Having lived in Los Angeles for 8 years, I decided to venture out East and give the Big Apple a try. Although I love both cities for different reasons, here is a quick rundown on what you can expect to pay living in each city as well as the pro’s and con’s of living in NYC vs LA.
Weather: Let’s just say I’m a Cali girl at heart and I definitely prefer the balmy, temperate weather in Los Angeles over the freezing winters and sweltering summers in New York. It’s nice to have the seasons, but to me the only seasons I want to experience in NYC are Fall and Spring. I think the ideal situation for me would to be to live in NYC in the Fall and Spring and in Beverly Hills the rest of the time.
Rent: I’m sure most of you know that NYC is a VERY expensive place to rent. You get much more for your money in Los Angeles. For example, you can rent a pretty nice house in Beverly Hills for about $5300. For that price in Manhattan, you will get a small studio or very small one bedroom that’s around 500-600 square feet. Lack of storage space for clothes, shoes and accessories is a problem for a fashionista like myself…I have taken to using my oven and kitchen cabinets as makeshift clothing storage solutions like Carrie Bradshaw in “Sex and the City”.
Transportation: I don’t know about you, but I hate taking the subways in NYC. I only took it once with my giant trainer so he could act as my bodyguard. HaHa. They are so crowded, dirty and just too much of a hassle for me! In NYC I like taking Uber, however the price difference of an uber ride in NYC and LA are vastly different. When I took an uber from LAX to Beverly Hills it was about $20. If I take an uber from JFK to Manhattan, it’s $70! I honestly prefer LA in regards to getting around town. Although LA has major traffic, (actually NYC has traffic as well, lol) at least you will be comfortable and have privacy as you have your own car and you sing to your own music, put makeup on and eat sushi if you need to, LOL & yes I’m guilty of doing all of that in my car! So trying to squeeze onto a crowded subway train or walking several blocks on the crowded streets of New York and being yelled at and hit on by every single construction worker I walk by, is not my idea of fun especially when you’re wearing your 5” stilettos or even sneakers! Haha
Beauty: If you’re a beauty junkie like me, you’re going to want to know the cost difference between the two coasts of maintaining your hair, nails and other personal necessities. First, I want to say that although the quality of the services are pretty much the same, the cost difference is quite significant. In Los Angeles, you can easily find a decent manicure/pedicure for around $26, no such luck in NYC. Be ready to throw down at least $50 for a mani/pedi and that’s on the cheap side. Actually every time i leave salon in Manhattan i spend about $100 as i only get gel mani and usually 10 min neck massage. Getting quality hair extensions, cut, color etc. will also cost you approximately between 30-50% more in NYC but considering the commercial rents in NYC, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Also bear in mind that if you move to NYC, you must be prepared to be hustled by pretty much everyone you deal with. Lol. I recently went to a dentist in NYC to fix a crown . The dentist said she would give me a “deal” but then gave me a quote for $2800. I decided to get a second opinion when I was in Beverly Hills. Their quote was only $350. Needless to say, I got the work done in LA. So make sure you shop around before committing to a price!
Health life: II feel it’s a bit easier to live a healthy lifestyle in LA because it’s easier to shop for organic food as you can take your car to the grocery store and activities such as hiking are more accessible. You also tend to be in your bikini more so you tend to care more about how your body looks! LOL. LA also doesn’t have as many happy hours which can be found on every corner in NYC and all of the clubs close at 2 AM, so you definitely drink less calories, too.
Clothing & Accessories: I think one of the few things that you can get in NYC for a bit cheaper than in LA is quality designer clothing and accessories. There are so many sample sales in NYC mainly because many of the designer’s headquarters are located in NYC so Manhattanites have access to all of these designer goods at a fraction of their original cost. I love checking out ny.racked.com to see what the best weekly sales will be and I’ve often found great deals at YSL, Christian Louboutin, Proenza Schouler and Sandro.
Overall, I think NYC has much better shopping and nightlife/restaurants, but it is very expensive to live here. NYC is also more business-oriented and its great as I feel in LA you can quickly become more lazy and just chill, lay out, etc., LaLaLand style. About fashion – everyone here dresses a lot simpler, less flashy and more elegantly. In LA, you see a lot of bling-bling, bleached blonde hair and either very casual clothes or way too sexy, revealing tight clothes. I do, however, love the Los Angeles weather and the ability to get around town in the privacy of my own car. LA is a much easier place to live especially if you’re on a budget and prefer friendlier people who are not as stressed out and aggressive as the people in NYC. I want the best of both worlds, so if I had to choose one or the other, I would choose to be bi-coastal so I can take full advantage of what both coasts have to offer. I hope this has helped you if you’re trying to decide which city is right for you. Until next time, xxx Malu.