east coast or west coast?

 
 Photo by Stephen Busken

Photo by Stephen Busken


The question that gets asked time and time again – New York or Los Angeles? Take it one step further, and I get asked to choose one. My answer is why do I have to choose one when I can have both?  Here’s a look into why I chose to live a bi-coastal lifestyle and how it made me appreciate both cities even more.

Weather – if you are like me, you are inspired and energized by sunshine, warm weather, endless scenery, and the water. Los Angeles has perfect weather all year around and the backdrop doesn’t hurt either. Growing up, I was an avid skier and would look forward to cold winters where I could do as many runs in a day as possible.  At this point in my personal and professional life, I feel more secure spending more free time around warmth and nature, oceans and beach, and the sunshine and mountains.  It doesn’t negate the fact that I look forward to the change of seasons in New York (this is refreshing, and also inspiring) to acknowledge and accept changes in life are marked by the changes in seasons. One of my favorite things to do is to drive upstate New York in mid October to see the leaves changing from brown, to red and orange.  Walking around a lake with a light breeze, warmed by a light jacket and holding a hot cup of tea reminds me to appreciate the beauty around us.  So why not have a little taste of both the NY and LA lifestyles? 

Food – each time I land in LA, I hear of a new restaurant opening. Each with a different theme, unique menu, menu items inspired by the surroundings, and the ambiance that can’t be beat. Depending on my mood, I can choose to sit among the Hollywood elite at the Sunset Tower Hotel or be surrounded by emerging artists at Broken Spanish in downtown LA. LA dining offers everything – from vegetarian to fine cuisine, farm-to-table ingredients combining with expansive wine and cocktail offerings.  New York on the other hand, offers solid classic options. With a few exceptions, my favorite restaurants are still some of the most sought-after locations in Manhattan:  Nobu Fifty Seven, Soho House, Le Bilboquet and Gramercy Tavern. I value the elegance and consistency that these restaurants are known for (with menu items that stand the test of time). From Williamsburg to the Upper East Side, the New York food scene is in a league of its own. So why not enjoy the best of both worlds?

Balance – a priority of my bi-coastal life is achieving a healthy balance. Not just a work/life balance, but a balance that promotes the unity for my mind, body, and soul.  Having the opportunity to experience the addictive energy of New York while accessing the softer-flowing vibes of LA, is truly an amazing way to live.  Angelenos are incredibly focused on their structured workouts and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  It's normal to many to wear gym clothes during meetings and then go straight to a yoga class after work. In LA, some even base their days around their workouts which I find quite refreshing.By contrast in New York, many struggle to find time to leave the office early enough to make it to the gym before a work or social engagement. In my opinion, LA wins over NY for a healthier mind/body balance.

Art - The best aspect of bi-coastal living is the variety of art. Although New York and Los Angeles have distinct advantages around art and culture, I enjoy the the contrast of how I feel in both cities.  The changing environments all challenge and add value to the selection of art for my projects. Some of my museums are: The Whitney Museum of Art in New York, The Getty in Malibu, The Broad downtown LA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY.  Yes, art is personal to each of us but both cities offer stellar examples: from ancient art to contemporary art. Leading a bi-coastal lifestyle has also given me the ability to select my favorite pieces of both cities and create a new identity for myself; thus growing the scope of my art advisory services.More than ever before, I now am able to appreciate the contrast in both coasts while ushering in a brighter light, one which positively carries through everything I do. 

So, when asked to choose one city or defend one, I decline. LA and NY both have so much to offer. My goal is to continue discovering the best parts of each coast in order to create the most rewarding bi-coastal lifestyle I can.