Living in New York

Living overseas is definitely on my bucket list. I love travelling and to live in another country for six months or more would be a dream come true. I’ve been to New York twice and like many I fell in love with the big, beautiful, buzzing city. If I had a job offer in New York I would pack my bags and head to the big apple tomorrow. …

From the outside it looks like an incredible city full of adventure, a place where dreams come true and anything is possible. But living somewhere is very different to visiting it so I wonder if it’s all glitz and glam like you would imagine? I caught up with Juhea Kim, Co-founder and Editor-in-chief of online wellness publication Peaceful Dumpling to find out what it’s like to live in the concrete jungle and how she stays balanced.

Can you tell me a little about yourself? What are your interests, hobbies and passions?

I’m a writer and a barre instructor and those two things are probably on the very top of my interests and passions. I’m the editor in chief and co-founder of Peaceful Dumpling, a wellness and healthy lifestyle site. Between writing for PD and other sites, and teaching Pure Barre, my schedule gets pretty full and in my spare time, I love going to the ballet, running in Central Park, and practicing yoga.

The Balancing Act

Juhea Kim, Editor in chief and co-founder of Peaceful Dumpling.

What do you do for work and how did you get in to it?

I transitioned into writing when I was still working in book publishing. But writing is the kind of thing which no one encourages or suggests that you do. It absolutely has to be self-motivated, because it’s a path rife with uncertainties.

How long have you lived in New York and where did you live before you moved there?

I moved to New York in June 2009, so it’s been over six years. Before that I went to college in New Jersey.

What inspired you to live there?

My sister was already in New York and I wanted to be with her. Looking back, that was such an odd reason to want to move into the city – but at the time, I wanted to have a few years with my sister, being roommates and having fun. Unfortunately / fortunately, my sister met her now-husband right before I moved into the city – and so, my dreams of a bachelorette lifestyle with my sister did not really take off.

Describe New York in three words?

“Dog Eat Dog”? “Dirty Sexy Money”? Or maybe “Make It Happen.” One of those three things!

Describe a typical day in your life living in New York?

I wake up a little before seven, go to a cafe and do a bit of work, then teach Pure Barre; come back to cafe for more blogging work. Come home, take a shower and eat lunch, do more writing and editing. I might go for a little trip to the store in the afternoon. In the evening I cook a healthy, well-rounded vegan meal. Afterwards I read or listen to music, or catch up with my boyfriend…nothing terribly exciting, but I need to keep to a pretty healthy routine in order to be productive.

What are New Yorkers like?

New Yorkers tend to be more guarded, more ambitious, self-promotional, more successful, more motivated, energetic, edgy, and more impatient. You have to be Type A to survive in this environment. Even introv

erts are extremely driven and steely – lackadaisical just doesn’t cut it.

What’s you’re favourite New York restaurant?

I like many, but have a special place in my heart for Wild Ginger on Broome Street.

Is it hard to find work in New York?

Yes, but it’s hard to find work everywhere.

What is it like to live in New York? Can you describe it?

I still think it’s the best place to spend your twenties. NY will kick your butt, but if you can survive it, you fall in love with it, sooner or later.

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New York from one of my visits.

What’s your favourite season in New York and why?

Definitely fall. October in New York is amazing and so is April. Both are months in which you realize just how lush and colorful NY is.

What do you do on weekends?

On weekends, I do more or less the same work as on weekdays, but less. I also go out to dinner with my boyfriend and/or friends, go to the farmer’s market, take yoga classes, and always take either a long run or a long walk in Central Park.

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A photo of Central Park from one of my visits to New York.

New York is always buzzing, do you go out every night of the week?

No, definitely not. I rarely go out during the week, and if I do it’s usually no more than once. Again, it’s critical that you

keep up your mental and physical form in order to perform well – going out late on a weekday tends to distract from serious business. But then again, many people I know go out every night. It’s a lifestyle choice.

Is it expensive to live there?

Yes! It’s very expensive to live here, not going to lie. Be prepared to spend up to 40 (sometimes 50!) % of your income on rent.

New York is a busy city! Do you have a place you go to clear your mind? If so, where?

Absolutely.

1) Church of Notre Dame in Morningside Heights is a beautiful parish church high up on a hill.

2) There is a waterfall in Central Park I like to visit when I need solitude.

What advice would you give to people wanting to move to New York from a small town or from another country?

Talk to people. You don’t fall in love with NY until you meet different kinds of people here – and you won’t make connections with everyone, but some of them *will* change your life. I promise.

Some insider tips from Juhea….

Sheep Meadow is one of my favourite places to visit in the city. This oasis in Central Park gives you one of the best views skylines in the world.

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Sheep Meadow

One of my favourite restaurants is Hangawi. My boyfriend and I love exploring different restaurants in the city, including this vegan Korean restaurant.

The Balancing Act

Juhea and her boyfriend at Hangawi in New York.

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