I just made the move from NYC two weeks ago. I'm living in Palermo Soho and I plan to be here for about a year as well. I'm a newcomer myself but I'd be happy to try and answer any questions you may have.
I'm doing the exact same thing but I'm leaving NYC at the very end of March. I was also in BA in November. I have similar questions but I am also curious about getting a cellphone/blackberry. Is there Personal the company to sign up with?