I've been here in New York for a week now, working out of our New York office that we announced last month. I'm very new to this city, so I thought I'd share a few things that I've seen / learnt in the last week. Excuse my ignorance for some of these things.

1. Brooklyn is cool

I've been to New York a few times before, but never actually stayed in Brooklyn until this time and I have to say, I love it. I was down in Cobble Hill last week; it's like all the best bits of Islington but without the crummy chain restaurants and way cooler people.

Also, quite a few people I've spoken to never leave Brooklyn. This reminds me of Dalston Superstars.

2. Brunch is a big deal

Yeah, I didn't understand this either at first. As a Brit we have big hearty breakfasts, but brunch isn't something we take as seriously as over here. People literally queue at 10am (which is clearly just breakfast, right?) to get a spot at the some of the more hip brunch spots then spend most of the day there, drinking Mimosas (bucks fizz) and Bloody Mary's and eating something egg based. Brunch is the weekend activity in NYC, I'm starting to appreciate its charms.

3. The L train is busy

Williamsburg's main subway line is pretty packed in rush hour, but no matter how packed it gets I seem to have avoided the dreaded armpit in your face which seems ubiquitous on the underground.

4. Coffee is better here

Coffee is taken pretty seriously here and it seems like you can pick up pretty decent coffee all over the place. I've especially been enjoying Saturday's Surf NYC and anywhere that sells Stumptown coffee.

You should follow me on Foursquare to see where I've been going, although I'm still adjusting to checking into places.

5. People are friendly

I was under the impression that New Yorkers aren't necessarily the most friendly people, but so far everyone I've met has been welcoming to me as the new guy in town. People seem a lot more willing to chat to you here, especially in bars. Often they divulge quite a bit too much information, but it's all harmless.

6. The product talent here is very good

The number of product people I've met over the last week has been insane and I've met so many talented designers and developers working on interesting teams. It seems that New York is a fantastic place to make products and in my humble opinion, it seems that they're more experienced at doing it than we are in London.

The startup scene here is flourishing. There are companies like Percolate, Kickstarter, Vimeo and Etsy all located here building great, profitable companies at scale. On top of that there's also a great scene for product designers here; N-Y-P-D is a great example of that.

7. The bar and restaurant scene here is fantastic

I've been really impressed with the overall level of places that you get over here. In London we certainly have a great eating / drinking scene, but here it feels like there are even more decent places to go. I've had some great cocktails at Death & Co., been overwhelmed with the amount of bourbon at Char No. 4 and been blown away by the Ramen at Momofoku. I'm definitely looking forward to getting to more places!


Overall it's been a great first week here, made even better by Brooklyn Beta being on last Friday and all of the events that ensued from that. In the words of an American, it's been awesome.

Shout out to Isaac for the awesome meme-age.

Chris Bell

Chris Bell

Developer with a newly acquired fondness for Ruby and an ever present love for Javascript (most of the time).

Other interests include cycling, startups and food. And this isn't just the coffee patron talking, honest.


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