January 5, 2018

A Brooklyn friend advised me to bring at least 5k to New York City and start job hunting from there, but because of my careless financial spending, career anxiety, and dreams of moving in the fall just before flights peak for the holidays, I decided to leave sunny LA and fly over by my first weekend in November.

The transition from living in a stunning condo by warm, sunny Venice beach with O and his family, to couch surfing between friends’s and my brother’s apt as a homeless, jobless woman in the cold has been difficult and painful, but everything is possible. Within the first month, I began working in a design firm in SoHo that specializes in bars and restaurants, while being completely humbled by how much I have to learn in CAD and adapting in NYC life.

There’s so much talk about how expensive NYC is, how miserably cold/unpredictably rainy and snowy it can be (yes, we have the “bomb cyclone of 2018” currently freaking some individuals out). There’s also the handful of criticisms of how rude and dirty New Yorkers may be. But did you know there’s a handful of rude, dirty individuals everywhere and that these busy working individuals have somewhere to go? They’re probably frustrated because too many tourists/individuals stand in the middle of the street to take selfies. And did you know that NYC has some of the most incredible parks and libraries that are free, and historical museums?

While some individuals have been insisting I need to make a whopping figure to financially survive in NYC, I’ve decided to  cling tight to a few things I’m passionate about: architecture, interior design and hospitality. There are a handful of those here who thrive with a high paying tech/finance job, but I’ve been happily discovering other creative ways to have “cheap” fun for hours – including the numerous galleries like the MoMa, cafes, parks including the High Line and Central Park, continuing my blog, and more frequently, making my own bento boxes (notice my Instagram feed has been growing bento photos of my bento series shot on my boss’s desk.)  My change of job and lifestyle has become more and more  humbling to realize that money isn’t everything. Occasionally though, I love going to Williamsburg for their pickleback shots and Brooklyn for Rice + Miso.

Rice + Miso

134 Nevins St,
Brooklyn, NY 11217

During my first weekend here with O in Brooklyn, O and I discovered this hidden gem Bento-ya that just opened along our route to grab some coffee. What caught our attention was how serene, pure,  and minimalist and bright the space is, and how the clever butcher paper menu with such crisp handwriting greeted us as we ordered one of their organic rice balls and bento meals. Even today, the Japanese women greet me and handcraft me delicious rice balls. When I’ve always despised brown organic rice to be inferior, they always impress me with their organic, homemade rice balls.This bento-ya brings me back to my lunch breaks when I’d pick up bento’s from the same bento-ya man by my architecture office in Fudomae/Tokyo. Rice + Miso convinces me to ride the L train and walk 10 minutes into Brooklyn even on brutally cold weekends.

If I survived out of a 100 sq ft apartment with 7/11 salmon rice balls and Suntory whisky/Boss Coffee, then I’ll survive off of a happy slice of Joe’s pizza, hot ciders from pubs, and fresh fruit from local carts as needed. And if I worked 5 days as an interior designer then 2 days as an art school teacher with some of the most obnoxious children in Tokyo, I’ll hustle everything I’ve got at my SoHo design firm as the youngest and only female designer, while maintaining my blog in NYC’s limited light and space.