June 25, 2008
A Few MoMA Favorites
A visit this month to MoMA (New York's Museum of Modern Art), which I haven't visited in awhile. It doesn't touch me the way that Europe's art museums do, but it was great to get a dose of some of the finest. It was warm enough to wear a skirt even though I tend to only bring back leather and suede boots whenever I head east.
A few of my favorites:
Max Beckman's Family Picture (1920)
Salvador Dali's Portrait of Gala (1935)
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's Street Dresden (1907)
Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World (1948)
Willem de Kooning's Woman II (1952)
February 15, 2008
Why PR People Get Paid The Big Bucks
This video is a great demonstration of the PR person's job, which is on one level, simple translation from Silicon Valley speak to everyday English.
Just in having the savvy to pick up on this humor, David Letterman shows that he, or someone on his staff, is in touch with the tech world. Beautiful irony....and extra points for anyone who can interpret, translate and make this interesting to me.
January 16, 2008
Chilling Upstate New York
I'm heading to upstate New York, Richard Russo's stomping ground and the area that most inspired his work. While I miss this area on occasion (a number of family members still reside here), I don't miss winter visits, especially January/February winter visits, which are very different from December and March winter visits.
In other words, I may as well be traveling to Alaska or northern Maine because that's what the wind chill feels like. Apparently it was 7 degrees yesterday and now they're having a heat wave (18 degrees but the weather report says it feels like 10. READ MY LIPS - it should say 10 below zero).
I know global warming is real but it never 'feels' real when I'm in upstate New York in the winter. I love fresh fallen snow, pond ice whether its for fishing or skating, sleigh riding at midnight to a full moon and all those things that made CHILDHOOD grand.
Now when I feel the cold, I don't think of great childhood memories at all - I just think "this is insane, why subject yourself to this level of discomfort on a regular basis?" HA - something clearly has happened between African, European, Israeli, Australian, Floridian and now California living that made me say, "my bones can't take this cold NOoo mooorree!"
Yet I have no doubt, I will have some of those grand childhood moments while I'm here and they may even be of the callibre that great novels are birthed from.
November 20, 2007
Statue of Soldiers
During World War I, Arthur S. Mole and John D. Thomas made some incredible human pictures by using thousands of sailors or soldiers in uniform to create images. Check this out and click on the photo to blow it up:
November 17, 2007
Wal-Mart: Bigger than the Big Apple?
At some point in the last fiscal quarter, Wal-Mart’s total U.S. retail square footage surpassed the land mass of Manhattan, at 22.98 square miles versus 22.7.
In addition to the mind-bending image that this creates, this development is interesting because the two giants don’t like each other. Wal-Mart’s efforts to gain a foothold in the borough have been vigorously repelled by the natives. In response, the Wal-Mart CEO had the following to say in a March interview with The New York Times.
“I don’t care if we are ever here.” With which gestures do you think New Yorkers let him know the feeling was mutual? “It’s too hard to make money here.” You don’t say. Nobody in New York ever worries about this.
The biggest criticism of Wal-Mart is that it ruins communities by pricing local retailers out of business while offering only low-paying jobs with no benefits. Another complaint is that Wal-Mart is just too big; even investors are grumbling about store saturation.
Put all this together and you have a very plausible conspiracy theory: Wal-Mart intends to transplant all of its stores to Manhattan, completely covering the island and forcing everyone and everything to leave.
They could assemble the stores and with a very large winch – available at Always Low Prices – lift them over the borough and just drop them. A considerable one-time expense, but it would be sweet revenge and a clever way to reduce by a large number the liberal media and union workers, two of Wal-Mart’s most pesky foes.
I’d like to propose a more constructive strategy. Move the stores to Tuvalu. Tuvalu is the fourth-smallest country in the United Nations, a collection of nine coral atolls halfway between Hawaii and Australia. At 10.04 square miles, the nation’s land mass is less than one third of Wal-Mart’s worldwide retail space.
Tuvalu has become a global warming symbol. The island’s high point is 16 feet above sea level, and some climate change models anticipate that rising ocean levels will likely swamp the nation and its 12,000 residents at some point in this century.
(Have you noticed that climate change research is full of “may,” “likely,” and “probably”? “Sea levels may rise ten feet.” “I may win the lottery this week.” “The planet will probably see air temperatures rise three degrees." "My husband will probably take out the garbage tonight.”). So for the environmental crowd and our fear-loving media, the plight of Tuvalu has become a favored citation of our certain doom.
