About Us

We love where we live, and we want you to love where you live too. That’s why we created the MyNewPlace Blog.


Smart living solutions, decorating, entertaining company, these are just a few of the many topics we care about and it is our hope that the articles we post will help you enjoy the full potential of your apartment home.  Without exception, we are here to help make your apartment search easier and your life in that apartment better – if you want to learn more about us, reach out on twitter @mynewplace, or by email at localtalk@mynewplace.com.

The Team

Alicia Zirjacks

About Alicia

Alicia is a criminal justice major, a mother, a gardener, and a writer. With great attention to detail, she brings a touch of uniqueness and spark to the pieces that she writes. With a passion for research, Alicia loves learning new things and sharing that knowledge with others. Her goal is to provide fresh pieces and relevant content so that others can benefit from her writing.

About her neighborhood:

I live in Polk County, Missouri, also known as the middle of nowhere. My house is situated almost exactly between two small towns. Neighbors are scarce and passersby always wave like they have known you for years. Lighting bugs are my streetlights and crickets are my noisy neighbors. Deer are my most frequent visitors as they roam through the yard looking for a bite to eat. The town closest to me is tiny with a population under 500. Everyone knows everyone and the biggest event that takes place is the weekly high school basketball game. The most popular place in town is the local gas station, though I suspect a majority of its visitors are merely people traveling through. Living the country life may sound lonely, but there is never a shortage of things to do. The garden always needs tended to and there is always yard work to be done.
Bridget Hanely

About Bridget

A keen researcher with an appreciation for everyday life’s tiny wonders and for the larger-than-life and truly extraordinary, Bridget brings her talents to MyNewPlace, creating descriptive snapshots of communities. Writing is a profession but also a decades-old passion, and when not researching and wordsmithing, Bridget’s other creative outlets and passions take center stage: gardening, animal welfare, and environmental stewardship. Her goal is to share what matters most, insights on affordable, ethical, smart, and compassionate living.

About her neighborhood:

Fountaintown has no fountain and isn’t a town. It’s a few miles of houses and farms on county roads and a little blink-and-you’ll-miss-it stretch on a highway, with a low speed limit that irritates commuters. All you have to do is look around though to know this was once a village. Remnants remain: the old diner, grocery, high school, but that community is long gone. The nearest stores, restaurants, theaters, all six miles or more away. So why live in such a defunct place? I’m a nature-lovin’, hippy chic at heart, and there are plenty of trees to hug here. I dig what the city offers, but I love rural Indiana: corn and soybean fields, the sometimes deafening sounds of cicadas and katydids, the sweet smell of corn on the breeze, and dark and natural nights, with stars that aren’t blocked out by urban glare. This is home.
Courtney Martin

About Courtney

As a freelance writer, Courtney loves not being tied down to one place. Having moved four times in the past year alone, she is a pro at packing up everything she needs in one 50 pound suitcase with just a moment’s notice. While this may seem extreme for some, she loves sharing her experiences to help others realize that moving to a new city shouldn’t be seen as an impossible task, but rather an exciting beginning to the next chapter in your life.

About her neighborhood:

Although I have never been one to stay in the same place for too long, there is one place that I just keep coming back to. The City of Big Shoulders. Chi-Town. The Windy City. Chicago. Whatever you like to call it, it is the city that I will always call home. When most people think of Chicago, they imagine the skyscrapers downtown, the rumble of the L, and the sun reflecting off of the Bean. What many may not realize is that you just have to travel a few miles north to find quiet tree-lined streets that are just steps from the shores of Lake Michigan. I got my start in the neighborhood of Edgewater. A small yet dynamic neighborhood, Edgewater has so much to offer, from afternoon picnics on the rocky shores of Lake Michigan to dining in some of the city’s best cafes.
Dylan Madenski

About Dylan

Dylan is new to MyNewPlace, wet behind the ears but also stoked.  A jack of all trades sort of guy, he has traveled through China and Taiwan, narrowly escaped getting run over by a Chinese train, taught English to Taiwanese kindergarteners, driven an ambulance, and he can cook a mean omelette.  His wildly varied experiences living around the world lend his writing a unique voice and his perspective on living spaces a fresh angle.

