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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The logistics of finding a place to live

Now down to my last couple of shifts at work and counting down until the day I fly up. I've been trying to wrap my brain around some logistics. In a way, it would be easier if I were moving up in one motion but instead, I'm taking a few suitcases (and I also mailed some clothes up ahead of me), and then in a few weeks, depending on the housing scenario I decide on (room share, studio, sublet, etc.), I'll be flying back down when I can manage it and, somehow, borrowing a car or taking a uHaul up with the rest of my stuff. The ideal scenario would be of course to take as little as possible, i.e. clothes, books, creature comforts, kitchen stuff and my computer and musical instruments, and get all the big stuff I need up there, i.e. furniture. Or I could just look for a place that's already furnished, whether it be a sublet or a room share. No one wants to move furniture into a tiny walk-up.

I'm still waiting to hear back about that job offer, the exact details of which will determine what type of housing scenario I go after. If prospects look good that it'll be full time and if we can negotiate a decent salary then I may just shoot for a studio or a one bed. As I type this, I hear that familiar (to me) echo of every friend I have in New York to whom I've spoken about this. "The first place you get into in New York is not going to be ideal but it's important that you take it so you'll have a base of operations from which to look for your ideal living scenario." I'm really considering now just going in on a room share or a sublet, regardless of the situation with my job. It's the path of least resistance. I more than likely won't have to jump through as many hoops, (employment verification, copies of pay stubs, etc.) and it'll be more affordable to boot sharing a place with someone.

And in that case, I can start looking for apartments the moment I hit the ground on Saturday. I started researching apartments this summer and it has not only been incredibly entertaining but, in a way, it has sustained me. At times when living in New York seemed so far off, I could just open up newyork.craigslist.org and maps.google.com and peruse the ads to my heart's content. It would take my mind off the wait.

A while back I even posted an ad on craigslist looking for a roommate, well before I had any business doing so. The result was that I got in touch with a 26 year old nurse from SC who was looking to move to NYC in the same manner as me, straight out of school and after a stint living with the parents. We hit it off and chatted on the phone loads of times and would send each other ad postings for apartments on craigslist that we thought were good and comment on each others' tastes. For a while, it really seemed like it would work out, despite close family members begging me to be careful with potential internet psychos. She seemed pretty normal and, in fact, she was. But, I was not ready to move, then. And neither was she. She was waiting until she graduated in December and then when I called her around that time she said her money wasn't where it needed to be. Whatever that meant. We lost touch with each other, tried to reconnect and then ultimately lost touch again.

Now that I'm going for sure, I'm not too inclined to call this girl. Not that I think she's a flake or I think she's psycho (which I don't). I think it's just a better idea at this point to find a sublet or a room share. For several reasons. I'll come off much cheaper then trying to get a new lease on a place, where I stand to pay anywhere from security and first month to security, first and last month plus broker fee. I'm prepared to be faced with the much higher cost of living in New York but I don't necessarily need to be beaten over the head with it mere days after landing at LaGuardia airport. In a room share, I could learn a lot more about the city from a veteran and even make a friend or friends out of the situation. Plus, I'll more than likely find a furnished apartment waiting for me or at the very least not have to buy as much furniture.

It might sound funny but I'm actually looking forward to the adventure of finding an apartment. The adventure of moving the rest of my stuff into that apartment, however, is something I'm somewhat dreading. Especially if it involves driving a uHaul, or anything for that matter, through the city.

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