Malcolm Ong: New York City

What’s your historical Los Angeles and New York connection?
I grew up in LA (specifically OC) before going to college in Pittsburgh. After college, I lived in Austin for a couple years before moving to New York, where I’ve been for over 5 years now, settling in Williamsburg. I’ve always called both LA and, recently, NYC my homes, so I’m in both cities often.

Describe your experience in NYC.
I love NYC for its fast pace and diversity. There’s always something new to experience in the city, whether you’re into music, food, art, etc. And NYC is a place where you’ll meet folks with all sorts of different backgrounds, passions, and skills.

What was the biggest challenge of moving from LA to NYC?
Adapting to the change in lifestyle. Everything from the weather (I still loathe the winters) to transportation (I miss driving) to the things people do in their free time to even your wardrobe. Whenever I travel back-and-forth, I sometimes feel like I’m living two separate lives.

How can NYC and LA best engage with each other?
Through more communication, knowledge sharing, awareness, and collaboration. NYC and LA are both large hubs for global commerce, especially with a diverse population of entrepreneurs and creatives hailing from all over the world. Each city has its own strengths and weaknesses in terms of the type of expertise or industries that they breed, and surely both cities have a lot to learn from each other.

Favorite LA secret spot
The Varnish downtown. It’s a speakeasy bar inside another bar, started by the folks behind 213 and NYC’s Milk & Honey (speaking of LA + NYC collaboration). Great cocktails and live jazz.

Favorite NYC secret spot
Not exactly a secret, but I love 675 Bar in the Meatpacking District. It’s a semi-hidden, subterranean bar & lounge with great cocktails, cozy game rooms, and dance-your-pants-off music from great DJs. (disclaimer: I’ve DJ’d there before)

If you were not working, what would you be doing?
Two of my passions in life are music and traveling. Thus, I would be producing music and touring, bringing joy to people all around the world.

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

What’s your historical San Francisco and New York connection?
I moved to SF just a little over a month ago after living in NYC for over 6 years. Though I grew up on the west-coast (LA), I’m new to the Bay Area and am excited to soak in everything it has to offer.

Describe your experience in SF and your experience in NYC.
SF is the mecca for the tech industry. Everyone here is working on the “next big thing” and it’s exciting to be around so many entrepreneurs and innovators. The vibe here is a lot more laid back and chill, and there’s a lot of quirky and outdoor activities to do. Oh, and the weather is certainly better than NYC.

I love NYC for its high energy and diversity. There’s always something new and awesome to experience in the city, whether you’re into music, food, art, etc. And NYC is a place where you’ll meet folks with all sorts of different backgrounds, passions, and skills. After living in NYC for 6 years, I still am pleasantly surprised by the great things you can discover in the city and I will definitely miss it dearly.

What was the biggest challenge of moving from NYC to SF?
In NYC, you have the luxury of a great public transportation system, an incredible volume of top-notch restaurants and retailers, and a level of energy and excitement that is unmatched. It’s been a challenge to get used to the slower pace in SF, and having to try harder to find the hidden gems around the city in terms of food and entertainment. Also, rent in SF is more than in NYC!

How can NYC and SF best engage with each other?
Through more communication, knowledge sharing, and collaboration. NYC and SF are both great hubs for tech startups. I think each city has its own strengths in terms of the type of expertise or industries that they breed, so surely both cities have a lot to learn from each other.

Favorite SF secret spot
Alchemist in SoMa. It’s a great cocktail bar with a steampunk decor.
And Zeitgeist in the Mission is a pretty cool spot too. Think dive bar meets outdoor beer garden.

Favorite NYC secret spot
Angel’s Share in the East Village — a Japanese speakeasy where you have to go through a Japanese restaurant to get to.

If you were not working, what would you be doing?
Two of my passions in life are music and traveling. Thus, I would be producing music and touring, bringing joy to people all around the world.

Roadtrip Entertainment: tell us what song/album, TV show, podcast, or web videos you’ve been watching lately.
HBO’s Silicon Valley show of course!

From the 2905 Miles newsletter: connecting NEW YORK CITY + SAN FRANCISCO

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