Living in New York City
NYU founder Albert Gallatin hoped to build a university "in and of the city." Our campus is not enclosed by gates or walls, but rather blends with the vibrant streets of New York City. Students and faculty join one of the world’s most creative cities – a center for finance, cultural institutions, international affairs, the arts, research, and journalism – as they become creators of new knowledge. Taking advantage of all New York City has to offer is an essential aspect of the NYU experience. The resources listed below will help you begin to explore life in the city.
AFFORDABLE NEW YORK
The Big Apple, the City that Never Sleeps, the Capital of the World: whatever you call it, New York is an exciting place to live. There’s always a new restaurant to try, museum to visit, or Broadway play to catch. The world lives here, too - from Astoria to Brighton Beach to Chinatown, you can hear just about any language spoken on our streets (and try any cuisine, too!) Despite its reputation, New York can also be an affordable city to live in. From student discounts to countless cheap eats options, you don’t have to break the bank to go to grad school.
Eating and Entertainment
There are many ways to cut costs and still enjoy what the city has to offer. Some of the best things to do in New York are free: visit Central or Prospect park, grab a bike through NYU’s bike share program (or rent a Citibike) and ride down the West Side highway, or stroll down the boardwalk in Coney Island.
Most museums offer student rates, and many also have free entry days. In addition, current NYU students have free access to many New York museums through the NYU Museum Gateway program. NYU Ticket Central offers student discounts on concerts, comedy shows, movies and more, or try TKTS for Broadway and off-Broadway plays at 25%-50% off. Time Out New York offers a list of free events by day on their website. Even the Metropolitan Opera has a student discount program!
Dining in New York offers any array of options at every price point. Check out Time Out’s Cheap Eats, ny.com or citysearch.com for the best bites that’ll fill you up without emptying your wallet (we’re talking $2 falafel).
New York City rent is notoriously high, but the cost for housing depends on many factors, such as what part of the city you live in or whether you live with roommates. There are affordable options to be found in Queens, Brooklyn, and nearby New Jersey (those expensive rents? They tend to be based on Manhattan prices).
Check out The Village Voice or L Magazine – both free – for wallet-friendly entertainment ideas, or pick up a copy of The Cheap Bastard’s Guide to New York City (where to find free food, free yoga classes and more).
Finally, talk to fellow students! They’ll be your best resource on where to find the city’s best deals.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is the largest airport serving the area and the furthest from the city. It can be a one-hour taxi ride, with a $45 flat fare, which means more like $60 with tip and toll. Public transportation takes significantly over an hour (usually an hour and a half), but there are two relatively easy ways to do it. One option is to take the A train toward Rockaway (not Ozone park) and get off at the Howard Beach/JFK airport stop, then transfer to the JFK Airtrain, which takes you right into the terminals. The other is to take the E, J, or Z train toward Jamaica Center and get off at the Sutphin Blvd stop, and transferring there to the JFK Airtrain. For more information about the airport and to track flights, visit: http://www.panynj.gov/airports/jfk.html
Laguardia Airport (LGA) is the closest to the city center, but the hardest to get to with public transportation. A taxi to or from Laguardia is about $25-30 not including tip and tolls, and takes 20-40 minutes. The simplest way to do it by public transportation is to take the 4, 5, or 6 subway up to 125th street, or to take the N or Q train to Astoria, and to make a free transfer to the M60 bus from either of these subway stops, which takes you into the terminals. This bus can take a while, roughly 20-30 minutes with normal traffic; budget your whole trip to be 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. For more information about the airport and to track flights, visit: http://www.panynj.gov/airports/laguardia.html
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) is in Newark, New Jersey, but is the easiest airport to get to with public transportation. A taxi to or from Newark costs $60-75 not including tip and toll, and can take an hour or so. Public transportation is often both faster and cheaper. From Manhattan, get to Penn Station (the A, C, and E trains head right into the station), then take New Jersey Transit Northeast Corridor train toward Trenton Transit Center, and get off at the Newark Airport station. From here you can transfer to the Airtrain, which takes you into the terminals. This route should take 45 minutes or less from Penn station, and your ticket from Penn station covers your airtrain fee. For more information about the airport and to track flights, visit: http://www.panynj.gov/airports/newark-liberty.html
To look up schedules, trains, and fares for public transportation, visit the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) website: http://www.mta.info/
These car services can be booked in advance for travel to and from airports, or for any other trips you want to take.
