14 Interesting Facts About New York City

The United States of America is home to famous cities worldwide such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and New York City, renowned for its numerous attractions such as the One World Trade Center and The Empire State Building.

New York City is one of the most visited and most diverse states in the United States of America, has a lot of history, secrets, and facts not known by many.

As New York City is referred to, the Big Apple has its origins dating back to 10,000 B.C, with its earliest written records penned down by Giovanni de Verrazano. He was an Italian explorer said to have discovered the New York Harbor in 1524.

With a timeline in the pre-historic, pre-colonial, and Dutch and British colonial periods, New York City has a lot to share in history and stories. From being the last city John Lennon lived in before his death, to being the birthplace of L Frank Baum, a popular author of children’s books, New York City also has housed some of history’s most admired personalities.

We have compiled all the New York facts you need to know that were not taught in History class (just kidding). Keep on reading to find out key facts that we bet you never know about!

Key Facts About New York City

Should it come as a surprise that almost every building or famous sculpture in the Big Apple has something about it that we do not know? If your answer was yes, then you are absolutely right.

Being the largest city in the United States by population, New York City equally has a vast amount of interesting facts, a lot more than could be shared in a single daily newspaper from the New York Times. From structures to people and diversity, New York never disappoints.

However, these are the key interesting facts about New York City that every New Yorker or visitor should know.

1. Times Square

Times Square in New York is one of the best advertising spaces globally and the busiest commercial intersections in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.

It is also a major tourist attraction for those in the ever-bustling state of New York City.

Here are some facts about Times Square that will leave you totally surprised;

  • Times Square was known as Longacre Square, leading up to 1904. The area owes its name to the New York Times newspaper, which moved its office here in 1904.
  • From the 1960s to the ’80s, what is now known as Times Square was once a hub for adult movies, prostitution, and several unlawful substances.
  • The largest gathering of people in New York is said to be here when over two million New Yorkers gathered to celebrate the participation of the United States of America in World War 2.

2. The Empire State Building

This famous cultural landmark is located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, and is one of the tallest skyscrapers in New York.

This 102 story building is home to many corporate offices and a massive museum on the second floor.

The New York Empire State Building stands at 381 m in height and is the fourth tallest building in the United States of America today.

Here are 3 key facts about the Empire State Building which every New York state resident should know:

  • This building was constructed as part of a race for the tallest skyscraper in New York. One of its major competitors was the Chrysler Building.
  • Despite being within a city, the Empire State Building has its own zip code.
  • There is an annual Valentine’s Day draw that picks 14 lucky couples to hold their wedding on the 80th floor. These couples automatically become members of the Empire State Wedding Club.

3. The Statue of Liberty

This is one monument that will forever be synonymous with New York City for years to come.

Situated at Liberty Island in the New York Harbor, this 225-ton statue is accessible to the public by ferry.

A gift from France to the United States of America to celebrate their partnership during the American Revolution, this famous landmark has found its way into pop culture and numerous movie scenes.

Here are some facts about this giant of a sculpture worth knowing;

  • The Lady of Liberty, as she is fondly called, once served as a beacon and guide to travelers who could spot her flame in the distance.
  • The Statue of Liberty was brought to the United States in 350 pieces, as it was too large for the French to transport in one piece.
  • The Statue of Liberty has some important symbolism on it. One example is the inscription, JULY IV MDCCLXXVI, to commemorate the United States of America’s Independence.

4. New York Public Library (NYPL)

The second largest public library in the United States of America, the NYPL has served as a source of ideas, information, and knowledge for New Yorkers for more than a century.

The library caters to materials needed from toddlers to teenagers and the aged.

The NYPL boasts 92 locations with four research hubs in Manhattan, and the rest dispersed between the Bronx and Staten Island.

Here are some facts about the New York Public Library worth knowing;

  • The library lions at the entrance were renamed Patience and Fortitude in the 1930s by Mayor LaGuardia. He believed that these were qualities to be embraced by New Yorkers during the Great Depression.
  • The Library has a copy of the Gutenberg Bible from the 1450s, which is one of the most valuable items in the New York Public Library’s custody.
  • The NYPL needed twenty tons of coal to provide daily heating in its early days of operation!
  • The NYC Public Library has over one hundred and twenty-five miles of shelved materials, with almost 50 million books in its possession.

5. New York City’s Federal Reserve Bank

The Federal Reserve Bank is the apex bank of the United States of America, charged with providing a stable monetary system and maintaining the inflation rate, among other duties.

New York City’s Federal Reserve Bank is among the twelve reserve banks in the United States of America, with its building located in the Financial District of Manhattan. It is also said that the New York Federal Reserve Bank has the largest gold being held in the world.

Here are some important facts about the Federal Reserve Bank of New York City;

It is said that about $250 billion worth of gold is being held in the vaults located in the bank’s basement, making it one of the largest gold storage spots in the United States and globally.

There is not one person who has complete knowledge of the whole vault combination where the gold is being stored.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has over 200 tons of metal-infused into its architecture. So much for security from theft.

6. New York City Subway

The New York City Subway system is the major means of public transportation, with more than five million commuters daily (asides from weekends).

The subway ride throughout the trains plying different routes are commonplace to New Yorkers and tourists.

The entire New York Subway has 472 stations and transports over 5 million commuters per day. The New York train system is overseen by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

Below are some facts about New York City’s subway system you ought to know:

  • The lowest point of the subway system is 180 feet deep and is located at 191st street.
  • When laid out, all the tracks found in the New York subway cover the distance from New York City to Chicago
  • There is a Guinness World Record for traveling all the subway stations in New York City in 21 hours, 28 minutes, and 14 seconds.
  • The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will send a mail to your email address if you are late for work due to a train delay.
  • It once costs five cents for a subway ride in 1944, and the price did not increase until 1948. The current fare for a single subway ride is $2.75.

7. Brooklyn Bridge

Built to transport commuters from Manhattan to Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most famous suspension bridges in New York and also globally.

New Yorkers have said that a walk across this bridge offers a vivid view of the East River and the skyline for which Manhattan is renowned.

Below are some amazing facts about the Brooklyn Bridge

  • The first crossing of the bridge was by Emily Roebling, the late Washington Roebling’s wife, who served as the chief engineer after his father’s death.
  • Completing this bridge took fourteen years and six-hundred laborers to complete.
  • A popular showman named P.T Barnum led 21 elephants across the bridge to affirm its stability and strength in 1884.
  • Over 20 or even more workers lost their lives in constructing the Brooklyn Bridge.

Read: If you’re looking to explore this NYC borough, take note of the best neighborhoods in Brooklyn here.

8. Go Topless Day Parade

Held annually, this parade cum festival is held to support the right to allow women to go around topless based on gender equality.

This parade is held on the streets of New York City and other states like Washington D.C and has been held over the past 13 years since 2007.

The parade is held on the closest Sunday to August 26th, with men and women joining. Here are facts about the Go Topless Day Parade worth knowing:

  • This parade owes its origins to Rael, the founder of the Raelian Movement, who thinks aliens created humans.
  • There is an anthem for the Go Topless Day, titled ”Go Topless Go”.
  • If you are joining the march and do not want to go topless, there are bikinis that look like breasts.

9. Central Park

Located in the West Side of Manhattan, Central Park Mall is home to more than 30 retailers, eateries, and a cinema, among many other side attractions.

Central Park is one of the most visited urban parks in New York City, with over 20 million annual visitors.

Here’s a key fact about Central Park and the Central Park Mall

  • There are over 230 bird species in Central Park including doves, sparrows and crows.

10. Jonas Bronck

Jonas Bronck was a sailor and an immigrant who is said to be the first white man to settle on the mainland opposite Harlem.

The area where he settled was known as ”Broncks Land”, and the name has come to stay till today.

Today, the Bronx is one of the five boroughs in New York City and Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, and Manhattan.

Here are some facts about the Bronx worth knowing by native New York residents;

  • The largest park in New York City, the Pelham Bay Park, is situated here and is said to be as much as three times larger than Central Park!
  • Bronx is often touted as having the roots of hip-hop and breakdancing in New York City.
  • Bronx is home to many celebrities, especially rappers, with famous poet Edgar Allan Poe being a Bronxite.

Read: If you’re planning to stay for some time in the Bronx, you may want to check out our post on safe Bronx neighborhoods.

11. Cultural Diversity Like No Other

According to Culture Trip, New York City is ranked fifth among its ”Ten Most Multicultural Cities In The World”, with other cities like Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Paris, and Singapore.

Ranked as one of the top cities for tourists and sightseeing in the United States, New York hosted a whopping 65 plus million visitors in 2018 alone. That is almost the population of France!

Here are some interesting facts about New York City when it comes to diversity;

  • New York City has about 800 languages being spoken, making it one of the world’s most multilingual cities.
  • New York is home to the largest settlement of Jews outside Israel.
  • New York City has served as one of the leading immigration points for Brazilian immigrants. Little Brazil is a neighborhood in Manhattan, so-called, due to its Brazilian restaurants and businesses.

12. Ellis Island

Ellis Island is a government-owned island in the New York Harbor that was once a teeming entry and inspection station for immigrants.

A museum on the island has carefully stored photographs, records, and other memorabilia from times of early immigration.

Some facts about this island worth knowing are:

  • Though considered a place of interest in NYC, 80 percent of Ellis Island is in New Jersey.
  • Ellis Island was used as an incarceration center during the First and Second World Wars.
  • Ellis Island served as a place where thieves, pirates, and crew members, and sailors who mutinied were executed.

Bonus New York City Facts

Some bonus facts worth mentioning include the following;

  • The Library of Congress is the official national library of the United States of America. It is also the largest library in the world.
  • New York declares itself as the first capital of the United States of America, as it is the place where the legal documents referencing the creation of the America was drafted.

New York houses a lot of history and facts which is just a lot to put in one writeup. From Pearl Street Station, which was the first commercial power generating plant in America, to the popular New York Post which is the oldest published newspaper in America, New York seemed to pioneer a lot of things.

Which fact was the most surprising? Was it the fact that over 800 languages are spoken in New York? These are just some out of the facts about New York which we are able to bring you. Feel free to let us know which you found most surprising.

Planning to move to “the city that never sleeps”, you’ll need to hire a moving company. We’ve reviewed the best movers in New York City here: https://imhonyc.com/best-movers-nyc/

The Ultimate Bucket List For New York In 2021

New York is one city that is surely on the bucket list of any travel blogger, being home to some of the most famous cultural landmarks worldwide.

Landmarks such as the Empire State Building and the Statue Of Liberty are all part of the natural history of New York City. The Big Apple as NYC is also referred to as one of the best skylines and is home to many other side attractions.

