I guess I could give my quick weigh-in, as a recent college grad who just moved to NY 6 months ago. I'm from the west coast, graduated from a public state school, nothing fancy or prestigious. Hit up craigslist like mad, got a few interviews for my field lined up (media/advertising). Flew out, spent a week doing interviews, got an offer. Accepted said offer, went back home for 2 weeks, and flew back to NY on a one-way ticket. Slept on a friends couch for the first week and a half back. Hit up every single person that posted an apartment on craigslist for under $1,000 and in Manhattan. Yes, for that money this means 4,5, and 6 bedroom apartments that have a room opening up. Not your own place. Although, I preferred this for a few reasons. One, I didn't know anyone. At least having roomates that were in my age range could help out a little bit when I started out. Also, furnishing a single room is expensive enough. Furnishing an entire loft/studio/1-bedroom is infinitely more. Think about all the random crap you have to buy--knives, pots , utensils, lamps, little rugs, corner tables, etc. It never ends. By moving into an already-functioning apartment, you only have to worry about buying a bed and a dresser. Anyways, after visiting half a dozen craigslist places, I found one that had chill guys, good location (murray hill/gramercy neighborhood) and was big. And under $1000 (although barely). Been living here for 6 months now, and it's been great. Living in Manhattan is awesome, but like others have said, depending on where you get a job, you'll be commuting within manhattan for the same amount of time, if not longer, than in BK/Queens. MY ADVICE TO YOU: Don't come here and look for a job. Call/email people now, tell them you're available for an interview TOMORROW, and see what happens. If someone wants you to come in for an interview you can book a ticket. Yeah, it may be 100-200 more to book a last minute ticket than to plan it out, but that's the cost of getting a job out of state. Don't assume you're helpless just because you're in FL. You're a 3.5-hour plane ride away. You're not in Africa. You can be there in a day if you need to. Overall, it's about your attitude. Don't be so narrow-minded about your plan, where you want to live, how much money you want to make, etc. Everything is negotiable. Being dead-set on anything in this city is asking for disappointment. Sharpen up that resume, polish up your small talk skills, and start hustling. Good luck.