Escape from New York

There comes a time when even the most devoted New Yorker needs an escape.  These escape calls usually have triggers- one of them being seemingly endless winters with yet another blizzard on the way.  This hopeless New York lover was sick of heavy coats, snow, crowds, and public transportation.   An impromtu trip to Los Angeles sounded perfect.

March in LA can be hit or miss for warm weather, but leaving New York the day after a blizzard meant that no matter what kind of weather they were having, it would still be much nicer than the freezing, snowy conditions of the Northeast.  In addition, I was avoiding having to deal with ice and dirty gray leftover blizzard snow.  The SoCal weather ended up sunny and around 75-80 degrees for the entire trip.

The first part of my trip was spent doing some remote work; however, remote work by a pool in the Hills is a lot nicer than being cooped up in an office.  Most of my time was spent hiking in Griffith Park, chilling on Venice Beach, eating tacos, and laying by the pool.  I felt insouciant.  No obsessing over politics or work, plus I got a tan.

There was a point that I truly thought about not returning to the City.  Palm trees, sunshine, taking cars instead of the subway… it all seemed so leisurely.   To think of coming back to gray, dreary, snowy New York was sombering.  For the first time in many years, I was fantasizing about another city- and feeling a little guilty.  It’s a similar feeling of having a lull in your long term relationship, and then a hot, fun, new guy taking advantage of your vulnerability.  It’s those times that you make impulse decisions that you inevitably regret.

That’s why delayed gratification is the definition of maturity.  Feelings are fleeting- and whether it’s in relationships with people or cities, you can usually overcome a lull by reminding yourself why you were so in love in the first place, which is exactly what I did with New York.

Sure, LA has a lot to offer.  But New York is home to me, mostly because I love the way people live and think here.  Yes, it can be uncomfortable, crowded, and the weather is less than desirable a lot of the time, but New Yorkers are in it together.  It’s our shared space.  And as soon as the cab pulled up to my apartment in Brooklyn, I remembered that I am definitely in the right place.  This is not to say that LA is never in the cards, because it certainly is- but not just yet.

For now, I think I’ll keep New York. Spring is just around the corner- and the same thing happens every year.  Just when you think you’ve had enough, and the City is colder than ever, she starts warming up to you again…and there’s nothing like long walks through Central Park, day trips to the Rockaways, and romantic rooftop cocktails to renew any relationship.

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From NC to NYC.. Becoming a New York Woman

Everyone knows that where you are from in large part makes you the person you are.  The person you become is a result of where you choose to take your life.  Being from a small town in North Carolina, I was brought up exactly how one might suspect.  I was taught religion, good manners, and how to be a lady.  Coming from a family of good, hardworking, respectable people meant I had a solid foundation towards a nice future.

As I mentioned in my first post, I had wanted to move to New York from the time I was a child.  This dream stemmed from a family vacation with my friend Heather.  Her family took me with them to New York when I was eleven years old, and from that moment I never saw the world the same.  My town was so small, and as much as I loved it there, I had been exposed to something so much bigger and I was forever obsessed.  It was so glamorous and larger than life.  I didn’t know why, but I wanted to be a part of it.  I remember seeing the women wearing sneakers with their suits, carrying their heels in their handbags, and thinking, “I want to be like those women.”

Both my parents are college educated which set the tone for that course of my life. There was never a doubt that I would go to college.  I wanted to be in a city, so I chose to go to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  I spent eight years in Charlotte, four in school and four working there after I graduated.  I certainly needed Charlotte as a buffer for the most culturally diverse city on the planet.  Prior to Charlotte I had very little exposure to other cultures.  In my hometown, it seemed everyone was Christian, and either white, black, or Latino.   Charlotte has a mix of all types of race, religion, and culture.  My time spent there prepared me insurmountably for my move here.  Without that buffer I do not know if I would have adjusted as well as I have.

I find my personal evolution quite interesting, which is a major part of why I started this blog.  My foundation was built on morals and manners- so no matter what changes I go through, that part of me stays the same.  I always try my very hardest to do the right thing and be polite.  My time in Charlotte educated me on different types of people and how to relate and adapt.  I adjusted my Southern accent to be more neutral.  In addition, I worked there in sales for 4 years, so I learned how to be a woman in business.  Now that I am in New York, I have already noticed some changes.  I’m more assertive and opinionated for sure, but I still practice good manners and wear my heart on my sleeve.  I give to the poor when I can, I smile at everyone, and  I offer my seat on the train if someone seems like they need it more than me.  That’s just how I was raised.

I am still evolving and hopefully always will be. You have to take life one step at a time, and the key is to keep dreaming.  Don’t ever think it is silly to believe in your dreams, because they do come true.  I know this because I am now a New York woman who wears sneakers on her walk to work and carries her heels in her handbag- and I can’t help but smile when I see a little girl watching me as I pass by.
IMG_5472                                                         Me with my mama circa 1991

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