Jul 21, 2015

If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.

Howard Schultz

I never wanted to be on any billionaires list. I never define myself by net worth. I always try to define myself by my values.

- Howard Schultz

"Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know."

- Daniel Boorstin

I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint - and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.

- Oprah Winfrey

"When the ashes clear from the economic Armageddon, the only organizations left standing will be the ones that actually stand for something. Without a Purpose that improves people's lives and contributes to the greater good, organizations will struggle."

- It's Not What You Sell, It's What You Stand For by Roy Spence

Jul 16, 2015

Pluto

Tone

 

Jun 27, 2015

Trust

Jun 18, 2015

Piecing Together The Mosaic That is Earth

“Inner peace is closely related to care for ecology and for the common good because, lived out authentically, it is reflected in a balanced lifestyle together with a capacity for wonder which takes us to a deeper understanding of life. Nature is filled with words of love, but how can we listen to them amid constant noise, interminable and nerve-wracking distractions, or the cult of appearances? Many people today sense a profound imbalance which drives them to frenetic activity and makes them feel busy, in a constant hurry which in turn leads them to ride rough-shod over everything around them. This too affects how they treat the environment. An integral ecology includes taking time to recover a serene harmony with creation, reflecting on our lifestyle and our ideals, and contemplating the Creator who lives among us and surrounds us, whose presence 'must not be contrived but found, uncovered'.”

Laudato Si-Care for the Environment by Pope Francis

Jun 17, 2015

Sotheby's Institute of Art

http://www.sothebysinstitute.com/ 

Sotheby's Institute of Art

There's still time to register for Online Courses beginning next Monday, 22 June. If you're looking to brush up on art...

Posted by Sotheby's Institute of Art on Tuesday, June 16, 2015

 

Jun 13, 2015

Go With The Spirit

“You’re connected to a higher source and you become one and you just go with the spirit.”

– Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson's photo.

Jun 12, 2015

I Choose To Live By This..."Content of Their Character"

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

- Dr. Martin Luther King

“Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses, especially learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else and only through experimentation can we know anything.”

Leonardo Da Vinci

Jun 3, 2015

Eric Ripert- I love his approach to food

“For me, food is about memories, feelings, emotions, and so is Le Bernardin, and that’s why it’s not just a restaurant.”

(Savoring in the moment)

May 31, 2015

I'm Into It.

This sounds like something my Grandfather would have taught me.

May 28, 2015

A Constant Balance of Harmony

I work at a very hip cafe in the Village. It has a prime location, fabulous crowd, trendy healthy food, and lovely decor. To me it feels like a "new era village " hot spot where guests can come to feel downtown chic and sexy. But I have to wonder, since most New Yorkers have ADD, how long will it last? And how devoted is this crowd?

On my walk to work the other day, I had just finished having an inspiring lunch with an old RISD friend. We caught up on love, the economy, the typical struggle of making art and making a living. I told him I want to see his new work and he told me "it's just a bunch of toy designs." and shrugged if off as if it didn't matter. My friend, is what you would call a soulful artist by origin. It's what we bonded over years ago. He's a Westchester Handsome Gay Jewish Man, who has the singing voice of an angel. He has actually brought me to tears on several occasions when he performed for Brown University's "Bare Necessities" Acapella Group. I'll never forget his solo rendition of Lauryn Hill songs, or Train's "Hopelessly". I feel we have a spiritual bond and I see and feel his purity in his voice and his art. When he spoke of the commercial work he his currently making, he sounded delighted and excited, but he didn't give it the same value that his painting or "art" was based on....which I get. 

We continued our walk through Chelsea, onto the Highline. Where I had a cup of some current news worthy coffee, "Blue Bottle", that I am totally a fan of and which I now follow on Instagram. My friend is not on Instagram, and in fact, he barely knew what it was. And this is why I love him. He's a unicorn!! 

My friend wanted to walk me to work, so we strolled throughout the village, and stumbled upon this shop.

I immediately took a liking to it because I have a fondness for curiosity shops. I had noticed the 50% Off Sale signs as well, this clearly nudged me a bit. As soon as we walked in, a woman at the front said in a very solemn voice "Everything is 50% off because today is our last day."

Usually, I am immune to the various sales tactics of a New York store owner, but this struck me. 

"It's your last day???!!!" How long have you been here?"

"21 Years." She said. 

And then the mood....went dark. I looked at my friend, and we both had watery eyed emotion.