Dial 7 Car & Limousine Service http://www.dial7.com/
Carmel Car and Limousine Service http://www.carmellimo.com/
You are expected to tip in New York taxis, usually around 20%. You can pay by credit or debit card in all NYC taxis, and the tip will be calculated for you on the screen. Be aware that there is a lull in taxi availability around 3-4pm, when most taxis are off duty. When a taxi is off duty, the two smaller side lights on top of the car are lit. When a taxi is free the larger middle light is lit. When a taxi is occupied the whole light will be dark. When hailing a taxi, step to the side of the road (generally a corner is best) and put one hand out into the street.
When you get in a taxi, you say the intersection of your destination: "I'm going to Twelfth and Third," for example, means 12th Street and 3rd Avenue. One says a building is ON a street AT the cross-street, or BETWEEN cross-streets, i.e. "On 12th Street at 3rd Avenue." If you just say the short version, the first street is usually the one the building is on, and the second is the closest cross-street.
You may also notice those new green cabs throughout the city and outer boroughs! These new green cabs, or "boro taxis," are specifically for travel in northern Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. For more detailed information, visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/html/passenger/shl_passenger.shtml
Subways are a very popular option for public transportation, because they are faster and more reliable than buses and they don't have to deal with traffic. Base fare for a subway or local bus ride is $2.50, but it is simpler to buy a Metrocard and refill it as needed (Note that a $1.00 surcharge is added for all "new" Metrocards issued, so be sure to hold on to your card once you have one and refill it to save money). These can be bought at the windows in select subway stations, but are also available at the (usually more polite) automated machines in the stations. Be aware that many tracks serve both Express trains, which only stop at certain stations along a given line, and Local trains, which stop at every station. Notice which trains stop at your desired station (noted next to the station on any subway map), and be sure to get on the appropriate train. When exiting a subway station, note which direction you want to be going: the exits are usually labeled Northeast corner of 59th and Lexington or Southeast corner of 59th and Lexington, so that you can be sure of your cardinal directions when you get above ground. Visit http://web.mta.info/nyct/fare/FaresatAGlance.htm#save for fare information and ways to save! You can also find a complete subway map for New York City (all five boroughs) here: http://web.mta.info/maps/submap.html
Bus routes cover all five boroughs of New York City, which means it is much more convenient than the subway for Staten Island, which only has one subway line. However, buses are also subject to traffic, which makes many of the routes delayed and unpredictable. It is the same $2.50 fare as it is for the subway (unless it is an Express Bus, which is $6.00 per ride). You can use your Metrocard or pay cash for a single fare, but this has to be in exact change and they do not accept dollar bills. Buses are a good option for those who are new to the city because you stay above ground and see how the city is laid out, rather than emerging from underground without a clear idea of where you are.
All transfers from bus to subway, local bus to local bus, and subway to local bus are free, within a two hour window, by using your Metrocard. This means that if you take one of these options to lunch, eat lunch, and then get back on one of these transportation options within two hours, you get a free ride! Express buses are not a free transfer, however, so be careful which bus you board! Check the MTA website for updates, schedules, maps, and more information on buses and subways: http://www.mta.info/maps/
Train Stations and Bus Stations
New York Pennsylvania Station is between 31st and 33rd Streets and 7th and 8th Avenues. Amtrak trains run out of this station along the Northeast Corridor from Washington, D.C. in the South to Boston in the North. New Jersey Transit runs through New Jersey and up into Upstate New York. Long Island Railroad runs into Long Island to the East of the city. Subway lines 1,2,3, and A, C, E, and buses M4, M7, M20, M34, and Q32 all stop very close to or at Penn Station. Megabus, Greyhound, Bolt Bus, and Eastern Shuttle all run bus services from Penn Station in New York to destinations up and down the Northeastern Corridor. Check the Penn Station website for trains, schedules, and more information: http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=am/am2Station/Station_Page&code=NYP
Grand Central Terminal is between 42nd and 45th Streets and Lexington and Madison Avenues. Metro-North runs trains in lines running up into Upstate New York and into Connecticut. Subway lines 4, 5, 6, 7, and S, and buses M1, M2, M3, M4, M42, M101, M102, and M103 all stop in the Terminal. The Terminal has a Concourse level with food and stores, and also offers tours of the architectural monument, one of the most beautifully renovated buildings in the city.
