Living in NYC - it's oh so hard. And yes, it is, that's not mere hyperbole. (I'm sure I need not count the ways.) But there are a couple of counterfactuals, things that go against the popular grain of the exigencies of life in NYC.
First, paid sick leave -- it's a roaring success! Several years ago there was much debate in this city about whether or not requiring companies to provide paid sick leave would hurt the economy and cost it jobs. (Oh yes, 'twas very controversial.) Turns out -- it doesn't! In fact, ever since paid sick leave was mandated, the city's economy has boomed and more jobs have been created. So in NYC today there more jobs and they provide paid sick leave. Ain't that grand?
Okay, great, I got a job with paid sick leave. So where am I gonna live? Where can I find a place I can afford?
Staten Island might be the place. There is a boom in apartment construction there, it is becoming an increasingly desirable place to live. No longer is it a Guido Alabama, the black sheep of NYC. Staten Island is becoming a housing magnet, a place where you can still be middle class (sorta) in NYC.
So yes, life in NYC is hard but not, always, impossible.