August 25, 2010

Disclosing My Undisclosed Location

 Fire Island

I realized (with the help of a very astute commenter) that when I was talking about my "undisclosed location" two weeks ago, it wasn't actually very undisclosed.

I'd forgotten that I'd put my plans on the calender in my sidebar. Oops.

Yeah, sometimes I'm a little out of it.

But even if some of you did put two and two together, and figured out that I spent the week in Fire Island, what I didn't explain was why I was going there.

As I've mentioned before, I'm moving down to New York this weekend to start a Master's in International Affairs at Columbia University. And, as most of you know, Columbia is located in Manhattan, one of the - if not the - most expensive place for renters in the country.

I wasn't as lucky as I'd hoped in terms of financial aid, which means that this first year I'll be taking on a large financial burden, and so I wanted to find convenient living arrangements that would wouldn't cost me an arm and a leg.

Living in Manhattan, even in student housing, was too expensive. And living in Brooklyn meant an hour or more of commute each way to and from school, every day, without a

So my mom put me in touch with friends of a friend - a family with two children, aged nine and eleven, who were interested in finding a live-in au pair to tutor the kids and help out a bit with taking case of them, and who happen to live in Manhattan!

So I'd been in touch with the mom when I was in Spain, and we decided that it might be a good fit for me to come live with them. In exchange for room and board, I'd tutor the kids a few hours a day after school, and watch them every once in a while when the parents went out in the evenings.

But because I'd never met the family, they invited me down to Fire Island with them for a week to meet everyone and get to know the kids a little better, and make a final decision about whether or not this was something we all wanted to go through with.

I didn't want to say anything before I went down, because I didn't know how it would go, but now that everything's been decided, I'm not so (irrationally, superstitiously) worried anymore.

When I move down to New York on Sunday, I'm going to be living with this lovely family and their wonderful children, as an au pair, in their beautiful brownstone on the upper west side, only two express train stops away from Columbia!

(Not their actual apartment, but similar beautiful upper west side brownstones)

This allows me to not only save the money I would otherwise be spending on room and board (which in the upper west side would run close to two thousand dollars a month!), but also to get to know my amazing host family, and help their children learn and grown.

I feel so lucky to have this amazing opportunity, and I can't wait move to New York City and start my life there!


Desiree said...

What amazing good fortune!! I'm so happy for you!!

J. said...

What an amazing opportunity! Congrats, Julia. I'm anxious to hear about how all of this works out! Those brownstones are to DIE for... one of the many things I love about NYC are the gorgeous (historic!) brownstones.
Best of luck!

Jenny☮ said...

Congrats! :)
Hope it goes overwhelmingly well.
Does that make sense?
It does right?
Ok, good.

J. said...

Congrats, that sounds perfect!
I can't wait to read about your NYC adventures!

Keenie Beanie said...

That is excellent - awesome how things have a way of working out, no?

Dorkys Ramos said...

That's an incredible fortune! Good luck with the move and I hope NYC greets you with open arms. Can't wait to hear how this new chapter goes. And here's hoping those kids don't want you to read Twilight to them at bedtime :p

Effi said...

wow that's really great for you, congrats!
your blog is really lovely(:
I'll follow your blog if you'll follow mine:

JMJE said...

That sounds like a great opportunity for you. Living in NY is crazy expensive. My brother used to live there and lived in a place with like 3 other people. They had to make a fourth bedroom by adding in a wall.

Hotcakes said...

hahaha lol on the loop hole about the calendar plan side bar :)

Jena Carper said...

How awesome! :)
Good luck in living in NY. I can't wait to read all about it!

Alyssa said...

oh wow, that could not have worked out any better! you get to live in a brownstone! holy moly, that is going to be an amazing experience!!

cannot wait to hear all about it x