Jonathan Basker: New York City

What’s your historical San Francisco and New York connection?
I moved to San Francisco from Seattle in 2006.  I’d love to say that I predicted the market perfectly and saw the technology wave rising, but it was just lucky timing. I stayed for a little over three years and still love to return from time to time to say hi to everyone (if you want to say hi you can generally find me in Dolores Park doing not-very-much-at-all). I moved to NY in 2010 after a year traveling the world to begin work at Etsy.  Both cities are great.  We need some kind of connecty-tunnel (*ahem* Elon…you got this?)

Describe your experience in NYC.
New York is somehow simultaneously unknowable and familiar.  And that’s what makes it wonderful. It’s actually relatively easy to create a home here; carve out a space for yourself and live a life of local community and comfortable sub-routines. But whether you’re looking for it or not, the city is occasionally going to tap you on the shoulder and remind you how great/weird/smelly/unique/loud/amazing it can be and re-trigger your thirst to go out and play with it.

What was the biggest challenge of moving from SF to NYC?
Everything moves faster here. It took awhile to get the whole walking-fast bit down and flow properly in pedestrian traffic. Plus everyone crowds you and personal space has a very different meaning here.

Oh, and everyone is dressed better than you. You come here and suddenly you feel like an indigent in a stained pair of gray sweatpants scratching his beard with gutter- crusted fingernails. If you move here you’ll find yourself naturally upping your wardrobe game.

How can NYC and SF best engage with each other?
Dear San Franciscans,

I implore you: please, please send us burritos. In return, we promise bagels and cannolies (does Blackjet have a courier service yet?)

(Editors note: we will fully endorse and support a startup that provides this service. Please throw in Russ and Daughter lox while you’re at it).

Favorite SF secret spot
The Phone Booth. Do they still let people smoke in the bar?

Favorite NYC secret spot
The one you weren’t expecting. My favorite NY secret spots are the one you find on random walkabouts. But so as to not dodge the question I ❤ ❤ ❤ the Russian and Turkish baths. Sooooo chill, but sooooooo weird. Check them out and don’t EVER give Boris your credit card (pay cash).

In-flight entertainment: what’s on your playlist/reading list right now?
I’ve been working my way through The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad (gotta finish it before someone spoils it for me! and reading A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy.

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

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