I am based in New York and Tai Ping [a luxury carpet company] is headquartered in Hong Kong. I travel about eight times a year to HK for board meetings. I also regularly visit our Europe HQ in Paris.
My main commute is in New York, where I take the subway from my home on the Upper West Side to the office in Union Square. It takes 20 minutes door to door and I usually listen to music and read the news. Or if I am tired I hop in a taxi. I exercise every day at 5am — I never miss a day even when I am travelling. It keeps me sane and clears my head. I am usually at the office by about 7.30am.
As for business travel, I am a 1m mile flyer on Cathay Pacific. I hit a million miles on a trip I took a while back and the pilot came out and congratulated me. The team gave me a little bit of a song and a birthday cake. I said to the pilot that I did not know whether to laugh or cry.
When in HK and Paris I take a taxi ride from my hotel to the office. In Paris I usually stay off the phone and look out of the car window at all the sights.
I read both the Financial Times and the New York Times, which I pick up from a newsstand on my way to the subway. On the train I typically check the business and sport sections of the NYT. I am an avid follower of basketball — I played at university. I have been a season-ticket holder at the New York Knicks for 25 years. I am also a fan of [American football team] the New York Jets and [baseball team] the New York Mets.
I will then go through the FT when I get to the office. I also subscribe to the South China Morning Post, which gives me all the relevant news for the Hong Kong region.
In Hong Kong I stay at the Grand Hyatt — Tai Ping did its carpet. It is well appointed with a great club lounge and is just a 15 minute taxi-ride from the office.
In Paris I stay at the [Hotel] Lancaster, just off the Champs-Élysées. It is a small hotel, so I feel like I am staying at home. They give me the same room every time and they know what I like and what I want for breakfast. The office is just across the river in Saint-Germain.
I download lots of stuff on my iPad to watch while I am flying. I watch quite a lot of television series. The Handmaid’s Tale was particularly dark and interesting, and very relevant, especially given the current US president. I watch a lot of BBC series too. I liked The Missing, which explores the fallout of a child’s abduction, and The Fall, where Northern Irish police are in pursuit of a serial killer.
I am obsessive about arriving early at the airport and buy lots of magazines when I check-in, such as Architectural Digest or Vanity Fair. I enjoy the different subjects in Vanity Fair, like politics, fashion and general human interest stories.
I tend to read before I go to sleep — I read novels and non-fiction. A recent one was Hillary Clinton’s What Happened. I read a lot of business biographies, that of Steve Jobs, for example. They are interesting stories and help me with the running of my business. In terms of fiction, I will read something by Nelson DeMille, an author of adventure and suspense novels. This is good light reading and it’s entertaining.
I use Spotify at home and download songs on to iTunes when travelling. On the subway I go for something as mellow as possible like Cat Stephens — New York’s subway is not as sophisticated or civilised as London’s underground. I often listen to very contemporary music when I am exercising — the techno DJs are good for that, Calvin Harris and Avicii. I blow 18-year-olds away with my knowledge. They are like “how do you know all this?”. When you work out for an hour and half, seven days a week, you need to find lots of stuff to listen to. I am not really going to listen to concertos while on the treadmill.
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