Jake O’Brien: New York City

Security Check:
I’m Jake, and I’m a technical marketer, videographer, storyteller and content creator.

What’s your historical Los Angeles and New York connection?
I was raised in a small town in southwestern Connecticut, part of the tri-state area. With a background in journalism, entertainment, and that easy-going California personality, I knew I wanted to go to school in Los Angeles. I ended up attending the University of Southern California where I majored in Broadcast and Digital Journalism and minored in Theater. I then went on the work as a TV reporter in Redding, California. My work then took me back to NYC where I most recently managed Latham & Watkins’ Digital Events team and am currently taking classes at the Startup Institute.

Describe your experience in LA and your experience in NYC
Where do I begin? Can I say I love both places? I spent 4 years living in Los Angeles and it was everything I hoped it would be. Even though I was attending school while living in LA, I feel like USC offered me every real-life experience I could ever want to prepare me for life after school. I anchored USC’s news show, interned as an undercover investigative reporter for CBS Los Angeles, worked as a tour guide for USC, and of course enjoyed the LA nightlife. I still go back to LA to visit my friends frequently. I have been living in New York City for 2 years now and people aren’t kidding when they say it’s the city that never sleeps. There is ALWAYS something to do, whether it’s the bars open until 4 am, or the late nights at the office until 4 am. It’s a work hard – play hard environment and I have been thriving in it.

What was the biggest challenge of moving from LA to NYC?
I think the biggest challenge of moving between NYC and LA applies to moving to any place in general. It’s just becoming acclimated to the environment. Especially when I moved to LA I didn’t know a single person who lived in the state of California. In LA I decided the best way to kick life’s butt was to join every club and participate in every activity possible so I could make connections and start to learn about what I am passionate about. In New York the situation was a bit different. I had many friends living out here, so it was a matter of utilizing the connections and friends I already had to take advantage of this incredible city I was in.

How can NYC and LA best engage with each other?
Stop comparing themselves to one another. Just because they are two of the biggest and most recognizable cities in the US and the world doesn’t mean there needs to be a competition to see which is the better city. These two cities have everything and nothing in common. Get to know each other. I’m sure the two cities would get along.

Favorite LA secret spot
Good Times at Davey Wayne’s (Not much of a secret anymore, but enter through a fridge door and you’ll feel like you’re partying at Ron Burgundy’s Channel 4 News bash).

Favorite NY secret spot
Mehanata (Located on the corner of Ludlow and Delancey, this bi-level Bulgarian bar boasts some awesome music, a swing set, and an ice cage where you can lock yourself in and drink to your hearts content for 2 minutes).

If you weren’t building what you were now, what would you be doing or building?
Traveling through Southeast Asia and filming everything.

Inflight Entertainment: What song/album/podcast/show have you been engaged with lately?
Band: Explosions in the Sky (Shoutout to my Friday Night Lights fans).
Show: Master of None (Aziz Ansari is a genius).

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

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