New York city is a mystery to many, an artistic haven for some, and a fascination for all. Creative professionals Tiffany and Amber Davis give us a glimpse of modern life in the Big Apple.
TD: I’m a former lifestyle editor and trend scout turned content director and creative strategist. Basically, I’m a creative hyphenate with a huge passion for connecting ideas and building brands.
AD: I've worked in the small business and startup space from day one. I love discovering new brands, and getting the (local) goods on and off the clock. Professionally, this has taken me through every channel of marketing, from event planning to digital strategy, with a personal bonus of daily discovery.
What brought you to New York? How would you say the expectation of the city reconciled with its reality?
TD: There are two answers to this question: The short answer is my very real high school obsession with Sex & The City. The long answer is that, at the time I entered the job market, there were about five lifestyle editorial jobs in Atlanta (where we’re from). I’d assisted, interned for, and had informational interviews with just about every style and lifestyle editor in town. I’d sniffed around — and I know for a fact that nobody was leaving their gig anytime soon, haha.
AD: I interned at Vogue during my undergrad career, and set my sights on moving back one day. Aside from knowing that my journalism background would be right at home in NYC, I was also totally sold on the constant stream of culture and inspiration that is synonymous with the city.
Where do you go to enjoy the city and escape tourists?
TD: I love the idea of a “third space” — one that’s as comfortable as a living room, but useful for meetings, grabbing a bite, or just soaking in some inspiration. Yesterday, Amber and I stumbled across A/D/O — a Greenpoint art space, coffee shop, and super nice restaurant up front with creative work spaces in back. Bergn is just as delicious as Chelsea Market’s food hall, but with actual locals hanging there. SkyTing yoga studios (one in Chinatown, another in Tribeca) are like stepping off the crazy streets and into a Zen cloud...where you can charge your phone and linger after class. Oh! Great Jones Spa’s day passes (and robes, plunging pools, and magazines) rival any getaway.
What advice would you give for those who are interested in moving to or visiting New York? There’s an unwritten rule in New York that requires everyone to walk fast - or get out of the way. What other and unwritten rules can you share?
TD: Visiting? If you’re serious about sample sale-ing and shopping hidden gems (with a little NYC history and great food along the way) book a Shop With Rox tour. Kamau Ware’s Black Gotham Experience tours will show you lower Manhattan through new eyes (with a likely round of oysters and whiskey at the end). And, definitely bookmark Fathom when you’re travelling anywhere. The two friends of mine who started it constantly find ways to re-discover and uncover the city with such insight, style, and charm.
Making the big NYC move? I tell anyone moving to NYC to sign up for The Listings Project. It’s a list of apartments, sublets, and studio work spaces started by a former art world manager who kept having friends in need of gallery and living spaces. Looking to network with kind, kick-ass women? Join The Lady Project and Six Degrees Society, stat. Design-o-philes (like me) should also keep tabs on Ladies, Wine, and Design nights. So good.
What would you say has been the most challenging about moving and starting a business in the City? The most gratifying?
AD: NYC’s challenge is part of the appeal! I came without anything lined up, but there's such a draw to dive into the unknown alongside everyone else who ends up here. You have to step outside of your comfort zone every single day, but that's part of the reward. Pushing yourself to find your passions, and growing from it, makes the hard days feel oh so worth it. Oh, and learning the subway!
Best activities to do and places to see the best views of the skyline (TD)
Grand Banks - A drop dead gorgeous, refurbished barge packed with oysters, rosé, and Hudson River views.
The Whitney Museum - The top floors have outdoor spaces that are perfect for taking in the city skyline.
Neighborhoods, galleries, and museums to explore (AD)
BK all day! I love living in Bedstuy, and quickly learned about Bushwick’s incredible creative scene through hosting an event there. When I'm in the city, I like to keep things downtown, and have completely fallen in love with SoHo and Chinatown.
For day parties and nightlife options: Nowadays - Beloved DJ duo Mr. Sunday make good on the too-common “come one, come all” tagline. Everyone has fun there. Babies and dogs, couples that wanna play and then have tacos, and maybe catch a reading or learning salon or two happening weeknights there, too.
Best shopping neighborhoods: SoHo and LES for the recognizable spots and noteworthy newbies: Away, Glossier, And Other Stories, Coming Soon and Canal Street Market . I love a dose of experience along with shopping, so merchandising and the bonus of a rotating calendar of collabs always win me over.
What is your favorite/funniest memory since moving to New York? Is there a particular travel moment you would relive given the opportunity?
AD: One of my first interviews was with a beauty startup, and I was feeling particularly confident about my get-up and what I was bringing to the table. Also, so I thought, their office was only a short ride from my sublet! Only problem — there’s a major difference between the avenue I was staying on, and the street where their office is! Franklin is a common name — should have learned from the Atlanta Peachtree epidemic.
What’s next for you both? Do you have any final words of advice on how to navigate the city?
TD: Nobody should move to NYC for no reason! It’s a tough little city, and it can be tough on you. Everyone here tends to be driven, motivated, and “doing something.” Stay curious. Take pride in your work, no matter how small, tiring, or tedious it may feel in the moment. Be kind to yourself and spend as much time seeking positive people and your “tribe” as you do investing in your ambitions. It’s the only way to stay sane and happy here — and it pays off big-time.
AD: I still consider myself somewhat of a newbie, so I'm giving myself permission to step back and continue to fall in love with the city. I tend to be a little too type A to go with the flow, so I'm planning (of course) to do just that! Luckily, I find myself in a place where that kind of space to reflect and get creative are also a part of my day job. To anyone thinking of the move, I say that's a huge step in itself! Think about what you want to see in all facets of your life, and if NYC supports it, you owe it to yourself to give it a try!
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