They say everyone should live in New York City once. The birthplace of the most culturally important movements of our generation, the amount of creators that have walked, painted, skated, pounded and run its streets is both daunting and impressive. But the island can be a crowded lonely place. New York City is a test for most… Not easily passed. Magnetic, electric, alluring, and merciless. What was once a creative’s playground is ever-evolving and changing with the times. The OGs reminisce about the old New York. The new generation wonder what they missed. Hence the cycle that is culture and inevitably life. But nostalgia is for yesterday. The youth will always rise up and find a way to break through.
With the explosion of the digital age, the Internet and social media being the most prevalent tool in youth culture history, we took a stroll through the city streets with one of New York City’s newest personalities, Emily Oberg to get a taste of the new New York as well as sweat some style.
Emily Oberg represents the new generation of Sweat The Style girls that think and live just a little different than New York newbies of the past. More into lunar soles than stiletto heels and rising early for a sweat than chasing the night away. Getting a green juice at Summers, plant shopping at Sprout Home, and checking out some furniture at Two Jakes; the Canadian spoke with us about how she stays healthy and active in one of the busiest cities in the world. While overcoming new challenges of being new to the new New York and what it takes to shine in the brightest city in the world.
Where did you live before you moved to New York City?
Vancouver for about 2 years.
Why did you move to New York City?
I got a job offer and I always wanted to live here, so it worked out perfectly.
Once you arrived was it what you imagined it to be?
No it wasn’t, I was actually quite lonely and sad when I first got here. I guess because I had just left everything I know. New York was so unfamiliar in a lot of ways, but I had dreamt of it forever so I was also overjoyed to be here. People were not as nice as I imagined them to be, and the city was huge. It was overwhelming but I enjoyed it all and I never second guessed coming here.
Was it difficult to get acclimated?
It took me some time to find my way around, even still I get lost sometimes! New York is huge, and I’m often alone so I can’t rely on someone else to know where I’m going. People in Canada are so nice and it’s so the opposite here, which is why I’ve reinforced the idea of “Being Nice is Cool” so much. I never want to lose that niceness about myself. The lifestyle is also very different, always on the go and always something to do or be done. But I try to lay low and I enjoy staying home, I should really explore more though!
What are the differences in the mystique and the reality of living in New York City day to day?
People probably think it’s glamorous and you’re always going somewhere fancy but it’s not like that, not my life at least. It’s a lot of working and a lot of commuting. It’s also really hard to meet people, unless you can offer someone something they really don’t care to have anything to do with you.
As a young creative professional do you think being in New York City is as important as it once was now that the Internet and social media have become so dominant?
I don’t think so because it’s so easy to be connected because of technology. But, it can only go so far. There are some things you just need to be in New York for. It depends on what job you want really, everything will always be in New York and it will always be the centre of the world and the centre of fashion/music/art. There are other places to explore but you must come here at some point during your life. If you want to get into any of those worlds. Make your connections, establish yourself here, and then move on.
Do you feel a sense of support as a young creative in the New York City community?
My very close friends support me and I get a ton of support from people online who don’t even know me. But the majority of everyone else doesn’t really support each other. People are so selfish and insecure that they aren’t happy for each other’s success. They don’t understand that the world is so big there is room for everyone. Because they are so small and narrow minded, they are so self-involved and they think the world revolves around them and no one else can have a piece. Competition is healthy but we all need to support each other. It’s sad and it sucks, but people like that will only go so far. So you have to make peace with that and only deal with the people who are truly down for you.
In the past so many cultural and counter-cultural movements started or blossomed in New York City from hip-hop to street art. Do you feel that is still the case or has the Internet changed the importance of geographical location?
I feel like New York is no longer the centre for that, and that other parts of the world are becoming much more interesting. Maybe it’s because I live here… but I just think that New York has gotten so big it’s pushed all of the super talented people out and they’ve found a home somewhere else. Europe is really having a moment, so is LA. New York has become so overexposed that the real, interesting art isn’t here anymore.
Do you find it hard to maintain a healthy active lifestyle in one of the busiest cities in the world?
At first it was hard, but I’ve learned how to. Things are so convenient in New York. A healthy meal is so easy to find, and you’re constantly walking so you’re getting some form of excercise everyday. Also, there are gyms everywhere and great places to run, so living here makes it fun to be active.
