About Sarah

My name is Sarah Protzman Howlett. I moved to New York City at 24 with no job and no apartment — just a college degree, some long-lost friends in Brooklyn, and a few thousand in the bank. It took me 18 months to save it on a $30,000 salary, but heaven help me, I WAS MOVING TO NEW YORK CITY.

I started this blog while I was single in Manhattan; now I’m married with kids, and working as a freelance writer/editor from my home in Boulder, Colo…but I still bring the NYC-advice thunder like nobody’s beeswax. Things I enjoy: Yoga, long walks and hiking, singing, 30 Rock reruns, organizing, making gifts, and photography.

I was born and raised in Texas, got a journalism school degree from the University of Missouri, and began my career at a respected newspaper in small-town Colorado. I lived in a huge two-bedroom apartment that cost very little (which at the time seemed expensive…that’s how it works, right?), but the New York hook was already in my mouth. It was only a matter of time. I picked a date (February 19…brrr) and booked a flight. I still have the ticket stub on my dresser.

After temping for four months, I got a job as a fashion assistant at a magazine. I went to runway shows, dressed up for parties and interviewed celebrities, which — aside from being a pretty cool gig — taught me a lot about what’s important to me…and that I never want to be famous.

My first apartment was across from the Morgan Library on 36th Street. I shared a studio — yep, as in one big bedroom — with an FIT graduate I met via Craigslist. We had fun for 18 months, then she met a gazillionaire and asked me to move out. Via email.

When I moved over and down, to Murray Hill, I got my own bedroom at long last. It was 7 by 12 feet, but hey, it was a door to close. I started this blog in 2009 sitting in that room on my blue-flowered Ikea duvet cover.

From Day 1, I’d been chronicling my NYC adventures on a personal blog; it later became a memoir called Two Years in New York City. After that, I quickly realized the need for a blog that speaks to 20-somethings who are dreaming of the city life just as I was (much of which is also now a book).

As a hardcore realist yet eternal optimist, I aim to be an encouraging voice through your relocation and early years in the city. And I hope that, after you’ve been in NYC a year or two and all this is old hat, I’ll have earned your recommendation to other newcomers.

If you would like to ask me a question — but please read the blog thoroughly as I’ve covered a great deal of topics related to moving to NYC — or pitch a guest post, email me at sarah@sarahhowlett.com.

Which reminds me: A word about guest posts

• I do accept them, but I’m not easy to please. I like: Interviews with real New Yorkers, advice based on firsthand experience, and extremely NYC-specific stuff. Pitching a piece on how to job-hunt is one thing, pitching a piece on how to job-hunt in Manhattan is a-whole-‘nother animal.
• Please keep posts <600 words. Since I never run ads on my site, I can’t pay for content, so please don’t feel the need to write the entire thing. Here is a great primer on how to write query letters that get noticed.
• If you’re pitching a product or website, robo-emailing me, or claiming to be a huge fan of the blog when it’s obvious you’ve never read it, I probably won’t respond. Occasionally I’ll make a mention of a product or site I feel is relevant to my readers over on the Facebook page, but that’s about it as far as that stuff goes.
• I’m impressed if you have a journalism degree and are working in the field or a related one. Not essential, but it swings the vote.

9 Responses to “About Sarah”

  1. sancastleproductions 07/10 at 8:05 pm #

    Sara, I been on your site for nearly 10 minutes, I LOVE IT!!! Although I am 20+20 and some extra years I definitely feel your guidelines through this site will help me and my youthful heart with accomplishing my dream to live in NY…

    • New New Yorkers 06/17 at 11:06 am #

      Thank you for saying that! I’m so glad you’re finding encouragement here.

  2. Lisa 07/13 at 3:04 am #

    Love your site! Although I am from the Netherlands… to live in NY is still one of my dreams… This site gives me a lot inspiration! :-))

    • New New Yorkers 07/13 at 7:59 am #

      Thank you, Lisa! Thrilled to hear that. Lots of people, including my now-husband, came to NYC from different countries. It’s doable and actually just the other day on our FB page someone from the UK was seeking tips. Head on over there if you wish! —SPH

    • New New Yorkers 06/17 at 11:06 am #

      I know lots of people who started out on a J1 work visa. You can do it!

  3. Pop Mythology 12/05 at 6:43 am #

    Great, tremendously useful blog. You’re doing a genuine service for people considering living in NYC for whatever reason. Good work! 😀

  4. pete 05/10 at 2:15 pm #

    Hey Sarah, Love the premise of your blog. Moving to NYC is definitely a goal for many and quite a feet.

  5. Nikki 11/11 at 9:24 pm #

    Hi Sarah,

    I just found your site and I think it’s very helpful. I’m new to the city and a wee bit over 20 something, but I have found everything relevant thus far. When you move to NYC I think it’s a right of passage for everyone to go through some of the same things. Oh, well I just wanted to say thank you and keep up the good work.

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