Hello All! This is going to be a short update honestly. With all the chaos that the move in has induced this past few weeks, and the busy weekends I’ve been having difficulties producing not only posts, but quality posts. As a result i’ve decided to take a short reprieve from the blog until after October 6th. At which point I will resume posting for the foreseeable future my apologies for the inconsistent postings. I will return in a few weeks.
I know I’m a bit behind this week, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks now that i’m dealing with the move in to Sunnyside. Work has also kept me busy which doesn’t help honestly (not that I’m complaining about the job, I do love it). I haven’t had time to dive into my photography recently for the same reasons. I’ve been diving into trying to furnish my apartment, I need to buy a new bed frame, a new mattress, a new desk, a curio cabinet, curtains, and so much more. It’s proving to be a pricey undertaking thus far.
But I’ve digressed for long enough this week. It’s time to deal with the topic at hand, it’s pretty spot on so far. In the last two weeks I’ve taken on a new undertaking, the task of moderating a NYC Meetup Discord server. One of the things that i’d been worried about when it came to meeting new friends in Manhattan was the how of it? I have some existing friends in the area already but for the most part they’re all as busy as I am. When it comes to free time, they barely have the time to hangout with me, no less introduce me to new people. Here enters our lovely front page of the internet, Reddit. An unlikely tool in the task of making new friendships, it’s been a godsend, especially considering I recently gave up all social media (A post about all of that to come soon). It is actually what lead to me moderating this discord server. For the uninitiated, Reddit is a series of topic driven pages in this particular case we are talking about a subpage or a subreddit called nycmeetups. This Reddit group allows users to post meetup opportunities, or in this case a discord server.
This discord server now houses nearly 400 New Yorkers across the six different boroughs. It’s allowed people whom would otherwise never had the opportunity to chat, not only do that but plan meetups of an impromptu nature and physically meet up and hangout. So far, I’ve met up with some at bars, gone and played pool with others, and hit up the Queens Night Fair with another group. It allowed me to find people to attend the Gareth Emery show with in October, and has helped me find friends who enjoy hanging out with me when I want to hang out with them. It’s been a breath of fresh air, and being moderator adds a level of notoriety to go along with all of this. People know who I am before I even meet up with them because they’ve communicated with me to have channels made within the server, and I’ve had an overwhelming presence in chatting.
So, if you are like me, and you are wondering about the best ways to make friends in your new locale, whether that be New York City, Chicago or Austin my suggestion is make a Reddit account, and start finding the local meetup subreddits. If no one has made one, figure out how to start it! If no one has created a discord server, administrate one, help facilitate friendships, and you’ll end up with a plethora of your own. A mistake is better than indecision, and I can assure you putting yourself out there is not a mistake, the indecision on acting, that is.
A shorter post this week, but hopefully the message is clear, put yourself out there, and start making new friendships. It only hurts you to close yourself off to the world, be happy, and happiness will find you.
Hopefully I can get on a more regular schedule again next week, I’ll be taking a short respite from a strictly NYC topic to actually speak to the topic of hobbies, i’ll even be interviewing a close friend of mine for the post!
Hey all, just a short update to let you know that the normally scheduled Tuesday post will be occurring on Wednesday this week! With the complexity of my move time has more frequently been getting away from me.
Your new life is going to cost you your old one. It’s going to cost you your comfort zone and your sense of direction. It’s going to cost you relationships and friends. It’s going to cost you being liked, and understood. But it doesn’t matter. Because the people who are meant for you are going to meet you on the other side. and you’re going to build a new comfort zone around the things that actually move you forward. And instead of being liked, you’re going to be loved. Instead of understood, you’re going to be seen. All you’re going to lose is what was built for a person you no longer are. Let it go…
This weeks quote wound up being a tad bit longer than the usual ones. It’s a quote that was sent to me by a friend earlier this week. One that she says has played an influential part of her life recently, and I can understand why. It coupled with a certain Doctor Who regeneration that someone else sent me on the same day helped me deal with some feelings of loss and regret I had earlier this week. Both helped me realize that I haven’t been true to the journey I’ve undertaken so far by accepting this new job. The journey was supposed to be about me making a change in my life, one that would lead me to a better state of being. In reality however, I’ve fought that change tooth and nail since I’ve begun this journey. I’ve fought to hold on to the old ways, the things I believed defined me, the people that I believed needed to be a part of my life. So, on that Monday I decided it was time to make a change, I let you go. I let the old me fade, I let bygons be bygons. I say goodbye one last time. It’s time to create a new me, one that is not dependent upon the friends that he used to have, but one that is dependent only on himself, and one that can enjoy the new friendships and opportunities that life has presented him with.
One of the most arduous tasks I have undertaken to date, has been the task of finding my new home in the City that Never Sleeps. It’s a process that has taken me well over eight weeks to successfully complete that task, and even still I haven’t signed the contract yet to officially state my intentions to move in. If you are looking to move to the area, and are wondering what to expect then keep reading. I’ll be sharing my experiences in the process, from what was successful to what wasn’t.
