Mike Tyson Interview: Captivating, engrossing, MUST-SEE TV

Mike Tyson Interview: Captivating, engrossing, MUST-SEE TV

So listen-up friends, this interview (from 2010) between Mike Tyson and Michael Kay is MUST WATCH TV. Why you may ask? Because it is ruthlessly honest – and funny! And every man in the audience is engrossed and captivated because Mike speaks the truth.

But Wallace Matthews from ESPN – and Mike Tyson’s actual words – say it better than I can:

Unlike so many of the prepackaged, overprocessed and mega-rehearsed professional athletes who are churned out today, Mike Tyson remains that rarest of all commodities. Instead of the human being sold as superhero, Tyson is the superhero who is selling himself as a human being.

“Sometimes I’m a dreadful, disgusting human being. I have a lot of pain and I don’t know how to let it go.”

Moments later, he said, “I’m living such an awesome life, it’s scary. I ain’t got no drama going on right now.”

Tyson is must-see TV. Fighting or talking, he is about as compelling an athlete as this country has even known.

Tyson was alternately funny and frightening, inspirational and heartbreaking. More than once, he choked back tears.

Tyson moved through his glory years, becoming the youngest heavyweight champion in history (“I knew I would. I knew it like I know Sunday follows Saturday. It had been drilled into my brain.”), through his decline at the hands of Don King and Robin Givens, to the lowest point of his life (the 1992 rape conviction, however, going to jail he said, wasn’t a big deal “I fit right in”), and the lowest point of his career (the night he resorted to biting a piece out of one of Evander Holyfield’s ears to escape a beating).

“I despised him so much because I admired him so much,” Tyson said of Holyfield. “I wanted to kill him. I had been jealous of him from when we were kids. I’m a spoiled brat and things weren’t going my way. I wanted to hurt him. So I bit him. I was just a [bleeping] mess.”

Sometimes I’m filthy. I’m wretched,” he said. “And sometimes I’m not so bad. Mike Tyson ain’t nothing special. Just another human being, trying to get along.”

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The Top 5 Things To Do In Savannah

The Top 5 Things To Do In Savannah

Savannah is an extremely beautiful, historic city. It’s also known as America’s first planned city with lots of parks and squares (22 survive to this day). And because of SCAD, it has a young, creative vibe.

I visited for 4 days/3 nights and was the guest of two longtime Savannahians so my experience was definitely more “insider” than tourist. I also appreciated getting a local’s perspective on the who, what and where of the city. Alice and Bob seemingly know everyone so I met lots of fascinating people – including one of Savannah’s major style icons, Ann Lytle (see pic below).

Here are my top recommendations for a weekend visit to Savannah:

1. Explore The City On Foot

It’s a small, easily navigable town with lots of charming old buildings. I especially love the variety of ironwork balconies and the downspout fountains that are shaped like fish or dolphins (see pic below).

Make sure you stop by some of the major squares and parks e.g. Forsyth Park. There are also lots of small restaurants and bars with outdoor seating. And you MUST stop by Leopold’s Ice Cream Parlor – it’s 100 years old and popular with both locals and visitors – and they make rosewater ice cream! Other restaurants worth dropping in on as you explore: The Public Kitchen & Bar, Soho South Cafe, The Grey, The Collins Quarter.

See below for more pics of Savannah and additional tips.

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VALENTINE’S DAY 2017: Couples-Selfies at the #LoveWall

VALENTINE’S DAY 2017: Couples-Selfies at the #LoveWall

Was in Chinatown this past weekend and noticed crowds lined up at the corner of Mott and Kenmare getting their selfies on for Valentine’s Day. This is so cool and so fun! Look for more retailers and brands to get creative with selfies and hashtags in the future.

