Sunday, April 10, 2016

Southern Steph

Stephanie Conway, from Winston Salem, North Carolina, moved to New York almost 3 years ago. Since then she has become one of my favorite Southerners of New York.

What is your favorite part about being southern?
My favorite parts about being southern are the nice people and life's simple pace. Honestly, I could go on and on about why I love the south. It's a land filled with barbecue, lakes, mountains, beautiful beaches, Spanish moss, t-shirts, Chacos, Cookout milkshakes and some of the nicest people you will ever meet.

Why did you move to New York?
I moved to New York in 2013 to begin school at King's. I left southern comfort and came to the city to experience something exciting and new. New York City was a place filled with endless possibilities. It held unknown friends, jobs, classes, concerts, internships, mission work and cool experiences. There was no telling where I would end up if I chose to attend King's. If I had chosen other state schools (N.C. State, UNC Chapel Hill or Appalachian State), I would have always wondered what those possibilities were. It has been a difficult adjustment but I definitely don't regret my decision.

Are there places you go or things you do in New York that remind you of home?
When I was in North Carolina, I spent all my days at coffee shops or exploring downtown. Now that I'm in New York, I do the same but on a much larger scale. You could explore here for a century and never see it all. The streets keep changing, stores keep moving, and building keep appearing. Some of my favorite coffee shops are Brooklyn Roasting Company, Toby's, Kinfolk and DevociĆ³n. It's also a good time to eno in Central Park or go climbing at Brooklyn Boulders. Contrary to popular belief, we don't have chicken & waffles in the south. But we do have fried chicken, so really it's close enough. Go to Sweet Chick.
What does New York have that the south doesn't?
New York has Juice Generation! I'm also extremely impressed by the churches here. The sermons are intellectually engaging and relatable. Churchgoers here are less common than in southern states, which makes the community look and feel a little different. New York also has a ton of cool historical sites and some of the best people watching you'll EVER find!
What do you miss the most about the south?
I miss the great outdoors the most. The hardest part of living in New York City is the fact that people are around you all the time. Climbing rocks and paved pathways in Central Park doesn't quite satisfy me and taking the train outside of the city costs money and takes too long. I really miss hiking, driving my car and screaming on mountain tops where no one can hear. But, sometimes wearing Chacos and carrying a backpack can be cathartic.
Do you think that you will ever move back to the south?
I definitely hope to move back to the south one day. I'm not sure when that will be, but Lord, haste the day.

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