My first word of advice to the city newcomer, whatever time table you think you have, expect it to take at least twice the amount of time you’ve allocated. Honestly, I think the Red Wedding from Game of Thrones was less cut throat then trying to find an apartment in Manhattan. If you think that you’ve got time to make a decision after you view an apartment, you’re damned wrong. Unless you leave a deposit that day, there’s a real good chance that sucker is going to be gone in twenty-four hours. Be ready to write a check the day of if you really like a place, but be careful, being ready to write a check, and jumping on the first place you look at are two very different things. You’re going to have to live in it for at least 6 months, if not a year in most cases. Make sure you really like the area.
Second, and this comes from a someone I know. Don’t schedule appointments for apartments right away. If you have the opportunity to do so, go visit the locations, visit the areas in and around the boroughs. There’s a lot of different neighborhoods to chose from, each with their own pros and cons. I did not heed this persons advice, and I thoroughly regretted it, as I wasted countless hours looking at apartments I would never ever consider living in based on its location. All of this said, there will come a time when you are ready to look at apartments, and with this piece of advice comes my next piece. Schedule as many viewings as possible in a single day. One of my biggest problems, and failures in this process was the fact that often times I was seeing one apartment, after work each day. This adds unnecessary turn over time to finding a place. Do your best to work with the people whose apartments you are viewing to find a common time that works for multiple. You’ll thank yourself later.
Third, if you have a group of people you are going in on a place with, or you are making well over six figures in your fancy new job; fantastic, you can actually skip over this one as it doesn’t apply to you. For those of you like myself, whom all of their existing friends either live in the city already and are stuck in leases, or have friends that weren’t looking to move and make less than six figures; be ready to live with random roommates. Websites like Spareroom.com and Roomi will be your best friend in this endeavor. I will also say in the case of Spareroom, the paid account is worth it. All of the listings are front ended with a turn over time, before it’s open season. On spareroom they will display Early Bird on the bottom right corner of these listings. You will not be able to message them for Seven days unless you have a paid account. For this alone it’s worth it, as the apartment I placed a deposit on was actually an early bird listing. Now before I move on to my final suggestion, there is the statement I made earlier about the fact that you will be living with random people. I was lucky, when I went to look one of the new tenants was actually just leaving so I had the opportunity to meet him. One of the major benefits to Spareroom is often times it’s the existing roommates trying to find someone to fill the empty space, this means you’ll have the opportunity to “try them out” and see if they’d mesh with you. You don’t have to be best friends, but remember you will be living with them for the next six months to a year.
Now, for the final suggestion, AVOID! AVOID! AVOID! Brokers and real estate companies unless you are truly desperate. Real estate companies are a pain in the a$$ if i’m being honest. One thing if you are using Spareroom that you will have to look for is companies that are listing their spaces. Now if you’re ready for a lot of garbage treatment, and are prepared to deal with that feel free to contact these companies. I will tell you my experiences with them were less than appealing though. First, they only deal in text messaging, not once did any of them ever call me to speak to me about the places I was inquiring on. Further, twice I’d made the trip to the city to see spaces on Metro North Railroad, only to have the companies cancel on me within an hour of the scheduled viewing time. Be ready to waste your time if dealing with these groups. Now in the case of brokers, these people at least show up, but the fees are astronomical, and in my experience they often showed places with absurd requirements in order to move in, one particularly ridiculous one being a required two months ago’s rent, last months rent, this month, and a deposit in order to move in. For reference, I would have cleaned out my savings on that one in its entirety. Unless you are truly desperate I do recommend avoiding both of these situations.
However, all of these things said have fun with it, and try to have patience. Don’t jump on the first place that comes up necessarily. It’s a mistake I nearly made 8 weeks ago, when I jumped on the possibility of living in a place that I honestly don’t think I would have been happy in. Remember that you’re looking for your home for the foreseeable future, you want to not only be comfortable in your home, but in the neighborhood you live in too. You’ll know when the time is right, just don’t let yourself rush it if you don’t have to.
This week’s photo comes from Grand Central Terminal. I’ve always loved this clock at the center of the station. Time has held a very large place in my life lately, mainly because I honestly feel I just seriously haven’t had enough of it. Time also heals all wounds, no matter how deep they may be.
Now for the photography nerds out there like me.
Camera Model/Series: Sony a7r II
Lens: FE 28 – 70mm f3.5 – 5.6 OSS
Focal Length: 70mm
Shutter Speed: 1/13
I love the way the camera handled the lighting in the space. The bright reflections of the gold in contrast to the dramatic dim lighting add a nice feeling to it. Coupled with the softening of the background makes for a lovely photo. My only complaint would be the framing, I dropped the subject smack dab in the center and that’s a photography no-no. If I were to frame it again I’d shift the subject slightly to the right.
