Meet A New Girl: Stine
The New Girl: Stine Bauer Dahlberg
Since moving to New York, I've become a fan of morning coffee dates. There's nothing better than starting the day feeling like you've already caught up with an old friend, met someone new, and/or *gasp* networked before 9am!?
On an ordinary Thursday morning, I headed to The Wing bright and early for a "Women in Media" breakfast. As we went around the room doing intros, one woman in particular stood out to me. She was effortlessly chic and had an elevator speech that made running Brand Marketing at The New York Times (casual) sounds easy. We didn't get a chance to talk at the event—note: I actually hate networking and will often loiter by the bagel bar until someone nice approaches me to either 1. say hello or 2. ask me to pass the lox—but was pleasantly surprised when I received an email from Stine (re: chic boss lady from last Thursday) the following week.
In true New York Moment form, it turns out Stine had stumbled upon my little corner of the internet while getting ready to move from SF to NYC and had found my tips for finding an apartment in the city helpful. Aside from the pure joy that comes from simply writing, there's nothing better than when a reader reaches out and squashes that little voice in your head that tells you you're writing to a brick wall and all those words are simply getting lost in cyber space. Needless to say, I was so excited to hear she had taken something from this blog, but even more excited that the most interesting person from that breakfast wanted to catch up with me.
At coffee, I shared the idea for my not yet launched "Meet A New Girl" series with Stine and a few months later asked her to do a feature because...what could be more full circle than that!? I spent a fun Saturday with her and her boyfriend Evan, adventuring to their favorite spots and swooning over their plant-filled East Village apartment. What I liked most was how they've added so many personalized touches to it to make it feel like home in just few short months. Seriously though, I love my fifth floor walk-up and all, but I would 100% move into their 2nd Avenue oasis instead if it ever became available (hint: Stine/Evan, you know who to call if you ever move to Brooklyn 🙏)
All in all, I loved learning more about Stine's experience being a new girl in NYC and hearing some of her hilarious anecdotes about moving to the city. I feel lucky for our chance breakfast encounter, but even luckier to have made a new friend in this city.
More About Stine
Where are you originally from?
I'm from a small village in Sweden called Sjötorp originally and grew up splitting my time between Sweden and Norway where my dad lived. I have moved to a new country or city almost every 3 years for near 15 years starting in the UK, then Washington DC, then back to the UK, then to Copenhagen, then back to London, then to Luxembourg and most recently I lived four years (record!) in San Francisco before moving here.
Also, my name is Norwegian/Danish and it's pronounced St-een-ne (sort of like Christina without the first part), but no one ever gets it right the first time...cue to me correcting every Uber driver ever.
How long have you been living in NYC?
9 months (feels like 4!)
East Village, Manhattan
What pays the rent?
I am currently the Managing Director of Newsroom Brand Marketing at The New York Times where I work to highlight our journalism and reporters to try and convince the general public that they should pay for news (you should! Ideally NYT but anything will do).
Before that I was at Apple for 6 years, 4 in the US and 2 in Europe. My most recent role for them was Brand Lead for the App Store where I got to work on the new App Store that just launched with iOS 11. Before Apple I was at—what was at the time—a small Swedish startup called Spotify where I did a little bit of everything, or as we called it, "special projects" (AKA Black Ops!).
What's your side hustle / passion project?
I've been surrounded by great designers and creatives my whole life: my uncle is an industrial designer, my cousin is an architect, my grandfather was an artist, my brother is a photographer, and I work with amazing designers constantly. So, my latest passion project is to try to slowly learn graphic design. Starting that process recently got me into collage making, which is a fun physical way of doing graphic design!
I also dream of opening an activewear company for awesome, creative women with my best friend Isabel one day.
Finally, I've started drawing classes, mainly because I really suck at drawing. Now I like sitting at home and trying to get better at drawing our plants.
Describe your current living situation:
I live with my boyfriend in an one-bedroom apartment in an old walk-up building owned by the Ukrainian National Home in the East Village. That might sound scruffy, but we are so lucky. The place has a ton of charm, light, space and super high ceilings. We face 2nd Ave so sometimes it's loud but we love our place so much. The place is old for sure, but we painted all the walls (more on that below) and even the kitchen so it feels like ours now. I have been lucky to be able to bring things with me all the way from Sweden and Norway so I have family stuff here too. My boyfriend is bike crazy and owns 5 of them, but somehow we manage to make it work. He's super handy and has been making custom shelves from redwood that we brought from California where's he from, that were in an old restaurant he used to work at.
How did you find it?
This is my first NYC apartment and it was interesting finding it because I was doing the search from San Francisco. I was sleuthing on Craigslist and StreetEasy for months in advance before moving in order to check out areas and places. I even stumbled upon 5th Floor Walk-Up in my search!
We had originally planned to not get a place before being in the city but when our apartment came up on StreetEasy I immediately knew it had potential (even if the previous renter's interior decorating style was TERRIBLE...he kept industrial amounts of toilet paper stored in the living room and the walls were yellow!) So, we ended up having the agent show me the place on FaceTime and I recorded the walkthrough for my boyfriend. We both liked it enough to take a chance on it. But, it was nerve-wracking to walk into the place and see it for the first time when we finally got here—we'd worried it might not be what we had hoped!
