Friday, April 29, 2011

A deluxe apartment in the sky

Today was not relaxing. I went into New York on Thursday evening for dinner with future co-workers, then crashed at my friend Brian's place but didn't get the best night's sleep because I was tossing and turning. I woke up with back pain and spent the day running (seriously, running) around half of Manhattan, looking for an apartment to move into in a month's time.

My broker and I saw lots of different types of places in neighborhoods including the Financial District, the East Village and the West Village, but ultimately I decided to go with a studio in Hell's Kitchen, the last place I saw. I've heard mixed reviews of the neighborhood, but the superiority of the apartment and its building were too glaring to ignore, and ultimately that's what rent is paying for. Compared to the others, it was a bigger place (though still quite small), extremely nice, up on the 36th floor, with views of the river, great amenities in the building, near things to do and near the subway. It's no coincidence that the best place was also the most expensive, but I only went $25/month over my limit, so I think I came out OK.

I have to say that today was a little scary, and I wasn't anticipating that. I think that all throughout graduate school, this move to New York to become a consultant has seemed like a neat story, something interesting to talk about (and blog about). But it's such a huge change that it's almost felt like it was happening to someone else. Over the past 24 hours it's never felt more real. I was actually eating with Deloitte people talking about lots of details about the job, and then I was filling out an application for an apartment in Manhattan. And it became more real, and tangible, that my life is indeed going to be these things. I'm going to wake up in the apartment I selected today, make my way a couple blocks toward a subway, and head off to work as a consultant.

This was both very exciting on one hand but suddenly a little frightening, too. One of my fears is that New York, while exciting, makes me feel a little lonely, and I'm hoping that the friends I have who live there will have time for me, that many of my friends from SOM will end up there, and of course that I'll make new ones. That's one area of my life I've been very lucky; even as I was sometimes frustrated by my career and my financial limitations as a journalist in Texas, I somehow managed to have lots of good friends. I think New York is such a busy and tiring place, with so many strangers swirling around you, that being with friends is critical to keeping a level head. (I do already know a couple guys in Hell's Kitchen, so that's fortunate.)

Anyway, it's been exhausting and fun. This weekend will be very work-intensive. I have about 54 papers to grade for the class I TA, as well as my own final projects and exam prep. Gnite.

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