‘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?
My name is Anna, I’m 24 and originally from Estonia although I grew up just outside of London.
Why did you decide to come to New York to study and work?
Having always lived close to London, I never found it that exciting and majority of the jobs were based there; so once I moved after graduation I decided that London was too familiar for me and wanted a bit more of a challenge and a new experience. (Plus New York had always been a bit of a dream of mine – I blame it on watching Friends and Gossip Girl when I was younger.)
Where do you work/what is your role?
I’m working at HSBC as a Client Onboarding Analyst. Essentially it is a relationship manager facing role, making sure that our clients are able to trade on our systems and have all the correct documentation etc.
How are you finding living in New Jersey?
Most of the time I don’t even notice it. It’s a quick commute into Manhattan and you don’t have to spend time on the subways, which I am an advocate of. The area where we live is nice, with all the amenities I might need and a little more out of the way so you can have a peaceful moment. It only becomes a nuisance when you’re trying to make your way back from Manhattan at night (even more harrowing when you’ve made your way out to Brooklyn) as the trains are fairly unreliable.
How are you finding having a roommate?
Not as bad as I expected. Being an only kid has meant that I have never shared a room with anyone long-term. But I was lucky and my roommate and I get on very well.
Have you been to New York before? (If so, has your perspective changed? If not, is it what you imagined?)
Yes, I’d been several times – but it’s so much better long-term. Never ceases to amaze me that I am here.
What has been your favourite memory of your year so far?
Tough one. I couldn’t choose just one.. I loved various beach trips (I was shocked there are beaches in New York), a trip to Bear Mountain for a hike, bailing on a museum trip and instead going to the pub and making the most solid group of friends; and probably the first brunch we had which was about 30 people. It was comforting to know there were so many cool people. Put my mind at ease for sure.
What is your favourite area of New York and why?
I am a huge fan of Upper West Side and Washington Square Park. Upper West has some gorgeous architecture, and is a little more peaceful; and Washington Square Park has a whole bunch of character thanks to NYU. If I ever drop off the radar my friends typically know I’m at either of the two.
What is your favourite restaurant and why?
Mercer Kitchen is a good place for a fancy evening, otherwise my favourites would either be Teremok on 16th and 6th (for all my Russian food needs) or Pasta e Vino on Grove Street, NJ.
What is your favourite bar and why?
Rainbow Room for the views, Fat Cat for a fun (ping pong/pool/card) packed night.
What is your favourite happy hour and why?
The Malt House in Greenwich Village. They have great happy hour food and drinks. The Oysters are delicious and there’s a good selection of beers and wines.
If someone had one day to spend in New York what should they do?
Start at Central park, walk down 5th to Rockefeller building and grab a drink at the Rainbow room, down to Washington Square Park and finish for dinner in Nom Wah Tea Parlour in Chinatown. The walk is long but worth it and you see different parts of Manhattan. Stop by Chelsea market if you’ve got time.
Have you travelled anywhere during your time here? Where and why?
I travelled to Chicago when I first got here as it had been the top of my list for as long as I can remember. I would highly recommend, and will definitely go back. Also went to Poconos for Thanksgiving, which was great. Such a quick drive from New York, and a beautiful part of the country.
What is something you didn’t know about New York/USA until you got here?
Just how temperamental the weather is – It can go from being 20 degrees, down to 5 degrees in mere hours. No wardrobe is ever fully retired for reasons.
What is one thing you miss from home?
It seems to be very weird things I miss. 3 pound meal deals from Sainsburys, plugs that don’t fall out of the socket, radiators as opposed to heating units and actual bedding. The duvets here are very odd and I am not a fan.
After this year, if you could stay and live in New York, would you? Why?
It’s still too early to tell.
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