NYC has a ton of places to visit and take some of the best pictures with a million Instagram likes guaranteed for any visitor. A New York bucket list could be hard to draft, but you cannot leave out a Staten Island Ferry cruise or a visit to Central Park. Your bucket list will be pretty long, with many places of interest vying for a final shortlist.

This piece was specially written for anyone coming to NYC for the first, second, and even hundredth time, as you can’t get enough of its skyline views while enjoying cookies and some ice cream. Being a tourist attraction for years to come, it is only right that we did an NYC bucket list article for our readers.

The ultimate NYC bucket list wasn’t going to be easy to compile in just a few words. We did our best to put in the details, so even a first time visitor can capture as much scenery as the United States financial capital has to offer. New York is one city that never runs out of delights, whether in the daytime or night time.

Want to see what our ultimate NYC bucket list looks like? Get a pen, a sheet of paper, and some coffee to jot down these places of interest, and update your bucket list next time you find yourself in New York City.

The Ultimate NYC Bucket List For Visitors

The Big Apple is home to Manhattan, with skyline views like no other with different points offering stunning views of one of the best skylines in the United States. NYC takes creatives into account with countless live music bars and the American Museum of Natural History. Check out top neighborhood to live in manhattan.

New York has a lot to offer tourists, from some of the most visited museums in the world to iconic Hollywood scenes (you’ll see that later) and observatory points to take in high lie views, which the city has. Manhattan is a favorite destination with more attractions than you could imagine.

We have done all the research there is to do and have compiled a list of places of interest which are a must for an A grade bucket list in New York City.

Here’s our recommended bucket list for tourists heading to New York City all year round. Make sure to tick off as many as possible.

1.Visit the Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is one of the most famous attractions for anyone visiting New York for the first time and even return visitors.

The Empire State Building is part of the natural history of New York and was once the world’s tallest building until the World Trade Center was built in 1970.

The Empire State Building offers everything from a dazzling view of city sights such as Times Square and Central Park, to its observatory on the 86th floor. There is also a museum situated on the second floor, which attracts over five million visitors each year.

The Empire State Building also finds use as an office and retail space, with companies like LinkedIn having office space there. There is also a suite of rooms available at the Empire State building, although it is unknown if one can lodge there.

Here is a fun fact about the Empire State Building; Even though it is located within Manhattan’s zip code, 10001, the Empire State Building has its separate zip code: 10118. Talk about a city within New York City.

2.Check Out The Statue Of Liberty

NYC is where the symbolic Statue Of Liberty is located. Another monument that makes up part of the United States’ natural history, the Statue of Liberty, dates back to the 18th century.

First-time visitors to New York have the option to get a better view of the Statue Of Liberty through a boat ride. Most tourists also opt to visit Ellis Island, located at the Hudson River’s mouth. Take out time to visit the Statue of Liberty Museum for more information on the history of the statue and other facts.

Located on Liberty Island, Manhattan, visiting the Statue of Liberty is definitely one of the things to do for any visitor heading to NYC. Definitely a site where one would want to take a picture for an Instagram post.

Some fun facts about the Statue Of Liberty are that she wears a size 879 shoe, weighs about 225 tonnes, and nobody is allowed in the torch.

3.Experience Bright Lights And Billboards At Times Square

Times Square is among the busiest intersections in New York City and the world.

Located in Manhattan and home to many billboards, Times Square is one of the best advertising spaces in the world. Times Square was renamed in 1904 and was formerly known as Longacre Square.

Times Square has been described as a mix of work and play by many. Save for the billboards; there are many retail stores and restaurants to explore when you are less busy at Times Square. There are also painters, guitarists, cosplay artists, and other creatives around Times Square to keep the place lively.

With a dazzling view at night, Times Square remains a major attraction in New York City. Everything from being a major bus stop to the Times Square Jumbotron and the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop continues to make this place one of the busiest attractions in modern-day New York.

In fact, Times Square has been referred to as the ”Crossroads of The World”, among other names. Times Square is said to generate foot traffic of over three hundred and forty thousand people every day!

4.Be a Visitor At The One World Trade Center

The One World Trade Center was constructed in 1971 and is one of the tallest buildings in New York, at 541 meters.

This building is the major arm of the two buildings that make up the reconstructed World Trade Center in New York City that was destroyed on September 11th, 2001.

For people who are more accustomed to heights, this will surely be one of the places of interest to visit in Manhattan. This is actually the tallest building in the United States and the sixth tallest worldwide. With one hundred and ten floors, brace yourself for a thrilling view of the city once you make it to the last floor.

Here is one fact about this building. Its height in feet is 1,776 and directly references the year of independence of the United States of America.

5.Experience Serenity At Central Park

Central Park is one of America’s historical landmarks and is said to be the inspiration for a lot of other parks in existence today.

Central Park is also said to draw its design inspiration from Birkenhead Park. Central Park is situated between the West and East side of Manhattan and is accessible by various means of transportation such as trains and metropolitan buses.

Central Park is more than just a park for the average New York City resident. Central Park plays host to a lot of picnics and romantic outings with your better half. Spanning eight hundred and forty-three acres, Central Park is filled with lots of attractions for kids and adults. These include the Central Park Zoo, the Strawberry Fields, and a lot more to mention.

Central Park has everything to keep you occupied irrespective of what season it is, including winter. Wollman Skating Rink remains one of the best spots for ice skating among New York City residents and Americans.

Here is a fun fact about Central Park; Central Park is the most filmed movie locations globally, with movies like Avengers having scenes shot there.

6.Done With Central Park? Head Over To Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park is another favorite park for NYC residents to cool off in the summer. Spread over eighty-five acres and located on the side with Brooklyn near the East River in New York City, this park has many portions or piers, as they are called.

There is Pier 1 to Pier 6, Main Street, and the Empire-Fulton Ferry. Some guides are available to give visitors on location tours across the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Dumbo, and Dyker Heights, among other side attractions.

Regarded as one of the best parks in New York City for its amazing scenery and views the city has to offer, you can spot the Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue Of Liberty from the park.

Next time you find yourself in the Big Apple, be sure to walk around the park, take some pictures and revisit it when hopefully, you come to New York again.

7.Check Out The Rockefeller Center

The Rockefeller Center is regarded as a cultural landmark spanning 22 acres and is located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Now a commercial complex covering 22 acres and comprising nineteen buildings solely for commercial use, the center has lived up to its purpose imagined by its founder, the late J.D Rockefeller.

The Rockefeller Center offers a great walk around experience with sculptures depicting science, philosophy, and large art murals for a thrilling aesthetic effect like no other. Make sure you go up to the 70th floor to experience The Observation Deck. Here you will get a view of everything within the New York City skyline plus Lower Manhattan.

This is also the site where most of your favorite shows are filmed for those who did not know. The Radio City Music Hall is located within the building too.

There is also the Rockefeller Plaza, where you can grab some rest after exploring the beauty and details of this commercial hub. Fine dining is not too far from here, as you can grab a bite of a New York pastrami sandwich, steaks, and culinary delights.

If you are a fan of jewelry, check out Tous for pieces that may interest you. After a day filled with observing, eating, and pictures, the Rockefeller Center is guaranteed to leave an impression on you.

Fun fact; each year, a Christmas Tree about 75 feet in height, 45 feet wide, and 11 tonnes in weight is lit here each Christmas.

8.Take A Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge

Constructed across the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge offers a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline. This bridge has its origins in 1883 to transport commuters to and from Lower Manhattan to Brooklyn.

The bridge has two entrances, with one end located at Manhattan, and another at Brooklyn. The iconic Brooklyn Bridge is now more than a century old, with details such as its steel cables being one of the most recognizable in Hollywood and the world.

Brooklyn Bridge is over a mile long, and tourists can access this symbolic landmark through various train routes. Visitors and New York City residents often
jog and cycle on the bridge, but it is advised against due to collision with pedestrians.

Visitors to New York City hoping to get a greater feel of the Brooklyn Bridge should be looking at any time before the sun rises, and people come out in their droves.

Fun fact about Brooklyn Bridge: one of America’s greatest showmen P.T Barnum, led a display of twenty-one elephants across to show that the bridge was firm and stable enough to handle passage.

9.Explore The New York City Museum Of Modern Art

The NYC Museum of Modern Art is located in Midtown Manhattan and is one of the largest existing collectors of modern art today. The Museum Of Modern Art also plays host to artworks from contemporary artists from the 18th century down to the 1900s.

The Museum of Modern Art is one of the best among many museums in Manhattan, New York, for art lovers coming to NYC to visit. Visitors come in all year round to see sculptures, the famous gallery garden, and art murals.

Being home to many artworks, there are some must-see pieces at this museum in Manhattan. Some of such pieces include The Bather by Paul Cezanne, The Starry

Night By Vincent Van Gogh, and the Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali.  Although there are more pieces, you’re going to have to visit NYC and see for yourself.

Other museums of interest in Manhattan, New York include the 9 11 Memorial Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ellis Island Immigration Museum, and the American Museum of National History, to name a few.

This is one museum that should be on your bucket list when coming to New York.

10.Discover Prehistoric Roots At The American Museum Of Natural History

Also known as the American Museum of Natural History sits on the Upper Westside of Manhattan and is made up of twenty-eight interconnected buildings, forty-five halls filled with exhibits, a library, and the Hayden Planetarium. Judging by its gargantuan structure, it is one of the largest natural history museums in NYC.

Being one of the largest natural history museums in the world means a lot of exhibits on display. Feel free to visit any of the various halls to have a feel prehistoric life human evolution.

The museum also has some must-see exhibits which you cannot possibly miss. There is the Great Blue Whale, the Dimetrodon skeleton ), and Lucy, who happens to be one of the most intact skeletons of hominids found.

The Museum of Natural History attracts over five million visitors all year round, and you should definitely add this to your bucket list when next you visit New York City.

11 . Fan of Art? The Metropolitan Museum of Art Has You Covered

Another top museum in Manhattan is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which exhibits everything from diverse cultural pieces to prehistoric paintings and modern day works. Also known as the Met, this storehouse of art and culture sits on more than two million square feet and boasts over two million works on display.

Playing host to more than five million visitors in 2019 and a large collection of art, the museum has its own share of reputable paintings. These include The Death of Socrates, The Denial of Saint Peter, Lamassu, and Venus Italica.

There are more than ten sections to explore, each containing artwork and artifacts linked to each section. There is Modern and Contemporary Art, Medieval Art, Egyptian Art, and many others.

This museum is absolutely worth visiting and adding to your bucket list for anyone paying a visit to New York, especially Manhattan.

12.Ellis Island

Ellis Island is an island owned by the government that once served as the busiest inspection point for immigrants. Ellis Island has been incorporated as part of the Statue of Liberty monument and is accessible to the public through ferry.

Ellis Island is affiliated with the National Immigration Museum and is home to pictures and detailed historical records of immigrants. There is the Family History Center, where you can trace your roots.

