Zosia Swid: London

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Our Londoner in New York is Zosia Swid. Zosia used to work as a copywriter for Moleskin in Italy but needed a bigger challenge and New York fit that bill. Last year, she moved to the Big Apple. But she’s never in town for too long, as her love for travel writing keeps her on the go. One week in Portugal, another in London, the next in Paris and then back to New York. And repeat.

What’s your historical London and New York connection?
Even though I’ll always be a Londoner, I love exploring the world and so I moved to Italy for a job. After a couple of years I wanted another challenge – I thought I might as well aim for the top so I headed for New York.

Describe your experience in New York as a Londoner.
The first time I came back to London after some time in New York I couldn’t believe how tiny everything was. Tower Bridge looked ridiculous having cycled across Williamsburg Bridge every day for months.

In some ways it’s easier to meet people because New Yorkers tend to be more open and willing to share than Londoners, but forming lasting friendships seems harder. There’s no denying the positive energy in the air though.

I guess I was surprised – and pleased – to discover that the two cities were actually more different then I expected.

How can New York and London better engage with each other?
Building a transatlantic cycle superhighway connecting the two cities would be the first step. Failing that, a more open agreement between the US and UK with regards to work permits would help startups grow and boost cross-city innovation.

Favorite NYC secret spot:
Syncstudio – Off Bedford Av.  New York has the best boutique fitness studios and this one does yoga and spinning under one roof.

Favourite London secret spot:

Richmond Park – A vast, sprawling and gloriously wild green area in the centre of London where you can cycle past deer and go for a walk around King Henry VIII’s old hunting grounds. As a city girl it’s a rare treat for me not to see a building for miles.

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

I’m head over heels with Marseille. I love its grit, the beauty in its decay, and its surrounding coastal scenery. It’s a city of juxtapositions unlike anywhere else in the world. I’d take a cosy little apartment at the top of a rickety old building with a view of the port, do some old-fashioned flaneurie in the afternoons and eat bouillabaisse every day.

In flight entertainment: 

  • What’s playing in your headphones right now? Currently indulging in old French crooners like Yves Montand. Camp enough to make you forget that cramp in your leg on a long-haul flights.
  • And what are you currently reading? Kafka’s Amerika – My friend thought it would make an opportune leaving gift, though my experiences have been starkly different to that of the novel’s protagonist, so far.

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