New York > California

December 15, 2011

After a year and a half of living in San Francisco, I’m moving back to the only place I call home. It’s been two months since I quit my job at Apple, and left the branding/advertising world. I like to romanticize my newfound self-employment as if I’m a professional basketball player who’s on strike from the league, playing ball in the neighborhood court, just the way it was played when we were kids: no refs, no fans, and no shot clock. I need to practice on my jump shot, and I’ll stay a free agent until the right team comes along.

I’m also very excited to teach a typography class this January for my alma mater, School of Visual Arts. It wasn’t too long ago that I was nervous design student, pestering all my teachers, begging them to give me a bit of their knowledge. (I still do this, and thankfully most of them don’t tell me to bugger off!)

People ask me why I’d leave a place so beautiful and serene like San Francisco? While California’s culture is just as predominant as NYC’s, neither could be more opposite. The decision to move back East has made me think a lot about what makes California feel so different. Besides the weather, and the slower pace—or the fact that people strangely wait for the street lights to change before crossing the street—there’s a collective essence that is inherently different than New York. But what is that exactly?

Recently, I was discussing this topic with my neighborhood barista. He explained an old comic he once saw that perfectly articulated everything I felt about the two cultures! I rushed home and Googled said comic. After a long search, I unfortunately came up unsuccessful. So I did the only thing I could do. I tried to recapture the spirit of that insightful comic.

See you back in the motherland!