“Concrete jungle where dreams are made, oh, there's nothing you can't do, now you're in New York.” -Jay Z
ALABAMA TO NEW YORK
In 1985 I graduated from Deshler High School in Tuscumbia, Alabama, and I was their first African American homecoming queen. You would have thought I won Miss America or Miss USA (wink), because of my excitement. As my school's queen, I was invited to compete in a "homecoming queen pageant" against other homecoming queens in the South. This was my first pageant ever, and I was super excited to take home the crown! I was still on cloud 9 from being my school's first African American homecoming queen, and almost demanded a re-count when I did not even place! Not even Miss Congeniality! OK, maybe I wasn't a beauty queen, but I know dang well I was nice! I guess you can't win them all. Or can you? Turns out that one of the judges for the pageant was a model scout for Wilhelmina Models in New York City. I was the only girl that was offered a 5-year modeling contract! I didn't take home a shiny trophy that day, but I was definitely the winner!
NEW YORK STATE OF MIND
I love New York! I moved to New York from Alabama right after high school. Other than Alabama, New York is the only other place that I have ever called home. I lived there nearly all my life, until I moved to Atlanta 5 years ago. I always tell people that I was raised in Alabama, but I grew up in New York! Going from sweet "country bumpkin" to sassy "city girl" almost felt like it happened over night. I knew that New York was a fast train, and if I didn't jump on quickly, I would be left standing on the tracks. I didn't have much money but I had beauty, brains, faith, and a great attitude! I was young, positive, ambitious, and most importantly 5’10’’. Perfect model height! Failure was not an option! And the fashion gods and I were on the same page! It didn't take long for my modeling career to take off, and I have had much success working alongside some of the legendary beauties such as Beverly Johnson, Iman, Naomi Campbell, and Tyra Banks to name a few. My life in the city was incredible, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. My journey would have been completely different had I not taken that leap of faith, and caught that early morning flight to New York some 25 years ago. My life in New York shaped me into the woman I am today. I am strong, confident, and fearless! If I could make it there, I could make it anywhere! CYNTHIA AND NENE GO UNDERGROUND
My time with NeNe in New York was priceless, and not just because my girl is rich! Even though NeNe and I have been in New York many times together, this was the first time we literally took to the streets and went under them! NeNe has worked hard to be able to afford the opulence of seeing New York through a pair of Tom Ford sunglasses, but everyone owes it to themselves to see the city through the eyes of a true New Yorker at least once. Riding the subway with NeNe was a trip, and we both had a good time. Getting NeNe in the subway was no small feat, but her Louboutins fit right in. Unfortunately, I was not able to get her to eat a hotdog off the street, but I enjoyed mine enough for us both!
Tune in next week to RHOA at 9/8c on Bravo. I appreciate and love you guys!
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