Perhaps there are those of you who have secretly dreamed of living the ex pat life. I'm now stationed in London more than New York (my home for the past 20 years), though my business is all run through the States. Still, here I am, connected as if by umbilical cord to NY but rooted in this new home of mine, the UK.
It's quite the experience. Easier because I have a best friend to do it with. Easier because the two cities have a lot of the "tough" stuff in common — interesting weather, fast pace, expensive. I'm not in shock as I'm sure I would be if I was from a less intense city. Conversely, I'm not in awe as I would be if this was the first big city I called home. Some of the sense of glamour is removed when you've lived a fairly "large" life. But what's the point…
On this Thanksgiving Day I am thinking of my "old" home fondly. London is too new a thing to miss NY that much, if at all. But I will say this, America has a pretty cool "can do" spirit. And that's a great thing in business, because you look at a problem and think, "you know what, I'll bet I can do this." I haven't tested London out for this yet, but whether it's here or not, it's one of the things I hope to bring to my new life here. You can say a lot of unpleasant (and true things) about us Americans, but you have to admit we're scrappy. Lol.
I've recently relocated to London. I wasn't sure what to expect in the way of culture shock - so far so good. Living in New York City for 20 years can pretty much prepare you for any international move. I imagine relocating to somewhere a bit more exotic would pose a host of different challenges, but London/New York not so much - or at least not on the surface…
Some of the more subtle differences include how to dress (warmly and maybe not as fashionably). Reason? It is always cold in London, and cabs are not as inexpensive as in New York, so good-bye heels. Service. What service? People are VERY polite in London but the concept of service is another matter altogether. The happy offshoot of this development is that you are forced to slow down, things will not go as fast as you would like. Period.
London is greener than New York. For reasons I haven't discerned yet, London is more hectic (it's not just the traffic) than New York. And that green stuff, you need it. Green provides the "ah" factor. And social strata… There really isn't one in New York that isn't directly related to money. In London pedigree matters and you can't buy that for any money. Not really, anyway.
Long and the short of it? Love London. Love New York. Love them for different reasons. And Love is all you need!
I remember the first time I came to Europe in 1983. I was a fairly unsophisticated young lady from Miami, in Paris for 2 weeks. Un-chaperoned, didn't speak a word of French, didn't know a soul, probably hadn't eaten a meal alone at a restaurant in my life. Green, I was green. But I was excited and ready for adventure, and I sure had one. Better not share all the details here. Today, I am married and live between London and New York and have the great opportunity of visiting the capitals of Europe on a regular basis. A lot has changed since I first came. Global village comes to mind :-)
When I first visited Paris, the US was 6 months behind in fashion trends (no internet friends, no Style.com). You weren't in style unless you were rich and could make it over to shop. The exchange rate was pretty amazing then - 7 Francs to the dollar (this was before the Euro). But still...
I was concerned this go around, many years later, that the global village would have destroyed the beauty of the individual cultures. Sure there are chain stores everywhere - food and fashion, but the heart of each nation remains. I picked up some gorgeous coffee cups in Copenhagen (I'm a big fan of Danish design), had delicious potato dumplings (along with a native red wine) in the Czech Republic and Vienna is a great spot for coffee and chocolate – not to mention that the people there are warm, even when you don't speak the language.
Loving this new European adventure. You should come over!!
To see more of my European adventures, pop on over to our facebook page and become a fan.
US News and World Report recently published an article on materialism and whether or not things make you happy. I go back and forth on this myself, but as a marketer that is dedicated to helping my clients (both in the luxury and the “masstige” arena) promote their products, it’s definitely a question to consider. After all, if everyone decides “things” don’t make us happy, then my clients might be out of luck.
It is a well-known fact in my office that I love little animals. I don’t own any because there is nothing scarier than the stereotype of a single female publicist with her small dog. OR, how about single female with cat or many cats? Plus, I travel too much to have a pet. BUT that does not mean that I don’t think they are God’s gift to us, primarily to make us smile.
- I have never seen a blog (it is a blog, after all) that can produce hundreds of comments for one photo in such a short amount of time (I HAVE BLOG ENVY IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY)
- I feel compelled to share the LOL cat love with anyone who is following this blog
- Running your own business can be intense. Therefore, I wanted to let anyone out there know that if you need a break and a laugh here is a GREAT place to get it
- I just felt like writing about something that wasn’t connected with my own business
We'll give you two guesses where that quote is from. (Hint to the left). We knew you'd get it! It's from Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless, of course, which came to mind after reading the perfectly pitched pieces by Eric Wilson and Guy Trebay for the New York Times, that sum up the tone of Paris Fashion Week. In essence: 'who can enjoy the shows while the world is holding its collective breath until the November elections?' I suppose one could add, 'who can enjoy life when the markets, politics and world affairs are in such a state,' but really, would that attitude contribute positively to the well being of anything we care about? We've decided to take a break from discussing branding and trends for just for today and have taken Jean-Paul Belmondo's famous line to heart with a mini-round up of all of the fun, fabulous, and free activities to breathe life into our souls, in each of our favorite cities. After all, a little enjoyment could be just what the doctor ordered. Free, Fabulous, Fun ways to Come up for Air wherever you are:
New York: It's the last week of the season to tour the Hudson River by Kayak. It's all free, courtesy of the NYC Downtown Boathouse and a great way to breath in the crisp, fall air.
Los Angeles: Have you ever taken in the beauty of Los Angeles from high above the action? Our favorite two ways to do it are sundown at the Griffith Observatory or the Getty Museum (admission to the museum is also free.)
London: Catch the giggles at the quirky 'Portraits of the 1970s' exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Lighter than air hair fun for everyone!