My first apartment is off of a big Avenue where there are hundreds of cars passing by each hour. The room gets extremely dusty 2 days after cleaning, and worst of all, there are bedbugs/cockroaches that live in the walls that are impossible to exterminate without evacuating the entire building. I wasted hundreds of dollars cleaning/throwing away bedbug infested clothes/furnitures, not to mention the itchy bug bites that took weeks to subside.
Needless to say, I had to move to another apartment, on a quieter street. The noise level was much more tolerable, and the first couple of months were quite pleasant. Then it all started going downhill as winter rolled around. First, the heater are steam-based, which means it makes a very unpleasant hissing sound whenever it is circulating, coupled with loud clacking noises under the floor and the smell of rusty metal.
Not long ago there was a pretty heavy thunderstorm at 2AM in the morning on a Tuesday, all of a sudden I woke up from my sleep with the bed dripping wet. I turned the lights on and discovered the ceiling is leaking water (I am not even on the top floor). Apparently there was a crack on the outside layer of the wall, causing the rain to flow into the walls and across my bedroom. I had to spend the rest of the night in my common room while leaving several buckets in my bedroom to catch the rain.
A few weeks ago I started to discover mice droppings in my kitchen. I am a pretty neat person and I generally don't leave food around, so I suspect they are coming from other parts of the building. I bought some sticky traps and left them in the kitchen. Yesterday evening I came back and heard a squeaking noise. Well, you can guess the rest. Disposing a live mouse is something I never thought I'd do after moving to the biggest city in a first world country.
It has been 2 years since I started work in NYC, I am still not sure if I will ever be able to get accustomed to the city life.
FYI I am not living in some dump apartment either, my rent for the first apartment was $1350, and the second one $2000. I can get a huge 2 bedroom apt for like $900 back when I was living in Indiana.