On the Hunt: Apartment Searching in NYC, Take One

Thursday, November 25th, 2010 10:59 pm

This past month, I’ve accomplished more in regards to a job search than in the entire previous year. I’ve networked with important people, quit my day job and most importantly, regained some of the confidence I lost after a year of rejection.

My family and I made a big commitment last month, and last week we took the first step…

The week started off with a bang. My stepmother and I arrived in New York City before noon and were off to view the first apartment. Not knowing the area well (and the maintenance schedule of the subway we were on), we ended up getting lost for an hour on the way to Brooklyn.  We looked at the apartment for about five minutes, rushed back to Manhattan for a job interview (a part-time retail job at Macy’s in Herald Square) then headed back to Brooklyn to see another room. Neither apartment worked out, but I got half of the mission accomplished—I had a job, a seasonal part-time job, but still a paying job. Besides, I still had four days to get an apartment.

The next day I had an informal meeting with the HR lady that helped me with a previous post. The interview went amazing. We talked about career opportunities with her magazine company and she critiqued my portfolio. Most importantly, she assured me I didn’t need to go to graduate school!

The next two days were spent in Brooklyn going to apartment after apartment. One apartment wanted $1600 in cash to move in and another had a drug dealer downstairs (“But they’re really friendly,” the tenant assured me.) Another day, a lady left me sitting in the cold for 20 minutes before telling me she already had a roommate and somebody else rejected me because I had a dog, even though her post said she was dog friendly. It felt like I should have been in a high school drama show!

By the last day, when our options where running thin (everybody was either out of town or at work so couldn’t show an apartment), I was heartbroken. I had been looking forward to this trip for a while. I told EVERYBODY I was moving to New York, but I was going home empty handed. Money became a huge topic of discussion. How much can I contribute on part-time wages? How can we afford two months rent plus a deposit? My family agreed to support me, but they didn’t agree to go broke for me. I really needed to rethink this whole plan.

So, here is my mental state now. Yes, I’m a little disappointed that it looks like New York isn’t going to work out for me. But, I’ve said it before, it’s not entirely about location. My goal is to find a job, not find a job in NYC. I’m starting to do research on other areas with larger journalism markets, like Houston and Atlanta, where the cost of living isn’t so high. I know I need to move, so I’m broadening my search.

I’m writing this blog on the plane ride home, and I think after a month of career ups and apartment downs, hours of tears, $13 to see the new Harry Potter movie in Manhattan and a much needed trip to Magnolia Bakery, I think I’m OK with the situation. I’m trying really hard to not think of it as a step back, but more of a step to the left.

Samantha Hyde

Samantha Hyde graduated from the University of Texas in 2009. During her time spent in Austin, she interned and contributed to Austin Monthly, Texas Parks & Wildlife and Texas Highways magazine. She served as president of the magazine club and editor-in-chief of a college magazine, burntORANGE. Her issue, “How to be a Longhorn,” won second place in general excellence at the 2009 AEJMC awards.

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