How to Make S’mores in Your Apartment!

Happy National S’mores Day, Y’all!

If you’re like me and the summertime brings back childhood memories of family camping, fire pits, and frisbee, then the idea of a s’more right now is pretty exciting. However, if you are also like me and live in an apartment with no fire pit or fireplace, then s’mores have probably been off the menu for a while. Luckily, s’mores are actually pretty easy to make in an apartment! In addition to the normal ingredients, all you’ll need is a broiler, baking sheet, and some nostalgia.

How to make s'mores in your oven

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NYC Neighborhoods You Can Actually Afford

As you may already know, NYC is the least affordable city in the U.S. But if you are a renter, not all neighborhoods are created equal. The average cost of a rental in the Big Apple ranges from $1447.5 to $7640 per month, a difference of over $6,000, depending on the area. At the top of the list is obviously some of the most desirable real estate in the city. If you, like us, don’t make a million dollar salary, you probably can’t afford to rent a converted loft in TriBeCa. Nevertheless, you can find better deals in NYC neighborhoods without having to move out to the New Jersey or Long Island suburbs.

A view of lower Manhattan and three East River Bridges. Many of the most affordable, popular NYC neighborhoods are in the outer boroughs

According to Street Easy’s monthly report from May 2017, the below popular and growing NYC neighborhoods may actually be in your budget (on average below $2750 per month):

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Exploring the South Street Seaport

With food, shopping, nightlife, and unmatched views of the Brooklyn Bridge, the South Street Seaport is becoming the place to be. While it has always been one of the most historically important neighborhoods in New York City, a lot of New Yorkers had stopped going. Over the last several years, however, the Seaport has been undergoing a transformation that has brought more life to the neighborhood. As noted recently by the New York Times, developers have been remodeling the Seaport to cater to the growing residential population in the surrounding neighborhoods.

The South Street Seaport Museum

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Why City Residents Should Go Carless

Owning a car in a big city is often nothing but an expensive aggravation. Car ownership has long been viewed as the ultimate form of independence and freedom. In reality, however, automobile ownership offers the opposite. The US is largely built around auto travel. As a result, we are forced to make substantial (and rapidly depreciating) “investments” in cars, sit in traffic every day, and pay for never ending maintenance, insurance, gas, tolls, parking, and other fees. We do all this just to get around. If the financial costs weren’t enough, we are also saddled with a number of health, safety, and environmental issues as a result of our reliance on cars.

Photo of city traffic, one of the reasons why city residents should consider ditching their cars
Photo by Nabeel Syed on Unsplash

While getting rid of the car may be practically impossible for most Americans, residents in many cities have the benefit of being able to get by on foot and with public transportation. These lucky city dwellers should consider their alternative options and lose the car!

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Best Dog Breeds for City Living

Thinking about getting a dog, but worried about finding a good match for your city lifestyle? There are obviously a lot of factors to consider when picking the best breed for you: how much time you have to dedicate to exercising or socializing your dog; the size of your apartment; proximity to green space or dog parks; whether you have any other pets or children in your household; as well as a bunch of other concerns. It is a lot to think about!

Best dog breed for city living

To help you get started, we put together a list of some dog breeds suited for apartment and urban living.

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NYC Restaurant Week 2017 – Where to Go

Happy foodies’ paradise, New Yorkers! Restaurant Week is officially upon us yet again. This time, the joyous occasion runs from July 24th until August 18th. At participating restaurants, you can order from incredible 3-course prix fixe menus at some of the most popular and well-repututed restaurants in all of NYC. And the best part is, it is all for a reasonable price: $29 for lunch and $42 for dinner. Restaurant Week is a great way to experience restaurants on your bucket list without breaking the bank.

Below are some of the best restaurants participating in Restaurant Week. What are you waiting for? Make some reservations!

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New York is the Most Expensive City in America… What Else is New?

New York City is the least affordable major city in the United States. For those of you who live in New York, this should come as no surprise.

Photo of New York City, the least affordable city in America

WalletHub just published their 2017 rankings for the best big cities in the US to live in. They ranked 62 cities across five different categories: affordability; economy; education and health; quality of life; and safety. Each score looked at a number of metrics. Virginia Beach, VA ranked 1st, with New York coming in at 11th. Detroit, MI was at the end of the pack.

Take a look at some of the other top cities below:

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Scoring Free Tickets to Late Night Shows in NYC

Many of the late night comedy and talk shows film right here in NYC and offer free tickets. Ken and I have been fortunate to attend tapings of both Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. We had so much fun at both shows!

Set from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Free tickets!
Set from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Below is a brief guide for how you see some of the most influential comedians of our time for free:

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9 Fun and Unique NYC Date Ideas

Even with the seemingly endless activities and events in New York City, sometimes it can be difficult to get inspiration for a date night. Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. Below is a list of nine unique activities you should try in NYC for your next date:

Visit Governor’s Island

Governor's Island ferry terminal in Lower Manhattan.
Governor’s Island ferry terminal

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Our Very First Blog Post!

Hi all – Carrie and Ken here. This is our first blog post! Welcome to Life Below the Skyline.

A little bit about us, we have been living in NYC since 2014. We are both in love with this city and the city lifestyle that comes with it. So we were inspired to create a blog to share with the world our thoughts, experiences, and some useful information about city living.

Thanks for visiting and we hope you enjoy our future posts!