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A Southern girl in the Big Apple

Within 10 years, Jane Borden went from being a nice Southern debutante to the type of person who might find herself watching the occasional man wrestle in a dominatrix’s apartment under the Williamsburg Bridge.

Within 10 years, Jane Borden went from being a nice Southern debutante to the type of person who might find herself watching the occasional man wrestle in a dominatrix’s apartment under the Williamsburg Bridge. It’s a delicious dance between two vastly different cultures she hilariously chronicles in her new memoir, “I Totally Meant to Do That.”

In her home state of North Carolina, she says, “you know everyone and everyone knows you and that’s great.”

“There’s something beautiful about that,” she says. “But at the same time, it made me crave anonymity.”

The ability to traverse the streets without bumping into anyone who might gossip to her mother that she was wearing dirty blue jeans while being able to work on her dream of becoming a writer is why she decided to escape to New York. But New York can be a frustrating place. And after a while, Borden found she achieved the goal of disappearing a little too well.

“The great thing about New York is that no one cares about you,” she says “But then, you can also read that sentence as a scary thing.”

And as any steel magnolia knows, roots can’t be ripped out of the ground that easily. And sometimes they’re made out of elastic.

“It felt like a bungee chord: I flew away from home so far and fast that the pull I eventually felt back toward it was just as strong.”

Author’s advice

What every Southern gal should have in the city, according to Borden:

1 A fake silver dish because your mom won’t let any of the real silver travel to the North.

2 A family heirloom, preferably a stone that had been buried in the ground for 21 years because your grandmother thought it was cursed.

3 A cookbook. Because the only barbecue, grits or pimento cheese you’ll find in NYC will be some fancy-pants b.s. that costs $33 a plate.

4 A monogrammed throw pillow. Because you’ll need something to cover those wine stains on the couch.

5 An extra cabinet for storing all of your wine because ... I don’t have to explain myself.


 
 
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