I’ve said before that I probably won’t be in New York forever. I love, love, love this city but it’s not where I see myself running my business or raising a family in the long term. In the time that I’ve been writing Design Darling, I’ve lived in rural Pennsylvania, central France, San Francisco, suburban Connecticut, and now New York. Crazy, right?! And I’ve definitely liked and disliked different things about each place. While it’s fun to daydream about where I might end up next, I’m determined to make the most of every single moment I have in this incredible city (having a 101 in 1001 list helps a lot!). Here are a few of my favorite things about New York…

statue of liberty


The hustle and bustle. The friends I’ve made. My favorite restaurants. Having my family only an hour away. The dog park in Madison Square Park. The city skyline and sunsets over the Hudson River. How tough people are, because New York practically demands it. All the different neighborhoods. How late everything is open. The first weeks of spring and the two months leading up to Christmas. The feeling that I’ll never, ever run out of new experiences to have here.

Tell me: what do you love most about where you live? The coffee shop where the barista knows your name? Having your own backyard? A fun music scene? Team spirit for your favorite sports? Let’s hear it!!!

P.S. My advice for moving to New York.


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  1. Wow, you’ve been all over! I just finished school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, so I’ll start there. My favorite thing was always seeing a familiar face, even though there were 40,000 other students on campus. Yes, 40K. I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit (Bloomfield Hills), and I think my favorite aspect there would be that there are adorable towns nearby (such as Birmingham).

    I know you get tons of emails and 101 in 1001 lists, but I sent you one last summer while interning in Tours and you responded that you studied abroad there! Best thing about Tours, in my opinion, was La Souris Gourmande, aka the best restaurant ever on Rue Colbert. Or Place Plum’…very hard to decide! And, lucky me, I’m moving to Châteauroux in less than four weeks, so I’ll be back in the central-France scene!

    Chloe | Wanderlust in the Midwest

  2. I am currently in Blacksburg Va, which I love because it is such a cute college town and has amazing outdoor activities like tubing and hiking. I am from a town outside Philly originally which I love because it’s just a great location because it’s half way between NYC and DC and so close to Philly, but I’m also close to farms and amish land. And I also live in Albany NY 4 months out of the year which I like because its close to Saratoga which has great shopping and the race track. None of these places really feel like my home though, I’m a ig city person so I’d love to be in NYC.


  3. I absolutely adore living in Stockholm, Sweden. Moving here from the US was the best decision of my life. This city is just perfect for me and I can absolutely see myself living here for the rest of my days. I love that Stockholm isn’t too big or too small, it’s very stylish, art and design is very important, plus it’s gorgeous! Come for a visit Mackenzie xo Kristina

  4. I’m not planning on staying in the city I’m in beyond the end of the year – it was a temporary move to finish law school. I plan on moving back to Sydney next year so I’d rather talk about it! I love that place with all my heart. The beaches (Bondi Beach, anyone?) the natural beauty of the harbour and the coastline juxtaposed with the truly metropolitan city. The melting pot of cultures, the amazing food and coffee. The shopping. Sydney has great shopping, especially in the suburbs along the harbour and the eastern beaches. The relaxed and healthy lifestyle – Sydneysiders do casual like no where else – beachy, tan, a healthy glow. Everyone seems to be out and about on the weekend, running, walking, yoga on the beach. I always feel my best when I’m in Sydney! The style! I love the way Sydneysiders dress – denim cutoffs with heels, wedges and summer dresses, lace, blue and white stripes – everything is relaxed and slouchy. The nightlife – Sydney has a great array of small bars and hidden gems. I’ll stop waxing lyrically now.

    Amy x
    Girl for Granted

  5. I’m technically from central Illinois, but currently I’m going to college in Chicago, and I can’t imagine life anywhere else (but maybe NYC). Chicago has such a culture around it; from the food (hotdogs, pizza, etc.), the sports (go hawks!), and the atmosphere, it’s magical. My three favorite things are:
    1. the transportation. I don’t know why I love public transportation so much, probably because you never know what will happen, and to me it’s calming.
    2. the food. I mean can you get better than deep dish pizza? And there are SO many options, I’m always finding great new places.
    3. the neighborhoods. I haven’t even come close to seeing each definitive section of Chicago, but I love exploring the new places and seeing how each neighborhood is unique.

