good idea to visit in december to see if you like the rain and darkness + set up some meetings with places to say hello.
i moved from nyc this past june. been booked solid the entire time. renting a home in ladd's addition. everyone i've met has been super nice.
i suppose it all depends what you're looking for. don't expect it to be brooklyn, though it shares some likeness.
i've been able to bill NY rates so far.
regarding getting your foot in the door... same as always. do good work, play nice with others, don't be too pushy. once you land a couple gigs your name will spread.