New Yorker

Although I’ve lived in New York City for almost four years, I definitely don’t consider myself a New Yorker.

I feel like “New Yorker” is a sacred term — one reserved for people who were born and raised here, or who have been here for a really really really long time.

I am not one of those people.

I was born in Pennsylvania and moved to New Hampshire when I was 9 months old.

For as long as I can remember, New Hampshire was “home.”

But now, NYC is home.

(I’m sorry Mom, I know you’re going to hate this entire post.)

When I go away, NYC is where I come back to. My apartment, especially now that I live alone and own everything inside of it (including the dirty dishes and the towels that should probably get washed soon), is my home.

My mom hates this fact. She likes to remind me that “New Hampshire will always be your home.”

That’s true, especially since I managed to fill my childhood bedroom with so much crap that my parents will never be able to clean it out and turn it into something cooler.

Sorry, brother Ryan, that they turned your room into a guest room as soon as you left the nest. Maybe you should’ve started an empty wine cooler collection like I did, or littered your walls with Britney Spears concert tickets and pictures of half-naked men cut out from Abercrombie shopping bags.

Whoa. Back to my point.

While I still can’t totally call myself a New Yorker, today I came one step closer: I finally got a New York state license!

I now have a New York cell phone number (RIP 603), a New York address and a New York ID.

The DMV wasn’t totally awful this morning.

I woke up nice and early so I could still get a run in before standing in line for a while.

My stomach felt weird today.

I’m not worried about it though.

I’ve also been dealing with a constant headache this week. I think it’s from grinding my teeth. I need to stop doing that.

This morning was much cooler than yesterday and there was a slight breeze. Coach Cane wanted me doing 4 miles “on a soft surface” at “nothing faster than 9-minute miles.”

Well, Coach, I did 4.5 miles, and I did them just a little faster than that.

I had great company today: Kelly, Megan, Lindsay and Susan. Look at me, running with people. It’s so fun! I can’t believe it took me so long to become a group runner.

It’s so great getting to know these girls while we run. Today we chatted about laundry, how often we’re willing to re-wear running tights in the winter (I’m not gross, I promise. OK, I’m a little gross. But aren’t we all?) and, naturally, frozen yogurt. Doesn’t the conversation always lead back to ice cream of some sort?

Fun fact: I seem to kick myself while I run. I noticed that my left leg was really dirty when I got back…

Post-run I showered, made some lunch and was off to Herald Square in no time.

I arrived at the DMV location at 8:20 am — 10 minutes before it opened.

I was greeted by a line at least 50 people deep.

Naturally I had to wait in the part without any shade.

The lines just kind of keep going. First you wait outside. Then the DMV opens, and you move into the building where you wait for the elevators.

Then you take the elevator up to the 8th floor. Then you wait in another line.

Then you get told “no pictures, please.” So then you have no more photographic evidence of the three more lines you waited in.

Honestly though, it wasn’t bad. The lines are constantly moving, and I was out of there by 9:30, temporary ID in hand.

I’ll have an actual New York license “in about two weeks.”

And that’s one big thing checked off that To Do list of mine!

Other fun things:

Remember when I went to Governor’s Island and ate all that food? Well, Metromix NYC does. Because they have a photo of me chowing down on pulled pork…and they posted it on their website!

Who’s the classiest girl you know?

Right. I am.

Also, here is a dog:

Time to tackle the day.

BUT FIRST TELL ME: Where is “home” to you? Is it where you live now or where you grew up? I still call New Hampshire home, but NYC is home, too. I guess that saying is true: home is where the heart is. And my heart lives in two places!



0 Responses

  1. I am never sure after 4.5 years of living in the city what makes you a New Yorker. Is it the first time you shout or swear at someone… nah that happens within seconds at Times Square 🙂 Is it after you survive your first year? Possibly though even after 4.5 years I don’t feel like a New Yorker. Sure it is where I live (and I love my little flat in Brooklyn) but my heart and my home- those are where I feel organically me. And in my case that is Paris (I lived there for 4+ years) and Seattle (lived there for 8+ years) maybe once I move on I will think of NYC as home, but for now it is still where I live. I know heresy but the truth 🙂

  2. It’s so funny because to me Minneapolis (where I grew up) will always be home. I haven’t really lived there for 7 years (whoa I just did the math on that one!) but Minneapolis is home. I lived in LaCrosse WI for 4.5 years as an undergrad and it was never home. Now I’ve lived in Seattle for 2 years and it still feels completely foreign. Weird.