For information on the building, retail, and tours, see: http://www.grandcentralterminal.com/
For information on Metro-North, see: http://www.mta.info/mnr/
Port Authority Bus Station is located between 8th and 9th Avenues and 40th and 42nd Streets. It is the main station for interstate bus lines entering the city, so it is a good place to look for bus carriers and routes up and down the East Coast, as well as into New York state and New Jersey. Subway lines A, C, and E run directly to the 42nd St-Port Authority Bus Station subway stop. For more information: http://www.panynj.gov/bus-terminals/port-authority-bus-terminal.html
Biking in the city can be nerve-wracking, and dangerous if you are not very careful, but the city government has been steadily improving the availability of bike lanes and bike parking. If you decide to bike, please wear a helmet and make sure to bring a lock!
You can register for NYU's free bikeshare by attending a safety and information training session. Once registered, you can pick up a bike, helmet, and lock at any participating location (mostly NYU dorms) at any time and drop them off at any time during working hours (10 am to 10 pm). http://www.nyu.edu/sustainability/campus.projects/bike.share/
New York has joined many of the premier cities in the world by starting a citywide bikeshare program. Citibike is now available; check http://citibikenyc.com/ or http://www.nyc.gov/html/index.html for updates.
Other places to look for biking information and tours:
*Bike New York has a good general calendar of rides, its own classes, and information. http://www.bikenewyork.org/
*NYC Bike Maps has helpful bike maps. http://www.nycbikemaps.com/
*Bike the Big Apple http://bikethebigapple.com/
*Bike Tours New York at 121 Beachview Avenue on Staten Island is reported to have very enjoyable bike tours around Staten Island's many beautiful parks and reserves. Check Tripadvisor for more information: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48682-d2515569-Reviews-Bike_Tours_New_York-Staten_Island_New_York.html
NYC STREET CONFIGURATION
The grid system makes traveling around Manhattan mostly straightforward, but just here are just a few tips to get you started: Numbered Streets go up as one moves North, and numbered Avenues go up as one moves West. Broadway moves roughly North from the very bottom tip of the island, then moves diagonally through the island starting at 10th Street, hitting the avenues at major squares and parks:
Broadway and 4th Ave cross at Union Square
Broadway and 5th Ave cross at Madison Square
Broadway and 6th Ave cross at Herald Square
Broadway and 7th Ave cross at Times Square
Broadway and 8th Ave cross at Columbus Circle, the Southwest corner of Central Park
Fifth Avenue is the dividing line between East and West; if you have an address at 65 East 10th Street, it is East of Fifth Avenue on 10th Street.
On the West side, numbering is very simple (unfortunately it does not work this way exactly on the East side):
1 - 99 block: between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
100 block: between Sixth and Seventh Avenues
200 block: between Seventh and Eighth Avenues
300 block: between Eighth and Ninth Avenues
400 block: between Ninth and Tenth Avenues
500 block: between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues
Brooklyn occupies the Southern part of the land to the East of Manhattan, across the East River. It is connected by the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, and the Williamsburg Bridge, from South to North (a good way to remember this is BMW). All three are walkable, but the Brooklyn Bridge is definitely the favorite. Atlantic Avenue is a major thoroughfare, connecting Downtown Brooklyn and Queens in the East. Prospect Park occupies a central area of Brooklyn, and connects the neighborhoods of Park Slope and Crown Heights. Coney Island, Manhattan Beach, and Brighton Beach occupy a part of the land at the South of Brooklyn. The border between Brooklyn and Queens runs along Maspeth Creek, then roughly along Cypress Avenue, then South around the Cypress Hills neighborhood toward Jamaica Bay. Popular neighborhoods include Williamsburg, which is close and easiest to get to from Manhattan on the L train; Park Slope; Greenpoint; Crown Heights; and Bedford-Stuyvesant ("Bed-Sty").
