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The Personal History Initiative aims to tell New Yorkers’ stories. What challenges do you face? What obstacles have you overcome? How do current events factor into your everyday life?

Submitted by NYSL Staff on 2023-01-23

Do you have a treasured object in your life? A family heirloom, keepsake, or special token that brings you joy? No matter how big or small, share your special object with us and tell us why it is important to you!

Share your story!

Submitted by NYSL Staff on 2022-12-21

There’s nothing better than New York style pizza, but not all pizzas in New York can be the best. Do you like it floppy or crispy, cheesy or saucy? Does the best pizza have a cornucopia of toppings or is simplicity king? Are pizza shops the best way to eat it, or do you prefer to make your own at home? Tell us all about New York’s most iconic dish and where you think the best slice can be found!

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Submitted by NYSL Staff on 2022-11-23

New York is no stranger to snow; this year alone Western New York has seen six feet of powder before winter has officially begun! How do you make the most of the longer nights and snow covered ground? Do you stay cozy indoors or embrace winter by sledding, skating, and skiing? Share with us what winter in New York means for you.

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Submitted by NYSL Staff on 2022-10-24

As the weather in New York gets bitter, we gravitate toward foods that chase the chill from our bones like hot cups of coffee, hearty soups, and mom’s homemade stuffing. Do you have a favorite dish that has been passed down the generations, or a local specialty that makes you feel at home? Share your food stories and experiences that warm your heart.

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Submitted by NYSL Staff on 2022-09-20

New York is known for its towering skyscrapers, but it is also home to one of the largest publicly protected wilderness areas in the United States. City dwellers can’t help but flock north to get a breath of the Adirondacks' fresh mountain air and gaze upon the dappled colors of its undulating landscape in autumn . What’s your favorite thing to do or place to go to get away from it all?

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Submitted by NYSL Staff on 2022-08-22

There’s nothing better than New York in the fall: corn mazes, pumpkin spice, and of course New York apples! Do you have a favorite pumpkin or apple recipe for this time of year, or a favorite memory of harvest season? Whether making a trip to pick from your favorite orchard or enjoying cider with apple cider donuts, fall is beautiful and full of tasty treats! What does fall mean to New Yorkers?

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Submitted by NYSL Staff on 2022-07-28

New York and much of the country have been facing record breaking heat this summer. NYC experienced a long 90-degree streak while parts of upstate New York either saw record-breaking temperatures or it was just plain hot. With this extreme heat, New Yorkers might cool off by taking a swim in a local pool or lake. What's your favorite body of water? Take a pic at your favorite lake, river, or pond!

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Submitted by NYSL Staff on 2022-07-06

Throughout the summer months, fireworks may be used to mark significant events. It’s a way for community to come together as they celebrate and watch fantastic displays. Where do you go to watch fireworks? Do you have an annual tradition with family or friends? Do you prefer to find a quiet place away from the noise? We’d love to hear from you!

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Submitted by NYSL Staff on 2022-05-20

This is our first official challenge of the NYS Personal History Initiative. We're kicking it off with Signs of Summer! What makes you excited about summer? What are you looking forward to? Do you do anything special for the Summer months? Keep cool with some ice cream? Look for fun air-conditioned activities? Or maybe you love the heat and sit out by the community pool? We'd love to hear from you and learn what Summer means to New Yorkers! 

Share your story!

Submitted by NYSL Staff on 2020-07-31

After the start of NY Pause, when we all realized that our immediate futures included a lot of time at home, a lot of us began to search for ways to keep ourselves busy and pass the time. Some of us started to bake and share our triumphs (and failures) on social media. Some of us tried our hands at a new craft like knitting or embroidery. Some may have even used the time spent home to finally get to those home improvement projects we may have let slide.

If you learned a new hobby or tried your hand at a new activity during NY Pause, you can detail your experiences in your journal. Consider the following when writing:

  • What new hobbies have you discovered?
  • What new activities have you tried?
  • Why did you choose that hobby or activity?
  • Did you have more time to devote to a hobby or activity you already enjoyed?