Getting Political Today. Blame It On Pop Culture!

Getting Political Today. Blame It On Pop Culture!

 

First, kudos to Andrew Yang for doing a bang up job on the #bottlecapchallenge. Second, I finally found something inspiring about AOC.

 

Let’s start with the bottle cap challenge. Are any other presidential candidates doing this? Sanders? Biden? Harris?

I follow Andrew Yang on Instagram. A few days ago, he took on the challenge, and it’s gone viral with 158K views. A math nerd, running for president, who also has a mean roundhouse kick. Color me impressed.

How did the bottle cap challenge start? I initially saw it on TikTok, but according to the NY Times, the bottle-cap-kicking videos first circulated in mixed martial arts circles. Farabi Davletchin, a Taekwondo champion, posted a cap-kicking video on Instagram with the hashtag #farakickschallenge. He called out several celebrities to accept his challenge, including Jason Statham, Conor McGregor, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Jackie Chan.

The challenge went viral, with plenty of celebrities as well as regular Instagram and Twitter users trying it out. Jason Statham’s is especially worth watching. Link here.

So expect the #bottlecapchallenge to be a thing for a few more weeks – but most likely not in political circles.

 

Now onto AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), Trump’s equal when it comes to Twitter. The media can’t get enough of her, and this may not be a popular thing to say, but I think a lot of it has to do with her appearance. She’s young, extremely good-looking, and very photogenic (and a good dancer). Her socialist politics, I’m not so into, but I am impressed with her “presence” and how outspoken she is. There’s nothing she doesn’t have an opinion on so the press, of course, is mad for her.

Which brings me to how she could be incredibly helpful to a whole new cottage industry of political fashion bloggers. They don’t exist yet but let me explain.

I came across a Michigan blogger, Susan E. Kelley, who founded What Kate Wore in 2011 when Britain’s Prince William got engaged to Kate Middleton. She had another blog at the time, but whenever she wrote anything about Kate, she got a huge boost in readership. Eventually, she just went all in and started to exclusively follow the dutchess. More recently she added What Kate’s Kids Wore and What Meghan Wore.

Per the Rapid City Journal, there is also a blog called Meghan’s Mirror, edited by Christine Ross, a writer from Virginia. That blog launched before Meghan Markle started dating Prince Harry, because Ross’ co-editor, Amanda Dishaw of Toronto, was a fan of Markle’s TV series “Suits.” Once Harry and Meghan were spotted together in public, the actress’ profile went up. And so did visits to their site. The blog is a fulltime gig, monetized by selling Meghan-inspired items, e.g., jewelry on Etsy.com.

What Kate Wore also links to what are called “repliKates,” shoppable items similar to something the Duchess of Cambridge has worn. That’s kind of brilliant!

It made me wonder who, Stateside, would have this kind of appeal – somebody with a public schedule, doing quasi-important work, who is stylish but not a Kardashian.

The first person to come to mind was Michelle Obama, but she’s out of the limelight. Melania Trump and Ivanka don’t have the same kind of appeal and may be too toxic.

It only took a minute to come up with AOC – a quick Google search shows her in Vogue, Elle, Glamour. Additionally, with so many women now seeking election, there has to be a massive opportunity for a Women-In-Politics website that fills us in on the details of these influential women’s fashion decisions, i.e., the clothes, shoes, jewelry, makeup, and even hair products per campaign stop or any other public occasion. Yes? No?

 

Scroll down below for pics – and tell me if this isn’t a great idea.

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The Historic Mary A. Whalen Is The Perfect Spot For Fireworks Viewing

The Historic Mary A. Whalen Is The Perfect Spot For Fireworks Viewing

 

 

Major tip for NYC locals and visitors alike: Check out Red Hook and the Mary A. Whalen. This decommissioned oil tanker is on the National Register of Historic Places. It serves as a destination for various events on the waterfront. They also host something called Tanker Time but make sure you confirm the schedule first (link here). Tanker Time opens up the deck of the ship for picnicking or hammocking. There are also music performances, readings, and other creative events scheduled throughout the year.

I discovered Red Hook while living in Long Island City. Weekend bike explorations always included this creative, off-the-beaten-path neighborhood by the waterfront.

I have also been a frequent visitor to Pioneer Works. This phenomenal space was developed by the artist, Dustin Yellin. They offer weekend programming both in the galleries and the gardens.

But over those many years spent in Red Hook, I had NEVER once set foot on – or even heard of – the Mary A. Whalen i.e., until my friends Elliott and Rodrigo invited me to join them for a pre-Pride party on board this decommissioned oil tanker.

I got to briefly meet Carolina Salguero at the party. She bought the decommissioned oil tanker in 2006 and struggled to find a home for it until she found a space to dock it in Red Hook. She started PortSide New York to run it as a museum complete with school visits, and maritime programming.

