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  • Manhattan, anybody lived there?

    So this probably isn't quite the right forum to put this in, but I figured the travel forum might get me more helpful comments.

    I'm finishing up my training in the South East where I've pretty much always lived. I've got 2.5 years left before I finish, so right now this is just purely a theoretical exercise. When I graduate I'm thinking about taking a job in NYC, nothing specific lined up, but my field is reasonably well paying and in high demand, so it wouldn't be hard for me to find a job there, and I could afford to live in Manhattan on the salary I would be making.

    I have been to NYC probably a half dozen times in the past, but not once since my injury 10 years ago. I know full well the subway is minimally accessibly and what elevators there are tend to be out of service more often than they are working. Also I can accept that a good 30-40% of ground level shops/restaurants/offices/etc are gonna have steps that preclude me from actually getting inside and 95% of the apartments aren't going to work for a para. Still the city intrigues me. There's no way I would want to live there forever. In fact if I stayed more than 12 months I would be shocked. It's almost like I want to do it just so I can prove to myself that I could do it... you know the whole "if you can make it there you can make it anywhere" type of vibe.

    Plus eventually I'm planning on traveling my ass off, and from what I can gather (being very, very poorly traveled prior to my injury) the rest of the world aint nearly as accessible as most of the United States is, so a little exercise in learning to deal in NYC could be a valuable skill building exercise. Plus there's a lot of super cool stuff in New York.

    I'd love to hear anyone's opinion on living in NYC in a wheelchair. But even if you've just traveled there, I'd like to hear your experiences. I'd guess that a bus is gonna be 90% accessible, but maybe I'm deluding myself. I certainly wouldn't bother with a car in Manhattan, and I'd be making enough money to take a cab everywhere if I absolutely had to... and knowing that cabs (in my experience in other cities) are quite reluctant to stop for wheelchair users, nowadays we've got uber so they pretty much have to accept the fare before they see the wheelchair I don't think transportation would be that much of a hassle.

    But anyway I'm rambling now, any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    I grew up 40 miles away in Jersey. Have been injured for 22 years and go in as often as possible. If was there regularly, I would def need to add a power assist to my manual chair.

    We know several people in chairs there.

    Go for it, NYC is amazing.

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    • #3
      You might want to contact someone at the USA (United Spinal Association) headquarters. They're in the Bronx, not Manhattan, but they serve a lot of people with SCI in the greater NYC area.

      (KLD)
      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Jim View Post
        I grew up 40 miles away in Jersey. Have been injured for 22 years and go in as often as possible. If was there regularly, I would def need to add a power assist to my manual chair.

        We know several people in chairs there.

        Go for it, NYC is amazing.
        Okay, I got a bunch more questions for you.

        When you go to the city do you ride buses? subway? It seems like the subway might work in certain conditions as long as you plan it out precisely ahead of time and don't run into an elevator that's down, but I don't know how realistic it is to use regularly for transportation.

        How hard is it to get a taxi if your on your own in a wheelchair? (I feel like yellow cabs just wouldn't stop).

        How hard is it to get around in the winter? I'm from the south so we drive everywhere and it only snows once or twice a year and melts almost immediately. I'm kinda paranoid that a good six inches of snow would make it a bitch and a half to get to and from work, but maybe I'm just worrying about it because I've never experienced it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
          You might want to contact someone at the USA (United Spinal Association) headquarters. They're in the Bronx, not Manhattan, but they serve a lot of people with SCI in the greater NYC area.

          (KLD)
          Haven't heard of them before, but a quick look at their website seems like they're good people doing good work for us. Not sure how they could help me though?

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          • #6
            Up until moving to Los Angeles almost 4 years ago, I lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for decades. Why don't we arrange a time for a phone chat?
            stephen@bike-on.com

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            • #7
              Originally posted by stephen212 View Post
              Up until moving to Los Angeles almost 4 years ago, I lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for decades. Why don't we arrange a time for a phone chat?
              Don't you know it's 2018, no one talks on the phone any longer, that's just weird. (j/k)

              But really I'd rather have as much information on this thread as possible, in case someone has similar questions in the future. I know personally I always search this site and google when I'm pondering the accessibility of something.

              I might take you up on that phone call when it gets a little closer to actually being an option.

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              • #8
                In my prior life I managed residential real estate all over manhattan for the better of 20 yrs consisting of thousands of apartments from pre-war walk-ups to 68 sty glass towers, including everything in between. It's ground zero (no pun) for certain segments of society that want to connect with the like-minded, so it's good for them. It's also good for those seeking to work all but maybe 8-10 hrs a day, immersing yourself in your profession. I worked there long enough dealing with tenants and the issues they face that I didn't mind the 90 minute commute in order to get the hell out of Dodge each day, but then I was doing the family/Home Depot lifestyle at the time. I worshiped my little patch of green when I finally get home, but if I was single I'd might feel different. If you enjoy the rat-race, paying exorbitant rent for shoe-boxes, and getting lost in crowds crossing the street at waist-high level (rush hour crowds will literally spin you in circles). In your case you'd have to reside within vicinity of your office. If you can afford a full service building, preferably newer with wider bathrooms you'd be much better off.

