Cause that's what's up this well ruffled Monday in the 718. Yours, in flouncy goodness. XO
Cause that's what's up this well ruffled Monday in the 718. Yours, in flouncy goodness. XO
Good morning, Friday. TGIF yo.
So last night a pal and I watched a bunch of episodes of "Sex and the City", Season 3 over a bottle or two of chilled red and some tacos. If you need a refresh, Season 3 is all about tube top Carrie (a perennial favorite of mine) as well as an awesome cameo by none other than John Slattery, who plays a local politician who with a rather "golden" desire in the bedroom (let's leave that there). He was fabulous by the way.
Watching this show is always a fun exercise in New York nostalgia. When Manolo was king and women were enjoying a real moment in the spotlight as Carrie and co made singledom sexy and fun. And if you were living that life at that time, it was fun. Lots of fun.
And here's something I realized as we all struggle with the "new" New York that can often feel a bit sanitary and bland. I think the moment New York became less fun was the moment that people stopped smoking. Really. Think about it.
Watching Carrie with a cig between her lips now feels almost perverse. Weird. Her character today would never smoke cigarettes. But back in the day we all smoked, and admittedly, I have had a long road with cigarettes myself and now feel very much a pariah for smoking at all. Yes, of course- there's no question smoking is possibly one of the worst things you can do- we all have the memo- over and out. But since we've all gotten so carried away with health and wellness, I wonder who's having any fun? Sure, sure- rose all day I know. Ya da ya da. But is all that rose any good if you can't have a cigarette in between sips? It's not as fun. I'm telling you. Just know that. You may be wearing a sweatshirt with an affirmation after a Taryn Toomey class, but are you really having fun? I'm guessing no. OK, maybe a little. Just not as much. Sure we've grown up, but I miss decadence. Particularly when times like these call very much for a drink and a cig. Oh and all that fake posh fun on Instagram doesn't count. It just does not. Because I say so. It feels desperate. So very desperate.
And yes, thanks to Instagram, we've all been regaled with those insane pictures of Black Tap milkshakes and people really going for it when it comes to the new gluttony with a wide eyed childlike approach to hedonism, vs. something dark and kind of hot. But sometimes I miss the casual deadliness of New York in the 90s- when one could smoke and drink and then go the diner when it's all over and that was shockingly normal. I'm sure people still do that ps- and Lord bless them all. Bonus points if you or others are doing this in a tube top, after picking up a man in Staten Island while judging a stripper Fireman contest. Yea, that's what Carrie did. Just saying. And as much as I loved "Girls", Hannah Horvath was having none of that. And I think she missed out.
So we all know big box retail destroyed New York. Bloomberg destroyed gritty New York. High rents destroyed mom and pop and starving artist New York. But when cigarettes started to cost upwards of 13 bucks, that was really the end right there. New York was always a den of sin- that's what made it a hoot and a half. Now it's just a sea of yoga pants and green juice and acai bowls. Yes, I know- I'm one of them now too. But it doesn't mean I don't miss the days of yore when city life was best served with a healthy side of vice.
Cause that's what's up this smoke 'em if you got 'em kind of Friday in the 718. Yours, in long gone decadence. XO
Hey there Thursday it sure has been a while but here I go again on my ownnnn.
It's been an interesting Summer indeed- and not in the fun rose swilling, sun soaking way. I've been in the zone of figuring out just what I'm going to do with the rest of my life- no easy task I assure you. This really hit me hard a few weeks ago and I decided to take a bit of a respite from this blog and focus on drumming up some biz for the Maven and getting back to work.
Fortunately I booked a great gig to take me through the end of the year- more on that next week. Let's see what else is cooking in my world...
Oh, I started drawing and illustrating again. I have always loved to draw and went to art school most of my life up until I graduated high school. Why I did not pursue this (and many other things) is sort of beyond me, but I'm glad to have found it again, and I've been spending my free time with a sketch pad in hand and a hot set of markers. What am I drawing?Fashion-like things of course. What else? I'll share them with you soon.
