Depends, I rent a 2 bedroom in seattle for 1525 downtown, and take the bus on microsoft's dime to work almost everyday. In new york I lived in what was more or less a walk in closet for 600 and purchased a monthly subway pass for about 85$ a month.
Theres so much to do in new york though that the accomodations didn't really impact my quality of life.
Additionally, Food was cheaper in astoria than it is in seattle, or than it was in california. Street vendors are tasy and inexpensive. Resturants outside of manhatten are reasonable. A couple of resturants inside of manhatten are reasonable.
Clothing was pretty cheap especially for the quality level if one is willing to hunt around a bit for good aftermarket stores.
7$ beers in the city were a little annoying but prices plummet as you head towards queens or brooklynn.
Life may be cheaper in some locals but the quantity of ammenities and quality of life makes up for a possibly modest increase in expense.
. . . and before everyone starts down voting me let me just say "boo, microsoft bad. Wahh, terrible, evil giant"