Well as I said in my last posting this week’s will be of a more substantial nature. I do deliver on my promises when I can. Even still, the post will likely be shorter than “Fleeting Friendships“. Unfortunately, with that post I set the bar unintentionally high and will probably have difficulty keeping up with that moving forward (whoops). This weeks posting will again be about friendships but from a much different standpoint.
You wouldn’t think it, but it does certainly still feel like a very small world despite being in a city of eight million people. As I stated in my initial post a few weeks back; Once I started opening my eyes I was surprised at just how many people I unintentionally ran across in my travels. What surprised me further was the number of people whom have reached out to me wishing to rekindle friendships since I took on the job in Manhattan. Considering, the void i’ve been feeling lately, I can’t say that i’m complaining about that either.
Friends and Acquaintances from all walks of my life began to emerge from the woodwork. People that i’d known all this time lived in the city, people that it had been surprisingly difficult to see prior to this job; despite them only being a few hours away by train. Friends from High School, Friends from College, Friends from my time working at the college, all began to reach out. Given that it’s only been a few weeks, obviously I haven’t even begun to see them all yet. But, upon my taking up permanent residence in the city it will likely become much easier to revitalize those friendships.
Some of the people reaching out surprised me, and others not so much. Some of the friendships felt a little odd at first, others felt like nothing had changed at all. One friendship in particular that i’m particularly glad has been revitalized as of all of this, was a friendship with someone I knew well in high school. She’s been a confidante, and a wonderful influence these past few weeks. A few weeks in which I’ve dealt with sweeping changes to my entire life, career wise, social life wise, that I haven’t been able to parse through on my own. She and I have had the opportunity to hang out a couple of times since I started my employment in the city, and I am thankful that after all of these years, she is still as steadfast of a friend as she was in high school.
Another pair of friends I’ve been lucky to have these past few weeks aren’t really a re-connection, or a revitalization, but i’d be remiss to not talk about them. When I took on my new job, I still had no place to live, and while I could have commuted from my parents house, I was looking at about five hours out of my day. Luckily, my two friends, now temporary roommates offered up a room in their own home for me to stay in. Cleaning it out, giving me all the space I needed, they’ve made me feel welcome in their home, and even helped me rekindle some of my older hobbies that I hadn’t touched in a while. I can’t thank them enough for the kindness, and the accommodation that they’ve presented me with by welcoming me into their home; for that I will be eternally grateful.
Considering all of the above, these past few weeks have shown me that exciting things lie ahead of me. That I will have friends to support me through the changes, and journey ahead of me working, and eventually living in the City that Never Sleeps. It has shown me that when you close a door, a new path is placed ahead of you, one with infinite and endless possibilities. I’ve just begun a wonderful waltz, a game of chess, with a fresh board and pieces yet to be moved. To quote a line from one of my favorite TV series “Person of Interest” it an episode called “If-Then-Else” in it programmer Harold Finch is teaching “The Machine” (an A.I.) he designed how to play chess. In the process he gives the following speech…
Each possible move represents a different game, a different universe in which you make a better move. By the second move there are seventy-two thousand and eighty four possible games, by the third, nine million, and by the fourth, three hundred and eighteen billion. There are more possible games of chess than there are atoms in the universe, no one could possibly predict them all, even you. Which means that, that first move can be terrifying… It’s the furthest point from the end of the game, there’s a virtually infinite sea of possibilities between you and the other side. But it also means that if you make a mistake, there’s a nearly infinite amount of ways to fix it. So you should simply relax, and play…
Harold Finch, If-Then-Else “Person of Interest” S4E11
While life should never be considered a game as it is finite, the quote still stands on its legs. I’ve made the first move by taking this job in Manhattan, and from this point I just need to continue to make moves. Its okay if I make a mistake, as each one will present me with a new path, and new choices to make. Choices in which I can attempt to fix that mistake, and continue to move forward. Step by step, day by day…
Remember, that just because you hit bottom, doesn’t mean you have to stay there…
Robert Downey Jr.
This week our quote come from the poster child for not letting your past define you. Robert Downey Jr. has a storied past, and one that you can look up if you are truly interested. Prior to 2008, very few people would hire him in Hollywood. It wasn’t until the Iron Man film that someone took a chance on him. It was exactly what he needed to revitalize his career. Now after a plethora of successful films as Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes, and more, he is taking a stab at tackling one of the worlds greatest problems, solving pollution/climate change, and giving back to the planet that gave him a second chance.
The ultimate point of this post is to remind us all, that no matter how low, how dark things might seem, keep going, keep trying, you never have to stay there. Give yourself a second chance, give others a second chance too! You never know just how you might change the world, if you keep trying.
Weekly post coming on Tuesday at Noon. Enjoy your Sunday! I’ll be going Axe throwing tonight.