As I wind down my last free days before this next gig, I'm grateful for the time I've had to spend some time alone. To work out at random, luxurious times and enjoy my neighborhood. To try and take my mind off of politics and my uncertain career path by investing in some art supplies and making my heart happy.This has not been an easy time for me, but I'm still here. I may not have had a ton of beach time this Summer, but it's been lovely to get back in touch with who I am and who I would like to me. It's getting clearer by the minute and I really appreciate all of the wonderful support and encouragement from friends I've shared my thoughts about all of this with- I've tried to be positive about all of this change happening- it's not easy for me to admit my fears around this thing called life, so thanks for listening- you all know who you are. And without you, I'm nothing. When I feel a bit beat up it's not my default to be social, but I pushed myself and I treasure the time I've spent this Summer with friends who have been kind and offered me some much needed advice and compassion. And of course, cocktails. Although this is the least boozy Summer of recent memory and that's just fine by me.
I'll be back with a more regularly scheduled post tomorrow and next week. I want to share some more moments from my life- a series on my many odd jobs is in order as well as my usual musings on products I love and trends I've found. I'm fortunate to have a place to air all of these thoughts, so please keep reading. Don't you just love this Arthur Elgort photo, ps? His images are the very best medicine.
Cause that's what's up this moving on kind of Thursday in beautiful Brooklyn. Yours, in enjoying my last few days of free time. Hope all's well by you. XO
Hi, Monday- Maven's off for the week. Summer and such.
See you all soon! XO
Good morning, Friday. Oh, New York. Again with the 95 degrees and 100 percent humidity? Ugh. Fall please. Now.
So I've been thinking a ton about work and career (almost too much really) and I'm realizing I've outgrown my current (so called) freelance life. It's not that I don't like being freelance anymore- I do love my freedom and the challenge of a new project every few weeks or months, but the work is no longer steady for what I have traditionally offered and short of a full on panic, I know I need to reinvent.
Often I've thought that meant adding tools to the toolbox- learning new skills is always a great idea, but I'm at a point where I'm a quick study and it's not super hard for me to produce just about anything. Not at all bragging of course, but I just know how to make stuff. Give me a good idea (make that a great idea) and I can get it done. I'm agnostic, experienced, and just love figuring out how to get it all done.
But here's something- I know there are many things I can't do on my own. Things that people want or need or require on a project. And as I watch a bit of a death valley moment for freelancers in my little neck of the woods called advertising, it occurred to me that flying solo may no longer be the answer. I feel the next generation of freelance or consultant life will be anything but an individual effort. I can see myself partnering with a few like minded maniacs who are passionate and smart and start pitching clients on the power of a team. I can see this being extraordinary for everything from boutique law firms who need some marketing help to big brands who want a different point of view. I know many brands are staffing up internally when it comes to marketing, but there's room. I know there's room. It's not about pitching a group as an ad agency or anything like that- think a collective of people, a team, who can work across boundaries and make it all go. If I close my eyes I can easily think of five to ten people I'd love to partner with- so maybe this whole power of one scenario needs to be rejiggered to include a safety in numbers mentality? Think sleeper cells of creative types who want to make it rain. Am I onto something? I think I may be. Thinking something like a five piece band. I Sure, you can still do solo projects, but I'm all about the vibe of a band these days, where everybody has a special offer and riffs so beautifully together. 'm Keith of course. ;)
After years of working in and around trends, I think this may be the next phase for life as a consultant. Maybe it sounds like a communal approach, but I'm good with that. I can also see this reshaping the whole coworking thing- instead of shacking up at WeWork (no thanks), why not share an office with a group of people you can call on to collaborate and reinforce your very own brand? We all know the system is broken- I'm looking to shake it up and wondering if that includes putting together a team and marketing ourselves as a group? Interesting isn't it? You could literally stage this a million different ways- with people from all over the world. I like an arsenal. It's much better than a single bullet. That's my take anyway as I try to figure it all out.
