Stacy Chan: London

Security Check: After working for 10 years in investment banking, private equity and a hedge fund, Stacy Chan left the world of finance to start her own company designing luxury clutch bags, Stacy Chan Limited. When she’s not travelling to NYC, Paris and Italy for work, she loves to travel for pleasure, including everything from city breaks around Europe to trekking in the Himalayas.

What’s your historical London and New York connection?
I am originally from New York and lived/worked in NYC as an investment banker for a few years. I worked hard and played harder in the city that never sleeps before deciding on a new adventure in London. After several more years in finance (and a brief stint living in Geneva), I decided to pursue a career in the London fashion scene.

Describe your experience in London as a New Yorker.
I still have friends and family in NYC so I get back several times a year where I get to see the ever-changing city. With some friends, we always return to our old haunts for brunch, but usually the foodie in me can’t resist heading to a new restaurant for dinner.

As a New Yorker in London, I am lucky to have friends from many different countries and backgrounds. Many are from my past life in finance, but I am developing a network of more creative, entrepreneurial people as well. I spend most of my time in Mayfair or Soho trying to keep up with the restaurant and bar scene, which has been upping the ante the past few years. London is definitely giving New York a run for its money!

How can New York and London better engage with each other?

It’s hard to keep up with all the great restaurants and bars in both cities. I think a shared community for those of us who travel back and forth regularly would be really useful to get the best tips. [Have you seen our Foursquare lists for New York and London?]

Favorite NYC secret spot: Maybe it’s not a secret given the signed celeb photos on the wall, but for the perfect, quick, cheap mani/pedi, go to Bloomie Nails on 55th between 5th & 6th Aves. I used to go every week when I worked in NYC and it’s always my first stop when I get to town. Every time I go, the manicurists wonder why I don’t come by as often and never seem to remember that I live in another country!

Favorite London secret spot: What’s better than delicious, creative cocktails? Delicious, creative cocktails and live jazz. Nightjar is a great place for imaginative drinks and also great music in Shoreditch near the Old Street tube. Make sure to book a table at least a week in advance since there is no standing room and the “Music Bookings” are very popular. Request a table with a view of small the stage.

For something more spontaneous and central, head to the famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho for the Late Late Show. The main acts are always very good, but talking is frowned upon as everyone is listening to the music, while the Late Late Show is much more casual – great music and great conversation. You’re welcome. 🙂

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? I used to say, New York City is the best city in the world, but you need the energy to enjoy it! After having lived in London for 7 years, it’s become a toss up. There’s a great mix of international people, food and culture. Not to mention all the green space for my energetic labrador!

In flight entertainment:

What’s playing in your headphones right now? Can’t get Happy by Pharrell Williams out of my head. I dare you to listen to the song and not have a little spring in your step.

And what are you currently reading? Just finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and looking forward to seeing the movie later this year.

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