Queens occupies the area North of Brooklyn and West of Long Island. It is connected to Manhattan by the Queensboro Bridge, which runs through Roosevelt Island in the middle of the East River. Both Laguardia and JFK are in Queens, the first in the North on Flushing Bay, and the second in the South on Jamaica Bay. The 495 Long Island Expressway runs from Manhattan through the center of Queens and then into Long Island. Flushing Meadows Corona Park and Forest Park are the two major parks in the borough. Popular neighborhoods in Queens include Flushing, known for Chinese and Korean food; Bayside, known for Korean food; Astoria, traditionally known for Greek food and now Egyptian food; Sunnyside, known for Turkish food.
The Bronx is North of Manhattan, separated by the Harlem River, and occupies the area up to Mt. Vernon in the North. The very small neighborhood of Marble Hill is the only part of the mainland that is technically Manhattan. Much of the Bronx is open space, including Woodlawn Cemetery and Van Cortlandt Park in the North, Pelham Bay Park on the East, and the New York Botanical Garden and Bronx Zoo in the center. Popular neighborhoods include the South Bronx, where the Bronx Museum of Art is located; Little Italy in the Belmont area; and Riverdale, where Wave Hill is located.
WHERE TO FIND: GREENMARKETS AND SUPERMARKETS
Below we mention some places near the NYU campus, but make sure to check out your own area, because you never know what you might find.
New York City has 54 greenmarkets (and growing). One of the best and closest to NYU is at Union Square, open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 8:00 am-6:00 pm. The 4, 5, 6, L, N, R, and Q trains all stop at the Union Square subway station, so it's one of the easiest to get to. Along with produce, pre-made food, and all the condiments you could ever think of, there are often textile, food scrap, and battery recycling stations as a plus. http://www.grownyc.org/ourmarkets
Trader Joe's is a cheap, healthy grocery store that carries almost everything. The closest one to NYU is on 14th Street between 3rd Avenue and Fourth Avenue, near the Union Square subway station which serves the 4, 5, 6, L, N, R, and Q trains. The food is usually of very high quality, which is why lines here can be extremely long. If possible, go in the middle of the day, and try to avoid Sundays and Mondays in general, as that seems to be the popular time to stock up for the week. Experts here quickly grab the things they need from the inner aisles of the store, and then pick out everything else they need as they stand in line around the outer edge of the store. Trader Joe's also has a wine store, which has a great selection of reasonably-priced wines. Check http://www.traderjoes.com/ for more locations and hours.
If only to enjoy the spectacle, you should definitely walk into Eataly to look around. This Italian foodstuff paradise has everything one could ever want imported from Italy, along with restaurants and cafes to try out; now it even houses a cooking school! It can be crowded, but the quality of the food is fantastic, and even if you're not buying anything it is always fun to look around. Eataly occupies a large building at the Southwest corner of Madison Square, at 5th Avenue between 23rd and 24th Streets. The N and R trains stop right in front of the building at the 23rd Street Subway Station. For more information, visit http://eatalyny.com/.
Right near NYU is Sunrise Mart, an excellent all-Japanese market. It has sashimi-grade fish and Japanese snacks and staples, as well as some produce and even some kitchen supplies. It is hard to find because it only occupies the second floor of the building on the corner of 3rd Avenue and 9th Street: head to the open door to the elevator between St. MarkÕs Bookstore and Village Yokocho to get up to the market. The closest subway station is Astor Place, where the 6 train stops. Open Monday-Sunday 10 am-11 pm. (212) 598-3040.
