Brazil only has samba, beaches and women. In France, people do not bathe. Portuguese are donkeys. Stereotypes of countries and their populations are common. There are even stereotypes and myths about cities. And New York is no different: there are many things being said about the city and not everything is true. In today’s post, I list seven myths that I see that are recurrent and I will try demystified them. It’s a matter of perspective.
1. New York City is just Manhattan
I think this is a classic myth. It is not that people don’t know about the existence of Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island, but some people simply ignore this fact. In fact, there are many people who believe that the city is just about shopping, Central Park, Times Square and Statue of Liberty. The truth is that New York is much more than this and more than Manhattan. There’s plenty to do off the island – you also need to leave it to enjoy all the beauty of the skyline. There are museums, shopping, culture, gastronomy, parks and no obvious programs. So open your mind and expand your horizons, this city has a lot to be seen – check out some different tours in Tours category here on the blog.
2. New York City is too expensive
If we talk about rent and accommodation, yes, New York is a very expensive city. Small and cramped apartments are rented or sold by stratospheric values. But when you go out of the central area and the buzz, the prices are not so expensive. The same applies for hotels – a hotlel in Times Square, which is the place that everyone wants to be, is always expensive. But if you are creative and think outside the box, you can stay in Brooklyn or Queens and save some money. As for other issues such as restaurants, sightseeing and shopping, New York does not have to be expensive at all! There are options for all tastes and pockets. Museums with free admission, gorgeous and public places, discount stores, outlets, local restaurants, street food: these things do not cost a thousand of dollars. It’s all about planning. In this post here, I give some tips to save on your trip.
3. Subway is too complicated
The point is: we are talking about a big city whose subway lines cover much of the territory. Many lines are responsible for making the paths north to south and from east to west. In reality, it is a matter of studying the map and watch directions. You will not leave without a map – in fact, we are in the digital age: you will not leave without your smartphone with a properly app (try NYC Subway). You may make a mistake at the beginning – which is normal – but in the end it all makes sense. My tip is: put the destination on Google Maps, check routes and lines and be happy! Children 10, 12 years use the subway here alone – do not worry, everything works out!
4. New York City is dangerous
Definitely not! In fact, this myth is related to myth number one: when the place is outside the central area of the island or even off the island, we see questions like: it’s safe to go there? I think we are much safer here than many other places in the world. Of course it is not a perfect city, crimes happen and everything, but the city has evolved a lot – for those who do not know, New York has been, in tha past, yes, a very dangerous city. Here, policing is intense, and is very normal walk with cameras, laptops and cell phones in the subway and on the streets.
5. New Yorkers are rude
One thing is certain: we can not generalize. There are many assholes – but let’s remember that they exist anywhere in the world, including here. But overall, I think everyone here is very solicitous and helpful. Only you know, New York is a city where people are very individualistic, they live in their little world – observe a subway. But people are very educated: they say “excuse me”for everything, they apologize for everything.
6. New York City is too noisy and too crowded
Well, we are talking about one of the world’s largest cities and one of the most visited cities in the world. Ambulances are a constant here – already part of the soundtrack. But again, do not generalize a city taking into account only a certain region. The neighborhood where I live, for example, is super quiet. And even living in this jungle of stones, we have several parks that are true valves to escape.
7. Living in New York is glamorous
I think that’s because the neighbor’s grass is always greener – and also because we have a tendency to think that living abroad is fancy – this concept of glamor ends up being so strong. I have already spoken in a post here on the blog about it and I repeat: living in New York is not glamorous. We have routinely, we have to work and we have bills to pay, just like everybody else. Unless you are a millionaire, life here has nothing glamorous.
This subject was already in a video!
Laura Peruchi is a Brazilian blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She has lived in Manhattan with her husband since 2014. Since then, she has shared on her blog varied content about the Big Apple. From travel tips, including unusual things to do, shopping tips, etiquette, restaurants, and a lot more, her blog has become a reference in Portuguese (also available in English) for anyone planning a trip to New York City.