Living in NYC


New York is an excellent walking city, and getting around by foot is the best way to familiarize yourself with the unique character of each neighborhood.

Weill Cornell Medicine is located on the Upper East Side, the neighborhood bordering the east side of Central Park from 59th Street to 96th Street. Many museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum are located here. It is also known for exclusive shopping and fine restaurants.

Central Park is an 843-acre oasis of grass and trees that lies in the center of Manhattan Island offering walking trails, horseback riding, ice skating, boating, bicycling, roller blading and many other leisure facilities. 


Public Transportation within the city operates 24-hours-a-day and is relatively inexpensive, convenient and efficient. The system is accessible to people with disabilities. 


Although you can pay with coins (no dollar bills) on the buses, you’ll need a MetroCard to enter the subway system. You can buy them from booths or vending machines in the stations or from some local vendors. The present fare for a subway or local bus ride is $2.75 with a MetroCard. There is a $1.00 fee charged for each new MetroCard so it’s advisable to add value to existing cards. There is a bonus of 5% on purchases of $5.50 or more. To ensure that you always have value on your card, you may enroll in EasyPay MetroCard which is linked to your credit or debit card, and refills automatically as you use it.


The New York City Subway is one of the world's oldest and largest public transit systems, moving approximately eight million riders daily. Trains run around the clock. If you are traveling late at night, board the train from the designated off-peak waiting area, usually near the middle of the platform; this is more secure than the ends of the platform, which are often less populated in off hours. Use the same common-sense safety precautions on the subway that you would in any urban environment. Hold your bag with the opening facing you, keep your wallet in a front pocket and don’t wear flashy jewelry. Stations are most often named after the street on which they’re located. Entrances are marked with a green and white globe (open 24 hours) or a red and white globe (limited hours). Many stations have separate entrances for the uptown and downtown platforms—look before you pay. Trains are identified by letters or numbers, color-coded according to the line on which they run. Local trains stop at every station on the line; express trains stop at major stations only. You can view the current subway map on the MTA's website. 


MTA buses are usually the best way to travel crosstown as well as up- or downtown, as long as you’re not in a hurry. They have a digital destination sign on the front, along with a route number preceded by a letter (M for Manhattan, B for Brooklyn, Bx for the Bronx, Q for Queens and S for Staten Island). Maps are posted on most buses and at all subway stops. The Manhattan bus map can be found here. All local buses are equipped with wheelchair lifts. The $2.75 fare is payable with a MetroCard (see above) or exact change (coins only; no pennies or dollar bills). MetroCards allow for an automatic transfer from bus to bus, and between bus and subway. If you pay cash, and you’re traveling uptown or downtown and want to go crosstown (or vice versa), ask the driver for a transfer when you get on—you’ll be given a ticket for use on the second leg of your journey, valid for two hours.

Commuter Rail

The following commuter trains serve locations outside of New York City:

1. Long Island Rail Road (718) 217-5477 (or 511 within the city)

Provides rail services from Penn Station, Brooklyn and Queens to towns throughout Long Island.

2. Metro-North Railroad (212) 532-4900 (or 511 within the city)

Commuter trains serve towns north of Manhattan and leave from Grand Central Terminal.

3. New Jersey Transit (973) 275-5555

Service from Penn Station reaches most of New Jersey, some points in New York State and Philadelphia.

4. PATH Trains (800) 234-7284

PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) trains run from six stations in Manhattan to various places across the Hudson in New Jersey, including Hoboken, Jersey City and Newark.



Balancing the cost of housing, food, transportation and recreation can be challenging in a city like New York. When you’re living on a fixed income, a budget helps you allocate your money. To start, calculate the total amount you have to work with each year. There are on-line resources to help you with this calculation and guide you in allocating your funds between rent, food, clothing, transportation and entertainment.

In addition, consider the following tips:

  • Constantly downsize and get rid of/sell things you don’t need.
  • Take advantage of public transportation rather than cabs.
  • Order household and pantry staples online.
  • Work out at home or outside by running or riding through the park.
  • Explore free or cost-effective things to do around the City.


Adult Learning

English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are offered at no charge at select YMCA locations. The New York Public Library offers free ESL classes as well.

A comprehensive listing of fascinating lectures and cultural offerings can be found at Thought Gallery.

The 92nd Street Y is a world-class cultural and community center with offerings in the arts, entertainment and conversation.

Brooklyn Brainery hosts affordable classes on anything and everything, all determined by the things you want to learn and teach. It's a place to experiment with all kinds of topics, hobbies, and ideas.