Ellis Island offers a one-of-a-kind experience for tourists who have mixed roots. It is always open to the public and will always remain relevant to America’s history.

13.Staten Island

Staten Island is located in the New York Harbor on the South of Manhattan and is also considered a borough. The island is home to about half a million people and transports more than 20 million people annually across Saint George and Whitehall Street in Lower Manhattan.

The Staten Island ferry is the most reliable transportation means for New York City residents moving from Staten Island to Manhattan. Staten Island is the smallest of the five boroughs of New York and is often referred to as the ”forgotten borough”.

A cruise on the Staten Island ferry is a must for anyone traveling to NYC for vacation or just plain sightseeing.

14.Bateaux New York

Bateaux New York offers more than just a boat cruise experience. The Bateaux promises an exceptional dining experience with the finest wines, intercontinental delights, desserts, and appetizers for those onboard.

Taking off from Chelsea-Piers in Manhattan, the Bateaux cruise takes its route along the New York Harbor with views of the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge. The cruise starts at one hundred and fifty dollars.

The boats used in the cruise are entirely shielded with glass for better ambiance, while you are treated to live bands, champagne, and cocktails.

If a boat ride or a cruise was not on your bucket list before, here is your chance to update it. It’s only right that you experience the calm breeze and sea waves with many other things NYC treats its visitors to.

15.Pick A State Park To Go See

New York is home to many state parks such as the Amherst State Park and the Allegany State Park. However, the largest is the Adirondack Park and Catskill Park.

With more than ten parks to choose from, tourists would find it hard to settle for which to visit. Niagara Falls State Park offers dazzling scenery, mile long hiking trails, and attraction such as the Maid of Mist and the Niagara Falls Observation Tower.

Long Island also has a load of state parks like Bethpage State Park, Hallock State Park Reserve, and a lot more worth visiting. State parks also provide some of the best spots for hiking and holding picnics.

NYC is guaranteed to sweep you off your feet when it comes to parks and outdoor leisure. Try visiting one when next you go to New York for vacation.

16.See The Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal is one of the most popular rail terminals for commuters located in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. Also known as Grand Central, this terminal serves commuters plying the Northern part of the New York metropolitan area.

Being the third busiest train station in North America, the terminal is estimated to receive over 750,000 visitors per day. Grand Central was also named one of the most visited tourist attractions in 2018, with over 22 million visitors.

Like most of the other places on this bucket list, Grand Central has its own fair share of attractions. The prevalent ones would be the Information Booth Clock, The Whispering Gallery, and the Grand Central Market, which has over 10,000 visitors daily.

Here is a fun fact about Gran Central Terminal; there is a clock in the main concourse valued at almost 20 million USD.

17.Immerse Yourself In Views At The One World Observatory

The One World Observatory is situated in Downtown Manhattan, with its entrance on West Street. Often said to give an unforgettable experience from above, the One World Observatory is one of the best spots to get a stunning view of NYC and its numerous skyscrapers.

With high-speed Sky Pod elevators capable of going over 1250 feet in a minute, the One World Observatory treats its visitors to an unforgettable experience. From the Global Welcome Center to the Horizon Grid, there are also restaurants offering in-house dining.

A breathtaking view of New York from the tallest skyscraper in the city would be among the things to add to a bucket list, plus a picture here would make you feel on top of the world.

18.High Line Public Park

The High Line is a public park created on the west side of Manhattan, New York City, and was constructed on a freight rail line. High Line public park has been a top tourist attraction, with over eight million visitors annually in 2019.

There are many things to see at the High Line Public Park from the beginning of the 1.45-mile walk to the end. The Whitney Museum Of American Art, The Chelsea Market, and The Amphitheater are a few must-sees at this new and exciting park.

Here’s a fun fact: the rail where the High Line Public Park was once known as Death Avenue due to the number of casualties. Not to worry, it is now safe for tourists and shrouded in flowers to create some of the best natural scenery New York has to offer,

19.9 11 Memorial Museum

This museum is a part of the World Trade Center and tells the story of the bombings through real artifacts and media from the events in which 2,997 lives were lost. The 9 11 memorial museum also commemorates those killed in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.

The 9 11 memorial museum holds memories of loss, denial, and hope for the deceased’s loved ones. The museum has the Survivor Tree, a symbol of hope, and the Memorial Glade in honor of first responders and medics who lost their lives in the line of duty.

The 9 11 memorial museum holds mostly negative memories, although visitors are allowed to pay tribute to lives lost in the worst terrorist attack seen by the United States of America. There are also expert guides who give on location tours for a better experience.

20.Little Italy

Located in Lower Manhattan, Little Italy is a neighborhood known for its large number of Italian immigrants in the late 19th and 20th centuries. With the move of Italians to this neighborhood came their customs, foods, and festivals.

It is not uncommon to see pizzerias and shops serving espressos here, with chequered red and white tablecloths. Even though this area once known for its brimming Italian population has been reduced from fifty blocks to three, Italians’ cultures and traditions remain visible.

A visit to The Center for Italian and Modern Art promises a great experience for Italian art lovers. You cannot afford to miss the Festival of San Gennaro, which features a mix of American and Italian customs and cultures. The Festival Of San Gennaro is held on Mulberry Street and runs for eleven days every September.

Italian visitors looking to get a feel of home should add Little Italy to their bucket list of places on their next visit to NYC. Not just Italians, but anyone who would like to experience the Italian culture.

21.Theatrical Performances At Broadway

Also known as Broadway Theater, the performances given in the 41 theaters situated in Midtown Manhattan have created a reputation for Broadway as a tourist attraction.

Broadway shows have been dubbed by many as the best representation of live theater on a commercial scale.

A Broadway show could be a musical, play, or drama, with some popular shows being The Lion King and The Phantom of The Opera. Broadway has also given New York the title of ”the culture capital of the world”.

For the love of drama and musicals, seeing a Broadway show is worth adding to your bucket list. Considering an almost 15 million attendance for the 2018/2019 season, a Broadway show sounds like a must-see for any tourist.

22.Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach is home to several public parks in the Brooklyn borough of NYC. It is a popular spot for New Yorkers to hang out in the summer, as its beaches are located along the Atlantic Ocean. It is also close to a lot of the amusement parks in Coney Island.

This beach is home to public parks like the Century Playground and the Coney Island Boardwalk and Beach. There are the Brighton Center and The Brighton Music Hall, which are nearby attractions when done at the beach.

Brighton Beach promises a great experience for those coming to New York in the summer. Be sure to grab your suntan, swimsuits, and sunglasses.

23.Prospect Park

Prospect Park is Brooklyn’s major park and is located in the midst of many other structures such as Park Slope and Windsor Terrace.

With an ice rink and other recreational facilities, Prospect Park has more than five million annual visitors. Side attractions include the Carousel, Prospect Park Zoo, and The Lefferts Historic House. Also check out the any candy store among the numerous stores to get treats for the kids.

Any tourist heading to NYC with the kids should explore Prospect Park. One fun fact about Brooklyn’s top park is that it houses over fifty butterfly species, with more than 30,000 trees in the park.

24.Bryant Park

Referred to as the ”Town Square of Manhattan”, Bryant Park is bustling with amenities and many things to do while you pass the time.

There is the Le Carrousel, an ice skating rink, and the Bank of America Winter Village. There are also many candy stores and shops littered around the park, with gifts for the holiday season.

With over 12 million visitors annually, Bryant Park remains one of the most recommended parks to visit in New York.

Those are our places of interest, which should be on the bucket list of anyone planning a visit to NYC anytime. You could add some bonus points such as the Standing Room Comedy Club, bicycle-sharing via Citi Bike, and the Andrew Carnegie Museum in the upper east side of New York.

New York remains one of the most visited cities globally, with visitors trooping into the Big Apple all year-round. December is definitely going to have a massive turnout as friends and families go to see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, and fly kites at public parks, while lodging at an affordable boutique hotel.

Be sure to tick off all points on our specially curated New York bucket list, as you have a wonderful Christmas.

If you’re looking to move to the Big Apple, you will need a mover to help you with your belongings. You can find list of best moving companies in NYC here: https://imhonyc.com/best-movers-nyc/

Other helpful links:

Reasons Why People Move To New York, How To Move to NYC,  Moving Tips And Tricks, How to Find Roommates in NYC

8 Reasons Why People Move To New York

There are many destinations to visit around the world, a ton of new people to meet, cultures to explore, and cities to live in.

There is the thrill of a new environment, cultural diversity, and a more comprehensive range of opportunities to improve one’s life outside their native country.

While Europe may be a hotspot for those who want to travel and live there, the United States Of America equally has its fair share of great cities to live in. There is Texas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and of course, the world’s largest financial hub, New York, just to name a few.

New York City is revered for many things with famous landmarks such as the Empire State Building in Manhattan or the Statue of Liberty with a lot more to see and explore in New York City. As they are fondly called, New Yorkers are never short when it comes to sports entertainment, with teams like the New York Knickers around for that purpose.

In this article, we have stated and explained our reasons why a move to New York may be a much-needed change in one’s life. Going beyond buildings, Wall Street bankers, and sports teams, here are our reasons why you should make NYC your next home, ahead of anywhere else in the world.

Here are the 8 Reasons Why People Move To New York City

America is known as the ”land of the free and brave with opportunities”, and the same goes for NYC. Brimming with industries centering around healthcare, financial services, retail, and manufacturing, the opportunity to make it big exists for anyone wondering if they should move to NYC.

With a vibrant nightlife despite the work, sports, and festival-filled life of New Yorkers, NYC can cater to people of any nature. Although it might be expensive to live in New York, many have sure loved the experience for those who could afford it.

Keep reading for a more detailed explanation of each point that answers the question, ”why do people move to NYC?”

1. Abundance of Career And Job Opportunities

For experienced professionals and recent graduates, New York City might be on your radar if you’re looking for a job or a career within a wide range of industries.

Home to some of the USA’s highest-ranked hospitals, like Mount Sinai Hospital and retail chains like Michael Kors and Tiffany & Co, New York City is one place bustling with opportunity after opportunity.

New York is also home to one of the most active stock exchanges on the planet. Wall Street boasts some of the world’s largest companies, with many more emerging startups likely to spring up and get listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

New York City is also rated as the world’s financial capital, and as such, financial giants like Morgan Stanley and Citigroup are headquartered in NYC. Definitely a dream for every finance professional moving for the purpose of work to New York City.

2. Great Place With Cultural Diversity

New York is brimming with people from all walks of life, which translates to a cultural diversity like no other.

Comprising of five boroughs, namely Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, and Queens, New York City is said to boast a population of 8.39 million residents, with almost 37 percent being nationals of other countries.

