A.J. Feather

Journalist, Developer

I'm a Missouri native currently seeking a dual masters in computer science and journalism from Columbia University in New York City. Every week I also host an awesome podcast called "Integrate" with my friend Mikah, which you can find at Integrate.FM.

Before moving to New York, I obtained undergraduate degrees in journalism and economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia. In Columbia, I hosted a weekly show called "Talking Politics" for KBIA, the local NPR member station and produced, wrote and anchored video for Newsy.com way too early in the morning.

There has never been a political column I did not enjoy reading or an Apple product I did not enjoy using.

Thoughts on New York

After a week in New York City, I’m starting to understand why so many people love living here and why so many people have decided they would never dream of it. Growing up in the comfortably-sized Jefferson City, Mo. two things have really stuck out to me.

Everything is within walking (or riding) distance.

I have never had access to so many stores close by. For my entire life, going to the closest grocery store was a minimum five-minute drive, the closest decent electronics store was at least 10 minutes away and the closest Apple Store was more than 120 miles away, not to mention Jefferson City doesn’t have a Starbucks. That is, unless you count the ones inside Target and Barnes & Noble.

In New York I’m about a two minute walk away from more convenience stores than I knew existed, a Best Buy, at least 4 coffee shops (including a Starbucks) and a 10 minute subway ride gets me to the Apple Store, Bloomingdales, F.A.O. Schwartz and any other store I can dream up.

The main issue here is that you have to carry anything you buy, unlike the Midwest where your car is undoubtedly within a few feet of the store’s door.

For the amount of money people spend living in NYC, one could build a small kingdom in the Midwest.

My rent is probably a little below average because I’m in a dorm, but other quotes I’ve heard for Manhattan match what I spend on rent in six months at school.

The impression I had moving here was “Living in the city is expensive, but at least I’ll save money on gas.” This is technically true, but so sooo sooooo wrong. The cost of my MetroCard surpassed my gas spending already, and it only gets worse if you ever want to take a cab.

However, I don’t want to give off the impression that I don’t like the city.

It’s very likely I will end-up living and working in New York City or another large metropolitan area. I decided to get a degree in journalism, so I could work for a nationally-focused outlet and those just don’t exist - with the exception of Newsy - outside large cities.

For all the hassle New York can be, I think I like being at the center of information, finance and - in many respects - the world. There are so many opportunities available and there’s so much to learn. My goal has always been making the biggest impact I can, and I think New York may be the best place to do that.