About Emily

Emily lives in Central Pennsylvania where she works for the Village of Pineford Rental Community. In addition to populating her small apartment with pallet décor, she enjoys cycling, running, camping, and playing the keytar. Yep, the keytar. You can connect with Emily via Google+.
Hannah Riley

About Hannah

Hannah is new to MyNewPlace. By day, she’s a copywriter and editor. By night, she’s still a copywriter and editor because when it comes to word wizardry, no piece is ever truly finished. When not hooked up to an IV drip of coffee in front of her computer, she can be found researching creative ways to organize and redecorate her house and keep her wirehaired dachshunds and husband entertained in the wilderness of the large island they call home.

About her neighborhood:

I packed up my life and moved to Freeland after visiting once for several hours on a sunny day. A drive through the sprawling town and a pit stop at the local beach were all it took for me to decide that this was the place I would finally settle. Nestled in the lower hook of Whidbey Island, Freeland’s name couldn’t be more appropriate. It was originally founded as a socialist commune with free land for everyone to enjoy, and the sense of freedom that you gain from living here is infinitely liberating. My husband says that, growing up, he thought this was a place where crazy people came to colonize the woods. Insanity aside, this is a place where you can spread out and enjoy the autonomy of the wilderness. If you want to make local friends, you’re absolutely welcome, but if your dream is to run wild through the forest, there’s no better place to do it.
Hope Campbell

About Hope

As a big city girl, suburban living has certainly grown on me over the last decade. I hail from The Big Apple, but now make my life in quiet Plum, PA. While the urban steel city of Pittsburgh is just a short drive away, home is a cul-de-sac street with farms a few roads over and Burger King, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s lining the main road just a short drive from my house.

About her neighborhood:

Also on that road is my neighborhood hangout—the good ol’ YMCA. You know that place where everybody knows you name? Well, in Plum, that is the Y. I may have a pool in the large backyard I only dreamed of back in the community driveways of Brooklyn, but still visit the Y pool often during the summer months to see familiar faces and splash the day away. Most mornings I make it my business to get in a workout here, but sometimes I just stop by to sit and say hi to friends because there is no better place in Plum to just that.
Jennifer Delfino

About Jennifer

Jennifer is in her first year with MyNewPlace.  She is excited to be a writer for the company while she finishes her Ph.D. in Anthropology, which she expects to receive from American University this May. Despite her hectic writing schedule, she is an avid distance runner, logging 50-60 miles per week. She also loves soccer-her favorite team? The Portland Timbers, whom she cheers on from her current location in Brooklyn, New York.

About her neighborhood:

I moved to Crown Heights, Brooklyn two months ago at the drop of a hat—and at a very affordable sublet contract. “New York, at this price? Done!” I thought to myself, even though my heart was pounding at the thought of moving to a neighborhood I barely knew, in a city where you are told you have to be tough to get by. I discovered right away that Crown Heights is perfect. I’m close to the things I love—books, at the Brooklyn Public Library, as well as Prospect Park, where I run the inner and outer loops almost every day. And most importantly, Crown Heights has retained a community feel even though it’s “in New York City”—I go to the bodega to buy things and often stay for several minutes chatting with neighbors and local business owners, many of whom have come from other places themselves.
Mark Baker

About Mark

Mark is a 30-year veteran of the fourth estate, beginning his professional career while still a freshman in college. His career has included stints working as both an editor and writer at a number of different newspapers, magazines, and online publications and websites. In addition, mark has a culinary arts degree, occasionally operates his own catering company, and is a card-carrying member of Mensa. He and his longtime companion of 20 years, Laura, are avowed cat lovers.

