Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Survey Says....

This topic has been coming up a lot lately amongst friends and photo peers.. so I am just going to toss the question out into the wind and see what comes back. Answer honestly in a comment and please feel free to comment anonymously and with as much or as little detail as you would like.

Of those who currently call NYC home:

A) How many of you love living in New York and want to call it home for good? (satisfied with cost of living, population, job availability, artist community, etc)

B) How many of you enjoy/like living in New York for now but feel obligated to stay for career reasons? Why/how? Where would you rather live?

C) How many of you are unsatisfied with living in New York, but feel it would impact your career/be too difficult to find employment if you moved away? Why/how? Where would you rather live?

D) Do you feel you have to live in New York to make it as an artist/photographer? What other cities do you feel have similar potential, if any?

E) What is most important to consider when looking at cities to live in? (ie: career/job potential? quality of life? cost? cleanliness? ability to network? accessibility? public transport?)

F) For those of you considering a move to New York in the near future, what is the main reason for wanting to move? How long do you plan on staying?


Amy said...

I love this survey: a. No, b. Yes c. Yes. Two words for you: New Orleans. Or maybe two more: Portland, Oregon.

Amber said...

A) loved/hated it, Not home
B) Moved there for career reasons, moved away for better quality of life
C) Took big salary cut moving away but still have same quality of life because don't have to pay as much rent!
D) Most working artists I met in NYC didn't live in NYC full-time. They just came in for their gallery show, etc.
E) Outside of NYC, it seems easier to work on your own art, you have freedom and room to breath. I have accomplished more with my art in the last year than I did during the five years I lived in NYC.

Hey girl, Don't know if you are considering a move but here is my two cents. Remember, NY will always be there, it's good to go stretch yourself. Love your family series. Hope all is well. Lakeside pal, Amber
p.s. Who dat!

Morgan said...

Hey, interesting post here...I'm all about this conversation! I don't know if you heard wnyc today but they were kind of talking about this ... what the city will be like in 50 years??

Well, New York is now undeniably the american luxury city.. and all that comes with it... There is definitely a huge slew of cultural institutions here, and if you are making bank, then it is a great place to live. However, there are now a lot of other cities now where you can be a creative young person and find as much to do. Place also matters less with the web for your career?

NY's not the same city it was in that mythic 80's era artsy ideal, in both good and bad ways... mostly though I have been feeling that the crowds, terrible pollution, fast pace and truly obnoxious citizens (artists included) are starting to make it a less fun place to live. Manhattan is like a big shopping mall? Its certainly awesome when you are young and want to go out every night... but fresh air? eh what? There's definitely a whole lot less to brag about compared to other places than there used to be.

That said for now I still love Bushwick!

nina said...

I consider myself a "native" as I finished high school in the city and because I am married to a native hardcore New Yorker.
So in our universe there is no alternative. And in many ways that is a good thing because it keeps us very active in the community and we don't really ask questions you are asking.
That being said, if one is not in our situation, I think this is a conversation most people will have at one point or another if they live in New York.
From following your blog I suspect you know what the answers are for you.
I have a hard time making changes, but every time I do I am so glad I did make that change!
Before I became a native New Yorker I moved a lot and I can tell you that you can make a life that is right for you anywhere.
Especially now with the internet.
I didn't really answer your questions but I hope what I said give some answers.

heathereast said...

Lived in NY fora year LOVE NY moved away for job possibilites but I LOVE NY Id pay $1500 for a tiny 1br in Chelsea anyday.
I feel it is necessary for soem photographers and artists to live in NY in some parts of the field. Not all artists need to be in the city.
Moving back in the summer.

JF said...

A) I do love living in New York sometimes. Paying all of my paycheck in rent, constant crowds, rude people, "scenes" and constant noise prevent me from loving it all the time.

B) I enjoy it... but I want to leave eventually. For now I feel stuck.

C) I spend a good deal of time unsatisfied. Again, I feel stuck at the moment due to opportunities that present themselves here. I suppose fear keeps me from taking the dive.

D) I don't feel you have to live here to make it as an artist. Perhaps you have to live here if you want to try and become a famous artist... but artists should spend more time making work than fighting crowds and living in cramped spaces.

