Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Where did the time go?

This month marks my 8th anniversary in this big big city...
Eight years ago, my plane landed in the middle of a snow storm and I dragged one big suit case into the 92nd Street Y, where I lived with BFF for the next six months until I (notice that was singular, as in not "we") was evicted, and we were forced to find an apartment in three days.  Two very nice men (who have remained good friends to this day) took pity on the two of us and leased us an apartment that we lived in for several years to come.  We had no furniture, cable, pots and pans...anything really.  One suitcase each was the sum of our belongings...I slept on the floor for six months before getting a mattress and BFF slept on an air mattress for a year...things were definitely not easy.

It's a funny thing...I love it here.  I call New York my home, but I have definitely had a fight getting here.  I wish all the time that there had been someone to tell me a little bit about their story...Warn me that it would be a little tough; people would be mean occasionally; I would be so frustrated that I would be considering jobs in California...but that inevitably New York would find it's way into my veins, and that one day I wouldn't be able to live without this incredibly annoying, overwhelming, impossible at times city.

So to that, I have decided to ask a different southern child to tell a little bit about their story, questionnaire style, each month in hopes that future southern children (or west coast, mid west, Canadian, Australian...whatever) will see that we all come to New York in the same boat.  It's not an easy one, but it is the most amazing experience that anyone could ever hope for.   In an effort to break the ice, I'll be taking the questionnaire first, so without further ado, introducing...

The Southern Child Questionnaire

Hometown: Born in Huntsville AL and raised in Albany GA...I consider them both to be home.
I moved to NYC January 2003. (can't remember the exact date) That day was freezing and snowy, and I was wearing stilettos and very lightweight peacoat...everything else was a blur.
My best NYC memory is...I have a lot, but a great memory is when I turned 26, D took me to see the Nutcracker at Lincoln Center and then to the River Cafe for dinner.  It was one of those quintessential Christmas in New York even started snowing on our way home.  
My worst NYC memory is...Probably just being so broke the first year that I never knew if I'd make it to my next paycheck.  I remember crying a lot, but somehow I always managed to make it...I never bounced a single check.
My funniest NYC memory is...Where do I even start?  There have been so many funny's hard to pick one. Maybe living with BFF in the 92nd Street Y.  What wouldn't be funny about two very naive Southern girls living in a Hebrew dormitory among the most diverse group of foreign exchange students you could imagine?  BFF's temporary roommate (before I arrived) kept sushi grade tuna in the mini fridge in their teeny weeny dorm room.  There was also a girl who bathed in a bowl in the community showers everyday, and to make matters worse, carried that stupid bowl around like a three year old carries a security blanket.  It was so weird!  I could go on...From top to bottom, it was the strangest six months of my life!
My favorite thing to do in the city is... well, if you asked me a few years ago, I would have said going dancing with my girlfriends.  We had so much fun! But now, probably trying new restaurants and new types of cuisine with D...I could try a new place everyday for the rest of my life and never run out of options.  
My preferred method of transportation is walking..I walk everywhere.  Subway if I absolutely have to.
What do you miss about home?
Nanny's cooking, the weather, my car...
What's your favorite Southern saying?
"Bless his/her heart, ..." I still catch myself saying it all the time.
I never leave home without a little umbrella in my bag--leaving home without an umbrella basically guarantees that it will rain--my cellphone, and something to read on the subway.
I never yelled at someone until I moved to New York.  It took six months for this person to push me to my absolute limit, and I threw up afterwards.  I don't like to be mean, and a good southern belle doesn't was so traumatic.
My favorite meal/restaurant in the city: sushi.  It's the first thing I get when I return from a long trip.  Nobu Next Door is my favorite neighborhood spot, and Sapporo East is the best cheap sushi in the city.
My favorite meal/restaurant at home: a home cooked meal from my maternal grandmother, Nanny, complete with creamed corn, fried okra, green beans, fresh tomatoes, and pecan pie for desert.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Oy...I don't know.  I didn't think I would make it three years in New York, and here I am.   I have a feeling I'll be right here, but as long as I'm still designing, painting and writing I'll be okay anywhere...
Any last piece of advice?
Buy a coat!  Invest in something warm and durable.  You will spend more time in this than anything else in your closet.  Trust me...

If you would like to take the questionnaire or would like to nominate a friend in the city to participate, please email me at


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