NY-LON Q & A with Amanda Murray, a Londoner who had to toughen up after New York taught her some lessons. She managed to stick it out, and since then opportunities have been coming into alignment.
1. How long have you been in NYC?
2 1/2 years now. It feels like just six months ago though.
2. What inspired you to move here?
To put it simply a flagging relationship and the added bonus that the majority of my family lived here. I am one of those Londoners that’s really in love with London so it was hard for me to leave but sometimes when a relationship ends, new scenery is just what you need to ameliorate open wounds.
3. Where do you live?
I live in Crown Heights.When I moved here I remember wanting to live in the building that my Aunt used to live in, I had warm memories of visiting my cousins and sitting on the fire escape looking on at the Labor Day parade. Though my Aunt moved I wanted to be in that building, so I applied many times but there was never a vacancy, then one day I got a call that an apartment was available, I didn’t think twice, I ended the lease I had and moved within a week.
One day though I hope to be living in a condo in Dumbo with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge. Every time I’m on the Q train I look at those condos and dream. I’m just putting it out into the Universe.
4. What keeps you busy in NYC?
When I first moved here I did tons of high profile internships within the fashion industry. But I fell out of love with the industry. Everywhere I went and everyone I met was a ‘stylist’ or something of the sort and after a while it was all a bit tedious to me. But in the way that only New York can be that concrete jungle where dreams are made of, I’ve been working on a TV project and its everything and more that I could have hoped for.
5. What do you miss about London?
Oh where shall I begin? I miss being able to go the Doctor’s office and knowing a huge looming bill isn’t waiting for me, damn I miss the NHS! I miss the romanticism of the city, it’s no Paris but the grey skies coupled with the architecture of the city is something spectacular to me. I miss seeing Vivienne Westwood ride her bike through Clapham Common. I miss strolling through Carnaby St and Covent Garden and watching the individual eclecticism of the people. I miss Sundays at Portobello Market. I miss food shopping at Waitrose. I miss shopping for hair products in Brixton Market and catching an indie film at The Ritzy. I miss Pizza at Pizza Pomodoro in Knightsbridge. I miss Nando’s. I miss British TV and I miss marveling at Selfridge’s window. Oh and Walker’s Sweet Chili crisps!
6. What do you love about New York?
I Love the palpable energy of the city. I love that anything…and I mean absolutely anything can happen in New York. I love that there is so much to do here. I LOVE Brooklyn and I love The Highline, to me The Highline is the true gem of New York. Who builds a park on an old railroad? Genius..
7. If there is a dose of Britishness you would like to inject into NYC, what would it be?
8. How are you adjusting to the New York lifestyle, culture, environment?
I don’t think I’ll ever be 100% adjusted to all of what New York embodies. But I have lots of hang ups about Public Transportation here. I try my best not to compare it to London but MTA really has to do better. For such a cosmopolitan city, public transportation lacks a lot here.
9. Complete this sentence, ‘You know you’re a New Yorker when…’
When you think of a quicker route than hopstop.com and when you’re totally desensitized to all of the train shenanigans.
10. Survival tip to living in New York.
New York to me is one of the greatest teachers I know. When you first move here, New York tests you to see what you’re made of, so many people move here every month with dreams of grandeur but so many move back home within six months. Everyone I know including myself has had those days of eating ramen noodles when funds are low but when you’ve passed New York’s test, the city smiles on you and doors that were once inconceivable are now very wide open. You need to have real strength of character, determination, real sense of who you are and be a real hustler to make it in this city. When I first moved here I thought I was so strong but New York sure showed me…broke me down completely but re-built me and I am so much better, so much stronger than I ever was before. Thank You New York.
And thank you for toughing it out Amanda. Keep up with Amanda and her life in New York on her blog LondongirlinNYC.com