Aaron Davis: Los Angeles

What’s your historical Los Angeles and New York connections?
I was born in New York City, and I spent the first 8 years of my life on the Upper WestSide. My dad is a “business man”, and my mom owned a tiny second floor knitting shop. With busy parents, I had a nanny and would sleep in piles of yarn at my mom’s shop until I was old enough to go to school. New York will always feel like home to me.

Describe your experience in LA (or NYC).
Los Angeles was pretty low on the list of places I saw myself living. There is an energyin New York that’s hard to explain, the city is constantly re-inventing itself. You see it walking around, riding the subway, around every dirty corner. You’re constantly surrounded by people and creativity. LA is spread out, and you have to track down things that interest you, it rarely finds you. However, LA isn’t all bad news. After being here for almost a year I’m starting to understand some of the attractions. There is a laid back sense of life that I’m enjoying, and the people who are motivated to make things happen here are able to make a larger footprint. And the scenery is nice.

What was the biggest challenge of moving from NYC to LA?
My girlfriend and I only gave ourselves a few weeks to get packed up and shipped
out. Moving together made it much easier. She has all her family here, and we had
a place to stay until we found an apartment. I was busy trying to figure out how to re-locate a small business I had started with a couple friends in New York to Los Angeles.Kickstand started as a mobile coffee cart, towed by bicycle, that we set up at farmers markets and other local New York events. After much success with the cart, we launched a “take home” bottled cold brewed coffee concentrate and that sparked a lot of noise. With potential prospects of opening a coffee shop and brewing a RTD (ready to drink) coffee products in Los Angeles, I decided to make the move. But not all things bloom the way you anticipate. The biggest challenge was realizing that I had left all my friends and was starting a new life in Los Angeles.

How can NYC and LA best engage with each other?
I’m a big music fan, there’s a lot of different music happenings in LA and NYC, but there isn’t much of a dialogue between the two cities. For the most part, the music scene is pretty disconnected. I could see a collaboration of music makers doing good things if someone built a bridge for that conversation.

Favorite LA secret spot
Din tai fung
Cue!

Favorite NYC secret spot
Momo sushi shack
Glasslands

If you were not at Seso, what would you be doing?
I would still be working on Kickstand, potentially talking to other investors, distributors, door to door sales, etc. But I was ready to get back into a creative position with normal hours and harness my developer skills again. Seso was a perfect match, I don’t think I could’ve asked for a better position.

From the 2462 Miles newsletter: connecting NEW YORK CITY + LOS ANGELES

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