Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Advice for the NYC-bound

Recently a dear friend of mine asked me if I had any advice for her; she is expecting to move to NYC within a year. Here's what I told her:
Dearest Ashley,

New York City is an amazing place to live. These adjectives come to mind:


Now, I know some of those will sound contradictory, and they are. It's a place of conflicted experiences. Whatever happens, you will never forget it.

Some people have positive experiences, and some people have negative experiences. Some of that has to do with whether a person is a homebody, and whether they are cut out for city life. Since you are drawn to it, odds are you are cut out for it, though there will be an adjustment period. Some of it has to do with a person's disposition, but some of it has to do with some specific factors.

So, my dear little sister, this is what I have for you:

1. Find a good church. I know you haven't been going to church, but Ashley, I guarantee you that you will find no better opportunity to meet interesting people who actually care that you will thrive, than in a good Christian church. And that is perhaps the single most important aspect to having a positive experience in NYC. For two reasons: (1) NYC life is lonely life, and this way you will be connected, and (2) You'll meet more people this way, and the more people you meet, the better. Somebody will have a rooftop apartment in Brooklyn and you'll watch the July 4th fireworks with an amazing view of the whole city. Somebody will be living the life you want to live (maybe they're a photographer) and potentially have connections for you, and/or advice. And some people, you'll just plain love and be so glad to have them in your life.

2. Better to be somewhat poor in the pursuit of your dream, than somewhat stable in a life-sucking, dead-end job. But those are two extremes, both of which you'll hopefully be able to avoid.

3. Be safe. Hide yo kids, hide yo wife. Best to have somebody with you if walking the streets at night. Depends on the area. You'll figure it out, though. Most areas are quite safe.

4. Travel light. You won't have a lot of space.


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