The benefits of such a move would be considerable for the company. Labor costs would plummet and sluggish same-store sales growth figures would vanish. As a green maneuver, it would please and confuse liberals and at least for a time stop them from burning crosses on Wal-Mart’s lawns. As the only employer on the island, Wal-Mart would have considerable leverage over the local population. “They want unions? Let ‘em eat kelp.”
For the islanders, the benefits would be even more pronounced. In addition to full employment, adding the stores would raise the island’s elevation by at least 30 feet. Everyone could live in low-cost company housing built on the roofs. As sea levels rose, provisions would simply be moved to higher shelves, easily retrieved via low-cost trapdoors and ladders.
Wal-Mart Travel would deliver to the South Pacific - in low-cost planes and cruise ships - bereft American shoppers, longing for the opportunity to again experience Always Low Prices, and now in a spectacular single package destination. “It’s a small store, after all.”
Perhaps it would make sense to expand the operation to the nation of Nauru, also in the South Pacific and at 8.11 square miles even smaller than Tuvalu.
That would leave a few square miles of U.S. stores, which could be exported to the only two members of the United Nations smaller than these islands. At .75 square miles, Wal-Mart Monaco would replace Europe’s most fashionable casinos with a much-needed dose of low-end American retail, leaving plenty of store footprint for Wal-Mart Vatican City, featuring the PopePourri product line.
There are innumerable cost inefficiencies in The New Testament, what with fig trees that don’t produce fruit when desired and swine being cast into the sea. Imagine what Wal-Mart could do for all of us if it expanded its reach beyond the secular realm with the help of its new partners in Rome. Heaven is long overdue for re-branding.
The downside would be the loss of about 1.4 million American jobs. But the liberal politicians can solve that problem. And we can start complaining about Target.
September 12, 2007
Web 2.0 University
Check out Web 2.0 University in New York on October 2, 2007. You can register here. Web 2.0 University has devised a one-day event to get people up to-speed: sub-titled “Everything You Need To Know About Web 2.0.”
August 02, 2007
Life Sciences & Healthcare Venture Summit
For those launching an emerging biotech, med tech, healthcare or life sciences startup seeking early stage funding, check out The 2007 Life Sciences and Healthcare Venture Summit on Tuesday October 23rd in New York City.
Partial list of participating VCs:
Fidelity Biosciences • Polaris Venture Partners • New Leaf Venture Partners • Wheatley Partners • Triathlon Medical Ventures • TVM Capital • Psilos Group • Bay City Capital LLC • Charter Life Sciences • Rock Maple Ventures • Pappas Ventures • NGN Capital • Astellas Venture Management LLC • Sanderling Venture Capital • Point Judith Capital • 5AM Ventures • Kaiser Permanente Ventures • Ascent Biomedical Ventures • SV Life Sciences
July 04, 2007
A Walk Through the East Village
I'm still catching up from another fabulous New York trip, a large portion of it spent with a client, and as for the other time? What else but walking the streets of the city - top to bottom. I also managed to get to B&H Photo, a block long photography store in the 30ths. A must for all photography geeks.
I had a field day in the East Village (below). My experience with SLRs has largely been centered around film until recently, so I'm still getting used to the nuances with digital - the various settings and playing with light.
June 27, 2007
No Crawling Traffic
Ah yes, the city but with no yellow cabbies in sight? Not my experience this week. I can't wait to try out my new portrait lens in the next couple of days. Stay tuned.
Hot Summer Nights
I'm still in New York and while others are miserably complaining of the humid sticky hot nights, I'm relishing in the fact that not only can I wear skirts, sleeveless tops and sandals late at night but I can sit outside at a cafe without feeling chilly. I miss this aspect most about the East Coast - that and of course October in New England.
New York women DRESS UP. I have become so accustomed to vendor t-shirts, jeans and flip flops in the Valley that I had forgotten how women dress in many other cities. It's fabulous to see. Dresses and skirts in vibrant summer floral patterns and colors, funky sandals and unusual jewelery.
I haven't indulged in a Dunkin Donuts coffee yet (a New York and Boston tradition), but plan to tomorrow. Managed to catch up with Renee Edelman and PR Week editor Keith O'Brien, who I've never met. We also did some TV today -- more on that to follow when the time is right.
Did I mention that I really love hot summer nights on the East Coast?