Love All The Street Artists Working In My Neighborhood

Love All The Street Artists Working In My Neighborhood

 

Sometimes circumstances force you to take a new route in your daily trek around town and BOOM you make a huge new discovery (or in this case re-discovery).

That’s what happened to me this weekend while making a quick trip to CityMD on Delancey Street (FYI, minor ailment, nothing serious). However, a new route brought new visibility to some street art that had not been on my radar for a while.

So on my trek east, I was thrilled to come across these pieces, mostly off Delancey. The giant mural by the old Essex Street Market by Gera Lozano is especially gorgeous. Her work covers both the exterior and interior of the building. Also love the truck art by Rambo and Stain that was parked right out front.

Some of the work I re-discovered today is relatively recent (from late 2016) but much of it goes all the way back to 2012. It’s all held up really well. Kudos to Hektad, DYE READ, J Corp, Ology Collective and, of course, Gera Lozano.

Also, interesting to see work that had been hidden behind buildings being unearthed as new construction takes place. Urban Archaeology at work.

More pics below. Enjoy!!

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Birthday Celebration Was Amazing: Here’s What Made It So Outstanding

Birthday Celebration Was Amazing: Here’s What Made It So Outstanding

 

 

For this year’s birthday, I had an intense urge to throw a party. Not a rager (as I have been prone to do), but a party to celebrate the connectivity and fabulosity of my extraordinary group of friends.

And I’m so glad I did – it was an outstanding night filled with conversation, catch-ups, new friends, Japanese Kit Kat bars, wine, amazing birthday cake, make-me-cry toasts –  and overall, just a great vibe that we all seemed to crave after an especially crazy “Breaking News” week!

And big thanks to Loreen Stevens for once again documenting Rivington Loft festivities. Videos and many of the pics in this post are by Loreen.

Based on the last few parties I’ve hosted, I’ve established 5 rules to make sure they are first-rate.

1.The Guest List (as always!!)

  • I’ve written before about the importance of the guest list. It’s essential that you include your “bestie/regulars” but you also need to introduce newer friends to keep things exciting.
  • For a mix-and-mingle party with 35-40 people, my rule of thumb is that 90% of the people have to have met each other at least once previously. Ideally at a party or dinner at my place.
  • This is crucial if you want a dynamic, talky event where people are excited to be with each other.
  • From experience, I’ve seen that when people only know the host, they don’t mingle as well and that really stresses me out.
  • And you don’t want to stress out your host. Big shout out to Norman Roberts, btw, who attended solo and who reassured me several times that he was meeting everyone and indeed, he proved to be a master-mingler.

Read on below for the remaining 4 rules as well as pics and video. Read More >

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It’s All About The Pork-Almighty at the Iowa State Fair!

It’s All About The Pork-Almighty at the Iowa State Fair!

 

Forget about funnel cakes, jumbo-smoked turkey legs, corn dogs. NOTHING beats The Pork-Almighty. And I am so grateful that my friend, Shawn Anderson, was with us to order this crazy concoction that also turned out to be the winner of the 2017 People’s Choice Best New Food Contest.

Debbie Kranovich, the mastermind behind the Pork Almighty’s recipe, thinks it won because “It screams ‘fair’ and it screams ‘fun'” – and she is so right!! And let’s not forget it’s also DELICIOUS – although hot sauce e.g. tabasco or sriracha would have made it even better.

Here’s the full description of The Pork-Almighty: The tower of power!

  • The base of the Pork Almighty is a 32-ounce soft drink with a huge bowl on top filled with crunchy twisty fries, pulled pork, queso cheese sauce, Cookies barbecue sauce, more queso, diced onions, green peppers and then more shredded cheese is sprinkled on top. It weighs in at just over four pounds and has more than 1,800 calories. At $12 it’s a bit spendy but so worth it!

    A straw comes up through the middle of the bowl, so you can sip and dine at the same time while strolling around the fairgrounds.

See below for more on the food scene. Another highlight was Bauder’s Ice Cream – renowned for their peppermint bars (and for the jailing of the Bauder’s Pharmacy owner for illegal sales of pain pills?!?). The ice cream, however, was YUMMY!

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Iowa State Fair: Another World for a City Girl But So Amazing!

Iowa State Fair: Another World for a City Girl But So Amazing!

Photo Credit: Ianthe Jones

 

Another summer, another State Fair. Last year it was Texas, this year we hit up Iowa. For my tastes, Iowa is a more quintessential Fair experience.

Here’s why:

  • Huge focus on livestock and farming – my absolute favorite reason to check out a fair. And this fair provides an extra special treat by highlighting birthing animals – everything from chickens hatching (video above) to pigs and horses.
  • It’s less commercial and corporate (vs. Texas)
  • Des Moines is my kind of town

Another major reason to check out State and County Fairs is the perspective they provide on what is trending culturally, socially and economically around the country.

  • Highly recommend a state fair immersion to all my marketing and entrepreneur friends. It’s both eye-opening and inspiring when it comes to experiencing firsthand what people are eating, drinking, wearing.
  • The Iowa State Fair runs August 10-20. Many other fairs run through September and even October e.g. Nebraska (August 25-September 4th) and Texas (Sept. 29- Oct. 22).

Read on below for highlights with lots of video and pics.

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New Job Alert: If You’re Into Social Media and Data, This Is For You

New Job Alert: If You’re Into Social Media and Data, This Is For You

 

Those brilliant computer science researchers at Cornell University have figured out ways to study global fashion trends by analyzing the billions of photos uploaded to social media each day.

The result? A first-of-its-kind analysis of global and per-city fashion choices and spatio-temporal trends.

