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Old 02-13-2009, 11:47 AM   #1
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Default Offered a job in NYC. What to do?

I've been in Manhattan for the past couple of weeks working as an engineering consultant on the buildout of CBS Radio's new studios downtown. WCBS, WXRK, WWFS, WINS, and WFAN.

Apparently the director of engineering here thought that I was still working for Harris, which is the prime contractor on the technical portion of the job. I was with Harris for about 10 years, but quit last August as part of my one-third-life crisis and aborted law-school thing, and I'm now freelancing. This morning he found out I was "available", and offered me a job.

There are portions of this that are tempting. You can't really get more name recognition in the industry than CBS NY and Harris Pacific. I've already done the latter, and adding the former to my resume would be interesting. Thing is, while I've done a lot of work here over the years, it's always been in Manhattan, and I know exactly jack **** about the rest of the area- particularly in terms of housing and commute.

I asked for a ballpark salary range, and he said they're thinking somewhere in the 80s, which seems low to me. I honestly don't know what their actual range will wind up being, or what's realistic in this neck of the woods. Having lived in Hicktown FL (3/2/2 < $90k), rural southern Ohio (3/2/2 = $140 - $160k), and Carlsbad CA (3/2/2 >$800k) has left me with a completely scrambled concept of things like cost of living.

I know a lot of you guys live and work in the area. I'd like your thoughts.
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:54 AM   #2
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From personal observation and experience, you cant survive by yourself on anything less then 60k a year and that's if you dont live in the city. 60K will be hard, its borderline. If you want to live comfortably youre looking for at least 80 - 100.

NY is really not as expensive as you think.
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Old 02-13-2009, 12:05 PM   #3
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You wont be living a lavish life style in NYC with 80K. That said if you were willing to commute an hr or so you could easily live comfortable in one of the surrounding boro's. I dont know if you ever been outside of Manhattan but the other boro's are no worse than anywhere else. They all have their good and bad places like everywhere else in the world. You could easily find 1 bedroom apt's for less than 1K a month. I dont know what cost of living is like where you are in FL but here in south FL is real comparable. In fact I pay more in property taxes than my father in the BX does, yet he pays state tax.

Id say go for it. There's plenty of members on here who still live up there and im sure would be willing to show you around.
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Old 02-13-2009, 12:06 PM   #4
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Yeah, that sounds low to me. BUT think of this as a stepping stone. Two years at this job and then step up to something else.
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Old 02-13-2009, 12:12 PM   #5
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Id say go for it. There's plenty of members on here who still live up there and im sure would be willing to show you around.
I'm free this Saturday.

Edit: As of now.
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Old 02-13-2009, 12:18 PM   #6
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aborted law-school thing


I don't have much to add, but as m2cupcar said, this might be a good stepping stone. You never know where this could go.
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Old 02-13-2009, 12:19 PM   #7
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I don't live in NYC, but I live in the DC area and its always Cost of Living vs Quality of Living that you need to factor when accepting a job. I would take 10-20k cuts to have a high quality of living (read.. 8.5 hour days including commute). If your willing to commute an hour each way, I'm sure you can live comfortably on 80k. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a small commute on 80k would most likely = low free budget/quality of life in Manhattan. Gotta figure out how much you value your personal time and lifestyle
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Old 02-13-2009, 12:30 PM   #8
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I don't live in NYC, but I live in the DC area and its always Cost of Living vs Quality of Living that you need to factor when accepting a job. I would take 10-20k cuts to have a high quality of living (read.. 8.5 hour days including commute). If your willing to commute an hour each way, I'm sure you can live comfortably on 80k. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a small commute on 80k would most likely = low free budget/quality of life in Manhattan. Gotta figure out how much you value your personal time and lifestyle
You cannot live in Manhattan on 80K unless you have 5 room-mates. Trust me. I know people that pay 1250 - 1400 for a "ROOM". They brag about it too.

However, 80k will get you into a nice 2 bedroom apartment that you will rent in a brownstone house in Brooklyn. The commute to midtown is 1 hour on any train line or express bus.

The other option is Hoboken, NJ(there are other places in NJ too). An up and coming neighborhood that offers similar living opportunities as the NY suburbs and is also 1 hour from the city on any train or bus.
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Old 02-13-2009, 12:34 PM   #9
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joe, will they pay for you to finish school on top of that 80k?

80k is peanuts for manhattan. double that if you dont want to live near these folks:

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Old 02-13-2009, 12:51 PM   #10
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There is state income tax in NY and city income tax in NYC and also higher sales taxes on everything you buy there.