Over 800 different languages are spoken in New York City, making it a place for culture lovers to meet people from other backgrounds. According to CultureTrip, a travel planning and guide agency, NYC ranks fifth in diversity after Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles, and Paris.

New York City also has various festivals to celebrate the diversity of all those who have made New York their home. There is the NYC Multicultural Festival celebrating different cultures with poetry, music, and food.

There is also the LGBT Pride Fest and March for people of different sexual orientations so that no one feels left out. New York City is truly a place where culture and lifestyle intertwine beautifully with a real sense of community.

3. Vast Transportation Network

Moving around New York should not pose a problem for anyone, as there are various means of transportation available for every day commute for working-class New Yorkers.

From the recognizable yellow taxi to the metro bus for public transportation and ferries for waterways, there is always a way to get to your destination in New York City.

There is also the subway train for people who need to move from Brooklyn to Manhattan and other boroughs within New York. The subway trains and metropolitan buses make up the public transportation system in New York City. People move every day, going around their daily activities with almost zero hassle.

Did we also mention that helicopters are catching on in New York as a means of transportation? It might be a bit expensive but hey, living in NYC ain’t so cheap. If the yellow taxi or subway is what works for you, then go ahead with that.

4. Great Environment For Startups

New York boasts one of the best startup ecosystems for budding entrepreneurs looking to execute ideas with funding and access to other resources.

According to YourStory, New York City has been listed as the city with the most women entrepreneurs, attracting over 12 billion dollars in venture capital funding in 2017 alone.

Being home to many well-known venture capital firms such as Thrive Capital and Union Square Ventures, there is almost no shortage of funds looking to get a piece of the pie. With commercial office spaces available in abundance and a somewhat large population, the environment is beyond perfect to get things going for prospective founders.

Many successful unicorn startups have become relatively huge, to show as proof of success in NYC. These include WeWork, Peloton, UiPath, Dataminr, Venmo, and Squarespace, just to name a few. There really is a high chance to make it big if you play your cards right and make your pitch convincing enough. Just another great reasons to move to NYC

5. Vibrant Nightlife

New York is home to a vibrant nightlife when it comes to clubs and restaurants, being ranked as the third in 2018 behind Las Vegas and Houston, Texas.

In fact, it is often said that bedtime does not exist in New York. NYC is really the city that never sleeps.

Moving to New York City means there is no shortage of entertainment when you need it. From annual festivals to clubs and restaurants, NYC is one city in the world where you can live an entire lifetime in a single night.

Extroverts and young folks who love the party lifestyle are sure to find a move to NYC worth exploring. Spots you might want to visit would include the 40/40 club, Shake Shack and Le Bernardin.

6. Cultural Landmarks

Living in New York means you get to see some of the most famous structures you might have always dream of visiting.

Some of the landmarks even have historical relevance to NYC’s people, with some built around the 19th century.

There is the Empire State Building, Times Square, and The Statue of Liberty, to name a few. Manhattan is well-known for its remarkable skyline, which shows off a fantastic display of skyscrapers that you definitely won’t get anywhere else.

Other landmarks to explore for people living in New York include Central Park, Niagara Falls, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

7. Great Housing Options

With all the benefits that come with a move to NYC, it is also essential to consider the cost of a place to lay your head after work every day.

It is relatively easy to find different types of apartments in any neighborhood, depending on the budget of whoever is moving to New York.

Most apartments in neighborhoods are fully serviced with all the necessary utilities such as Wi-Fi, light, and water. Also, there are living spaces in which chores such as mowing the lawn and garbage disposal are handled by the apartment manager.

Living in such a bustling city with a lot of activity, job opportunities, and a great choice of neighborhoods to pick from does not come cheap. For those who can save up and rent a living space, a move to New York will be worth every penny.

8. For More Convenience

People want something real quick without having to waste time in long queues.

As easy as transportation is in New York, it is really easy to find stores selling essential items in your area.

For those who are not too big on driving to departmental stores at the slightest need, convenience stores in your neighborhood will save you a lot of stress.

Stores called ”bodegas” are common throughout New York where you can purchase prepared food, soft drinks, and other related items common to stores. Though not as huge as your typical Walmart, it still gets the job done.


If you are still pondering whether to move to NYC, you have eight good reasons why you should start your search for a place to rent in one of the best cities to live in the world.

From the endless job opportunities to the Tribeca Film Festival and the Empire State Building, visiting or living in New York should be on your bucket list. Here is a list of best movers companies in nyc: https://imhonyc.com/best-movers-nyc/

Take a morning jog across Central Park, followed by a coffee at Starbucks before proceeding to work on the metro bus while taking in the sights this lovely city has to offer. Welcome to New York, where one day is never the same as the next.


The New York City organizations of the Independence Party set out 15 years ago with a simple idea: To create a new and independent reform movement of New Yorkers from all walks of life. Partisan politics holds back positive development in our city. It’s that simple. We are a new kind of minor party that is genuinely independent, built from the bottom up and not tied to the Democratic and Republican parties (which the other minor parties are, big time!).

The Independence Party has over 100,000 members in New York City. Nearly 5,000 of them have joined local county committees in all five boroughs, the governing bodies of the organization. Thousands more sign petitions, volunteer, and play a role in the Independence Party’s many campaigns for political reform.

We support political reforms that bring the one million New York independents into the heart of the political process. Initiatives like nonpartisan municipal elections, seating independents on the Board of Elections, separating party interest from the public interest, and making sure that good policy, rather than partisan politics, guides the running of this city – are the core principles of our independent movement.

We have worked to build a new electoral coalition in New York City, the Black and Independent Alliance, which took center stage in 2005 when 47% of African American voters and 65% of independent voters gave their support to the Independence Party’s mayoral candidate, Mike Bloomberg, in his re-election bid. We’ve partnered with Mike Bloomberg since 2001, when the votes on our line gave him his first margin of victory. In 2007, Mayor Bloomberg became an independent himself and we believe he has governed our city in a nonpartisan fashion. In 2009 the Independence Party received 150,000 votes on our line for Mayor Bloomberg, a record breaking number for a minor party.

New Yorkers now have an independent option. The New York City Independence Party believes in change and community. We need to change the culture of New York politics so that it is grounded in genuine civic debate that includes and empowers all New Yorkers. And it is by building a new community of independents from the bottom up that we can effect that change.


Brooklyn Whatever has shut down

Not too long ago Rachel, the mom, was unemployed and Abe, the son, couldn’t find the right job. The universe spoke quietly at first, then more loudly urging them to become partners and make food that makes people happy. They said it couldn’t work, a mom and her son working together.

They set out on a path that was bumpy at first, but as time went on it got smoother. Rachel and Abe work side by side day in and day out producing the products, going to street fairs, creating the logo, branding, labels, and of course selling the product and shipping it out.

Brooklyn Whatever was born on a dream to offer the highest quality Shnacks to you, the customer. A mom and son built a business from scratch, have found their purpose and are so grateful to have each other to try something totally different.

Here are the best neighborhoods in Brooklyn to live in.

A true family business expanding everyday as Rachel and Abe grow from being a mom and son to business partners blessed with a direction and purpose, committed to delicious, environmentally conscious products. Made by IMHONYC.com

Certified Brooklyn Made by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

NYC Greek Film Festival

It is worth noting that this year, apart from the Greek features, documentaries and shorts, the festival launches a new section with international productions of Greek interest -meaning films with Greek elements no matter the country of their origin. Furthermore, a purely international section of short films from all over the world will be introduced, at the online edition of NYCGRFF only.

The festival has also the honor of presenting, in collaboration with notable Greek archeologists and in world premiere, a digital exhibition of listings from the sublime history of world’s greatest Greek of all times: Alexander the Great. An expo already sheltered at the Greek Institute of Venice.

Support by IMHONYC.com

In the 14th century, Alexios Komninos, the emperor of Trabzon, commissions a manuscript with Alexander the Great’ s recounting of events for his private library. Compiled by the era’s most able copyists, the manuscript is also enriched with 250 miniatures narrating the entire life course of the magnificent warrior.

The main goal of this unique initiative is to showcase the Macedonian ruler who spread the Greek spirit and the Greek culture throughout the then known world, to portray the man who was loved and honored like no other Greek. Within this context, an exhibition of Alexander the Great-themed engravings, carved by important artists from “XOTARIS” Gallery, will also take place.

In addition, this year’s festival has also organized a special tribute to the female gender, and more precisely to the topics of Women’s Abuse in modern society. A musical performance presented by the notable artist Maro Theodoraki, with female Greek New Yorkers performing songs especially written for women by renowned composers, is scheduled within this framework.

In short, an entire week of arts and culture, ablaze with outstanding images. Films, tributes, exhibitions. Meetings and chats with filmmakers who will be present in our exceptional festivities with their works. But also surprise honoring ceremonies and movie parties.

Our Mission

The emergence of Greek culture through the art of filmmaking. The creation of opportunities for cooperation on all technical and artistic levels internationally, not only for all the participating filmmakers, but also for all Greek artists.

Bedlam NYC

Bedlam is a gay owned mixed (gay and Str8) bar in the heart of Alphabet City featuring Burlesque, Pop dance, gay underwear parties, and pop up sexy events. Owned by award-winning nightlife promoter Daniel Nardicio. Patrons love the strong drinks, great music—some of it throwback favorites that you forgot you loved—and a lively dance floor atmosphere that takes over nightly. Support by IMHONYC.com

It’s a 1600-square foot nightclub and performance space, located in Manhattan’s renowned East Village neighborhood. The venue consists of two spaces—a large main hall with a 35′ bar facing several cozy banquettes, and an intimate back lounge. Looking to live new york city? check out the top areas to live in.

It was open from 2010 to 2020. Probably another victim to Covid

Many people are moving in and out of NYC due to pandemic. If you’re looking to move around, then use one of the top moving companies in NYC.

How To Move to NYC: Tips To Save, Relocate Alone

Having some questions on your upcoming move to New York City? Want to find answers to those questions?

Moving to New York City is a huge decision to make and it is life-changing. Depending on where you are coming from, the adjustment period may be significant or not.

If you come from San Francisco or Los Angeles, the two cities have a lot of similarities, so adjusting to your new life in NYC might not that be that difficult. But it will be more challenging if you are from Texas.

Many wish to live in The City that Never Sleeps because it offers many opportunities no matter what field of work you are in. If you already have a job waiting for you that’s why you are moving there, congratulations! If you don’t have work there, but you are still moving in New York City, best of luck!

Check over the best moving companies in NYC to help you relocate in the Big Apple.

Most questions before relocating to the Empire State is about money – from the budget before moving to the expected salary when they are looking for jobs.

How Much Money Should I Save Before Moving To NYC?

New York City is a very expensive place. So, don’t be surprised if you hear several friends discouraging you from moving to The Big Apple.

