What To Do: Challenges Faced by New York Residents

4:27 pm  |  17.05.2022

New York City is not only the most populous city in the USA, not only has the most sights, or the most single people. Not only do New York have more Italians than Venice, more Irish than Dublin, and more Jews than anywhere else in the world.

There is always something new to discover in the Big Apple: new restaurants, Broadway shows, and new neighborhoods – but one thing remains the curiosities, the little problems of New Yorkers that life in the Big Apple brings with it sometimes make it difficult, but also often smile. How often do you think, “Something like this really only exists here in New York”…

1. Cash Only: Restaurants in New York


There are countless bars and restaurants in New York in a wide variety of price ranges and nations, but almost all of them have one thing in common: “Cash Only” – i.e. card payments are not accepted. Really funny, since even in New York they pay for their $2.50 coffee at Starbucks with a credit card. Of course, it’s not like that everywhere, but pay attention to the small cardboard signs in the windows of the bars. Cash is king.

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2. High Rent for an Apartment in New York

Where else in the world can you get a “proud” 25 square meters of living space for $3000? Here in New York, the price per square meter is shockingly high, and really good apartments at a good price are as rare as the chance of a seat on the subway at rush hour. But the New Yorker pays – the price of living in Manhattan is high.

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3. Roommates? No problem

The next special feature of New York follows from point 2: here you actually still have “roommates”, the so-called “roommates”. Here the apartment, no matter how small, is simply shared in order to be able to manage the high rents.

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4. Big Spending Everyday – The Average Person Spends $50! Per day!

It’s a well-known fact that New York is one of the most expensive cities in the world. On average, the New Yorker spends $50 a day. This only includes the journey to work, lunch, and the return journey. The supermarket prices are accordingly. Have fun and stroll through a supermarket in Manhattan, where many simply have to go shopping if they live there. It’s not for nothing that the gastronomy in New York is busier than anywhere else: a “take out”, i.e. a meal to go, is cheaper than buying the food fresh in the supermarket.

5. Wait, Wait and Wait Again

Speaking of the supermarket: the queues at the checkouts are devastating. But okay, you get in line. Nowhere else have we seen such long queues in a shop as here and nowhere else are people so relaxed. It’s just normal. Even at lunchtime at the fresh food counters in the restaurants, the queues are sometimes in the double-digit meter range. What do you not do? Do what you have to do.

6. Public Toilets in New York 

Public Toilets

An important issue for New Yorkers is the issue of public toilets. Where to go when you have to? Difficult! Our highlight: the public toilet in Central Park. It’s best not to touch anything and stop breathing for as long as you can. One of the most famous New York problems – unfortunately, it doesn’t change the fact that at some point you really just have to do your business.

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7. Reserve a Table in New York? 

“We don’t take reservations”. The motto of almost every New York restaurant. This annoys the New Yorkers a lot, but it doesn’t prevent them from queuing in the meter-long lines to wait for a table. Waiting two hours for a table? Completely normal here.

8. Long, Really Long Ways…

Distances are relative in the Big Apple. It takes about 2.5 hours to get from one part of the city to the other. In other parts of the USA, you drive through almost entire states here. No seriously, the traffic and the long distances take their time.

9. “Oh, I’m Walking…Through the Streets I’m walking”

Who owns a car in New York? We don’t know anyone… Here you take the subway or you walk. We’ve never walked so much. Anyone who drives a car here either has good nerves, a great salary to be able to afford the high parking costs in Manhattan, or simply enough time.

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10. Street Food – The Food Trucks in New York

Street food in New York

In New York, food is usually eaten on the street at the so-called “food trucks”. Our favorite: the Halal Guys. For the boys, the line can be a block long. Yes, it really is. Just like in the supermarket or in front of the restaurant: Meters don’t matter here, you line up without grumbling. Normal madness in New York.

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