What’s your historical NYC and SF connection?
New York is home. It’s where I was born and where my earliest memories are. It holds my favorite places (The Met) and my most painful memories (saying goodbye to my dad/ being a troubled teenager).
San Francisco is like a dream. It’s a thing I had in my mind, and pictured in different ways as I grew up. When I first came here at 18 it was a beat pilgrimage to City Lights. When I moved to the East Bay two years agoI had a vision of a life where I lived in a bungalow with a palm and lemon tree, where I would walk around barefoot all the time, and barbecue every weekend.
Describe your experience in SF and your experience in NYC.
Living out here has been the first time a place has far exceeded my dreams about it. I love the fog, the redwoods, the trips to the mountains and the coast and desert. I love the fresh figs, crazy citrus season, the juicy heirloom tomatoes, the seascape strawberries. So much of my experience out here has been about staring at nature and eating fresh amazing food.
And yet…I miss New York. My current art practice is all about documenting my time there, the memories and love and loss that I experienced. The more I love it on the West Coast the more defined New York becomes in mind as a one-of-a kind place. My studio is covered with paintings of New York, with maps and reference photos and relics from my life there. Outside it’s all hummingbirds and sunshine, but in my studio I go into a very nostalgic internal place where I try to excavate and make sense of my first 30 years of life on the East Coast. I guess I needed the distance to see myself better. You can follow my journey on that front here: http://www.artpatti.com/hunterisland
What was the biggest challenge of moving between NYC and SF?
Moving out west was such a huge change. I moved here with a job lined up and took one day off before jumping into working. After a year, I realized I had no idea why I was doing what I was doing. Why was I being a Marketing Director? I realized I needed to take time to come up for air after the transition and I quit. I built an art studio in my back yard. And I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to be doing, but never felt was possible: being an artist.
How can NYC and SF best engage with each other?
Culturally–the art scene in Oakland especially is so exciting, I think New Yorkers should pay more attention to what is happening out here. I realize how much people everywhere look at New York as the cultural center, but there is such awesome and different stuff going on out here. Even if New Yorkers can’t make the trip, culture writers and workers should be covering some of the awesome work out here rather than just talking about tech, real estate and the drought.
Favorite SF secret spot
The hike up Claremont Canyon in Berkeley is my everything. It’s also where I got married.
If you were not where you are now, what would you be doing?
Welp, this has never happened to me before, but there is literally nowhere else I’d rather be. I’ve found my “happy place”.
Trip Entertainment: what song/album, TV show, podcast, or videos have you been consuming lately?
Rihanna’s ANTI / Kanye’s TLOP pretty much on repeat.