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Attention Assignees:

Five Things to Know About New York City


When they say “fast-paced” they mean it! Within days, you proba-


Despite being surrounded by millions of people, it can be easy to feel lonely in New York City. In an average day, it is easy to have noth-

bly will be sucked into the rushed pace of Manhattan if you are working there, as opposed to one of the other boroughs. People walk fast, they talk fast, and they expect fast. Try to develop an awareness to this quickened pace of life, especially at rush hour.

ing more than a casual conversation with someone, such as “I’ll take fries with that” at lunchtime. The people you do connect with may be so busy with work and social obligations that you have to schedule weeks out to get time with them. If you are a laid-back person used to making plans last minute, you may have to tweak your habits a bit. That being said, New York has tons of things to do; classes, activities, sites... so instead of waiting for people to come to you, go out and see what the city has to offer. New Yorkers can be extremely friendly and always talkative—you will not be disappointed! New York City really never sleeps. It is true, no matter what time of day or night, you always can find something to eat, transportation to get you where you are going, and a bar or club to keep you entertained. On the flip side, you may want to avoid living above, or next to, a place that is open all night—it can be pretty noisy into the wee hours. Learn apartment lingo. Whether you plan to rent or buy a place to live, you will need to get familiar with a range of apartment terms such as “walk-up,” “studio,” and “part-time doorman.” Depending on which borough, and which part of a borough you live in, you can expect smaller or larger apartments, more or less people, and easier or more difficult commute times. It pays to do your research! The subway is your lifeline to New York City. If you are used to owning a car and driving everywhere, you may want to get rid of it. Parking fees are almost as high as rent, and finding a place to park on the street is both difficult and time-zapping because you will have to move your car in accordance with parking regulations Monday through Friday. The subway works 24/7 and can get you almost anywhere you want to go—or at least within a 5 to 10 minute walk of where you are going. However, recent budget cuts could mean longer wait times. In addition, the subway is its own culture complete with its own rules (some of which incur a financial penalty for disobeying!) and it’s ability to bring out the best and worst behavior in people at rush hour.

3. 4.


—Heather J. Markel, CPC, culture transition strategist with Culture Transition Coaching, New York, NY.


ough that is connected by land to New York State. The boroughs are home to more than 8 million residents. More than 20 million people live in the tri-state (New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey) metropolitan area. Another 45 million visit annually, including almost 9 million from outside the United States. The city proper is the hub of many suburban residential communities in the states of Connecticut and New Jersey, as well as upstate New York, including Hoboken NJ, White Plains, NY, and Greenwich, CT. There is a broad range of international assignees represented in New York City. Manhattan is one of the most eclectic communities in the world; it is a true melting pot. There is no single area where expatriates live. During an average walk down any street, you will hear different languages—it is said there are more than 800 spoken in New York. Expatriates live among New Yorkers, work together, and often socialize together.

Housing Areas Where to live. Expatriates tend not to congregate in any one specific area of New York City. However some expatriates select their location based on the school they choose for their children. For example, the Upper East Side would be appropriate for families enrolling their children in the Lycée Français. Similarly, the east side of Manhattan—in the areas where the street numbers are between the 30s and 60s—would be appropriate for families whose children attend the United Nations School. Cost and location. Housing in Manhattan is very expensive. However, some people choose small, less

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