You can rent a 3/2/2 in Tampa for $1k a month. In NYC it's a 1Br. Apt. So you can have a two car garage for the same price in FL!

It is 78*F today in central Florida. It is 43*F in NYC, with a low of 25*F.

There is a reason or two that there are a lot of New Yorkers in Florida. Most of the ones I encounter aren't retired either.

Is your trade going to force you into a union to work in NYC? A lot of the radio engineering talent in NYC is union. If so, there goes more $$$ for nothing.

Oh, yeah. You can own and carry a gun in FL without trouble.

If I were you wouldn't go for less than 150k, because of the cost of living differences and the other negatives.

And I hear that Jersey is beautiful. Especially this time of year.
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Old 02-13-2009, 12:52 PM   #11
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I would not want to deal with the NYC area at all. 80k doesn't go nearly as far as the 90k down here in FL does. The commute into the city will suck, of course you lived in SoCAL so that is something you are used to. However, no driving the Miata in the winter, snow, ice and ice storms.

I liken this to my brother who moved to Greenbay WI to take a job. Yeah the pay is good, but there is nothing to do there. It is covered under snow from Late Sept/early Oct to April or so.

Even though NYC has a **** load more to offer as far as entertainment and culture and you will have 4 seasons up there, but to me the trade offs would not be worth it.
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:07 PM   #12
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And forget driving to work in ten minutes. And forget driving to work at all.
And forget driving to the store. And forget wide open roads ten minutes from the house. And forget keeping a radio in your convertible, hahaha. And forget being able to work on your car in your driveway. And forget having a driveway.

I dunno. I moved around all of my life and I had a choice and I chose here. Port Charlotte is a little bit smaller town, but that's not the worst thing in the world. There's some serious benefits to not being overpopulated. For instance, I don't like people, hehe. You aren't very far from the Tampa/Clearwater/St. Petersburg area and there is plenty of good stuff going on here.

BTW, How would you like to join me on a pit crew for the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in a couple of weeks? I am working on the hookup.
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:11 PM   #13
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I wouldn't go for 80K. I enjoy open spaces, and driving cars too much.



Some people love the city. I like visiting.


I wouldn't move there unless it was for >250K with a good benefits and vacation package.
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:24 PM   #14
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I live in a fairly small town. It's not much, but we do have a nuclear reactor and a medium sized airport. The population is about 5000 and everybody is really friendly. Your neighbors all know your name. They actually pay me to live in this town, and even cover all my travel expenses to some sweet places around the world. The whole town gets to go... it's pretty cool.
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:27 PM   #15
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That's great, if you like being surrounded by seamen.
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:31 PM   #16
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Isn't it kinda noisy living that close to the runway? You are what, 50 yards or less from it anywhere in town?
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixshooter View Post
And forget driving to work in ten minutes. And forget driving to work at all.
And forget driving to the store. And forget wide open roads ten minutes from the house. And forget keeping a radio in your convertible, hahaha. And forget being able to work on your car in your driveway. And forget having a driveway.

Have you ever been to NY. My father lives in the Bronx and within 10 minutes he's on roads that most people in FL wouldn't know how to drive on. Not to mention he drives everywhere he wants to go up there. As for commuting to the city, yeah I wouldnt even thinking about driving there but everywhere else, its no different then like here in south Fl.



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Old 02-13-2009, 01:46 PM   #18
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No good bars in Nimitz town.
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Old 02-13-2009, 02:14 PM   #19
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I've lived in greater NY pretty much my whole life. Without knowing what your expectations are, I would say $80-90K could be a real stretch. If you want to live in the 5 boroughs, secure parking can cost as much as an apartment does in the rest of the country, which usually means either driving something you don't care about or no car at all.

If you want to live in any of the popular suburbs within 90 minutes commute of downtown, you're probably looking at Carlsbad-level pricing again. Downtown studios might mean your commute from the burbs is the bus or train to midtown and subway downtown, unless PATH service to the old WTC station has been restored. I did it for 2 years and it wasn't swell. If PATH is back up, the commute from North Jersey isn't bad since you can go right from Newark or Hoboken direct to Liberty Street/Wall Street area.

I don't know about the City, but in Fairfield County the rents are going down faster than the price of houses. But you're still looking at about $1500+ per month to get started.

I live here by choice. It's true that winter bites the big one, but there's just so much going on and so much to do that it seems like a good trade.
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Old 02-13-2009, 02:41 PM   #20
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Sorry guys, but I gotta dis-agree with a lot of your comments about why not to live in NY.

The only two I can possibly agree with is the expensive rent and homes. Every other reason screams "I am still a little kid so I need room to play and I dont like to be inconvenienced".
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