Erica Anderson: New York City

What’s your historical NYC and SF connection?

I moved to NYC in 2010 to work for Katie Couric. I came on board to amp up her social media presence and integration into broadcast. It was crazy – and a blast! I learned so much from her about the many dimensions (and pressure) of being a network news anchor, especially one who was exploring social journalism to improve the outcome of a news story. This was an uphill battle and she provided me lots of cover to try new, ambitious things. In 2011, I received the amazing opportunity to join Twitter in San Francisco. The company was about 300 employees and I was the third person on Twitter’s media team. Now I’m back in NYC (so happy!) to work for Google’s News Lab, an experimental team focused on building the future of media with journalists and entrepreneurs.

Describe your experience in SF and your experience in NYC.
In some ways, San Francisco was an escape from the grind of New York City life. I discovered (at least for me) that in SF people put a premium on extra curricular activities (that have nothing to do with work). I took up hiking, learned to surf and built a meditation practice. All of these, especially time in nature, helped me to reach new levels of peace and creativity.

What was the biggest challenge of moving between NYC and SF?
It felt like I had to work hard to meet journalists in SF, especially those who didn’t cover tech. In New York, it’s so easy to meet journalists and individuals who follow current events and have opinions on the world. This is so enriching! Another challenge of being in SF was falling into the tech bubble. I was so deeply entrenched and invested in Twitter’s success that I had difficulty truly maintaining a cultural and intellectual life. Aside from finding myself in this bubble, I also became privy to a world where women were not invited to the table, despite having relevant experience or talent. I don’t experience this so openly in NYC.

How can NYC and SF best engage with each other?
Newsletters like this! And literature. New Yorkers should read Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City (to understand a part of San Francisco’s special history) and San Franciscans should read E.B. White’s Here is New York.

Favorite SF secret spot
The top of Twin Peaks at night, a Saturday walk up Bernal Hill, a Sunday morning surf at Linda Mar.

Favorite NYC secret spot
The Chinese Garden Court at the Met. I hope to find more!

If you were not where you are now, what would you be doing?
I would seek out a brilliant filmmaker to teach me the art of film production..

Trip Entertainment: what song/album, TV show, podcast, or videos have you been consuming lately?
Call your Girlfriend (love Aminatou!!). I also just watched Transparent (I’m a little behind) and was blown away by the multitude of strong female story lines. I identified with so many characters.

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