What’s your historical London and New York connection?
I grew up just outside of London in Hertfordshire, but I went into the city every chance I got. Whilst my friends went off to University to places dotted all around the country, I was set on living in London. I finally moved there for University to study at Goldsmiths (University of London) in New Cross, South East London.
London Bridge then became the centre of my life for a long time – it was where I would meet people to walk along Southbank, the connection point between home in Hertfordshire and SE London and it was where I hopped onto the Northern line to go out in Central London.
I then moved across the pond to NYC, and I’ve been living in this wonderful city for just over a year now.
Describe your experience in New York as a Londoner.
Living in New York, I’ve noticed that New York is a busier, but a surprisingly slower place than London. Londoners walk a lot faster in their morning commutes than New Yorkers and always seem to be going somewhere.
Londoner’s seem to settle into New York quite comfortably. I think this is because the city itself is very similar to London in terms of its nightlife, culture and international population. Despite a Londoner’s ability to naturally blend into New York, British people tend to stick together here (in my experience). In fact, my main friendship group is made up of a bunch of British people. We have, somehow, flocked together and now we’re just surrounded by other English accents.
My American friends here never get old of mocking my accent (especially the word “Banana” and the phase “I can’t be arsed” for some strange reason.)
How can NYC and London best engage with each other?
It would be great if there was some way of magically combining the EST + GMT time zones. But in all seriousness, it drives me mental when I wake up and my Email and Twitter/Facebook feed has already been filled with the news of the (UK) day, and I have to then catch up with what’s happening over there while starting my day here in NYC. I think the only way to better the engagement between NYC and London is to find ways to translate what is happening in our cities in the here and now, despite the frustrating time zone differences.
Favorite NYC secret spot: The Cloisters (pictured above) is a really lovely spot to go to in the day. My friends and I also love the bar Hotel Delmano in Williamsburg. It’s also a 2 minute stroll down to the water front, which is always a great place to go and see the city skyline at night.
Favorite London secret spot: It’s not particularly secret, but Gordon’s Wine Bar by Charing Cross is an absolute gem of a place. Greenwich was a 5 minute bus ride from where I lived in New Cross, and it is a lovely area – Greenwich Park is beautiful in the summer.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? There are a lot of places I would love to live worldwide, but if I had to choose somewhere closer to where I am now, I’d have to go with New Orleans. I was just there for a second time a few weeks ago for Jazz Fest and I have never been anywhere like it – it’s such a warm, lively, friendly place with the most amazing music and food.
In flight entertainment
What’s playing in your headphones right now? Jessie Ware’s ‘Devotion’ album is on heavy repeat.
What are you currently reading? This book is actually very suited to 3460 Miles – it’s a book called ‘Be Awesome: Modern Life for Modern Ladies‘ by the American journalist Hadley Freeman who lives in England and writes for the Guardian – she regularly “translates” Americanisms to English people and she’s a hilarious journalist who I’m totally obsessed with, in a non-weird-stalker way.
From the 3460 Miles newsletter: connecting NEW YORK CITY + LONDON