  3. I had lived in three different countries before moving to Manhattan 10 years ago, and New York is the first place where I truly felt at home. I still like going back to my home-town of Abu Dhabi but for a number of reasons I never truly considered it home. You’re right about the term “New Yorker” being sacred. I never used it until this year for fear of riducule! But now that I have logged 10 years here I think I am allowed to call myself one!

  4. true story – after i stood in line for 4 hours at the DMV (Sept 4, 2009…still remember the date), i’m pretty sure i was scarred for life. thank god you only have to change your out of state license/renew it once every 5 years. afterward, i remember going directly to the nearest mr. softee…and then maybe i had wine too 😉 stress relief was needed!

    so glad that we’ve been able to run together lately 😀

  5. Upstate NY will always be home to me. That’s where I was born and raised and lived for 21 years of my life! NC is now my home. this is where i’m living, and working and living with HB and the dogs… I’ll always be in an empire state of mind though.

  6. Home to me will always always be California… it’s where my parents are, my best friends are. But now my heart lies in the Netherlands, where I now live and work with my Dutch boyfriend! So, that makes home in two places of the world 🙂

  7. Just found your blog. I like your style. You are hilarious! No..I’m not being sarcastic. My home is Toronto…and that’s where I live. In my dreams, however, I live in Paris, London, New York, San Francisco, and other random cities a rotating cycle.

  8. Where is home ? … hhuumm… good question. I moved around a lot since I am 20. I first moved in the North of France for my studies, then in England for my end of studies intership and my first job, then in New Zealand for fun, and then in NY for work and fun 😉 But I have to say that, today, I learnt that ‘”Le Tour de France” (famous French cycling race which lasts 3 weeks) went through my little countryside village in the South of France where I grew up and where my family lives. I felt like crying when I thought about it ! … So, well, I will say my home is made of every place I went and loved !

  9. Heh, I vaguely knew you were taking that photo. Hence the awkward grin?

    I’ve been in NYC almost 5 years, and just recently have felt like a real New Yorker. I think it was when I stopped thinking, “Wow, I live here. This is awesome,” all the time (now I just think it a few times per week!) and really starting thinking of NYC and our ‘hood as my home, not a ridiculously popular tourist destination. Or maybe it was when I started yelling at people on the subway to move in, or dropping F-bombs like no one’s business in public.

  10. Home is in the same state I live in now, but a different town. I grew up in a town with less than 30,000 people! Crazy.
    I wish I had more running friends around me!:)

  11. Home was Indiana for me for as long as I can remember (even though I haven’t lived there in 7+ years!) but now I can say that Hoboken, NJ is home. I feel at home when I get to my apartment and I think that’s what it’s all about.

    Oh and good for you for braving the DMV. It’s been on my to do list for oh 4 months now and I have yet to go. It just doesn’t sound like fun to me, but then again, not having a valid drivers license probably isn’t very smart either!

  12. I’ve moved around so much over the past few years that I don’t really feel I have a permanent home. Where ever my parents are certainly is comfortable, but I don’t consider Colorado to be my home, but I don’t think I can consider Boston to be ‘home’ yet either.

  13. home will always be my childhood home in the burbs of chicago where my parents still live. i have lived downtown chicago for just over 3 years so i would consider that my home too. however my license still has my childhood home address, my car is not registered in the city and i am not on the lease of my current apartment soooo maybe i really shouldn’t consider chicago my home haha. also i laughed at your abercrombie bag comment…i totally used to do that too and my brother makes so much fun of me now! haha.

  14. I was born in LA, raised in Georgia and have lived in NYC for a little more than a year. I got a NY license a month after moving because my Georgia one was about to expire!