Here are more details:

  • The #LoveWall was created by artist James Goldcrown. His work is all around NYC. This piece has been at this location for a few years but its popularity is exploding with over 29K #lovewall posts on Instagram.
  • The #MoetMoment, around the corner from the #lovewall, is a brilliant piece of social media marketing from the Moet Chandon team. The Moet Moments campaign (without the selfie wall) was initially launched in 2013 with Roger Federer to celebrate special moments. At that time fans were asked to post photos and messages of extraordinary occasions in their lives that are worthy of celebrating with a bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne. The selfie wall is a MAJOR UPGRADE!!

And one last noteworthy Valentine’s Day event comes from the Elizabeth Street Retailers who organized and hosted the LOVE BLOCK PARTY on the weekend before Valentine’s. The street and storefronts were festooned with red heart balloons. Participation was high and included Tom’s, Aesop, Kit & Ace, and Steve Alan.

Photos below.

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SUPER BOWL 2017: Not a big fan of the preachy commercial trend.

SUPER BOWL 2017: Not a big fan of the preachy commercial trend.

Photo Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

FIRST THINGS FIRST: What an amazing game!!  A comeback for the ages and history made on so many levels.

And aside from the game, there was also that amazing halftime show. Lady Gaga gave a killer performance! It was the best halftime show I’ve seen. Original, creative, and hugely entertaining for audiences of all stripes. The woman is a genius.. And I am an even bigger fan because she didn’t go all “Meryl Streep” or threaten to blow up the stadium as Madonna might have done. She kept it classy, the opening was clearly a protest message but it was not in your face.

In terms of commercials, I cannot stand it when brands preach or pander to me with heavy-handed social commentary or political messages – especially when they have absolutely nothing to do with their brands. For example, I am NOT a fan of the Audi commercial. Audi needs to show me what they’re doing to get girls into engineering, they need to let me know how many women they have in top positions in the company. Unless they do that, they’re just whistling Dixie with this self-congratulatory commercial.

On the other hand, there were three commercials that resonated with me. Read on below for ones I found not only engaging but also made me newly consider these brands. And note, I’m speaking only of my personal favorites, I’m sure the Audi commercial will come in as one of the most popular spots of the night.

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Book Review: Shoe Dog – by Nike’s Creator, Phil Knight. EXCELLENT!

Book Review: Shoe Dog – by Nike’s Creator, Phil Knight. EXCELLENT!

I’ve worked for Nike in the past and thought I knew the company’s story (Bowerman, the waffle iron, the art student who created the logo) but NO, I really knew nothing. In this book, Knight, for the first time, tells his personal story of the true beginnings of Nike from 1962 (when it was Blue Ribbon Sports) until he reluctantly took the company (then Nike) public in 1980.

This is an absolutely extraordinary book – I couldn’t put it down. Any business owner or entrepreneur who has ever struggled and sacrificed and worked harder than they ever thought possible, will identify.

What makes this book so riveting is how Knight draws us into his life. I felt the stress he was coping with in starting his business. I was elated when he beat his risk-averse bankers and the shifty customs agents at their own game. I loved his team of misfits (the buttfaces) who believed in his crazy running shoe idea and not only kept the company afloat but took it to stratospheric heights. And finally, I was in tears at the end (2007-2010 years) when he looks back at his life  and realizes the journey is coming to a close and he’s not ready to admit to himself that he can’t do it all over again.

So read this book, people, it is inspiring! And big thanks to Bill Gates and his blog for recommending the book.

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Faith-Based Marketing and Entertainment Make A Major Comeback

Faith-Based Marketing and Entertainment Make A Major Comeback

Recently, I’ve noticed an uptick in Christian themes – especially in the business and entertainment worlds. It reminds me of the 90’s when WWJD (What Would Jesus Do), Touched By An Angel (1994), and Chicken Soup For The Soul (1997) were all amazingly popular. I remember talking to clients about this development but they either did not “get” this trend or they weren’t interested. All except Fox!! They not only “got” it, they invested, establishing the FoxFaith brand which was extremely successful through the 2000’s with independent Christian-themed films and videos targeting evangelical Christians.

