I’ve been living -surviving- in NYC/BK for 14 months and 13 days. Recently I’ve been having a lot of conversations with people complimenting me regarding my persistence and positive outlook in spite of all the obstacles I have faced since transplanting. Damn! I’ve got to say, I don’t always feel positive. But I refuse to give up. I’m here now. There is no turning back.
When I lived in Michigan I owned a 2 bedroom house with a nice yard in a great neighborhood, I had 2 vehicles, and I made about $50,000 a year with a full benefits package. Starting March 2008 I was visiting NYC it was always hell for me to return to Michigan. I was literally in and out of the hospital and medical treatment for stress, anxiety and depression that was so intense it started manifesting into physical ailments. I have been here in NY for just over a year… and I have not been sick since I got here. In 14 months I have lived in 9 different apartments in 7 different neighborhoods, I make less than $10,000 a year, no benefits… and I have no desire to go back. Don’t get me wrong --- I’d love to finally settle down in a place to call home, stop living out of a suitcase with the same 3 pairs of pants and 6 shirts, and have a steady paycheck… but I never expected this to be easy. If you move to NYC and expect anything to be easy, you’re a fool.
While I have not always had money… I have to say that living here in NY is the most broke I have ever been. I am usually the one helping others, paying for drinks, dinner, movies, buying gifts… all that good stuff. I wanted to pay for everything for everyone when we’d go out. Now, the tables have turned.. I am quickly being humbled by the generosity of my NY family (“friends”). I’m tearing up just writing this paragraph. I’m certain and determined that one day I will be back on my feet and all will even out. But for now, I am supremely, graciously, forever thankful to everyone that has helped me in any way. Even just getting on a guest list to see live music is huge to me. While it is normally just a few dollars, it is a few dollars I don’t have… but going to shows is such amazing therapy for me!
After graduating high school in 1995, I quickly moved to Indian Harbor / Melbourne, Florida. I was 18 and only lasted a few months until I ran out of money. But it was a great experience that really piqued my desire for travel and change. My path is as follows: Michigan - Florida - Michigan - Indiana - Arizona - Michigan - Indiana - North Carolina - Michigan - New York - 10 states in 16 years. (Lord only knows how many cities!).
Just about everyone asks me why I keep hopping around. Why don’t I just get a place and stay. Well, I’m still new to New York. When I was visiting here, I would stay at Carlton Arms Hotel in Gramercy area of NYC. I never ventured into Brooklyn. Everything I wanted to do was in the city. I walked and/or took cabs everywhere because I knew nothing about the subway system. Once I finally got moved here, I was living in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. I had only ever been there once, the night before I flew back to Michigan, to view the apt and for a very quick meet with my future roommies. My sublease was only a few months. Long story short… I didn’t want to sign a lease somewhere without really knowing the area(s). So, I decided to just pick up month-to-month sublets in different neighborhoods until I found one I like(d). As it stands, Greenpoint/Williamsburg (south/proper) wins!
I am in my current place until the end of February. I’m hoping to round up some chill roommies and find a decent long-term place to move in March.
I moved here originally to get a job at the ASPCA animal hospital in Manhattan. Now that I am here, I have been spending oodles and bunches of time on the music scene. I love it! I’ve been shooting video, helping with promo, street team, merch, booking, networking… etc. Since I am not a musician, I suppose I never really thought I could do anything with my love for music. I just thought I would forever be nothing more than a fan. But the music community here (specifically in and around Rockwood Music Hall) have really welcomed me with open arms, spectacular people and outstanding music! I’m thankful for all of the love and encouragement I continue to receive.
I am determined to be settled into a long-term place by this summer. I am hoping to find a place to share with some great people and also have space enough (even just a living room couch) to allow friends / family to stay when / if they ever need to. I know what it is like to be in need… and if I can help others avoid that misery, I’ll do all I can.
My sincere thank-you to all of the people that have helped me in any way… from guest lists and metro card swipes to couch surfs and financial support. I am forever in your debt for helping make my dreams come true.
First off... my apologies to all of you that have been asking for a NYC update haven't received it until now. If you follow my facebook/twitter feeds at all, you know that I am always running around with work and music. I don't want anyone to feel as if I have forgotten them. I haven't. I think about you all, all the time. There is SO much going on here, I see reminders of you kids everywhere! And I want to share with you! My a-third-of-the-way-into-the-new-year intention will be to keep you kids more updated on a regular basis. With real posts (like this one)... not just facebook/twitter status.