About his neighborhood:

I live in a planned community called Ridgely Manor, which is in the Bayside section of Virginia Beach. As with much of the city, the big draw here is the ocean: Sandy beaches, salty ocean breezes, and the tall hotels and condominiums that line the coast. The Ridgely Manor section is a relatively new area, located on the shores of Lake Smith, which is just a stone’s throw from the Chesapeake Bay. The community has been in existence for about eight years and features single-family house and condos. We are in a quiet part of town, situated on what was farmland as recently as 25 years ago. We have good schools here, such as Bayside High School and Virginia Wesleyan University, and easy access to many amenities. For example, there are three supermarkets and numerous restaurants minutes away down Wesleyan Drive. All of this makes Ridgely Manor ideally situated in “The Neptune City.”
Rebecca Curran

About Rebecca

Becky is in her first year with MyNewPlace and as the project manager for content development, she keeps the everything running and oils the machine as needed. With her experience in project management and editing, Becky has an eye for talent that enables her to assemble teams that get the job done professionally and help to support the entire operation. Her main focus is to produce quality information that rises above the norm and truly provides value to the readership.

About her neighborhood:

My neighborhood is a cross between Leave it to Beaver and Peyton Place...nearly perfect in every way, with just enough drama to keep it interesting--you know what I mean? Mt. Lebanon is a tree-lined suburban oasis, with all the traditional fixings, and the quintessential everyone-knows-your-name kind of place. Meeting up at high school football games, school carnivals, and town parades really happens here. With that comes the ups and downs that you find in any small town. I am a transplant here in what we call the "Bubble", but the neighborhood is full of those whose families have been here for generations. I am the exception to that general rule, but this town has quickly become home for me and my family. I always thought growing up I wanted big city life, but this little place just outside the city has all I need. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Sarah Wright

About Sarah

This is Sarah’s 1st year writing for MyNewPlace, and she is excited to use her writing skills to help others. By day, Sarah is a writer and editor, but when work is done, she is a Renaissance woman who enjoys hiking, reading, listening to her record collection, and taking care of her aquariums and plants. Sarah likes to watch and think about people and culture, and she brings this observant quality to every piece she writes.

About her neighborhood:

My neighborhood makes every day of my life better, whether it’s because I get to laugh at cute weirdos on the street (like the guy who rides a unicycle past my building while playing the bagpipes) or just because I never have to go far to get what I want. I live in the Belmont/Hawthorne area of Southeast Portland, and I love it because there is so much to do and see here. There’s really never a dull moment, with plenty of local personalities to lend a distinctly quirky and oh-so-Portland atmosphere to the area. To me, the best thing about living here is that I can leave my car at home and walk just a few minutes away from my place in order to do everything from relaxing by a lake to having one of the best vegan sandwiches in the city along with a pint of craft beer.
Sheldon Reid

About Sheldon

Shel is a professional wordsmith and video editor. He’s currently taking on the role of content editor with MyNewPlace. With a bit of rewriting and coaching, he aims to help our writers keep readers both informed and interested. When he's not in front of the computer, Shel spends his days hiking through the woods, enjoying shenanigans on the beach, and uncovering hidden gems in the form of local diners.

About his neighborhood:

I live in one of America’s snowiest cities, Erie, Pennsylvania. More specifically, I live on Peach Street, one of Erie’s major thoroughfares. The southern end of Peach Street is the place for fans of major retail stores and chain restaurants – Wal-Mart, Applebee’s, etc. Personally, I like to explore the northern end, which is home to downtown and, if you go far enough, Lake Erie itself. Even when the snow is falling, the downtown bars and clubs are lively and warm pit stops. When I’m willing to brave the chilly lake breezes – or when summer weather makes it hot enough for the breezes to serve as brief, pleasant escapes from the heat – I’ll visit the docks on the very edge of the city. From there, I catch a good view of Presque Isle State Park, where summer beach-goers and winter ice fishermen take advantage of the lake’s peninsula.

About David

About Jennifer


About You!

You are a self-starter who can produce well-written and engaging Blog Posts. You're handy with a camera and have a passion for DIY. And you're employed by MyNewPlace! You love your flexible schedule and workload because it makes it easy to make some cash while going to school.   If you're our next star writer email John at LocalTalk@MyNewPlace.com with your resume and examples of your work. Talk to you soon!

About Steven


This is the "wpengine" admin user that our staff uses to gain access to your admin area to provide support and troubleshooting. It can only be accessed by a button in our secure log that auto generates a password and dumps that password after the staff member has logged in. We have taken extreme measures to ensure that our own user is not going to be misused to harm any of our clients sites.