New York is a city of extremes, boasting the highest population in the U.S. and plenty of quirks and histories to make life in the Big Apple thrilling. This is Living in NYC: The Ultimate Guide.

Location can make or break your experience

The city of New York is approximately 300 square miles, compromised of five boroughs and hundreds of neighborhoods. Spend time in each of the various boroughs and neighborhoods to get a feel for each area; envision where you could call home. Prioritize what matters in the location instead of looking for a home that’s based on preconceived ideas of what you think is best.

Every neighborhood has a unique history and knowing your area’s backstory makes the difference between being someone who lives in New York and a New Yorker. The city has seen much gentrification in a short amount of time. Being respectful of the local inhabitants and understanding the neighborhood will help you become a good neighbor. Being accepted within a neighborhood will make a new home genuinely feel like home.

Getting around is surprisingly easy

With so many public transportation options, taxi cabs, and ride-share services available, it’s easy to get to almost any part of the city. Public buses and the subway run 24/7 every day of the week making reliable transportation available on demand.

Download a few handy transportation apps. Uber and Lyft are convenient options to order via the app, so long as you are mindful of surge pricing. Until you become truly familiar with getting around the city, always have Google Maps ready to figure out the best, and most affordable, route. Having a car is convenient, but in New York City there is almost no point. Between the stress of parking and the unpredictable nature of drivers, you’d be better off walking.

Find a doctor you can trust

It can be hard finding a new doctor in a new city. But you shouldn’t let location get in the way of that. Even though Staten Island seems far, The Richmond University Medical Center women’s care center in Staten Island is easily accessible with public transportation. The fully equipped center provides a comprehensive suite of clinical breast imaging such as stereotactic biopsy and digital 3-D mammography. Their fellowship-trained oncoplastic surgeon specializes in breast care and is certified in breast ultrasound and minimally invasive breast biopsy.

New York is known for its nightlife

New York City is the city that never sleeps. It’s loud, fast-paced, and crowded. It’s legal for bars to be open from 7 a.m. until 4 a.m., it’s possible to find gyms and spas open 24-hours, and you’ll be able to find a fair few drugstores open into the wee hours of the night. Fortunately, the city has tranquil spots in the least expected places. Oddly enough, some of the city’s most peaceful corners are nestled in the busiest areas.

Living in NYC isn’t cheap

Living in New York is not for the financially weak of heart. It is permanently at the top of the U.S.’s list of most expensive cities, with a 22 percent higher cost of living than the national average. To live comfortably, meaning spending a maximum of 50 percent of your income on necessities like food and housing, you’ll need to earn at least $87,000 annually. There are affordable neighborhoods and housing situations for those with realistic expectations and a willingness to compromise.

Looking “the part” is easier than you think

One area that you don’t have to compromise is smart, elegant women’s wear. White House Black Market has a curated range of skirts for workday and weekend wear, from tailored pencil skirts to full-bodied floral designs. Complete a power skirt suit with a flattering white pencil skirt, play with textured fabric skirts for cooler months, and enjoy patterns and monochrome designs in the warmer months. White House Black Market is committed to designing for real life with remarkable quality.