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Why I left NYC: A reflection on three perfect years

9 Feb

Hi, new New Yorkers,

Founder Sarah here. I’m not sure how many of you are aware, but I moved from New York back to Colorado in May 2010.

I have left. And it’s hard to say.

I didn’t flee because I was sick of the grind, getting too old, or so over Manhattan. Why go, then? Well, I fell in love, I got engaged, and I increasingly dreamt of impromptu Wednesday coffees with my parents and weekends at my brother’s. More and more, leaving the party early felt right. I arrived on my own terms, and I left on my own terms, and that was always the plan.

My three-and-a-half years in Manhattan were, I believe, everything anyone moving from far away to fulfill a dream would want. Knowing I’d arrive without a job or place to live — and booking a one-way ticket anyway — forever changed my opinion of what I thought I could do, who I thought I could be. The more I learned about New York City living, the more I discovered my part of it all, the more I was driven to write. And write. And write. I wrote a blog and two books (more on that soon), which led to a steady interaction with so many of you who are building your own versions of the stories I’ve told — plus your own, completely different ones. You are becoming your own NYC experts now.

This blog has been my way of holding on to the city when I didn’t want to believe I’d really left. But I’m very happy here, and now I get to watch all of you, over and over again, live out our shared dream. It rocks.

So thanks. Thank you for trusting me, caring about what I have to say. And I hope you will keep e-mailing, reading and asking, even if I’m looking over my laptop at mountains now instead of a gray brick wall on Third Avenue. (Which I actually do miss.)

The posts are staying up and staying free; that’s what I know for sure. Passing the baton sounds like a lot of fun if and when I find the right person, but I’m not actively looking.

I still plan to return to visit, take meetings, visit old haunts and old friends, and — I hope — hang out with some of you readers.

Annnnnd publish. Love y’all.


2010 in Review

2 Jan

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high-level summary of its overall health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 20,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.


In 2010, there were 31 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 114 posts. There were 26 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 3mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was June 8th with 235 views. The most popular post that day was “Should I move to NYC without a job?”.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for how to move to nyc, move to nyc, how to move to nyc with no money, moving to nyc without a job, and should i move to nyc.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


“Should I move to NYC without a job?” September 2009


“How to move to NYC with no money” May 2010


Frugal Find #2: An apartment in Manhattan July 2009


Don’t move to Brooklyn July 2009


FAQ June 2009

How (not) to move within the city

4 Jun

In 2008, I moved from a shared studio (!!) on Madison to my own bedroom in Murray Hill. I didn’t have a friend with a car or family living nearby — thus, it was the most hellish day of that entire year.

Here are the very few things I did right, and what I wish I’d known:

An image from my actual moving day. Otherwise known as hell on Murray Hill.

What I did: Lugged boxes from the U-Haul store on the West Side Highway to my studio on 36th and Madison — on the M34 bus.
What you should do: Do not pay for boxes — get them from Craigslist (often listed under the free section), the grocery store’s recycling or the street. Look around and you’ll see them everywhere!

What I did: Assumed I could move on whatever day I wanted.
What you should do: Check with your super to see if there are certain days you’re not allowed to move out on. Some buildings, whether by law or preference, don’t want you to move out on a weekend. (And OH, did my grumpy super let me have it. I’ve never been screamed at like that before or since. Let’s just say tears ensued, and they weren’t his.)

What I did: Because of the expense, I was anti-movers at first. However, once I mentally took myself through renting and driving a U-Haul on my own through Manhattan (and even possibly hurting someone), I wised up in time.
What you should do:
Save up for Man With A Van, or something like it. I paid about $140. The rub: Usually there’s a per-hour minimum of two or more hours; my move took about 43 minutes. (Also: They will be late. The guys were super friendly, but they were two hours late coming from Queens, due to rain. Rain!)

What I did: Failed to consider the cost of moving my mattress. Instead of a few short car trips or cheap cab rides, I hired movers only because of a mattress.
What you should do:
A cost-benefit analysis. If it was cheap and you’re going a long way with a lot of stuff, consider buying a new one instead of paying to move it.

What I did: Dated someone at the time who indeed had a car, but who insisted he had to be somewhere that day and couldn’t help me move. As karma would have it, his car was towed from my street that day. He ended up at a West Side Highway impound lot, only to call me and lament that he wasn’t being allowed to leave (even after paying a hefty fine) because woops, he forgot to renew his license. My friend Katie, who had planned to help me move, graciously agreed to take a cab to the impound lot and drive his car out of the lot. It was a stick. She only knew automatic. It was ugly.
What you should do: Eh, OK, so that’s unlikely to happen to you.