As most of you know, I moved here November 16th, 2010. My lovely friend, Lauren, hooked me up with a sublet with a couple of girls she knew from an internship. I lived with them until March 27, 2011. They were really super roommies. We got along very well and they liked my doggies and my doggies liked them. That is a big deal! When I moved to NYC, I put 99% of my stuff in storage in Michigan and only brought with me my dogs and what I could fit in the van I rented to get me here. 3 suitcases, 5 totes and a few boxes. The first 4 months I slept on a "bed" I made out of 11 folded up blankets on the hardwood floor. But I am finally in NYC so it didn't matter!
I started working at Crumbs Bake Shop (Grand Central location) on December 13th. I really love my co-workers and the job. So easy. As I said in a previous post, I sell cupcakes all day and go to rock n roll shows at night! How bad can it be?!
Well, I finally got a second job. My friend, Jon, gave me the info to a catering place he works for. I sent them my resume on a Thursday and by Saturday I had an interview set up for Monday. I went. Talked to 3 super nice people, and got the job! The pay is ridiculous (in a good way) and the hours are mine to decide! Basically they say we have this event, this event, this event... do you want to work it? They don't tell you the details (what the event is or who is attending) so it isn't like you can pick the "celebrity stuff".
My first event was Thursday April 14. I had to work at cupcakes 6a-230p (which meant being awake at 330a). My event was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art 430p-11p. I actually got to my event an hour early. I'll detail the event later (as most of you know, I got to meet Steve Martin!) but for now I just want to write something for you and get it posted. Considering it was my first time ever catering, I think it went really well. I met some really wonderful people. I like that while you are always doing the same thing, you won't always be doing the same thing. The events, co-workers, locations, guests... they all change. I think that will keep it fun. I hope so anywhom!
I am still hoping for the job at the ASPCA animal hospital. I still apply to whatever they have that might at least get my foot in the door.
But for now, I am just trying to enjoy and make the most of what I have. Granted, my hours are kinda screwed up, and I lack sleep quite often, but I feel like it is worth it. This is what I moved here for. To meet people and enjoy everything I can. Learn and experience. I wasn't raised with much for musical background, so the music scene is incredible to me! While sometimes I feel a bit silly and uneducated in rock n roll music history, at the same time, I love learning... and I love that the people I have met don't make me feel stupid about it. Music is such a huge part of my life. I've said it before-- while I don't have the talent to be a musician, I believe I must have been a musician in a previous life or I am practicing for a future life, because I know I have the passion. While I honestly do only promote musicians / music / shows I like, I feel like I kinda do it as a way to live through them and their music. When I post / promote something, it is a little bit of me wanting you to see that part of me. There is something I want to say or something I want you to feel (or understand how I feel) with that song. Granted, sometimes I just post silliness... but I hope you know me well enough to be able to tell the difference!I would also like to note that I am thoroughly enjoying my new videographer "job" for one of my favorite people and musicians.
Video 1 -- Video 2 -- Video 3 -- This is all that has been released so far. I would say not bad for my first time ever!
I have to move out of this current sublease the beginning of June. I have a pretty good line on a possible roommate. We seem to have a lot in common and the same outlook for what we want in our living situation. I'll keep you posted as that unfolds. I know that once I get away from short subleases and start leveling out with my work hours and money, things will be fine. I don't really need much money to live here. I know my folks and friends back home get worried about me, and I appreciate the concern... but it really isn't bad here. I actually spend less "fun money" here than I ever did anywhere else. It may be hard to believe, but it is true. Basically every other place I have lived I had to drive for any form of entertainment. That called for a vehicle, auto insurance, gas, spending money once I got to where I was going, possible room and board... it all adds up quickly. Not to mention the time and stress. Here is so much easier and cheaper for me. Most of the music places I frequent have no cover charge. They pass around a tip jar for the artists (I always tip) but I don't spend much while I am out. I pay about $100 a month, total, for all of my transportation. AND I am not the one that is driving! So other than being worried about a late train now and again, I just sit back and try to rest while I get where I am going. I've been getting a lot of reading done... I can tell you that! Also, EVERYTHING is so concentrated! There have literally been nights that I have seen 6 bands in 4 different venues in a 3 block radius. I LOVE IT!
Yeah, so... every morning I walk through the gorgeous Grand Central Station on my way to sell cupcakes with people I enjoy working with. When I cater I meet new people and sometimes get to see performances I may never have seen or been eligible to attend (all while getting paid!). When I am not working, I am going to live music and comedy shows or just plain old walking around this beautiful city. Other than having a cute boy to share it with, I would say that I am pretty happy right now. And if you know me, that is saying A LOT!