The Newcomers

Why I moved to NYC from Boston: To become a cryptocurrency reporter and fulfill my dream of living here

By Kelly Kreth  |
July 1, 2022 - 12:30PM

Jocelyn Yang in her Long Island City studio. She's paying $2,550, which covers amenities like a co-working area and a gym.

Jocelyn Yang was living in Boston as a college student. A job offer after graduation NYC lead to a studio apartment in Long Island City, an upgrade from her shared dorm room. She’s adjusting to the noise and how expensive it is to live here. Here's her story.

I was born and raised in Beijing, China, and came to the U.S. as an international student in high school. Most recently I was living in a college dorm at Emerson College in Boston—I recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in business studies. I had a double room in a six-person suite. We shared a small living area and a bathroom. There was just one kitchen for the entire dorm floor.

Being downtown, the room and board fees were expensive––close to $20,000 for the school year (about $2,300 per month).

The location was the biggest plus. I loved being close to everything and living with friends. However, my room directly faced another building, so it was kind of depressing living without much daylight all year. Also sharing personal space with others could be challenging sometimes, especially during the pandemic.

[Editor's Note: Brick Underground's series The Newcomers features first-person accounts about why a renter or buyer decided to take a chance on NYC and live here now. Have a story to share? Drop us an email. We respect all requests for anonymity.]

Whenever any big news events were happening locally, nationally, or internationally, there were protests in front of my dorm, which was a block away from the state capital building. This was a good thing for journalism students like me; we could do report on them easily because we had this geographic advantage.

I’m a runner so I jogged along the Charles River Esplanade almost every day. It was my favorite thing to do in Boston.

On weekends I enjoyed going out with my friends to try different restaurants and explore the city. We would often get dim sum in Chinatown and have brunches in Cambridge and the Seaport. I also liked to check out The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. My dorm was a 10-minute walk from Newbury Street, where there were a lot of good restaurants and Trader Joe’s. I always felt lucky to be able to live in this wonderful neighborhood in Boston.

Why she wanted to move to NYC

In late April, I got a reporter job offer to report on cryptocurrency and started looking at NYC apartments right away because my job started in May, right after graduation. Apartment hunting was quite a journey.

Since I was in Boston, I did not view any apartments in person. Initially I did not work with a real estate agent but found the process of finding an apartment frustrating. Many landlords and brokers did not respond to me. I reached out to Kunal Khemlani an agent at Living New York [Editor’s note: he has since moved to Corcoran], about one of his listings and he immediately responded and set up a virtual tour. Kunal explained the NYC rental market to me and helped me set reasonable expectations about any fees and upfront costs.

What was key was gathering my documents along with my guarantor’s paperwork so I would be prepared to apply immediately if I found something I liked.

Wanted: A studio for less than $3,000

I wanted a studio in Long Island City for less than $3,000 per month. Having lived in such a dark space, I valued daylight and southern or southeast exposure. I absolutely did not want north, northwest, or western exposures that would create bad feng shui.

I chose a studio that’s close to both Queens Plaza and Queensboro Plaza in LIC. I’m paying $2,550, which covers amenities like a co-working area and a gym. I honestly felt lucky finding a place so fast. I moved in on May 15th.

It’s a very convenient location in terms of my commute. My company is at Union Square. Though we still work on a hybrid basis, it’s easy getting there from my place by subway (20 to 30 minutes).

What it’s like living in Long Island City

There are a couple of groceries nearby and the most affordable one (Trader Joe’s) is about a 15-minute walk away, as is MoMA PS1. I always enjoy seeing art and am so glad it is nearby. I’m also close to my new friends!

The only thing I’m not thrilled about is that you can hear the subway from my apartment if I open my windows.

There’s a little green space on the way to the building, which is really pleasant to sit or read in when it’s not too hot. Queensbridge Park is a great place to jog.

Eating out is pretty expensive in NYC so I cook meals whenever I work from home. But I’ve heard about a few good restaurants and boba tea places nearby, and there are lots of Asian cuisines that I’d like to try someday.

How her social life is going

I joined many Facebook social groups to find new friends with similar interests and have met a few people since I moved here. 

Because lots of my friends who live in Boston or other places in the U.S. are still in school, many will be waiting until summer to visit me. But one friend who already came said she really liked my neighborhood because it is close to everything. 

As an international student working doing post-graduate work, will be able to stay in the U.S. to work for at least until 2023. I will have to see what's next after that. Living in NYC has always been a dream for me and I’m glad it came true.



Kelly Kreth

Contributing writer

Contributing writer Kelly Kreth has been a freelance journalist, essayist, and columnist for more than two decades. Her real estate articles have appeared in The Real Deal, Luxury Listings, Our Town, and amNewYork. A long-time New York City renter who loves a good deal, Kreth currently lives in a coveted rent-stabilized apartment in a luxury building on the Upper East Side.

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