**I just got back from a weekend trip to NYC and had a few questions for locals:
Can anyone actually afford to live in Manhattan on a normal (read: under $70,000 a year) salary? Are salaries adjusted upwards to compensate for the high cost of living?**
New York salaries are generally a bit higher than comparable salaries across the country because of the cost of living difference. However, most people that work in the City don’t live in Manhattan, but one of the outer boroughs or suburbs, which can have lower housing costs (but not necessarily). Also, there are large portions of Manhattan that are relatively affordable and quite nice places to live.
**Does it really make sense to own a car? **
Usually not, unless you have a specific reason to need one. I don’t have one, and most of my friends don’t either. You can get most anywhere by public transportation, and renting a car when necessary can be a lot cheaper than owning one.
Are there any gas stations in Manhattan?
Sure, but not many and not in the center of town. If you drive in the City, you’ll learn them. Besides, it’s much cheaper to buy gas in New Jersey before you cross into the City.
**Are there any ‘bad’ areas to avoid in Manhattan south of Central Park? **
Not really any more.
Is there anyway to get into Manhattan from Philadelphia without paying so much? (About $12 via PA pike/Jersey Pike/Lincoln Tunnel)
I initially thought this was going to be about taking the train. Instead of Amtrak, you can take SEPTA from Philly to Trenton and then connecting New Jersey Transit service from Trenton to New York. Driving, you can probably avoid some of the Turnpike tolls by taking alternate routes, but they can be a lot less direct.
Is there such a thing as a public bathroom? They seemed far and few between…
There are several truly public bathrooms in train stations, Rockefeller Center, public buildings and other locations. Most of the time when we need a public bathroom, we’ll use a store.
**Overall, my impression was favorable and I look forward to returning, any advice from residents for a newbie is appreciated. **
Glad you enjoyed it. Perhaps you want to come for the New York MegaDopefest on MLK Day weekend in January (check MPSIMS for details).