No doubt about it that visiting a city is vastly different than living there.
When Paul and I came to New York City on our honeymoon four years ago, we stayed at a nice hotel near Madison Square Garden, a stone's throw from the theater district.
But when Paul accepted a job in Brooklyn, living in midtown Manhattan wasn't on the table. We probably could have afforded a large shoe box or maybe even a small refrigerator carton. Instead we're in Bay Ridge, a Brooklyn neighborhood about 40 minutes from those same theaters.
Bay Ridge offers plenty: restaurants, bars, shopping and a great view of the water and a major nyc bridge. But learning to navigate the subway was priority No. 1 if we were ever to explore beyond about 20 blocks or so.
We've only been here 12 days, but I already know the R train pretty well. The stop nearest our place is small and clean. (Although a sign I saw along the route today doesn't exactly reassure me-- "CAUTION: This area has been baited with Rodenticide," complete with a nice picture of a rat.)
But our very first visitor didn't use the subway at all. My brother-in-law is in the city on business and on Thursday was the first person to enter our apartment who wasn't either our landlord or a repairman of some sort. Hopefully he gave the in-laws a good report.