Whenever I try to summarize life in the big city I think of lyrics from Evita, my first broadway experience.
Eva beware of the city.
It’s hungry and cold, can’t be controlled, it is mad.
Those who are fools are swallowed up whole…
New York City is unlike anywhere I have encountered in my travels. One could easily be “swallowed up whole” just trying to cross the street.
That said, New York is magical. The hustle and bustle of the city makes you feel as if anything is possible. Constant energy radiates throughout the city and opportunity lies around every corner.
Though I have only been in the city a month, I have learned three valuable lessons about establishing oneself in a new location.
Connections Are Key
Coming to New York City, I knew very few people. (Okay fine, I’ll admit it – I was essentially friendless.) Making an entire group new group of friends is not an easy feat. Prior to leaving Seattle, I reached out to friends and colleagues asking if they could connect me to their connections. Already, this has resulted in a dozen coffee meetings and valuable insight on the city. (Thanks everyone – you’re the best!)
Rent in New York is extremely high. Finding an apartment can prove to be a painstaking difficult task. Moving to the city I had a few options:
- Live in Brooklyn, Queens, or New Jersey to save money on rent and have a longer commute. This option would allow me to be able to live in a nicer apartment and have more disposable income.
- Live in Manhattan, spend more money on rent, and save time on a commute. This option would allow me to live in a more convenient location, but would give me far less disposable income.
I ultimately decided to move to Manhattan. When I took everything into account, I was able to find an apartment share that was all inclusive. Gym. Laundry. Dishwasher. Prime Location. Over the course of a year, I decided that this would ultimately save me thousands of dollars on a a gym membership, going to the laundry mat, transportation passes and most importantly, my time. Something that I have always believed in, is that more money can always be made, you can never get more time.
Something to be aware of is that in New York, the real estate market looks far different than the rest of the country. Most places require broker fees, first and last months rent, and a deposit. To be safe, I would encourage saving a few months rent prior to making a move to the big city. That said, I was able to find a place without broker fees by utilizing Craigslist to find an great apartment and roommate.
Ask For What You Need
If you ask questions, you will find answers. Mind reading is a skill that many people have not mastered. From jobs to apartments, simply asking your connections “Do you know of anyone that could help me?” can be your golden ticket. In turn, asking your connections what they are looking for can help them reach their own goals.
Thank you to everyone has aided in making this transition as seamless as possible. Moving to a new place can feel intimidating at times, but I am fortunate to have a network of supportive friends and colleagues who have helped me in the process.
In the city in the coming months? I would love to get together.