Luckily, it was.
What were your first few weeks in New York City like?
Firstly, two weeks before moving from San Francisco I crashed on my bicycle and broke my shoulder and had surgery. Then, I had to go on a planned trip to Sweden so when I landed in NYC the day before my new job at The Times started, I was in an arm sling and had my mom in tow from Sweden since I had broken down in tears while I was there asking her to help me move since my boyfriend was still in California. So, my mom and I faced NYC head on together, even if I was in a lot of pain and it sucked going to my first day of work in a sling!
We moved into the apartment I live in now two days after we arrived and my first impression was that "Ukrainian White" is not the same as "Scandinavian White"—i.e. the walls were eggshell rather than ultra white. We also noticed the place was super dirty and the bathroom sink didn't work so we had a lot of contact with my somewhat grumpy Super in the first few days. Because my boyfriend was still packing up our stuff in San Francisco, we basically had no furniture for the first three weeks of living here. [My mom and I] slept on three different air mattresses, which all deflated eventually.
It felt like real New York. It was hot as hell in July and we didn't have an air conditioner so we had to keep our windows open to 2nd Avenue all night. One night on the 4th of July, my mom woke me up at 4am standing by the window looking out and said, "Stine, there is a man who's jumped on top of a yellow taxi outside!"
I just said, go back to sleep.
Your "perfect" weekend in the city...
We love hosting dinners at our house so on Friday we'd pick up some food from the Union Square Farmers Market and head to Convive Wine Shop to chat with the people there and pick up some great orange wine. Then three or four friends would come over and we'd cook, chat and welcome the weekend.
On Saturday, I'd wake up late and go for a sporty walk with my boyfriend down to the East River Park and down the riverside, through Chinatown and back up to East Village. Get that blood flow going! We'd then pop into Abraço to pick up coffee and olive oil cake and then into Honest Chops butcher for some really great merguez sausages to cook for breakfast and head home.
Then we'd pick up The New York Times from our doorstep (we get the home delivery paper on Sat and Sun, get it—it's so nice!) and head up to cook and have a nice long breakfast. We sit at our kitchen table for hours trading different parts of the paper and listen to the radio.
Then I would head off to some sort of art class I'm taking at Parsons School of Design (hello collage mixed media!). After, I would be starving and would meet Evan for dinner somewhere in the hood—we like Upland, Nur, and a few others around there or we'd go to our favorite restaurant in all of NYC, Hanoi House in East Village. If we are feeling like it, we might drop by for a cocktail at Mace—it's cute and on the quieter side.
On Sunday, I would meet up with a girlfriend at The Wing and we would tackle the world's problems, work on a side hustle, or just talk. I would then head to The Whitney because it's the best and then back to the East Village for some wine at Lois, it's our favorite bar! The weekend would close out with maybe trying a new restaurant...or just going back to Hanoi House. This is actually my typical weekend, and also my perfect one!
Describe what a typical weekday in NYC looks like for you.
I get up around 7am, shower and make breakfast with my boyfriend. I normally make him have something Swedish like knäckebröd (crispy hard bread, like Wasa). I drink tea and he drinks coffee and we listen to WNYC in the morning which feels so nice and grown up. I try and do some physical therapy exercises for my shoulder (it hasn't healed yet!) and maybe meditate for 15 min and then get ready.
I head out around 8:30am and I try to walk to work as often as possible, it takes about 35 minutes from my place to The New York Times building on 8th and 40th. It's not a very pretty walk but I listen to The Daily podcast first and then a few others, or call a friend in Europe as they are already up! When I get to work around 9am, I head to the newsroom where my team and I sit day-to-day and chat a bit with them (they are so awesome!). Then it's meetings meetings meetings...and then more meetings it feels like. We have a crazy meeting culture at The Times.
I head home at different times depending how much I've gotten done. Normally, I either go to The Wing and meet a girlfriend, meet my boyfriend for dinner in Soho, or probably most often head home to cook some food with him. That's the perfect night in and we like to cook out of the Alison Roman cookbook, Dining In. It's totally awesome.
Any NYC hacks you'd like to share?
Not sure I have enough of these yet, people should send me theirs! I use Curb to pay for yellow cabs, that's super convenient. And Caviar has better food than Seamless. And The Infatuation has the best restaurant reviews period. #EEEEEATS forever.
How do you combat the stress of the city?
I meditate! My friend Elizabeth takes me to an hour and a half meditation class on Thursday mornings, it's great.
What's one thing still on your bucket list?
Oh god so much! The Met Opera? The Met Ball? (if I can get invited?!)
What makes NYC feel special to you?
How did you make it here?
I was thinking of it for almost a year before coming. It was just one of those things I wanted to do, live in NYC. It took a while to figure out what I wanted to do here, but once I got talking to The New York Times it just felt like home immediately. My advice would be that you'll know when it's right. Just go for it!
Shop Stine's Looks
Outfit #2: Blue trench coat - Muji (similar), Printed sweater - & Other Stories, High-waisted blue denim - Everlane, Ankle boots - & Other Stories, Glasses - Barton Perreira, Crossbody backpack - & Other Stories (similar)