Jake Chai: Los Angeles

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Hi, I’m Jake, and I work with Common to build a network of homes around the world where we combine community, convenience and flexibility to make living with others a joy instead of a chore.

What’s your historical Los Angeles and New York connection?
I moved to NYC from Toronto in 2013 to attend grad school. My first year was in the upper west side, followed by two years in Williamsburg. Venice has been my home base since April.

Describe your experience in LA and in NYC.
Moving to NYC was probably the best decision I ever made. The city was a catalyst for personal and professional growth that I couldn’t have achieved by staying in my home town of Toronto.

LA made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Sunshine, beaches and an opportunity to work with a company who’s mission I’m passionate about with an awesome team.

What were the biggest challenges of moving from the west coast to NYC?
I’ve decided to remain carless in LA. So I’ve been trying to make my experience here as walkable as possible, which is something I appreciated in NYC. For the most part it’s worked. Uber helps fill the gaps!

How can NYC and LA best engage with each other?
NYC is motivating, inspiring and drives growth, while LA recharges, relaxes and nourishes. The key is to know each city’s strength and plan your life so you can get what you need, when you need it.

Favorite LA secret spot:
Newport Seafood. This place is half aquarium and half delicious Chinese food restaurant. Show up hungry and prepare yourself for a culinary experience. I can feel myself salivating as I write this. Get the lobster or crab.

Favorite NY secret spot:
Grand Ferry Park is a little known spot in Williamsburg where Grand Street meets River Street. It’s a small park with an awesome view of the Manhattan skyline and the Williamsburg Bridge. I’ve had many great moments eating bagels and taking time to reflect.

If you weren’t building what you were now, what would you be doing or building?
One of the most amazing travel experiences I’ve had was going on the Gibbon Experience with eight of my closest friends. We lived in a tree house about 100 ft high in the middle of the jungle in Laos and spent our days zip-lining through the incredible landscape. There’s something so magical about living in tree houses and I’d love to create a network of tree house retreat locations in beautiful natural settings.

Inflight Entertainment: What song/album/podcast/show have you been engaged with lately?
I’m trying out my first audio book with, “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg. So far so good, although I definitely absorb more when reading text.

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