I've never been a big joiner and have always seen myself as a solo type- but a bit of crystal ball gazing has me seeing this as the future of the consultant model- we all know collaboration has been a buzzword for a good stretch now, but finally seeing how it can come to life. So who wants to party?
Cause that's what's up this team building Friday in the 718. Yours, in group hugs. XO
Good morning, Thursday. It's hottttttt and I'm happily working in the a/c and not planning on moving, nor is the Khan man. We's chillin.
So if you're like me, you may always be on the hunt for a good concealer. I've gone high (By Terry) and low (Covergirl) and just about everywhere in between and find concealer so difficult to get right, particularly if you are not 25. You've got to be careful when applying it and watch the wrinkles around your eyes- but a good concealer can do wonders for looking fake awake. I love it for that.
So yet again Benefit comes through for me- even though their packaging feels so preteen, their products are consistently wonderful and well priced. Their latest, the Boi-ing hydrating concealer, is $20 and really fabulous. It's moisturizing and non drying and does not cake at all under the eyes. I love how the applicator is more like a lip balm too- the consistency is just great and it blends beautifully. I'd give it a go if I were you- I went with the medium shade and it's perfect for me. The key to concealer past 35 is all about whether or not it will dry you out- this one is specifically made to hydrate and moisturize the skin under your eyes, that's why it's a great anti-aging game changer. I do love my By Terry, ps. It's just way too spendy and this one is my new fav and so affordable.
Needless to say, this heat has me going fairly makeup free of late, but a bit of concealer can be your BFF when you're feeling depleted or blah or any number of maladies that some good coverage can fix. This is truly a must have and for the price, it's a real win win. Link to buy here.
Cause that's what's up this quick tip of a Thursday in the 718. Yours, in covering up. XO
Good morning, Wednesday. It's dead hot outside. Almost in a panicky way. As you know, my hot weather threshold is low- I'm about ready for Fall around here if only we could keep the longer daylight and laid back vibe. But ugh it's hot in the city, baby.
So I thought I'd post some inspiration amongst all of this perspiration- because when it's this hot outside, you can't wear your basic black. I mean, you can, but white is a much better choice. Considering I'm a bit of a pigpen it's a risky choice when out and about in the city- from drips of building water (a/c leaks from above) to coffee spills to any number of city gunk situations that may occur throughout the day. I'm loving these all white looks- my favs are probably the more flowy versions like the one at the top of the post (love the color pop too) and I adore that jumpsuit of course. So keep it freshl and light and white today. With our current train situation (Summer of hell anyone?) and rising temps, you're going to look for ways to not only stay calm, cool, and collected, but look the part. These looks are fab and fear not- you won't look like a nurse or hospital patient in any of them- that's always my concern with all white but when you play with bits of color or black accessories, it's such a lovely way to beat the heat.
Cause that's what's up this whiteout of a Wednesday in the 718. Yours, in lightening up. XO
Good morning, Tuesday. I'm still in bed yes I am. Lovely bday celebration last night at one of my fav spots, Minetta Tavern. Such a classic New York evening. I do so love it there and that chocolate souffle is no laughing matter.
So this past weekend David and I did Brimfield- that amazing massive flea market up in Mass. It's full of amazing pieces from every era and is a dizzying array of objects, furniture, clothing, and just about anything you could ever want. We had a great time as flea marketing is something we both absolutely love- tons of great vintage toys for sale too- a favorite of mine. I ended up with a Little Sprout radio from the 70s, and a few other things like a vintage paisley pajama top of that fake silky material that reminded me very much of Kurt Cobain. Needless to say, I'll be rocking it in the Fall with outsized jeans and super messy hair.
But other than looking at fab things and consuming a belly's worth of kettle corn, I found a booth that made me question the majority of my life choices. All because of some fabulous Moroccan rugs.
Heja Home is a company based in Burlington, VT and run by a lovely couple in their late 30s. They travel to Morocco and bring back the most beautiful rugs, and they also sell a few modern furniture pieces that go perfectly with said rugs. Every single rug they had was a complete home run- their taste is extraordinary and their booth blew me away. It's common knowledge to stay away from the rug guys at fleas like this, not to mention hyper curated booths (no bargains usually). But I could not stay away from this beautiful space and just had to talk to the owners. (Def check out their Insta too).
