New York City: a Life in a Big City

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New York City, the city of dreams and high expenses. That’s one of the things I have taken away from reading the census data and Florida’s Cities and the Creative Class. What is humorous to me is that the idea of how much residential places cost and how much space you get for the price leaves me wondering why New York City has the majority of the highest percentage of people living in the city with creative careers. However, I shouldn’t be the one questioning anything because here I am in New York City paying so much more for an education here than I would have paid at the other schools I got into. Florida would agree with the idea that the creative flock to New York City because for creative people New York City offers so many opportunities to make a name for themselves as a creative person.

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New York City is covered with opportunities for the creative class living here, which just proves that when you are in a creative community, consumers flock to the city with the best and most people in that creative specialization. New York City in fact is “succeeding largely because creative people want to live there” (Florida). One of my favorite topics that the article brings up is the things that creative people are interested in. The creative class is not into tourism or entertainment but instead seek “high-quality experiences, an openness to diversity of all kinds, and, above all else, the opportunity to validate their identity as creative people” (Florida). Ironically when I’ve always thought about what New York City has to offer I think of the melting pot of Manhattan and the continuous opportunities provided for those who live here or work here like the article mentions.

When filling out the census data, I obviously was hoping New York City was going to account for the highest in creative people residing here. Which it was, other than the amount of actors here 16% was only about half of the amount as the percent of actors in Los Angeles 28% which makes logical sense. Los Angeles became more popular in the 1920s when films started being produced. Actually, Los Angeles was just a good place to go because it hardly rained, which saved money so a film day wouldn’t be canceled. California was not that populated until the gold rush occurred. Los Angeles had farms from the people that came to California because of the gold rush who either made it big or flopped in trying and didn’t have the money to go back from where they came. The city of Los Angeles didn’t really become popular to reside in until people started realizing how much more beneficial it was to film in California than it would be to film somewhere like NYC or anywhere else in the east coast. The weather and space in NYC doesn’t offer or guarantee as much as producing films in Los Angeles. Leading to the rise of the population in Los Angeles because actors need to live during filming or for working on multiple projects at a time. With that people came to the idea that if they wanted to be a movie star, date a star, or run into one this was the place to go. However, it seems a lot less likely to run into a celebrity there than to run into a celebrity here in New York City. New York City is in a 12-mile radius while Los Angeles is tremendously spread out.

Before I ramble off into oblivion about why New York City is obviously so much better and people that think otherwise are unintelligent let’s look at the census data again. Los Angeles seems to be catching up to New York City when it comes to the numbers of dancers/choreographers and artists living in the cities. The closeness in numbers is astonishing, when it comes to dancers/choreographers 8.7% live in Los Angeles and 9.1% live in New York. With artists, again the percentages are very close together, 10.4% live in Los Angeles and 10.9% are living here in New York. I think by looking specifically at those creative careers and what is needed for them we bring up space again. Space in New York City is hard to find unless you want to live outside of the city itself and even then it can still be very expensive. But in defense of New York the transportation to get back into the city by taking a simple subway ride isn’t very time consuming or cost worthy. Maybe New York City should advertise that more so more creative people will come here rather then go to Los Angeles. I think New York City offers more in all the creative industries except film. So even though numbers are rising for dance and artists living in LA, I don’t think Los Angeles is the place to make your “big break” unless it’s in the film industry.

Los Angeles will continue to rise in creative population numbers especially if the city does fix their transportation system. However, even if that was fixed, in New York City everyone is so much more driven. I don’t think I have met one lazy individual that just came to New York City not pursuing a dream. Everyone I have met are living their dream here or striving to accomplish their goals. Like the Frank Sinatra song says “if you can make it there you can make it anywhere.” New York City isn’t an easy place to live because here no one can sleep until their ambitious goal is accomplished. The amount of ambition, drive, effort, and dreams that inhabit the people of New York City is impossible to calculate in numbers. Living here just makes you more aware of the possibilities that are available to you, causing you to work harder knowing how close you are to accomplishing your dream.

A city that I thought was up and coming due to its high real estate and number of activities was San Francisco. I was really surprised that San Francisco didn’t have an overall big percentage of creative people living there. In fact, the sum in percentages of all the creative workers living there is only 11.3%. When I went to San Francisco I could definitely see a more laid back NYC, but still more hardworking and determined than Los Angeles. Again, with the space and especially real estate in San Francisco I can make sense of the small amount of creative people living in San Francisco, but still, if the real estate is so expensive and sought after who is buying it and why in San Francisco? With the increasing growth in the price of real estate there I feel like the creative class living there will continue to dwindle with the unaffordability unless they are already making it big in terms of money in their creative career or have another source of income to live there.

Overall, in the census, even with Los Angeles on New York’s tail for the dancers and artists living there I’m not worried because New York City will always be “NYC” and will always be a household name, a place you dream of going to pursue your dreams. I don’t think any city can top New York. Just saying the words “New York, New York” gives me such excitement! New York City is a place that everyone knows about whether they love it or not. New York City has worked hard to make a name for itself and develop itself into what it is today and I think it continues to develop and become a better city every day because when the creative continue to come, the city continues to strive in its greatness and maintain it’s credit of the city that you can do anything in. 

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New York City: A Life In A Big City. (2021, Jul 01). Retrieved February 9, 2023 , from

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