#192 Catherine and Jason

192 kitcatsayz and jasonitsnosaj

(@KitCatSayz and @JasonJNosaj on Instagram) This may not be your typical fairytale “love story” straight from a book or movie, but I’d like to think it is because this is how I fell in love…and it all happened in the greatest city in the world.

Let’s rewind back to 2008, my freshman year at FIT…Living in Long Island my entire childhood and teenage life, made me realize how much different it is than living in “the city” (you’re only a true New Yorker if you call Manhattan, ‘the city’). I dormed at FIT during my freshman year with high hopes in making new friends and experiencing the “city life,” especially since I was getting into the whole fashion industry scene. It was only right to live in the city that’s known to breathe in fashion everywhere you go. I was 18, living my life, as any 18-year-old would. From karaoke nights in Ktown to late night food runs to clubbing to just buggin’ out in our dorms, I think I had my fair share of fun with a bunch of my FIT friends. Little did I know, I would even find my first love during this time as well…
I clearly remember the night Jason and I first laid eyes on each other. It was one of the first nights that I went clubbing with my roommate and we had no intentions in meeting guys at all. This club that we went to, the Spy Club in Chelsea was literally packed with sweaty, immature, teenage Asian guys who didn’t even know how to dance. After 45min of circling the club, we decided to leave because we just weren’t feeling it. On our way towards the exit, I noticed a decent-looking Asian guy just standing there with a group of his guy friends, looking like they were on a hunt or something. I honestly had NO idea what made me soo attracted to him but he just looked soo “bad-ass” (I had no idea I would even be into a guy with that sorta look). So I walked right passed him and he grabbed my arm and the first thing he said to me was, “You are so pretty.” I was definitely blushing and flattered because who knew, the exact guy who I thought was cute, ACTUALLY noticed me and said something. At the time, he had his old school T-Mobile Sidekick and he asked for my Facebook, which I thought was cute and not too forward because I know most guys would go straight for the girl’s phone number. A week passed by, and I ended up going to another club with a bunch of my college friends. Guess who ended up at the same club as me, unintentionally!?
Yepp, it was like it was fate and that we were meant to see each other again. As time went by, we talked more and more each day through Facebook and eventually I gave him my number. I definitely played hard-to-get, being that it was my first relationship, IN LIFE, so everything was so new to me. From our first date in the city, to our first kiss in front of my dorm, to him actually asking me to officially be his girlfriend while riding the Roosevelt Island Tramway, to meeting each other’s family & friends, to our first trip, to our first holiday together…There were just countless memories we shared and New York City played a big role in those unforgettable memories.
Fast forward to this year, 2014, December will make it 6 years since we’ve been together and I wouldn’t want it any other way. They say that “good things come to those who wait” and I truly believe that if you have faith & hope in love, then it will eventually come to you when the time is right. Sometimes you don’t have to keep searching for love, and it will just fall into your hands at the right moment…And that’s exactly what happened to me, all because of living and experiencing the world of NYC.

#191 Kim

191 mynameiskimber

(@MyNameisKimber on Instagram) I lost a job, and was homeless for three months, literally. That’s as personal as I can get because the details can get a little scary. There were times when I just walked around all night wondering what I was still doing here. I remember thinking, “things are going to turn around for me. My life is about to change for the better, that there was going to be a light at the end of the tunnel, and that all my hard work & personal sacrifices were not in vain”. There was hope and comfort in staring at those New York buildings during those 3 months, and it was part of the reason why I eventually found a job working for the city, eventually segued into Orthopedic Trauma, which was the job of my dreams. Even after all these years, including those 3 hard homeless months, where some days I feel like I’ve done almost everything here, my heart still flutters.


