Via Brokelyn, AM New York has picked up on what may or may not be a growing trend among newcomers to New York’s nightmarishly unaffordable real estate market: crowd-funding their Big Move to the Big City.
Generally speaking, these people—like an aspiring puppeteer interviewed in AM NY, and a would-be jazzercise instructor Brokelyn managed to dig up—take to GoFundMe asking friends and family for a few thousand dollars to cover the cost of travel, and the first month or so in a new apartment. Which isn’t crazy in and of itself—the startup costs of a move here are astronomical, and have traditionally been shouldered by untold amounts of credit card debt, “actual savings,” or, if you’re lucky, parental contributions. AM NY raises a pretty valid, terrifying point, though: “If people can’t afford to move here, how can they survive when they arrive?”
Well, yeah, that’s kind of the big question for all of us, even if you actually moved here years ago. But easy as it is to poke fun at someone launching the kind of campaign most people use to raise money for an actual project (or in the wake of a tragedy) just to fund their dream of living in the Big Apple, why should we? Even if Sex and the City fans tromping around the city with bags from Magnolia and shoes they can’t really walk in are insufferable, the city wouldn’t be what it is if people all over the world didn’t constantly want to visit or try their hand at living here.
More to the point, given the state of the job market, the housing market, the price of airline tickets, and shifting social norms re: sharing information and asking for things on the internet, this doesn’t really seem so awful. As a rule of thumb, if you can talk someone into giving you money for anything at all, good for you. That is an incredibly useful life skill. It’s fine to raise an eyebrow at the people choosing to spend money on this, but then, when it comes down to it, wouldn’t you rather have more aspiring puppeteers moving here than Russian billionaires? Assuming those are our only options, that is.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.