And now in 2017, this same Christian trend is emerging again – at perhaps an even more ultra-liberal time. On my Texas trip in October, we visited Waco to see Joanna and Chip Gaines’ Magnolia Market at the Silos. We had to go on Saturday because everything is shut tight on Sundays for church. The Gaines’ also announced at that time, that they were ending their popular HGTV show, Fixer Upper in order to concentrate more on their faith. Read more about them and the influence of the Billy Graham Evangelist Association, here.

While in Texas, we also stumbled upon the Melissa Benge Collection. This cool store is owned by a devout Christian who is not shy about asking for – and accepting – Prayer Requests on the store’s website.

Read on below for how mainstream Hollywood is attempting to connect with the 90 million evangelicals in this country thru specific PR efforts and “influencers.” Also check out the launch of Light TV, a faith-focused digital venture from Roma Downey and Mark Burnett in partnership with MGM and Fox Television.

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Joe’s NYC Bar: The Improv Theater Hit of the Year

Joe’s NYC Bar: The Improv Theater Hit of the Year

 

My friend, David Rosenberg, is currently performing in the NY premiere of Joe’s NYC Bar. It’s an interactive, improv, immersive theater experience. Highly recommend – and tickets are going fast! It is one of the most entertaining and engaging nights of theater I have ever experienced.  It’s playing in the upstairs space at a bar on the Upper East Side called Ryan’s Daughter @ 350 East 85th Street. (The Snapchat video above is from opening night with Sheri Radel Rosenberg – captures the ambiance.)

A little background: Christian Kelty (a friend of David’s) who is originally from NYC but lives in Orlando, created the concept 15 years ago and first introduced it at the Orlando Fringe Festival. He went on to stage it once or twice a year in various taverns around Orlando.

In 2016, the show was invited to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival after one of the Managers of the Festival, Barry Church-Woods, saw it in Orlando. And now, from January 6 through Sunday January 15, it is finally debuting in NYC.

There is no script for the show. The actors, all gifted at improv, create their own characters which are the crux of each night’s performance. Kelty, serves as the bartender in each show but the experience will be different every night based on what is happening in the world and the dynamics of the audience. You also don’t know who is a cast member and who is not – everyone ultimately contributes to the storyline.

On Friday night, for example, a woman sitting near us (who was not part of the cast) lost her ring and a mad search ensued. As it turns out, it was her mother’s ring – and that piece of information formed the genesis of that night’s show. In turn funny and poignant, much was revealed over the next 90 minutes about mothers, family responsibilities and how we communicate with each other. Absolute stellar nite!

Read on below for more details on the show and the actors including musical performances (which are different each nite e.g. on Saturday January 7th, the musical performer was Michelle Shocked). And finally, I must add that this is way better, in my opinion, than Sleep No More, a similarly interactive performance that has been running at the McKittrick Hotel for several years.

And one last tip if you do make it to the show and want to eat in the neighborhood. There is an excellent sushi restaurant, called Poke, directly across the street at 343 East 85th Street. It does not take reservations, is cash only and BYOB!

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2017 Inspiration Courtesy of the Always Impressive Charlie Rose

2017 Inspiration Courtesy of the Always Impressive Charlie Rose

“The Supreme Court should never be influenced by the weather of the day, but will invariably be influenced by the climate of the era.” 

Such a great quote by Paul Freund that I recently heard for the first time on Charlie Rose when the Notorious R.B.G (Ruth Bader Ginsburg) used it to explain what it’s like to be on the Supreme Court over a long period of time. And so it always goes on Charlie Rose: remarkable people enrich your life when they share their perspectives, their struggles, their knowledge.

On this the first Monday of 2017, a holiday for many, I wanted to share some inspiration by way of Charlie Rose. I consider him, and his show, national treasures. I’ve learned so much watching him interview the most amazing array of people over the years. And what a luxury in today’s world, to have intelligent, non-rushed, non-abrasive conversations available on TV. I watch him on both PBS and BloombergTV.

I also have to admit because I am such a slacker when it comes to reading books, Charlie Rose and his guests fill that void a tiny bit.

Here then are 5 gems to kick off the year. Links to full interviews are included below.

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