Adobe Stock/Natalia Bratslavsky

New York City is notorious for being expensive. Too expensive for many of its residents to afford the cost of living, so many of them are migrating to Philadelphia, where housing can cost half that of New York's, says Matt Katz for The New York Times.

But this is not just the same story of young artisans priced out of Chelsea. There’s another kind of New York transplant spreading out into Philadelphia--a quiet wave of immigrants who stop for a few months or several years in New York before finding a more manageable city an hour and 45 minutes down the New Jersey Turnpike. These foreign-born ex-New Yorkers are enlivening Philadelphia’s businesses, restaurants and neighborhoods with a diversity only now beginning to come into focus. The number of residents born abroad has increased 69 percent in Philadelphia since 2000, according to a study by the Pew Charitable Trusts, and immigrants now amount to nearly one-fifth of the city’s work force. Many arrived via New York.

Immigrant or hipster, there’s a chief reason for choosing Philadelphia over New York: Cost of living. The American dream feels more attainable in Philadelphia at the moment. Asked about the flight of immigrant New Yorkers who are being priced out of the city, Seth Stein, a spokesman for New York City’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, acknowledged the “challenges of income inequality and the affordability crisis that many New Yorkers face.” But Mr. Stein said that New York is still “the ultimate city of immigrants,” with health care and legal services offered to those newcomers.

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