Other options for supermarkets:
Gristedes (has a discount for NYU students, ask at the register) http://www.gristedes.com/
Whole Foods http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/
The Food Emporium http://thefoodemporium.com/
WHERE TO FIND: CELL PHONES, DRUG STORES, BANKS
AT&T Wireless - 745 Broadway at Astor Place. Astor Place Subway Station: 6 train. http://www.att.com/
Metro PCS - 59 1st Avenue near 3rd Street. 2nd Avenue Subway Station: F train. http://www.metropcs.com/metro/
Sprint Wireless - 175 5th Avenue at 23rd Street. 23rd Street Subway Station: N and R trains. http://www.sprint.com/
T-Mobile Wireless - 732 Broadway at Astor Place. Astor Place Subway Station: 6 train. http://www.t-mobile.com/
Verizon Wireless - 859 Broadway at 17th Street. Union Square Subway Station: 4, 5, 6, L, N, R, Q trains. http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/index.html
NYU Health Center Pharmacy - 726 Broadway, 4th floor. http://www.nyu.edu/shc/medservices/pharmacy.html
CVS - with many convenient locations around the city. http://www.cvs.com/
Duane Reade - with many convenient locations around the city. http://www.duanereade.com/
Banks with locations near Washington Square
NYU Federal Credit Union - this is a not-for-profit institution run out of NYU, with
offices at 14 Washington Place at Greene Street. 8th St-NYU Subway
Station: N and R trains. www.nyufcu.com/
Chase Bank - besides having ATMs in most Duane Reades in the city, there is a branch location at 32 University Place at 8th Street. 8th St-NYU Subway Station: N and R trains. https://www.chase.com
Bank of America - closest location at 770 Broadway at 8th Street. 8th St-NYU Subway Station: N and R trains. https://www.bankofamerica.com
Capital One - closest location at
21 University Place at 8th Street. 8th St-NYU Subway Station: N and R trains. https://www.capitalone.com
Citibank - closest location in Washington Square Village, 555 LaGuardia Place at West 3rd Street. W 4th St Subway Station: A, B, C, D, E, F, and M trains. https://online.citibank.com/US/Welcome.c
HSBC - closest location at 769 Broadway at 9th Street. 8th St-NYU Subway Station: N and R trains. http://www.hsbc.com
Sovereign Bank - closest location at 43 East 8th Street at Greene Street. 8th St-NYU Subway Station: N and R trains. http://www.sovereignbank.com
TD Bank - closest location at 666 Broadway at Bond Street. Bleecker St Subway Station: 6 train. http://www.tdbank.com
WHERE TO FIND: HARDWARE, FURNISHINGS, MAILING/SHIPPING AND STORAGE/MOVING
Hardware and Furnishings
Ace Hardware - Several locations in the city, good for hardware, garden, and plumbing
supplies, as well as miscellaneous housewares. http://www.acehardware.com/home/index.jsp
The Container Store - Good for organization and home supplies. http://www.containerstore.com/welcome.htm
Bed, Bath, and Beyond - All the housewares one could possibly want, and especially good for bedding, towels, etc. http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/default.asp?
Ikea - The Swedish megastore has a location in Brooklyn and one in Long
Island, but if you can try to go to the Elizabeth, New Jersey location
as it has much lower taxes. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/
Mailing and Shipping
For shipping and mailing, see these websites for locations and services:
Federal Express (FedEx): http://www.fedex.com/
United Parcel Service (UPS): http://www.ups.com/
United States Post Office (USPS): https://www.usps.com/
Storage and Moving
Tuck it Away - Self-storage facility with locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and New Jersey. They have lots of special offers, and a very easy-to-use website: http://www.tuckitaway.com/
Atlas Van Lines - Moving and storage services, international relocation, tracking tools and more. http://www.atlasvanlines.com/
Moishe's - Moving, storage, packing, and other services, along with special offers on the website. http://www.moishes.com/
Manhattan Mini Storage - Storage facility with 17 Manhattan locations, free storage taxi to and from the storage location, and moving services; offers student discounts. http://www.manhattanministorage.com/
Chelsea Mini-Storage - Offers 35% off for students and 2-hour free curbside pickup. http://www.chelsea-mini-storage.com/
Selfstorage.com - Self storage locations in and around the city. http://www.selfstorage.com/