Snelgrave

Snelgrave
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Due to family/fiancee reasons, I will most likely rank programs in Chicago and NYC very high. I have lived in Chicago since 2001 and love it, but am growing very disillusioned by the increasing, single-minded fleecing by Todd Stroger and Richard Daley. What with 10.25% sales tax, bottled water tax, increasing vigilance on parking tickets, booting of your car after 2 tickets, more than quadrupling the rates of parking meters, increased CTA fares, etc. it seems like I’m getting taxed to breathe.

However, is NYC any better? I know rents are much higher, but what is the “secret cost” of living in the Big Apple? I do not anticipate having a car, but what else should I be concerned about? Any advice would be helpful.
 

countthestars

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seems like most of your problems with high prices in Chicago come from owning a car

increasing vigilance on parking tickets, booting of your car after 2 tickets, more than quadrupling the rates of parking meters, increased CTA fares, etc.
well, the NYC gov is proposing a tax on coke and other products that have sugar a "fat" tax. Almost every 2 years, the buses and subways increase their fairs (its currently $2 per ride). IF you had a car, you would be faced with many of the same problems in NYC in terms of parking tickets (if you don't watch your car chances are you will get a ticket in about 5 min in the city). Not to mention parking is almost impossible to find on the streets during the day, so you would have to use private parking, which costs an arm and a leg. I mean, its NYC, its one of the most expensive places to live in cause everything is so darn expensive. You can't even get a beer for less than $6 at most places.
 

willow18

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If you're worried about car related stuff, His Highness Mayor Bloomberg has quadrupled parking fines and overall ticketing since he's been here. Better off without a car or having it in permanent storage. Things are very expensive in Manhattan, less so in the outlying boroughs...Brooklyn/Queens/etc. Salaries do tend to be somewhat higher in NYC for that reason, though I doubt it really compensates for the very high cost of living.
 
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roja

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Car= bad idea in nyc. I lived there for 5 years. I used zip car for those times when I wanted to get out of the city.

Secret stuff? I don't know. Rent was high, although my program had subsidized housing. I came from a state with no state or city taxes, so this was a shock to me.

Groceries are a little bit more expensive. The big danger in nyc is delivery. Its wonderfully evil. You can get almost anything delivered to your door.

MTA: rarely rode the subway/buses but you can get a monthly pass if you are using it a ton.

Secret cost: cabs. so easy to use. they aren't as expensive as SF but it could add up if you don't budget.
 

FroggerMD

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I've lived in both cities, and you definitely get more for your money in Chicago. Just take a look at Craig's list - you can get a pretty nice apartment in good areas (Hyde park, etc) in Chicago for around $1200, for a 1 bedroom with a gym. In NYC, you'd be lucky to find a studio for that much if you wanted to live in Manhattan, especially if you don't want to live in Harlem (though it's getting to be a much nicer area than it you used to be). Otherwise, I didn't notice much of a difference in terms of cost of food, going out, etc - I think that varies more by which part of a city you're in.
 

Drawing Dead

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I grew up just outside of NYC in Jersey, went to school in NY, and now live in Chicago, and my advice would be to come back home. Maybe it was because I got fed up with the congestion of NYC, but I'm much happier here. Cost of living is expensive in both cities, but definately lower in Chicago. Even though sales tax is 10.25% here, it is like 9% in NYC. I also know there is a city tax on your paycheck, in addition to federal and state. Chicago affords the ability to live in an inexpensive suburb where as NYC does not. And even if you do find an affordable place in the burbs in NY, it's probably a hell hole and you have to pay $8 to get into the city. NYC is the only place I can think of where traffic was worse than here.

Now, I won't completely bash NYC, I will say that salaries generally are higher there, its a much bigger city, so there is more opportunity for a social life there (if you find time for one) and I think malpractice situations are a little better there, since I understand Illinois is the worst state in the country for medical litigation. Also, as I am finding out having just gotten back from visiting family, winters are slightly warmer in NYC.

I would say that in the end, it probably is slightly cheaper to live in Chicago, and being that you have family here and are from here, staying here would be the easiest situation. If you are looking for a new experience, don't mind being away from family, and want to live in the biggest city in the US, go for NY.
 
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