…well, New Jersey.
In the early hours of February 23rd, 2016, my partner Tammy and I landed in Newark airport. After two long flights (Auckland to L.A. and L.A. to New Jersey), we finally made it. Almost. New York City is in the state of New York which borders on New Jersey and is separated by the Hudson River. As far as we were concerned, it was good enough, we were there!
For the first night we had a hotel booked. It was only 5 minutes down the road but as all the roads were expressways (motorways/highways/freeways – I’m yet to learn the difference!) were were unable to walk and so we took a cab. Once settled into our room we decided to try and find some food as we were mighty peckish after our long (food-less) flight from Los Angeles. This yielded no results as the front desk told us everywhere nearby, as well as their own kitchen, was closed. They did however give us a take out menu from a local Italian place and suggest we give them a call. So we did. And then we waited. Once we’d waited, we waited some more. Then we had showers. We put on the TV and flicked through the channels. As we did this, we waited a bit more. Tammy fell asleep. Then, fiiiiiinally, over an hour later (now 2.30am) the phone rang. Excited, I jumped up, crossed the room in 2 strides and snatched up the phone. It was the front desk, they said they had the Italian place on the phone and they wanted to know if we were still wanting our order. Despite my stomach having nothing in it at this point, it still sank. Needless to say, I was too tired to wait any longer. I said no, and went to sleep. I don’t think we’ve ever eaten as much in a single meal as we did for breakfast the next day but it was delicious! Pancakes, bacon, eggs, toast, coffee, orange juice, sausages, you name it. That hotel feast more than hit the spot!
After the meal of the century it was time to grab our things from the room and catch a cab on to our destination – NYC. As we would be in New York for a year we needed to find jobs and a place to live. It made sense for us to sort out the latter first so we could narrow our job search area (somewhat). From our research we’d discovered that things in NYC move FAST, and that apartments and rooms often get snapped up the same day they get advertised. This meant we’d have to physically be in New York to view any places before we could commit to anything. We’d booked an Airbnb in Brooklyn for the first week after our arrival so we had a home base. After each of us had responded to around 30 ads online we finally found a place and moved over to Manhattan. As luck would have it, we were only 1 block from where we’d stayed on our 2014 trip to New York and so were already well acquainted with the area.
Once we were here we began the job hunt. We were rather nervous about this as we only had enough savings to last us so long and we’d heard how hard it is to get a job in New York with so many people competing for the positions. So each morning we’d wake up full of beans and skip over the road to Starbucks, grab a coffee, fire up our MacBooks and search for jobs. Like the apartment hunting, we both sent off a gazillion applications and each day we woke up filled with slightly less beans and made our way over to Starbucks with slightly less skippage. Somehow, someway though, we both managed to secure jobs in little over a week. Tammy got a same-day response from one of her applications, an interview with them the next day, and started working for them 2 days later. A few days after this I landed my job too.
We were now 100% living and working in New York City. Mission accomplished!