Have You Met Cheska?

‘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

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What is your name / age and where are you from?

Francesca, Cheska for short. I’m 22 and I am from North West London.

Why did you decide to come to New York to study and work?

I have wanted to move to New York for as long as I can remember. I think it all started with my obsession with Friends and The Devil Wears Prada.

Where do you work/what is your role?

I work at The Wall Street Journal as a WSJ+ coordinator. WSJ+ is a premium membership from the WSJ and gives subscribers exclusive invites to events and special offers. My role involves developing and implementing engagement campaigns for WSJ+ across the Americas, APAC and EMEA, working to onboard global partners and create print and digital ads that appear in WSJ weekly.

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How are you finding living in New Jersey?

New Jersey is commonly referred to as “The Armpit of America” so I wasn’t exactly ecstatic when I found out I would be living here. I also get the “Where do you live?” “Jersey City” “Hahaha why?” conversation happen quite a lot. Although, I have to say, I’m warming to it. I can get into Midtown in 15 minutes, have an amazing view of the city and have 10 times more space in my apartment than I ever would do if I lived in Manhattan.

How are you finding having a roommate?

Ummmmm, it’s an experience, let’s just say that.

Have you been to New York before? 

My Dad’s side of the family live in New York so I have actually been lucky enough to visit New York quite a few times before moving out here. Having already ticked off a lot of the touristy things in previous trips, it made it a whole lot more exciting moving out here as I could just crack on with ‘living like a local’.

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What has been your favourite memory of your year so far?

Jeeeeeez I don’t even know where to start. If I realllllly had to pick one, it would have to be when a group of us went to Brighton Beach for one of the last day’s of summer and managed to get the whole beach applauding us for our human pyramid… before I f*cked it and made everyone come crashing down. Whooopss.

What is your favourite area of New York and why?

Brooklyn, hands down. Tonnes of amazing independent restaurants and coffee shops!

What is your favourite restaurant and why?

I think it might have to be Yama Ramen. It’s a cute little Ramen place tucked away on the 2nd floor on 48th and 6th, that you would totally miss unless someone told you about it. You can find me there every Friday for lunch, without fail–bloody delicious!

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What is your favourite bar and why?

No hesitation here, Smithfield Hall. Being a die hard United fan, this supporters bar was quite possibly my best find to date since moving here.

If someone had one day to spend in New York what should they do?

Go to Brooklyn! See all the brownstone houses in Brooklyn Heights, walk along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade for amazing views of Manhattan, and if you are here in the summer, definitely go to Smorgasburg—it’s a weekend food festival with every type of cuisine you could imagine!

Have you travelled anywhere during your time here? Where and why?

In the past few months, I’ve managed to tick off Boston, Washington (twice), LA, Connecticut and Vermont off my list. I went to DC (the first time) and LA for work, Vermont over the Christmas break, Boston to visit my cousin who is at Harvard, Connecticut for the Harvard-Yale game and DC (again) with friends. I’m trying to visit a new city each month—I’m currently eyeing up Chicago, Miami, San Francisco for my next trip.

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What is something you didn’t know about New York/USA until you got here?

I think my biggest oversight moving to New York was the complexity of maintaining a healthy diet. I am forever eating out, going for drinks and rarely cooking for myself. Even when I do finally get around to cook, it will cost me an arm and a leg. For example, I bought four courgettes the other day and it cost me $10. 

It still hurts. 

What is one thing you miss from home?

Baked beans!!!!!!!

After this year, if you could stay and live in New York, would you? Why?

Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes! I’m not done with New York just yet.

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