‘Have You Met…’ Is a series I started to originally interview restaurants, then I moved onto bloggers and now since moving to New York the series has turned to others who are new to the city and the USA trying to find out what they have learned and their favourite places to visit. To read my other interviews head here.
What is your name / age and where are you from?
I’m Will, 23, from a town just outside of Manchester UK.
Why did you decide to come to New York to study and work?
I stumbled upon it when I was writing an essay one day (procrastinating). I remember thinking it was probably pretty unlikely I’d do it because I was already in a steady job and was busy saving up for a house, but that it’d be worth applying anyway. I’d always wanted to live and work in America, especially New York, and when I actually managed to get offered the job I just thought I had to go for it. It was a big risk but turns out it was the best thing I’ve ever done.
Where do you work/what is your role?
I work in stakeholder communications at Addison Design on Wall Street. My role mostly involves acting as the point of contact between clients and our internal teams, and managing select on-going projects. In this position, I get to be involved in almost all aspects of my project’s development; from design, to content strategy and UX, to production.
How are you finding living in New Jersey?
I’m really enjoying it actually. The PATH train from Newport to World Trade Center takes ten minutes, so it couldn’t be more convenient for work and getting into the city early on a morning. I think we’re pretty lucky to live so close.
How are you finding having a roommate?
No problem at all. I spent a year of my life in hostels across Australia sharing a room with eight to ten people, so I guess one person is nothing (no offense Colm). I think as long as you make effort, try and keep your space tidy, and be respectful of the person you’re living with, it’s absolutely fine. There’s my boring tips.
Have you been to New York before? (If so, has your perspective changed? If not, is it what you imagined?)
I came once in 2010 and loved it, but spent my entire trip in Midtown going to all the most touristy areas and attractions. I’ve definitely seen a different side to New York since I moved here. It’s what I imagined. But busier, more hectic, more exciting. There’s something going on every minute of every day. I like that a lot.
What has been your favourite memory of your year so far?
It’d be really hard to pick because we’ve not stopped. I loved renting cars and going up to hike Bear Mountain, and then another weekend going to a Harvest Festival up in North Salem. Visiting Boston and Philadelphia was ace, too. As I sit here in the freezing December weather though, I’m looking back longingly at the days we spent down at Coney Island and Brighton Beach back in the summer. I’ve had a lot of funny times with some great people.
What is your favourite area of New York and why?
I really like it Downtown. Working down here, I might be a bit biased – but I just think it’s a much cleaner, nicer part of the city compared to Midtown. On a weekend, Greenwich Village and Chelsea are probably the best places to go though I’d say if you want a mooch and some brunch.
What is your favourite restaurant and why?
The National up on 50th Street is a beautiful restaurant that I went to when family visited me. A more realistic choice though would be Bubby’s in either the Meatpacking or by the High Line… It reminds me of a pub back home where you’d go to get a good feed on a weekend. I’ve got to go back again to be a pig and inhale one of their fruit pies.
What is your favourite bar and why?
Mr Purple on the Lower East Side is a really good rooftop bar. I’d say the Lower East Side in general is a great night out. The best music I’ve heard though was probably at The Garret in the West Village.
What is your favourite happy hour and why?
Stone Street is fun in the summer for a few drinks after work. I got taken there in my first week, and then dragged everyone else there one weekend when we were out Downtown. There’s picnic tables that line the cobbled street and you can enjoy a drink outside. It looks a little bit like Coronation Street – which I’m sure really sells it.
If someone had one day to spend in New York what should they do?
No matter what time of year it is, walking through Central Park is one of the nicest things I think you can do in the city as generic as it might sound. There’s also so many great museums and galleries too, if that’s your thing (some are boring, some are really good). I’d definitely say head out to a rooftop bar and see the skyline at night.
Have you traveled anywhere during your time here? Where and why?
I went to Philadelphia for Labor Day weekend, and went to Boston and Harvard for a weekend in November. We also went up to Yale in Connecticut for the Harvard-Yale game, and have seen a fair bit of upstate New York. So as you can see, I’ve completed America. Planning more trips for next year too.
What is something you didn’t know about New York/USA until you got here?
I didn’t know how hard it would be to find good fresh food – I could probably rant all day about this. I’ve definitely struggled with supermarkets and how even bread gets pumped full of sugar and sweeteners. I could bore you for days about that though. I also didn’t realise how obsessed New Yorkers are with work… There’s not much down time here, and being out of office doesn’t actually mean you’re not working.
What is one thing you miss from home?
A Boots meal deal. Never underestimate the power of a £3.29 lunch when you spend north of $12 a day for a small rice bowl in New York. Don’t even get me started on the lack of Nandos or this will become an emotional post.
After this year, if you could stay and live in New York, would you? Why?
Never say never.
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