Meet A New Girl: West Coast On The UWS
The New Girl: Joy Jacobson
It's hard to believe Joy and I met 8 years ago, both living on Floor 9 of UCLA's oldest dorm. As members of the same tight-knit friend group, we bonded between slices of pizza, consumed in the wee hours of the morning on carpets older than our parents. There were six of us at the time—a half dozen women (girls, really) that banded together during an uncertain and pivotal period of self-discovery.
Joy was the creative one of the group. She acted. She photographed. She journaled. And her artistic flair always found itself onto the walls of our college dorms and apartments over the years. Her spaces have an eclectic and effortless feel to them—filled with curated trinkets, books, and prints that all manage to fit perfectly together in a way that I've tried, but have never quite been able to replicate so seamlessly.
Anyway, when I found out last summer that Joy was moving to the city for a publishing program at NYU, I was beyond ecstatic. My plan to secretly lure all my best friends to the east coast was finally working. Post-college, we had been the final holdouts from the "original six" still living in Los Angeles and her presence reminds me of home. Joy is incredibly interesting, eloquent and beautiful...so this interview was a walk in the park (literally).
I hope you enjoy meeting this new girl, because NYC is lucky to have her.
More About Joy
How long have you been in NYC?
Eight months (!)
Upper West Side, Manhattan
Where are you originally from?
West Coaster. Born in LA, raised in Seattle, lived in LA for the past 7 years.
What pays the rent?
I'm a studio coordinator at a post production film studio.
Describe your current living situation.
2 bedroom converted into a 3 bedroom...I live behind a curtain in the living room. Editor's note: it's very cozy + chic.
How did you find the apartment?
Family's always looking out <3. I live with my sister-in-law's sister...aka my brother's sister-in-law.
Describe Your first day as a New Yorker:
My one-way flight to New York was the red-eye, and after a sleepless and "oh shit what am I doing here" plane ride, the moment I landed, I was wired—I knew I wouldn't be sleeping that day. I got off the bus into the city from Newark, and immediately tapped into the electric energy that shoots through the streets here. My first crash pad was the NYU short term student summer dorms right on 14th street on the edge Union Square. I dropped my bags, ran downstairs, and just started to walk. I chose a direction, looked up at the buildings, quickly stumbled upon the magic of Washington Square Park, and already found myself in deep, life-changing love. It was nothing like I'd ever known before. There've been so many ups and downs since that morning, but that's my first memory and I love it.
Is there anything that has surprised you about NYC?
The friendliness of everyone. It's amazing.
What has been your biggest adjustment or challenge since moving here?
Realizing I don't actually know how to make friends and learning how to ask people on '"friend dates." :)
Favorite Place in NYC?
What does a typical weekday in NYC look like for you?
After my fifth alarm clock, I pray I'm not making my roommate mad by all the snoozing. I start by waking up early to drink my coffee at home, catching precisely the 7:57AM train (which I have learned has the least amount of finance bros crowded into it) heading downtown to SoHo with enough time to grab my second cup of coffee at the corner shop before work at 8:30AM. After work, ideally I'd trade off between going to the gym and seeing a friend for a glass of wine, but more often it's the latter. After wine, I wind down with a book and a nice dose of anxiety about the next day, which I quench with chocolate, then sleep to do it all over again.
Moments Of Truth
Westville or The Grey Dog?
The Grey Dog
Uber, subway or walk?
Favorite Season in the city?
What would your perfect weekend in the city entail?
Running in Central Park, yoga, cooking at home with wine and friends, taking in sunlight on a rooftop somewhere at dusk, wandering into a poetry reading or a Moth story slam...or finding the best pasta somewhere on Washington St. in the West Village.
What makes NYC feel special to you?
So many things. The history revealed in the architecture, the way the buildings sort of fold into your perspective as you walk and watch them move. I grew up on the West Coast, so we didn't have that sense of age and rich history in our setting, so I feel it very poignantly.
Best NYC advice, ready...go!
Invest in good, supportive shoes for every occasion. Don't look twice at any flimsy shoes. You'll walk more than you know.
How did you take the leap and finally move?
The catalyst for my move was a summer program at NYU. That way I'd have a place to land, a roof over my head, somewhere to go each day, and people around me who were doing the same thing. That was crucial. I made friends and memories and that summer will always mean so much to me.
Advice to fellow New Girls
Homesickness is real and normal and in no way diminishes your choice to move or change your life. I actually researched it a couple months ago because I wanted to gauge where I was on the scale of things and how long it normally takes to adjust. The last time I had moved was for college years ago, and I had forgotten that it's basically traumatic to uproot your life and move, even if it's a good thing and for good reasons. Adjustment takes time, and it's worth it. Meanwhile, do more things that make you feel purposeful, and happy, and don't forget to invest in relationships, even when it seems hard and tiring.
Big thanks to Joy for sharing her experience! If you know (or are) a new girl who'd like to be featured, I'd love to hear from you.