If you are not familiar with the place, then I tell you, the living expenses there are significantly higher compared to other cities especially if you want to live in Manhattan.

In fact, many were surprised because they felt that their money was disappearing from their bank account without them knowing how they spent it. The change in budget will be more noticeable especially if you are relocating from Portland, Oregon, or Ashville where prices are lower.

You will need cash but your budget when moving to New York City largely depends on your lifestyle and several other factors.

🗽 You may ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do you have a job lined up?
2. Do you have a place to live or share?
3. What do you do for a living?
4. Are you thrifty with your expenses?

Depending on your answers from the questions above, you’ll probably have an idea of how much you should save. If you have a job waiting for you, then you don’t have to save much because you will soon have your paycheck.

Also, it’s difficult to really say how much you need to save because there are a lot of things to consider like the exact location. For instance, the apartment fee depends on the location, in Queens, you will find cheaper rents compared in Manhattan.

To give you an idea, here’s an overview of an estimate in a budget. Here are some of the things you need to consider.


According to Rent Jungle, the average rent across housing sizes and all NYC boroughs is over $3,500 per month.

In Manhattan, luxury areas drive average prices are close to $4,200 per month while in Brooklyn the rent is around $2,700.

If you want to save more, the average rent in the outer boroughs of Staten Island, the Bronx and Queen is cheaper.

For the rent, you can save more if you share an apartment with a roommate. Most of the money you will make will probably go to rent, so share an apartment especially if you are in a tight budget.

Elena Haskins told CNBC Make It that rent is the biggest expense for her but living in New York City is worth it because there is so much opportunity in the place that she can’t imagine herself living anywhere else.

“Yes, it’s expensive, but there are places that you can live, especially for recent grads or young people or people on a budget, as long as you are balancing your money properly,” she said.

Haskins rents an apartment in Brooklyn and pays $950 a month for half of the apartment.


You need to set a budget for transportation because you will be moving around the city. Your transportation will depend on whether you drive your own car or commute and how often you travel.

If you have your own car, you will have to spend on the garage, parking, and fuel. If you commute daily, it will be wiser if you set a budget for your daily commute. The city has an impressive subway system and it’s the cheapest mode of transportation. A one way ticket costs $2.75, so a round trip will cost you $5.50.

You can save more if you get the unlimited monthly pass for $120. The transit costs higher, but those with a lower income can qualify for a reduced fare.


Food is also very expensive in NYC. According to Numbeo.com data from May 2019, the average cost of groceries per person for a month is about $471.34.

But the average for the U.S. as a whole is only $150.

For references, Haskins spends $340 for her food monthly. She only spends $120 for her groceries and $220 on restaurants.

But she also notes that the amount changes depending on if her friends are in town because she tends to spend more going out.

Also, she avoids delivery because she doesn’t want to pay the delivery fee.


Your electricity might run between $150 to $200 while your cable might cost you $120 per month.

But you should also consider other expenses like your subscriptions (gym, Spotify, Netflix, more), entertainment, phone, and laundry to name a few.

In general, if you make $6,000 you can live comfortably depending on how you spend. In fact, some make it at $50,000 annually.

In fact, Haskins, who graduated in 2018 lives comfortably in New York with only $50,000 income annually. She has part-time jobs and is still paying her student loan.

“I definitely think you can live comfortably on a salary of $50,000, even in New York City,” Haskins said. “It’s an expensive city, but I think if you know where your money is going and you recognize what your priorities are, it’s totally doable.”

What Salary Do You Need To Live In NYC?

How much should you make to live comfortably in NYC? New York City is as expensive as you want.

If you know how to manage your finances and you get a decent paying job, you will get around in NYC.

For instance, take it from Haskins, she makes it with only $50,000 annually. When looking for a job, make sure that your salary can cover your expenses. Cut the wants and focus only on your needs.

For individuals, you can get by with $50,000 annually but for families, the amount will change depending on the number of individuals and the ages of the kids.

According to ZipRecruiter, as of Sept. 30, 2020, the average annual pay for the average jobs category in New York City is $73, 123 a year.

Here’s a table of the average salary in NYC.

Salary Range /Percentile25th Average75th
Annual Salary$54,294$73,123$81,168
Monthly Salary$4,524$6,094$6,764
Weekly Salary$1,044$1,406$1,561
Hourly Salary$26 $35$39

Again, the salary that you need to survive in NYC depends on your lifestyle, what you do, and how many you are in the household.

Also, the salary depends on your profession.

How Can I Move To New York By Myself?

If you are moving to New York on your own, no problem because that’s possible!

Many already did it and they were fine. But before you book a trip to NYC, you should be ready for the life that awaits you there.

Here are some moving hacks and tips that you can do to keep the move smooth and hassle-free.

Save money

Start by saving money because New York is expensive.

You need to have enough money to spend especially if you are moving there without a job waiting for you. Your budget depends on how you spend.

Minimizing your expenses is very helpful especially if you are on a tight budget. It’s best if you aim to save for a figure with at least three zeros behind it. You have to learn how to budget and live within your means to survive.

Research about the place

NYC is a large, dynamic, and culturally diverse city. It is very important that you familiarize yourself with the area before the day you move.

Also, doing this will boost your excitement and fill you with knowledge about your future home.

🗽 Check out reputable travel guides and read news about NYC to have a grasp on what’s going on in the city. You can also visit its official website: http://www1.nyc.gov

If you have the budget and time, you should visit the five boroughs of the city. Doing so will also help you decide where you want to live.

Look for a job

If you don’t have a job waiting for you in New York City, you should start sending your CV even before your moving day.

Since you are moving there on your own, you have to make sure that you won’t run out of funds and finding a job is the safest thing to do.

Your unemployment will not be fun when your money starts to dwindle.

Also, New Yorkers are often very busy and are always on the go. You should get a job soon to help you with your finances.

Here are some tips to score a job soon.

Find opportunities. Look for opportunities in areas that interest you. New York has it all from finance, banking and communication. If you are still figuring what you really want, no problem, the city is ripe with opportunity.

Use a local New York address. Preferably use your new address if you already have one.

Cover travel expenses. Offer to cover the travel expenses to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job.

Choose where you want to live

Again, NYC is a very big area and the prices of commodities differ from one borough to another.

It’s best if you make up your mind ahead where you want to live.

Here are the five boroughs that you need to familiarize with.

The Bronx. It is the home of the New York Yankees and where the hip hop genre is born. You can also find the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden.

Brooklyn. This is the tourists’ favorites because it is the home of Brooklyn Bridge, Prospect Park, and Park Slope.

Manhattan. This is probably the most expensive city and where you can find the city’s most famous attractions like Times Square, the Empire State Building, Central Park, and Broadway.

Queens. The home of the New York Mets and the Queens Botanical Garden.

Staten Island. It is known for Staten Island Ferry, Historic Richmond Town, and NYC’s largest forest preserve.

You can also narrow down your choices by considering the neighborhoods

Greenwich Village. One of the most expensive neighborhoods where you can find New York University and Washington Square Park.

SoHo. The neighborhood is full of art galleries and upscale shops.

Financial District. Home of Wall Street, One World Trade Center, Federal Hall, Battery Park City and 9/11 Memorial

Meatpacking District. Home of the Chelsea Market and Whitney Museum of American Art and a prime neighborhood for fine dining and nightlife.

Tribeca. It’s among the hottest and priciest neighborhoods with a lot of warehouse buildings, luxury condos and restaurants. The neighborhood is also very safe.

Brooklyn Heights, East Village and Forest Hills are also safe but a little bit pricey too.

Once you have already decided where part of NYC you want to live, the next section will be easier for you because you will know where you want to look for an apartment.

Find an apartment

Search for an apartment in the area where you wish to live.

However, be prepared to spend more than what you initially expect because rentals in New York City are quite expensive.

When searching for an apartment consider the following:

Commute. If you will be out of your apartment regularly for work or other purposes, consider the bus stops and subway stations from your area. It’s best if the subway and bus stops are accessible from your place.

Safety. Before choosing an apartment, you have to look into the safety of the neighborhood. So, ask potential neighbors and look up crime statistics.

Sublet. Instead of leasing, you might want to consider subletting an apartment for a few months rather than signing a year lease right away. This arrangement will also allow you to save more because you don’t have to pay for a broker fee and skip the credit check portion of the apartment search.

Also, you can find sublets on Craiglist and other online listing websites. You can also search for it online or ask a friend if you know one in the area.

Facilitate your move

Moving to a new city will not be easy. And since’ it’s not easy, you have to do a lot of things to make it work.

Here is a list of to-do’s to make your relocation smooth and hassle-free.

Schedule your moving day. Set the date of your move. This is very important because you will base your other schedules on it.

If you are in a budget, moving in February is the cheapest.

Pack. Prepare weeks or months ahead before your moving day. This will free you from a lot of stress and this will also give you so much time so you won’t pack hastily and forget important items.

Work with a mover if needed. If you have a lot of things to move, you might need to book a mover company to help you handle your things. This is very important especially if you are moving by yourself and don’t have friends to help you do it.

Think about storage. If you are occupying a small space and have a lot of things, you should consider renting a storage space. If you need it, you should rent earlier because the demand for storage is higher than the supply.

Additional tips

1. Make sure your lease is the one you want.

2. Secure the locks of your door because NYC locksmiths charge hundreds of dollars for a 3-minute lock-pick job.

3. Get a good winter coat and boots because NYC is very cold during winter.

4. Find roommates in NYC to share with your apartment if it’s too expensive.

5. Keep a budget and stick with it.

6. Ask for the nearest laundry and dry cleaners because you will need it.

7. Hustle and don’t depend on one salary for survival.

8. Take advantage of free attractions and events to ease boredom.

9. Be socially active. New Yorkers are mostly busy but they are very social and friendly too.

10. Don’t overindulge because the city offers a lot of enticements.

Can I Move To NYC Without A Job?

It’s more preferable to move to NYC with a job, but if you don’t have one yet, no problem. It’s still possible to do so.

However, you need a huge amount of money to survive and keep you covered while you are job hunting.

Here are some of the things you can do when moving to NYC without a job.

Make sure you have enough savings

Again NYC is very expensive, but this may depend on your lifestyle. Some were able to make it and live comfortably at $500. Your expenses won’t stop while you look for a job, so make sure that you have enough money that can cover you for a couple of months at least.

Learn to network effectively

Once you’re in New York City, you should attend as many networking events as possible because it’s the easiest way to meet new friends and prospective employers. This is very important, especially that people prefer to hire someone who is personally recommended to them.

In New York, your networking doesn’t just depend online like cold messages on LinkedIn. You have to give it time. If you are not socially active this might be more challenging for you. In NYC, networking usually happens at bars and coffee shops.

Do not sign a lease, get a sublet

Since you have no job yet, it’s best if you sublet and not lease an apartment. A sublet is a better alternative because it is more flexible than the traditional lease.

