Elizabeth Paton: New York City

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Our Londoner in New York, Elizabeth Paton is a Fashion and Luxury correspondent for the Financial Times.

What’s your historical London and New York connection?
I was raised in London and settled back there straight after university. But after a year I began feeling restless: I realised I didn’t want to be born, bred and then die in the same place. So when the FT came knocking with a dream job in 2011 and I learnt it was in NYC – I jumped on that plane and have been here ever since!

Describe your experience in New York as a Londoner.
As a Londoner, the wonder – and convenience – of living in a truly 24 hour city like New York has yet to wear off, even after 3 years. I love the relentless energy here, feel less geographically silo’ed than I do in London and love being an ex-pat for the steady stream of fresh and interesting faces I encounter. It feels so much easier to meet new people. But every time I go back to London, it reinforces that there is no place like home. I miss the pub. My very best friends. Wry British humour. I definitely plan on returning at some stage.

How can New York and London better engage with each other?
I feel like engagement levels are at an all-time high. my life is impressively intertwined – certainly digitally – with all my London friends and colleagues. But keeping up to date with news from transatlantic communities like 3460 Miles is certainly a good place to start!

Favorite NYC secret spot:

Grand Banks – It won’t be a secret for much longer and will be considerably less fun when the weather turns – but Grand Banks is an incredible place for sun-downers or an oyster platter. It’s an old restored wooden sailing boat, moored on Pier 25, with superb views out over the Hudson River.

Favourite London secret spot:
Holly Bush Pub – I love going back to London and spending long and cozy winter afternoons at the Holly Bush pub, nestled down a back lane in Hampstead. It’s an ancient old inn, with lots of little nooks and crannies and cracking food too. It’s been a beloved haunt of mine since I was a teenager.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? 
At the moment I’m a little torn between my two dream cities: my head is committed to New York but ultimately my heart belongs to London. At some stage down the line I’d love to do a foreign posting somewhere totally new for me – Mumbai or Tokyo are high up on the list.

In flight entertainment: 

  • What’s playing in your headphones right now? I listen to a lot of remixes on Hype Machine. I often find the productions teams doing the music for fashion weeks do too- amazing how much catwalk music is always from its ‘Most Popular This Week’ list!
  • And what are you currently reading? My summer beach read was ‘The Circle‘ by Dave Eggers. It was quite laboured in parts, but overall a compelling, deeply uncomfortable – and important – novel. It’s fiction but perhaps on the brink of becoming reality. Could definitely be finished in a single LDN <—> NYC plane ride.

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