We are all in the same boat as you. It's frustrating to live under these circumstances. Although you own a degree it's gonna be tough to find a job so I would suggest restaurants or housekeeping. I know, it sucks but hey, life isn't fair.
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A female engineer ....you are a rare one indeed, lol. Hi nice to meet you. I'm also in engineering right now. There are tons of jobs for us here in NYC missy. Umm I guess you can look for some type of work where you sell clothing at a local store, they hire many women. There is also a job for you in many restaurants in NYC. You don't necessarily have to waitress, you can be a front house greeter or just a cashier.
The problem with finding these jobs is that they aren't posted on monster.com or via well known job seeking websites/newspapers. You honestly need to go to a job searching location located around NYC. Many welcome us illegal aliens (well about 95 percent, lol) and for a small fee they will find you a job within a week. I say that b/c you speak english, are educated, and sound like a nice person to work with.
Good luck buddy, I live in NYC too and i've worked in many jobs before. Glad to be of some help, lol. And it's cool knowing there are some girls in engineering lol.