The Black Gay Carrie Bradshaw (pt.2)

Jersey City strip mall

Sunday afternoon I arrived in Jersey City. Let me just say for the record, there is nothing sexy about this city! Umm where are the fabulous fashions, tall lanky models and yellow sea of taxi cabs? Instead all I got were sad strip malls, muffin tops and a weekly metro card to serve as my daily chariot. Jersey City is a 10 minute train to NYC, yet still so far far away. Now let me remind you that when I arrived I only had $500 to my name, so I had to use my resources sparingly. Fortunately, I had an Ikea gift card for $150 and was able to buy a thin mattress that would serve as my bed or shall I say pallet on the floor. The next day, I had my interview at The Container Store at 59th & Lexington Avenue. The interview went well but unfortunately, I came home to find my front car window smashed and broken into (Welcome to Jersey City). My Sex In The City dream had quickly turned into a Sopranos nightmare. What the hell had I gotten my self into?????

As the weeks went by, I began to settle in and enjoy NYC. The Container Store would eventually turn out to be one of the greatest moves that I could’ve ever made. Although, at the time I just couldn’t see it. My shift was 8pm-2am unloading the nightly shipments. Now, with a quick glance at my wardrobe and body frame, anyone can see that I don’t belong anywhere near a pallet jack or forklift. But, I was determined to make it work on this pt. $12 hour job. But let’s take a look at the monthly breakdown:

Rent: $600
Util:   $100
Cell:  $ 80
Train: $130
Car:   $300
Insur: $120
Food: $200 ($1 dollar cheese pizza slices go a long way)
Making ends meet off of $1200 a month: Priceless

 At this point NYC was kicking my @ss and it was time to sink or swim. Once again, I turned to Craigslist and began taking “ends & odds” jobs. My favorite was a posting for “Grill Attendant $150.” That’s right, I took a day job on the Upper Eastside for a couple who was hosting a backyard grill out. I was hired to grill chicken, hot dogs and sausages for 50 people.

Craigslist Ad “Grill Attendant”

Now I have to be honest, the last time I grilled was in college on one of those little small grills that could fit 4 chicken breast. So I told a little fib (Ok a BIG LIE) and stated that I had grilled for several weddings and large functions. So, I’m sure you can imagine the sight of me standing in front of a hot grill in my Seven Jeans and Lacoste Polo with smoke billowing all in my face. But, none the less, I walked away $150 richer.

My next adventure in entrepreneurship was to make use of my truck that was just sitting parked outside of my apartment. I decided that I would respond to Craigslist ads looking for personal chauffeurs. I mean, I had a nice GMC Envoy… it wasn’t a Cadalliac Esclade but it could work. Unfortunately, this venture didn’t work out. I found myself so broke that I would sit in Wendy’s and grab as many customer’s receipts off of the floor that I could find because they had coupons on the back for 1 Free Hamburger if you did a telephone survey. So now I’m back to the drawing board and questioning whether NYC is the city for me……… follow me @mikelwelch


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