He's a carpenter by trade, she's always been a bit of an artist. They used to deal mostly in furniture but ended up in Morocco somehow and found their calling. They always loved travel and wanted a life focused around seeing the world, and making some money too. And though I wondered if rich parents were financing this little venture, I felt not- these two were living their dream and that's a huge factor in their success. And then it hit me like a ton of Berber- I've been living a life that's far too structured for my DNA, and I can't help but think my husband is too. I love that this couple (their company name is a combo of their names, Heather and Jason) is living a hippie life in a very chic way. I could get onboard with that. Here's why.
Case in point- we are not planners. I know this does not bode well later in life, but we're not. We've both always been fly by the seat types and that's the truth- we go places last minute (the flea market was a last minute decision after lamenting our lack of summer plans). And truly, our souls are more of the gypsy variety. And we are absolutely not the type As most doctors recommend are best suited for this New York life. I'm more type X,Y, or Z. I'm amazed we've survived here as long as we have- sure I love it to pieces but the constant obsession with money and success and back again gets me sometimes. Actually, a lot of late. It's worth it to some but is it worth it to me? I don't know. I just want to breathe.
It's true I love my fancy things but at my core, I'm a free spirit. And I've been living a life that often feels far too structured for true happiness. Particularly because we don't have children. Why on Earth did I decide that living deep within a grind was the way to go? So I can eat dinner at Minetta Tavern? Yea, probably. But I'd sacrifice that souffle for a bit of soul food. I would. And listen, these rugs are madly expensive and the irony of pretension that surrounds chic rug peddling from Morocco is not lost on me. But I love the idea of doing something, or rather, bringing something to people that they really want. Nice rugs make people happy. What's wrong with that? Plus the travel jones is so strong within me. I want to go, and go, and go. Living in a van wearing a bikini does not appeal to me. Traveling around the world acquiring wonderful things to sell to you, you, and you certainly does.
And as we talked to this lovely couple, it became more and more clear. We may not fuck off and sell rugs, but it's worth examining whether this deeply structured life is a happy one, at least when it comes to me. No disrespect to anyone happy with a more structured existence, but if I'm being honest with myself, it doesn't lead me to happiness and it most likely never will. And yes, I realize their life is probably far from perfect- a lot of schlepping for the most part but guarantee they feel satisfied at the end of the day.
Just something I've been pondering since the weekend- this lovely tan couple left a deep impression on this maven. The fact that living a happy life may be very different than what I thought, or really- exactly what I thought but did not have the cojones to see through, because I thought success was defined by a summer house, a seat at the big girl table, and lots and lots of shoes. Hmm. Ain't that something?
Brimfield is in May, July, and September by the way. I'm definitely going back to soak up some good vibes and hopefully get one rug closer to living a more free spirited life. Cause that's what's up this magic carpet rid of a Tuesday in the BK. Yours, in breaking through and breaking free. XO
Good morning, Monday. Well, another year. Today's my birthday and if nothing else, I'm grateful to friends and family who make life worth living. I got to check out Brimfield this weekend- an amazingly huge flea market up in Mass that is so up my alley. More on that tomorrow.
But for now, I thought I would play around a little with one of my favorite bits of prose of all time- that amazing "Choose Life" sequence from one of my favorite movies, "Trainspotting". You know the one. If not, read it here. It was a great comment on society and a generation gone mad.
