October marked the beginning of my tenth year living in New York. I didn't celebrate, however I now feel like I can consider myself a true New Yorker. This anniversary also seems to be around the time that many New York transplants leave the city. Ten years in New York can be rough. We're always working too hard, the commuting is a pain, everything is really expensive, and you're never truly alone. As much as this city wears me down and drives me insane there are still bigger reasons that keep me here. For one most practical reason, my career is centered around retail and design - this city is at the heart of that. But also, there are things about New York that I never want to take for granted, even when I've worked 70 hours in a week and can't muster up the energy on the weekend to experience them, I still enjoy the fact that they're here and accessible.
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Think about the many museums and galleries that New York has at it's fingertips. Most of them are free or close to free. What about the amazing food and menu options and the abundance of great coffee and coffee shops. Fashion is a living breathing thing in this city. It is cool, it is complex, it is important and as an industry supports thousands of New Yorkers. Education is readily available for all ages. Some of the best colleges and schools are in New York, but also there's always the next floral design class or open life drawing and painting sessions. In my neighborhood a business last year opened called the Brooklyn Brainery that is a community-driven, crowdsourced educational space, which seems to be doing really well. That brings me to the next great thing about New York, the community. A lot people will tell you that New York is a lonely place, but I've learned that it can be the complete opposite of that if you make the effort. Everyone is in the same boat and all NY-ers have the simple connection of living in New York. We get it. So when you reach out for support or friendship, more often than not, people will be responsive and open. Last but not least, inspiration is everywhere in New York. In me, it inspires drive, beauty, living healthy, learning and for my work - it inspires me to make beautiful and innovative things that in turn, inspires others.
To celebrate our love of New York, my husband and I are choosing to stay in the city. We've made reservations at our favorite Vegan restaurant Blossom and after we'll cuddle up on the couch to watch a good movie. Over the weekend the plans are to see our friends, family and finally celebrate our 10 year anniversary together. I guess I have a whole lot to be Thankful for.
Hope you have a great holiday and can take a moment to reflect on what you're truly grateful for. Enjoy your surroundings, family, friends and yourself. Happy Thanksgiving!
*All photographs were taken by Lauren L Caron, iPhone 5