The biggest problem I have with NYC is not the cost of a slice of Pizza, or even the cost of a two bedroom in Astoria. I'm bothered most by the fact that buying property is so absurdly expensive. I tried out that COL calculator mentioned earlier in the thread. I compared Pittsburgh (b/c I'm going to Pitt) to NYC. If you consider moving there and renting, the cost of living is something like 40% higher. But if you want to buy, NYC becomes about three times the cost of living of NYC (300%!). And while that's probably a bit of a stark example b/c Pittsburgh's housing prices are lower than normal, it still proves a point. You're making a real decision about your future lifestyle if you move to NYC. You're making a decision on what you prioritize. B/c there is literally no way to live near NYC with a family (and live in a safe area with decent schools) without being quite wealthy. More likely, you'll end up on Long Island or Staten Island or Jersey or in Westchester. And I know that I don't want a lifetime of commuting two hours a day to work. Call me crazy.