TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
New York Harbor and lower Manhattan, as seen from the Staten Island Ferry in February
They’re outta here!
Battered by a seemingly endless winter, many formerly diehard New Yorkers are making the life-altering decision to quit the city for more sympathetic climes.
“The cold just rips your skin and causes cracks and I’m tired of it,” said Joe Parisi, a 64-year-old interior designer who has lived in the city since 1976 but recently packed it all in to move to Palm Springs, Calif. “The lure of the sunshine and the mountains just finally got me this year and I said, ‘I’m ready to leave.’ ”
He’s doing it for himself — and his 7-year-old dog, Ajax.
“Getting around the city has been so difficult,” he said. “When I walk around, Ajax starts looking like a mop. He comes back looking as black as ebony. It’s really gotten on my nerves.”
Parisi’s Greenwich Village apartment was scooped up quickly, said his broker, Barry Silverman of Halstead Property.
You can’t blame Parisi for bailing out. New Yorkers endured the coldest February in more than 80 years, with an average temperature of just 24.1 degrees. And March came in like a lion with a storm Thursday that brought a fresh batch of sleet.
The slapping wind and snow have been mood-killers across the board.
“My wife just crawls into a little ball on the couch all winter long,” said Josh Goldworm, a Stuyvesant Town resident who’s planning on moving to Florida. “We thought we would want to be in New York forever, but these winters are just getting worse and worse.”
As soon as Goldworm’s wife, medical resident Avianne Hospedales, lines up a job in the Sunshine State, they’re hitting the road.
Massive snow storm hits NYC, Northeast
“They can’t wait to get out of here,” said their broker, Joanne Gamel of Citi Habitats.
And they’re not the only ones.
Emigration from New York has long been a trend. And in the last year, celebs such as Beyoncé, Lena Dunham and Katie Holmes have bid the city goodbye.
Approximately 50,000 New Yorkers move to Florida every year, more than twice the number that move from Florida to New York.
It’s not just retirees, either. About 78% of those people are under 60.
BARRY WILLIAMS/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Longtime New Yorker Joe Parisi walks Ajax.
“Buyers used to ask us, ‘East Side or West Side?’ when looking for a new home. They now ask, ‘East Side, West Side or Miami?’ ” said Wendy Maitland, president of sales at local brokerage Town Residential, whose company recently partnered with Florida firm Fortune International Group to help New Yorkers find homes there.
Corie Levy, a 32-year-old advertising exec who also had her fill of the slush, has already made the move to Fort Lauderdale with her hedge-funder husband, Jon — and, so far, she has no regrets.
“Winter did us in, and we just couldn’t do another one,” Levy told the Daily News. “It felt like it was going on forever. There was no escape.”
There’s no going back, anyway. Her Midtown apartment, which was listed by Bastian Weinhold of Brown Harris Stevens, just sold.
Leaving New York is never easy — just ask R.E.M. New Yorkers pride themselves on their ability to gut out indignities as wide- ranging as weekend subway closures, high rents, rats, no privacy and, of course, the Mets.
BARRY WILLIAMS/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Joe Parisi, a longtime New Yorker, gets some help from friend and realtor Barry Silverman, Halstead Property, LLC, packing some dishes as he prepares to move to warmer a climate
Surviving is a badge of honor.
Even fictional New Yorkers vow never to leave, even when their spirits flag.
“If you’re tired, you take a Napa, you don’t move to Napa!” Carrie says to her California-bound on-off boyfriend on one episode of “Sex and the City.”
And, certainly, the dream of leaving New York quickly meets the reality of living almost anywhere else.
“In Florida, you have hurricanes; in San Francisco, you have earthquakes; in Southern California, you have droughts and forest fires. And if you want to live in a permanent state of mist, you could always go to Seattle,” said Mitchell Moss, a professor of urban policy and planning at New York University. “At least New York has four seasons.”
Corie and Jon Levy in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
And, if you’re going to be cold, you may as well be cold in New York.
“As New Yorkers, we don’t let the cold interfere with our lives,” Moss said. “We thrive. We congregate at restaurants and bars, and there’s nothing we can’t get delivered to our homes. This is the only city where you can function without driving, without shoveling snow or without having to go outside for a meal.”
But maybe we’ve all been deluding ourselves. Maybe our supposed resiliency is just armor designed to block the allure of other cities and to restrain our inner doubts about the superiority of New York.
Once the armor is removed, after all, the eyes can see it all clearly, the ex-New Yorkers say.
“People said, ‘Oh, Florida? It’s for old people, it’s so boring. What are you going to do there?’ But, for us, the lifestyle here is so much better,” Levy said. “I miss my friends and the convenience of just running downstairs when I run out of milk, but that’s all. I just wasn’t appreciating New York anymore.”
Haters are going to hate — at least until winter comes around again.
“I think we’re going to have a lot of visitors when we get to Florida,” Hospedales said.
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JEFF BACHNER/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Another couple fleeing the cold: Dr. Avianne Hospedales and Josh Goldworm