The #elderproject #7: Franco the tailor

Yes, I know it’s been a while and no, I haven’t given up on the #elderproject. I’ve just been busy and as it turns out it’s not that easy finding, interviewing and writing about people. That being said, I believe the wait will be worth it. 

Today’s elder is my London tailor of many years, Franco Santoro. Every few months, I enter the little door at 26 Kingly Street in Soho to adjust some trousers or a suit, knowing that no matter what time of day I’ll go or whether it’s a weekend or not, Franco will be there. At 72, he’s the hardest working man I know and this was the most intense and emotional interview I’ve taken so far for the #elderproject. I hope you enjoy it.

One year in, going on fifteen

Exactly one year ago, I was on the Jubilee line together with one of my best friends, carrying two suitcases, a backpack, a black laptop bag, many thoughts, many plans and a boatload of dreams. What I didn’t know then, though, was that I was about to embark on one of the most exciting journeys of my life: moving to London.

In the past 365 days, I have met 732 people (according to my CRM, so I think the number is close to double). I have spoken to and/or attended 61 events. I’ve travelled to 6 countries. I’ve made at at least two dozen new friends. I’ve been in the air 32 times. I have won two awards, appeared in the press a dozen times and have been featured in Reuters & Financial Times as one of the most promising young Eastern European entrepreneurs. I have worked, on average, 15 hours per day and been to 4 parties / month. I’ve had, on average, 11 meetings per week. I’ve slept, on average, 5-6 hours / night. And for the past six months, I’ve been waking up at 6:30AM every single morning.

When I moved here, I expected London to be hard on me. And it has been, a few times. But it’s also been fun. It has treated me well despite the outrageous prices, the ridiculousness of the estate rental market and the fact that I only knew a handful of people when I moved here. After spending a year in London I feel smarter, better informed, more connected, even better groomed than I’ve ever felt before. And as I told the FT a few weeks ago, I feel that I’ve done more in London in a year than I’ve done in Romania in three.

Today, I was walking around Covent Garden together with one of my other best friends. Carrying a brown laptop bag, many thoughts, many plans and a boatload of dreams. And I suddenly realized that now I know: I’m in the place where all my thoughts, plans and dreams have a very good chance of becoming reality. And for that, London, I’m thankful.

J’aime Cirque Du Soleil

Yesterday evening I had the opportunity and privilege to see the preview of Varekai, Cirque du Soleil’s new show, debuting on the 5th of January at the Royal Albert Hall.

I don’t have words to express how amazing the show was. Everything – the live music, costumes, story, acrobats, set, even the actors’ humor made me feel like I was watching a 3D movie with really, really good special effects. Except it wasn’t a movie and there weren’t any special effects. Just really, really talented people and hundreds, maybe thousands of hours of very, very hard work.

It was the best show I’ve seen in my life, so far, and I strongly recommend you go ahead and get tickets while you can, I have a feeling they’re going to sell out really, really quickly.