How My Biggest Dream is Becoming a Nightmare, part 1

An Introduction

The concrete jungle of my dreams, taken from the Empire State Building. Photo credit, Lynette Salas

The concrete jungle of my dreams, taken from the Empire State Building. Photo credit, Lynette Salas

Nearly every designer or person in the creative field has at some point placed “Living and Working in NYC” in their list of goal and life dreams.  The thrill of moving to America’s creative and business capitol can only be surpassed by the ensuing fear and anxiety of the thought of translating a dream into reality.

We have all stalked the Archinect job posting for our dream job in NYC; but, while we are stuck in Austin, Berkeley, Gainesville, or in my case- St. Louis, Missouri, we see that little note.  The sentence that crushes our dream in seven words or less

“Must live in New York City"
 “Must be living in New York City.”
 “Must be a New York City resident.”


Why?! Why?! I know the industry is suffering and cannot afford my moving expenses…but Why?!

Us young designers contemplate. We go back and forth and decide to write a fellow family member or friend’s New York Address.  ‘That will get me in the loop!’  You apply with the back-up plan that if you are chosen of the 1000s of applicants, you will make some excuse why you cannot be at the interview …tomorrow? (Because that is how NYC firms roll)  Or the most self-deprecating option—and if you are financially secure—you dish in the funds to book an overnight flight to your dream city.

We have all thought about these issues out of desperation.  “Fake it til you make it,” a former professor of mine used to repeat.  So here we go.

And then I get the email from one of the thirty firms I applied to last week! “When can you come in this week for an interview?”

“Oh f*%$!”

Dichotomous feelings of joy and panic wash over as I rush to get my materials ready and figure out how to get from STL>>LGA by the end of the week…and oh yea, its Wednesday.

Fast forward a month...

I didn’t get the job I interviewed for but I moved to NYC anyways.  What will follow is a series of postings about how my dream of living and working in NYC is becoming a nightmare, but will hopefully end up being a dream(ish).  Topics include: the hunt for a job while being essentially homeless; the hunt for the perfect (ahem) apartment while being jobless; the difference between NYC interviews and everywhere else and all the trials and triumphs as they unfold.