There's a pretty solid chance that if you leave your house today, you'll see someone with an "I ♥ New York" something. A bag. A t-shirt. A bumper sticker. Whatever. People really love New York … or at least they used to.
Not everyone "♥'s NY" anymore, it seems.
New Yorkers are moving away from the city in droves, hoping to escape the city's un-liveable expenses in exchange for better jobs and a lower cost of living literally anywhere else. So many people are escaping, in fact, that New York has lost more residents than any other metropolitan area since 2010.
One non-rat related reason for the mass exodus is that the economy is improving. That means nearby hobbit holes like Connecticut, New Jersey, the Hudson Valley and Long Island suddenly have jobs to offer incoming residents, and a lower cost of living to match. That's a pretty tasty deal for someone coming from a city where the cutthroat, ultra-competitive job market often means left nuts are actually sacrificed for low-wage jobs with unreasonable hours.
“The historical trend is that out-migration grows when the economy is getting better,” Empire Center for Public Policy research director E.J. McMahon told the New York Post, who originally reported the story. “As the economy gets better, there are more jobs outside the region and by the same token … more people to buy your house if you’re a baby boomer looking to move to Boca Raton or Myrtle Beach.”
That, and it doesn't help that a cockroach nest in a tiny, tenement style apartment haunted by the ghost of an aspiring writer who "literally died" when they tasted a New York bagel runs is about $3,000 per month. Or that everyone you meet there lives in a suspended plot of the TV show Girls ("I'm the Hannah!" "I'm the Shoshanna!"). Or that every neighborhood you think you have a chance of surviving in becomes so rapidly gentrified that one minute there's a bodega under your apartment and the next there's a Forever 21 that specializes in club wear and "beach vibes."
However, all this is probably great news for the people who live there, love it, and refuse to live anywhere else, ever. I mean, really — we're talking about the greatest city on Earth here. Where else can you publically transportation yourself from a warehouse art show to that insane new Israeli restaurant to a tattoo parlor where you'll get an ironic cowgirl on your bicep to that insane new ramen restaurant to another warehouse art show on the other block to a large commerical area with billboards to that insane new bar that's NOW! SERVING! MATCHTA!
… Everywhere else? Shit. Well, it's a lot cooler in New York, okay? It is. Don't argue with me.
Meanwhile, pretty much every other city has experienced significant population growth over the last five years, namely San Francisco, Denver, Austin, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles, places where there are definitely rats, they're just not as big or well-fed.
Well, look at it this way, New Yorkers. There are benefits to your dwindling population. For one, you'll have more space for your flash dances. For two, you also won't have to wait as long for a table at the Olive Garden in Times Square, which is the only restaurant in New York anyone on the West coast thinks exists. And finally — most importantly — you'll have some room to sit down on your subway system, which you'll really appreciate having once that nun gets into a fist fight with the Village People-esque construction worker over which neighborhood has better pizza pies. Stretch out in your newly opened up leg-room zone and relax.
Of course the one person that should be moving away from New York with all the rest of them still hasn't yet … Melania Trump, everybody!