My #designthyself project has actually been working, though I must admit that I was skeptical at first. It's made me pay more attention to the world around me and has helped me see the positive side of NYC. I've had countless exiting experiences here in New York, both professionally and socially, but I just can't seem to feel at home here. I've been asking myself time and time again what it is about NYC that bothers me...
Is it the hustle and bustle? No, I enjoy that most days.
Is it me missing my husband and our home? No. Though that SUCKS, it's not what bothers me about NYC.
Is it the consumerism? No. That sucks too, but I can handle it.
Is it the tourists? No. They make me laugh (unless they stop abruptly when I'm midstep behind them and proceed to get mad when I unavoidably body-slam them).
Well what is it?
It's the dirt. I loath how fucking filthy this city is! I cannot stand how many garbage laden streets I walk along every day and how people treat the city like a landfill. Every time I see people littering, I want to slap them and ask what the hell they're thinking!!
As a "social innovator", I realize it's the responsibility of people like like me to design solutions to such problems and hopefully I'll have time to do so in the years to come, but today is not that day. Green Up Day
is apparently only a Vermont thing...who knew?? People from the cohort looked at me like I had four eyes when I asked when it was in NYC.
Maybe NYC Green Up Day
next year?? Let's make it happen!
I can't believe that I haven't paused to reflect and be grateful for the the subway until this morning! As many of us NYC commuters know, sometimes it's a major pain the ass, like when I have luggage or am faced with a delay that makes me late, not to mention crossings paths with profoundly disgusting people occassionally.
Below is a list of the things that I have grown to love or things that amaze me about the subway on a daily basis.
1.) I can take a moment to breath and be calm and still when I need it.
2.) I can read!
3.) Though I hate that I can't use my phone, it's a blessing and a reminder of how dependent I am on it.
4.) The complete disregard people have for the fact that other people are watching.
5.) I can spend time really
thinking about projects, about big decisions and about life.
6.) I can really
listen to new music. I can do this in the car as well, but their is something special about a head phone experience. I can concentrate on the lyrics and the sounds.
Here is a sampling of some of my favorite new(ish) tunes from recent commutes to-and-from Brooklyn:
- Laura Marling: I Speak Because I Can
- Michael Kiwanuke: Home Again
- Mumford & Sonds: Babel (this isn't new, but I love it so much I couldn't exclude it)
- D'jango Unchained Soundtrack (offensive language - you've been warned)
If you haven't been, you should definitely head to the Lower East Side and hit up momofuku Noodle Bar
. The buns and the ramen are to die for! It's always busy, but it won't break the bank!
In one afternoon while discussing Citizen:Me
, a project I'm working on, I managed to buy the best key lime pie I have EVER tasted at Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies
in Red Hook, followed by decadent chocolate layer cake lunch at The Chocolate Room
in Park Slope. A great New York afternoon indeed.
On an unrelated note, I also observed this creepy, yet RAD Betty Boop collection as I strolled past someone's home...I LOVED her as a kid!
When I used hear the phrase "jam out", I would reminisce about my festival-hopping days when I would dance for hours, listening to Bobby Weir wail on his guitar while I hoola-hooped and frolicked... Fast-forward ten years and I've got a new definition of "jamming out", which includes group ideation, brainstorming, lots of talking, blurting out words, drinking coffee, and of course, prototyping.
I've been lucky enough to be working with CJ Maupin
for the last several months. Siege is a writer, communications strategist, designer, innovator and has broad marketing experience directing worldwide programs. She started her career in community organization and government before moving to the private sector and applying her impressive skills at Apple International, Ogilvy and Maher, Citi Bank, just to name a few.
I'm so grateful for the time I spend with Siege, soaking up her brilliance and participating in inspirational jam sessions like the one for Yale University pictured here.
"Many people see artists as shamans, dreamers, outsiders, and rebels. In reality, the artist is a builder, an engineer, a research analyst, a human relations expert, a project manager, a communications specialist, and a salesman. The artist is all of those and more--combined with the imagination of an inventor and the courage of an explorer. Not a bad set of talents for any business challenged to innovate in a world of volatility, uncertainty, and change."
Read the rest here
Instead of being my typical NYC self and walking along with my head-phones blaring and completely ignoring the man on the sidewalk beside trying to get my attention, I decided what the hell...the sun is shining and for once, I'm not in a rush...I'll give this guy the time of day...
And guess what? He was really nice. As I tried to respond with the directions he was requesting, he immediately shouted, "oh my God, your voice! You have such a great voice! Do you work in TV? Radio? Voice overs?" I must have looked as stunned as I felt because he told me not to be so nervous and swore that I he wasn't hitting on me. Then he told me about his career with the Cosby Show and that he's currently casting for a Miramax film. After a brief and superbly awkward conversation, he gave me his card, telling me that he wanted me to come to record in his studio...still stunned, I took his card and gave him mine.
And yes, he just left me voicemail asking my availability.
Only in NYC...and yet another reason to love it here.
My obsession with Tumble Weed Tiny Houses
led me to these awesome folks. They travel around the country meeting like-minded, sustainably living people who agree to host them in their driveways. Hosts also welcome them into their kitchens to bake pies, which are then sold in a nearby town before they are on route to their next destination...what trip. http://pieitforward.wordpress.com/