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Old 02-23-2013, 12:45 PM   #1
Jazz62 OP
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Advice on likely relocation to NYC

My wife and I are trying to make the big move. I'm a jazz musician, been slugging it out in Chicago for just over 20 years now. There's great potential to turn this into a long and fucked up story about how bad the scene here has become. Many of the most gifted cats sitting home while the shameless self-promoting types get all the high profile work. Almost all the old masters who dictated the vibe in town have passed away, the last 5 years in particular have been just terrible.

My wife is a public school teacher and this entire move hinges on her landing a gig. Because she is a science teacher and she is multilingual (English, Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi and Spanish) I think her odds are pretty good. Where we live will largely be dependent on where she'll be working. If she lands a job anywhere from mid-town south we'll look for a place in Brooklyn - anywhere north of that and most likely we'll have to look in Harlem, Washington Heights etc.

Keeping this brief = huge FAIL. A lot running through my gristmill right now.

We'll be selling both of our cars but it will totally break my heart to have to sell my 1150GS. Bikes have been my only luxury in life and as I'm sure many of you can appreciate, my sanity saver as well. I have a lot of contacts in NYC but none of the pussies ride. I'm trying to get an advanced read on whether it makes any sense to keep my bike, especially since barring some miracle, I'll have to keep it on the street. Will it be a vandalized worthless hunk of crap in no time? Some people have told me that if we wind up living in Brooklyn we may want to keep one car as parking is not impossible.

At 50 this is an exciting and terrifying thing to be undertaking but I've been woefully uninspired artistically here for far too long. I was actually born in the Bronx if you can believe that. Family moved to Westchester when I was little.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

Ron

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Old 02-23-2013, 01:11 PM   #2
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Ron, I'm sure other NYC'ers will chime in here but I live in Harlem and so far have had good luck with riding and I park my car and bike on the street. Besides the usual NYPD dickery in the summer which one has to be aware of, it's not too bad here. NYPD does random MC only checkpoints here so be prepared. TONS of great dual sport riding just a few hrs away.

By any chance is your wife Indian? Just making a guess with the languages she speaks. My girlfriend is Indian but speaks Tamil.

Also, we have a friend here who is in a jazz trio too. Not to burst your bubble but from what I have seen jazz is dying here too. Lenox Lounge in Harlem just closed. You might want to tap into your jaz buddy network here in NYC to see how the scene is prior to making a huge move. Not trying to be pessimistic, I love jazz!!

Good luck! Feel free to PM me if you want any further information.

Cheers, James
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:37 PM   #3
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Hey James,

What are the random checkpoints about? My wife is Pakistani but she's been here since she was 5. I know the jazz scene is rough everywhere. It's encouraging to hear that you're able to keep a car and bike on the street. I've got an Aunt with an unused garage space up in Yonkers but that would be a last resort for anything except winter storage.
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:00 PM   #4
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PM sent.
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:49 PM   #5
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I think the general rule of thumb for parking a bike on the street in NYC is...
if it's nice*, it will get stolen (or damaged). That's why there are so many motorcycle garages (I use one). It's pretty expensive if you have multiple bikes, but if you only have one bike, it's not bad.

*crappy bikes get stolen and damaged, too. Thieves are assholes.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:03 PM   #6
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the bike is sort of 50/50. if you plan on taking trips out of the city i'ed keep it. if your going to be mostly staying in the city, i'ed downsize to a beater that you don't care about.

keeping the bike is immensely useful though, especially if your going to get rid of your car. it's the easiest way to get around considering public transportation sucks at night. less so if your in harlem or uptown but if you perform in manhattan and have to go back to brooklyn, it would be a PITA.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:21 PM   #7
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Check out www.rydersalley.com Damien is a great guy. Tell em' Tall Paul sent ya'
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:54 PM   #8
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Great so far fellas and thanks for the PM's too, will reply soon. Keep it comin, don't pull any punches.
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:23 PM   #9
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MC only checkpoints are where the NYPD will setup shop and pull over only motorcyclists checking paperwork. It sucks and they usually have a flatbed handy to tow you away if something is out of order. They have them all over the country not just in NY. I got caught up in one on the palisades pkwy last summer. They harassed us for a while and gave my brother a ticket for lane splitting. There is a twitter acct I think that reports these stops to help avoid them. I'll try and find the info.

I think wiseblood works for the NYMSTF and they have some great reading on their site about riding in NYC.

The jazz scene is dying here also man. I know a few musicians and they're all struggling too.

My sister is a teacher and right now is a bad time for them. The mayor is fighting with the UFT and there are many, many teachers getting booted and scrambling to get another appointment. If they don't get appointed within two years they lose their teaching license and then can no longer teach in NYC.

I don't want to scare you off man. If you can make it here....

If you do move to town by all means post or PM me with any questions or concerns. I've lived here my whole life.

Another tidbit of advice is when you decide to move post here about areas to live. People here can give you the real deal on the good and bad neighborhoods so you don't wind up living in beautiful "spring creek brooklyn"
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:17 PM   #10
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Our douchebag mayor is the same. The rapacious corporate interests behind the charter school fiasco is everywhere. Thanks to a largely ignorant and under-educated populace that doesn't want to accept much responsibility for the raising of their kids. It's easy to blame teachers. I'll stop now, this topic begs for more than a cursory summation and I don't want this punted to the basement
Suffice to say that for people who really are passionately driven to help kids it's a really shitty time.

"Spring Creek"? Some loose reference to someplace that was very recently underwater?
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:02 AM   #11
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No just a really shitty neighborhood that they renamed to sound more friendly. Believe me it's not. It is however where they hold a MSF course.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Detale View Post
No just a really shitty neighborhood that they renamed to sound more friendly. Believe me it's not. It is however where they hold a MSF course.
Ah yes, did some reading about this. My main requirements beyond affordability are some green space for our dogs and a good slice within walking distance.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:57 PM   #13
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My opinion of NYC, after living here for a little over 13 years... it's a lot of fun at first. But, to really enjoy NYC living, you need to be a minimalist, or have a lot of money. You get very little for your money, and if you enjoy the outdoors, it sucks. Getting in and out of the city is such a hassle (and expensive). So if you plan on going into NJ for beaches/parks/Pine Barrens riding (which is pretty good, btw), you need to consider the cost and time involved (traffic).
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:46 PM   #14
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YAHBO offers help.

To the OP, if you really get jammed up and end bringing the bike with no plan for its storage, I have a shop out on eastern Long Island (Quogue) I would offer temporary storage (90 days?) until you got shite figured out.

The shop does double duty as my HVAC sheet metal shop and nearly all of my riding crew's dual sport storage/workspace. It is getting tight in there, but I could make it happen.

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Old 02-24-2013, 06:52 PM   #15
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Ah yes, did some reading about this. My main requirements beyond affordability are some green space for our dogs and a good slice within walking distance.
Yeah, that'll cost ya! Have you considered New Jersey at all? Many people commute and don't mind it much.

Like Ron said you get very little for your money here. I make damn good money as a union carpenter and sometimes have trouble making ends meet. With my kids getting older (8,6,5) and my apartment seeming to shrink daily I'm looking to buy a house and HAVE to move to Jersey to do it.
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