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Old 04-17-2012, 10:34 PM
 
Location: Florence, Italy
196 posts, read 254,754 times
Reputation: 99

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Hey everyone,

i'm planning on going to school for fashion merchandising in 2014. I'm most interested in going to FIT, as i know it is a very great school (arguably the best for fashion in general). As I'll be using my post 911 gi bill to pay for school and provide a stipend i'm not really concerned about paying for tuition. before i joined, i worked in retail of soft goods (american eagle, express, banana republic) for a year in atlanta. during this time, i started school, but dropped out to join the military (completely footing the bill for school by myself, working, and a less than desirable living arrangement made the decision to serve a no brainer). along with tuition payment, i will receive a stipend for living based on the zip code of the school i'm in, for FIT it's about 2800 (which i project will increase slightly by the time i get out). this i would use to pay for an apartment (i prefer to not spend all of that money on rent, to allow some money for savings). to pay for food, other bills, and just general living i would get at least a part time job and work an internship to get more experience.

i'm interested in finding a one bedroom for somewhere in the $1500-2000 range. now the thing is this, i was talking to a friend that lives in the bed-stuy area (i have several friends that were born in and currently live in nyc or have moved away) and i mentioned that i was interested in moving to brooklyn, but i like (at least from youtube videos, pictures, and a little research) the upper west side even though i couldn't find anything worth living in in that area. he quickly, interrupted and told me that moving to new york and looking for an apartment is completely different from living in new york and looking for an apartment and that the experience a non-native's experience is often different from a native's. according to him, i could find a nice apartment for that kind of money in brooklyn and even the upper west side (although it would take some hunting in both boroughs). he told me that he was interested in leaving his brownstone in the bed-stuy area for a place in harlem. now i should also note this: when our friend told me he stays in bed-stuy i gagged. he then tells me that the part of bed-stuy he lives in is not the bed-stuy everyone thinks of...it's safer and the areas that aren't that safe he knows when to avoid.

he makes a short list of places he thinks would be perfect for me: west harlem (he told me to stay closer to the subway lines and he mentioned 125th st), park slope, brooklyn heights, cobble hill, and carroll gardens. he even went so far to say that he was looking for an apartment in the 900-1100 range and had no doubts he would find something up to his standards in harlem - "it's all about who you know" (although he caveated that he would probably be in the central harlem area rather than west harlem...and for me to avoid east harlem at all costs). now, he also recommended that i come up to visit (several times) before i make the move (he offered to let me stay in his place or to find a short term rental apartment) so i can get a feel for the city and walk through the boroughs and go to a few open houses. another thing he recommend was that i use a broker (he suggested i use one of his client's that was helping him find a place) because they could help find something better suited to my needs and guide me throughout the process. because he's gone and looked online and they don't hold a candle to even higher priced places he's seen in person...

so i just bouncing my ideas of you guys (and gals) and wanting to get your opinions...does my plan sound realistic? is it really possible to find places in that price range in brooklyn heights, park slope, west harlem, or upper west? how is the sugar hill area these days, i read that it went through a decline...but i've seen some architecture from that part and it looks nice (a bit dilapidated, but nice)...
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:15 AM
 
Location: New York
477 posts, read 1,211,792 times
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You have a pretty good budget I would choose somewhere close to school or directly on the subway line. Commuting back and forth to Brooklyn will get old and if you have an early class it's going to be annoying. Luckily the school is convienant to many subway lines so several trains will let you off near the school but I would stay in manhattan.

The school should have some information about housing I would look to them and on Craig's list.
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:49 AM
 
87 posts, read 194,663 times
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use the school to find a place. if you're going to fit, live in whatever places they use for dorms. and yes, gag when you hear bed-stuy. you don't need to be living in bed-stuy and going to fit. that just doesn't add up. find a place in the city.

source: i went to fit and lived on the bushwick/bed-stuy border. manhattan is a much better place than anywhere in bk if you're going to fit.
maybe find a share in the lower east side, east village, chinatown, nolita.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Florence, Italy
196 posts, read 254,754 times
Reputation: 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by nycgirl1616 View Post
You have a pretty good budget I would choose somewhere close to school or directly on the subway line. Commuting back and forth to Brooklyn will get old and if you have an early class it's going to be annoying. Luckily the school is convienant to many subway lines so several trains will let you off near the school but I would stay in manhattan.

The school should have some information about housing I would look to them and on Craig's list.
i thought the commute would be horrendous as well, but i'm told that living in the park slope/brooklyn heights area would not be a bad commute to fit at all, even better than harlem. is this true?

i will, after i apply and (crosses fingers) get accepted, use the school as a resource as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cityinfonow View Post
use the school to find a place. if you're going to fit, live in whatever places they use for dorms. and yes, gag when you hear bed-stuy. you don't need to be living in bed-stuy and going to fit. that just doesn't add up. find a place in the city.

source: i went to fit and lived on the bushwick/bed-stuy border. manhattan is a much better place than anywhere in bk if you're going to fit.
maybe find a share in the lower east side, east village, chinatown, nolita.
unfortunately, i think living in a dorm would be a bit awkward for me...i'll be 26 by the time i get there and i'm not much for living in quarters that close. which is odd that i'm in the military, but i've only had a roommate once...other than that i've always lived alone. now i wouldn't absolutely hate sharing an apartment with someone (although, i prefer not to), but i wouldn't mind looking for a place in manhattan. i just picked brooklyn, because i've read that i will almost always get a better place in brooklyn for what i pay in manhattan. especially since i'm only looking to pay 1500-2000 for an apartment.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Florence, Italy
196 posts, read 254,754 times
Reputation: 99
now given the large gap in related experience how hard would it be to land an internship or part time job in retail?

