Sunday, November 22, 2015

Moving to New York City

This past October I moved to New York City to start my new job. It has been a bit of a hectic experience, but now I'm finally settling down so it's time to update my blog. I'm working at the American Museum of Natural History, specifically with the BDNYC group helping with a variety of tasks related to their science (brown dwarfs) and their students (of which there are quite a few).
In this post I'll describe my move and some of what I've been up to.

Moving From Chile
One of the advantages of living in Chile is that the apartments there are generally fully-furnished which means I didn't have to worry about moving things out (or in). All I had to do was to coordinate with my landlord about my leave. He was a cool fellow and let me stay until the very last moment when the taxi came to take me to the airport. He also worked to get me the security deposit (minus repairs and cleaning fees) deposited directly rather than the usual which meant I would have to pick it up in person (impossible from another country). I do have to close my bank account, but was told it could only be done by phone so it should be OK when I get around to doing that.

Searching for Apartments
I had a perfect plan for searching for apartments, however, like most plans, it didn't go exactly as I wanted it to go. I had a temporary place booked with airbnb and this was very useful as it gave me an address to work with and put down on my job. I ended up using nakedapartments to search for places and contacted a brooker to find additional ones. It was a lot of walking around and not all the places were nice or well kept. Furthermore, places filled up fast or where already taken by the time we got to visit them or submit the application. Regardless, I was able to find a great place within my budget in the upper parts of Manhattan, in Inwood. It was a tense experience, but I was finally able to start moving the day before I had to leave my temporary place. Even without the front key, I went and checked out some basic furniture at IKEA to have it delivered the following day. It's now been about a month since I moved in and my place is looking nice.

Starting the Job
Even while I was settling down, I was worried about my job. I didn't know the team too well and worried that I was slacking off right when I was starting. In the end, they were actually very encouraging and did not at all expect me to be working while I was dealing with apartment searches. Once that was done, I started going more frequently to the museum and getting involved in the various projects there. My job is very open-ended as I did not want to pursue a career directly leading to the standard academic track. As such, this is an excellent opportunity for me to explore different aspects of research, education, data science, and data visualization. I'm still learning new things and finding ways to help out, but I've certainly managed to keep myself busy. So much so, that this blog post has been constantly delayed!

Onward to Adventure
Now that I am settled down and I'm developing my routine I hope to have more time to explore NYC. Thus far, I haven't even explored all of AMNH! I have, however, taken the time to visit some of the local parks on the weekends. I visited Fort Tryon Park, Inwood Hill Park, and, of course, Central Park. All are very nice and readily accessible, though naturally I have to take the subway to reach Central Park. I've been trying to do this before Winter comes as I want to still have trees to see. I've never lived in a place with 'real' winter so I'm a bit worried about how things will go as the weather gets cooler and we start to get snow. Still, it will be a fun adventure and I hope to make the most of it!

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