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. Tell us your story here!
This week we have Amy Charnock. This Texan stage manager was drawn to New York by the bright lights of Broadway. Nowadays, she and her husband call Astoria home, where they’re proudly educating their new neighbors on the true meaning of BBQ.
Astoria, New York
Who are you and what do you do?
I am a stage manager who also babysits and temps when things are slow in the theater world. I’m also a young wife who enjoys cooking and hosting dinner parties and brunches. And I craft: Everyone gets homemade gifts every year for Christmas, and I usually have to start in September.
Time North of the Mason-Dixon line so far?
What brought you to New York?
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?
People always tell me that I don’t have an accent. I don’t know why I don’t, but I am from a big metropolitan city and my parents have different accents, so I guess I went for the common newscaster’s dialect. Sometimes I feel like I have to explain BBQ to non-Southerners. New York needs to get with the program!
Describe life in NYC as people at home picture it. Describe life in NYC as it actually is.
People at home think New York is GLAMOROUS! They think it’s about taking cabs and wearing fabulous shoes and living in a penthouse suite in Midtown. In reality, New York is dirty and stinky, and I ride the subway and never wear heels. And living in a borough is great. I have a backyard!
Where do you consider home? Why?
I consider New York home. My husband is my new family now, and this is where he is.
Do you miss where you’re from? Do you see yourself going back?
I miss Texas. I could see myself anywhere, but I am happy in New York, as long as the work comes and I have a place to live. I always know I could go back to where I came from, but I’m in no rush to get there.
Do you consider yourself a Southerner? Do you consider yourself a New Yorker? Why or why not?
I consider myself both a Southerner and a New Yorker. I’m more Southern when I’m in New York and more New Yorker when I’m in Texas. I have a Texas marriage license, but a New York driver’s license. I take my time, and I rush. I’m friendly, and I keep to myself.
Which food/drink/song/book/movie/artwork/quotation/gif/etc. defines New York for you?
Burgers and pizza, champagne and cocktails
“The Great Gatsby,” Frank Sinatra, musicals and Broadway, the 1920’s
Which food/drink/song/book/movie/artwork/quotation/gif/etc. defines where you’re from?
Tex-Mex and BBQ, margaritas and Shiner
Warm nights, the beach, sand dollars, humidity, iced tea, hot summers
What is the best cure for homesickness?
Making enchiladas, queso, and salsa, and listening to Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys with friends!