E. NINA ROTHE
I was born in Florence, Italy where I also spent my early childhood. At age 11 I moved with my parents to Los Angeles. When they decided to separate a year later – and not a moment too soon in my opinion! – I followed my mom and came to NYC. I always explored living elsewhere – six months working in Florence, then three months in Jamaica, six months in London, right after 9/11 and recently two more years in L.A.- but New York seemed to lure me back. With all its grunge and noise, the city has endless possibilities around every corner. Until I spent a couple of weeks in Rome…
Upon my return from London, I met a man on the NYC subway. I believed him to be my prince charming, my “knight in shining armor”. I would have followed him to the ends of the earth (ended up following him to Los Angeles instead!) because of the way I felt around him. When I later discovered that the bright light I was seeing in his eyes was my own image reflected back at me, I had to end the relationship. On a sad September day, I kicked him out of the apartment we shared in South Hollywood. But on that same day, the journey to right here, right now, began.
Cocktail parties introductions are always very complicated for me. I love to socialize, don’t get me wrong, but explaining what I do for a living is a long and arduous task. Let me see… I manage rental real estate which is also my source of income. I was a shoe model with Nine West for 15 years, since summers in high school. “Shoe model” you ask? It is the enviable job of trying on hundreds of fabulous shoes for long periods of time and getting paid while doing that. And then, I write. I write, because I cannot imagine NOT writing. It is in my blood – my grandfather Hans was a famous writer and translated Shakespeare into German, before he was chased out of Germany by Hitler and his goons. My grandfather never taught me the language of the country that betrayed him but he did teach me the only sentence he knew one day I would need “Ich Bin eine Schrifstellerin” – I AM A WRITER. I write, because it is what I love to do every morning when I email all my friends and receive their thoughts of the day. And I write, because when something falls apart in my life it is the only way to chase away the blues. My first professional writing assignment was a piece on Chic Today about being single and happy on Valentine’s Day. Talk about coming around full circle!
My writing has been featured in a variety of publications like Bespoke International, the AVS TV blog, elan the Magazine, EGO, Chic Today, Tehelka, the Arabian Gazette, The Arab Review and Tatler Homes Singapore. I’ve also produced and introduced TV interviews for AVS TV from the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, I-View in NYC and TIFF. I now blog regularly for the Huffington Post, both in English and in Italian for L’Huffington Post Italia.
I am often asked why the name The Ajnabee? Well, because to quote The Kinks we all are “Strangers on this road we are on, We are not two we are one…” and anyway, there is no more beautiful word to describe a stranger than in Urdu — ‘Ajnabee’. There is a mystical quality to it which is simply inexplicable. So, join me on this journey and discover all there to life through the eyes of a stranger, one who manages to view those seldom seen places and become part of those coveted inner circles but never forgets just how to explain it all to other outsiders…