If someone would’ve told my 15 year old self growing up in my small town of South Bend, Indiana that at 27 I’d be living in New York City pursuing my career…I never would’ve believed them. Not that I had any idea of what I wanted to do or where I thought I’d be, but my quiet, small town self never would never have imagined that New York City was in the cards.
I first started coming to New York in the fall of 2016 for fashion week. My mom had never been, so she came with me to my first-ever NYFW that September. Whenever I wasn’t at shows or events, we were doing all the great touristy things together in the city. I loved this trip so much! I’ve been coming to fashion week twice a year ever since.
During this same trip in 2014, I met Conner for the first time – who had just graduated and moved to the city from Boston (I’m two years older than him 🐯). I had just moved to Chicago about 3 months before this trip, so both of us were just starting over in brand new cities. I went a little deeper into our story here, but to make it short – the next two years of my life consisted of A LOT of flights from Chicago to NYC. Most of you know how obsessed I was (and still am) with living in Chicago. I loved everything about it. Even though I loved my weekend trips to New York to see him and network in the city, anytime anyone asked if a move to NY was in my future, it was a a hard no. It was too big, too hectic, too busy, dirty, smelly, and just not for me.
Fast forward two years and Con and I are still going strong, the New York City work opportunities and connections were flowing, and one of my best friends (John) was NYC bound. I’ll be honest with you guys, when I decided to move I didn’t really have a plan and I was still a little unsure of if it was the right move. It was a leap of faith and an attempt to take both my relationship and career to the next level. Those of you who have done long distance know the struggle – especially when there’s no end in site. We both thought being in the same city was the obvious next step to see if this was something that could last. The city had grown on me, and I figured if there was ever a time to live in New York City, it was now – with no responsibilities holding me back. I’ve always known I’ll most likely live in Chicago forever, so I thought, why not take on an adventure on the east coast for a year or two??
So here I am! Living the high rise life in downtown Manhattan and writing this while looking out our window at the boats cruising under the Brooklyn Bridge. Conner sitting next to me on the couch – and John making food in the kitchen blaring ‘7 Rings’. You guys…life is CRAZY and so unexpected at times. You really never know how each experience is going to direct your path. And that’s the beauty of it 😉
Answering all of your questions below about what it’s like to move to New York City..
Where did you decide to live?
We live in a new high rise in the Financial District of Manhattan, also known as FiDi. It’s the neighborhood located on the southern tip of the island. We’re in between the Hudson and East River, so we have great views of the water on both sides. It’s a fast-paced financial hub during the day (we live right by Wall Street) and calm at night. Transportation down here is so convenient and we live right by some great landmarks like One World Trade, The Oculus, Seaport, Brookfield Place, Brooklyn Bridge, etc. FiDi is such a great neighborhood to call home 🌆
How did you find your apartment?
We looked everywhere. It was a two month process. I’ll go into more detail about this in a future blog post because this in itself could be an entire post and I know a lot of you had questions about how to go about looking for something. We looked at about 40 different apartments (🤯) and the market is super competitive so we even had a few spots we loved scooped up before we could make a move. So more on this coming soon!
What was it like downsizing from 4,000 to 1,000 sq ft?
A big adjustment! Coming from a 4 bedroom apartment with the girls in Chicago to a 1,000 sq ft apartment here was a huge difference. I moved to New York with 2 suitcases when I came here for fashion week in September – and that’s it! I did a lot of decluttering and donating and only brought the things I really loved. Simplifying things has actually been really great. We also just worked with a home organization team here in city to help maximize our small space and the end result is amazing. I’ll be sharing the before and afters on here soon!
When will you be sharing your apartment?
End of this month! John and I worked with West Elm to design the space and we can’t wait for you to see it! It’s so cozy and curated and we’re so happy it’s all finally done. Stay tuned 🙂
How do you get around town?
I knew it was pointless to have a car in New York so I pulled the trigger and sold my car in Chicago 😱 That was a big step for me. When I first moved here the thought of taking the subway everywhere gave me so much anxiety, but now I’m (almost) a pro and it’s my main method of transportation. I also walk everywhere and take Ubers.
What are your favorite neighborhoods?
Exploring here is so fun. That’s all Conner and I did during the summer. Each neighborhood feels like a different city and it’s so much fun finding all the hidden gems in each area. Every time I go out to eat or drinks with friends I always try to go to a new spot because the options are endless! Right now my favorite neighborhoods to hang out/eat in are the West Village and the Lower East Side.
Has living in New York helped you step outside your comfort zone?
Comfort zone? What’s a comfort zone?
Has the move been good for your career?
Everything is happening here. There are events going on every night of the week. So many of the brands I partner with are headquartered here. The networking options are endless. Also, shooting in the city is incredible. There’s a photographable moment on every corner and there’s SO MUCH character. So, yes!
I order everything online.
I order everything online.
Everyone from out of town wants to come visit, the food options are endless, the city buzz is unlike anything else, the shopping is the best, you have everything at your fingertips, so many people to meet, all the history and culture, the cool events and nightlife…
It’s expensive, like so expensive. Inconvenient at times – I miss getting in my car and conveniently driving to my destination so much. Small spaces. The trash. Getting groceries (and carrying them home 🙄), the construction (scaffolding every.where.), the traffic..
Have you found a church in the city?
I went to Hillsong Church when I first moved here but it’s a far commute from where I live so I wanted to find something closer to my neighborhood. We tried something a little more intimate in our neighborhood this morning called Liberty Church and I really liked it, so I’ll keep ya updated!
Where should I stay if I’m visiting?
See this blog post.
Favorite spots so far?
Restoration Hardware Rooftop Restaurant
Dudley’s in Lower East Side
Buddakan in Chelsea
La Esquina – Mexican food in Soho
Django – jazz club at The Roxy Hotel
Tiny’s in Tribeca
Terra – Italian dinner spot in Tribeca (our first date)
The Spaniard in West Village
Chinese Tuxedo in China Town & Apotheke after for drinks
Joseph Leonard brunch in West Village
Macao Trading Co – favorite bar in Tribeca
Bubby’s – best brunch in Tribeca
Loconda Verde – dinner in Tribeca
Mercer Kitchen in Soho
Emily Pizza in West Village
Due West – dinner and drink spot West Village
More to come, but hope this answers some of your questions! Thanks for stopping by and happy Sunday xo