  6. I love Chicago sports! They are always so much fun and everyone always gets so involved and celebrating. I also love the food! And the beach in the summertime is one of my favorite places to be,

  7. I’m from Lancaster, which is about two hours from Bucknell. I love always coming home, and i never appreciated it until I went to school. Lancaster city is so charming and cute, with lots of great restaurants and bars. But I also love going to school in Pittsburgh. It’s an amazing city too.

    Ellen \ A Pop of Pink

  8. I have been living in Boston for the past 2 years, and I have come to love it so much more than I ever expected! (I went to college in Austin, TX and studied abroad in Sicily). It is definitely hard being so far from family, not to mention the cost of living is pretty rough in the northeast. But there are many things I love about Boston:
    -How truly walkable it is (I walk to work, to the grocery, really everywhere!)
    -The 4 seasons
    – The farmers market just a few blocks past my office
    -How so many cool cities (Newport, Portland, Burlington, NYC) are within a drivable distance- SO many daytrip possibilities
    -All the amenities of a big city, with the quaintness and neighborhood vibe of a small town

  9. I’ve fallen head over heels for Madison, Wisconsin! (Never thought I’d say that) I’ve heard it compared to Austin (it’s home to UW)..

    Top 3 reasons:
    1. The Lakes – beautiful! We’re the only city on an isthmus – and it’s a lovely backdrop to life. boating, swimming, kayaking, or looking at!
    2. Everyone’s active – biking is awesome in this city – paths are everywhere. I can bike 14 miles to work without even getting on any type of major road!
    3. FOOD – farm to table is taken very seriously here. So is brunch. Also – cheese and beer are staples. If you’ve never had cheese curds, you’re not doing it right 🙂

    I highly recommend visiting – just not in the dead of winter!

  10. LOVE-LOVE-LOVE where I live Fort Lauderdale, FL The sun is always shining and there is so much energy all over. I’m a beach girl so for me this works. Boating, paddleboarding, parties on the beach. I raised both my kids here and it’s very kid friendly. It’s a great place to settle down. So close to so much–easy for a quick weekend cruise, a night in Miami, the west coast and Orlando for a day trip.

  11. I love this post!
    I live in Birmingham, AL for about two weeks now. Though I just moved here I have been to Birmingham plenty of times living only a hour away in high school and then going to the University of Alabama which is only 45 minutes away.
    I love the downtown areas, they have so much character and all the local and home grown shops and restaurants are just perfect. I also believe Birmingham is one of the prettiest places in the state mainly because it is built around the mountains and has old homes and buildings. I love being able to walk around my neighborhood, say high to everyone passing, and seeing all the different houses. I never thought I would end up in Birmingham, I always dreamed of New York but I am really enjoying it here.


  12. What a great question! There are so many things that I love about Toronto! I love the delicious cheap food hat you can find all over the city, and the variety of healthy and tasty food that you can get. I love all of the different neighbourhoods, how they all have a distinct look and feel. I love the arts scene, being close to Lake Ontario, and all of the incredible effort that my fellow Torontonians put into making it such a fun place to live 🙂

  13. I agree, so much to love about New York! The fall and the months leading up to the holidays really are such a spectacular time here. The restaurants, bakeries and bookshops definitely top my list. I love that depending on what neighborhood you’re in, the vibe is totally different, and I love that you can discover new little nooks and crannies every time you go out exploring.

  14. My favorite things about my city of Baltimore is that we don’t take ourselves seriously. We love our weekends, good food, brunches by the water, our sports teams (Os & Ravens!), and we have serious local pride for anything Baltimore hon (Bohs, Berger Cookies, Blue Crabs). Though there is a love hate relationship with the nickname ‘Smalltimore’ it really is a place where everyone knows everyone and by the end of the night you may have made a few new friends. x

  15. I’ve lived in New York my whole life, minus 4 years of college in Virginia, but I knew I needed to come home for these reasons:
    The people, because we’re pretty badass. Unique restaurants that serve bottomless brunches. The bagels, because they seem to instantly cure any hangover. The opportunities, can’t find these anywhere but New York. And I 100% agree with loving how late everything stays open!

