Shove It.

Just a quick heads up – I found out last Tuesday that I needed to find a new apt. by Sept. 1. My roommate’s allergic to my cat and she’s the one who’s on the lease, so I’m out. I’ve been thinking and talking about moving for a while. I hate commuting, and I wanted to be closer to work. But I also love my neighborhood and being a Brooklynite.

God provides: I emailed someone about an apt. Thursday night, heard back from her Friday, saw the apartment Sat. morning before I headed to the beach and by the time I got home from the beach I had a new apartment and an appointment to sign the lease Sunday morning. And it’s in my neighborhood in Brooklyn, but only a half hour from my office in the city.

I’m working on big things now. Cleaning out your brain to focus on what you really want, while keeping your karma in clean, working order is no joke. The whole scenario above happened after I spent a happy, relaxing Sunday in Central Park listening to this musician I’m now really impressed by: Santogold.

She inspires me because she’s so young, but she’s doing whatever she wants musically. She’s had her hands in everything – writing other people’s blockbuster hits, collaborating out of nowhere with big names. And she doesn’t fit into any one genre, which I love. I love every track but one on her album. So, I wanted to share one with you, and also share an email I sent to someone about moving to New York. Funny I found myself needing to move just a few days after sending him the email.

My song of the moment: “Shove It,” by Santogold. Never have there been more perfect words for my life.

First video. Then lyrics. Then the email I wrote to a MySpace friend who asked me for some advice on moving here to NYC next month:


Brooklyn we go hard
We on the look for the advantage, we work hard
And if we seem to rough it up a bit
We broke but we rich at heart
Pull ourselves up now we won’t choke
It’s our time, put the lights on us

War tactics, they make me sick
Reel your heart in, run away with it
Smile in your face, undermine your back
Got guns for the strength they lack
So if you know another way
You can’t look the other way
If you know another way,
Tell them so right to their face

We think you’re a joke
Shove your hope where it don’t shine
We think you’re a joke
Shove your hope where it don’t shine
We think you’re a joke
Shove your hope where it don’t shine
We think you’re a joke
Shove your hope where it don’t shine

I pay for what’s called
Eccentricity and my will to evolve
I hear them all say
That I got heart
but not everything that it takes

Taint my mind but not my soul
Tell you I got fire
I won’t sell it for no payroll
Let ’em hold me down
I know if I know another way
I can’t look the other way
I know another way
I’ll tell them so right to their face

We think you’re a joke
Shove your hope where it don’t shine
We think you’re a joke
Shove your hope where it don’t shine
We think you’re a joke
Shove your hope where it don’t shine
We think you’re a joke
Shove your hope where it don’t shine

And, lastly, the email to my friend. This is for anyone else who may eventually want to move to this great city of New York.

“Hi ______!

Congrats on making the decision. That’s the first step. The next is committing to it! Once you start hearing yourself telling your friends and family that you’re moving, you know it’s really (and let me be the first to welcome you here – we’ll be waitin’ for ya!)

I will tell you up front from what I have heard that it is very difficult to get a job before you move here. It would be better for you to even find a friend who lives here, list their address as yours on your resume and perhaps even get a local cell number. The reason for this is that so many people SAY they’re moving then wind up not taking the leap. Companies don’t want to gamble on that.

That said, I moved here without a job with only about $1K to get me by. I was temping while I was looking for a job in my field and wound up staying for the company I temped for and have done very well. It’s not the end-all, but I’m happy and passionate about it and have done well financially.

So, you could at least start with a temp agency – this will allow you the flexibility to interview for jobs you really want while still pulling in enough of a paycheck to at least cover rent.

Craigslist is your bff – make it your b*tch to get an idea of other jobs you could do here while you’re looking for “the one.” I hear you’re looking for stuff in the event industry here – if you’re not familiar with BizBash, I’d suggest starting your job search there. ([I know] the CEO, perhaps I can ask him for more leads if this isn’t the type of stuff you’re looking for).

Craigslist is also your bff for finding apartments. I basically went on clist, called/emailed 20 people whose listings looked good and spent a day going to six of them (I had only one close friend here, and she came around with me to make sure they were safe areas/non-shady people). Wound up taking the first one I looked at and I still live here 1.5 years later. Please don’t take my experience as normal – I was very lucky but I don’t want to give you a bullshit picture of the moving experience. It’s important to find a bunch of places in your price range cause if they are all open house showings, people show up, money and references in hand and they go quickly.

You can find apts. in nearly any price range if you’re willing to leave in a closet in bumfuck. If you want to live here badly enough, just get here and the rest will work itself out. You’ll find a job and six months later will be able to look for a nicer, bigger, more geographically desirable space. Be willing to live in the boroughs if you don’t have a ton to spend right now. I live in Brooklyn and LOVE it though I hate commuting.

My timeline was that I made the decision to move in May, and my goal was to get here by New Year’s Eve as that’s my favorite holiday. I didn’t actually start doing stuff until end of Sept. You’ll obviously have to condense things as you have a month. This is how I did it:

* 9/25 made a list of bills / commitments I’d have to take care of before I bounced (utilities as I was splitting an apt. at that time and that tenant was staying behind, etc.)
* 10/2 listing everything I could on eBay / made deals with friends to sell off my shit (all my furniture, TV, stereo equipment -basically anything of value that I could get money for I sold)
* 10/9 contact headhunter / temp agencies (I didn’t do this step then, but I did set up my first job interviews then)
* 10/16 compile master list of all jobs I was interested in applying for
* 10/23 have all resumes out to the above list
* 10/30 follow up calls / send additional info to the above
* 11/6 double-check for additional jobs to apply for, give notice at current job
* 11/13 schedule job interviews in NYC
* 11/20 start looking at craigslist for apts. (for move-in date between dec. 15-jan. 1)
* 11/27 have all money for rent/deposit, reserve moving truck
* 12/4 schedule apt. visits
* 12/11 choose apt., pack
* 12/16 move

To see how all that played out, you can read some of my blogs about moving here:

* Diary of a Decision
* The First 72 hours in NYC

And I guess if I could leave you with two things it would be this: NYC is truly a city of who you know, not what you know. The people who do best here are people who can make connections and then leverage those connections to their advantage, whether that be in finding an apt. or asking for a job recommendation. Getting your foot in the door almost anywhere here is so much easier if you have someone greasing the wheels for you.

That said, this city is a “city of finalists.” Everyone is at the top of their game or climbing on someone else to get there. No matter what you do or how you live, there is always someone at your heels who wants it more than you, who will work harder than you and who does it better than you. If you do not relish competition, constant activity and stress, this will not be a city you call home for long ’cause it will wear you out then spit you out.

I am thankful every day that I made the choice to move here. I love this city so much more than I expected to, and had wanted to live here for 10 years before I was ready to move. But when you’re ready, there’s no better place on earth to be!

My cell is ________. I am usually hard to get a hold of on the phone but can respond to texts and emails more quickly. :-)

Good luck. Let me know when you’re landing so I can buy you a drink or a cupcake!


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