Why I Hate New York City

New York City has long been one of the world’s most iconic metropolises. With its towering skyscrapers, pulsing energy and famous attractions, NYC holds an almost mythical status in the popular imagination. But behind the glittering facade, the ‘city that never sleeps’ harbors some major downsides. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to why someone might hate New York City: the crowds, expense, rudeness, crime, trash, noise and stress. Keep reading to explore why the Big Apple has a rotten core for some residents and visitors.


One of the reasons why many people have a love-hate relationship with New York City is the issue of overcrowding. This bustling metropolis is home to millions of people, and its popularity as a tourist destination only adds to the congestion.

Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, dealing with overcrowding can be a frustrating experience.

Congested Sidewalks

Walking in New York City is not for the faint of heart. The sidewalks are often packed with people, especially in popular areas like Times Square or Fifth Avenue. Navigating through the crowds can be a challenge, and it’s not uncommon to find yourself weaving in and out of people or getting stuck behind slow walkers.

It’s a constant battle to find a clear path and maintain a steady pace.

Packed Subway Cars

The New York City subway system is notorious for its crowded trains, especially during rush hour. Squishing yourself into a packed subway car, with barely enough breathing room, can feel like a daily struggle.

Personal space becomes a luxury that is hard to come by, and the experience can be uncomfortable, especially for those who are claustrophobic. It’s not uncommon to see people squeezed together like sardines, trying to find a tiny spot to stand or hold onto a handle.

Long Lines Everywhere

From popular tourist attractions to trendy restaurants, New York City is no stranger to long lines. Whether you’re waiting to get into a museum, a Broadway show, or grabbing a bite to eat at a popular food truck, you can expect to spend a significant amount of time waiting.

The city’s popularity means that many places are in high demand, and it can be frustrating to wait in line for an extended period, especially when you’re on a tight schedule.

Despite the challenges of overcrowding, New York City continues to attract millions of visitors each year. Its vibrant energy, iconic landmarks, and diverse culture make it a city like no other. While dealing with the crowds may be a downside, many people are willing to endure it for the chance to experience all that the city has to offer.

Expensive Cost of Living

Living in New York City can be a dream for many, but the reality is that it comes with a hefty price tag. The cost of living in the Big Apple is notoriously high, making it one of the most expensive cities in the world.

From sky-high rents to costly goods and services, the financial burden can be overwhelming for residents.

Sky-High Rents

One of the biggest factors contributing to the expensive cost of living in New York City is the exorbitant rent prices. Finding an affordable apartment in a desirable neighborhood can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.

According to a report by StreetEasy, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan is over $3,000 per month. The high demand for housing coupled with limited space drives up prices, putting a strain on residents’ wallets.

Costly Goods and Services

In addition to high rent prices, everyday goods and services in New York City can also take a toll on one’s budget. Groceries, dining out, transportation, and entertainment expenses can add up quickly.

The city’s vibrant food scene offers a plethora of options, but dining out regularly can be a luxury that comes with a hefty price tag. According to the Numbeo, the cost of living index in New York City is significantly higher than the national average, with groceries and restaurant prices being particularly expensive.

Hard to Get By

For many New Yorkers, the high cost of living makes it challenging to make ends meet. The city’s high living expenses can make it difficult for individuals to save money or enjoy life without constantly worrying about their finances.

Many residents find themselves living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to keep up with the rising costs of rent, bills, and other essential expenses.

It’s important to note that while New York City may be expensive, it also offers numerous opportunities and experiences that make it an attractive place to live for many. However, the high cost of living can be a significant drawback for those who are on a tight budget or looking to save money.

Rude, Impatient People

One of the main reasons why some people may not enjoy their time in New York City is because of the perception of its residents being rude and impatient. While not everyone in the city fits this stereotype, it is undeniable that the fast-paced nature of New York can lead to encounters with people who come across as brusque or inconsiderate.

New Yorkers are Blunt

New Yorkers are known for their directness and bluntness in their communication. They are not afraid to speak their minds and can come across as abrasive to those who are not used to such straightforwardness.

While this can be refreshing for some, it can also be off-putting for others who prefer more subtle and polite interactions.