So as I'm deep in that 40s zone now, my vantage point is quite possibly more cynical than ever, but more in a poking fun kind of way than an "I hate the world" kind of way. There is so much crazy stuff happening it's worth noting a few things that choosing life entails nowadays. So here's my little riff on that epic rant from back in the day:
Choose life. Choose a shared work space. Choose a career with a slash in it. Choose frozen eggs. Choose a fucking smart phone, smart thermostat, smart refrigerator. Choose all appliances that are smarter than you are. Choose $900 a month dance classes, choose gluten free, choose to not eat carbs and wave away the bread basket in disgust. Choose living in a van and Instragramming it. Choose friends that make you feel insecure because they're so accomplished. Choose the Hudson Valley over Montauk. Choose yoga pants from Bandier and wear them all damn day. Choose any of the real housewives, even though New York is the best. Choose luggage with a vintage appeal. Choose Gucci. Choose Vetements. Choose a babouche. Choose a backless loafer. Choose to feel hopeful because of couture. And Celine Dion. Choose a fixer upper with great bones. Choose to listen to the Talking Heads with a smack of irony. Choose the 80s. Choose the 90s. Choose to obsessively watch memes of Trump shaking hands. Choose well how did I get here? Choose binge watching. Choose vaping. Choose rose, frose, and poo shaped pool floaties. Choose fillers over Botox. Choose to go with your gut, then be afraid of your gut, and choose something else. Choose working from home, and then resent it. Choose WeWork and then resent that. Choose naming your children after vegetables or fallen rock heroes. Choose flowy fabrics and embrace gender fluidity. Choose air bnb, as long as there's good products in the bathroom. Choose googling everyone and everything you've ever met or known. Choose rock and roll spin classes because it somehow makes it ok. Choose midcentury modern all day, every day. Choose brunch. Choose avocados. Choose chia seeds. Choose eating like Tom and Gisele. Choose mom jeans even though nobody really looks good in them. Choose dry shampoo. Choose cushion compacts. Choose surfing. Choose an overwhelming amount of skincare and skinceuticals. Choose magical dusts of all kinds. Choose perennial self identification as edification. Choose meditation. Choose bikinis that look great on Instagram. Choose Goldendoodles, Labradoodles, and doodles of all kinds. Choose to read the print edition of the New York Times, but only on Sundays. Choose Matcha. Choose leaning in, standing up, and running with blinders on. Choose hip hop that makes no sense. Choose to shit on Coachella . Choose selfies and Facebook Live and Instagram stories. Choose singing and dancing in your car like everyone's watching. Choose to embrace your body type. Choose puppies. And kittens. And baby goats. Choose fake news. Choose to not worry about OJ getting out of prison. Choose Soho House, Ludlow House, Neue House. Choose first world problems, then laugh about them, then cry about them. Choose to resist in silence. Choose from a million gazillion things but most of all, make good choices. Choose to hate all of the above, choose to hate yourself, and then choose to love yourself all over again. Then choose to be a life coach. Because this is the life you chose. Choose life.
SNAP SNAP SNAP.
Of course, the original rant ends in Renton choosing heroin. Because why would he choose life when there's heroin? Don't worry, I'm not choosing heroin. But I am amazed at how much worse this rant has become since that movie first came out in 1996. Trainspotting 2 came out recently and there's a whole new list, but this is my list, from my uniquely situated vantage point halfway there. Somewhere. Anywhere. This is where I'm at with how ridiculous we've all become, present company included. I don't choose everything on this list, but Lord knows I'm guilty of much of it. This whole little diatribe was spurred by an insane article in the Independent about Tracy Anderson's $900 a month gym on the Upper East Side, which made me feel sick to my stomach. Who and why? Read it here. And then choose life. Although after reading this piece, heroin seems like a pretty good idea. We've clearly lost our edge. Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down...
Cause that's what's up this slightly (more than slightly) cynical birthday in the 718. Yours, in choosing all the choices and them some, because Lord knows this list could go on forever. Same as it ever was, and once in a lifetime. XO
Good afternoon, Thursday. I've had a fun day and excited about some new opportunities.
