Where You Live is Really, Really Important

Monday, May 19, 2008

Richard Florida says that choosing where to live can be even more important than choosing a spouse or a career. Florida’s new book is Who's Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life.

Weigh in: We’d like to hear from people who made a decision to live in New York City. How has living in New York changed your life? Is it a better place to be single, or to raise a family?


Richard Florida

Comments [18]

Bob from New Haven CT

Super expensive NYC is priced way beyond the reach of the "worker bees" of the creative economy (and Washington DC / Boston soon to follow). Perhaps some sharp group of "really creative" people will figure out a way to assemble a "wagon train" of artists, musicians architects, graphic designers, writers, gallery owners, chefs and entrepaneurs and bring them, en masse to some low cost / needy secondary city with the cheap space these people need and the "real" grit that they crave. Is Red Hook really any closer to the Metropolitan Museum or LA than say .... Paterson NJ? As a former art school student from the 70's I can say what most of my "creative type" colleagues valued was cheap space, connection to an "art scene" (galleries, fellow artists, a few buyers, inexpensive and un-pretentious eateries and bars). A msss move that included a couple of respected artists o note and a gallery or two (to provide some form of legitimacy and attract buyers)might develop the critical mass to attract participants / partrons / joiners. Art schools in secondary cities such as Savannah and Providence already do this to some extent although those towns are probably already too expencive for anyone but trust fund bohemians.

May. 20 2008 12:55 PM
Jeffrey Slott from East Elmhurst

In 2000 I moved here from Philadelphia with my girlfriend who was originally from New York. I came here because I thought the job opportunities were better.
They weren't.
I also came here because from past day trips to New York I thought the culture and vibe would be amenable to my sensibilities.
There weren't.
I had forgotten the sage advice that "it might be a nice place to visit but you wouldn't want to live there".
Moving to this place was the worst, I mean the WORST decision I have ever made in my life and I have made some pretty dopey ones before.
Unfortunately my girlfriend doesn't want to move again and as long as I want to maintain this relationship, that means I am stuck here too. Especially since I am in here in my 50s and my job skills have truly fallen way behind.
I wouldn't know where else to move, either though (and I'd never thought I'd say it) Philadelphia compared to New York is like a garden of eden.

May. 19 2008 01:43 PM
Julie from Brooklyn

My husband & I sometimes have the "stay or go" conversation, which is ultimately about the lifestyle we can afford here vs the lifestyle we think we'd afford elsewhere. We live in Brooklyn Heights, which we regard as a beautiful urban village. We love the dynamic and multi-cultural essence of the city, and we think our three young children will be interesting, engaged adults if they grow up here. We think it's worth smaller living quarters than we'd have in a town one to two hours outside the city. That's how we feel this week.

May. 19 2008 01:16 PM
shc from Manhattan

On that last point re: post-partisan cities, I just saw a commercial yesterday sponsored by mayors against illegal guns (I probably have that wrong, not sure what the actual nomenclature of the organization is). What was most compelling about the ad, aside from its basic message, was that each politician came from all political walks: McCain supporter, Clinton supporter, Obama supporter, and Bloomberg as "undecided voter." Made me proud to be an urban resident, in one of the best cities around!

May. 19 2008 12:48 PM
daniel from montclair NJ

I know I am too late regarding a new move. What about the decision for the handicapped?

May. 19 2008 12:44 PM
Tom from Upper West Side

Why does Mr. Florida keep saying, "a New York," "a Washington," "a London," etc.? As each city is unique...Can one really choose to live in the "other" New York?

May. 19 2008 12:43 PM
Taher from Croton 0n Hudson

This discussion is about the upper 1% income bracket.
Very little do to with most Americans that get by.

May. 19 2008 12:43 PM
deborah from manhattan

moved here 30 years ago from Chicago. have always thought I'd leave the city. Feeling priced out, but with a rent stabilized 2 bedroom with a terrace-- what can i do.

Am married with a teenager.

Couldn't imagine a young person could afford Manhattan or even Brooklyn.

May. 19 2008 12:41 PM
Gianni from Brooklyn

Moving to NYC and the stress of living here destroyed my relationship and it almost destroyed my career. I wish I heard this show 5 years ago.

May. 19 2008 12:40 PM
Jade from NJ

the who's your city website appears to be not working! can Mr. F look into that? If you google WYC and click on result, you get an error message.

May. 19 2008 12:40 PM
gary from brooklyn

One consequence of all this moving is the loss of sense of community. Neighbors do not know each other as well, and fewer commit to the community in the sense of volunteering for local causes, etc.

May. 19 2008 12:39 PM

eric which town?

May. 19 2008 12:33 PM

"Successful, born wealthy," or willing to live and make their families live like mice.

May. 19 2008 12:33 PM
eric from NYC

One's race or the demographics should also be considered when one is moving. I tired to relocate to a small town in upstate NY and all hell broke loose upon me doing so. I'm Asian -- hispanic looking -- and I've never felt discriminated and feared for my life. I've pretty much live my whole life in NYC and not once have I ever been harassed by the police. But with the 2 years that I was up living in this town, I've been stopped by the police on numerous occasions, and been stared at or avoided by the townspeople(as if I have the plague or something). I guess my point is -- one's race and/or color should be considered as a major factor when moving, whether it's the person moving or the demographics of the people that currently inhabit the town.

May. 19 2008 12:26 PM
Mike from Manhattan

I moved here two years ago. It's been a life changing experience without a doubt. Unfortunately, I will be moving back to where I came from (Madison, WI) in August. But I harbor hopes of one day returning.

I believe what New York offers culturalyl is it's greatest attribute. I may be biased in that direction as a one-time music student/amateur cellist, but to my mind seeing the Berlin Philharmonic play Mahler's 9th at Carnegie was literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Also, just having a sense of the history of the streets we walk every day is really irreplaceable. Like living inside a legend.

Also, being in the center of the media universe is an ego-feeding experience. I work at 52nd & 7th...watching David Letterman is a whole different experience since I moved here, knowing it was taped a block away earlier that day as I worked at my desk.

We have a list of things to do before we move, and I don't think I'll ever really leave the place entirely in my head.

May. 19 2008 12:25 PM
Kat from Brooklyn NY

I am in the single New York woman predicament- its hard to find a boyfriend in this town! I am forced to weigh if its worth it. I'm not career driven but I love the diversity and energy of New York...but is it my city?

May. 19 2008 12:24 PM
John from Woodside

How do Mr. Florida's ideas mesh with the official "demographic clock" of the US, which shows that each year more and more Americans are moving Southward and Westward, away from the older cities in the Northeast like NY , Boston, Philadelphia to cities like Atlanta, Raleigh and Miami?

May. 19 2008 12:24 PM
Tony from San Jose, CA

I have moved one average once a year for the past 8 years. International moves sometimes.

Next move is in 2 weeks!

May. 19 2008 12:16 PM

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