A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two CitiesFour years ago when I was preparing to apply and head off to college, I knew I wanted to head away to the city. Even then, the exact city wasn’t clear to me. I set my sights on New York, Philadelphia, Boston and DC.

After a few months, I was able to knock a few cities off my list. Philadelphia and New York were both my tops, and by Spring, I was settled on Philadelphia and a school that I loved.

I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the City of Brotherly Love. The diverse and culturally rich neighborhoods have more than embraced me, and it’s coffee shops have been keeping me awake for years now. From the museums and art scene to the small nooks and crannies that don’t get mentioned in tour guides, I’ve come to feel at home in this city.

But New York? It keeps me constantly curious and totally freaks me out. The end of my comfort zone definitely rests somewhere at the end of the Lincoln Tunnel.

Part of me feels like the size and hustle of New York would make me come alive. And another part of me feels like the city would eat me alive.em_stockWith graduation edging closer and closer, the fact that I have to choose the next step in my life is also becoming more apparent. There are so many different paths and possibilities before me. Each option has it’s own appeal.

I know Philly –I have friends here and my family is close by. I know (a lot of) the neighborhoods, I can get around without getting (completely) lost and I feel like I could really make it happen here. It’s a safe zone, yes, but for good reason.

New York is a different animal. I have family near by, and home isn’t more than a train ride away. I have no clue where to eat, live and I’m sure getting lost would be an everyday occurrence.

Not to mention…the cost of living between the two is drastically different. I know me, and I know I’d make it work no matter where I lived. But having to choose between making rent and buying groceries isn’t a decision I’d like to bring into post-grad life.

Ultimately, there are a million factors that will lead me up to this choice. As of now, I’m applying to jobs in both cities (now equally).

If you’ve made a big city move, what helped you decide? I’d love to hear some other experiences!


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  1. Awesome post. And I totally get you. NYC life expenses are INSANE. Either we have to make a pretty good amount of money weekly or we have to share an apt with roommates.
    What many of us do is looking for alternative places to live, like some parts of Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx and even outside the city. Many people live in upper State or New Jersey and work in NYC. I live in New Jersey, but I don’t know New Jersey at all! It’s a 10 to 30min train ride to Manhattan (counting from the station, depending on the train you take), it’s a 30 min drive to downtown Manhattan from my house. I pay $750/mo (in a 2 bedroom apt) and I’m 10-30min away from the city.
    So, there are options! 🙂

    • Let me make sure that my apt deal is AMAZING and not that easy to find. (Newly renovated apt). But we can fairly easily find small apts for $700-$800 in my area.
      Also, weekend trips from uptown to my house, by the slower train, will take 1.5hrs. But it takes about the same time to go to Brooklyn…
      Just wanted to highlight it’s not all flowers. =D