Always in a Hurry

The hustle and bustle of New York City can make it feel like everyone is constantly on the go. The fast-paced lifestyle of the city often translates into a sense of urgency and impatience among its residents.

This can be seen in the way people walk quickly on the streets, honk their horns impatiently in traffic, and rush through their daily routines. It can be overwhelming for those who prefer a more relaxed and laid-back pace of life.

Difficult to Make Friends

While New York City is home to millions of people, it can be surprisingly difficult to make genuine connections and friendships. The transient nature of the city, with people constantly coming and going, can make it challenging to create lasting relationships.

Additionally, the fast-paced lifestyle and the focus on career and ambition can sometimes make it challenging to find the time and energy to invest in building strong social bonds.

It is important to note that these observations are not universal, and there are many friendly and welcoming individuals in New York City. However, the combination of the city’s fast-paced culture and the diverse mix of people can sometimes create an environment that feels less friendly and more impersonal.

Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that these observations are based on generalizations, and individuals’ experiences may vary. It’s always good to approach any new place with an open mind and a willingness to embrace the unique aspects of its culture.

High Crime Rates

One of the main reasons why some people hate New York City is due to its high crime rates. The city has consistently been known for its crime problems, with both violent and property crimes being prevalent.

Violent Crime Persists

New York City has struggled with violent crime for years. The city has seen its fair share of homicides, assaults, and robberies. According to the New York City Police Department, there were X number of murders reported in the city in 2020.

While this number may have decreased compared to previous years, it is still a cause for concern for many residents and visitors.

Property Crime Widespread

In addition to violent crime, property crime is also a major issue in New York City. Burglaries, thefts, and motor vehicle thefts are common occurrences in certain neighborhoods. According to the New York City Police Department, there were X number of reported burglaries in the city in 2020.

This is a significant number that highlights the widespread nature of property crime in the city.

Many Feel Unsafe

The high crime rates in New York City have left many residents and visitors feeling unsafe. Walking alone at night or taking public transportation can be a nerve-wracking experience for some. While the city has made efforts to improve safety, there is still a perception among many that crime is a constant threat.

It’s important to note that crime rates can vary greatly depending on the neighborhood in New York City. Some areas have lower crime rates and are considered relatively safe. However, the overall high crime rates in certain parts of the city contribute to the negative perception that some people have towards New York City.

Filth and Trash

When it comes to filth and trash, New York City has unfortunately earned a reputation that is hard to ignore. One of the most notable issues is the presence of garbage on the streets. Walking through certain neighborhoods, you can’t help but notice overflowing trash cans and litter scattered across the sidewalks.

This not only creates an unsightly environment, but it also poses health risks and attracts rodents and pests.

Garbage on Streets

The problem of garbage on the streets is a result of various factors. One of them is the sheer volume of people living and visiting the city. With over 8 million residents and millions of tourists each year, it’s no wonder that the amount of waste generated is significant.

Additionally, the lack of accessible trash cans in certain areas contributes to this issue. People often resort to leaving their trash on the streets when they can’t find a bin nearby.

Dirty Subway System

The filth and trash problem is not limited to the streets of New York City, but also extends to its subway system. While it is one of the most extensive and well-connected public transportation systems in the world, it is also notorious for its cleanliness issues.

Passengers often encounter dirty platforms, discarded food containers, and unpleasant odors. The high volume of daily commuters makes it challenging for cleaning crews to keep up with the constant influx of waste.

Smells of Urine, Pollution

Another aspect that contributes to the filth and trash problem in New York City is the presence of unpleasant smells, particularly the smell of urine. Unfortunately, the city’s streets and alleyways have become makeshift bathrooms for some individuals, leading to the persistent odor of urine in certain areas.

Additionally, the high population density and heavy traffic contribute to air pollution, resulting in a less-than-pleasant environment for residents and visitors alike.

Despite these challenges, it is important to note that efforts are being made to address these issues. The Department of Sanitation has implemented various initiatives to improve waste management and cleanliness in the city.

Regular street cleaning schedules, public awareness campaigns, and increased availability of trash cans are some of the steps being taken to combat the filth and trash problem in New York City.

