William's Tale - New York City
Some photographs of the view from the living room in the New York apartment. Click any one to see a slideshow
This pattern of work followed by approximately equal periods of play continued until I took a longer-term contract with the Royal Bank of Scotland in 1994. This ran for two years during which time I worked with a New York based company - Wall Street Systems (WSS). As I said earlier, I had decided that I wanted to leave the U.K., and move to NYC, so when WSS offered me a position as head of securities, I accepted.
I started to move over to NYC in 1996, and applied for my H1B work permit. This would allow me to work for three years, renewable for another three years. Unfortunately, as I had dropped out of University, getting my H1B work permit took a lot longer than it should have. This was a foretaste of the troubles I would eventually have getting permanent residence. The job turned out pretty well. The company had done little more than dip their feet into the fixed income waters, and had not really touched equities at all, so I had plenty of room to maneuver. It was also a great bunch of people.
I sold my apartment in Barnes, and my beloved Porsche, unfortunately to a total dick-head, but it had to go, and shipped everything else to NYC. Soon after I arrived in NYC, I bought an apartment in mid-town Manhattan near the East River at 330 East 38th Street. This was a reasonably large apartment by New York standards; 1400 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, dining room and kitchen. It was on the 17th floor of a building known as The Corinthian, which, at 57 floors and around 850 apartments, was the largest apartment block in New York City when it first opened in 1988. In some ways it was like having an apartment in an hotel, with doormen, a concierge and valet service, as well as a fully fitted gym, swimming pool and running track. It even had a function room for hire for parties. Total luxury.
New York City totally lived up to my expectations. An amazing experience. Just to be able to get virtually any sort of food delivered whenever you wanted it, stores open seven days a week until late, and prices that made London look exorbitant. On the down side, I found income tax high because I hit alternative minimum tax, and that there is much less consumer protection after I was duped on having my carpets cleaned in the apartment. Nevertheless, I have never been tempted to return to the U.K. Then, of course, I met Deborah, which turned my life completely upside down.