‘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?
Freddie Gray, 25 and from Nottingham, England. A city perfect for fans of dystopian non-fiction. Famously also twinned with Harare, Zimbabwe.
Why did you decide to come to New York to study and work?
In 2013 I visited York and even way back then there were whisperings about this “new” York, across the sea. I was skeptical at first, it seemed like a bizarre concept, why would you travel 3371 miles, across land and sea, to see the exact same thing? However, more and more I was informed this New York was taking off and, never late to a trend, thought I’d dip my toe. Naturally, it made sense to dabble in working for one of the world’s biggest companies and doing an international business course while I was at it.
Where do you work/what is your role?
I work for Citi Private Bank as a Hedge Fund Portfolio Management Analyst, which I am told is one of the largest job titles in the western world. I’ve found it so interesting though, having done History and Philosophy at University I have never had such exposure to finance experts and the learning curve has been insane.
I obviously don’t think it’s as good as the original Jersey, but it’s definitely the placid sibling of New York and is nice to come back to and look out to the craziness of Manhattan, rather than be there permanently.
How are you finding having a roommate?
I’ve had absolutely no issues with it at all, I luckily get on incredibly well with my roommate. I was a bit anxious at first as I hadn’t shared a room since I was 9 years old, but I’ve ended up with someone so relaxed I sometime wonder whether he’s conscious or not.
Have you been to New York before? (If so, has your perspective changed? If not, is it what you imagined?)
Like I said I’d been to the old York, it’s definitely nothing like York, it hasn’t even got a city wall.
I’ve done so many things which are contenders but I went to an off-Broadway play of drunk Shakespeare which was unbelievable, it was an alternative production of Macbeth where one performer is elected to get increasingly more drunk as the play went on. I don’t think I’d ever go and see a play again unless they are drunk.
What is your favourite area of New York and why?
Williamsburg is my favourite, there’s so many really nice restaurants and bars, a fantastic view of Manhattan, and the right amount of pretention that my personality demands.
What is your favourite restaurant and why?
During restaurant week I went to a Spanish tapas restaurant called Amada in downtown, Manhattan. They brought out 13 plates of food, admittedly it probably could have fit on four plates, creating a much more pleasant working environment for whoever’s turn it was to do the washing up. Despite their clear resentment of crockery conservation, every bit of food was amazing and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.
They’re a place called Baker & Co in Greenwich Village, it is an Italian place which has the nicest wine selection and on happy hour it offers free cheese and nibbles. What more could you want.
If someone had one day to spend in New York what should they do?
I’d probably not bother.
Have you traveled anywhere during your time here? Where and why?
I’ve been to Philadelphia, New Orleans, Vermont and the Poconos, which have all been very different. I’d actually travelled around the US before so places like New Orleans and Philly I’d visited before and wanted to see again. Vermont and the Poconos were a little more outdoorsy and I went mainly to snowboard/camp respectively.
British things beginning with L. I am struggling to exist without Lucozade, Lilt, Leeds, and that’s actually probably about it.
After this year, if you could stay and live in New York, would you? Why?
I’d happily stay here and live a proper existence rather than being on Mountbatten and still feeling a bit like a student. Not permanently though, I still want to try living in another foreign country and end up in London, so perhaps only for a year or two if I did. Thinking about it, maybe I’ll just head straight back to York.
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