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NewNewYorker of the Week: Li Chen

6 Apr

[An occasional series on readers who’ve moved onward and upward since taking the leap into NYC life. This week we talk to Li Chen, a recent grad from Stony Brook University interning at a startup in New York City.]

My living situation is: Living in Central Park (just kidding!)…staying at a relative’s place in the Bronx.

 My first job in the city was: Social Media Strategist Intern

Li Chen and Charlie Chaplin.

Li Chen and Charlie Chaplin.

My job now is: Social Media Strategist Intern (with more swag)

 The best advice I have for newcomers is: Start doing whatever you have to do to please your parents because you’ll need their financial support.

The toughest time I’ve gone through since moving here is: Having self-doubts about my decision to accept an internship in the city when I live in Long Island.

I can’t imagine my New York life without: A positive attitude. It’s a make-or-break deal in the job market, especially in New York City.

When I was brand new to the city, I can’t believe I: Didn’t know how to properly insert my metro card on the bus.

I’m still learning about: The startup world and cheap eats near Midtown.

My proudest achievement so far has been: Building long lasting relationships with the blogging community.

I’ve been thrilled to meet: Sam Lundin. He personally reached out to me during the days where I was a hopeless full time job hunter in pajama pants all day.

A gem I recently discovered is: This web app called Vimbly. It helps you find and book activities in New York instantly. Tango class anyone?

Something I hope to accomplish this summer is: Sip mango bubble tea under the sun.

Li Chen writes about food adventures and DIY activities. She likes to watch SpongeBob when home alone. You can tweet her for intern advice or just to say hi. If you are Joseph Gordon-Levitt, please call.

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Former NewNewYorker of the Week: Joel Lyons

26 Apr

[The second in an occasional series on readers who’ve moved onward and upward since taking the leap into NYC life. Subtext: This can be you!]

My living situation is: Living with my significant other.

Joel Lyons, co-founder of NYC Media Buzz, in Central Park.

My first job in the city was: A content editor for a mobile/online group.
My job now is: A marketing associate with a restaurant group.

The best advice I have for newcomers is: Read NewNewYorkers and subscribe to Time Out New York.

The toughest time I’ve gone through since moving here is:
 I was brave (or stupid) and moved to New York without a job during the peak of the recession….I made sure that I was dressed and ready by 9 a.m. every morning just to guarantee that if someone called for an interview, I could run out the door and go to it. The rejections during that time period sucked, but once I got a yes (and my first job), I was very relieved!

I can’t imagine my New York life without: 
A smartphone. It makes navigating the city, and finding good places to eat, much easier.

When I was brand new to the city, I can’t believe I: Relied solely on Kmart for all my purchases.

I’m still learning about
: The outer boroughs. I live in Queens, so I’ve done a lot of exploring here, but I’m starting to learn sections of Brooklyn and would like to get to the Bronx more often, too.

My proudest achievement so far has been:
 Becoming the go-to person when folks have questions about the subway. Next goal: mastering the bus system.

I’ve been thrilled to meet:
 My significant other.

A gem I recently discovered is: Essex, a farmers’ market/grocery store with a delicious restaurant that makes killer French toast.

Something I hope to accomplish this summer is: Jam with the Central Park Dance Skaters Association.

Former NNYers of the Week: Where are they now?

20 Apr

[The first in an occasional series on readers who’ve moved onward and upward since taking the leap into NYC life. Subtext: This can be you!]

In early 2010, Erika B., now a popular blogger and aspiring actress/singer, hadn’t even lived here two weeks when we caught up with her. (Here is Erika’s original interview.) Look at her now! I’m like a proud little momma over here.

From student housing to her own place in just 14 months!

First apartment: Student housing near City College.
Now: A one-bedroom on the Upper East Side.

First job: Intern at a boutique PR firm.
Now: Marketing assistant for a large financial and retirement group and I run my fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog, Shoes, Shirts & Other Sh!t. (Note: Check out this incredibly touching essay about how much she still loves living in NYC!)

My best advice for newcomers: If you can live below 110th street, you should definitely do so. I did not like Harlem.

The toughest time I’ve gone through since moving here is: dealing with a roommate whose boyfriend practically lives with us. It’s not fun. (Note: Don’t miss our take on this sticky sitch.)

When I was brand new to the city, I can’t believe I: walked the wrong direction further into Harlem my first day in the city and didn’t turn around when I realized it. Later, I got in a gypsy cab whose driver awkwardly hit on me and gave me his number; then I called my mom and cried hysterically that I wanted to come home.

A New Yorker I was thrilled to meet is: Whitney Port from The City and The Hills. I felt like we had a commonality — both of us moved here not knowing many people and not knowing much about NYC. Look at her now!

A gem I recently discovered is: Abitino’s Pizza. They have the best penne alla vodka I’ve ever tasted. Also: Estate Jewels at the Brooklyn Flea. They seriously have the best vintage jewelry ever.

Something I hope to accomplish this summer is: get accepted to the Broadway Artist’s Alliance College/Professional program. It’s a mentoring program where you get to train with top Broadway performers.