So I've been watching the incredible series, "The Defiant Ones", on HBO and I'm incredibly inspired by the stories of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, two music industry heavyweights who are living legends. The four part series tells the tale of both dudes, in their own words, with plenty of appearances from the music industry's biggest stars like Eminem, Gwen Stefani, Ice Cube, and many others. If you listened to music in the 90s, you were most likely listening to something from Interscope or Aftermath. And even earlier, their contributions to pop music and culture are indelible. I love that both guys were creatives first, and business people later. I think that creativity informed some of their best decisions. It shows you how important the creative mind is when it comes to business. For those of you who think you can't make that switch, consider watching this and realize how useful all of that artistic juice is for the boardroom or C Suite or starting your own thing. I have always thought of myself as rebellious and defiant in my ideaology- I'm so glad HBO put this on the air. It gave me real hope and fired me up.
So I've been watching and learning a lot this week about what it takes to be a huge success from these two guys. I see this kind of tenacity and drive coming from the tech world, but in the creative world? I just don't know. We need more of these defiant ones to come forward and run the show. I for one am starved for defiance- everything has gotten a wee bit too safe- perhaps it's because we live in such perilous times. All I know is I want to be inspired again by the work we do and the creative world we live in. Regardless of whether you're the next Dr. Dre or the next Steve Jobs, here's some takeaways from this brilliant series on how to work it like a gdamn boss:
Remember where you came from- This goes without saying. I love that Jimmy Iovine, an Italian kid from Red Hook, Brooklyn and Dr. Dre, an African American man from Compton, had beyond humble beginnings. They were not given a single thing but one thing they both did have- a supportive family. Dre's mom (a single mom) did everything to encourage his success, and Jimmy credits his dad with being his very best friend. Even if you don't have that, respect your origins- humble or not. There is no way they have not contributed to who you are today.
Never, ever give up- On yourself. Or on those you believe in or who believe in you. I love how Iovine never stopped believing in himself, Dre, and any of the many risky ventures that he was part of. He was absolutely relentless, often sitting in his bathroom for hours on end, on the phone, pursuing the artists and deals he knew would be a big success. You can't give up. Maybe stop chasing what doesn't matter and focus on what does, but don't ever give up.
Give the people what they want, before they know they want it- Both Dre and Iovine had that Spidey sixth sense for how culture affects the music we listen to- in the golden age of 90s music, it was all about anger and aggression- coming out of the Reagan years, the LA riots, and a move to something dark and angry- think grunge and beyond. Both of these guys are the best fortune tellers out there- they know what you want before you want it. Thus the Beats deal. See what's happening in culture and mass media and get far ahead of it. I love when Iovine talked about the death of the record industry and how Napster sank the whole game- instead of getting under the covers, he met with Steve Jobs, learned a lot, and made one of the biggest deals in history. Stellar. This one feels particularly relevant to people in advertising, by the way. it gets harder to do, but the best stuff is forward focused. We spend a lot of time reacting to every blip in culture, but if you can move past that and see how all of these blips contribute to something more seismic in the future, you're going to turn good into great.
Trust that gut and find your tribe- In my own career, when I've paid close attention to my instincts, I've achieved success. When I don't, it's a whole other thing. I love that Iovine always knew who would be big stars- from Springsteen to Trent Reznor to Gwen Stefani and of course, Dr. Dre. It's a whole lot easier to go with your gut when you are collaborating with people you feel super connected to, who have the same work ethic, values, and creative DNA. Find your tribe and you can't lose. Eminem and Dre have one of the best partnerships in history- because they're both in your face, tenacious maniacs who can't and won't stop.
Put your blinders on- This was my favorite takeaway from the series. Iovine mentions that if you spend your time watching what everyone else is doing and worrying how it relates to what you're doing, you'll fail. He says that when you want something, put your blinders on and run as fast as you can. If you don't, those other ponies may trip you up and you may just be out of the race. So stop watching everyone else's back and don't stop until you get what you want. Great advice. That's the true definition of a defiant one- single vision, f the rest. Love.
As I continue to assess my own career, I'm taking all of this to heart. What an epic series depicting one of the greatest successes of music history. I highly recommend watching this four parter- incredibly inspiring for anyone who is looking for ways to make fearless changes and follow their passion.
What's inspiring you of late?
Cause that's what's up this straight outta Brooklyn kinda Thursday right here in the 718. Yours, in defiant ones, and staying in the race. XO