by Maeva, New York Guest Concierge & Travel Planner
# 1- Land the job first!
Earlier this year, I came to visit my high-school gal pal in NYC to celebrate our birthdays. In catching up on old times, she mentioned her new job as a concierge and how much she loved guiding people around the city and making suggestions for the best Dim Sum, or Rib Eye Steak. As I joked around with her about how we both naturally love to talk about food and our own experiences, she suggested that I should apply for the position and with my background, I’d be sure to get the gig. And I sure did!
# 2- Find an Apartment!
Though I was able to stay with my aunt who lived in Yonkers (about an hour and a half away from the city) my first week on the job, I still had to find my own place. I looked everywhere, NYHabitat, StreetEasy, local Church websites, and even Craigslist! Most of the neighborhoods in Manhattan were totally out of my budget, and the majority of the apartments had broker fees that were outrageous! When it comes to looking for an apartment in NYC, it’s better to do it By Owner, which is what I did-thanks to Craigslist, I found a two bedroom basement apartment for $1350 in a neighborhood called Sunset Park in Brooklyn. It took me two weeks to find the place, and three of my friends from Florida live in my neighborhood.
# 3- Don’t Neglect the Other Boroughs!
At first I was hesitant about living outside of Manhattan since my job was there. I was thinking about my commute and if it would take forever to get into Manhattan. However, all of my friends who work in Manhattan live in the outer boroughs. My gal pal from high school lives in Astoria, Queens, my manager and several of my co-workers live there as well. Brooklyn has become a special place for me because I get to see more trees and fewer buildings. Being an island girl, I need some nature in my life. I also feel like I’m escaping from the hustle and bustle and noise from the city. There are great neighborhoods in Brooklyn like Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Carroll Gardens, and Williamsburg. They are the up and coming trendy locations I enjoy going to. I love Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Museum-Free Concerts are amazing! I can’t say that much about Queens; though I have family that lives there, I prefer Brooklyn.
# 4- Sell the car and get a Metrocard
Seriously, don’t move to New York with your car. You’ll end up paying more for parking and gas. A monthly Metrocard is all you need. And if you are worried about groceries, almost every store in the NYC delivers.
# 5- Get a Roommate Questionnaire!
While you are thinking about getting your own place, you may consider roommates to be a little more economical. When thinking about roommates there is a lingo that you’ll need to learn. Example, 420 Friendly. Uhm, I suggest you google that. There is nothing more important that knowing and understanding the people or person you will be living with. My roommate is an angel sent from heaven just for me. She cooks, cleans, and loves to entertain. We were made for each other. We discussed expectations, habits, things that piss us off, and even décor ideas. It’s always good to be on the same page at the beginning!
Those are my tips for now as this new kid on the block continues on with her Empire State journey. There’s so much to capture here in New York City, so you’ll be hearing from me more often.
Maeva- Travel Planner, Concierge, Foodie Extraordinaire, and Flat shoes enthusiast!