High-five to my first blog post!
I’m Nikki. I’m a twenty-two year old, surviving off of iced coffees and 8tracks playlists. I walk incredibly fast and “swim” through crowds. I avoid Times Square at all cost, but you can find me climbing some rocks by the Ravine in Central Park, admiring the Cherry Blossoms near the Loeb Boathouse, or squealing about how cute the turtles (my favorite animal) are by the Turtle Pond.
I read books. A lot of them. My mom calls my room a library. I am a hoarder of books, also known as a bibliophile. Although I am twenty-two, I absolutely love reading YA (Young Adult) and NA (New Adult) books. Reading was my very first love, which lead me to my current love: writing. I write to understand my own mind. There’s so many things that are scattered within the grey matter of my brain that it is hard to comprehend — that is until I begin to place pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. I aspire to be a YA/NA author and I’m pretty sure — nearly 98% sure — that being an intern at Gotham will help me get there.
I grew up in Brooklyn — only a short train ride away from the city. Speaking of using the term “the city,” does anyone actually call it Manhattan anymore? I pretty much love every aspect of my city: all the positives, negatives, and in-betweens.
➵ The Sights: skyscrapers, bumper-to-bumper street traffic, humans of all walks of life, Central Park.
➵ The Sounds: sirens, horn-honking, the many languages of the world, the mysterious voice of the MTA Woman – letting you know what stop it is… and if you listen closely — you could hear a bird chirp!
➵ The Smells: the stench of rotting garbage under the 95º summertime sun, honey-roasted peanuts on the corners, rain on pavement.
➵ The Tactile: a brand-new, smooth MetroCard, the germ-filled poles of a subway car, the warmth of the dirty water dog in your hand.
It took me time away from home to realize just how much I love this place and how grateful I am to live in the city that never sleeps. In the summer of 2013, I went to London. While walking throughout the city: East End, West End, Camden Lock, Kensington, High Street, Oxford Street, Leicester and Trafalgar Square, King’s Cross — I had an odd familiarity with it. All the sounds were the same. Some of the sights were, too.
One night at nearly 2AM, I was awoken by a few drunk friends singing “We Are The Champions” by Queen horribly off-tone. Somehow, this prompted me to write. A few scribbles of nothing turned into something: I began to write about the definition of home. What is home? Where is home? Is it a house, a city, a country? Is it a person? A place you feel the most comfortable whether it be in the confines of your private bedroom – regardless of where that is – or is it in your little corner of the local coffee shop? I stayed up all night, writing page after page of home and arguing with myself which felt more like home: New York City or London. After a while, I finally discovered that home is a personal definition and an individual can define home however they’d like. For me, there were a few types of “home.”
i. The place you grew up. Now, this place doesn’t necessarily mean you were born there and lived all your life. This home could be the place that raised you: where you experienced the worst and best memories, where you learned, matured, and ultimately became the person you are today.
ii. The place your heart is. Since experiencing the beautifully, wondrous world of Harry Potter, the girl power of the Spice Girls and the accent from Hallie James in the Parent Trap at the age of eight — I used all my birthday candles for a single wish: to visit London. I was able to live that dream at twenty years old. When I entered London, I cried tears of joy. Those weeks of living in the city of my dreams lifted my heart. I knew that this city would forever have a hold on me. It was there I discovered so much about myself, about life, and more.
iii. The person your heart is with. I have been with my boyfriend since January of 2012. He is my rock, my best friend, my soulmate. It wasn’t until I met him that I understood what others meant when they said “[They are] home to me.” To many, home means comfort; home means a place where you could wear your underwear and your favorite t-shirt with a hole under the arm, eating ice cream from the container while singing “Don’t Stop Believin’” on top of your lungs. I could do all of this and more with my boyfriend. He is home.
I believe that the more I travel, the more places I’ll leave pieces of my heart.
Ultimately, New York City and all of its shenanigans & malarkey have a nice, large chunk.
How about you? What’s considered home to you?