Mondays on Zelda & Scout are all about you! In a series we call “Just Folks,” we talk to Southerners who have found their way to New York about where they’re from, where they are now, and what home means to them.
This week, we’ve got the other half of the dynamic duo behind this here blog, Scout (aka Kelsey Goldman)!
Who are you and what do you do?
Attempting to make it the non-profit art world. Museum worker by day, slinging burgers and craft beer at a bar in Tribeca by night. Self-identified nerd. Lover of British comedy, Harry Potter, Kentucky basketball, international sports competitions, kitchen sock-sliding, and cake.
Time North of the Mason-Dixon line so far?
Two years in New York, four in Baltimore (though I’m not sure that counts)
What brought you to New York?
I moved to New York for grad school, and for the opportunity to pursue a career in the art world. Also so I could tell myself I attempted to live in this crazy city at one point in my life.
What’s the most common reaction when people learn where you’re from? What’s something about life in the South that you have to explain to non-Southerners?
The reaction varies — anywhere from “Why don’t you have an accent?” to “Really? You don’t seem like you’re from Kentucky.”
My tip for non-Southerners: When you say you’re having a barbecue, you actually mean a cook-out. Barbecue means there’s going to be barbecue, i.e. slow-smoked meat with spice rub or sauce, not burgers on the grill.
Describe life in NYC as people at home picture it. Describe life in NYC as it actually is.
Before you move here, you imagine a sort of aesthetically pleasing amount of struggle, broken up by beautiful autumn days that look like something out of a Nora Ephron movie and summer evenings in Central Park, watching free Shakespeare plays. Those days do exist, but they’re often overshadowed by walking out of the subway into the pouring rain without an umbrella, just missing the train and watching in despair as it pulls away from the platform, twelve dollar gin and tonics at Midtown bars you never should have been at in the first place, or the fact that in order to watch free Shakespeare you have to wake up at the crack of dawn and commute for an hour, then wait in line for three in order to get tickets. There are good days and there are bad days. When the good days are happening, you can forget about the bad, but when the bad days come it’s hard to remember the good ones.
Where do you consider home? Why?
Louisville, no doubt. It’s where I was born, where I grew up, and I got to watch it evolve and become this incredible place that I miss everyday. But I adopt places. I have a soft spot for Baltimore, Prague, and Maynardville, Tenn.
Do you miss where you’re from? Do you see yourself going back?
Well, I helped start a blog about it so…yes, eventually. I think I may want to live somewhere after New York, back in the South, maybe Atlanta, but eventually head back to Louisville.
Do you consider yourself a Southerner? Do you consider yourself a New Yorker? Why or why not?
It took me a while, but I do (consider myself a Southerner). I know that I am because the things I miss about home are so similar to the things people I’ve met miss about other Southern places. I think there is something, I’m not sure what, about Southern places and people, and I miss that thing…and I don’t think I will ever consider myself a New Yorker.
Which food/drink/song/book/movie/artwork/quotation/gif/etc. defines New York for you? (choose as many or as few as you’d like)
Food – Maple Bacon cookies from Schmackary’s
Which food/drink/song/book/movie/artwork/quotation/gif/etc. defines where you’re from? (choose as many or as few as you’d like)
Food – Everything Muffins, or Brie Bernadette
What is the best cure for homesickness?
Sometimes I go to Central Park and pretend that it’s Cherokee Park, just to get that Frederick Law Olmsted landscape fix. Mabel’s Smokehouse in Williamsburg is the best barbecue fix. Also showing up at any sports bar during basketball season and finding some other Kentucky fans to commiserate or celebrate with, depending on the day.