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The Plan for 2008
In a previous entry, I mentioned New York City as playing a major role in the upcoming year. Here's an elaboration.

My wonderful girlfriend of almost two years, Annelies, is about to head to Africa for her last semester of law school. She's going over to Tanzania to work with the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, leaving in late January and returning in May. She'll be stationed in Arusha, the large city near Mt. Kilimanjaro. I'm planning on traveling out to Africa at the end of her internship and spend a little time there with her before she returned to the US.

While she's gone, I'll have lots of work to finish for Palm, plus in March, I'll have the 2008 SXSW festival. I'm doing the Palm OS schedule again, although I hope that we got enough infrastructure changes into the program last year so that we don't have to add more hacks to deal with the ever increasing number of events.

The next two months will be spent with Annelies preparing for the New York State bar, which is at the end of July. She'll be able to study for it here in Austin, but she'll have to fly up to Rochester to actually take the two-day exam. She won't know the results for a while after that.

I've also got my sister's wedding to attend at the end of July. I get to be a groomsman, and I really like her fiance.

After that, we'll start our rental search in NYC. We want to find a nice place in Brooklyn near the main subway line that goes to her law firm in Manhattan where she has a job waiting for her in their litigation department. Since I already work remotely for Palm, I expect that I'll continue to work for them once I move; the big change will be that my flights to California will take a few more hours each way and I'll have to deal with lousy JFK instead of the more hospitable AUS. At least I can do a red-eye back to New York.

We're planning on not having a car up there. Going car-less worked well for us this summer during our trial run; we rented a car once to go to an out-of-town wedding, and almost every place delivers there, although we might have to rent out a truck for a day to do some IKEA and Costco runs.

The move will happen sometime in August or early September. I'm excited about my new adventures up in the big city, but I'm also sad that I'll be leaving Austin as my home. However, Austin won't leave my heart; I'm already planning on coming back every March for SXSW as long as I'm able. I've still got a while here, including some time where I'll be on my own, so I'm going to take advantage of as much of the city as I can before I leave.

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Beware that New York real estate is frighteningly expensive.

Park Slope: Baby strollers, boutiques and coffee shops. Major attraction is Park Slope's proximity to the beautiful Prospect Park. Yuppie residential neighborhood, serviced by the somewhat slow F train and the much faster N by Atlantic Station.

Carroll Gardens: Closer to Manhattan, slightly less yuppie than Park Slope. Still very nice. Serviced by the F.

Fort Greene: North of Park Slope and home to BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) and the Atlantic Station shopping mall. I like BAM, but my girlfriend wasn't interested in living in Fort Greene.

Brooklyn Heights: North of Carroll Gardens. Has the Brooklyn Promenade, with a great view of Manhattan from the South. Nice neighborhood.

Prospect Heights: North of Prospect Park; more affordable than many other options. Less commercial/more residential so it may be a hike to your favourite restaurant.

Bedford Stuyvesant: Be prepared to be called a honky, but typically you won't be mugged. Lots of nice brownstines. Said to be "up and coming" -- meaning there aren't a lot of nice restaurants or services yet as the current inhabitants aren't that well-to-do.

Williamsburg: Hipster central, direct shot on the L to Manhattan. Home to the music venue "The Polish National Home" where I saw calexico play last year. Good dive bars, some froofy restaurants and lounges.

I'd be prepared to spend a couple of weeks trying to find something. I sure did when I moved there two years ago. Finally settled on a 400sf studio in Park Slope for $1400/mo. Best of luck!

We're going to try to find something on the N, R, or Q lines. Those all either go right to her work or have a transfer that doesn't require moving to different tracks. We'll have a pretty good combined income, but I am dreading having to pay a lot more for living space. Thanks for the guide!

Whew! NYC to SFO, man, I hope you don't have to do that very often. If only you had a Foleo to keep you busy on the plane...

Actually, I'll probably be doing JFK to SJC on JetBlue for most of my trips. It's much closer to Palm's offices than SFO. Yes, it's a pretty lousy trip, but I'd rather spend five hours in a JetBlue A320 than another three hours in an old American MD-80, my current AUS-SJC standby.

New York City sounds fun! I have done quite well without a car for college. You'll probably do better in New York City since it seems more "foot friendly." Africa sounds like it would be a cool place to visit! Enjoy your trip when you go.

Sorry to hear you'll leave Austin this year. But NYC is definitely an exciting place to go to. I've always wanted to live there, at least for a year or two, at some period in my life. You're livin' my dream!

You'll have another place to crash when you're up there. I don't really want to leave Austin, but NYC isn't a bad substitute.

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