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 Casey Kreher! Without this transplant from Georgia, Scout never would have found her favorite neighborhood beer spot. Always ready with a smile and a “hey y’all,” Casey’s a “here for now “guy. The summer rains of Georgia are constantly calling him home.
Brooklyn, New York
Who are you and what do you do?
Beer wrangler, sound engineer, re-budding musician.
Time North of the Mason-Dixon line so far?
1 year and 9 months
What brought you to New York?
A girl. I moved here to be with (fellow Just Folks profilee) Joanna, who moved up here for her dance career.
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?
Bemused disbelief. Most people think Southerners are yokels, so to meet someone who’s not shouting out Lynyrd Skynyrd lyrics 24/7 is hard for them to understand. Also grits — people always ask, “What are grits?” And everyone always wants to talk about racism and whether or not it’s worse down south — the sad fact is that it’s always bad, wherever you are.
Describe life in NYC as people at home picture it. Describe life in NYC as it actually is.
They either think everyone up here is dressed really, really well, or they think they’re just complete vagrants. Which is somewhat accurate: People in New York definitely dress a level up from home.
Where do you consider home? Why?
I no longer have a house anywhere that I would consider home, but I definitely feel like I am in the right place when I’m in Georgia. I don’t necessarily feel like I’m visiting here…but I don’t really feel like I belong.
Do you miss where you’re from? Do you see yourself going back?
Yes, absolutely. I was down in Georgia a couple weeks ago and we had one of those summer afternoon rainstorms, and that made me miss Georgia more than anything recently. So yes, I will absolutely go back.
Do you consider yourself a Southerner? Do you consider yourself a New Yorker? Why or why not?
I definitely consider myself a Southerner in New York. Like I said, I don’t necessarily feel unwelcome here, but I also don’t really feel like I belong.
Which food/drink/song/book/movie/artwork/quotation/gif/etc. defines New York for you?
The quintessential New York thing for me is the “I heart New York” logo. It sort of represents everything about New York simultaneously: it’s ubiquitous, it’s in your face, and the more you see it the more you realize it doesn’t actually mean anything, except the meaning that you give it yourself.
Also Brooklyn Lager…it’s one of the iconic beers around here, but it’s no where near the best. There’s so much stuff here that’s supposed to be “the best,” but it’s just a lot of everything all at once, and a lot of mediocre stuff gets mass produced.
Which food/drink/song/book/movie/artwork/quotation/gif/etc. defines where you’re from?
Anytime I see a bottle of Coke I think of Atlanta. So Coca-Cola, definitely.
What is the best cure for homesickness?
I made friends with a guy at a restaurant who does real good things with simple food, and that was such a hallmark of Atlanta for me. Simple, but good.
Bagels or biscuits?
Bagels in New York, biscuits in Georgia.
Cool, my name is also, Casey Kreher