Most readers will be aware that since the merger of the US and European/Asian titles in 2007, ICIS Chemical Business has become a global magazine, with teams in New York, London and Singapore. I'm the deputy editor, heading up the European bureau based in the sleepy town of Sutton in Surrey, near London, UK.
Last week I had the opportunity, for the first time, to travel to New York and work with the editorial team out there, headed up by Joe Chang the global editor.
As you can imagine, there was something of a contrast between my usual Monday morning and my first day on the 17th floor of 360 Park Avenue South, New York.
To set the scene, let me first describe an average Monday morning. After hastily swallowing down a piece of toast, I normally rush down to a chilly Crystal Palace railway station to be met by an announcement such as "Southern Railways would like to apologise for the cancellation of this service". After a journey spent staring through the rain-spattered windows at the cheery folk of South London as they board the train, I arrive at the metropolis of Sutton; a small suburban town renowned for its snarling teen mums in gold hoop earrings, pushing prams, cigarettes burning.
Now to New York, where jet lag meant I awoke early on my first morning. The map showed a piece of open space called Madison Square Park near the office so I made my way down there, basking in the early morning sunshine. After buying a coffee and blueberry muffin I noticed some commotion near the park. It was a full outdoor film crew about to begin shooting. Park benches nearby beckoned so I sat down and watched the action. "Quiet please, film rolling", someone shouted, and the action began. I watched as a street scene was played out for a new TV series called White Collar.
A friendly New Yorker sat with me and after he'd finished moaning about the disruption caused by film crews blocking the sidewalk, we got talking about his great city and how clean and safe it was compared to the 1980's when he'd arrived from Guyana.
Madison Square Park became my breakfast venue each morning and I had a fantastic week working with and getting to know the team in New York. It's a shame I didn't get to meet pharma/fine chemicals editor Feliza Mirasol, but here are images of the rest of the team.
Clay Boswell, features, pharma outsourcing
Doris de Guzman, specialties/oils
Ivan Lerner, commodities