{stories and snapshots from my new york city life.}


Like Home to Me

Last week a coworker pulled me aside and asked, "Jenn, where are you from anyway?" 

His question made me smile. "I'm from Texas," I said, satisfied to remember that in a city of 8 million people, I do have something that keeps me from being completely lost in the crowd. It was nice to be asked that question. After over a decade in New York, I often wonder if my roots are still showing.

Hearing that I may have some semblance of a Texas accent made me feel a connection to my family, to my childhood, to my history. I'm something like 7th generation Texan on my father's side, and I've broken tradition by moving up north. The least I can do is hold onto the last timbres of my inherited drawl.

I moved to New York soon after turning 22, right after college. In my early years here, my identity became "Texas girl in New York". I even wrote a column called "Tex and the City" for the Greenwich Village Gazette. I lived and worked in New York, but I didn't have anything that truly connected me to the city, and I never really expected to stay.

I was a Texan, pretending to be a New Yorker.
I was a tourist, taking notes and sending stories back home.
I was a kid having big-city adventures before I was forced to grow up.

I've heard you have to live here for 10 years before you can legitimately call yourself a New Yorker. It's been 12 for me, and there is no identity crisis left to solve. I was a Texas girl who has grown into a New York woman. My life is here--my friends, my job, and yes, my heart. I'm a girl from Texas who fell in love with a man named Vinny from Queens. And if that doesn't make me feel like a real New Yorker, I'm not sure what else will.

It's an odd thing when your child and adult selves have different backgrounds.

It's a sad thing when the family you're born into and the family you create for yourself occupy different time zones.

But it's a wondrous thing when you finally realize that more than one accent can remind a person of home. 


  1. What a cool story! I am madly in love with both TX and NYC (from NC) ... I have often wondered what it would be like to be young, free, living in NYC (but how would I afford it? what if I liked it too much?) and, I've dreamed of what it would be like to retire with the hubs in TX in the middle of no man's land ... but within an hour or so of Austin. Even within NC, living near Raleigh ... when I go home to my extended family in a much smaller town about an hour away, my accent thickens in a matter of hours. Funny how that works. Cool post!

  2. I love this. I think that's the great thing about New York; you never need to give up your past to be a part of it. So many of us are from someplace else, but we're all accepted by this place as New Yorkers.

  3. I adore that pic of you on the subway!

  4. Ive been to NYC once, but plan on going again. love all the pictures.

    follow each other?

  5. Loved reading this :)

    Minted Magazine