Chris Bell: New York City

Security Check:
This week our passenger is Chris Bell, a Londoner in New York. He’s a full-stack developer and works at Made by Many, a product innovation studio that helps companies build new products and take them to the market. He setup and ran the Front-end London at Made by Many, which has gone on to become a highly successful meet-up for developers in London. Chris has also found the time to run a men’s sock company: Form & Thread.

What’s your historical London and New York connection?
I grew up in Essex and lived in London for 4 years. I first came to New York in 2009 with friends and had this idea that I’d live here at some point; it seemed like a lot of fun. When the chance came up at Made by Many, I jumped at it.

Describe your experience in New York as a Londoner.
The thing that surprised me most about moving here was the variety in the amount of places to go-out. I’m pretty sure every London-er says this, but I went from cooking quite a bit at home to always eating out; the options are endless.

How can New York and London better engage with each other?
Working in a distributed team means I think about this problem a fair amount. We’re incredibly fond of Hangouts as much as possible – nothing beats a face-to-face meeting. We’re also huge fans of Slack, where we’ve created something akin to Reddit for our office. We have rooms for everything, including one devoted to Serial theories. It’s a great way to stay connected with the London team.

Favorite NYC secret spot:
Bobwhite Counter – I’m absolutely obsessed with this Southern food spot in my neighborhood. My food heaven is a fried catfish sandwich, macaroni and cheese and a Shiner Bock to wash it all down. You can always get a seat, even on a Saturday night which is a novel thing in the East Village.

Favourite London secret spot:
69 Colebrook Row – I seem to find myself here a lot, usually with some of the Made by Many London team with me. it’s a tiny bar with not many seats but has a great speakeasy-esque vibe including waiters in white jackets. Oh and they make a mean boulevardier.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? 

One day it’s going to be in the countryside, in a house with a huge garage for many classic cars. Where? I’m not sure. Right now, I’m absolutely enamoured with New York.

In flight entertainment: 

  • What’s playing in your headphones right now? Ducktails – The Flower Lane.
  • And what are you currently reading? Isaac Asimov – The Gods Themselves.

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