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Featured on Feb 14, 2011

Adrianne Fener Jeffries

"'Science has eliminated distance!' - One Hundred Years of Solitude"


College of William and Mary '08. I'm mostly from Virginia Beach, VA, but most recently I lived in Portland, OR. My bike and I moved to New York in September. My jams are: dancing, traveling, the internet, and good, cheap food. I've worked/interned at USA Today, Talking Points Memo, The Daily Press, Oregon Business, ReadWriteWeb, some restaurants, some other places, and a bar (the bar paid the best). Now I write about New York City startups for The Observer, which is just about the best beat possible.

  • Title: Tech reporter, The New York Observer
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Midtown, Upper East Side
  • Contact: @ADRjeffries, Obstacle City

What lead to the move from Portland to New York and how did you end up at the Observer?

I used to describe Portland as the place where people go to retire at the age of 24 (this was before Portlandia). I don't even know where those two years went. It was a lot of hiking, going to shows, eating at food carts, drinking beer, floating down rivers, playing frisbee golf--Portland has great frisbee golf courses. It's an absurd city. The TV show doesn't do it justice. But I got bored and decided to come out of retirement. I also broke up with my long-time boyfriend so that made the desire to move more immediate.

I had a plane ticket to New York City for a family reunion so I decided to stay for a while and then move to Taipei. My mom and brother both live here so it was an easy crash landing. But I realized this city has the highest concentration of people I love of anywhere in the world and then I got a job, so I decided to stick around.

It was recently announced that Elizabeth Spiers is the new editor at The New York Observer, which you tweeted that you were “SO EXCITED” about. What about her coming to the Observer makes you this excited?

There's a lot of talent on the web side at The Observer and I think E. Spiers is the perfect editor to make us all into must-read master bloggers. Watch this space.

You mention that your bike made the move with you to New York. What kind of bike do you have and what are some of your favorite places to ride it in the City?

A 10-speed Bianchi road bike that's about as old as I am. I got it off Craigslist when I first moved to Portland for $300 and it's a fantastic machine. It gets a lot of comments because the front wheel is smaller than the back wheel, a configuration designed byGeorgena Terry to prevent toe clip. It's not easy for a small girl to find a good bike. We're very happy together.

I like 2nd Ave. below 34th St. because it's such a proper bike lane, with little bicycle stop lights and everything. You can get up to a good speed even though it often gets invaded by joggers and baby strollers. Governor's Island is good if you want to just bomb down some paved roads. I also like trying to navigate through Times Square without having to stop--it's full of fun obstacles and the traffic moves pretty slow. Riding in Chinatown sucks, Park Slope is a pleasure, and the Williamsburg Bridge is always fun. Stand at the bottom of the Williamsburg Bridge and watch people come down the decline. They all have smiles on their faces.

What are some of your favorite places to find “good, cheap food” here in New York?

Big fan of 99-cent pizza. The pizza in Portland is so terrible, it's offensive. Here you can spend a dollar and get a piping hot slice of cheese with a perfect crust and it's always fresh. I get hooked up with fine Turkish food at Bodrum on the UWS, where I used to wait tables in 2007. My friend Sam used to work at Bouley and now manages Perch, and his wife is an amazing pastry chef, and food at his house is FREE.

You studied at National University of Singapore back in 2007. How was the experience and why did you pick to study in Singapore?

I failed three out of my five classes because I was traveling so much. Singapore is a major hub and you can get cheap flights to Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong and Brunei, or just hop the border to Malaysia. It was a random choice, to be honest. Singapore itself is this quirky little place and I have a huge soft spot for it, but after six months you've kind of explored it all.