The non-profit received recognition by the White House in 2013 after it had weathered Hurricane Sandy and provided aid to Red Hook residents recovering from the storm.

From what I understand, Carolina still makes the boat her home (at least occasionally).

If you do visit, you can take a ferry from Manhattan which will drop you off right at the tanker, or you can take a Citibike, there are several docking stations nearby. And, of course, there’s always Uber.

If you’re even a tiny bit adventurous, you’ll find Red Hook well worth a visit. It’s one of my favorite places in NYC – the views of the harbor and lower Manhattan are spectacular. There are also lots of cool restaurants and bars in the area.

I will add that I’ve entertained the idea of living there. It has a true sense of community and lots of character. It’s a very romantic place which makes it very enticing. But I’m also a realist, and fortunately, came to my senses and realized that it’s way too remote and off-the-grid for me to ever truly consider making it my home.

That said, if anyone wants to check it out anytime, any season, hit me up. If I’m in town, I will gladly join you.

 

Scroll down for more photos from our evening on the Mary A. Whalen as well as pictures of Pioneer Works and some of the other fantastic spots to check out in Red Hook.

 

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Hedgehog Update: Now They Have Influencer Status!

Hedgehog Update: Now They Have Influencer Status!

 

I wrote about the growing popularity of hedgehogs as pets back in January.

 

Over the last couple of months, that post has garnered massive amounts of readership. In June, for example, it came in as the second most popular post on the blog.

Digging into this further, I find that hedgehogs are having a major breakout moment, fueled by Instagram.

  • #hedgehog has over 2.9 million posts, each cuter than the next.
  • #hedgehogsofinstagram has 887,000 followers
  • Mr.Pokee (RIP) still has an Instagram-verified account with 1.4 million followers, so perhaps there is a new Mr. Pokee? The original died after dental surgery earlier this year.
  • Other hedgehog influencers include Lionelthehog (139K followers) and adventuresofcalico (64K)

I also heard from a friend that she encountered a hedgehog on a recent flight. Someone brought it along as an emotional support animal. Although I have never witnessed a hedgehog on a plane myself, it must be fairly common because American Airlines has felt the need to ban them.

I also read that hedgehogs are becoming THE pet to take along to college.

Anybody have any first-hand experiences with hedgehogs as pets to share with me? I would love to hear about it – and see photos!

In the meantime, have a great Sunday everyone and Happy Pride!

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Have An Instagram Account? Know What It’s Worth? Check This Out!

Have An Instagram Account? Know What It’s Worth? Check This Out!

 

LOVE THIS!  I highly recommend you check it out, and then we can all compare our Instagram earnings potential. Mine is virtually zero – well not quite, but at $21 per post, not going to get me too far as an influencer.  I am, however, happy with my engagement rate.

Here’s the link to the calculator. Make sure you type in your name exactly as it appears on your Instagram account, e.g., in my case, no space between first and last names.

NOTE: Once you click on the link above, you have to scroll down to  Instagram Influencer Earnings Calculator and then type in your account name where it says “eg kimkardashian.”

Also worth noting the calculation is based on your last 12 Instagram posts.

 

And finally, thank you J P Danko and diyphotography for putting this on my radar.

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Goats Have Arrived In Manhattan. Adorable And Hardworking!

Goats Have Arrived In Manhattan. Adorable And Hardworking!

 

Is there anything cuter than goats? Maybe otters, but that’s it!

 

A tribe of goats is doing a residency in Riverside Park in Upper Manhattan this summer.

Sue Winkeler and I, along with dozens of news reporters, local politicians and hundreds of school children were on hand to welcome them as they started their summer internship.

  • Through August 30th, they will be going at it non-stop. They’ll be prowling and munching and clearing out invasive species like poison ivy from hard-to-access, super steep, areas of the park.
  • The goats came from a farm in Dutchess County where they’ve been living in semi-retirement. But as goats got trendy – what with all that goat yoga, golfing with goats etc. – people started clamoring for their services. Some people are even calling goats, the internet’s new cats.

Yesterday’s goat spectacle – dubbed GOaTHAM – was organized by the Riverside Park Conservancy.

While goats have previously shown up in Prospect Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park, this is the first time they’ve been contracted to do a gig in Manhattan.

At Riverside Park, you’ll find them somewhere within the two-acre area from 119th to 125th Streets. It’s fenced off and hopefully there will be 24/7 security for them – this is NYC after all!

The 24 GOaTHAM goats have been profiled on the Conservancy website for fans to vote on their favorites. Their profiles are also hung on a fence in the park for passersby to see.

 

Scroll down for more pics from Tuesday’s onboarding event. PLUS, there’s a photo of a man who EVERYONE from the media was in a frenzy to interview and some even wanted photos with him. If anyone recognizes him, please let me know who he is.

