The Next Hope


This was my first hope conference (The Next HOPE Conference)despite being in New York City for more than half a decade. Always it seemed that work would send me out of town just before the con. However, this time around I had the good fortune of being in the city during the conference.
There were a few good talks some of which were not so technical but kindled the questions for privacy fanatics.
The talks I attended included Alessio Pennasilico’s talk about DDoS attack on Bakeca.it, Modern Crimeware and Tools talk by Alexander Heid, Steven Rambam’s talk on Privacy is Dead, Blaze Mouse Cheswick et. al’s talk which was abstract but awesome. I did attend a few more talks and it was fun. All in all a great conference.


West Coast to East Coast: antithetical US


A moratorium for 3 months on the blogspot. The things have changed dramatically when it comes to the life. A lot has happened in my life since the time I left Los Angeles, CA to come to New York, NY. The two of the biggest cities of not only the USA but in the world as well.
First things first…got a job for Ernst & Young’s Advanced Security Center and so like most of the people who work in New York I live in Jersey City, NJ and travel to work. The travel is not too bad as it takes about 45 mins door-to-door. Also, by living in New Jersey instead of 5 boroughs (New Yorkers call the collection of 5 islands of Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Statten Island as the 5 boroughs) one saves the 4% annual New York city tax.
Now for the topic of this blog which is “Moving”…which is probably the most troublesome experience that people have. It wasn’t too good for me either but it could have been worse if it were not for the help of some good friends. People say that you realize the truthfulness of your friends during the time of adversity. It was exactly what I found. Whereas some people came to the fore to help me in all the ways they could, some stayed at the bay (and in some cases … making sure that the buoy of my life was in doldrums). Well…having said that life is but a bunch of grapes … some sweet and some sour (this is something I heard in the Hindi Movie “Khatta Meetha”)!
Finding apartments in the New York area can be a harrowing experience, especially if you are hard strung on budget. That was exactly what I found. The best places to look for are New Jersey Craigslist and New York Craigslist. Other places are Rent.com and Apartments.com but I did not find them much useful. I found that New York had some really good places to rent even with a tight budget. All these places were in Queens (Rego Park, Forest Hills). The good part was one could get a 2BR for $1450+ in these places. These places were not too far from the Subway stations and had a travel of 40-45 mins to Manhattan and 1 hr to Long Island (using Long Island Rail Road aka LIRR).
Jersey City in NJ is also a very good bet. But there are some places in Jersey City that are posh as hell but you have to pay the price for the class. Exchange place and Pavonia/Newport are examples of these places (with prices around $1700 for 1 BR) . Grove street is also a place which is somewhere in between the posh and the not-at-all posh. Even though the prices in Exchange place and Newport are really high but the class is well worth the money. Especially when you consider that getting a similar type of apartment in Manhattan will cost at least twice or may be thrice as much. Another avenue for exploration is Hoboken, NJ. Hoboken was personally my favorite place to look for an apartment because it is a place with a vibrancy associated with it. Almost looks like a European city bustling with restaurants and youth on the streets! It is also not too far from New York. However just like Pavonia/Newport & Exchange Place this fun doesn’t come cheap! The apartment costs are similar. The difference between Newport – Exchange Place & Hoboken is that the construction in Hoboken is older and you need a realtor for getting an apartment more than you need in former. Realtors have standard 1 month rent as the fee as their service charges.
In case you are wondering what a realtor is – a realtor is a person who searches for an apartment for you that fits within your budget and choice. But when it comes to realtors one must be wary of them because they can sometimes be a dangerous bet to pick!
West coast was much easier to find apartments in from my experience but it could be because I was looking for apartments in a University area which is probably easier.