Emily Gannett: San Francisco

What’s your historical San Francisco and New York connection?
I really love both cities. I moved to NYC for college (NYU) and was working and living there until 2011 when more and more of IRL Productions’ clients were based in the Bay Area. At first I just came in for a week at a time for meetings but each time I visited, I realized I wanted to spend more time here, especially on the weekends.

But I didn’t give up on NYC completely. The whole IRL team is based in NYC, so I’m there about 6 days a month which provides my East-Coast city fix and the chance to see my friends there pretty regularly. Thank goodness for that rent controlled apartment in Carroll Gardens!

Describe your experiences in SF and NYC.
Someone asked me what the biggest difference is between the two and I said in NYC, a weekend activity is “brunch”. In SF we eat brunch too, but we probably ran, cycled, or hiked first.

Work-wise, because I’m the only one at IRL on the West Coast, I start my day at 6am which is good because I’m an early riser and don’t mind. But it can be annoying because I end up talking to my team on Skype all day.

Overall, it really works for IRL to have a presence on both coasts because it’s great being accessible to clients from either or anywhere in between.

What is the biggest challenge in splitting time or spending time in both NYC and SF?
If you want to enjoy where you’re living, I’ve found that you have to stop comparing the cities and just experience them both for what they are. For example, when I first moved to SF I was frustrated with public transportation. It’s hard to take trains and buses here when you’re used to the NYC subway system. Then I just accepted that it wasn’t the same and I bought a bike. And since I did that my whole life here changed. I can get anywhere and get there fast. Plus, I like the added exercise.

How can NYC and SF best engage with each other?
When is Elon Musk’s Hyperloop thing happening?

Seriously though, with IRL I find having processes set using all types of communication — Skype, Go To Meeting, Google Hangout, FaceTime, GroupME – can really help to make your virtual office seem less virtual. You can have the perks of being in the “same” place but also real-time accessible to clients on both coasts.

Favorite SF secret spot
Mt. Sutro trail is a historic forest and an amazing place for hikes. The entrance is at 17th and Stanyan but once you’re surrounded by 200 ft trees, it’s hard to believe you’re in the middle of the city!

Favorite NYC secret spot
I don’t think it’s a secret, but I love Corner Bistro on Jane Street. Its a simple place with a simple menu but everything about this place just works. Before I moved to Brooklyn, I lived next door and because my studio was so tiny and it was hard to entertain there, I used to tell friends to meet me in “my living room.”

If you were not at IRL Productions, what would you be doing?
I’m pretty sure I was born to do this job…but if I had to choose, I’d be working in the movie business, probably producing movies in exotic locales. That’s where I started (the movie biz, not the exotic locations) and it’s the foundation of IRL Productions: storytelling via delightful experiences. I’ve also always thought it would be fun be a hotelier and/or bar owner. But I’m sure it’s not entirely an either-or situation – I’ll probably still produce movies and still open a hotel and own a bar. I have plenty of time for all that.

From the 2905 Miles newsletter: connecting NEW YORK CITY + SAN FRANCISCO

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