    Pink Champagne Problems

  16. I live in Washington state, across the Puget Sound from Seattle. I can see the two mountain ranges from my house. I love walking the dog, seeing the first snowfalls on the mountain and the sun setting in the evening. Also, taking the ferry into the city is breathtaking (I take the same one they show on Grey’s Anatomy!)

  17. I am moving out of the city I grew up in right now. It’s definitely exciting as I am going to be in one of my favorite cities in the world, Hamburg (Germany). I can’t wait to live there and find great new spots. I am certain that I will miss all the space my parent’s house has compared to my new apartment. 🙂 Hamburg is very nautical, which is one of the reason I fell in love with the city many years ago.

  18. After I graduated college in 2013 I ended up accepting a job right in Newport, RI – meaning I was living at home. Since my main plan throughout college was to go into publishing, I had thought NYC was my inevitable destination – thus it was rather strange to be back at home for a year after spending four in Boston for college! Things I most loved about where I lived for the last year: quality time with family and family friends, homecooked meals, being able to see the ocean every day both on my drive and in the office, living 3 minutes from my favorite yoga studio, not having to move anything at the end of the summer, saving tons of money by not paying rent!

    This past month, I officially moved in to my first apartment in Boston. Though I’ll be returning back to RI every couple of weeks to work out of our Newport office, it’s nice to feel like I’ve taken the leap! As I mentioned, I went to college up here, so I already have a few established loves – #1 is that living here means I once again live in the same city as my boyfriend! 🙂 That being said, I’m excited to discover new Boston=based loves now that I’ve moved farther in and am not longer a student! Great post topic, loved taking the time to reflect on this. 🙂

  19. Living in Washington, DC is the best! It’s an international city with a small-town feel – it’s strange how often you run into friends on the street! I’ve seen the city change for the better in the past 5 years — more restaurants/bars, coffee shops, local businesses, and a great art scene. I particularly like that there are no skyscrapers and plenty of grassy areas – it makes DC more approachable and less intimidating.

  20. I just moved to DC a little less than 2 months ago and I already love it! I’ve always wanted to be in a city, but New York felt too overwhelming and just not for me. DC though is a more manageable size with still feeling like there are endless things to do. I love being able to hop on the metro and visit new places and see friends so easily.

    – Kelsey

  21. I’ve lived in Boston for 7 years now (4 years of college and ever since) and I love so much about it:
    -All my favorite restaurants
    -I totally agree about the first weeks of spring and also the first weeks of fall.
    -Being so close to the water
    -I love that it’s an international city, but also is a manageable size
    -it’s so nice to be so close to friends

  22. I am in love with my city. Omaha, Nebraska may not seem like much, but in my opinion, it is the perfect location. It’s easy to get around, there is never any traffic, but we still have all of the wonderful things a big city has. My list of delicious restaurants to try is constantly growing faster than I can keep up with, the cost of living is so low, and there is always a play, art exhibit, poetry slam, or event to find on a Friday night. I love this post! I think it’s so important to take a moment each day and appreciate where you are in life 🙂

    The What’s In Between

  23. i love that every day in NYC can bring something new – whether its a new restaurant, a new museum i haven’t tried (there are many…), new people, a new borough to explore…its hard to ever be a master at nyc and try everything. i love that my family is close and my cousins live here, i love the fall, i love football season, i love everything about december (even the cold!). i love when the cold weather finally leaves us and everyone suddenly is outside. i love the way new york can chew you up and spit you out and then the next day you can be reminded in any way – whether its the beauty or the livelihood or anything! – why we do it. who knows if i will be here forever but definitely love it for now!!

  24. I live in the Philadelphia area, and I love the amount of history that’s around here. This is truly the birthplace of our nation and it’s so cool to be able to walk by where the Declaration of Independence was signed every day. The countryside here is also absolutely gorgeous- you can go from a huge city to a beautiful give square mile park in half an hour!


  25. I think my favorite thing about living in Charleston is how beautiful it is – everywhere you turn. Living by the water isn’t bad either 🙂 OH and the food. The restaurants here are insane!