Don’t Believe the Hype: Common Misconceptions People Have About New York

Top of the Rock, New York City
Top of the Rock, New York City [Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash]
When it comes to traveling to different places, each destination you visit has its own unique set of qualities. Have you ever told someone that you were going to visit a particular place and the first thing they said was that you shouldn’t do it? Everyone has had this experience at least once in their life, whether you’re an avid traveler or not.

These negative comments and statements typically stem from misconceptions. Everyone has heard the huge misconception about Mexico, right? Of course! If you tell someone you’re going on vacation to Mexico, the first thing someone will say is “don’t drink the water!”

If you’ve ever seen Sex and the City: The Movie, when the New York ladies traveled to Mexico and Charlotte got a little bit of shower water in her mouth… the scene that comes next just adds to the misconceptions! Even with that, every place has its own set of unique qualities as well as misconceptions, and one place that has its fair share of them is New York!

What’s Wrong With New York?

Based on movies and television shows, you would think that New York is just this terrible place! When people talk about New York it’s usually followed by “I could never live there,” “I just can’t see myself giving up my car,” and “it’s just way too noisy there!”

The crazy thing about these negative statements is that they come from people who have never even been to New York! They’re just saying these things based on what they’ve heard or what they may have seen on television! To put your mind at ease, we’re going to take a look at some of the common misconceptions people have about this beautiful city and why you shouldn’t believe them (most of them!).

Misconception #1: It’s Too Crowded

new york city skyline at night
Night view of the New York City skyline [Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash]
Okay, so there are a lot of people that share the streets, sidewalks, and subways in New York. People have even compared the sidewalks to highways and the people walking on them as the vehicles! That might be a little extreme but yes New York has a lot of people living there but isn’t that part of what gives New York its charm?

As far as New York being too crowded, it’s all about perception. There are several different ways to navigate through the city like a real New Yorker. Plus, being so-called “crowded” gives way to other great aspects about the city like meeting new people, hearing funny conversations, and just being around to have unique encounters only found in New York!

In case you still have this misconception playing in your head, states that New York is the largest city in the world, so the aspect of being too crowded shouldn’t come as a big shock to you. In fact, in 2016, New York’s population was 8.55 million. So with that being said, please don’t go to New York with a negative outlook on the “crowdedness”… embrace it!

Misconception #2: It’s Too Dirty

Saying that New York is dirty would be dependent upon what your definition of dirty is and what your definition of clean is. To say that New York is dirty is pretty much saying that people love the city… and the “trash” or dirtiness you encounter in the city, you can walk over it or around it… again… it’s all about your perception. What you see as being “dirty,” others see it as the charm and character of the city.

Misconception #3: It’s Expensive and You Have to Be Rich to Live There

Flat Iron Building NYC
Flat Iron Building – NYC [Photo by Sam Butler on Unsplash]
New York has areas that are certainly more expensive than other areas but what state or city doesn’t have areas that are more expensive than the other? You just have to know where to go for the “non-expensive” things New York has to offer.

Even if New York is expensive to you, if you are planning a trip to visit there, all you have to do is properly plan for the trip, that way you have enough money saved to enjoy all the New York attractions. Some people will come up with ways to earn extra income just to fund their trip because they think it is that expensive! The misconception about New York being so expensive has prompted people to:

This misconception has some truth to it so if you indeed really want to visit New York but are afraid it’s too expensive for your budget, plan your trip out in advance and hustle like a true New Yorker!

Misconception #4: Everyone There is Extremely Rude

Now, out of the previous three misconceptions, this one is the most untrue and you definitely shouldn’t believe it! Sure, some New Yorkers may have rough exteriors but almost all New Yorkers are very happy and willing to help tourists and visitors who are lost.

The thing about New Yorkers that give visitors that misconception is that New Yorkers aren’t people who are constantly walking around smiling all the time. That’s not being rude, that’s just a way of life. For visitors, that’s what you would call a culture shock.

People from the South who come to visit typically think New Yorkers are being rude but the funny thing is that when the roles are reversed and a New Yorker visit the South, New Yorkers experience their own bit of culture shock when southerners smile and say hello when they don’t even know you. A New Yorker finds that a bit odd!

Misconception #5: It’s a Dangerous Place

chinatown new york city
Don’t let misconceptions affect you! [Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash]
Again, what destination doesn’t have areas that aren’t exactly free from crime… that is virtually impossible. Although New York has its fair share of crime, just as other cities in the world, that doesn’t make New York as a whole, a city riddled with crime.

Again, television and movies don’t help the misconception. A lot of times, people watch too much Law and Order: SVU. If you can get out of your own head for a little bit and see the city for the beautiful place that it truly is, you can actually enjoy New York and all its glory.

Just think about it… if New York was this terrible place full of crime, why is it so crowded? It couldn’t possibly be because people love crime so much that they want to visit it or live amongst it!

*This is a contributed post.