If you are reading this, you may be thinking of moving to NYC or you’ve been there, done that and are reading to see how accurate this is. I only have my experience to tell. I thought I was smart about some things, but life reminded me that shit happens. Here we go!
1. Know Thyself
Why the hell are you moving to one of the most cut-throat cities in the world? If you are moving here you have to have a plan to meet with the people from your industry, to be seen, and to be heard. Get ready for constantly being surrounded by the most talented, smart, and pretty people you have ever seen. Have your plan and you do you!!
Clear storage bins are your friend—it took me twenty minutes for me to move in to my first furnished apartment. You bet these suckers will be used forever. Bonus: when your new roommates lie to you about bed bugs, you can easily put all your clothes back into the bins when the exterminator comes to spray your closet with deadly chemicals.
The storage bins also make life easier for moving out :))
Be prepared for the worst (like being lied to about bedbugs)! If you are subletting, be sure to get everything in writing!! My “sweet” roomies decided to raise my rent just because they wanted to. I was told it was a smoke free and drug free apartment and it was not. Be prepared to walk away. I was in my first apartment for four months–had an elevator, stylish and fully furnished living room and bedroom, had a view of Morningside Park and I felt safe in my neighborhood. However, my roommates were toxic and immature and I needed to get out of there. Oh, and did I forget to mention the bed bugs?
4. The Hustle
I’m highly motivated by money, so hustling appeals to me. I came to NYC with a plan and a back up plan–and neither really stuck. I had a temp job interview already set up when I moved here and I had a temp job in my second week in the city. I also had “Mary Claire’s Day Care” (my rhyming babysitting service) and nannying friends in the city who could easily refer me—I became the backup nanny to all the other nannys. I revamped bios and resumes for $25 each. I also held Skype voice lessons with my former students. I was a substitute church singer. Oh, that leads me to my number 5.
You knew this was coming. I saw other friends move to NYC with limited funds end up not doing what they wanted to do, because the needed to pay freakin’ rent. So, I brought more than some pocket change to NYC—I won’t tell you the exact number, but my year of living at home, teaching a full voice studio, and babysitting helped me save. I came to NYC with funds to go out to see shows and experience the city as a 20 something year old.
Traffic on the odd number avenues move ↓
Traffic on the even number avenues move ↑
It is so pitiful that I didn’t know that until recently.
7. Outer Wear
Do yourself a favor and invest in a warm coat (with a hood!), a real raincoat (with a hood!), waterproof snow boots, rain boots, and some leather gloves. Do it now!! When the NYC cold hits it bitch slaps you, your tears will freeze.
***Watch out for the slush puddles!***
8. Getting from A to B
-The Subway will usually be much faster than a taxi/uber/lyft/juno
-Google maps will be your best friend and will usually be clueless with how long it takes to get somewhere. Does it say 20 minutes? No, no, that’s actually 50 minutes.
-Carry Cash!!!! (and have a hundred dollar emergency fund of cash in your apartment. I wish I followed my own rule…)
-The day you don’t bring a back up phone charger is the day your phone dies and you are lost at 2am.
Things should align. There will be moments of serendipity that lead to one event and another. If you are feeling burnt out and not catching a single break, please re-evaluate what’s not working and fix it. This is hard on the ego but worth it. NYC is magical. The “New York Minute” saying is real. Live big. Live without apologizing. Go live your best life.