Word on the Street: Southern Perceptions


Recently I sat down with some of my Columbia classmates to discuss their perceptions and experiences with the south. We kept it light, but boy was it fun to hear what they had to say on the subject! Check out some of my favorite quotes from our conversation below.

On Food

The food… fried chicken is good everywhere! That something I miss. And Waffle House. Waffle House is the greatest.

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Top 5 Lessons I’ve Learned in NYC


If you know me or have been following my NYC journey on social media, then you probably know I moved from North Carolina to New York a little under a year ago. With my first year of graduate school at Columbia coming to a close, I thought this would be a great time to reflect upon all of the lessons learned during my first year in the city. Read more

Southern Slang And Other Misleading Pleasantries

Buzzfeed published a wonderful post titled “17 Phrases Only Southerners Truly Understand.” Loved it. It made me realize how often we Southerners say one thing and mean another. Watch out New York friends! 😉

In the spirit of my upcoming podcast all about Southern slang, check out some of my favorites from the Buzzfeed article below. Stay tuned for the next episode.

1. “Bless Your Heart.”

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via Buzzfeed 

2. “That’s An Interesting Point.”

via Buzzfeed
via Buzzfeed

3. “Well Isn’t That Special!”

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via Buzzfeed

Nene said it best…

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via Buzzfeed



She’s Not From Around Here

Oops! Your Southern is showing.

I recently had a job interview that began with an unlikely question – “Is that a drawl I hear?” I chuckled in response. Not because it was a funny question, but because like a child playing hide and seek I had been found. Discovered in all my Southern glory. At home in North Carolina it is rare that anyone mentions that I have an accent. – In fact, most Southerners comment upon my lack there of. I tend to over annunciate my words, preferring “ele-men-tary,” to the usual “ella-men-tree” as often said in my native region of the United States.

This encounter led me to think about all the other times since moving to the city that my Southerness has been caught showing – whether that be yelping “y’all” or donning my pearls.

I met up with a contact last week in effort to spread my social roots through the city and was surprised how quickly my lunch acquaintance was able to read me. A fellow North Carolinian herself, she has been living in the city long enough to conceal her soft Southern interior until the most appropriate of moments.

As we sat over Sourdough bread and decorative salads I chatted anxiously about my background and arrival in New York.

“You have a certain Southern politeness,” she said. “There is a very ladylike quality about you.”

I smiled sheepishly. Oops, my Southern was showing! It is not that this was an insult or a compliment. It was merely an observation. But any Southern transplant in the city knows that Carolina graces can at times be a disadvantage in the city. The humble pleasantries can sometimes be interpreted as a reason to be ignored, walked over, or even to be passed over for a job.

In a place where people are often competitive and sing their praises at the top of their lungs, those who are meek do not get heard. I personally have been working on ways to speak up for myself while also remaining true to my learned behaviors.

This is not in the least bit my way of labeling Southern charms as bad, but rather myself noting that New York calls for a certain air of boldness in its residents. Whether that boldness be balancing on the subway without holding onto the rail or calling out your cab driver when he tries something funny with your fare, there is a daily opportunity to learn how to be a little more self-assured.

I still yell “Oh my goodness!” and use the word “lovely” in ironic situations – this is something I will never give up – but I am proud to be learning a few New York mannerisms as well.

Southern Style Takes New York

When I moved to the city I quickly learned that my Southern sense of style wouldn’t fly on New York streets. Anyone who knows me is familiar with my partiality to floral prints, vibrant colors, and patterned pants from J. Crew.

It took me approximately one day to realize that New Yorkers’ favorite colors are black, black, and any other dark hue that resembles black. This was a shock to say the least, considering the fact that my closet resembles that of someone going to daily garden parties or afternoon tea (a girl can wish, right?).

In due time, I embraced my new surroundings realizing the New Yorker’s love for black makes them look effortlessly chic. Hoping to blend in a tad bit more, while also staying true to my Southern style and graduate student budget, I took a trip to Zara to vamp up my look. And guess what! I found a way to infuse florals as well.

Check out the look below and stay tuned as I continue to explore my new hybrid of style. Stay cute my dears!

Why yes, those are magnolia flowers on my dress!
Dress: Zara, Shirt: J. Crew, Shoes: Calvin Klein, Backpack: MochiThings



Why The Urban Magnolia?



/ˈərbən/ adjective

: of or relating to cities and the people who live in them. – Merriam-Webster


\mag-ˈnōl-yə\ noun
 : a floral blooming tree often found in the Southern part of the United States.

The Urban Magnolia? As a North Carolina native and New York transplant, the name just felt right. Magnolia trees are sort of a Carolina signature, thus I could think of no better representation of me.

In this day and age, there are literally thousands of blogs in the blogosphere. You must be wondering – Why the h-e-double hockey sticks does this girl want to add another to the pile? And a lifestyle blog at that! The nerve. Well, I’ll tell you:

The NYC population is growing more and more each year. According to the Huffington Post in 2013:

“The city’s population has grown by more than 161,500 people since 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated. The increase is more than the entire population of Kansas City, Kan.; Savannah, Ga., or Hartford, Conn.”

People flock to the city from all over the world, throwing themselves into the New York lifestyle – and trust me, it is a lifestyle.

While procrastinating deep in the library of Columbia University, I Googled the phrase “Southerners moving to New York,” 1,340,000 search results appeared. In my mind, this was enough to constitute the subject as a blog-worthy topic. So in the words of Jennifer Lopez in “The Wedding Planner” – “You need me!”

Just think of me as your New York City transitional life guide. And if you are thinking about moving to the city (whether that be from the South or a small town), I’m here to give you a behind the scene glimpse of everyday life. You’re welcome!

Let’s figure things out together.