here is a little bit about my experience: when i started working retail i worked at american eagle in a smaller town in southwest georgia. i was a legend at that store, no exaggeration. i went back to visit last year and popped in to see who still worked there and one of the shift managers was promoted to store manager and she ran up and hugged me. then a girl i had never seen before comes up and says "you're kind of like a legend around here, she talks about how she's never had anyone that could come in four hours before we close on a thursday (our slowest day), get us up to goal, fix the denim wall, and have the sales rack marked and tagged all by close." well while i was working there the area manager came to meet me and actually suggested i go to school for retailing because after reading a paper i wrote on my job (it was only supposed to be a few lines about job responsibilities) she said i was thinking at the corporate level and promised to assist in any way possible. then i ended up getting a call from the gap (on the other end of the mall) apparently their store manager heard about me, came in to buy something for her son and was impressed she offered me a job (which i didn't take because i would have been working less than a 1/4 of the hours i was at ae). after six months i relocated to atlanta, the area manager called atlanta's area manager and recommended me for a job. eventually i became a manager, but quit because i was making more money working for lowe's. during this time i also worked at banana republic and express with a good amount of success in both of those stores. outside of actual work experience i was offered an internship at saks in phipp's plaza and later a job at the dior store in store (both of which i turned down because i was leaving for the military in a few weeks). i was offered the internship first, it was odd how it happened actually. on my days of work i would go to phipp's plaza and browse around (i occasionally could buy designer items, but i would have to save) well i would talk to the associates and pick their brains. this time i talked to an associate at dior, we talked for like an hour or so about the designer, the current state of the house, etc. she suggested i apply for an intern position and even offered to help me land the position. i applied, but a host of things happened and that's when i decided to join the military. after i signed the papers and everything, i ran into her again. she asked me if i did the application, i told her yes but i wouldnt be able to take the internship because i was going off to basic. she immediately called up her manager to see if she could take on another associate and the manager said yes, so she encouraged me to apply and the manager even suggested i do the same after she found out i was interested, but i couldn't because i was leaving.

so my question is this: i know it won't be easy to land an internship at dior or versace or some other high end designers, but for a "transplant" just getting to the city how hard would it be to get a retail job at a bridge market retailer (think amerian eagle, etc) or even a barney's? i don't care if i'm scraping gum off the freaking sidewalk or cleaning toilets, i would do it if it was an internship at a high end design office...
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:58 AM
 
Location: NJ/NY
10,634 posts, read 16,240,223 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cityinfonow View Post
use the school to find a place. if you're going to fit, live in whatever places they use for dorms. and yes, gag when you hear bed-stuy. you don't need to be living in bed-stuy and going to fit. that just doesn't add up. find a place in the city.

source: i went to fit and lived on the bushwick/bed-stuy border. manhattan is a much better place than anywhere in bk if you're going to fit.
maybe find a share in the lower east side, east village, chinatown, nolita.
The dorms at FIT are incredibly hard to get into and are assigned by a combination of lottery and need. My sister went to FIT, we lived in Westchester. She only got a dorm 1 year out of 3.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Florence, Italy
196 posts, read 254,754 times
Reputation: 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtoli View Post
The dorms at FIT are incredibly hard to get into and are assigned by a combination of lottery and need. My sister went to FIT, we lived in Westchester. She only got a dorm 1 year out of 3.
even if dorms were readily available i wouldn't live in them because i'll be 26 by the time i move there. i think this would also explain why my friend never mentioned their dorms either...he just said given my personality west harlem (close to subways), park slope, cobble hill, and brooklyn heights (although it might be at the higher end of my budget) would be good for me...and the commute isn't bad from any of them, but i think he said it takes longer to get to school from west harlem than park slope/bh...
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:06 AM
 
Location: NJ/NY
10,634 posts, read 16,240,223 times
Reputation: 2787
Quote:
Originally Posted by laryenhilllvr View Post
even if dorms were readily available i wouldn't live in them because i'll be 26 by the time i move there. i think this would also explain why my friend never mentioned their dorms either...he just said given my personality west harlem (close to subways), park slope, cobble hill, and brooklyn heights (although it might be at the higher end of my budget) would be good for me...and the commute isn't bad from any of them, but i think he said it takes longer to get to school from west harlem than park slope/bh...
Yes, it will take you forever to get there from West Harlem. You'd be much better off looking in Brooklyn or downtown.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:20 AM
 
Location: New York NY
4,145 posts, read 5,978,986 times
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You might also consider Washington Heights as a place to live if you're thnking f commuting to Brooklyn. Live west of Broadway close to the A train (express) and its about a 30 minute ride from like 181st St or 190th st midtown. I suggest this because there are apartments there that are fullone bedrooms in your price range ($1500-$2000 or less if you want a studio) in good secure buildings, while the neighborhood itself is clean, quiet and well-kept for the most part. Many actors, muscians, singer, and other creative people live there because of the realtively low rents, older buildings with thick walls, so you might find it to your liking. Its also more ethnically diverse than the eastern half of the neighborhood which is poorer and mainly Dominican. Just want to put it on your radar.

And don't worry so much about a commute. After a while its second nature to anyone who lives in NY. Folks make it sound like you'll die if you have to ride the subway every morning to school. You won't. Trust me.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Florence, Italy
196 posts, read 254,754 times
Reputation: 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtoli View Post
Yes, it will take you forever to get there from West Harlem. You'd be much better off looking in Brooklyn or downtown.
that's what i've heard...i wouldn't mind a 30 min or so transit time if ultimately i'm living in a nice, clean, brownstone 1 bedroom within my price range with some amenities...
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