I write books about animal rescue and promote organizations that foster the human animal bond.
What’s your historical Los Angeles and New York connection?
I grew up in Westchester County, attended college upstate New York, then lived in NYC for a few years. I moved to LA to be with my then boyfriend, now husband, nearly 25 years ago.
Describe your experience in LA and in NYC.
When people ask where I’m from I’m still tempted to say New York even though almost half of my life has been lived in LA. I had the best time in NY and loved summer weekends in the city when everyone else cleared out to the beaches. (I also loved spending summer weekends at the beach, but if NYC can ever be described as quiet, weekends in the summer would be closest.) LA was a huge adjustment for me but now I love it. I have some wonderful friends, I love how many diverse environments there are (sea, forest, mountains, desert) and I attribute most of my personal growth to my time in LA.
What do you love about both cities, and what were the biggest challenges of moving from the west coast to NYC?
My biggest challenge was leaving my friends and family and a walking city. I describe LA as a giant suburb and while I don’t mind driving, I miss all of the interactions on the streets of NYC. I remember visiting LA as a teenager and not really “getting” it. It wasn’t until I had actually moved here, had kids and then connected with likeminded people that I felt “home”.
How can NYC and LA best engage with each other?
I love meeting former New Yorkers who, like me, still have New York in their blood. We are simpatico. Each city has their unique energy and should be celebrated. If NY has a pulse, then LA undulates. Sometimes NY takes cues from LA and other times it’s reversed. I love that it’s as easy as hopping on a plane to get from one to another.
Favorite LA secret spot:
I love the laid back atmosphere and yummy food at Oscars Cerveteca and Venice Beach Wines on Rose. But the most secret is my second floor deck from where I can see tree tops and the ocean, specifically the marina. On a clear day I see lots of sailboats and sometimes even Catalina Island.
Favorite NY secret spot:
Anywhere in SoHo for brunch, or sitting outside on Broadway or Columbus with a glass of wine, friends, simply people watching in the summer. It seems that we’ve also started a new family tradition of meeting in NYC (we are scattered) for a Broadway show and dinner which is always special (though not very secret).
If you weren’t building what you were now, what would you be doing or building?
For me I don’t know that it’s an either or. Since becoming a champion for animals, it’s just what I do and who I am. After my new book, “What to Expect When Adopting a Dog” launches in September I’m moving into a documentary, which will be new territory for me. I kind of breathe animals and people and that connection. For fun, there’s lots of travel on my list. I love engaging in new cultures and meeting people all around the world, and ideally I can travel and connect and educate all at the same time.
Inflight Entertainment: What song/album/podcast/show have you been engaged with lately?
I regularly listen to Beca Lewis’ Shift the Story podcast and Marianne Williamson’s weekly live talks (she just moved from LA to NY!). I’ve also been listening to Freakonomics podcast. I just finished “Mans Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl on Audible and am now loving “Rescue Road” by Peter Zheutlin. My daughter turned me on to music byGlass Animals and my son plays in a band so I hear a lot of whatever they happen to be working on- right now it’s Tom Petty which is always awesome.