Jay Alson: London

Security Check: Jay Alson is Head of Partnerships at an e-commerce company. He’s a social person but was nervous about moving across the Atlantic only knowing a few people. It took a few months to make good friends in London but now that he’s made them, he can’t imagine life without them!

What’s your historical London and New York connection?
I was born and raised in NYC and Westchester and in late 2012, work asked me to move to London to manage a team and grow the business internationally. For a lot of reasons, it felt like the right move and I didn’t want to turn it down. Looking back, it has been a great experience.

Describe your experience in London as a New Yorker.
I would describe myself as an assimilated New Yorker living in London. Over the past 15 months, I’ve met over 100 people all through friends, and some of those I’ve become extremely close with. I’ve seen 10+ new countries and 25+ new cities. I’m living in no regret mode while I’m here in London and I love it.

How can New York and London better engage with each other?
Moving to London, or anywhere really, is so much easier now than it was 30 years ago. iMessage, Instagram, and Facebook make it so easy to stay in touch with friends and family from all over the world. That said, London and New York still maintain their unique identities. Things like 3460 Miles, business opportunities and shareable traditions can all help NY and London engage one another more. After getting to know these two cities, I’ve found them to be very similar, much more so than I originally thought.

Favorite NYC secret spot: La Esquina – best place in NYC. It’s a secret Mexican street stand with a cool, cavernous lair downstairs that you get to by walking through the kitchen. Highly recommended.

Favorite London secret spot: Denis Severs House – live re-enactment of a house from the 1700s where the people “living” in the house are always a room ahead of you. Incredible way to see old school London.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? New York City with travel to London, Los Angeles and Tokyo. Biggest, best cities in the world with incredible people and culture.

In flight entertainment:

  • What’s playing in your headphones right now? Flights from NYC to London: Evening flight, one 1.5 hour movie during the meal then sleep. Flights from London to NYC: 2 movies, small nap, then reading and the David Guetta soundtrack for the remainder.
  • And what are you currently reading? George Orwell’s Animal Farm. He lived on my street in London.

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