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The beginner’s guide to New York City

Everything you need to know about making it in the big city

All Stories

Should you move to New York City?

Maybe!

How to pick a neighborhood

Eleven things to consider before choosing your new home

Filed under:

  • Map

26 must-do things this season

Curbed New York's editors have chosen the 26 places that you must visit in New York right now—the new classics, old favorites, and other essential sites.

101 things to love about NYC

A love letter to the five boroughs.

An illustrated guide to New York City architecture

From the 18th century to today.

The ultimate Penn Station survival guide

Consider this your ultimate survival guide to the much-maligned transit hub—find out the best places to eat, where to wait, and what to avoid.

The New York City subway, explained

A comprehensive guide to the subway’s history, unspoken rules of conduct, and more insider intel

Filed under:

  • Map

14 small towns for a perfect weekend trip

Plan a day (or weekend) trip to one of these charming destinations, all of which are just a stone's throw from New York City.

Exploring the hidden corners of NYC

Kensinger’s Camera Obscura column is a cultural artifact of a period of major change in New York

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Inside New York City’s best homes

From a converted factory in Gowanus to a designer’s own apartment on the Upper East Side

All Stories

Since its founding more than 400 years ago, New York has welcomed dreamers and strivers from all walks of life, drawn to the city’s relentless energy—it truly never sleeps—as well as its unprejudiced embrace. (New Yorkers don’t just tolerate difference; we appreciate the heck out of it.)

Its allure remains strong to this day: Between 2010 and 2017, the city’s population jumped by 5.5 percent, an unprecedented rate of growth that’s taken the population to 8.6 million.

But as New York has become denser and more prosperous, many of the things that historically drew people here—the eccentric characters, the diverse neighborhoods filled with mom-and-pop shops, the sense that you could do anything and not have to be a millionaire to make it work—are disappearing. (So too are the crime and grittiness of years past; that, at least, is worth celebrating.) For many New Yorkers, it’s become hard, if not downright impossible, to eke out a comfortable living.

Still, even with those realities, natives and transplants alike will tell you that there’s just something about New York that makes it all worthwhile. It may be loud and chaotic and crowded, but it’s still the greatest city in the world.

As the song says, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere—so here’s your guide to making it. We’ve gathered everything you need to know about New York City: From subway tips and secret histories to maps and explainers, this is the intel that will help you make sense of the loud and chaotic—and beautiful and exhilarating—aspects of life in the Big Apple.

Because if you can make it in New York, why would you want to be anywhere else? (And once you’ve mastered NYC, consider exploring further afield—our guide to the Hudson Valley and Catskills has you covered.) —Amy Plitt


Editors: Amy Plitt, Mercedes Kraus, Mariam Aldhahi, Sally Kuchar
Writers: Mary Jo Bowling, Samantha Weiss Hills, Kelsey Keith, Sam Lubell, Amy Plitt, Raven Snook, Asad Syrkett, Ameena Walker, Tanay Warerkar
Art Direction: Audrey Levine, Alyssa Nassner
Illustrations: Sunny Eckerle, Naomi Elliott
Photography: Scott Lynch, Max Touhey
Copy Editor: Emma Alpern
Engagement: Jessica Gatdula, Sharell Jeffrey