Moving to New York City - advice gratefully accepted (though not necessarily followed through on!)..

Hi, everyone. I’ve been away from the SDMB for a while - it’s good to be back for a bit.

We have big news - my wife has accepted a position as production manager with the Metropolitan Opera company in New York City, starting Oct. 1st. She already has an apartment.

I’ll be moving down to join her eventually - she’s a US citizen by birth, so she’s good and straightforward. We have two boys, 19 and 16, both of whom want to stay in Canada. I’m happy to move down there, but none of the rest of us have visas. (We’re already in touch with an immigration lawyer, and we’ll work things out.)

Meanwhile, I figured this was a great place to ask people about NYC - neighbourhoods, boroughs, suburbs, buy a place?, rent a place?. I haven’t been down in at least 20 years, and I’m sure it’s all changed.

So what can you tell this Canuck about NYC?

A big issue is your 16 year old: lots of upper middle income people don’t like New York City schools so either move to the suburbs and commute or enroll kids in private schools (very expensive). Have you thought about this?

Oh, yeah - this is much on my mind. He is currently in Grade 11 at a technical school in Toronto. Not surprising, he would like to stay here rather than leave all his friends and go somewhere he doesn’t know anyone. I’m not sure if it’s possible, but we’re talking about it all.

His Grade 12 in Toronto will be a co-op opportunity - he’ll graduate with his papers in carpentry, plumbing, or electrical work, and it will count as ‘job experience’ as he tries to get hired. I just don’t know the schools in NY or NJ well enough to say definitively, but I feel sure there must be some kind of similar setup available somewhere in the US.

Worst case scenario, he and I may end up staying here until he graduates in June, 2020.

Sell your car.

A lot of public school systems have a “vocational” or “vocational-technical” (vo-tech) center in a central location in the region, where they teach skilled trades to students who aren’t interested in academic subjects, but I have no idea whether that is comparable to what you’re describing. I haven’t heard of the apprenticeship/certification system you mention but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.


Extra O unintended but left because damn it belongs :slight_smile:

Wow. Plenty to say here, I’ve lived in NYC since 1981. Seems the largest issue is schooling for the kid(s). It will directly guide where you live and what her commute will be into the city.

In broad strokes: The 5 boroughs are not what they were. If you like living in a neighborhood that is deeply diverse with tons of languages being spoken, you can find those areas. If you much prefer an area that is NOT so, you can find them too. It’s a darned pricey place to live. Since the kids are almost out of school, why not rent an apartment/ small home for a year or two till they are at college, then plant yourselves in an area that suits YOUR lifestyles without having to consider schooling?

I happen to adore the Upper West Side. It’s also numbingly expensive. Just north of 96th Street may be a bit cheaper, and past Columbia University into Harlem cheaper yet. That’s a wicked quick ride down to work for her on the 1/2/3/ line.

Do you work? Where will you work? That will also guide your housing choices I’d think.

Autumn is my favorite time in NYC. Unlike Spring, which lasts just over 11 days between numbingly cold winds and the torpor of summertime, Autumn stretches out like a cat on a sunny windowsill for a while. If you’re art lovers ( and I’d hope someone working at The Met is an art lover !!! :smiley: ), you can all get the free IDNYC Card once you get here. Doesn’t matter if you’re US Citizens. Saves real money on museums, etc.

A good place to start is her colleagues at The Met. Who lives where, who has kids, etc etc. These are people living the same moderately insane schedule and have negotiated the city, some for their entire lives. ( I work in film/t.v. production and used to be married to an opera singer. I grok the lifestyle. )

Welcome to Enwye !! :slight_smile:

My daughter lives in Brooklyn (Park Slope, of course) and loves it. She even loves the school her 10 yo goes to. But it is fearfully expensive. They also own a car and spend a lot of time parking it. Learn the joys of alternate side parking. If I moved there the first thing I would do is sell my car. You can pay for an awful lot of taxis and Ubers for the costs of owning a car.