    I am much more at home in NYC than I ever was in Atlanta. My mom grew up on Long Island so I spent my childhood visiting the city (and I interned here for 3 summers in college). I told my parents when I was 7 that I was going to live in NYC w/ no plants and no pets when I grew up … and that’s exactly what happened. So maybe I can’t “really” call myself a New Yorker because I wasn’t born here or haven’t lived here for 10 years or whatever, but I feel like much more of a New Yorker than a Georgian.

  15. Hahahaha ummm I had no idea you snapped that photo this morning. Should have taken a ‘white party’ pic (sans Megan!)

    NYC is sort of starting to feel like my home month by month, though I am resisting and still have my NJ driver’s license (and NJ address as permanent residence for work so NYC resident taxes are lower…kinda!) My license expires next March so we’ll see what I decide to do with it. I’d like to avoid those DMV lines if at all possible!

  16. Too many places feel like home to me! There’s the suburb of Chicago where I grew up, the suburb of Boston where I lived for three years as a kid, the town where I went to college, and the suburb of Chicago I live in now. Gah.

    It is nice to feel comfortable and “at home” in so many places, though.

  17. I had that pork photo framed and it’s now hanging on my refrigerator. Hope that’s not creepy…you can see it for yourself when you visit DC:)

  18. I believe the unofficial rule is you get to call yourself a New Yorker after living here for 10 years. I think in my head, I considered myself official after 5 (I was born in NYC, so I think that should tack on a few years, right?).

    This definitely feels like home — I grew up around NYC (Long Island/Westchester), but I always knew I needed to live in the city one day. And even though I’ve thought of trying other places — LA would be fun for a while — I know that I would always consider myself a New Yorker (and obnoxiously remind people of that all the time).

  19. I hate the DMV.

    I guess I have two “homes” – my “school home,” NYC, and my “home home,” TN. I’ve been in NYC 7 years now, but I guess without a family of my own (yet), I don’t really consider it my home…and prob still has to do with living in a dorm, too!

  20. I am originally from NH as well! Came to NYC first for college (on Staten Island) and stayed for work — so a total of 7 years. I can’t believe I’ve been here so long, but also can’t imagine moving back to New Hampshire, at least, an this point in my life. NY is home! That DMV line looks HORRIBLE, good for you for having a positive attitude about it! Were you sad to give up your pretty NH license?

  21. I’m originally from Pittsburgh, PA (born and raised) and I moved to Fort Worth, TX 3 1/2 years ago. It was a huge adjustment, just moving from the north to south alone was tough, but being almost 2,000 miles away from my entire family is harder. I feel that I am finally getting acclimated, but my true “home” is in Pittsburgh.

  22. As a true New Yorker (born and raised in Brooklyn, currently raising a family in Staten Island, and working in Manhattan), I appreciate your categorization. 😉 BTW – I kick myself when I run all the time as well. Let me know if you figure out how to make that stop. 😉

  23. I can totally relate to this post! I’ve just started to consider NY “home,” now and my growing up home in NJ I now call “my parents house.” After living in NY for 6 years and growing up only 45min away, though, I still feel awkward calling myself “New Yorker.”

    It’s really funny though with your brother, my parents did the same thing. The second he moved out they turned my brother’s (his name is Ryan too!) room into an office, but my room will always stay unchanged.

    It must really make the time go by running with others! I always want to, but I have a fear of being too slow or not being able to last. I hope to get over that one day 🙂

  24. How cool is it that they posted your pic on the metromix website. That’s awesome/hilarious! Let’s see home to me: I grew up in Texas, went to college and now my family moved to Michigan. I refer to all places as my home. I guess my hearts kind of all over the place..

  25. omg it is soooo stressful to get everything changed in regards to a new permanent address! I feel like we sort of switched lives, I just switched everything from Mass to New Hampshire… and while NH is now MY HOME, I still refer to going to Mass as going HOME…

    PS I finally felt inspired enough by you to try and start a blog… I’m hoping it’s up in a couple of days… also while digging through photos on my laptop I found one of us at Orientation labeled “Carter/Feller Routine”…. remember when we did cartwheels down the quad? … awkward. Congrats on your 15.5 btw! 🙂

  26. Bahahh. It’s like your on a mission to photograph every frenchie in NY. 🙂 I love it!

    NY will always be home to me. I’ve loved Boston and have lived here since college but there’s no place like NY!

