20th of July, 9:40am, Heathrow Airport. I must admit I still felt rather woozy due to the early start but I was excited to board the 7 hour flight to John.F.Kennedy airport, New York, ready for my three-week secondment. I had been busy interacting with clients, building relationships and setting up meetings in the weeks beforehand and I was now ready to get stuck into everything New York had to offer. Which I soon realised was vast!

I had previously arranged accommodation in the East Village, a trendy area of Manhattan that had been recommended to me due to its plethora of bustling bars and a large number of varied eateries. I found a flat on Airbnb on E 14th and Ave C. Location wise, this turned out to be quite far east and a bit of a distance from the transport links. However the flat itself was lovely and the owners were helpful and welcoming.

There is a real buzz around the North American business at the moment and when you coincide this with Excelian’s recent move into Luxoft’s USA office on Wall Street it was a really exciting time to visit. I was very proud to see the Excelian brand in such a special location and during my stay it became clearer and clearer that the opportunities for our business in North America are huge right now.

The team and I enjoyed some really exciting discussions with a number of clients, spending a lot of our time promoting the Excelian brand and identifying future opportunities. But the highlight of the whole trip was being given the opportunity to tour the New York Stock Exchange with the MD of NSYE who manages the Luxoft relationships. This was set up by Luxoft’s head of PR, Pat Corcoran, and was a real experience as I got to see the Exchange in action, the closing bell and have a chat with the Luxoft traders.

Socially, New York City (Manhattan) has a vast number of breath-taking roof top bars, everyone single one I visited (rumour has it there were quite a few) was amazing but special mention must go to Le Bain due to the fantastic views of the Hudson and sunset over Union City. On the more chilled-out front I discovered that Williamsburg had some really cool pubs and music venues where you can go see amazing bands for free.

I also managed to get my hands on tickets to a Yankees game which I would highly recommend, although I would suggest brushing up on your baseball knowledge beforehand, and on my next trip I’m hoping to get myself to an American football match. In my final week I also visited a multi-storey driving range overlooking the Hudson, which was a great sight to hit some balls at, definitely one for all of you golfers.

One big change from the UK was the food, everything tended to be a bit on the rich side and the portions were massive (too big in fact). However I did get to taste the best pizzas ever, with my personal favourites being Angelo’s Pizza on E 54th and Artichoke on E 14th, I also enjoyed a divine Porterhouse T-bone which was definitely a culinary highlight.

I returned to Heathrow on the 8th of August after a pretty special three weeks in New York filled with many highlights. The city is just as busy and bustling as you would imagine and, as they say, the city never sleeps. I fly out again in a couple of days’ time and I am excited about building on the work and experiences from this trip.


Charlie Waple