There are plenty of reasons NOT to like New York (taxes, for example), and yet, improbably, it remains oh-so-lovable. Maybe all New Yorkers are masochists, but we're in it for the long haul. In honor of Valentine's Day, and the State we love, the NYSOM Girls share the instant (or instants) we knew we were head-over-heels in love with New York. Share the moment YOU knew you loved New York in the comments below!
Christine, Co-Founder and COO:
"I first visited New York City when I was 11 years old. At the time I thought I wanted to be an actress, and even had delusions of being scouted by a talent agent while I was in town. Standing in the TKTS line
, on a triangular sliver of concrete in the middle of Times Square, I boldly (for me, at that time) place one foot directly onto the blacktop of that street known as Broadway, and vowed I would be back. From that point forward, it was never a question for me that I would end up anywhere else. "I truly fell in love with New York when I moved here full-time. Friends who also made the transition from college to the Big Apple complained of smells, and over-crowding and avoided certain neighborhoods; I was immune to the downsides of those elements, and instead intrigued by and appreciative of the necessity of them. That rare blend of the City's identity (and this is also true of the State as well) is only possible as a composite of its parts, all of which are utterly essential.
New York daily regulates the balance I need in my life: lusting after the window displays on Madison Avenue are countered by the homeless man I meet downtown, and I try to keep myself somewhere in between both extremes. And I try to be grateful above all else. In those rare moments when the City feels too intense, I head upstate to the areas I have come to love so much."
Silda, Co-Founder and CEO:
Silda has trouble nailing down the exact moment she fell in love with New York, and instead happily rattles off several memories that are especially evocative of the characteristics that have made this native Southerner's adopted city feel special enough to be home: "[In the 1980s] I went to the Fulton Fish Market at four in the morning. It was in the winter, and people were warming their hands over barrels with fire, and the fish deliveries were coming it. It was just this whole other world. It was so cool." "The first time I ran through Central Park. It was in early summer, and the flowers were in full bloom. And really, it's really all four seasons in Central Park." "When I saw Monet's 'Water Lilies'
at MoMA for the first time. There was joy in knowing that I could go anytime and see Monet, Van Gogh and other painters I admire." "The view off the Taconic near the Taghkanic State Park. It's just breathtaking." "My first raspberry tart at E.A.T.
" "When I discovered that there's the City, and then the rest of the state that looks a lot like [my homestate of] North Carolina; that you can access a whole different world."
Audra, Marketplace Director:
Audra's love of New York has grown over the years as she has come to know the State in new ways. As a child, she ventured from New Jersey to New York on a school field trip. She and her classmates were given a tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art when it was closed to the public, and "it forever changed how I view museums." She has since come to love many of the State's collections, in particular the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls
. For college, Audra moved to NYC and stepped behind the scenes of another of the State's unique components. She recalls, "I first experienced the vitality of the Garment District as a new student at FIT. Young people were learning their trade right in the heart of the center of their industry with experts in the field as mentors." Her education culminated in a very special graduation ceremony at Carnegie Hall. FIT's Museum is a great access point to give everyone, even those outside the industry, a peek behind the scenes.
Later, Audra took her first train ride out of the city to Albany. Sitting in a west-facing seat, on the side nearest to the Hudson River, she saw "the varied terrain and expanse that was and is the 'other' New York that I knew so little about!" She now resides in the Capital-Saratoga region.
Sophie, Associate Editor and Advertising Sales Manager:
"I really didn't know I loved New York until I left it. After living in Manhattan for the first 18 years of my life, I knew that I wanted to go to a college in a small town, away from New York City. It turns out I didn't have to travel very far after all, and wound up at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. As breaks approached at school, I found myself itching for the rush of the city, but when those breaks neared their endings, I felt that same sentiment for the peace and quiet of Clinton. By my senior year, I was equally as excited to return to both places — my two New York worlds. Call me a small-town urbanite!"