New York City Getty Images News/Spencer Platt
By Stef Skinner


“It couldn’t have happened anywhere but in little old New York.” — O. Henry


Recently, I passed my nine-year anniversary in the City. I couldn’t believe it had been that long, and thought, “Holy shit, next year will be 10 years.” I sat and reminisced on my time here — the good and bad, the happy and sad — and though so much has happened over these years, I put together a list of my top nine moments:


1. April 21, 2007:

I landed in New York with two suitcases and the opportunity to chase my dreams. I didn’t know anyone, and though the island felt so big, I knew I was not alone.

2. My first job in advertising had its perks…

…but the best of them was making my first friend, Farrah. In a sense, she “showed me the ropes” — not just of the office, but of navigating the City. Farrah took me in, and even though we’ve lost touch, I couldn’t have made it through the first year without her.

3. When I started interning in the fashion industry

My first “job” at a New York Fashion Week event was to be the seat holder for Kanye West and his then fiancé for the Jeremy Scott show.

4. My family and I never go more than three months without seeing one another

Whether I go back to Chicago or they come to the City — it’s a rule. A few highlights from family visits include:

An elderly person puking on my mom’s foot in Chinatown.
A woman pulling down her pants and peeing on the train, and then acting as if nothing happened.
Getting kicked out of a cab on a summer day for asking to turn on the A/C.
The rats actually making my mom cry — “Why do you want to live here? Why?”

5. I moved apartments three times in less than a year

I can never listen to the song “You’ve Had a Bad Day” the same — it was the ring tone for my broker and he always seemed to call with bad news.

6. I once was riding in an elevator…

…and when the doors opened, Anna Wintour was waiting to get on.

7. At my 28th birthday party my friend had her purse stolen

That was bad enough, but her car keys were also in the bag. After many unsuccessful calls to AAA, I gave her money for a cab home. The next morning, someone returned her bag to a nearby precinct and all of her things were still inside.

8. A man on the street once asked me if I was married

I said, “No.” He told me if I smiled, “maybe I would have a chance at finding someone.” This might have been karma for the time I had a “humanitarian moment” and offered money to a man on the street…who turned out not to be homeless.

9. Being in the right place at the right time while attending the Global Citizens Festival

If you know me, then you know my love of Jay Z. Long story short, I ended up in the wings of the stage during his performance. I saw Beyoncé waiting to go on and almost died — I still watch the videos in awe.


For the next year, I plan on living the way I did when I first moved here — looking around in awe of everything, complaining less, living more, and stepping outside of my comfort zone. It’s been a journey, and I wouldn’t change anything that’s happened along the way…well, maybe a few things, but I’ll take those lessons with me into my next 10 years.