Tell us about your daily regime?
I get up at about 6:45 and leave my house by 7 to make a 7:30 morning class. I take different classes to mix it up, but they all focus on cardio, strength endurance and toning. After that, I’ll go to the steam room and shower and get ready, I love getting ready at Equinox it’s so luxe haha. Then, I’ll go to our cafeteria at work and get egg whites with toast or sweet potatoes and a side of peanut butter for some protein. I’ll get to work around 9:30 and check the internet for any music or style news, I’ll see if a new album or tape dropped and then I’ll listen to that all day. I’ll write my first story and tape it, do a second and then I’ll get lunch with friends. Chopt is usually the place I go to everyday. I’ll come back and work on another story and shoot it, then I’m done with News videos. If I have time, I’ll work on other projects and then I’ll go to the gym again, I usually do a cycling class in the evening because mornings focus on muscle training. I’ll go home and make a salad and then go to bed.
What are some of your favorite spots to maintain a healthy lifestyle in New York City?
Equinox and Soul Cycle 4-5 days a week twice a day. I love Juice Generation. I also love Chopt for the salads and Sweet Green! Easy, quick and healthy meals that you never get sick of eating.
What kind of music do you sweat to?
I like rap or house music. Sometimes R&B but it has to be really up tempo.
What are your favorite places to dine when you have a bit more time?
Cafe Mogador, it’s so simple and healthy, I take everyone from out of town there. I also love Samurai Mama for udon and sushi. Mr Chow is great luxe Chinese food. And I also love Diner for their burger.
What are your favorite places to shop?
I don’t shop much. I have a few of the same pieces of things that I love and I just rotate those. But I do love Maryam Nasir Zadeh, Creatures of Comfort, Aritzia, Modells for basics, Stella Dallas for vintage Levis, and Dover Street Market of course!
How would you describe your personal style?
Sporty & Rich! A mix between athletic wear and luxury. I love minimalism, and I love solid colors. Phoebe Philo (Celine’s creative director) is my biggest style muse, she nails it every time. Lady-like with a nice pair of trousers or a dress shirt, while also keeping it young with sneakers or a high pony tail.
Has New York City affected the way you dress?
Definitely, I am much more laid back. My style has also become more athletic than it was because you need to be comfortable here or your day is just ruined. You walk around so much, the weather changes constantly, so being comfy is a must. I also work so much that I’m not able to take a lot of time to get dressed, so having a solid uniform makes getting dressed easier.
What are your favorite things to do on your days off?
I love to just stay home and stay in bed all day long. I work, but I do it leisurely and I take breaks in between. I’ll listen to music really loudly all day long, and the light is so nice in my room that I don’t even want to go outside. I start my day by going to get a juice or something healthy to eat, and then I’ll get some work done, I always have a lot of side projects going, so weekends are for that. Since it’s gotten warmer, I have been riding on my friend’s motorcycle which is one of my favorite things to do! I’ll go for dinner with friends to somewhere in my neighborhood and I’ll go home and go to bed early when everyone else goes out, I really don’t enjoy being out and I never have a fear of missing out so, I just don’t ever go!
What’s your advice for young girls moving to New York City for school or work that aspire to follow in your footsteps?
I would say just figure out what you’re good at and what you have a talent for, and go hard with that. Also, since social media is so important and a big part of how I got to where I am, try to develop a presence on it. Be selective and careful of how you choose to showcase yourself but also be expressive and show people what your aesthetic and taste is. They’ll gravitate toward you because of it.
Any tips or tricks you’ve learned to incorporate being healthy and active into your busy lifestyle?
Going to the gym early, because sometimes your days are so busy and you get exhausted or something comes up and you might not be able to go later on. So to get it over with is the best thing to do. Also, eating small meals throughout the day and snacking so you don’t over indulge when you do have time to have a meal. I would also say doing a juice cleanse every few months just to reset your system and get some vitamins into your body quickly. Plus they make your skin look amazing almost instantly. I would also say that it helps to prioritize your health before anything else. It’s hard, but it needs to come before your work and before your social life. That takes practice, but once you have it down, it just becomes habit and a part of who you are.
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