Musings of a New Yorker

It has now been a week since my move to the Big Apple. It’s exciting; adventurous; scary; overwhelming. Having said that, this is the best experience of my life. Studying at a new college is crazy different – the teaching structure is different, academics are different and general classroom etiquette is nothing like back in England; it’s refreshing!

So far in the first week, I have experienced a definite form of culture shock. Where are the Heinz beans and Nestle KitKats? Little things like that really make you miss the everyday essentials from home. Sounds ridiculous I know but you never consider it until you are in that situation.
Even getting used to the different accent and ways of speech is hard to come to terms with! “See you around” does not actually mean what you think. 9 times out of 10 I have responded with: “Yeah sure! When?” only to receive a very confused expression since they said it to be polite!

I have been asked by plenty of people if this is an experience that I would encourage others to do….YES! 100% YES! Everyone should do this! i have learnt to get myself around the city, got used to living in my own apartment in Upper West Side and managed to (i think) fit in and be accepted at my new college. I have gained independence. Confidence. Further developed everyday life skills. Obviously it wouldn’t have been the end of the world if I had never gone ahead with this endeavour but I feel more alive!

I would also like to mention, whilst on the subject of change, that I have decided to adopt a healthier, more active, lifestyle. Yes that’s right guys! I now go to the gym on a regular basis and have totally changed my eating plans – so look out for my ‘health’ aspects to my blog! Should be different and exciting!

Speak soon !


Exploring regional listening preferences

What I have to look forward to when I go to NYC next year 😀

Music Machinery

In previous posts we looked at how gender and age can affect listening preferences. Today we take a look at how the location of a listener may affect their listening preferences.


For this study, I sampled the listening preferences of about a quarter million listeners that have a zip code associated with their account. I aggregated these listeners into regions (state, regional and all-US). To compare regions I look at the top-N most popular artists in each region and look for artists that have a substantial change in rank between the two regions. These artists are the artists that define the taste for the region.

As an example let’s compare Tennessee to New England. If we look at the top 100 artists listened to in Tennessee and see which artists fall the furthest on the New England chart we find these 10 artists:

# Artist Rank in
Rank in

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Lost their way – Violence

It is easy for a majority of us to differenciate between right and wrong; I know that whilst growing up, my parents would reinforce the fact that stealing is wrong and violence is bad – but not all youths were brought up in this manner. 

North London – 27th November 2013, Wednesday

In a world of our own, myself and a close friend of mine were walking nearby to a park. It was dark, however residential, thus not causing either of us to feel endangered. For an Autumnal evening it was fairly cold, but our laughter seemed to keep us warm.

In the bushes ahead of us we saw a Black-African man standing there, on his phone. Thinking nothing of it, we carried on with our walk. I did notice this man staring at us for a good while, un-nerving me and a rush of anxiety was suddenly upon me.
Within a split second, I hear the words: “Right, ‘dis is ‘ow it’s gonna go – unless you wanna get shanked, gov’ me your shit. Empty your pockets now!” Having been brought up in a very cushioned way, this was obviously very shocking to me, throwing me into panic but then into a somewhat stubborn mind-set.
My friend instantly turned out his pockets; tobacco, filters, papers, keys, phone, oyster card – everything was taken from him.
The man then turns to me, shouting for me to give my purse over – to which I refused. *PUNCH* “Unless you want your boy to get hit again, gimme your purse bitch…” Stupidly, I refused again, which was rewarded with another punch to my friend. Evidently refusal and negotiation does not work in situations like these!!
With this man in possession of my purse, he then demanded that I hand over my phone…NO WAY was I handing that over. Not a chance.
Another turn of refusal ended up with me being held, by my throat, against a fence. Struggling for breath, I try to relax my neck and gripped onto his arm and hit him in the weak point of his inner-elbow which allowed me to escape his grip.

With all of this happening, my friend is frantically trying to grab the attention of passers-by, to which, we received no aid.

Whether due to the shouting, the increased risk of being caught, or the sheer fact that I refused to give in to his demands, this man started to panic and ran away from us.

Instantly we had the police on the line and on their way to us.

Despite the threat of being stabbed, it soon became apparent that this was simply a bluff – a tool with which to scare us.
It amazes me that also being menacing and violent, I genuinely don’t believe that he was a bad person. He has simply grown up, or has been led, down the wrong path. A man that has lost his way.

I also wasn’t surprised by the lack of help that we received from passers-by. It is London after all – I can guarantee that 9/10 people would prefer to just walk on by so as to save themselves from getting caught up in any danger.

As for myself and my friend – we were extremely lucky. He was left with only his bank card and some bruising on his neck and I was left with my phone, bruised neck and a swollen and bruised finger.

We can’t dwell on this; as some people say, ‘shit happens’ we just have to learn and develop from times like these.

I most certainly consider this as ‘character building’; this can only make me stronger.


Be safe x

First Hello…

Having never written a blog, I thought that it may be time to start writing on behalf of those who just don’t know what to say.

I study, live and breathe in London – a city for all the inquisitive and adventurous types, looking to make it in the world.
I first came to the city last year. I felt like Bambi trying to walk. No one can truly prepare you for all the dilemmas and situations that are to hit you when you begin your life alone. And this is exactly what I want to put across to all of you.

I am just a young lady in the big city, wanting to share my experiences, both old and new; I hope you enjoy…