New York State Of Mind

Meet Daina from New York State of Mind!
It's the First of November which means we have a new Blog O' The Month! It also means that I'm getting married...and getting old, but you'll read plenty more about that tomorrow...and the next day...and probably the day after that. I'd like y'all to give a BIG hi-five to my friend, Daina from New York State of Mind

Hello everyone! My name is Daina, from New York State of Mind and Danielle has graciously invited me to be her November Blogger of the Month. Yay!

Since I will be writing about the love of my life (Brian) during Danielle's wedding week, I thought I would write about my other love for this post: New York City. Here is my New York City love story...

My mom, step-dad and I packed up my parents' mini-van with my favorite clothes, pictures and dorm room essentials and headed from Minnesota to the Big Apple in August of 2003. We drove across the country and in a few short days (and one too many fast food stops later), arrived on Washington Square East in Greenwich Village. This is where my New York story began. I had dreamt of attending NYU since junior high and was elated when I finally arrived to start my college experience. I lived in a dorm above a Starbucks (how perfect, right?) my freshman year, directly across the street from Washington Square Park. I spent my days studying and hanging out in the park, shopping around SoHo, wandering through Central Park and experiencing new neighborhoods on weekend adventures. Going to school in the heart of New York City was heaven to me. Throughout the next four years, I lived in downtown Manhattan and Hell's Kitchen and continued to be inspired by the city that surrounded me while I attended my undergraduate classes.

After graduation, I returned to NYU for my master's degree and moved to Astoria to my very own one bedroom apartment. I received my master's in 2008 and found a job working at a charter school in Brooklyn teaching second grade. I could not have found a better place to do my dream job.

I can't really pinpoint when I realized how in love I was with the city. It may have been when I first arrived that magical fall in 2003. Or when I saw the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center brightly shine for the first time. Or when I realized how compassionate New Yorkers can be, despite their rough reputations. What I do know is that I continue to find new reasons to love New York City on a daily basis. Here are some of the many reasons that I am head over heels in love with my city...

I love the opportunities I have as an educator in a NYC public school. I work in a progressive charter school in a diverse community and am excited to go to work every day. I am given the opportunity to develop my own curriculum and work with people who are just as passionate as I am about providing children with the best education possible. I teach my kids about their community and get to take them to parks, museums and historic sights all around New York City. It is thrilling to see them learn in the middle of the hustle and bustle. Each field trip is truly an adventure with my kids!

I love to walk around the city, sometimes with no other agenda than to explore a neighborhood to see what new shops or restaurants I can find. I have a serious sweet tooth, which causes me to stop at at least one bakery (or bakery truck) on each of these adventures.

I love that as an adult, I never think about gas prices or car insurance because I have not owned a car in almost eight years. I rely on an unlimited MetroCard and the subway to get around when I cannot walk where I need to go. Luckily, most of the time I really love the walking.

I could go out to brunch every Sunday in NYC and never get bored or tired of it. I love everything about a good brunch. I love having an excuse to get dressed up, I love slowly sipping coffee, I love that there is often live music and I especially love that entrees as sweet as a desserts actually qualify as a meal.

I love the grittiness of the city. There is nothing fake about it. It is rough, real and honest, and each neighborhood has its own character.

I feel so fortunate to now have my New York family in addition to my family back in Minnesota. I would not be the person I am today without each and every one of them and I feel so blessed to be in great company in the Big Apple.

New York City is an amazing place to fall in love. Hole in the wall restaurants with candlelit tables, winding park paths, theaters and charming city streets provide the most romantic backdrop to my relationship. It is a magical place to be in love.

Most of all, I love New York City for its beauty. It takes my breath away every single day.

I feel so grateful to be able to live in such an amazing place.

If you want to read more about my life and love story in New York City, please check out my blog New York State of Mind. Danielle, thank you so much for having me as your blogger of the month!

After all this wedding stuff is over and done with, Wil and I have promised each other that we're going to take more advantage of our beautiful city. Daina will tell you that she has (more than once) given us suggestions about where to play in The Big Apple. It's embarrassing; helpful, but embarrassing. HELLOWERENEWYORKERSTOO! We totally need to get out more.

Make sure you check out Daina's blog. And follow her on Twitter. And like her on Facebook. Also, be sure to check out her guest post during my wedding week. I personally can't wait to read about how she met her Love Cub. Have a good month, guys! I know I will.


Katherine - The Beauty of Life said... November 1, 2011 at 6:04 AM

Oh I love brunch too! And New York, although I haven't been there yet. It's number one on my list! Can't wait to check out Daina's blog and lust over New York a little more. Kx

Jenna said... November 1, 2011 at 6:21 AM

I love Daina! I'm so glad she's your blogger of the month :)

I love reading about all of her NY adventures with Brian!

ps Good luck with all of the last minute wedding planning!

jenn from midlife modern said... November 1, 2011 at 8:50 AM

I love that Daina lives on my street, so whenever she does something around town, I get inspired to do it too! I keep waiting to run into her on an adventure!

Caitlin said... November 1, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Daina sounds like a pretty cool chick! I'm not a city person by any stretch so the idea of living in NYC gives me hives, but I think it's so awesome when people really enjoy and appreciate the place they live :) <3

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