  27. Props to you for changing your license and your address..all that jazz. I bought a condo almost a year ago.. and while I am still in state.. I haven’t changed my address on anything – moved my car registration to my new town.. changed my voting registration. any of that jazz. I guess I am a bad american since I can’t vote.

    I feel like I have two homes 🙂 . I’ve lived in CT all my life childhood.. college.. renting.. and now owning. My condo.. and my home where my parents live.. are both home. Whenever I am headed to either, I say I am going home 🙂

  28. Home to me is New Jersey. Born there, grew up there, my entire family still lives there. I lived in Florida for 7 years after high school, so I felt like that was my home for awhile, but then I moved to TX. Austin feels like my “home” (def more so than FL, since it’s a constant party there…) but it’s not my HOME.

    I think Jersey will always be the place I call home … even though the Situation & Snooki have ruined it a lil bit for me 🙂

  29. you know that “your” room is now officially a guest room when you stay at your old house and another guest gets to sleep in “your” room (the britney spears/half naked men pictures hanging on the walls of the room I slept in just made this worse)….THANKS MOM!

  30. Holy crap, the DMV line was outside of the building?! When I got my NY license, I definitely waited about three hours, but the waiting was thankfully all indoors. Ironic that the Herald Square location is the “express” DMV, huh? Haha.

    I was born in Houston, then lived in LA from ages 2 to 4, then back to Houston until right before I started high school, when we moved to Oregon. I NEVER felt “at home” in Oregon and it always drove me nuts when people would say I was from there. NY would even trump OR in that department, since I ended up spending more time there than Oregon. Even if I don’t stay here “forever,” Texas will always be home to me. 🙂

    Also, Boston Terriers are officially my favorite puppies right now. So adorable!

  31. I’m a Boston girl. I was born in raised in NJ, went to college in Boston, lived in NJ/Florida/Northern Virginia after college (at different times, of course!). But it wasn’t until I moved back to the Boston area about three years ago that I really found my home. Boston is my city; no offense to NYers, but I always feel so crowded and pressured when I visit there. Boston is more relaxed.

  32. Omh my gosh, that DMV line is crazy. Our DMVs in Florida are crazy too.. but you can make an appointment and you get to skip the lines, yay! Or, we can renew online, double yay!

    I am a Florida girl. I was born in florida, raised in florida, and still live here! I don’t live in my hometown anymore (about 1.5hrs away), but I live by the ocean and that’s where my heart is.. at the beach. I’ll never live anywhere that isn’t close to the ocean ever again.ever.

    1. Oh, and I realize that pretty much every where in Florida is “close.” Close is relative.. I mean like 5 minutes away from the Ocean. I currently live a block. yay ocean!

  33. I’m from Oregon and lived there until I moved to South Carolina when I was 17. Sadly, because I truly don’t love it here, I kind of consider SC to be “home.” My family moved around Oregon a lot when I was younger so I don’t really have any solid roots there anyway; add in the fact that my “adult” life is here and, well, yeah. I’ve been here just over nine years now, which still seems crazy to me. I am itching to move (even though I just bought a house in ’09) and hope to relocate in the next two years, though I haven’t quite determined where. Oregon is completely awesome and beautiful and wonderful though, for the record.

    I hate to be cliche and/or to quote Joe Dirt, but I do tend to agree with that whole “home is where you make it” idea.

  34. HAHAHAHA love that picture of you eating the sandwich! That is awesome. Adorable pup. What a face. You wear your FITist socks! I gave mine away because they were a giant size. I am a New Yorker, this is home to me. Born and raised in Queens, lived in Manhattan for over 5 years!

  35. Awww this post definitely hit “home” for me. No pun intended. I’m from Nebraska, and the older I get, the more it means to me. What I always say is “I heart NYC but Nebraska is where my heart stays.” Nebraska will ALWAYS have my heart. I’m going back for a week next week and I absolutely can’t wait. Still, I know at the end of the week, I’ll be ready to come back to my second home NYC 🙂

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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