New York: A city that doesn't sleep

Although originally written for Liza Minnelli as part of Martin Scorsese’s cinematic homage to his hometown and jazz music, the Theme from New York, New York was, despite Minnelli’s magnificent interpretation, perhaps best rendered by the legendary Frank Sinatra.
Ol’ Blue Eyes, who came from Hoboken in New Jersey, recorded the song at the back end of the seventies, a few years after the film first premiered. Ever since then, the rousing tune has become synonymous with Sinatra, but then again, he did have a habit of making classic songs his own. You don’t get known as The Voice for nothing.
The song talks about wanting to be part of New York, the desire to “wake up in a city that doesn’t sleep”, being “king of the hill” and how if you can “make it there” you can “make it anywhere”. In short, is there a more iconic city? It surely is up there with the best. New York is nothing short of being emblematic of the American Dream.
It’s not just about money, the dream isn’t just about capitalism – although Wall Street’s Gordon Gekko would argue that here is where greed is good – it’s also about enriching your life culturally. New York certainly is a concrete jungle where dreams can be transformed into reality (hat tip to Mr Jay-Z, a Brooklyn boy whose rise to fame and riches is indicative of the city’s potential to transform even the most barren of lives). No wonder it’s the most populous city in the US.
Needless to say, moving to New York is an attractive prospect for people of all dispositions and interests, and reflective of this, expats number around 14 million. You tend to get a pattern though, occupationally, with finance, banking and IT dominating. Wall Street is, it can be argued, more than just the financial district of the city, but the home of US economics, one of the big engines of global trade, business and commerce.
As wonderful as life may be in New York, there is still a lot to do when considering and manufacturing a move to the Big Apple. If you’ve secured a job already, then you’re doing rather well. That’s a big weight off your chest. Competition in the busy, switched on, buzzing city is intense and it certainly pays to come with good academic credentials, a decent amount of experience and, at times, knowing how to speak a second language fluently.
With a job safely in the bag, the most pressing thing to do is get hold of the right kind of visa for entry into the country. It is recommended that people consult the US government’s official visa website, which explains all the details. As visas go, it’s a fairly clear-cut process, with the emphasis being on getting a non-immigrant status based on the specific type of employment you’re going into.
Following on from acquiring a visa, sorting out banking is essential. First port of call is to consult with your bank in the UK about whether it has a US base, which reduces any added stress you might feel about opening a new account. Major US banks include Bank of America, HSBC, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Barclays. Although the final arrangements with a bank will be finalised once you head over to New York, getting all the groundwork done early on will save you a lot of time and trouble.
Now you can think about finding somewhere to live in New York. If you have a lot of stuff to move, your best bet is hiring a specialist overseas removals company, which will ensure your precious items and furniture are safely transported in a professional and considered way.
Rents in New York can be expensive, there’s no way of getting around it, but given that it has so many diverse neighbourhoods, you can, after careful research, secure a decent pad for a decent price. It’s recommended that you rent first, before settling on a mortgage. For example, if you’re a single professional, a Manhattan-based apartment sounds about right, but should you begin to think about a family, living out in suburbs in Brooklyn might be better for bringing up kids. Some real estate agents to mull over include A.C. Lawrence and Company, Realty Solution Inc, Prudential Douglas Elliman and Benjamin James.
It’s hard to capture the spirit of New York or to do it justice through words. Woody Allen, for one, keeps returning to the city in his films, unable to shake off his love of everything it represents, wanting to convey that certain something about what it means to him. So we seek the wise words of poets to assist us, to give us a heightened truth – embellished – but nevertheless real.
Ezra Pound, the American poet, once asked himself if New York was the most beautiful city in the world. “It’s not far from it,” he said, “No urban night is like the night there. Squares after squares of flame, set up and cut into the aether. Here is our poetry, for we have pulled down the stars to our will.” That about says it all.
If you’re moving to the USA, find out how our international removals team can help to arrange packing, storage and transportation on your behalf.