In 2009, without the promise of an engagement ring or marriage, I did the unthinkable after falling in love with Gary.
I made the big move across country from Dallas, Texas to New York City to be with him. And, I knew it would be forever. We lived on the Upper East Side. (83rd & 2nd to be exact.)
This was an exhilarating time in my life! While it took time adjusting to living in a smaller space and figuring out how long it would take for me to get anywhere in the city (and what type of transit I'd use), I remember that every single day brought new adventures for me! I made it a point to walk a different route every time I had to go somewhere just so I could discover new shops, restaurants, and coffee places.
I was fascinated with the quality of people-watching in NYC. Which brought up questions for me, such as "Why are all the ladies wearing flip-flops with nice outfits in the summer?" and "What's up with the rich women I see in the middle of the day, on weekdays, wearing active wear, big diamond rings, and carrying Hermes bags on their arm?"
Transitioning came fairly easy for me after I got into the pace of the city. Were there challenges for me? Of course. I "looked" like a cool NYC girl but my happy disposition of smiling and being helpful to others was all Southern, just like my mom!
But, you know what my biggest transition challenge from Dallas to NYC was? It was SHOES, believe it or not.
You see, in Dallas, we drive everywhere and valet park so we can wear our high heels everywhere we go. NYC? Well, unless you're taking Uber, taxis, or use a hired car service, high heels are out of the question!
Here I was with a lovely, high-end wardrobe in NYC that I now had to figure out how to wear with low heels or flats, neither of which do I find fashionably inspiring. My long-time friend Abby Zeichner, a fashionista and successful clothing designer based in NYC, helped me out tremendously and gave me the scoop on what to wear & when to wear it. And, she gave me the lowdown about different parts of town: Who lives where, who wears what, and what are the cool places to go.
Shopping is one of my favorite ways to pass time and browsing helps me find inspiration for event design. I explored with gusto!
Every time I visited Bergdorfs, Saks, Bloomingdales, Neimans, Henri Bendel, (which alas, is now gone), along with designer flagship stores and specialty boutiques on Madison and in the West Village, I made it a point to make friends in the store.
I asked a lot of questions, showed a genuine interest and started developing my own style.
I bought pieces here and there. I adapted to dressing for different seasons and weather situations. And thus I began developing a strong eye for fabrics, colors, textures, quality and value. I purchased key designer pieces back then that I still have in my closet and wear today.
And then Gary and I left NYC to move to NJ...Where I now have a huge closet. I drive everywhere and valet if I can.
Once again, I can wear high heels whenever I want to. And, when I go to the city for the day? Well, now I've got the right shoes to wear like the cool NYC girl that I grew into!