 3 recommendations for outdoor places to run/walk are:

  • Chelsea Piers: This is super beautiful to run/walk at when it’s closer to sunset. The views are amazing and it’s less crowed than it would be in the daytime (plus a little cooler cause you get a nice breeze off the water). It’s a great path that’s safe and has tons of space so you don’t have to worry about getting stuck behind slow pedestrians. Highly, highly recommend. I love it here.
  • Maria Hernandez Park: This park has recently become one of our favorite places to walk or run. It was actually recommended to us by a friend that lives in our neighborhood. The setup is much like an outdoor track and even has markers to let you know that 1 lap= 1/3 mile, so that’s pretty cool. The part I enjoy the most is that it’s always full of people hanging out, playing sports on the basketball and volleyball courts, kids playing on playgrounds and tons of other runners. Definitely worth checking out if you live or work nearby.
  • Central Park: I haven’t had a chance to go for a run in Central Park but it doesn’t take much convincing that this is, no doubt, a beautiful park. And based on the countless movies and shows where people go for a run here, it’s a hit among all New Yorkers. I for sure can’t wait to get some miles in here and give my official feedback on it.

3. Turn everyday tasks into a workout

Carrying your groceries home, lugging laundry to the laundromat or even just walking a little farther to the next subway station can turn a mundane task into some form of exercise. We so often just skip the gym or say we’ll go tomorrow and feel guilty about it when instead, we can use everyday tasks as a way of burning calories. Again, make this something you do consciously but not to an extreme. Don’t ever force yourself beyond your physical limits just because you feel bad about not making it to the gym on a very busy Wednesday. Celebrate the victory of walking a few extra blocks to the train stop or carrying a few heavy bags of groceries home. I know for me, sometimes the constant pressure to swipe that little membership card weighs on me and I feel bad for not putting in effort. But in different ways, I am putting in the effort. And sometimes nontraditional forms of exercise can be so much more fun than walking on a treadmill and staring at a cement wall. So don’t discount the simple ways you can get in a workout when you’re just too busy to make it to the gym. Any effort (no matter how small) is better than no effort at all.

I hope this post gave you some ideas on how you’ll stay fit in NYC or any other big city. Feel free to share this with a friend, or leave me a comment and let me know your tricks on how you stay in shape. I’d love to hear them!

Thanks for reading!