It’s funny how the idea of home can get a little blurry as time passes. Various apartments and cities have been called home over the years, needing a bit more clarification every time I’m asked where I’m from or how long I’ve lived in my latest location. Home has become a feeling more than a place, with memories tied to each stop along the journey, but one thing has always held true: I’m an east coast girl at heart. Regardless of how long I’ve been away, I’ll always walk a little faster than the rest, talk a little louder (with the more than occasional f bomb) and immediately think of New York whenever the phrase “the city” comes up.
Maybe it’s tied to the fact that I grew up in Northern New Jersey (fun fact: South Jersey claims Philadelphia as their city while North gets connected with New York), or the fact that it’s where I started my career (with a grueling 3 hour each way commute into the office), but I’ll always have a soft spot for New York. From dollar slices of pizza, to nights out where one thing leads to another and it’s suddenly 4 AM, it’s a city that always seems to be buzzing with an endless energy that’s just not found elsewhere.
So regardless of how long I’ve been away from home, I wear my east coast roots with pride. It’s a badge of honor that refuses to ever let me settle for sub-par bagels. It’s what has taught me to be masterful at merging across multiple lanes of highway to make my exit (they call it the Jersey slide). And has given me a little extra swagger in my step that can often scream don’t mess with me. And it’s what’s made New York always be my city.