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Co-Star Update: This Is THE Best Daily Horoscope

Co-Star Update: This Is THE Best Daily Horoscope

 

These hyper-personalized, real time horoscopes using NASA data are the real deal. I was unsure when I first downloaded the app – and it still delivers more stuff than I know what to do with – but WOW!!

 

I need some of my astrology experts to weigh in on Co-Star for me. I have never run into a daily horoscope that is so accurate and reflects my moods and outlook so perfectly and so consistently.

It breaks down your day into Power, Pressure and Trouble. The aspects of your life it looks at include work, social life, sex & love, self, spirituality, thinking and creativity.

It’s very complex so the more you know about astrology, the deeper you can look into what is happening in your stars. I’m using it on a very superficial level but would love to hear from my many friends who are deep into this stuff to see if you consider it legit.

I wrote about it last month – when I was totally confused by it. I’ve come a long way since then.

 

Bottom Line.

Highly recommend. And it’s free.

 

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SIGN OF THE TIMES. Using Instagram To Curate Our Weekends

SIGN OF THE TIMES. Using Instagram To Curate Our Weekends

 

Brand new way of using Instagram. Legit media using Instagram as the filter for curating their weekly city listings. First time I’ve seen this.

 

I’ve had a rocky relationship with Instagram but when I saw the “Coolest things to Instagram this weekend in NYC” on Guest of Guest, I was immediately intrigued and put two of their recommendations on my calendar for tomorrow (Sunday): one at the MET and one at Cooper Hewitt.

BUT – and this is an important distinction from previous Instagram guides – these recommendations are not for those cheesy made-for-instagram pop ups that were hot for a nano-second a year or so ago e.g. The Color Factory.

What Guest of a Guest is featuring are all authentically interesting places and cultural events that I am absolutely putting on my to-do list. Highly recommend you check it out if you happen to be in NYC and are looking for a few things to do over Mother’s Day Weekend.

Also, big shout out to FOMOfeed. His Instagram bio calls him NYC’s top cultural curator. I’ve been following him for a while and must say I agree with that assessment. Check him out if you want/need to keep up on the newest, coolest, most creative events around town. His focus ranges from retail to art to random cultural events. I find myself sussing out at least a third of what he posts.

 

Scroll down for some of the events I’ll be at this weekend as well as a few top posts from FOMOfeed and then 5 of my personal TOP ‘Grammable Moments from the last month.

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April’s Top Posts: See What Went Viral And On Which Platforms

April’s Top Posts: See What Went Viral And On Which Platforms

 

Second month to give this a whirl.  Plus insights on which platforms work best for which topics.

 

Beau of the Fifth Column once again gets top billing. If you guys aren’t following him, you really should especially as election season ramps up. He’s big on Facebook (166K followers plus over a million views on some of his videos) and on YouTube where he has 104K subscribers. Surprisingly, he’s less active on Twitter with only 3K followers. Thank you Ryan Humphrey for this amazing find.

My March recap came in second with all the lead topics again finding an audience. For the time being, the monthly recap seems to be resonating with many of you so I will keep at it.

The other top posts for April included:

#3: Best and worst branding/marketing practices

  • Anti-Social Social Club – wrote this in December 2018 but have been seeing more of this brand lately on the Lower East Side. Also just read that it’s huge in LA high schools. Keep an eye on this indie brand – and its founder, Neek Lurk.
  • My takedown of the NY Times for plugging the Kardashians while giving Victoria’s Secret the thumbs down. This was a major story across all my platforms. And I must admit I finally watched an episode of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” and found it pretty entertaining. So there you go….and thank you Jeani Lutz for the reco on the show.
  • Brands struggling to keep the spark alive is another post that resonated with readers across multiple platforms. We’ve all fallen for brands only to have the love fizzle as they disappoint us or take us for granted.

#4: Retail posts were on fire this month

  • Retail Update: Who’s Bringing Their A-Game
  • How did convenience stores get so cool (thanks to Jeff Bezos!)
  • How did online shopping start sucking so bad? (again thanks to Jeff Bezos). This was a MAJOR post across a wide spectrum of platforms. Clearly becoming a huge issue and the reason why  Amazon launched “Amazon Day” – which will supposedly help us to deal with the massive problem of stolen packages. However, since you still have to schedule a day to be at home to accept those deliveries, I’m not sure how helpful this will ultimately be. I mean how many working people can just take the day off to await an Amazon delivery?

#5: The Ageing thing – Yup, making it “my” thing (thank you Julia Beardwood for the thumbs up on this!)

This month I also decided to do an analysis of how the topics fare on the various social platforms I use. Very interesting – will see if these findings hold up over the next several months.

 

Scroll down for a synopsis of what works where.

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