Okay, here’s the truth: It depends on where you wanna live and how much money you’ve got.
Wow, that’s a pretty bad representation of what living in New York is like. It’s not at all one or the other.
Depending on the neighborhood, you can have a room in a decent shared apartment for $600-1000, or a studio from $1000-$1500. I pay $650 for a room in an apartment I share with two other people. It’s a good-size apartment; could be better on the storage side but plenty of room to move around in. I live in Washington Heights, about 30-45 minutes by subway from Midtown Manhattan. It’s a working class neighborhood, but safe and has plenty of 24-hour delis and things like that if you need it. Two blocks from the subway.
New York is beautiful, fun, exciting, exhausting, life-changing. You can make whatever you want of it. You can live in a quiet neighborhood in Queens or Brooklyn and spend your free time at a local park or coffee shop, or you can live in bustling Manhattan and spend your free time clubbing and shopping and museum-hopping. Or any combination of that.
If you can’t afford it, of course, you can’t afford it. But don’t let people scare you off with photos of tiny apartments and dilapidated neighborhoods. You won’t have as much space as you would in a condo in Ohio, true. Decide how much that matters to you.
Thank you! I was just too lazy to write that much…but I just feel like that was such unspecific question that I couldn’t really answer. I just thought: "What do you want? Do you wanna live in a house in Queens? Do you wanna have a loft in Brooklyn? Are you happy having a small apartment in Manhattan? Do you wanna live in a penthouse? What’s your favorite borough?" So I just posted pictures of the extremes trying to illustrate that things vary in New York.
Fair! I’d post some pictures of my (fairly representative) apartment but it’s too much of a mess right now. :P