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Architect US

One month down, 17 to go!

Wow, I can’t believe that I’ve already been in NYC for a whole month. I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun. I had already lived in the States before so I already had a bank account/ social security/ credit history/ Phone carrier. That definitely made my life easier because when I arrived all I needed to do was focus on getting an apartment.

I arrived in NYC on a Saturday, and agreed to start work that Wednesday- this meant I had 3 days to figure out where to live. I had heard horror stories about how hard it is to get a place to live but that was not my experience at all. Maybe it’s because I’ve lived in other major cities (Chicago, Tokyo, London) and so it was just as hard as those cities, or maybe it was because I scheduled lots of viewings (about 6) before I even stepped foot in NYC. When making a move like this, organization is key. You simply can not over prepare. I made sure I researched what were the best neighborhoods to commute to work, what was the best value for my money and which places were up and coming.  I joined about 10 facebook apartment groups and by Monday after a few views, I had decided on a flat and moved in that Wednesday, the same day that I started working.

I chose Bushwick, Brooklyn as my new home- its young and hip, affordable, (costs me $1150  w/ bills + cleaner incl.) takes me 30 minutes to work, and my flat is simply beautiful. My housemates are also really nice and we’ve become good friends (two of them are architects!), our backyard is beautiful and perfect for bbq’s, and the living room/kitchen is gigantic. The advantages of living outside of Manhattan is that you really get so much more space for your money, and its really nice to step away from the intensity of the city into your own calmer neighborhood. Bushwick is a little rough around the edges, and it isn’t for everyone but there is so much good stuff popping up all around- cool cafes, awesome brewery’s and bars..all we are missing is a Trader Joes and it’ll be full hipster! My boyfriend is also moving to NYC on a J1-visa, so I will have to leave this awesome place that has won my heart so easily, and go on the hunt for our own apartment, but for now, this is home and I am really happy!

My first month of work has been filled with learning- a new unit system (oh meters, how I miss you!), a new program (Revit), and getting used to the office standards. My favorite thing about my new office is that its very chill and we have half day off friday’s- which means I get more time to explore the city. I also love that the office is in Soho/east village, right in the heart of the city, I can take the tube north or south and go anywhere in Manhattan within minutes. I don’t know a lot of people in the city, and since my office is so small, I decided to join Meetup.com. My first meet up I went to “Taco Night” and met some really cool group of people from all around the world. We have done lots of things together since then- hiking, beach, game night and I am so grateful that I’ve met so many cool people in such a short time. NYC is a city that is ready to welcome you as long as you are willing to put yourself out there.

So far this experience is perfect and exactly what I dreamed it would be. I am loving every minute of it. This city has a neighborhood for everyone and there are millions of New Yorkers waiting to meet you and welcome you to the concrete jungle.

Marta Calvinho

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