What percentage of midwestern kids who consider New York City to be some sort of ideal, Mecca-like destination are getting 100% of their information about it from watching "Sex and the City"?
All of them. Well, we can count "Friends" and "Seinfeld" too.
Let ginandtacos.com set a few things straight for all the "God, NYC is so fuckin' awesome, I'm totally moving there" crowd. Public service is always our #1 priority.
"Rent Control", a phrase with which you are familiar entirely because of Sarah Jessica Parker, is something that all 10 million people in New York are fighting to get. There is a long, long waiting list and midwestern transplants are not at the top of it. Here is an excellent article by raging conservative Paul Krugman explaining why A) rent control is retarded and B) you're not going to get it.
You are not the only person who came up with the idea of moving out there to get a non-job such as housesitting, being a DJ, tending bar, walking dogs, being a professional shopper, etc. With a million people moving there a year with these ideas in their head, the odds are strongly in favor of you, like those who went before you, waiting tables for a wage that will not meet your non-rent-controlled rent (see above point for a refresher on why you will not be getting the rent control Ms. Parker told you about).
The people you meet in NYC will be, for the most part, the exact same mixture of assholes, hipsters, nice people, intelligent people, and morons that you will meet in any other city. One advantage you will notice is that your friends in NYC will most likely be poorer and underemployed.
Not having a car is not a catch-all solution to economizing your cost of living. No one has a car there, we already know that. And we also know that this fact comes nowhere close to offsetting the cost of MetroCards, cabs, deliveries, and higher costs of everything. The first time you go to a $10 movie or saddle up to a bar for a $5 bottle of Pabst, the economics will start to make sense to you.
After a year passes and the novelty wears off, New York (a city which I honestly like very much) will have all of its illusions washed away and you will see it for what it is: dirty, stuffed to the gills with people, expensive, and home to some of the most pervasive poverty west of Calcutta. Just like any other city.
Whatever friends or acquaintances you have in NYC are not going to be able to change any of these facts for you. Knowing someone is not a "Get Out of Jail Free" card for all of the negative aspects of the city.
Whatever skills you may posess will be irrelevant in a city where a few million other people have the same skills.
When you slink back to the midwest, we will know exactly why you are doing so. Any attempts to play it off as a choice you made, rather than one that was made for you, will demean us all.
In short, I love New York City and all the people I know there. At the same time, I am choking back bile at this point from listening to people who grew up in Palatine talk about how it is a paradise that will solve all their problems. If you're bored, lonely, and unhappy, you'll be the same when you get there. The difference is that you will be much poorer. New Yorkers are not, contrary to their own opinions and glamorization in the media, the finest people on Earth; they are merely the most numerous.