I have always wanted to move for New York. My brother moved there earlier last year. His jumping the gun on my Big Apple dream quickly sharpened my focus.
It was a city I’d never visited in, yet pulled me. Strange, considering I’ve traveled pretty ferociously since I was old enough to fly by myself.
When I made my first trip to New York to visit my bro Julian, I can honestly say it felt like I’d ‘arrived’. I’m still trying to work out a way to explain away this feeling without sounding like a hippie who hoards crystal balls and reads tea leaves in my spare time.
But I know I’m not the first one to feel this way about New York.
Books, movies, friends, they will all tell you: there is something about NYC.
It’s been a good exercise to think about leaving though.
Why would I want to leave all my amazing friends, vegemite toast and the world’s most liveable city?
Two things stand out about New York.
To survive in New York, you have to be an athlete in whatever you do.The city attracts the top talent in the world; so if you want to stretch yourself, test your limits, you come here.
I recently heard Peter Thiel speak about this idea of attracting peak performance by immersing yourself in it. “What does it mean to be in the running to be the best? When you are surrounded by the best, you get good feedback, and you can calibrate yourself to be the best in the world.” He was explaining why the Yammer office which was originally in Los Angeles, moved to San Francisco to be near Silicon Valley, the epicentre of start-ups and currently the best technology cluster in the world.
For a good amount of time, Melbourne quenched my need to stretch and test my limits. But the choice between a creative hometown and the hothouse of global talent? New York is where I want to be training right now.
2. Culture and accessibility.
Everything I always imagined myself to be or do is possible here in New York. It’s so easy to stumble into an art show, amazing band, state of the art live theatre or top restaurant because they literally exist on every corner.
I could seek this stuff out in Melbourne. But I don’t. Maybe I’m lazy, maybe it’s just too damn hard to find, or the effort doesn’t yield the best payout.
My last visit to Brooklyn, I helped put an art piece together in a Saturday morning, attended a conference with 10,000 other Santas in the afternoon, and then sat in a diner the next day eating eggs and listening to an old Yank rant over “cawfee” like an extra on the set of Seinfeld.
It’s not a one-off, the diverse, colourful NYC experiences are always on, and you don’t have to look far.
So next month I’m moving to New York. I’m going to help open the East Coast office for one of the most exciting start-ups on the planet, Yammer. (More on that later.)
I’m interested in what you think. Have you lived in New York? Got any tips?
And what is it about a city that draws you to live in it?