Sunset in Sunnyside

This is the view I get to see every day when I hop on the subway

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.

That’s it for this week, Until next time…

Dave

A Waxing Mindset

“The Helix” – Hudson Yards/34th Street

This week’s post is going to be short. I’ve got a lot of topics to choose from and a lot of topics to write about moving forward, but i’m struggling to find the words this week. As such, I’ve decided to take a short respite from writing this week. Last week’s topic flowed nicely without difficulty, but as such this week has be fraught with struggle. It’s a balance that isn’t easy to maintain and hopefully moving forward i’ll have a little less difficulty coming up with the words to purvey what I want to.

In lieu of a topic, i’ll give a brief update about my life so far. Working in Manhattan has been an experience, every day is an adventure, and something new is always around the corner. My new job is fantastic, and the department heads, and my co-workers have been wholeheartedly supportive. I will do well here, I’m confident in that fact. The apartment search has had it’s share of difficulties but I’m still looking, and I’m hopeful for an October 1st move in somewhere in one of the boroughs. I’ve also had the delight of reconnecting with some good friends since taking the job in Manhattan, and I hope to continue reconnecting with friends that have been out of my life for a while. Overall, the job has been a boon to my life. We will always of course have our struggles, but that’s just part of the journey.

Next week, I will hopefully be in a more creative mindset, and able to write accordingly. Fotograph Friday, and Snippet Sunday will still be posted this week at their normal times. Have a great week all.

Until next time…

Dave

Snippet Sunday # 2

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears the beat of a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.

Henry David Thoreau

This week’s Snippet Sunday has both a very literal and figurative connotation; Let’s start with the literal. In New York it is easy to see that everyone literally walks at their own pace, and while there are those of us like myself that do a ten minute walk in four. I should not begrudge those around me who do it in twenty, or thirty. While it may be an inconvenience, and a truly unpopular opinion among most city dwellers, it’s not my right to force them to move any quicker.

The same of course can be said of life in general. I have friends at all different stages of life at this point. Some are married and looking to build a home, some are engaged, some are in long term committed relationships, and others like myself may be single. The important thing to note is that just because others are “ahead” of you doesn’t mean that you are behind, we all move at our own pace, just like individuals on the streets of New York.

Fotograph Friday – Hudson Yards

Shift your perspective, a skyward search – Hudson Yards/34th

This week’s post comes as I traverse my way back to Grand Central. One of the more enjoyable aspects of my commute thus far is the opportunity to spend some time in Hudson Yards on my way home from work. I’ve unfortunately yet to get up on the Helix as the line is always been daunting. Regardless it’s a truly clean and enjoyable area to spend a little extra time to think and shift ones perspective. Lately, I’ve needed that space to assess some aspects of my life that have changed or needed improvement. But enough of that for this week, don’t want to make this too long.

Next weeks blog post is a bit of a mystery to me still, i’ve spent a lot of time this week brainstorming ideas all of which I’m excited to write about (therein lies the problem). That said I can assure you there will be a Tuesday post, appearing at its normally scheduled time of Noon.

Oh, and one last thing since a lot of friends have asked how I pulled off this photo. I recently acquired a new lens for my Sony a7r Mark II that has an extreme wide angle. It allows me to capture large areas a normal lens just doesn’t give me the option for. It’s a Rokinon Cine 14mm T3.1 ED AS IF UMC lens, designed for full frame cameras. This particular lens gives me nearly 120″ angle of view, hence the nearly fisheye capacity of the lens. I’ll try to get a comparison shot for next week’s post between this and a standard lens.

Fotograph Friday – Union Square

” Union Square Park” – Friday, August 16th

No big update for today, these generally won’t be. Just hanging out in Union Square waiting for a friend. Saw an apartment earlier but I don’t think it’s going to work out. Keep your eye out for Snippet Sunday in a few days, and the regularly scheduled post next Tuesday.

– Dave

Welcome to New York, It’s been waitin’ for you…

You might be wondering why you are here, and what this blog is about. Well i’m going to tell you.

My name is Dave, I’ve been a resident of New York state for the past twenty-nine years. If you are still here, you are probably wondering what this is all about. Well, for the twenty-nine years, and four months prior to today. I spent my life learning, and building towards one goal. Getting a job, and moving to Manhattan.

That twenty-nine years encompassed dozens of jobs, three different colleges, and a total of three different majors. Initially, I went to school for Meteorology at the SUNY Oswego, and after a semester there I wound up dropping out of the program. I was a young kid, first time away from home, and I got a little carried away with the drinking. I decided that I couldn’t trust myself to keep in check, so I moved back home and began my journey at Dutchess Community College. Upon, graduation from DCC I wound up at Marist College to complete my bachelors in Television and Film Production. After a year away from the college, I wound up back there working for them, In which I worked on my Masters Degree in Information Systems Management. I would spend the next five years working for the college.

In July of this year, I finally got that job in Manhattan.

With that came a series of rapid fire changes. From leaving the steady job I’ve been employed at , to moving out of the home I’ve been in for the past twenty-nine years. Living in my friends apartment, and commuting to the city every morning until I find my way into an apartment in one of the boroughs.

So, once a week i’ll be posting an update in the blog. Some weeks, it will be a topic of the week, like the perils of commuting, the dating scene in the city, and how game of thrones finding an apartment in the boroughs can be. Some weeks, it will be something I observed while making my way to work, Commuting on Metro North, and the Subway lines has its perks. Finally, Perhaps if I have nothing better to talk about in a given week it may just be stream of consciousness, an update on my life itself. Sometimes talking about yourself is important too, it helps with your growth as a person

So, if this sounds like something you’d be interested in checking out periodically. Hit that subscribe button, or bookmark the page. I’m going to try to update pretty consistently. On either Monday, or Tuesday nights. Other than the weekly standard post, you may periodically see quick snippets, pictures, or links to videos of things i’d seen or done. I look forward to this journey with you all in tow. See you all next week!

#NYC #WelcometoNewYork #newtoblogging #lifeunfiltered #citylife