“Some people are New York.”
I remember reading this quote in a book about one of my style icons, Katharine Hepburn and thinking, “Yup, that about sums it up.”
NYC is the only place I have ever wanted to live. In my eighth grade yearbook, I shared that my life plan was to move to the city and be a writer. My heroes were Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer, and in my mind, if I wanted to be a journalist, this was where I needed to be.
Beyond that, I was already more than eager to leave my hometown. Dubbed “Sparkle Valley” by one of my high school teachers, Livonia is one of those cities that exploded after WWII with rows of cookie-cutter houses and signs that actually read “A great place to raise a family.” I could go on but let’s just say it was…vanilla.
I wanted the adventure, the strangers, the food, the up-all-night excitement and the chance to reinvent myself. I didn’t dream of wide open spaces but of towering skyscrapers that, while some may feel were closing in on them, I felt would lift me up.
But as with most journeys, the path was paved with plenty of speed bumps. There was more than one detour and one false start. I first lived here back in 2010 as an intern juggling multiple underpaying jobs. After a year of trying to make it work, I made the painful choice to put this dream on hold in pursuit of another one.
In short, I fell in love. And thankfully, he hasn’t left me yet (love you, boo).
Our journey took us to Detroit, around the world to Tokyo and back to The Mitten again, where I learned more about myself than I could have imagined in those tearful moments driving away from my apartment in Bushwick all those years ago. So when the chance to move back here last August became a reality, it felt different this time.
I was ready.
Coming back to NYC in my thirties may be later than I planned, but along the way, the confidence you only get from those ups and downs emerged. The city felt smaller somehow in the way only time and experience can explain. More than that, while I know this is the city I want my story to end in, I also know I’m open to more detours and adventures in new places. To me, that’s a life well lived and I’m thrilled to see what this one still has in store for us. For now, we have a two-year lease on a charming carriage house in Chelsea I’m lucky enough to call home.
I can’t wait to share my NYC with you. She’s a hardworking, dynamic and sometimes cranky bitch of a town, but I can’t get enough.
I love this, Petra!! So very very proud of you!