Security Check: Aviva Mohilner, brand development consultant (for work), and Amplify Good founder (for love)!
What’s your historical Los Angeles and New York connection?
I was born and raised in LA (rare second generation LA native), but always had a heart for NY. After college, I talked with a friend about my desire to move to NY, and he gave me a life-changing piece of advice: Pick a date, buy a one way ticket and figure the rest out as you go. I picked the 4th of July, and it’s been my Independence Day ever since.
Describe your experience in LA and your experience in NYC.
For me, LA is much easier. My family and many friends are there, I live/work by the beach, and we all know about the weather. No worries about lugging laptop bags and wardrobe changes – just throw sh*t in the trunk and go… But it’ll never match NYC’s energy, intensity or aspirations for greatness. I fell in love with the city as soon as I set foot there. Sometimes the magic fades and the toughness wears on me, but then some random dude plays world-class music in a subway station and it reminds me that life is good and everything will be ok. (Insert sentimental melody here.)
What was the biggest challenge of moving from NYC to LA or vice versa, or in splitting time?
Aside from flight hassles, the greatest challenge was finding my people. After years of being back and forth, I feel hugely fortunate to be surrounded by (and continuously meeting) awesome folks on both coasts. Maintaining/deepening those relationships has become the tough part – but I’m working on it. (Big sloppy kisses to those who know and love me anyway.)
How can NYC and LA best engage with each other?
I’ll answer this on a personal rather than civic level… Make introductions. A good life is all about the people in it, so helping one another make those connections is one of the best things we can do. Oh, and more bicoastal-friendly, flexible housing options! Let’s make it happen, people!!
Favorite LA secret spot.
The Cow’s End in Venice. Indie cafe with plenty of tables and outlets, free wifi and a full menu (including smoothies – it’s Cali, after all). Best part is that it’s a block from the sand when you need a break and surrounded by bars and restaurants when you need a drink.
Favorite NYC secret spot.
Videology in Williamsburg. Again, great place to work by day and hang out by night. (Sensing a theme?) What makes this place a fave is that they do movie screenings and other video-related events in back, and you can BYOF (or even have it delivered there). With Vanessa’s Dumplings right next door, it’s a wonderful world.
If you were not at Amplify Good what would you be doing?
I would (and will) focus more on leading classes and workshops. Teaching/empowering people lights me up, and I’d like to work on more programs with like-minded “amplifiers” who want to help “purposepreneurs” be smart about branding, marketing, PR, etc. (But that’s what Amplify Good may evolve into, so I guess I’d just be doing the same thing.)
Inflight Entertainment: tell us what song/album, TV show, podcast, or web videos you’ve been watching lately.
I’m a podcast geek. Radiolab (a 2462 favorite!), Snap Judgement, Freakonomics, On Being, Planet Money, The Unmistakable Creative, anything from HowStuffWorks, and of course, This American Life… Just whisper sweet, smart nothings in my ear and I’m hooked.
From the 2462 Miles newsletter: connecting NEW YORK CITY + LOS ANGELES