We’ve all heard the truism about New York City, that “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.” And I believe that is absolutely true.
A big part of what makes New York one of the most dynamic cities in the United States is the inherent challenge that that statement poses. Small wonder that New Yorkers learn early about competition.
In fact, that lesson is closely tied to the city’s immigrant roots. New York has so often been referred to as the melting pot of our country, where immigrant families learn to survive by being the brightest and hardest-working people anywhere. And that constant competition in our school systems and workplaces has meant that those of us already here have had to continually improve and stay on top of our game in our pursuit of success, whether that be academically as students or professionally as high achievers in our careers.
Today, New York City is a center for the best financial, legal, technological, medical and scientific minds in the world. It’s home to some of the finest educational institutions in the country, such as Columbia University and New York University. And, for native New Yorkers, the attraction of living here is not just the potential to pass a celebrity on the street or sit near one at a restaurant; it’s also the realization that New York so often reflects the pulse of the nation’s intellectual, commercial and financial innovation and discovery.
Just in case the intangible benefits of being a New Yorker aren’t enough to convince you that the Big Apple is the best city in the world, we also have the following amenities to keep visitors busy, happy and entertained:
• History, in the form of architecture, reflected by such iconic structures as Grand Central Terminal, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Public Library.
• Culture, in the form of the fine arts and performing arts, found at the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall and the Broadway theater district
• Beautiful parks and recreational facilities, which include the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Madison Square Garden, the Bronx Zoo, the Coney Island boardwalk, and the Staten Island Ferry
• Sports teams, which include the Yankees, Mets, Rangers, Islanders, Giants and Jets
• Some of the best restaurants, shops and hotels in the world, as well as a bank, a Starbucks and often multiple street vendors on every corner
In New York, we also enjoy four seasons, have an incredible transportation system and boast the “finest” police force and “bravest” fire department to protect us.
In addition, our job market is good and our economy is stable.
Of course, the “city that never sleeps” is far from perfect. While many of our residents can afford to enjoy all that the city has to offer, sadly we have a great number of working poor residents.
In fact, it’s expensive to live and work in New York. We pay city income tax of up to 3.876 percent in addition to New York State income tax of up to 8.82 percent. We pay a combined state and city sales tax of 8.87 percent on purchases (except for food, pharmaceuticals and clothing under $110).
And like residents of any big city, we struggle with the need for, and availability of, affordable housing. Our subsidized housing is under the supervision of the NYC Housing Development Corporation, which in theory provides housing based upon criteria like a family’s annual income before taxes. Unfortunately, however, the system is broken, and real estate developers have taken advantage of technicalities and loopholes in the system to convert many of the available subsidized or stabilized housing units to market value units.
That’s one of the troubling problems our city is dealing with. But, in spite of this and other clouds hanging over our beautiful city, it’s still one of the best places in the world to live in, work in or just visit. So, whether you hail from Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens or Staten Island, New York is a culturally diverse, intellectually stimulating and a dynamic place to live and work.
Come see for yourself!