The Feast of San Gennaro: Make Sure You Get a Selfie With Tony Danza

The Feast of San Gennaro: Make Sure You Get a Selfie With Tony Danza

 

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with DA FEAST for years. Loved it at first but then quickly soured on the whole 11-day shenanigans all over my neighborhood.

  • However, since this has been my summer of State Fairs – and since so many of my besties are Italian (hello Luciana!! Hello Nick Belperio!) – I decided to give it another try.
  • And….I am happy to report that it was a lot of fun to be out with my fellow NYers on opening night.
  • I was blessed by the priest, saw some cute young dude (probably a youtube star) with his full-on camera crew being chased around by a group of young lasses (see his pic below and if anyone recognizes him, let me know who he is!!).
  • And I’m almost positive I saw Tony Danza outside of Alleva, the cheese shop he co-owns at the corner of Mulberry and Grand. The older ladies were all over him begging their husbands to snap a quick pic.
  • For those of you not familiar with the Feast of San Gennaro, it’s an annual 11-day street fair now in its 91st year. It draws over one million people. This is also the first year I noticed local restaurants setting up al fresco dining and being part of the fair as opposed to griping about it. As the saying goes: if you can’t beat them, join them.

Pictures and video below.

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If You Want to Work in Media, It’s All About Video Content

If You Want to Work in Media, It’s All About Video Content

 

Exactly one month ago, Vice Media, a millennial-targeted network, laid off dozen of writers and editors in order to expand its video team.

  • And nothing could have been more prescient. The power of video storytelling came into full view with Vice’s incredible reporting from Charlottesville.
  • On Monday August 14th correspondent Elle Reeve’s compelling coverage of the Charlottesville attack put “Vice News Tonight on the map.
  • Her report has been seen over 40 million times on TV and online.
  • What makes Vice’s style of video reporting so specifically millennial is how immersive it is.

It’s also reminiscent of how Snapchat covers news events. They take you right into the heart of the story with much of the reporting done by the participants themselves.

  • Snapchat editors aren’t filtering and adding their two-cents.
  • Very refreshing in contrast to how news stories unfold on traditional media.
  • Crowd-sourced news is not only more immersive, it’s generally more impactful.

NBC News has also just started doing a daily news show on Snapchat.

  • They claim the show has grown its audience to over 29 million unique viewers in one month.
  • That’s triple the number of viewers who tune into the top-rated “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.”
  • From my perspective, the NBC show on Snapchat feels stilted, it’s a work in progress.

BASED ON THE 3 PHOTOS ABOVE CAN YOU TELL WHICH SHOWS ARE WHICH? (Answers below)

Read on below for more on two video superstars who are worth following to learn how they do it.

And I know you’re probably asking why I’m still doing a blog when it’s all about video!! I’ll get back to you on that….

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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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What’s the Latest Trend in Home Entertainment? Private Supper Clubs

What’s the Latest Trend in Home Entertainment? Private Supper Clubs

 

Finagled myself an invite to one of Pamela Berger’s renowned Ormewood Park Supper Club evenings (in ATL) this past weekend. Awesome time!!! Fabulous house, great group of people and delicious food and wine.

Will definitely bring this concept to NYC as a twist on my usual dinner parties – although Pamela’s super cute house and porch makes it extra amazing.

Here are 3 things that make Pamela’s Supper Club worth noting as a cultural phenomenon:

Collaboration with – and a platform for – talented friends

  • In this instance, Celeste Bauer was cheffing, Sarah Pierre, owner and partner of 3 Parks Wine Shop, was our wine purveyor, and Wes Cummings, co-owner of a photography company that highlights creative people in the Atlanta community, documented the entire evening. Pamela has been featuring his photos on her social media and they are beautiful. And note, the much more pedestrian pics on this blog are all mine. Wes’ photos take it to another level.

Connecting with interesting people from Pamela’s network

  • Pamela’s circle of friends and colleagues is enormous
  • Supper Club provides a great opportunity for guests to meet people from diverse walks of life e.g. entrepreneurs, lawyers, artists, designers, reality TV producers.
  • And, for those of you who ask why blog, Pamela is a great example of how many interesting and creative people a blog can bring into your life. Pamela had an amazing blog – Sweet Peach – for several years and just gave it up earlier this year (sad!). She just got too busy to keep it up but Pamela featured a huge number of people on her blog who have gone on to become friends and collaborators. Here’s a link to the blog post I did on it back in 2014.

Great vibe

  • And FABULOUS décor specifically planned for the evening’s theme: Spanish/tapas. See photos below.
  • Also love that midway thru the evening, she asked us to switch our seating to mix it up and give us an opportunity to meet guests we may not have had a chance to chat with earlier in the evening. And it was during the switch that I got to meet Bob Conquest, not only a fellow LEO, but one who shares my birth date (DAY, not year!!).
  • Two things that would have made it even more fabulous, for me, would have been a seating chart with name tags so that the mingling wasn’t quite as random and quickie intros of each of us by Pamela at the beginning of the sitdown. Again, would have made it easier to connect with people.

See below for more pics from the event as well as info from Pamela on how the concept started.

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The Gatekeepers: Excellent Read For All The Political Junkies Out There

The Gatekeepers: Excellent Read For All The Political Junkies Out There

 

WOW – wrote this post earlier this week not realizing how timely it was going to be and that I would need to do a last minute edit before it went out this morning.

Chris Whipple’s book about the role and power of the chiefs of staff for presidents Nixon through Obama, is a great read. Highly recommend – especially for my political junkie friends – and really who isn’t into politics these days?

