3rd Column Lucette Voogsgeerd

3rd column: 'In a New York minute, everything can change'

My dear friend Lucette Voogsgeerd (Dutch, 1987) decided to quit her exciting job as a Senior PR manager in Amsterdam to move back to her favorite city in the world: New York. Lucette and I became very close friends after we met each other in New York in 2009. I am really glad to have her as a friend, she’s such a strong, ambitious and intelligent woman. She always goes after the things she wants in life, that inspires me a lot and hopefully you too, because she will write 3 columns for The Newton about her exciting life and adventures in the city that never sleeps.

Column No.3: ‘In a New York minute, everything can change
By Lucette Voogsgeerd / March 2016

Three months in New York have flown by. It’s like I arrived last week, when actually I am already back in my hometown Amsterdam. And I know this sounds very exaggerating after only such a short period, but I actually do feel like I’m in the middle of a big culture shock. The ambulances and firefighters in Amsterdam almost look like toys. Cars will actually move on the side of the road when they hear the sirens. In New York nobody cares and I’m still surprised to see yellow cabs trying to be faster than a fire truck. I also can’t get very impressed about Amsterdam’s new hotspot with views over the city. I’m definitely spoiled after having the best views in the world for three months.

‘I fall in love just a little bit, every day with someone new’. A sentence from a song that I interpreted in such a different way while living in New York. I heard it while walking back from NYU after class… It didn’t mean my boyfriend had to start getting anxious and it also didn’t mean I actually fell in love with a person every single day. I realised how beautiful it is to notice a person in a different way and appreciate what a single person can mean to your day. Sometimes it was the super happy guy at the deli where I went in the morning for my bagel with lox or the waiter at Buvette to tell me his favourite places to go. One of my favourites was the amazing jazz singer Chris Norton at the Soho Grand Hotel on Wednesdays who made me completely fall in love with jazz forever.

It sounds as such a cliché but I did start to appreciate and experience little special moments in a day again. Working way more than 40 hours for the past 7 years has been great and brought me so many opportunities. But there really is more in life than deadlines and the next big project. Don’t get me wrong, I love to work and will definitely start again asap, but I really enjoyed giving myself permission to relax once in awhile. That used to be difficult for me, even when I would be on holiday for two weeks, because there still was so much on my mind. You can always think of reasons not to do it, but I think taking a break and develop yourself in so many new ways is always a good idea. I can recommend it!

Before I left I kind of expected (or hoped) I would find all the answers of life’s most important questions. Kind of naive, I know… but a girl can dream. I can tell you, that doesn’t happen.At least in my case it didn’t. In the beginning I was so focussed on what’s next, that it was doing the opposite and made me pretty frustrated sometimes. The trick is to let go of all these questions and start enjoying everyday life. Only then your mind gets clear and the way for creativity and new dreams is open again. And if you’re wondering what my new dreams are? Well, I’ll tell you in a while when it’s set in stone ;-).

So, coming back to the title of my third and last column; in a New York minute, everything can change. So true! Anyone who has ever visited this city will understand what I’m talking about. It’s not only about the constant energy and positive vibes.. It’s also about the person who comes up to you in the subway to have a talk, the unexpected cocktail party that you get invited to on a Tuesday night or the amazing international network you can build in a short period of time.

After only a few days in New York I walked back home from a rooftop-BBQ with friends in Meatpacking District. I saw a couple of girls in their early twenties with glitter dresses on and almost unable to walk anymore due to too many vodka-cranberry’s. I already realised in that moment that the upcoming NYC experience would be so different. I got older! It was like I looked at myself years ago. I tried to get the girls safe into a cab to get home, although the only thing they wanted was more vodka and crazy clubbing. Did I get boring? No, I just prefer to enjoy a great dinner and go for a cocktail in a new spot, perhaps still wearing a glitter dress. New York hangovers are the worst, because you seriously feel like you’re missing out on so many things while laying on the couch. I did that too many times and really know better by now, or at least I try.

It’s also fun to see how a person can experience a city in a very different way, only because you’re in a different stage of your life. For years my main goal was to get back to NYC at some point; and I made it happen. After this experience, I am still so much in love with the city, but I am able to look further. There are so many other amazing places in the world that I can’t wait to discover. It’s hard to explain but it gave me piece of mind which feels like a very good thing.

In my case, quitting my job and leaving for New York has been a decision I am very happy and thankful for. I have learned a lot on topics that interest me which will be useful to me now and in the future. I really enjoyed going back to school again for a while, although three months of homework has been long enough ;-).

This adventure has been an important decision on a personal level as well. I realised more and more this could really be the last time I would be living all alone, having an experience like this all by myself. And although that might sound a bit sad in a way, I am looking forward even more to explore the rest of the adventures together with the person I love. It felt like the end of an era, and I have to say I found a great way of closing that chapter. That my feeling was right showed immediately when I got back in Amsterdam when the love of my life proposed; we’re engaged!!! So I guess I’ll be doing a lot of wedding planning this year and to be honest: nothing makes me more happy!

So far my last column for The Newton. I hope I was able to share with you some of the amazing moments I’ve enjoyed in New York. To everyone who has the idea of doing something similar; go for it! The moment will never be absolutely perfect. But it’s better to regret something you did, than something you didn’t do. And trust me, you won’t regret it.

With love,


Lucette is Wearing:

Skirt: Zara
Top: Club Monaco
Jacket: The Kooples
Shoes: Daniele Dentici
Nail polish: OPI Lincoln Park After Dark

This post is checked & updated : 2016
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