Empire State of Mind

Helllllo my internet friends! I hope you didn’t think that I fell off the face of the earth, or that I’d forgotten about you. I merely took some time off from blogging to completely enjoy being at home in the interim between graduating from UNC (Go Heels!) and moving to NYC to begin work with NBCUniversal. Now bear with me, as this is an aggressively long post.

My, oh my, how busy I have been! I spent May and June trying to get myself organized to make the big move from my hometown of Charlotte, NC (born and raised, baby!) to the Big Apple. Basically that consisted of me stressing about all the things I had to do, but waiting until the very last minute to do all of them. Typical. So, I passed time lounging by the pool, reading Gone Girl and hanging with my friends and family. ‘Twas lovely, truly.

The ending to this book had me feelin’ all kinds of crazy.


Ah, the Queen City in all her glory.


A Charlotte sunset.


Home sweet home.

On Thursday, July 3rd, I flew from CLT to LGA with a heavy heart. Yes, of course I am thrilled about this new adventure – I am in the capital of the world with a big girl job right out of college – but nonetheless, it is hard to say goodbye to those you love. With tears in my eyes, I hugged my parents and boarded my flight. And, honestly, there were more tears in the cab to my apartment. Like my beloved Mimi, I am just not one for goodbyes. I am sad to leave the South, where my parents, sisters and closest friends live, but I am looking forward to the fun to be had in the Big Apple!

You’d think that once I arrived at my apartment that I’d unpack, but alas, my “stuff” (AKA bed, dresser, hangers, EVERYTHING I OWN) doesn’t arrive until July 14th. Sigh. So, for now I am living out of two suitcases and sleeping on an air mattress. Could be worse – at least I’m not homeless!

The very first night I got to the City, I met up with my best friend from UNC, Tara, who is a native of New York. She had invited me to go on a river cruise around the City with her and her friends from home. Knowing I would have nothing to unpack, I attended and had a blast. Also on the cruise was our friend Emma who also went to UNC – bringin’ the South up North.

Me, Tara and Emma
What a view!

This July 4th was not quite the Independence Day I am used to. My roommate, Kelley, and I spent the day tackling a rather long t0-do list trying to get some items together for our apartment. We visited Kmart and Bed, Bath & Beyond, which are conveniently located near our apartment. We got everything from a kitchen trash can to a window AC unit for our main living area. We walked blocks and blocks and were utterly exhausted, but managed to shower and head down to the Manhattan Bridge to watch a spectacular fireworks display. Then we crashed.

The following day, I went on an excursion to Queens to purchase a love seat. After having THE WORST shopping experience with Ashley Furniture Home Store in Charlotte, I had to start from scratch in finding living room furniture. Ugh. So, I decided I’d make the subway trek to the Macy’s Furniture Showroom out in Queens. After having a bit of trouble finding the right subway entrance (and getting laughed at by a subway worker) I finally found the correct “R” train headed to Queens. I hopped off the train and found that the Macy’s Furniture Showroom was in the same complex as a Target #blessed. I found a darling love seat that is set to arrive soon and spent some more dollars in “The Red Mecca” (which by the way has an escalator just for shopping carts – lolz!).

Again, I was dead after that excursion, so I came home, had some dinner and watched Netflix on my little air mattress. I promise I’m not really this lame (well, maybe I am?).

Today (July 6th), I woke up early and went to church at 9 a.m. Conveniently, there is a Catholic Church right around the corner from me. However, it is a Polish Church that only offers two masses per week in English. I checked it out, and while it is a beautiful sanctuary, I had such difficulty understanding the priest that I may have to continue “church shopping.” Still, though, it is nice to know that there is a church very close should I ever want to pop in for some quiet prayer time.

After church, I unfortunately had to haul myself to the Walgreen’s Health Clinic. Like a five-year-old, I woke up with an outrageous ear ache, and sure enough, I have an ear infection. I thought people were immune to those after, like, age 10? I’ve officially been proved wrong and now have some antibiotics in my arsenal.

Post doctor’s visit, I had some lunch and tooled around my neighborhood aimlessly. It was so lovely to just be able to stop and look around, without any true place to be. The highlight of my day was visiting Washington Square Park, which is about a 15 minute walk from my apartment. It is quite the destination for people watching, and it is truly a beautiful park. I really do love that, despite being such a “concrete jungle,” New York does have some stellar community parks.

Washington Square Park – a must see in NYC!


That’s me creating “bubble art” in the park!


Pollination and what not.

Tomorrow I’m off to Philadelphia for the week for training for work! The real world is officially knocking at my door – I can’t believe it!

Be sure to follow my adventures on Instagram – my username is @tarheelinthecity and I’ll be hashtagging with #tarheelinthecity as well.

Is Instagram Killing Photography?

Instagram is far and away my favorite social media site. I browse it constantly, never wanting to miss a single photo that gets uploaded, always trying to see what is going on in the world around me.

I love that with the addition of a simple filter, Instagram gives anyone the ability to turn an ordinary photo into something extraordinary. But by giving everyone the ability to put up professional quality photos, is Instagram killing the art of professional photography?


Some, like Kate Bevan of The Guardian, argue that Instagram is doing nothing more than spoiling natural photography through its overused filters that make all photos look the same. She thinks that Instagram requires no talent, meaning the art of being a true photographer is being devalued.

I, for one, disagree.

Instagram is a social medium that, yes, allows anyone to be a “professional” photographer, but I argue that it also gives a great deal of exposure to true professional photographers. How often do you see a photo in a newspaper or magazine with minuscule text citing the photo’s source? Always. But, from there, how often do you look online to find more photographs by this photographer? For me, the answer is never.

That’s where Instagram comes in. When news sources or television networks post photos, they note who took these photos by linking the photographer’s Instagram page to the picture’s caption. From there, Instagram users can follow the photographer’s profile to view more works done by the photographer, and to continuously see the photographer’s photos in his or her feed.

Let’s look closer at National Geographic’s Instagram feed (@natgeo), as an example. National Geographic constantly posts photos of exotic animals and picturesque landscapes from a variety of its photographers. Here’s an amazing shot of a Cape Fur Seal from Thomas Peschak (@thomaspeschak) while he was on assignment in South Africa.


The photo posted by @natgeo is linked to Thomas Peschak’s account, and immediately this photographer gains a great deal of exposure from National Geographic’s nearly 4 million Instagram followers. Thomas Peschak himself has nearly 30,000 followers.

So while some say Instagram is killing the art of photography, I say that it is doing quite the opposite. I think the app is making people more aware of the beauty in the world around them and putting them more in tune with their own photography skills. Not only is it turning each of its users into a photographer, it is connecting these amateur photographers to professionals, on a more personal level. 

Instagram is not killing photography, oh no, it is reviving it and making photography a hobby, a passion, for its over 150 million users. Photography is not dead, it is merely evolving and becoming more accessible to the masses.

Looking to follow some photographers on Instagram? Check out Paste Magazine‘s list of 30 Instagram Photographers to Follow Now.