We had just finished talking about things like this at lunch. If the West Village is losing the very essence of what has made it special for decades, it will no longer be "The Village". Despite, my love for memorabilia and curiosities, I looked over this shoebox size shop and wondered how it managed to stay open as long as it did selling postcards, animal skeletons, and random knick knacks. Apparently, I'm not the only person who appreciates this sort of retail. We bought $10 worth of merchandise, I gave them my sympathies and wished them luck. Our walked continued passing hat and cheese shops, japanese chocolateries, lingerie boutiques with no customers, and on the surface it appeared as though the West Village was dead at 4pm on a Tuesday, aside from booming business in Magnolia Bakery. Maybe they have figured out the proper price point of supply and demand with customer needs....a $5 pretty cupcake.

Why Are There So Many Shuttered Storefronts In The West Village by Tim Wu: ARTICLE CLICK HERE

 

"In the longer term, high commercial rents also damage what made neighborhoods like the West Village attractive and appealing to buyers and renters in the first place. One usually pays for distinction, and there is nothing distinct about a neighborhood where new businesses are national chains or safe, high-margin operations. The preservationist Jeremiah Moss, the author of the Vanishing New York blog, points out that Greenwich Village has been a bohemian center since the eighteen-fifties, but, since the rise in rents, it “no longer drives the culture,” and instead is becoming what James Howard Kunstler termed “a geography of nowhere.” It is possible that entire classes of stores may disappear from some neighborhoods, like mid-range restaurants, antique stores, curiosity shops, bookstores, and anything too experimental. Brooklyn has emerged as a cultural center in the past two decades in part because it has lower rents and thus more interesting businesses. But, as Brooklyn’s property values rise, it might expect some of the same problems that parts of Manhattan have."

 

The struggle for something of pure value seems harder and harder to come by. Water is scarce in California, born and raised Americans have a harder time getting work than those who have just crossed the border. "Business Insider" (which I read daily) occasionally posts articles about superficial celebrities with the majority of it's viewership disliking it, yet they continue to post. Major store chains (Walmart, Starbucks) take over towns and push out small businesses but perhaps provide benefits and stablity for people seeking work. Advertisements seem intent and desperate on selling the embodiment of soul, happiness, the good life...and I am forced to see both sides of a complex coin... A vicious distracting Pandora's Box cycle of going everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

What are we chasing and when did we lose our way? I personally think it happened right after 9/11. Since then it has felt like a domino effect of getting deeper and deeper into a mass of negative qualities: debt, depression, stress, etc. I have several older mentors from various ethnic and class backgrounds and they all seem to be on the same page about this decade being the most difficult in their lifespan outside of the 1920's depression. As a whole, a serious re-evaluation of values needs to be re-instilled within our American culture. Simple things like, going to a movie matinee for less than $15 (includes popcorn), brands that you know you can trust for healthy cereal or eco-friendly, fair trade, American made cars etc. Essentially, putting your money where your mouth is and what you support. It feels so backwards, people raise prices to get more money, yet, not one can afford to invest. Wouldn't it make more sense to lower the cost if you wanted to invite more commerce? We also don't have a need to leave our houses anymore thanks to most people living in the virtual world. Which would explain those dead boutiques in Greenwich Village.

In tough times, I am frustrated by the amount of greed vs. compassion that we often see. So many of us choose the animal instinct vs. the intelligent hopefully enlightened HUMAN instinct.

I am frustrated by the lack of manners that "Adults" have and even more frustating is when they don't teach their children proper etiquette or social exchange....such as "Thank You" and "Excuse Me".

I am amazed by my "little" cousin at 20 years of age who seems more interested in her 2,000 selfies and 8,000 Instagram followers than what she is supposed to be studying in college. Yet, I see the mass media infuence that she was raised by despite her parents being protective church go-ers. It's almost has if she never had a chance to have an actual thought of her own without it revolving around what was force fed to her by her peers, culturally influenced media, etc.

I'm frustrated by the fact that so many creative and eccentric pure talents or specialities have become lack luster because they aren't valued enough by the "Wizard of Oz" who programs the public demographic thought caught up in an "self indulgent coma". 

This is why I believe in progressive and intelligent creators of a new era who know the importance of balance between economics and soul. They understand that we live in a capitalist society, they value work and playing a role in a well oiled machine. This is why we have to protect and get in tune with what really matters at the end of the day, finding your Unicorn/Whale Tribe and Protect your values because if you don't, others will make decisions for you that could cost you everything you love and cherish. 

Don't lose sight of what is truly important.