Notorious Myths About Life in the Big Apple


The Big Apple. The capital of the world. The city than never sleeps. The melting pot of overwhelming cultural diversity. These are just some of the things that come to mind when we think about New York City (NYC). It’s certainly one of the most influential cities in the world and a key driver of global pop culture.

Despite its larger than life profile, there are a lot of things said about New York that aren’t true. Some of these have been so often repeated in everyday conversation that many people now consider them true. The following are a number of widely propagated myths about NYC that are quite simply inaccurate.

“Everyone Is Constantly Hailing a Cab”

We have decades of movies to thank for this stereotype. Taxi-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft may be changing how people hail taxis in NYC but yellow cabs are still a defining fixture of the Big Apple. That being said, you won’t run into someone hailing a cab after every two feet of sidewalk.

In fact, many New Yorkers can go for years without every hailing a taxi. Instead, most residents opt for the relatively efficient subway system. As long as you live in an apartment that’s fairly close to a subway stop, you’ll probably never need to use a cab at all (and if you ever do, you’ll be more likely to use Lyft or Uber).

Alternatively, if you’ll be staying in New York for the medium or long term, and you already own a car, it may be prudent to contract an auto-shipping company that’ll bring your car over (for more details see

“New York is Incredibly Expensive”

One of the reasons this myth has gained such solid traction is the proportion of America’s super rich who live in New York. A recent report showed that with 103 billionaires, New York is the city with the largest number of billionaires in America and the world.

However, the Big Apple is an enormous city that hosts a diverse array of income classes. Of course, the cost of living in NYC isn’t quite the same as living in rural Wisconsin. Nevertheless, the fact that virtually everyone working here can find a roof over their head within or near the city tells you that it’s nowhere near as expensive as its made out to be.

“It’s Super Crowded”

It doesn’t help that the cliché photograph of NYC will feature throngs of people crowding the sidewalk. New York is by far the most populous city in America but that doesn’t mean everywhere you turn is a sea of humanity.

The visitors who get that impression are likely to have spent nearly all their time in midtown. As one of the world’s most visited cities, it’s only natural that the touristy spots will attract crowds. In most places though, you’ll have plenty of room to comfortably walk around and even pose for photos on the sidewalk.

“Manhattan equals New York”

New York is a big city divided into five boroughs —Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan. If you listen to the TV shows, movies and media pundits, you’d be forgiven if you believe that Manhattan is the be-all and end-all of NYC. Brooklyn Bridge gets plenty of mentions but that does little to minimize the presumption that visiting Manhattan is as good as seeing the entire city.

With its tightly packed and soaring skyscrapers, combined with the world famous Wall Street, Manhattan may be the most recognizable borough. It however only represents a fraction of everything that the Big Apple has to offer. Each borough has its own distinct sights and sounds that give it a unique personality.

Whether you are a frequent visitor or have arrived in New York for the very first time, keep these myths in mind so you can truly enjoy the best that this legendary city has to offer. The Big Apple is bubbling with life and teeming with energy.

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