E) Most important things to consider? Quality of life, space, nature, costs...

F) I moved here for school. I've wanted to leave ever since.

Morgan said...

JF - my thoughts exactly too... I've been here for almost 7 years and I just seems like the quality of life equation keeps shifting towards making me leave eventually.

I'm also always impressed with the quality of life and creativity in smaller cities that new yorkers love to dish on ... ( or don't know where to place on a map) ... Southern Cali, the northwest, Texas, southern canada or even midwest like kansas city, mo.

Amy Elkins said...

I'm so glad there are people taking the time to answer these questions! Thanks guys. I think it's an interesting topic and one a lot of people only talk about under their breath or among close friends.

Personally there are things I really love and really hate about NYC.. but the fact of the matter is I'm just not built to sustain for long periods in such a large city (no matter if it's NY, LA, CHI, etc). So it's not entirely NYC's fault that I eventually want to leave. Eventually hopefully means sooner than later.

I'll answer my own survey questions just for fun:

A) love/hate living in nyc. satisfied with accessibility of the variety of museums and galleries. Satisfied with having great friends here. Unsatisfied with how little I get to see them due to all of our hectic schedules.

B) probably around 60% enjoy living in nyc and 40% really am down/stressed about it just due to constant overstimulation. I have a decent job and a gallery so I do sort of feel obligated to stay. Not sure how it would impact my career if I chose to leave.

C) 40% + of time spent feeling stressed is pretty unsatisfactory in my eyes.

D) I'm not sure if you have to be here to "make it".. it definitely has an active photo/art scene that can be inspiring or impairing (depending on mood). I think there are a lot of other cities with potential as Morgan pointed out. Portland has its appeal for sure. New Orleans I love, but don't feel I could live there again.

E) Important to consider? Hmmm... more space for less money, more bike/walk friendly, less frantic lifestyle which could definitely lead to more time spent with friends or making art, cooking, being outside. Also.. labs, work spaces available for when you need to get productive and don't want to outsource, galleries, perhaps a museum. Nature!

F) I also moved here for school... spent the last 2+ years thinking about options for leaving.

ruben said...

I can't see myself anywhere else right now!
Sometimes I hated but, most times. I truly love it!
20 years here I had spent more time here that anywhere else i lived before. This is home...

Not in my twenties either to just pick up my backpack only and go...

Here I am... All I need ...Is all I got!... New York

nina said...

How about a place outside of the US?
There are plenty of smaller and pedestrian/bike friendly cities outside the US.

J. Wesley Brown said...

As a native Angeleno who lived in NY for 3 years (2002-2005) and then moved back to LA (with a 3 year stint in Madrid in between) I thought I'd share my take too.

A) I really enjoyed it as a young person living there but tired of the cramped quarters, cold, lack of sunshine, and cost of living. I found myself becoming crabby.

B & C) I realize now that there are soooooo many more opportunities, photo-related events, networking opportunities etc. that come with living there vs. LA. Now, that being said, you can make it here too and once you accept that these are your confines / parameters (much like my lack of MFA) you just move forward. It's your path. I do sometimes wish I were there - mostly when reading the blogs - but then I recall the winters and no way, man.

D) See above. Now, I'd like to add that when I lived in NYC and Mamdrid - both compact cities - I felt like I'd seen everything. It was harder to make work because nothing stood out. When I moved back to LA after those experiences and after having been gone for a decade I quickly realized just how much variance there is here and how beneficial that would be for photographing. Beach, desert, mountains, mexico, Yosemite, Big Sur, sprawl, downtown etc. etc. You can drive 25 minutes (we all have cars - a blessing and a curse) and be in a completely new place! There's a reason the film industry thrived here. I'll never run out of locations or novelty.

E) See above plus weather! I didn't wear my winter coat once this year. It does wonders for one's mood. Culture - there's enough here but not as much as there for certain. General ambience / feel - the nightlife here blows and yeah, people can be vapid but in a city so big, you can find niches and I'm 30 now, so the beach and road trips matter more.

F) Never say never but I'd have to have substantially more money and a second home someplace warm for the winters. They killed my soul, but ah, NYC in spring / summer!

J. Wesley Brown said...

Unfortunately, Portland has no jobs...