Nix New York City 2003

Collection of people

NIX NYC is documentation of a changing life. I was living in Gramercy in the early 2000s. I had successfully transitioned from being a hungry (but not starving) artist to being a freelance communications consultant and trainer. My client list was filled with recognizable household names, and my client base was growing. All of that changed after September 11th.

Companies had stopped spending money on training prior to Y2K. When 1999 passed without a computer catastrophe, companies started hiring full-time web teams. Almost all at once, several large clients pulled the rug out from under me, and I ended up struggling to make ends meet.

apartment full of stuff apartment with less stuff apartment with even less stuff apartment with only a few things left inside empty apartment
Last days in my NYC apartment.

An acquaintance advised, “Just do anything to stay in the city.”

It was fair advice. However — from my perspective — that suggestion came from a person who was a terribly unfulfilled alcoholic. Still, I had a choice to make: take any job to stay in NYC, or sell everything and travel.

I wanted to travel more than I wanted to be a New York City resident, but my idea of becoming a traveling storyteller seemed pretty far out. There was no Ghost, Kickstarter, or Patreon back then. The #Vanlife hashtag, because Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook didn’t exist yet.

Unsure about what decision to make, I conducted a poll on nyc.craigslist.org over a weekend (strangers are very frank) and asked should I stay or go? The results reinforced what I already knew: adventure was in my future.

View the poll results, and check out stuff I sold.