Bye-Bye Big Apple!


Central Park jogs and carriage rides, Broadway shows, world-class museums and restaurants, the allure of Times Square: these are the things that make downtown New York City so appealing… for tourists. But for those who aren’t just visiting — for the millions who live and work in this bustling, densely populated area — the relationship with the core of the Big Apple can be equal parts love and hate.

New York City life isn’t for everyone, and if you’re among the folks who feel like their dreams of thriving have been reduced to hopes of surviving, take a look at these benefits of moving away from central New York City:

Better Weather — New York City has nice weather… on occasion. Take this past winter: In January, Winter Storm Jonas was the heaviest snowstorm on record in New York City with 27.5 inches of snow, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. If nothing else, moving out of the city can put you in a better climate. According to How Money Walks, between 2000 and 2010, 600,000 people left NYC for states with better weather, such as Florida, North Carolina and California.

More Transportation Options — Sure, the notion of not needing a car to get around the city seems like a perk. But being subject to the times and route limitations of a mass transit system that is seldom running correctly is no picnic either. Fortune rated Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan first, second and fourth in their worst places for driving, thanks to massive traffic during all hours of the day and nowhere to park. Transporting stuff around town can also be a nightmare. Grocery shopping is limited to how much you can carry into your apartment, which can lead you to more expensive and seamless ways to get meals, like take-out and delivery. Moving out of the city will allow you to enjoy the benefits of driving a car.

Affordable Housing — It’s no secret that New York City is one of the least affordable places to live, and in the heart of the city, astronomical rents for even the tiniest of apartments are the norm. For many, the only way to afford living in NYC is to have multiple roommates and work more than one job. Moving out of the city will open up a whole new world of affordable housing, where terms like 'plenty of space,' 'quiet neighborhood,' and 'convenient and safe location' add a new dimension of quality to your life. Especially for those that are beginning to raise a family with the dream of buying a house or apartment, it’s something to consider. In addition, all of New York state has a high tax burden compared with other states. NYC is trying to combat those leaving the city with government programs such as START-UP NY, which gives new businesses the opportunity to operate tax-free for ten years through partnerships with universities. But taxes, on top of high rents and living expenses like entertainment, groceries and transportation, add up.

Friendlier People — Put over eight million people in a concrete jungle where they need to work hard every day just to make ends meet and you’ve got a recipe for rudeness. The stereotypically blunt, pushy, stubborn New Yorker portrayed in movies is often exaggerated, but the fact remains that people are too busy fighting the crowds and rushing to and from work to take time for social pleasantries. And in a town that never sleeps, where people work all hours of the day, it can be hard to establish real social connections. Moving out of New York City to a less densely populated area where people live at a slightly slower pace won’t guarantee that you’ll meet friendlier people. But it will definitely increase the odds. Plus, you'll have fewer tourists to deal with.

More Opportunities for Recreation — Getting out of the city by car, train, plane or bus can be exhausting. It takes real planning to find a recreational area that’s not too far away or too crowded. Plus, animal lovers will notice that living with a dog outside of NYC is much more doable. NYC has a lot to offer, but for the typical resident, there’s never enough time or money to enjoy it.

Moving away from New York City to a suburb that offers nearby outdoor recreational activities is great for the mind, body and spirit. And once in your new location, you can visit New York and enjoy it in the best way possible — as a tourist.

Cary Teller is an Oregon native with a flair for fashion and organic gardening. She's passionate about writing, and enjoys hiking, reading, cooking, and playing with her rescue pit bull, Mazie.

Flickr photo by Kevin Case: Sixth Avenue in midtown New York City.