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                • #9
                  I was there 6 months ago and the cabs were free. You call some *--- number and they come pick you up. There is an app that lets you know what's working/not working with the subways.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by baldfatdad View Post
                    I was there 6 months ago and the cabs were free. You call some *--- number and they come pick you up. There is an app that lets you know what's working/not working with the subways.
                    What do you mean "the cabs were free". You mean like some paratransit type deal where you call three days ahead of time and give them a four hour window in which you want to go somewhere?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tim C. View Post
                      In my prior life I managed residential real estate all over manhattan for the better of 20 yrs consisting of thousands of apartments from pre-war walk-ups to 68 sty glass towers, including everything in between. It's ground zero (no pun) for certain segments of society that want to connect with the like-minded, so it's good for them. It's also good for those seeking to work all but maybe 8-10 hrs a day, immersing yourself in your profession. I worked there long enough dealing with tenants and the issues they face that I didn't mind the 90 minute commute in order to get the hell out of Dodge each day, but then I was doing the family/Home Depot lifestyle at the time. I worshiped my little patch of green when I finally get home, but if I was single I'd might feel different. If you enjoy the rat-race, paying exorbitant rent for shoe-boxes, and getting lost in crowds crossing the street at waist-high level (rush hour crowds will literally spin you in circles). In your case you'd have to reside within vicinity of your office. If you can afford a full service building, preferably newer with wider bathrooms you'd be much better off.
                      I'm single with no family to drag along and I've been a couple times though never in a chair, so I feel like I can deal with the crowds.

                      Ideally I'd like to live relatively close to my job, but that's relative, I don't mind a bit of a commute. I figure anything under 2 miles or so I'd just go via wheelchair unless the weather was particularly nasty, and like I said, even if I absolutely had to take a cab/uber everywhere, I could swing it. I don't think I'd be getting into the rat-race mindset because I'd more than likely be out of there in a year or two unless I absolutely loved it.

                      And I would expect to pay 3-4k for a decent studio apartment in an accessible building with an elevator, I'm used to living in relatively small spaces (one might even say shoebox-like). Until a few months ago when I moved into my current 600 square foot apartment the largest apartment I'd lived in during my 9 years post injury was 400 square feet and the first apartment I lived in was about 250 square feet. As long as I can get in the bathroom and close the door I'm good to go. I recognize it would be a pain in the ass to find an apartment, but once I found one I'd be done, if I had to move out for any reason I'd just quit my job and leave the city.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by funklab View Post
                        I'm single with no family to drag along and I've been a couple times though never in a chair, so I feel like I can deal with the crowds.

                        Ideally I'd like to live relatively close to my job, but that's relative, I don't mind a bit of a commute. I figure anything under 2 miles or so I'd just go via wheelchair unless the weather was particularly nasty, and like I said, even if I absolutely had to take a cab/uber everywhere, I could swing it. I don't think I'd be getting into the rat-race mindset because I'd more than likely be out of there in a year or two unless I absolutely loved it.

                        And I would expect to pay 3-4k for a decent studio apartment in an accessible building with an elevator, I'm used to living in relatively small spaces (one might even say shoebox-like). Until a few months ago when I moved into my current 600 square foot apartment the largest apartment I'd lived in during my 9 years post injury was 400 square feet and the first apartment I lived in was about 250 square feet. As long as I can get in the bathroom and close the door I'm good to go. I recognize it would be a pain in the ass to find an apartment, but once I found one I'd be done, if I had to move out for any reason I'd just quit my job and leave the city.
                        In that case go for it, get a 12 mo lease but don't pay fees, it's the shoebox capital of the world.

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                        • #13
                          Your going to need 6k + a month to live if your paying 4k for rent. I'm curious, what profession has a starting salary of 75K. Personally I would hate to live in NYC, I'd find a job somewhere with 1k a month rent and put the other 3k in some type of retirement plan. I don't enjoy looking at assholes and elbows. Give me some wide open spaces.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wes4dbt View Post
                            Your going to need 6k + a month to live if your paying 4k for rent. I'm curious, what profession has a starting salary of 75K. Personally I would hate to live in NYC, I'd find a job somewhere with 1k a month rent and put the other 3k in some type of retirement plan. I don't enjoy looking at assholes and elbows. Give me some wide open spaces.
                            Right, I plan on 6-8k living expenses, after taxq. If I was going to be making 75k before taxes I wouldn't even think about trying to live there, that's like $4000 a month after tax, especially being an out-of-towner who's not willing to live with a roommate who needs a wheelchair accessible building that would be practically impossible. I have a professional degree, and after I finish my four years of training I expect to be well into the six figure salary range.

                            For myself I would never plan on retirement. Currently while I'm finishing my training I'm making a salary and some 3% of it is going into a retirement fund (that I gather I can't really touch until I'm 65 or so), I pretty much chalk that money up to being another tax, I'll never see 65 (which is only slightly less than 30 years in my future), and I'll certainly never see any 401k money put in such an account. Putting 3k a month in a retirement fund is as anathema to me as I gather blowing that same amount of money on rent for a studio apartment is to you (and I can certainly appreciate your perspective).

                            Obviously you think i'm vastly underestimating the costs of living in one of the most expensive and inaccessible cities in the world, but I assure you I am not. I'm just pondering on living there for kicks and giggles and "life experience" for a year or so because I'm 100% sure I can do so financially (as long as I remain lonely and single).

                            If you're into elbows, that's just weird, but personally I don't mind looking at the assholes as long as a fair few of them are reasonably attractive...

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                            • #15
                              Well I have a professional degree also but my starting salary was 25k (1983). An attorney starts @ 90k now a days, but if you don't want to say what your profession is, that's fine. I'm not sure why you don't think you'll make 65, I'm a C5/6 and I made it. I didn't think I would in 1977 when I broke my neck, but here I am. And I've done enough drinking, smoking and drugs to kill a whole herd of horses. I'm retired now and I'm bored stiff. Anyway good luck.

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