Sometimes, NYC is the most peaceful and idyllic place I can imagine. On a perfect August Saturday last weekend, Central Park beckoned. I met up with friends, old and new, and had fun and games with badminton, bocce, and a spontaneous plank-off (yep). I love these types of days, which I always associate with summer in NYC. In the long, dark, cold winters (which also have their own charm) and cold, dreary springs (which I do not find charming at all), these days are what I look forward to all year.

Sometimes, NYC is the most peaceful and idyllic place I can imagine. On a perfect August Saturday last weekend, Central Park beckoned. I met up with friends, old and new, and had fun and games with badminton, bocce, and a spontaneous plank-off (yep). I love these types of days, which I always associate with summer in NYC. In the long, dark, cold winters (which also have their own charm) and cold, dreary springs (which I do not find charming at all), these days are what I look forward to all year.

I don’t know that I’ve ever been as moved by a complete stranger’s death as with Robin Williams. From Mork & Mindy on Nick At Nite when I first moved to America, to Aladdin which I watched an average of once a week for a year, to What Dreams May Come with its stunning cinematography and art direction. My all time favorite might be this - O Captain, My Captain.

RIP and thank you, Robin WIlliams.

I took two days off work last week and traipsed around New York City. I love walking through areas of the city I don’t usually visit, at times I am normally at work. Seeing your city through new eyes is a blessing. Walking up 5th Avenue, I snapped a touristy pic of Atlas. One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books:

“If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders - What would you tell him?”

I…don’t know. What…could he do? What would you tell him?”

To shrug.”

I took two days off work last week and traipsed around New York City. I love walking through areas of the city I don’t usually visit, at times I am normally at work. Seeing your city through new eyes is a blessing. Walking up 5th Avenue, I snapped a touristy pic of Atlas. One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books:

“If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders - What would you tell him?”

I…don’t know. What…could he do? What would you tell him?”

To shrug.”

Passion In the Hustle

One of the most cliched traits people say about themselves is “passion.” Everyone is “passionate”, just like everyone is “busy.” To me, the word passion means an intense, extraordinary emotion towards one particular thing, something that is essential to one’s being. If passion has now become a personality trait and one that everyone possesses, can it really be called passion?

I question the use of the word passion, but I think it’s crucial to anyone looking to work on a side hustle. As a proper (older) Millennial, I have been regularly getting together with friends, talking and thinking about minimally viable startup ideas to invest my time, energy, and money. There have literally been zero ideas that have inspired any of us to break the inertia of our daily lives. I could have the most inspired conversation about how one idea would work, how to get customers, how to differentiate. But, when we go our separate ways, that idea remains in fairyland.

I recently read on Vinivius Vacanti’s blog that no one learns to code when it’s a nice-to-have skill. People will buy the books, maybe sign up to class, but they will only actually learn it when they need it, i.e. when a product doesn’t work, when there’s no one else who can do it, or when their livelihoods depend on it. That made me think - by its very definition, passion can’t be applied to something that’s a perceived non-essential part of our lives. With these weekend brainstormed ideas, it’s no wonder none of us have done anything - we don’t have the feeling that if we don’t do this, we will die. Because we won’t - we have plans. And jobs. And dinner reservations. We might have broken through technological barriers, but I’m finding that there are still significant personal barriers to entry.

Yahoo Answers and Brand Strategy

I’m a member of my generation and all, so I like Quora (especially for work). But in my heart of hearts, I have an inexplicable love for the low-brow weirdness of Yahoo Answers. 

A recent work request - we want to make our consumers feel more alive. Commence head banging. What does it mean to feel alive? When do people feel the most alive in the first place? Does feeling alive evoke emotion? How can an ad possibly evoke any of this?

I thought about it (focus group of one), and I wanted to see what other people felt. Lo and behold, Yahoo Answers to the rescue. Some of the excellent answers below:

  • WHEN I’M SCARED TO DEATH AND JUST AFTER.
  • When I’ve just placed my fabrics in a very eye pleasing display. I get the physical rush of lifting some incredibly heavy weights and the joy of aesthetic perfection.
  • when i am with my best friend. doing flips off her couch while listening to system of a down!
  • When I cry.
  • whenever i’m in a place and think. I never thought i would be here.
  • (plus a lot of answers referencing orgasms)

I came looking for patterns or themes, and clearly, there isn’t one. However, that tells me something altogether different - it’s not the commonalities that could connect us to each other (and the brand potentially), but rather the differences. After reading the Yahoo Answers post, I think it’s an infinitely more interesting exercise to find out what makes all types of people feel alive and make a whole project around sharing that with the world.

Sh*t Kanye Says About Kanye to the NYT

It [my instinct] has only led me to complete awesomeness at all times.

You know, if Michael Jordan can scream at the refs, me as Kanye West, as the Michael Jordan of music, can go and say, “This is wrong.”

I don’t know if this is statistically right, but I’m assuming I have the most Grammys of anyone my age, but I haven’t won one against a white person.

I remember when both Gnarls Barkley and Justin [Timberlake] lost for Album of the Year, and I looked at Justin, and I was like: “Do you want me to go onstage for you? You know, do you want me to fight”… I am so credible and so influential and so relevant that I will change things.

If anyone’s reading this waiting for some type of full-on, flat apology for anything, they should just stop reading right now.

Yeah, respect my trendsetting abilities. Once that happens, everyone wins. The world wins; fresh kids win; creatives win; the company wins.

I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means. I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of Internet, downtown, fashion, culture. Period. By a long jump. I honestly feel that because Steve has passed, you know, it’s like when Biggie passed and Jay-Z was allowed to become Jay-Z.

Source: NYT

This is AMAZING. Ironically, unironically - I love him for thinking this way and actually saying it OUT LOUD, to nothing short of the New York Times.

“Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these three trembling cities the greatest is the last—the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York’s high-strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion.” ― E.B. White, Here is New York

In New York, wonderful things just sometimes find you. I stepped out of my hair salon on West 17th St, happened to cross the street and look up, and saw this amazingly beautiful picture. In one moment and with one image, this iPhone pic captures all the reasons I love New York.

“Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these three trembling cities the greatest is the last—the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York’s high-strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion.” 
― E.B. White, Here is New York

In New York, wonderful things just sometimes find you. I stepped out of my hair salon on West 17th St, happened to cross the street and look up, and saw this amazingly beautiful picture. In one moment and with one image, this iPhone pic captures all the reasons I love New York.