With it, you don’t have to stay for a year because some offer a month-to-month arrangement.

Your credit score will not be examined or be affected because your credit report will not be checked unlike when you are renting.

Also, you will pay less because those who sublet are willing to settle for a lower amount to cover the rent.

Moreover, you will save more because you don’t have to pay for a lease agreement which can be overwhelming. Many landlords require first and last month’s rent plus a security deposit can be very pricey, but you don’t have to pay that much when you sublet.

Usually, sublets on caretakers only require you to pay the first month’s rent plus a security deposit and that is often negotiable.

Most importantly, sublets are not for a long-term stay, so this is the best arrangement to test out the neighborhood. This is also a great option if you don’t have a job yet and might need to relocate later.

Salary matters

By now you already have an idea how much is the average salary in NYC, you should aim for a salary that can support your needs and more.

There are many new opportunities in New York, so don’t settle for a lesser-paid job if it will make you feel underpaid.

Know what you want and pursue it. Don’t just accept any job offer unless the pay can support your standard of living.

Apply consistently.

Don’t wait for the time when you will be desperate for a job before you find one. Fill out online applications even if you don’t have employee referrals because some still scored interviews from those. In fact, many ended up having their dream jobs from those online forms.

Know what you want

Don’t just send applications, be sure that you want the job you are applying for. Also, don’t get yourself stuck waiting for hiring managers who don’t respond within a reasonable time frame.

Also, move forward from intimidating interviews. Be sure that your future job is aligned with your skills, experience, and values.

Remember this, you are selling yourself when you apply for a job and it’s important that you are honest. Searching for a job can be a humbling and empowering experience.

If you encounter a lot of rejections, it can be frustrating and annoying, but don’t lose hope. Just continue to persevere until you get what you want because it’s worth it to live in New York City!


Relocating to New York City is fun, exciting, and definitely life-changing. It might not be easy at first but it is doable.

In fact, you can do it yourself just to make sure that you already have an apartment and enough savings to cover your expenses because it’s really expensive in NYC.

Also, there are millions of people in The Big Apple but it can still be isolating if you don’t know anyone in the area, so you should prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. Be socially active and immerse yourself.

If you are looking for a job don’t lose heart if ever you’ll encounter several rejections because that’s normal in NYC. Live your dream and fight for it, you are meant to live in NYC!

33 Moving Hacks, Tips And Tricks

Are looking for some moving hacks on how to make moving easier? Do you want to learn new tips for packing when moving house?

Most of those who transferred to their new homes found the entire experience stressful. You do not necessarily need to experience.

If you are transferring to a new place and want the entire experience to be stress-free, you’ve got to prepare for it and we have tons of tips and tricks for moving that will surely be helpful to you.

Here are some moving hacks and moving tricks and tips for a fun and hassle-free experience when you move to your new house.

1. Declutter

One of the things that you can do to make your moving day much easier is to declutter.

Get rid of the things you do not need before you start packing.

By removing the things that you do not need, you will have fewer things to box and load.

This will also help you save time and money. Not to mention, less stuff means less stress.

2. Sort Things By Category

Spend a day organizing your stuff by category – books, shoes, papers, clothes and more. You can also put a box for items that you want to donate and another box for items to sell stuff.

If you have furniture for sale you can put it on Craiglist or AptDeco. For branded clothing try Poshmark or a local consignment store. If you have specialty items like a slightly used Coach bag you can put it on eBay.

3. Look For A Professional Moving Company

Research ain’t fun but thanks to Yelp and Google, you won’t have a hard time finding one.

It’s very important to take your time in finding a reputable company with excellent customer service because they will play a huge role in your move.

The company can make or break your moving experience. But you’ve got to be careful because there are many people claiming to offer this service when they just own a truck.

“There are tens of thousands of people claiming to be a moving company when in actuality it’s just some guy with a van trying to make some extra money,” said Mike Sulkowska of Lift NYC.

Here are the top moving companies in NYC.

Lift NYC Movers

Lift NYC is one of the most trusted and reputable companies in NYC. When finding one, read its list of services, fine print, refund, or damage policies. It is not as established as Morgan Manhattan because it just started operating in 2013. But the company has already gained a solid reputation because of its excellent customer service.

Lift NYC Movers don’t just pack your items, they also make sure that your items are safe and protected. But what makes them outstanding is the way they communicate and handle your concerns and inquiries from costs to explaining the process. They are very easy to work with.

Veteran Movers NYC

It has a high Yelp score and the company’s workers are veterans. Jesse Gartman started the company in 2011 to provide meaningful work to his fellow veterans.

Rabbit Movers

Another reputable company like Veteran Movers NYC, but you will be trusting your move to a team of artists like writers and musicians not veterans. They are known for handling heirloom furniture collection and other large and fragile objects.

JP Urban

This is a local moving company co-own by John McCutcheon who majored in music at Carnegie Mellon. They have a reputation for moving pianos. In 2015, it was named the best move by New York Magazine.

Morgan Manhattan

The brand has over 100 years of experience. They are the best choice when moving an entire home and specialized items like artwork and antiques in Manhattan. They also oversee both long-distance and international moves.

4. Schedule A Moving Day

Here’s one of the most unpopular moving hacks – Plan your moving date ahead and choose the cheapest time of the month. According to the RentHop study, February is the cheapest month in New York.

Rental prices start to increase in early May and peak around June, July and August. The rent starts to drop starting in October before reaching a low in February.

“Interestingly, the lower-price periods and higher-price periods actually last for a while, and seasonal price flips happen fairly rapidly (over a span of only 1-2 months),” RentHop says.

5. Create A Master List With A To-Do List And Schedule Everything

Many skip this because they think that it is optional. But, you will soon realize that you will inevitably end up doing more than what you expect and having a list will surely come handy.

This is one of the moving tips often overlooked, but it is very helpful.

You can write your to-do’s and schedule in a notebook or use organization apps on your phone. Some of the free apps that you can use to organize your moving schedules and to do’s are:

  • Asana
  • Trello
  • Timeful
  • Evernote
  • Awesome Notes

When it comes to listing items, list everything that comes into your mind. Include the date when you need to accomplish it. For example:

  • Sunday (Oct. 4): Buy moving boxes other moving essentials
  • Monday (Oct. 5): Call moving Company
  • Wed (Oct 7): Drop items for donation/sale
  • Sat (Oct. 31): Moving Date

Also, list all the things needed especially your master contact list. It’s best if you keep all these details in one notebook.

6. Check If You Have Original Boxes And Buy If Necessary

You have to keep your appliances, electronics and other items safe during the transport. Start by checking if you still have the original boxes.

If you don’t have it anymore, then you should buy new ones. To save more, check out if your local liquor stores their used boxes and if you can buy from them.

7. Color Code And Label Your Boxes

It will be easier for you if your boxes are color-coded.

Using labels, stickers and colors make packing things much faster.

When labeling your moving boxes, you do not need to do something special or really spend on it.

You can use any material available at home like markers, colors, sticky labels and colored labels.

Color coding is very easy to do, here’s a quick tip to do it:

• Assign a color to each room or region of your new home. You can also assign a color for the fragile items or your books to make it easier for you to organize them later on.
• Chose a distinct color for each room – green, blue, red, orange, purple or yellow.
• Use colored packing tape to seal the box
• Use the same color marker to write on the label or print label with that color font
• Coordinate with the movers or anyone who is helping you transport your items, so they will know which things need extra care.
• Print a color key for the movers for reference

Tip: You can purchase home moving color coding labels on Amazon. If you have color markers and only plan to label your box, yourself, that will do.

It’s best to label it on the side not just on the top for easy reading. This is among the packing hacks that proved to be very effective, so don’t miss it.

8. Create A Number System

Color coding and writing labels are very helpful, but if you want to take it further, then create a number system.

When you pack your things, your kitchen or bathroom stuff will likely occupy two or more boxes.

So, numbering them and listing what’s inside each box will help you a lot.

For example, if you have 5 boxes labeled “Bathroom” and the plunger is on box #3, then you don’t have to go through each box labeled with “Bathroom” and dig where the plunger is.

Also, by using a number system, you will know exactly the number of boxes you are transporting and will easily spot if one goes missing or stolen.

9. Change Your Address A Week Before You Move Out

Many are excited to occupy their new home but don’t update their address. It’s best if you change your address a week before you move out of your old place.

Do this and avoid the disappointment of having your shipment and bills delivered in your old home.

Do this for your bills, credit card statement and packages, so they will arrive on time and without hassle in your new place.

This is one of the moving tips and tricks that many underestimate and only realized later when they’ve been waiting for their late package for weeks.

10. Schedule Disconnect Times

If you applied for cable, internet and electricity in your old place, you have to inform them if they have to be disconnected.

Figure out when it has to be done and make sure that you still have enough time to gather the necessary item that you might need to return.

11. Call In Favors Early

If you have no plans to work with a moving company and you are relying on friends and family to help you move your things, it’s best to inform them ahead.

Call them in advance and inform them of your moving date.

Be courteous to give them a month’s notice. If you have kids, do the same to their babysitters.

You can send them email and inform them where to meet, what to bring and what to wear to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

12. Pack A Personal Overnight Bag

One of the most undervalued tips for moving packing is keeping a personal overnight bag.

Moving a bunch of stuff is not easy. It’s time-consuming and very tiring.

The day might end before you realizing that there are still a lot stuff that needs to be done.

Save yourself some energy and time and get your essentials ready and accessible. Prepare ahead with get a personal overnight bag ready.

The bag should include a change of clothes, your toiletries, your laptop, charger and other stuff that you regularly use even your favorite mug and pillow. This will also make your new place feel more like home.

13. Be A Good Host

Take care of the people who help you move regardless if they are paid or not.

So, make sure that you have some beverage or snacks ready for everyone.

You can order a pizza or anything and have it delivered.

If your guests have preferred food but the restaurant doesn’t offer a delivery service, no problem. You can use the following apps because they are available in New York.

• Postmates
• Uber Eats
• DoorDash
• GrubHub
• Caviar
• Seamless
• Slice

Tips For Packing When Moving House

Here are more moving packing tips to get all your stuff ready with less time and hassle.

These moving tricks and tips are particularly focused on packing. You should do them days before yours scheduled moving day, so you won’t be in a rush.

14. Cover Bottles – Cover all liquid bottles with plastic wrap to avoid a messy explosion.

15. Defrost – Defrost your fridge a day before moving out to avoid a leak and nasty smells.

16. Cut handles – Cut handles into the sides of the cardboard boxes for easy lifting.

17. Heavy items in suitcase – Place your heavy items inside your suitcase for easy transportation.

18. Packing personal items – Place the things that you will immediately need in a clear plastic wrap so you can easily locate them. This might include your toiletries or towel.