#190 Johnny

190 johnnydotjpeg


(@JohnnyDotJpeg on Instagram) I packed a SUV & drove 974 miles to get here. I had no clue what my new apartment would look like and the thought of “Harlem” made me a nervous wreck. I arrived at 151st and Fredrick Douglas at 9:35 PM and the thought of getting out of my car made my stomach turn. There was already someone tapping on my window trying to ask me something. I remember taking a big breath and stepping out to people playing cards on the block, reggae music blasting from like 4 different directions and kids dancing and rapping right next to Jackie Robinson Park.  “This can’t be everyday life?”, I thought to myself. Looked just like a movie. My friends that I went to college with were waiting on me at my new apartment & all I can remember is them running up to me and my friend Mike picking me up and spinning me around saying “You did it! You’re Here! You live in New York now, Johnny!”  I remembered how weird that sounded hearing it out loud. Did he just say I live in New York now? “This can’t be real”, I said. After seeing that my room was as small as my dorm, I went straight to the fire escape. I took a moment for myself and just sat on those red steps, lit up a cigar & stared off into my new neighborhood. My neighbors were having a party and they were playing some East Atlanta trap music. I felt so comfortable at that moment. It felt just like home. I closed my eyes, listened to the all of the new noises around me and just smiled. “You did it Johnny. You just moved to New York freaking City!”, I said to myself out loud. That is a moment I will never forget. That was probably the best day of my life. www.johnny-self.com

#189 Nathan

189 thenathanrohrer


(@TheNathanRohrer on Instagram) I had been working as an assistant in a high pressure environment for 3 months after moving to New York, and I remember heading in to work thinking, “Maybe I’m not cut out for this job, for this city even.” I was so caught up in a job that I had taken to pay the bills, and completely lost sight of what was next. I had started seeing people as crowds and not individuals. As I sat on the train headed for work one day, I witnessed a homeless man, sitting in the corner seemingly unnoticed as everyone crowded and rushed on and off the train. A woman about to exit suddenly stopped and taking her lunch out of a bag she handed to the homeless man without a word and as she turned again to exit, the doors slammed shut in front of her. She smiled at me with a little shrug and said, “Worth it.” It was so small, so quick, but that one moment was the reminder I needed. I suddenly saw New York again; humans who deserved love in even the smallest of ways. I knew I needed the City, and the city needed me.

#188 Alexa

188 alexa_curtis

(@Alexa_Curtis on Instagram) For my entire childhood, I was eating lunch in the bathroom at public school. I was crying inside my bedroom on Friday nights at not being invited to the “popular” girls parties, not having a boyfriend or a strong friend group, and more importantly, not having a place where I fit in. When I was 12 years old, I began a fashion blog, posing in front of a crappy Nikon camera in really cheap clothing to post on the internet, with the goal of finding one or two girls also facing the same situation as I was. Little did I know, that first blog post on September 12th, 2011, that I wrote behind a computer screen in my Mansfield, Connecticut bedroom, would began my full-time career as one of the most influential teen bloggers in the world.

It was one snowy February day, at my first season of New York Fashion Week, where I stood in the back of a crowded Lincoln Center,  that I realized I have the power to change the world. As the bright lights came up, and the models began to walk down the runway, that was my moment. People had always told me that I never had anything special, and that I would never make it in an industry filled with “rich kids” and “famous parents” yet here I was, little old “nothing” me, sitting at a fashion show that people try to gain entry into their entire life. There was no turning back now. I have the power to come from little, and make myself become something. There is no if, ands, or buts, there is only today, in this moment, that you too, can do anything that you dream of doing or becoming.

#187 Jensen

Jensen, #187


(@Jensenn on Instagram) About two weeks into our move, we decided to finally take a break and spend a night out with friends who were also new to the city. After dinner, the four of us were waiting for the N train. It was rush hour, the train finally arrived and as the subway cars passes we see how packed each one was. First car… packed, second… packed, third… packed.  I dreaded the thought of standing, bunched up like sardines, the whole way back to Brooklyn. When the train finally came to a stop, an almost empty train car! Realizing that there were enough subway seats available so all of us would be able to sit down the whole ride home, it felt like I just won the lottery. The doors opened and a crowd of people rushed out. That seemed a little odd but we didn’t give it much thought. As we stepped inside, the remaining passengers’ eyes all pointed towards us, followed by some giggling. A few seconds later we were greeted by a musty, foul stench. Smell so horrible, that you could feel it pass through you, like a warm cloud that engulfed everything around you, so bad that you think you could almost taste it, so bad that your whole body instinctively go into a motion as if you’re about to vomit all of the food you ate from the past month. Your face turns into an expression as if you just took a bite out of a lime. At this point everyone else inside and the people in the next cars burst into laughter. Why did those people decide to stay in there? I still don’t know but now it makes total sense as to why this car was so empty.

Through the years, New York has taught me many things, but this was the first lesson I ever learned about New York: Never, ever, get on that empty train car. It’s empty for a reason. But if for some reason you do find yourself in this same situation, you should take it all in (not literally).