Southern In The City

Feb 5 2014

by Whitney Long

I recently spoke with charming North Carolina native Frances Bailey and would love for you to meet her, too! Our Southern gone Yankee friend is now living in her adopted home of New York City and is the creator of Décor Field Guild: NYC. After talking, I knew she would be a perfect fit for our Southern in the City series. She was kind enough to tell a little about herself and share some great finds and favorites tips for a trip to one of the world’s greatest cities.

Why the move to NYC and how long have you been here?

Having been born and raised in Raleigh, NC, I found my way to UGA (Go Dawgs!) for college, then ended up in NYC after a few pit stops. My first NYC job was working at O, The Oprah Magazine managing “Oprah’s Favorite Things” and wow, was it fun!

Eventually, I spread my wings and worked at other magazines like InStyle, Country Living and most recently, launching HGTV Magazine. Now I wear a few hats- freelance stylist, editor, creative consultant for national magazines and brands like One King’s Lane and Southern Living. I also just launched an app to help people find the very best home shopping in NYC which is called Décor Field Guide and can be purchased at or

What do you miss most about living in the South?

Easy-backyards and front porches!

The only place better than NYC is: Well, I lived in Miami for grad school and loved the easy life once you escaped Collins Avenue. This past summer I went to Big Sur and found myself looking at real estate ads but it’s Marrakesh that I dream about the most. When I turned 35, I visited and fell in love. Filled with exotic design and really kind, generous people, it’s an endless source of inspiration for me.

24 Hours In the City – Top Three Must-Do’s:

#1 A killer meal (and that doesn’t mean expensive).

#2 A show where it’s a musical, theater, comedy, jazz, dance, cabaret but see something! There is world-class talent here that you can check out for a song.

#3 42nd Street. You don’t need to stay long but that place is like NYC in a block. Sit down on the steps and take it all in.

Secret Only a Local Knows:

Bergdorf’s 7th floor has one of the best bathrooms if you find yourself on Fifth Avenue and in need.

New York Favorites Speed-Round:

Southern Breakfast: Empire Biscuit. They only do biscuits but in endless variations.

Bar: Marie’s Crisis piano bar in the West Village is so much fun and you never know who’ll walk in. There’s no website but it’s worth seeking out.

Broadway Show: The ones that hit all the right notes for me have great set design, gorgeous music and you can join the cast on stage for a cocktail. (I am a also a huge fan of off-Broadway theater too where the crowd is smaller but the talent is just as stellar. A favorite is Manhattan Theater Club


The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the grande dame of culture here and is especially fun on Friday nights when the crowds die down and live music is played from the second floor from top musicians.

But the Frick is a small jewel that has world class shows in a former mansion that is more doable if the Met is too packed.

Clothing Store: A Southern owned store, Jeffrey New York gets my vote here. Very well edited for deep pockets with a super knowledgeable staff.

Furniture/Interiors Store: ABC Home and John Derian

Thrift Shop: Brooklyn Flea if you can get there or Vintage Thrift Shop.

Antique Store: This is so so so hard but I guess 1st Dibs at New York Design Center is hard to beat!

Whitney Long is co-founder of The Southern C and is always in a New York state of mind. In this series, she gets to live, eat and shop vicariously through her friends she has met on The Southern C – The Social Network of the South.

If you like this, also see a Q&A with Natalie Broulette.


Whitney Long View More Blog Posts from this Author

Whitney Long is co-founder of The Southern C and The Southern C Summit. Mama x 4, wife x 1. Entrepreneur, thinker, doer, writer, researcher, believer. Enjoys working alongside creative entrepreneurs to build community while supporting established and upcoming brands. Hobbies include travel, reading, bike rides and clever craft cocktails.

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2 responses on “Southern In The City

  1. marydellharrington

    Always great to learn of other transplanted southerners here in NY. Wonderful suggestions, Frances.

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