  • Only problem: their info is a little dry – too many words, not enough images.
  • They need some trend people to turn it into a more visual, engaging presentation for the fashion industry.
  • Here’s the link to their paper: “StreetStyle: Exploring world-wide clothing styles from millions of photos.”
  • My question for them: Can this framework be applied to other categories e.g. food, cars, sports? That would be truly brilliant.

Read on below for a quick rundown on how Kavita Bala, professor of computer science; Noah Snavely, associate professor computer science at Cornell Tech; and Kevin Matzen, PhD student in vision, graphics, robotics, created this study.

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How Important Is It To Be Instagrammable? It is EVERYTHING!

How Important Is It To Be Instagrammable? It is EVERYTHING!

 

Have you noticed how much more colorful and eclectic things are getting?

  • I’ve seen a huge uptick in instagram-centric design popping up in restaurant/bar interiors, museum shows (e.g. the New Museum has become the master of Instagram-worthy exhibitions), hotels, and there’s an enormous amount of instagram creativity showing up in retail pop ups.

Here are a few examples from the past year with more details and pics below:

  • Restaurants and bars e.g. Island Oyster Bar on Governor’s Island
  • Hotels e.g. new Public Hotel in NYC has a fabulous hidden garden and the escalators have been epic on instagram!!
  • Museums, Art Fairs, Galleries e.g. Hauser & Wirth DTLA (without a doubt my favorite art space of all time)
  • Retail – I find the pop-ups most interesting
  • Billboards/Promo materials e.g. Gucci billboard in Soho by Coco Capitan

To succeed commercially on Instagram, a visual hook or anchor is essential. Here’s what I’ve noticed most often:

  • Color e.g. Carthage Must Be Destroyed’s pink
  • Pattern e.g. floor tiles at Beekman Hotel
  • Murals or Wallpaper e.g. Made Nice’s Shepard Fairey wall
  • Colorful installations e.g. Barney’s Holiday Windows
  • Views e.g. Island Oyster bar at Governors Island
  • Unexpected architecture e.g. The Magnolia Market in Waco built around the silos – FAB!!
  • Natural light. This is an extremely important element of instagram-centered design. Dark environments do not photograph as well and will not get as many likes.

Read on below for more examples PLUS photos and instagrams.

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A Step in the Right Direction: But Calling a Size 10 a Plus-Size is Ridiculous!

A Step in the Right Direction: But Calling a Size 10 a Plus-Size is Ridiculous!

 

Interesting opinion piece in the Observer on the growth of the $20 billion Plus-Size market – although starting it at size 10 is questionable.

  • The fashion industry has to get over itself and realize that the majority of women in America now wear sizes 12-16.
  • I wear sizes 10-12 based on the brand.
  • And I am working at losing 15 lbs for my health – but for the fashion industry to call me “plus-size” because I don’t fit their size 6 fantasy is a bit outrageous.

Reading this made me newly appreciate how brilliant the COS concept is – so right for today’s market. They’ve accomplished it through design, sizing, and customer-focus and they’ve done it in a way that has eluded other retailers/brands.

Why COS works for today’s women without needing to call out plus-sizing:

Design:

  • “modern, functional, considered design”
  • They have such a clear and concise master plan for how – and for whom – the clothes have been designed.
  • Their styles are not intended for waifs or for Kardashian body types.
  • Note: It is interesting that their website is nevertheless populated with tall, thin types but the clothes definitely work equally well for large sizes as for small.

Sizing:

  • They offer 4 sizes: XS, S, M and L
  • The sizes correspond to numeric sizes 2-4 (XS) to 14 (L)
  • But what I absolutely love most about COS is that the clothes have been designed with the largest-size as a reference point. You never run into a situation where an item only looks great in the small size.
  • I shop there almost exclusively at this point and have never been happier with my wardrobe.

In-store experience

  • One of the points that the writer of the Observer piece makes is how dismal it is for “plus-size” shoppers to try on clothes in stores – and that many brands e.g. The Gap, only have their larger sizes available online.
  • COS consistently provides a great in-store experience. They place as much emphasis on their Large selection as they do the Smalls or Mediums.

Customers

  • The COS customer base is very diverse, the store is always full of women of all ages and all sizes.

Read on below for info on the successful online Plus Size Retailers that the writer highlights for the Observer – and my perspective on who they serve based on their websites.

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Check Out Des Moines: The Heartland Has Got It Going On!!

Check Out Des Moines: The Heartland Has Got It Going On!!

 

In Iowa this weekend for the State Fair (post on Thursday). As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of the Heartland but even I was not prepared for how much I would love Des Moines – especially the East Village area.

Highly recommend a weekend here for my NYC and LA peeps. It takes us outside our bubbles, broadens our perspective and is an amazing way to scout out what’s going on culturally, socially and commercially around the country.

Here are 5 things you must put on your to-do list when you come visit:

Historic East Village

This is a fantastic area to explore on foot. Very vibrant, young and cool. We did not get to spend as much time here as we wanted – but there’s always next time!! Here are the highlights:

AC Hotel: Brand new hotel from Marriott, very stylish and modern. Highly recommend staying here, great staff, fabulous location. A bit pricey at $800 for 3 nights.

Scenic Route Bakery: One block from the hotel. Great vibe, Intelligentsia coffee, baked on-premise pastries and free wifi.

Raygun: Amazing store – reminded me of Urban Outfitters way back in the day but MUCH MUCH better. We bought tons of t-shirts. Great staff. And most interesting of all, the backstory on how this whole retail endeavor got underway. Worth a read – link, here.

Street Art Murals: Des Moines’ street art game is strong. Especially love the mural by Chris Vance behind the Scenic Route Bakery.

Read on below for other Des Moines favorites, as well as photos.

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