a love letter to nyc.

This weekend, I played host to my sister Katie and her best friend, who were visiting Brooklyn for the day to celebrate Katie’s 18th (WHAT! when did that happen?) birthday. My family hasn’t had a chance to explore my neighborhood very much yet, so I love any opportunity I get to show them some of my favorite places. Matt and I took the girls to check out the amazing views at Brooklyn Bridge Park (plus Jane’s Carousel), we had (a very un-memorable) lunch (sorry, Katie) near the water, and then we hopped over to check out the indoor Brooklyn Flea Market, which is currently set-up in a super cool old building with a ceiling so beautiful that I couldn’t stop staring. We finished up the day with (in my opinion, anyway) the most delicious hot chocolate EVER from One Girl Cookies and a few hours of holiday-themed cooking shows in our apartment.

I had such a fun day with these two amazing girls, who are both in the middle of all of the senior-year-of-high-school craziness that is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. Experiencing Brooklyn with them reminded me of all of my own visits to New York City when I was a teenager, and the way I was so dead-set on building a life here for myself one day. Sometimes, it’s still hard for me to believe that it actually happened. In other ways, my life is entirely different than what I expected, but I did manage to get (and stay) here, and that feels like a big accomplishment.

New York City gets a bad rap, and believe me — I get it. Most people who are visiting this town only get as far as Times Square and the theater district, and I have pretty negative feelings toward those areas myself. Add that to the widespread stereotype that New Yorkers are nasty (i.e. the woman who kicked me out of Panera a few months ago), and I don’t really blame other people for steering clear. What you learn when you live here yourself, though, is that everyone ends up with their own version of New York apart from the crowds and tourist attractions — and I have to say, I think my version is pretty great.

New York City — You’re not always easy to love, but maybe that’s what makes me love you a little harder. This is the only place where I know a life that’s all my own, and that life is one filled with incredible people, constant learning experiences, and delicious food. I’ve fallen in love so many times here — not just with Matt, but with the friends I’ve met who continue to make this place so special. I don’t know how long I’ll be a New Yorker — there are days when I wish I could just get out, and other days when I can’t imagine living anywhere else — but I promise to stop saying mean things about you. You’re pretty amazing. — AHK

With the end of the year coming, I’m obviously feeling a little extra reflective : ) So, to cap off my little tribute to NYC, scroll down for a few of my favorite pictures from my New York experience these past four-plus years. I had so much fun looking through old photos to pick these out, so thanks for bearing with me!

first-christmas

My first holiday season after moving to the city. Matt would take the bus in from PA to visit me.

roommates

I lived about as far east as you can get on this island (and about as far away from anything convenient) with these two.

maddie

Thank goodness for NYC for reuniting me with my journalism camp bestie. Seriously — thank goodness.

katie-and-matt

Nights were (and still are) the most fun with my two middle school loves.

first-brooklyn-half

Getting ready to run my first Brooklyn Half Marathon!

mom

I have so many amazing memories of exploring this city with my mom. Here we are with my favorite cupcakes at Molly’s in the West Village.

cat-neighbor

At my old apartment, we had a cat neighbor who would sit in the space between the wall and the open door and watch us come in and out. I thought it was the cutest thing ever.

fake-housewives

Sometimes, my fellow suburban transplant and I like to pretend we are housewives shopping for home goods back in PA.

engagement-night

The night we got engaged, right here in Brooklyn!

apartment

The night we signed the lease to our new apartment.

first-night-in-the-apartment

Our first night in Brooklyn! What you see on the counter is pretty much everything we had ready to move in at this point.

etv-fam

Hosting my precious high school family for boozy brunch. Who says you can’t fit lots of people in a tiny NYC apartment?

wedding-dress

Trying on my wedding dress for the first time! Even as a little girl, I always imagined I’d buy my dress in New York.

me-and-mads

Another holiday season with one of my oldest and most special friends.

natural-habitat

At home, in my element.

brooklyn-half

The first (and possibly last) time I successfully convinced Matt to run the Brooklyn Half with me.

me-and-katie-wedding

This is NOT a cute photo of me, but my bestie was such a beautiful bride, and here we are together on her wedding day, in this weird little place we both call home. (Photo credit: Lauren Gibson Photography)

View More: http://bricibene.pass.us/kosik

A few of my beloved NYC girls squeezed into one photo. Always grateful to this city for my friendships, most of all. (Photo credit: Bri Cibene Photography)

 

 

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