I accidentally moved to New York. Don’t get me wrong, it was always a part of the plan to move here eventually. I just had this beautiful dream that I would have a job and a place to live before moving here.
But, I had to learn one of the most important rules of life here: Your plans mean nothing. The city has other ideas.
Let’s rewind to Spring 2012. I, like some of the other fine writers on this blog, was going to attend NYU’s Summer Publishing Institute. I had it all planned out: I was going to get a job and then find an apartment OR I was going to learn the secret to getting a job in publishing, then go home after SPI and magically get a job in the city and come back, triumphant. So I left Cincinnati and the fields of Ohio, leaving behind most of my things unpacked (I’d be back, after all!) and bringing with me the bare necessities of dorm life.
It didn’t take long to figure out that my dreams of getting a job in New York City from Ohio weren’t going to happen. To get a job here, you had to live here. And I realized if I went home, back to the ease and safety of home, there was a very good chance that I wasn’t going to come back. So, I started looking for a place to live. In the meantime I sublet from some lovely friends on the Upper East Side who had a spare bedroom. I lived out of a big red tote and a backpack, and the only furniture I had was an air mattress and a folding camp chair. It was like camping for a month, but with running water and Wi-Fi.
But, I was still in the city, and I was apartment hunting!
Apartment hunting in New York City is a unique kind of hell. The kind where you walk endless miles looking at beautiful apartments that you can’t afford and slightly worrisome windowless closets that are within your budget and might fit a child’s bed. For someone new to the city who doesn’t know the neighborhoods, it’s especially overwhelming.
Regular Into The City blogger Kathi and I were planning on living together, and neither of us had the slightest clue what we were doing. We even looked at an apartment in the South Bronx, where the police officers by the subway station actually told us to get on the subway and not come back. But just when I thought all was lost and I’d be living in a box in an alley with the guy who plays “Careless Whisper” endlessly on his saxophone, the magical Brooklyn Apartment appeared! With its giant living space and two bedrooms and bathroom with a shower AND a bathtub, it was like finding apartment heaven. The paperwork was frantically submitted, and I was officially a renter of a New York apartment.
Somehow, with a lot of help from my amazing parents, I managed to get all the stuff I’d need out here. The best was my bed, oh how I’d missed my bed! It’s been just about a year since then; I’ve survived a hurricane, found a full time job to pay my bills until my big break, and learned much about the city through trial and error. It’s not always easy, but it’s almost always fun, and it’s always an adventure.
I’m expecting it to get even busier this fall when I start grad school, and I’m glad I’ve got a year under my belt here. When you move to the city, I’m not sure you can ever be really prepared. But, with a little time, you can at least learn to take what it gives you and run with it. After all, some of the best stuff is really just a fabulous accident.Chloe Goodhart is a graduate student with a passion for grammar, British TV shows, and other various nerdy pursuits. She loves YA and children’s literature, science fiction, and fantasy. She occasionally writes about her misadventures on her own blog, Chloe Knows Things.