Noise and Light Pollution

Living in a bustling city like New York can be an exhilarating experience, but it also comes with its fair share of drawbacks. One of the most prominent issues that residents and visitors alike often complain about is the noise and light pollution.

The constant hustle and bustle of the city can make it difficult to find peace and quiet, and the bright lights that illuminate the streets at all hours can be overwhelming.

Constant Sirens and Horns

One of the main contributors to the noise pollution in New York City is the constant blaring of sirens and horns. With its dense population and heavy traffic, emergency vehicles are a common sight on the streets of NYC.

While these sirens are necessary for public safety, they can be a major source of annoyance for those who live or work near busy intersections. The incessant honking of car horns, particularly during rush hour, can also take a toll on one’s sanity.

It’s not uncommon to hear a symphony of car alarms and impatient drivers expressing their frustration with their horns.

Screaming Squeegee Workers

Another aspect of noise pollution that many New Yorkers find irritating is the presence of squeegee workers on the streets. These individuals often approach cars stopped at traffic lights, offering to clean their windshields for a small fee.

While their intentions may be good, the constant yelling and tapping on car windows can be grating to the ears. It’s not uncommon to witness a heated exchange between a frustrated driver and an assertive squeegee worker, adding to the overall cacophony of the city.

City That Never Sleeps

As the saying goes, New York City is the “city that never sleeps.” This reputation is well-deserved, as the city truly comes alive at night. However, this constant activity also means that the bright lights of NYC never truly fade.

Even in the early hours of the morning, the streets are still illuminated by neon signs, streetlights, and the glow of skyscrapers. While this may be a sight to behold for tourists, it can make it difficult for residents to get a good night’s sleep.

The glare from outside can seep through windows and disrupt sleep patterns, leaving many feeling tired and groggy during the day.

According to a study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, exposure to excessive light at night can lead to sleep disturbances and affect overall health and well-being. The constant exposure to noise and light pollution in New York City can have a significant impact on the quality of life for its residents.

Stressful Pace of Life

Living in New York City can be an exhilarating experience, but it can also be incredibly stressful. The fast-paced lifestyle and constant hustle and bustle can take a toll on even the most resilient individuals. One of the main reasons why people find the city so stressful is the hectic commutes.

Hectic Commutes

Commuting in New York City can be a nightmare. With millions of people trying to get to work or school at the same time, the overcrowded subways and buses can make even a short journey feel like an eternity.

The constant delays, overcrowding, and occasional breakdowns can leave commuters feeling exhausted and frustrated before they even reach their destination. It’s no wonder that New Yorkers are known for their impatience and seemingly always being in a rush.

According to New York City Department of Transportation, the average commute time for New Yorkers is 40 minutes each way, which is significantly higher compared to the national average of 26 minutes. This additional time spent commuting can contribute to increased stress levels and a decreased quality of life.

No Personal Space

In New York City, personal space is a luxury that is hard to come by. Whether you’re walking down the street, riding the subway, or even just grabbing a cup of coffee, you’re constantly surrounded by people. The lack of personal space can be overwhelming and make it difficult to relax or unwind.

It’s not uncommon to feel claustrophobic in a city that never sleeps.

Hard to Relax

With the constant noise, crowded streets, and fast-paced lifestyle, finding a moment of peace and relaxation in New York City can be a challenge. The city that never sleeps is always buzzing with activity, and it can be hard to escape the constant stimulation.

Even when you do manage to find a quiet spot, the high levels of stress can make it difficult to truly relax and unwind.

Despite the stressful pace of life, New York City also offers a wealth of opportunities and experiences that make it a unique and exciting place to live. However, it’s important to acknowledge and address the challenges that come with living in such a fast-paced environment.

Finding ways to manage stress and prioritize self-care can make all the difference in maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle in the city that never sleeps.


While New York City offers endless amenities and excitement, its darker sides like crime, crowds, trash, expenses and stress make it an anxiety-inducing place for many. With a near-impossible cost of living, abrasive people and a filthy environment, the Big Apple has lost its shine for plenty of folks. For peace-seekers looking for personal space, affordability and friendly faces, New York City can feel like a living nightmare. But for strivers chasing career success, non-stop energy and world-class culture, NYC remains the city of their dreams, warts and all.

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