WG2 answered: When I graduated from college almost two years ago (omg, two years already?!), I had two options. One was to find a job in New York City ASAP or move back to Chicago and move in with my dad. At the time, I was adamant that I had to stay in NYC. And I think when it comes to finding a job and apartment in NYC, you have to be in NYC. New York is highly competitive and New Yorkers like to get things done quickly. Being available for interviews at a moment's notice is important. If you have friends or family that live in New Jersey or Connecticut or even in Manhattan, ask if you can live on their couch for a few weeks while you job search. I lived with my friend's family for two months before I found a place to live, but I'm glad I was in Jersey while I searched.
If this is impossible, you could always try applying to jobs in the New York area while still living in California. If you can fly on a moment's notice then this shouldn't be a problem. That is what I have been doing while trying to find a job in Chicago. And job hunting - oh my lanta - well, it is difficult. I'm not gonna lie. Scouring Craig's List in search of a great deal and if all else fails hire a realtor (but beware of realtor fees - they are killer!).