What’s your historical Los Angeles and New York connection?
I am a former Hell’s Kitchen resident and modern dancer at the Ailey School in NYC turned science edutainer and communicator based in LA, but traveling the world.
Describe your experience in LA and your experience in NYC
LA and NYC basically represent my two lives: art and science, the physical and intellectual.
In NYC Im an artist; I take dance classes, visit the museums, and see every new play, musical, and ballet I can. When Im not in-studio making TV, I walk all over the city, eat the best food, and I’m never late for an evening curtain. My NYC friends are from non-science communities and our conversations veer towards attempts at high-brow critique of any topic from politics to art. These conversations are generally held in bars after a show.
In LA, I’m an academic. I go to science lectures and seminars, I format science and scientific ideas into neat boxes to be consumed by the general public, and I help host science-y events with my branded friend group (yep you read that right we’re a brand: http://www.nerdbrigade.la). I’m always late for meetings because I never budget enough time for traffic *and* stopping at Starbucks, and I get there in my piece of shit car: a trashcan on wheels I call the “grad student mobile”. Most of my friends have PhDs in a STEM discipline or work for NASA and they also have YouTube channels or podcasts. It’s not uncommon for us to have conversations about the mating habits of insects over a dinner table.
What was the biggest challenge of moving from NYC to LA?
Cars. In LA there are SO MANY CARS and if you don’t have one you are a trapped prisoner in your neighborhood or a very broke frequent Uber customer. The public transportation in NYC, especially the subway system, makes me feel so much more free and independent. I go out more in NYC because I don’t have to worry about sitting in traffic for 2 hrs and then paying $20 for parking. Its an adjustment either way.
How can LA and NYC best engage with each other?
More bi-coastal collaboration! So many of us spend time on both coasts nowadays, I’d love to visit an art exhibit that requires attendance at galleries in both LA and NYC to get the full message, or participate in PR events that occur simultaneously in both cities and communicate with each other in real time… I feel like there is less of an “us” vs. “them” mentality now though, and that’s good.
Favorite LA secret spot
A hotpot restaurant in Monterey Park. But Im not going to tell you its name! Its basically my “happy place.”
Favorite NYC secret spot
Tea & Sympathy is my favorite place to rest after walking the streets all day. The tea and scones are amazing!
What would you be doing if you weren’t working on what you are?
I’d be just another unemployed PhD trying to figure out why they spent 6 years in graduate school only to not get a job after graduation. Or worse … I’d be an academic post-doc *shudder.*
Inflight entertainment: tell us what you’ve been listening, reading, or watching as of late?
When I’m not working on a deadline I just sleep. Anyone who has ever traveled with me knows I’m usually snoozing before the plane takes off! But here’s a great podcast recommendation anyway: check out Talk Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria; she’s a nerdy, badass female.
From the 2462 Miles newsletter: connecting NEW YORK CITY + LOS ANGELES