What’s your historical Los Angeles and New York connection?
I was born and raised in the NYC area. With the exception of college, I spent the first 38 years of my life in the NYC area. I was lucky enough to meet an incredible woman (after a very long and crazy search) who has grown up in LA but moved to NYC after college. About 2.5 years ago we decided that we wanted more space and better weather, and made the trek west to Los Angeles. I’ve been here since October of 2011.
Describe your experience in NYC.
It is incredible (but frightening to some) that so many people are packed in so closely. However, there are so many people you can learn from, events to attend, and just people to watch. You can get eaten up alive, or find a group of friends that will last you a lifetime. It’s all about whether you want to take control or let someone else be in charge. I started my career as an investor relations professional, and became a project manager, business analyst and entrepreneur due to my environment. I can’t imagine somewhere else where I would have had so much exposure to so many different things. Not to mention, all work and no play makes people dull… So to have access to the theaters, events in Central Park and Lincoln Center, the restaurants, not to mention the Yankees, just really helps remind you why you love NYC so much.
Describe your experience in LA.
Space, it’s not only the final frontier, it’s also one of the reasons I moved to LA. I started off in NYC in a 300 sq ft apartment on Washington Square Park. We took a bit of time to figure out where we wanted to live. We settled on Westwood, as there’s some “walkability” which reminds me of NYC, which I still consider home. However, we’re now in a 2,500 sq foot home that is just gorgeous, and something we never could have had in NYC. Traffic, well, I won’t be the first or last person to complain about it. I miss walking to work, but I consider it a challenge to count how many times I have to honk my horn on my 7 mile commute each day. Finding good pizza was tough, but we’ve been really happy with LaRocco’s in Culver City. We’re making new friends, finding new restaurants, and it is fun to have a whole new city to explore.
What was the biggest challenge of moving from LA to NYC?
I have several — making new friends at this stage in our lives, getting immersed in the entrepreneurial culture as I was in NYC, and finding good pizza. But as mentioned above, we managed to get that one solved.
How can NYC and LA best engage with each other?
Stop trying to outdo one another. NYC can be great for networking, as you can easily get from event to event. In LA it requires a bit more advanced planning due to the traffic. But in general, LA might be a bit behind NYC in some regards, but there are plenty of talented and incredible people out here. LA obviously has a major presence when it comes to entertainment, and NYC still appears to have the lead in terms of pure tech. But it’s not like either of us wants to let San Fran win. So let’s get it together and remember that we’re entrepreneurs at heart, and there are ways for everyone to succeed instead of always having to go the cutthroat route.
Favorite LA secret spot
I’m still looking for one. I do enjoy taking out of town guests to the Penthouse at the Huntley. It’s a lovely brunch with a beautiful view of the beach. My wife and I use that as a sales technique to remind our NYC friends why they want to move here. Another fun “secret” spot isn’t such a secret — it’s going to watch the LA Derby Dolls. They are incredible. You’ve got to go at least once. (But good luck ONLY going once.)
Favorite NYC secret spot
My wife and I used to go to Sofia Wine Bar every few weeks. It’s a small place that you could walk past if you’re not careful. The food was wonderful, tons of wine choices (about 80 choices by the glass), and amazing service. My wife went back to Sofia’s while on a business trip to NYC, and they still remembered the wine she liked to drink.
If you were not at WeWork LA, what would you be doing?
One of the beautiful things about WeWork is that it doesn’t have to be an either/or thing. That said, I’m still getting to know the LA ecosystem, so I’m taking a bit of a hiatus. I can definitely imagine getting back into the startup scene as a contributing member in the future. I’m currently studying programming because I’m tired of being “just the business guy.” I could see myself either doing another online dating startup, or something to assist with networking.
What’s on your playlist right now?
I’m still a child of the 80s — so lots of metal and hard rock from the 80s and 90s. Although, I did recently discover Halestorm, and I’m pretty impressed. My boxing workout though contains Pantera’s Cowboys from Hell, and Motley Crue’s Kickstart My Heart. Perfect for an intense workout.
From the 2462 Miles newsletter: connecting NEW YORK CITY + LOS ANGELES