What’s your historical connection to Los Angeles and New York?
I was born and raised in Santa Monica, CA — proud alum of Samohi! — and spent two summers as an intern in New York City, before starting Branch there.
Describe your experience in NYC.
What to say! Surprisingly, I HATED New York as a summer intern. I didn’t understand the appeal of the pace, noise, and smell. It wasn’t until I became a full-time resident, with a real purpose for being here, that I became so infatuated with the city. My perfect day probably starts on the High Line and ends at Glasslands but as long as we’re walking everywhere I don’t care where I am. My favorite part of the city though is the fact that no single industry, culture, or way of life — in general — dominates. It keeps you humble and curious.
What was the biggest challenge of moving from LA to NYC?
This is going to be a surprising answer but I miss the driving. It wasn’t until I left LA that I realized how therapeutic driving around the westside, with KCRW blasting, can be. It’s time to yourself, and your body is in autopilot so your mind can wander. Walking around New York comes close but it’s not quite as contained and personal.
How can NYC and LA best engage with each other?
We need to get New Yorkers out to LA to show them all the cool stuff that the city has to offer! I’ve given up trying to defend my hometown in conversations with New Yorkers. It has such a negative stigma, for some reason. Probably since visitors tend to hit the Hollywood Sign and Universal City and think they’ve “seen” the city enough to judge it. From Abbott Kinney to Echo Park we all know there’s so much more to it but most New Yorkers miss that when they visit.
Favorite LA secret spot
Cafe Brasil on Venice Blvd.
Favorite NYC secret spot
ABC Beer Co. on Avenue C
If you were not starting Branch, what would you be doing?
I’d be trying to pass Spanish 103 so I could graduate! Then hopefully find a job that allowed me to travel.
From the 2462 Miles newsletter: connecting NEW YORK CITY + LOS ANGELES