Vishal Sapra: New York City

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Growth and Digital Innovation at an Ad Agency by day // Crusader for Human Capability and Kilt Wearer by night

What’s your historical Los Angeles and New York connection?
I’ve had a love affair with LA for a long time; so much so, that I missed pretty much every return flight I was supposed to get on when coming back. I decided to spend part of winter in LA because I was pitching a movie studio earlier this year and was working closely on building out the Agency’s efforts on the west coast. Camping out in LA for a few months seemed like a better idea than getting on planes every other week during an NYC winter.

Describe your experience in LA and your experience in NYC
When you truly understand NY, it is dynamic, balanced (even as you experience its extremes), has something for everyone, and filled with people who have a ‘I can do it all’ attitude. New York fuels a fire that I have inside to stay up late and get up early. To live with a sense of urgency. I lived in Venice Beach, which I think is very different from WeHo or Downtown LA. Part of me loves Venice – the people are friendly, there’s a focus on wellness, a desire to connect with nature and take care of the planet. I was more productive in LA than I am in NY – I think it helps to get away from the office and escape back-to-back meetings. But it’s missing that energy and dynamism that I think only NYC has.

What was the biggest challenge of moving from LA to NYC?
I was a student of philosophy in university; I spent a lot of time studying language and taking great care in word choice to articulate my point of view. As health, wellness, and notions of spirituality all start to blend, the roots of their origin, meaning, and significance are being lost and coopted by posers. This is evident in the “competitive spirituality” I witnessed out there; many people name check healers, try to out-zen each other, and blindly share their gurus’ points of view without forming their own. And for all the yoga and meditation we did out there, something’s out of balance if they can’t stay up and drink with me after 10PM ☺

How can NYC and LA best engage with each other?
I love experiencing all four seasons, so I propose that Californians and New Yorkers swap houses during the first fiscal quarter of every year.

Favorite LA secret spot
I have many, but I share those sparingly. Ask me when you see me (or meet me in person).

Favorite NYC secret spot
We lived on a property called Rose on Palms in Venice Beach. It had a koi pond, a hand carved temple imported from India, fire pit, outdoor (heated) yoga studio, and so many other magical elements.

If you were not building what you build now, what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t working, I would be driving classic cars and motorcycles around the world.

Inflight Entertainment: tell us what song/album, TV show, podcast, or web videos you’ve been watching lately.
I write on planes and read all the articles I’ve been saving up since my last flight.

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

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