NY-LON Q and A with Stephanie Baptist
Stephanie is a New Yorker living and studying in London
When in NYC, Stephanie worked as a photography agent for the last 7 years, primarily with commercial photographers and helped to get them advertising and editorial campaigns. She moved to London to be in one of the most cultural diverse cities in the world to pursue a MA Degree in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy at Goldsmiths University, in New Cross, South London.
1. How long have you been living in London?
For just over two months (Since September 15)
2. Where do you live?
I live in Dalston/Stoke Newington. Which seems to strike up interesting conversation. I’ve been told that historically Dalston wasn’t such a desirable area. Now, due to gentrification, there are a lot of bars, clubs and restaurants. So the area is now being labeled cool and trendy, but local Londoners who still remember how the neighborhood used to be, are more inclined to say that they wouldn’t live in this location.
3. What brought you to London?
I am pursuing my MA Degree in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy at Goldsmiths University.
4. Why did you decide to study in London, do you think the education system is better or you wanted a change of scenery?
The majority of the work I am pursuing has an international/global perspective and I figured it would be best for me to move to one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. Furthermore, to pursue my degree in the states would of taken 2 years full time and I was attracted to the accelerated pace of the program. An added bonus is that I can basically travel cheaper and faster to other countries.
5. What do you miss about NY?
NYC is home. I was born in NJ, but have spent my entire adulthood in NYC. I miss the familiarity and energy. I used to live in Clinton Hill/Fort Greene which is a very special place. It is the little things like sitting on a stoop with a cup of coffee. Strolling through the Brooklyn flea or riding my bike to Williamsburg and of course my family and friends.
6. What do you love about London?
Sunny mornings. Broadway market/London fields. Tea with biscuits. Indian food.
7. If there is a dose of New York you would like to inject into London, what would it be?
24 hour transportation (via the tube).
8. What are the main cultural differences between Londoners and New Yorkers, that you have noticed?
In very loose terms it is cosmopolitan (London) vs metropolitan (New York). And both operate accordingly. I find that London’s international makeup lends itself to more diverse programming/events which permeates throughout the city. And while Londoners can be called more reserved, passive or even introverted I find that there is more of a genuine interest in making lasting connections with people, especially in terms of culture and collaborations. Most of the people I have met all have very interesting jobs/personal projects but this isn’t the first or second thing that you find out about a person. The exchange of information is different. Connections that are made here appear to be a lot more organic.
New Yorkers can be found to be more aggressive, outgoing and ambitious which can manifest itself into an environment of competition and exclusivity. Depending upon your circle of friends this may or may not be of importance to you, but connections/networking is relied upon heavily in NYC which plays a major part in accessibility.
9. What things do you do, say or have adopted now that you live in London?
‘All sorted.’ ‘Sort it out.’
10. What inspires you?
People. Traveling. Photography.
11. Complete this sentence, ‘You know you’re a Londoner when…’
You’re running to catch a night bus at 4am.
12. Survival tip to living in London?
Smile and engage everyone.