What’s your historical London and New York connection?
I was born in the north of England and grew up in Spain before going back to the UK for university. Growing up in Spain, London and New York were the two cities I most wanted to live in some day, and I feel very fortunate to have done so. I’ve spent the majority of my working life in London and absolutely love everything about it, as does my Australian wife, Susan, whom I met there. NYC is now home for me for the second time: I lived here ten years ago while working for Barclays and I now get to represent my country for four years in this electric city. Susan and I married in NYC last year and our first child will be born here in a few weeks time, so it will remain a very special place for us all of our lives.
Describe your experience in New York as a Londoner.
I am very privileged to represent London and the UK every day in New York. My work revolves around promoting British companies in the New York area, convincing companies here to go to London, engaging with local politicians and influencers and showcasing everything that is GREAT about BRITAIN. I am doubly lucky to do so in NYC, as there is a natural affinity between both cities and both countries. People here respect the UK and want to do business with us. They like us, and the feeling is mutual!
I spend a lot of time with start-ups and tech companies that thrive in both the NYC and London ecosystems – each a natural extension of the other. I feel at home here. The energy and positivity of this city is contagious, and makes us Brits feel incredibly welcome.
How can NYC and London best engage with each other?
One of the things that makes the two so similar is that they’re both epicentres of finance, media and fashion. In recent years digital media and mobile technology have been disrupting these industries at a dramatic pace – in a very good way! Outstanding creativity is behind all of this, which of course is down to bright, sparky people being able to move in circles that foster that creativity. Both London and New York, in different ways, excel at doing this, and every day I hear about new forums, webinars and conferences that look to promote collaboration between them.
Judith Clegg wrote about this on one of 3460 Miles’ previous flights and I couldn’t agree more. These two great cities shouldn’t see each other as competitors and shouldn’t fight for a number-one spot in any rankings; they should see each other as the key to being even better.
Favorite NYC secret spot: Now that spring has finally sprung I thoroughly recommend the Boat Basin Cafe, at West 79th & Riverside Park. Spectacular views across the Hudson, great people-watching and good food make this a really nice spot for brunch.
Favorite London secret spot: In London we live in Greenwich, a Royal Borough since last year! It might not be secret but a Saturday-morning walk in Greenwich Park is pretty special. The park was the venue for the equestrian events during last summer’s Olympics, is part of the Greenwich World Heritage Site and offers some of the best views of London and the Thames. That should leave you hungry enough to visit Greenwich Market and get a bite to eat. A simple morning but pretty unbeatable in my book!
From the 3460 Miles newsletter: connecting NEW YORK CITY + LONDON