19. Roll your clothes – Roll clothes instead of folding them to save space.

20. Packing plates – Stack plates with styrofoam plates to keep it from breaking. You can also use packing paper or paper towel.

21. First day basket -Pack a first day basket with disposable plates, cups, and cutlery so you and the movers can eat comfortably without you digging out the boxes to find where you place your dishes.

22. Clothes and hangers on plastic bags – Slide clothes on hangers directly into garbage bags for fast and speedy unpacking.

23. Pack supplies basket – Keep packing supplies in a basket that you can easily move from one room to another.

24. Jewelry in egg cartons – Use egg cartons to pack your jewelry, so they will keep tangle-free.

25. Decors on storage bins – Invest in storage bins for holiday decor and other items that will be in storage.

26. Packing heavy and light items – Use small boxes for heavier items and large ones for light items like decorative pillows, towels and linens.

27. Use bubble wraps or blankets – Use packing paper, bubble wrap or blankets to secure your fragile dishwasher and decorative items. Use them to keep your glasses, vases, and bowls safe.

28. Take pictures of electronic setups – Take pictures of your electronics before taking them apart, so you will know how to put back the cords. This will make it easier for you to setup your TV or monitor.

29. Packing important documents safe – Keep all your important documents in one place in case of emergency.

30. Cleaning supplies – Set aside cleaning supplies to do a final sweep in your old home. They are also useful once you reach your new abode. So, set aside the broom, mop, dustpan, duster, sponge and other cleaning products in one box.

31. Loading heavy furniture – Load the heavy furniture first like sofas and sectionals and put lighter items over it.

32. Take photo of new place – Take a photo of your new home especially if you are renting before you start stacking the boxes to note any existing damage if there is.

33. Make your bed – Make your bed as soon as you move in. Certified professional organizer and productivity consultant Jennifer Lava recommends this, so you can just crash out right away when you have to because the whole day would be very tiring.


These moving hacks are tested and proven effective.

If you’re moving houses, you should get yourself ready and well-prepared for any setbacks during your transfer.

Also, get your things ready in packages but declutter first because that’s how to make a move easier.

And don’t forget to apply the practical packing tips when moving house as listed above because they can definitely turn the whole experience monumental without the unnecessary stress but pure joy.

Leaving an old home and transferring to a new house is a celebration and not a nightmare. So, be sure that you get all the stuff ready for a peaceful and enjoyable move because you deserve that.


What is City Voices?

New York City Voices: A Peer Journal for Mental Health Advocacy is statewide in circulation and reporting. It was founded in 1995 by Ken Steele, a paranoid schizophrenic who lived inside the delusions and hallucinations of his disease for 32 years. It has become a journal where mental health consumers, ex-patients/survivors, family members, and professional helpers can let their voices be heard, providing mutual support for living the most empowered and independent lives possible. This journal is inclusive of all ideas and opinions which advance the quality of life for people with mental illness and their families.

New York City Suicide Prevention
If you or someone need help please contact https://omh.ny.gov/omhweb/suicide_prevention/

General Staff:

  • Founder: Ken Steele
  • Editor-in-Chief: Marvin Spieler
  • Original Website Creator: Richard Lenat
  • Current Web Designer/Webmaster: Diana Jackson
  • Layout Editor: Lawrence Kim
  • Photographer: Marty Cohen
  • Poetry Editor: Kurt Sass

Columnists/Associate Editors

  • “Alternative Healing” Column: Sue Batkin, CSW
  • “Ask the Doctor” Column: Steve Goldfinger, MD
  • “Ask the Housing Experts” Column: Daniel Stern & Elizabeth Peterson
  • “Ask the Pharmacist” Column: Steve Kaufman, RPH
  • “Ask the Therapist” Column: Rita Seiden, CSW, PhD
  • “Bruni in the City” Column: Christina Bruni
  • “Editor at Large” Column: Marvin Spieler
  • “Justice for All” Column: Daniel Phillips
  • “Gay/Straight Human” Column: Christian Huygen
  • “Roving Photographer” Column: Marty Cohen
  • “Peers on Relationships” Column: Michelle Bruenn & Jenny Chan
  • “Veterans’ Issues” Column: Kenyatta Yamel
  • “Ward Stories”: Kurt Sass

Editorial Board Members

Mariann Coleman, Tom Furey, Steve Goldfinger, Steve Homan, Kurt Sass, Marvin Spieler and Will Jiang.

New York City Voices is statewide in circulation and news reporting.

New York City Voices is made possible through our subscribers, donors, advertisers, foundation and corporate grants.

Sometimes you have to break out of your routine and move to a different location. Checkout best movers in NYC to help you relocate

The Hierarchy of Mental Illness

Which diagnosis is the least debilitating?

By Vanessa Ferney

There was a time when people were reluctant to disclose that they were depressed. It was considered a weakness by society at large. Seeing a therapist meant a person was unstable and a misfit. Today, that is still true in many parts of America. In New York City, however, depression and therapy reflect metropolitan lifestyle, as if life in the Big Apple mirrors a Woody Allen movie.

In the arts, it is normal to be depressed and in therapy. Prozac is consumed like candy in the eyes of the public, and it is almost unfashionable not to be depressed from time to time.

Being manic-depressive is now becoming acceptable in various communities as well. Robin Williams fans can attest to the fact that he is at his best and funniest when he reduces his Lithium. Mania has a reputation for being exciting and fun very often, with the negative aspects of bipolar occurring when depressed. Mania is considered equivalent to acting like a caffeine addict who drinks 15 cups of coffee per day. Anyone with serious manic depression, however, knows that mania can be quite horrific, involving paranoia, delusions, or even hallucinations, which are symptoms rarely discussed by the public. Yet, if someone says they are bipolar, it is still somewhat acceptable.

Next on the food chain of mental illness comes schizoaffective disorder, which cannot be fully understood without being familiar with full-blown schizophrenia. Schizoaffective disorder combines the symptoms of schizophrenia with those of a mood disorder. If you are schizoaffective, you are either unipolar or bipolar type, which means that you either suffer from symptoms of depression, or manic depression while also experiencing the more flavorful and prevalent schizophrenic symptoms. Schizoaffectives are considered to have a “better” prognosis than schizophrenia, but a “worse” prognosis than either mood disorder alone. This, however, is not always the case.

There are many people with depression or bipolar disorder that may at some point be less functional than someone with schizoaffective disorder, than with schizophrenia. Every individual must be considered unique with symptoms that affect their level of functioning differently. According to the public, however, being schizophrenic is ALWAYS considered worse than being bipolar, which is ALWAYS considered worse than being depressed. As far as schizoaffective disorder is concerned, most people have never even heard of it. It might as well be some new kind of dance craze or type of breakfast cereal. On my computer, the word schizoaffective is underlined in red because the computer does not recognize it as a real word. Those few who are remotely knowledgeable about schizoaffective disorder, tend to consider it nearly as “bad” as schizophrenia. It can even be argued that it is in fact a kind of schizophrenia, though it still has a different make-up of symptoms and is listed as a separate category in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual).

Some schizoaffectives are actually “worse” off than schizophrenics, because they have symptoms from not one, but two diseases. Again, every individual is different.

Ironically, the same impression of various mental illnesses exists among people who are mentally ill, as within the public at large. The mentally ill tend to stigmatize themselves as much as others stigmatize them, otherwise known as self stigma. Many mentally ill people are afraid to disclose not just to society, but to EACH OTHER, and sometimes with good reason.

Manic depressives are considered “crazier” than depressed people, especially BY depressed people. That goes double, triple, quadruple for schizoaffectives and schizophrenics.

For example, suppose you were in a support group of people with mood disorders. It is perfectly acceptable to discuss your depression, how hard it is to get out of bed, your medication regimen, your therapy, and so on. A bipolar person discusses these things as well, but adds information on mania which includes delusions of grandeur, singing to people in the street, and buying a large plot of land in the South Pacific. The added manic symptoms are foreign to the depressed person and often considered “crazier.”

A schizoaffective in such a group may have depression or mania as well, but then adds something about how their phone is being bugged or how difficult it is for them to learn how to fax a letter. All the more “bizarre” to the depressed person, and even to the bipolar, not because it is truly “crazy,” per se, but because it is something someone who suffers from depression or mania alone has not experienced.

You, the reader, are probably thinking that the schizoaffective is certainly less functional than the depressive because he or she is paranoid or is having cognitive problems. Schizophrenics supposedly drop in IQ once they exhibit symptoms, and everyone thinks of this when considering the state of a schizophrenic or schizoaffective as well. But what about the depressive who stares at the cracks in the ceiling and cannot get out of bed, compared to the high functioning schizoaffective who writes great works of fiction. Or the schizophrenic who is effectively medicated, has a relatively high IQ, and thus very articulate, though still somewhat afraid of the police? Who is “lower” or “higher” on the food chain in this case?

The truth is that you cannot judge a person by his or her diagnosis, and we mental health consumers should know better than that. If we judge each other, then you cannot blame the public for judging us as a group. We mental health consumers need to make a positive impression upon everyone we encounter, mentally ill or not, and prove our abilities. This would be much easier if we would begin by giving each other a chance.

“Good Fences” Make Uncaring Neighbors

On your own with mental illness is an enormous challenge

Elyssa D. Durant, Ed.M.

What must my neighbors think? I am up all night and I sleep all day. I can only write with one pen and I often leave my keys in the door. I am noisy and loud and to make matters worse, I’m from New York. I listen to one song on the radio over and over again.
I take everything I own with me when I leave, and carry it back in when I get home. I am constantly tripping my own feet, and probably offend them with my politics. I am not afraid to say that President Bush looks like the Outbreak Monkey.
So my neighbors may not like me, but they don’t know me. And they don’t care. After being assaulted in my own home several years ago, I noticed my neighbor witnessing the event through his bedroom window. When questioned by the police regarding his failure to act, he simply told them, “Well, as far as I’m concerned, good fences make good neighbors.” Well, fuck him!
Do you know how scary it is to be alone in a strange city? Afraid to leave and afraid to go home? To live in your car because it was the better option? To come home one day and find everything and I mean everything you own was gone? Your birth certificate, your social security card, your grandmother’s jewelry. Where would you start? Would you know what to do? Would you ever go back? Would you ever feel safe again in your own home? Anywhere? Whom would you trust? Whom could you trust? You could trust me. Because this is who I am.
They don’t know that I spend my free time volunteering at the homeless shelter or by myself. They don’t know that I spent most of my twenties in constant fear and physical pain. They don’t know how it feels to live with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I became a prisoner of my own making. I live in fear. Fear of fire, fear of chemicals, fear of the dark. Fear of spending the rest of my life with this damn disease.
I need a map to find my keys, and once I do, I have lost my phone. I like my car. I can see everything coming towards me, and I can always get away. I like to write in my car. With one pen, and one song playing over and over again on the radio. So as I accept the reality that I may never own property or have a place to call home, I can say with certainty that of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most!
You may not care how much I know, but you don’t know how much I care.

