MEET MONICA LONDON
Journalist residing in Upper East Side, Manhattan
Where did you grow up and what brought you to New York City?
I grew up in South Italy between Campania and Puglia. I came to United States 13 years ago for love and for a fellowship program (obviously the first brought me here to stay!). First I lived in Los Angeles and then we moved to New York.
What started you down the path to becoming a writer?
I was always fascinated by books and poems. I studied Literature and Journalism at university and when I moved to United States I started writing stories for Italian publications on art, architecture and design. Being bilingual and living between two cultures made me want to be a writer, telling stories to link the two worlds and feeling the connection to both.
What is it like raising two girls in NYC and how does it compare to your own upbringing?
I have two girls, 6 and 10. Every day is a love discovery, a constant learning process. I grew up in a small town in Italy and spent most of my time outdoors either on my roller skates or playing soccer with my older brother in the piazza near my house. Raising kids in the big city is challenging as you don’t have the small town feeling and you spend more time indoors. But at the same time there are infinite learning opportunities.
You make frequent trips back home to Italy, do you find your style changes depending on whether you are in NY or Italy?
I certainly get inspired by my trips as I always learn and see new things. Italy is home and it’s like being in New York, it doesn't change my attitude and style. When I go to Italy in the summer I always try to carry as little as I can so I can come back with more surprises!
What draws you to an object, be it an article of clothing, jewelry, artwork etc.?
I like bold, graphic and minimal things. It could be a beautiful book, a rock collected from one of my trips, or a piece of jewelry. One of my favorites at the moment are the ROMA earrings I got from your store, Maimoun, a few months ago. They are a statement piece but I also feel a connection as they say something more personal about me.
What is something you have loved for a long time?
My mum’s old gold earrings with a shape of a leaf and a colorful series of poem books I collected when I was at university (this series used to come out every week with the national newspaper).
Maimoun comes from the Persian language word meaning to welcome guests/invite company over to your home, tell us about a memorable time you hosted.
Last Christmas evening we hosted friends at my house and it was an amazing evening. Great food and wine brought to a deep conversation about past, family, love, failure, connection, mystical experiences. We heard remarkable stories and everybody opened up so honestly. We left the table with a sense of gratitude for friendship and more in general for human connections.