  • Whipple interviewed all seventeen chiefs of staff who remain alive today.
  • He was privy to all the juicy details on how each president’s White House functioned.
  • The management style of each president is crucial in determining what kind of chief of staff he wants (which is often very different from what he needs).
  • The Gatekeepers delves into the details of how each president’s chief of staff ended up defining the presidency  he served.

What I found most intriguing were the similarities in how many of the presidents functioned (or not) within the White House.

  • The amount of chaos and hubris and vicious feuding that goes on in almost all administrations is mind-boggling.
  • What was even more lamentable was how similar the issues were in so many of the administrations – from Carter to Clinton to Bush (the Decider).
  • Very different presidents, but once they got into office, the hubris took over and they acted very similarly in many situations.

Read on below for which administration reminded me the most of Trump’s.

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OZY Fest 2017: Tremendous Potential But So Disappointing

OZY Fest 2017: Tremendous Potential But So Disappointing

 

 

OZY Media, which launched in 2013, held their second annual OZY Fest this past Saturday in Central Park at Rumsey Playfield.

  • It’s positioned as a new type of SXSW or “TED Meets Coachella”
  • All I can say is NOPE – not even close.
  • I can’t quite put my finger on what makes it come off as such a strange mishmash of ideas, but it doesn’t work.
  • Part of the problem may be the location. Central Park is not conducive to talks of this kind – there are too many distractions – and it’s too weather-dependent.

Because I had not been familiar with OZY, I did some research and what I found is not good news for the brand (which also explains why there were only eight sponsors for the event, three of which I had to google).

  • OZY initially began with an ad-driven, web-based business model.
  • Traffic to its main site, Ozy.com, declined 41% to 6.4 million unique U.S. visitors in December from just under 11 million a year earlier. (Source: WSJ/comScore)
  • The competition in the millennial news space is fierce. OZY is up against VICE, Buzzfeed, Mic, Vox, Cheddar, Bustle, Fusion among others.
  • And all the mainstream news sites e.g. CNN are going after the same audience. Whether OZY can survive is a big question mark.

Read on below for what needs immediate fixing should there be an OZY Fest 2018.

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Snapchat Is A Playground: This is the best description of Snap I’ve heard

Snapchat Is A Playground: This is the best description of Snap I’ve heard

“Snapchat is a Playground” – YES, Chris “Kubby” Kubbernus, it is!! Best description ever!!

 

I’ll be the first to admit things are not looking good for Snap. People are abandoning it in droves. At least 50% of the people I follow are gone.

  • However, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve started seeing influential early users e.g. Chris “Kubby” Kubbernus (photo above), tentatively checking back in.
  • Are they being paid to do this? I don’t think so, but who knows.
  • I’m also sensing there’s still a lot of love for Snapchat among its earliest and most avid users.
  • This appears to be especially true for those who abandoned Snap for Instagram Stories because they got more immediate engagement thru hashtags and ability to tag brands and celebrities.
  • BUT something is afoot, snappers are getting restless, they seem bored with Instagram and seem to genuinely be missing the Snap experience.

Here are some of the best comments I’ve heard recently on the state of Snap vs. Instagram:

“Snapchat is a playground….the voice changing thing, the filters, it’s just so much fun.”

  • This is the most brilliant description I’ve heard about Snap. It came from Chris “Kubby” Kubbernus, a leading marketing/social media guru (photo above)
  • He had been very active on Snap and abandoned it for Instagram for all the reasons cited above but he came back to check out all the new features and was clearly impressed.

“(Snapchat) is a platform for the imagination”

  • Caught this at the tailend of  an interview with Brian White of Drexel Hamilton on SquawkBox on 7/17/17.

“Snapchat is just better than instagram….”

  • Sam Sheffer commenting on quality of photos/video on snap vs. instagram.
  • Sam is an independent content creator, and close friend/collaborator of Casey Neistat
  • However, he’s more of a hired gun for brands so not sure where his true alliances lie e.g. he was pushing La Croix on every post for a while, now not at all so assume that contract ran out.
  • UPDATE FROM SAM: he did not have a contract with La Croix.
  • BUT when i heard him rave about snap a few weeks ago, it sounded genuine….

These recent comments, plus my own experience, indicate that Snap still has some advantages over Instagram, particularly when it comes to user experience.

Read on below for more on Snap vs. Instagram.

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Knitting: Great for Stress Relief, But So Much More

Knitting: Great for Stress Relief, But So Much More

 

Everywhere I look, there they are: Knitters (men and women!).

  • On the subway – YES!
  • At art events – YES. Yarnbombers covering trees, motorcycles, trashcans.
  • On TV – YES. Norway’s Slow TV has a National Knitting Evening with 4 hours of knitting for binge watching. Another reason to love Norway! Available on Netflix.
  • On Youtube – YES. Almost 3MM videos on knitting.
  • Memes – YES. Knit Club is my favorite.
  • Even Vogue is on board: German Vogue editor, Christiane Arp is often seen with her knitting needles.
  • Wool and the Gang, a super cool knitting company, has created a kit that builds 20 minutes of meditation into your daily schedule via knitting a scarf.  Their “Me Time” Scarf comes with striped yarn in two different shades. Every day, you’re supposed to knit rows of a single color then stop when the color of yarn changes. Each stripe of color on the scarf should take about 20 minutes to knit, which is just enough time to relax and meditate about your day.

Read on below for more on knitting including a great video on why people knit, and some first hand examples from Franklin Habit, the renowned writer, illustrator, and knitter, on the connection between knitting and yoga.

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