A Letter To My Former Therapist

I can be the person I want to be

Elyssa D. Durant, Ed.M.

Hi Elyssa,
It’s nice to hear from you, I had just been thinking of you. Is there a reason why you sent me two copies? Talk to you soon—Elyssa Durant’s Former Therapist

Now how can you call yourself a qualified therapist and ask me such a stupid question? I have at least two of everything!

So my alter-ego as a “cyberwhore” is no longer a secret! I always send duplicate copies of every outgoing e-mail to myself to a number of free-mail accounts. Most have probably expired and I can’t even remember most of the passwords to access them, which leads me to wonder what happens to my written works that I have so carefully created? Do they just float around in cyberspace forever? Are my words now immortal? Does that make me grandiose or paranoid?

I had my first appointment with my new psychiatrist on Wednesday and he seems very “eager” to help. He is a very young resident, and I think he is kind of psyched that he got placed at Vanderbilt in Nashville rather than some community mental health center in rural Tennessee. For his training, he needs a number of hours conducting therapy—so I graciously agreed to be one of his guinea pigs. I negotiated a one-hour session every other week.

I hate therapy. It seems so staged and rehearsed. I actually spend hours before a session trying to think of what I should say.

That never seemed to work with you. That kind of annoyed me, because I wanted you to play the game with me. This is the way it is supposed to work: I’ll tell you what happened as a child, and you tell me the source of my insanity.

I would try to remember the random things that happen each day and let you know that I was telling you the truth about my life, my world, and my family. On many occasions, I would forget my zinger, my “punch-line” if you will, and I would be so disappointed in myself. I would drop these little tidbits of information hoping you would recognize that I was not completely beyond help, and you might understand the method to my madness. Would that make it okay to be so fucked up? Loony. Crazy. Nuts.

You never once said, “Aha!” Instead, you would listen impatiently as I reflected on childhood traumas. Even the most elaborate reports of my childhood experience did not make you flinch—well, maybe a few times! At what point did you realize that there was some truth in what I was telling you? I would say the same thing over and over because I knew it to be true, to be fact, to be far more cruel and evil than anything I could I make believe as a child. I want to stop playing those games. I am ready to be a person. I am ready to love. I am ready to be “normal.”

As I grow, I would like to become more direct, more assertive, and more sure of what I am saying and how it is being received. In the past, I would sit with silence and ambivalence and just fall into situations by default. I don’t want complacency to guide me through life. I am not incapable of protecting myself anymore. I hated being such a passive participant in my own life not knowing where I would be living, with whom, and for how long. Learned helplessness. I wonder how things might have been different…if only.

I will never know how events shaped my life and broke my mind. What caused my mind to break? Was I too weak? Was there some point where I should have thrown in the towel and taken my own life? Was there anything, anything I could have done differently to survive? Is there a “normal” breaking point? Did I put up a good fight? Did I do okay?

I want to act with purpose, speak with conviction, and be confident in my decisions. I want to choose action rather than inaction and feel comfortable with the choices I have made. No more ruminating over what I should have, might have, or almost done.

How did you manage to put my mind back together again without knowing what went wrong? Is my head okay? Can I have children?

You were a good therapist, you are a great therapist– the best!

Patricia Deegan: Prophet and Practitioner of Recovery

By: Carl Blumenthal

Based in Massachusetts, Patricia Deegan is a psychiatric survivor and activist, psychologist and consultant to government and community-based mental health agencies. In 1987-8, she wrote the seminal paper, “Recovery: The Lived Experience of Rehabilitation.” Since then she has spoken around the world about her personal and professional experience of recovery.

For the past ten years, Deegan has worked with a mental health agency, Advocates Inc., to develop the Intentional Care Approach. The Intentional Care Approach teaches workers to purposefully build relationships with clients that support the recovery process. The Approach includes client choice, respectful communication, professional boundaries, confidentiality, cleaning in supported housing, community integration, the role of the direct services worker, and cleaning in group home settings.

Intentional Care is not meant to be a cookbook. Instead it focuses on the many ambiguous situations that mental health staff face every day and offers workers a guide to navigating these situations. If a client offers a worker a pair of leather gloves for a holiday gift, is it okay for the worker to receive this gift? If a client makes a choice that appears to be self-defeating, how should workers engage with the client about that choice? If a client hasn’t showered in a couple of weeks, what would a recovery-oriented approach to that situation be? How can workers avoid stigmatizing clients when they write clinical notes? How do workers balance a clinical team’s need to know with a client’s right to privacy? Intentional Care provides workers with a coherent way to translate the principles of recovery into daily practice.

Five field sites around the country are piloting the Intentional Care Approach. A vibrant on-line learning community, including dozens of mental health agencies, continues to make innovations in the Approach. Mental health consumer/survivors have taken an interest in the Approach. You can learn more about Intentional Care at http://www.intentionalcare.org New York City Voices is fortunate to obtain this in-depth interview with one of the leaders in the recovery field.

Voices: How did you get started as a mental health consultant?

Deegan: Recovery was the buzzword in the early 1990s. The cornerstone of a recovery and empowerment-based approach was already there: client choice, self-determination, self-help, and hope. But the question as to how to implement these concepts in daily work remained. There was a chasm between the concepts of recovery and empowerment, and concrete suggestions how to apply the concepts in everyday work in mental health. The chasm between concept and practice was made more intense when we realize that the people who spend the most time with clients are the least experienced, least trained, most underpaid, and most overworked. In many instances, workers were left on their own to figure out how to translate recovery principles into practice.

Voices: What was the key development? Deegan: In the early 1990’s, I challenged the leaders of an agency that I was consulting with. I said it didn’t seem right to have workers out there flying by the seat of their pants. I believed it was possible to do better than that. So the leaders of Advocates Inc. in Framingham, Massachusetts agreed to take me up on my challenge. We developed a methodology that included extensive interviewing of staff and clients. We met three hours a month over the last 10 years and found ourselves with this new and exciting Intentional Care Approach. Voices: How were clients treated before Intentional Care?

Deegan: Workers are well-intentioned, and some of their behavior is exemplary, but the information coming in from our surveys is shocking. Too much of what goes down as standard practice is mediocre and off base. Take professional boundaries: When a client gives a gift, it’s an expression of the way the client feels. That’s part of the relationship with staff. It’s important to recovery. When a client’s gift is rejected, that’s devastating to the client. It lowers self-esteem.

Voices: Is this kind of incident isolated?

Deegan: Unfortunately no. In our surveys we found lots of examples of practices that conceivably could lower client self-esteem and ultimately hinder the recovery process. For example, with regard to issues of professional boundaries, we found that some workers interpreted professional boundaries very rigidly. Some staff thought they should take off their wedding rings so clients wouldn’t know they were married. We found other staff were hiding their CDs when giving clients a ride to conceal any personal information about music preferences. Some of the other practices we found were staff swearing in the presence of clients or bribing clients to sign treatment plans or even threatening clients with going back to the state hospital if they didn’t behave…For a true picture, you have to multiply these examples-especially the more subtle and benign ones-by 100.

Voices: Why is cleaning personal and public property such an important part of Intentional Care?

Deegan: Cleaning is a huge part. When no one takes it seriously, conditions can really deteriorate. Being in a filthy, unsanitary environment is bad for anyone’s mental health. It also lowers our self-esteem. Programs get defunded because apartments are in a shambles. Often staff gets resentful of cleaning. They ask, “Are we a cleaning service?” Clients can square off against staff and say, “Why should I clean this place? It’s not really my place.” Terrible power struggles result from cleaning issues. That’s why it’s important to have an intentional, purposeful way of approaching these issues.

Voices: What’s the promise of Intentional Care?

Deegan: The promise of Intentional Care is to transform the mental health workforce by training them in recovery-oriented approaches to working with clients. In the 1999 report, the Surgeon General called for all mental health services to become recovery-oriented. Intentional Care is part of the solution toward that vision. It’s not the whole answer but it’s part of the equation. Of course, the other things that are needed include more peer support services, decent housing, etc. But in addition you have to change the skills of the workforce. In the experience of the field sites, it can take a year to two years to train staff in the approach using a monthly meeting model.

Voices: Can you document what you’ve done?

Deegan: Although we’re looking for NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) or foundation money to research the impact of Intentional Care, we’ve gotten this far without grants. We know the approach is valuable because agencies that use it tell us they are pleased. The most consistent feedback we get is that the approach gives an agency a vocabulary and framework to address recovery-oriented issues related to the real, nitty-gritty, daily work that staff do with clients. It gives you a consistent, coherent vocabulary and raises up the everyday aspect of recovery.

Voices: Where do consumers fit in?

Deegan: Consumers are recognizing the everyday use of Intentional Care. At the Clubhouse of Suffolk on Long Island NY, members are training staff. Peer groups in western New York are excited because training staff makes consumers more powerful. We hadn’t seen this coming. With some stretching it might apply to family advocates who want staff to meet their expectations. The danger is using Intentional Care as a cookbook. It’s a series of algorithms, of decision-making trees. This is very difficult work we do in mental health, very ambiguous work, and yet most workers are poorly trained and paid.

Voices: What are your plans for the next year?

Deegan: Possibly pairing Intentional Care with certain Evidence-Based Practices such as supported employment. I also have plans that don’t include Intentional Care. I’m working with the University of Kansas on researching a recovery-based approach to using psychiatric medications. I’m working on organizing consumers around the country to restore state hospital cemeteries and to collect oral histories so that the perspective of ex-patients is not forgotten in the history of mental health services. I call that collective recovery. I’m working with Advocates for Human Potential to develop technical assistance materials for state Olmstead planning [about the least restrictive settings for treatment]. Voices: What would you like to see in the future? Deegan: I’d like to expand peer advocacy and self-help, and urge consumer-survivors to never again leave their well-being in the hands of others. We need to continue to challenge forced treatment, make programs less coercive and more attractive to clients, and we need to continue to speak for ourselves. We are facing dangerous trends that undermine self-determination. These would include certain aspects of the new field of genomics/genetics as well as the emergence of psychiatric drug implants. This is where knowledge of our history – of eugenics, forced sterilization, and a host of barbarous, brain-damaging “treatments” such as lobotomies – is instructive. We need to learn from this history and never again leave our fate as a devalued people in the hands of well-intentioned others…Finally we need a viable cross-disability movement. When we come together, people with disabilities are a significant voting block of 43 million people! That’s power. That’s a voice to be reckoned with! We must shape our destiny and speak for ourselves. That’s an empowerment vision.

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