Good morning, lovely readers. I’m in a good mood because it’s sunny and in the 60s today. I will probably be brought very low later today when I try to go online shopping.
You, dear readers, I have put myself on a severe spending diet. SEVERE. I know you are probably all like, “No Ali, you have to gradually stop spending money! You can’t be that terrible at spending money.” No, no I actually am that terrible. I am that girl who got a job that was like “MONEY! I am going to buy all the clothes.” And then all of a sudden I couldn’t eat. Living with Dan has helped me budget a little bit better, because, you know, we have real expenses to consider. ‘Cause like if I didn’t budget, we’d be living in a box.
I spent an hour this weekend setting up a monthly budget using my monthly income as the base. Then I subtracted rent. Then PSE&G (public service). Then Cablevision. Then yoga. Then the gym. Then groceries. I even added a line for my “allowance." And after I did that all I got out of the practice was one thing:
It is expensive to live in NYC metro area.
Not that I’ve discovered anything revolutionary here, but wow. I have a bestie who moved to LA earlier this year and when I hear her talk about rent, I am supremely jealous. I saw her apartment last week while I was there on business and I almost cried people. She lives in a building with a pool and a gated garage for her car (no parking lot fees! A pool!). She has her own bedroom, which is about the size of my apartment in Hoboken. Plus she has a balcony (!) and a massive bathroom that she shares with one other girl. I cannot tell you for sure, but I think I actually turned green, ya know, with envy.
Now I don’t think LA is for me personally. And I’m not going to harp on how insane we all are for living in NYC and adjacent areas, because that territory has been explored by much funnier people. I can’t deal with the idea that I would have to drive everywhere. But there are some cities across our fair United States in which I could see myself and Dan (and our respective wallets) living happily.
Here’s my short list of cities, I could see myself living in a couple of years to take the bite off of the East Coast experience. These places are all cheaper than Hoboken/NYC (with the exception of San Fran, but hey this is MY LIST) but they still have a similar cultural and political vibe of NYC. By the way, this list is in a totally arbitrary and in no order whatsoever.
Austin, TX: Warm days, cold beers, excellent university, great music scene. Do I need another reason to move here? It’s basically everything great about NYC but at a much.slower.pace.
Portland, OR: I don’t think I need to explain this one, but I will. Art, music, food and culture are all on the up and up. Close proximity to nature – and I don’t mean Central Park nature. I mean legit get-lost-in-the-misty-wood-and-have-a-vision-quest kind of nature. Also, I can ride my bike everywhere. Also lumberjacks.
What about the rest of you NYCers? Could you do with a few years off the island?