Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Transitional Year

I think a great deal about my first year here in New York City. Probably more than I should, really.

A little more than 7 years ago, I had moved to NYC almost the day after I graduated from college, and started work at a tech PR agency the following Monday. I lived right on the cusp of the Upper East Side and rarely went out, in order to make rent each month-- I found out that one could truly live on $1 PBRs from the corner grocery and happy hours that offered platters of food. Despite my having been here many times before, the city was new, exciting and daunting to this new inhabitant-- so I spent weekends walking to new parts of the island to explore. And I read far too much in my apartment as well, filling more than one bookcase. While I was called a 'hermit' by friends, I still had fun, in a way.

You see, while I was making just above minimum wage at the agency, my friends were at investment banks and consulting firms earning triple that and had expense accounts. I could barely afford to go with them to the then-open Village Idiot, much less to the swanky clubs. Whatever, really-- that's the realities of the economics here in NYC.

The reason I bring this up is that a friend is now considering whether to move to NYC. She is taking a similar track to my own course here, and I'm readying her of what that first year will be like, when more than half of her pay goes to making rent. I'm sure she'll be less of a hermit than I, but she will still be strained by the paycheck. It'll be interesting to see how she does.

And I also am at a point where I'm wondering if I am too cozy and comfortable with where I am now as well.

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