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 have dancer, interior designer, and Louisville native Claire Adams! Claire’s been in New York for a while now, first as a student and now as a twenty-something, but her heart will always belong to the Bluegrass.
Who are you and what do you do?
Interior design for work.
Finding things NYC has to offer that I can’t do anywhere else: the museums, the parks, the free events, the concerts, etc. And the food!
Time North of the Mason-Dixon line so far?
Almost 6 years!
What brought you to New York?
NYU for school
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?
Usually they think Kentucky and Kansas are the same thing, they can’t understand how I say Louisville, and they’re surprised I’m not a total redneck, can complete my sentences, and am wearing shoes.
Slow doesn’t mean wrong or stupid.
Describe life in NYC as people at home picture it. Describe life in NYC as it actually is.
Not as luxurious and “fabulous.” It’s fast and it’s expensive and it’s busy and it’s hard, and it smells so bad. It’s not all bad, but it’s not the movies.
Where do you consider home? Why?
Louisville is my home, and New York is where I live. Louisville will always be home: it has my heart.
Do you miss where you’re from? Do you see yourself going back?
Yes and Yes
Do you consider yourself a Southerner? Do you consider yourself a New Yorker? Why or why not?
I’ll always consider myself a Kentuckian. New York has helped form who I’ve become, and I wouldn’t be the same without it. But Kentucky gave me the backbone I have, so under it all, I’m a Southerner. (We’re below the Mason Dixon line! We’re the South!)
What is the best cure for homesickness?
A good phone call back home and spending time with friends here who you couldn’t live without. And always wearing my y’all shirt.