What a Difference 30 Years Makes When Talking Walls

What a Difference 30 Years Makes When Talking Walls

 

And here I thought my friend Janine and I had such an original idea.  Apparently not, but still worth watching this video.

It is beyond ironic to see how in 30 years we’ve gone from Reagan telling the Soviet Union to “tear down this wall” to Trump promising the American people that he will “build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me –and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall.”

Well good luck with that wall building.

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If Sitting is the New Smoking, Are We Sitting Ourselves to Death?

If Sitting is the New Smoking, Are We Sitting Ourselves to Death?

 

 

Chronic sitting is especially bad for anyone who has osteoarthritis – as I do. But it’s also tied to strokes and type 2 diabetes.

  • Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic at Arizona State University, who coined the term, believes we are sitting ourselves to death!
  • Columbia University Medical Center also just released a major study of 8,000 people in which they found that Americans spent 77% of their waking hours sitting and being inactive.

The experts all recommend that we get up every 30 minutes for a quick walk-around. I had no idea how difficult it would be to incorporate movement breaks into my routine – especially when I’m engrossed in what I’m doing.

But getting up and moving around even once an hour, makes me feel so much better. My joints feel less creaky, there’s less stiffness and definitely less pain.

Here are some specific things I’m doing to add more movement breaks to my daily routine:

  • At Ludlow House where I work 3 days a week, I now get up every 30 minutes and take a quick walk up/down the stairs
  • Never take elevators for less than 5 floors
  • Walk or bike instead of taking taxis
  • I also live on the 3rd floor of a walk-up and I’m up and down those stairs at least 4 times a day

I’ve seen more people adopt standing desks for this very reason but orthopedists and chiropractors are finding being sedentary at a stand-up desk is no better than being sedentary while sitting. Problems that arose from sitting are now moving to other parts of the body

Read on below for an arthritis update including some very alarming info (if correct) that shows that the vast majority of patients see no real improvement in quality of life after knee replacement surgery.

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What Do Entrepreneurs Look For In Romantic Relationships?

What Do Entrepreneurs Look For In Romantic Relationships?

Brad and I over the years

 

A recent study of entrepreneurs and dating got me thinking about my own relationship with Brad and what made him such an ideal partner for me all those many years ago. In looking back, I’m convinced that entrepreneurship is the glue that has held us together.

  • We’re both very independent and personal freedom is a top priority for both of us. I’m certain that if we were in a more traditional relationship and had regular jobs, we might not have made it.
  • The fact that Brad believed in me, encouraged me and gave me the space to do my own thing, never once questioning my work or travel schedule, is something for which I will be forever grateful.
  • Not having to worry about any responsibilities beyond building my business was a huge advantage.
  • I am self-aware enough to know that I would have battled him (or anyone) if they tried to prevent me from fulfilling my entrepreneurial ambitions. Brad, to his credit, never stood in my way.

A bit of background for those of you who don’t know us:

  • Brad and I started dating a year before I got the entrepreneurial itch. I don’t recall hashing out my plan with him and what it would mean for our relationship. I just knew I was going to quit my job and start this new gig.
  • I worked out of home so he was definitely aware of my day-to-day stresses, and the up-and-downs of building a business.
  • When Brad decided to quit his job to become a full-time artist, I was equally supportive but made a huge mistake in constantly butting into his business.
  • It drove a wedge between us for a long time. Those years were not good for us as a couple.
  • What I learned from that experience is to only offer advice when asked . And even then, understand specifically what someone wants your advice on.
  • And when people ask why I don’t go to his openings or other art-related events, this is why. Those are his business functions and he does better at them without me.

So what have I learned about entrepreneurs and relationships:

  • Entrepreneurs are a wild and woolly bunch. Do not attempt to rein them in.
  • Likewise, do not get involved with an entrepreneur if you are looking for a traditional relationship built around a 9-5 work schedule.
  • Most entrepreneurs I know are obsessed by whatever it is that they have dedicated their lives to – whether it’s a business or a creative endeavor. Being an entrepreneur requires tremendous sacrifice and romance frequently takes a back seat.
  • If you can’t deal with that, better to give the entrepreneur a wide berth.

Read on below for the highlights of the EliteSingles study of 14,000 entrepreneurs and what they are looking for in potential dates. Here’s the link.

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5 Great Things To Do In LA

5 Great Things To Do In LA

 

Inspiring week in LA capped off by an exceptionally fun Korean wedding (a first for me). Unbelievable amounts of creativity in LA at the moment. Makes it difficult to narrow recommendations down to a top 5 list but here it is.

#1 DOWNTOWN

Still sketchy but so many interesting new things popping up especially as the Arts District expands. My recommendation is to hit up downtown on a Saturday or Sunday. And based on how much time you have in LA, you may want to devote two days to downtown.

Here are my must-dos:

 LA Conservancy Walking Tours:

  • I took the Historic Downtown Tour offered every Saturday. This 2 ½ hour tour provides an overview of the historical and cultural landmarks of downtown LA including the Bradbury Building, the Library, One Bunker Hill, Grand Central Market.
  • Not only was our guide super fun and well-informed, my fellow tour-takers were incredibly knowledgeable as well.
  • Other tours offered by the Conservancy include Art Deco, Modern by Moonlight, Angelino Heights, Broadway Historic Theatres, Union Station.
  • Book online ($15) and meet up at Pershing Square
  • I plan to book one of these tours every time I visit LA

Freehand Hotel and Exchange Restaurant

  • This gorgeous hotel recently opened (original is in Miami).
  • The hotel’s Exchange Restaurant is outstanding. My lunch was the tastiest meal I had while in LA.
  • Make sure you also check out their Broken Shaker Rooftop Pool/Bar – very fun although not as fabulous as the Miami original

Grand Central Market

  • Newest food stall to open is the Sari Sari Store, Filipino food from the owners of Republique.
  • Make sure you try the buko pie – delish!
  • Also worth checking out at the market, even if the line is long: Egg Slut

ICA LA Museum

  • This new museum opened this past weekend. The founder/director is Elsa Longhauser (formerly of the Santa Monica Museum of Art)
  • The inaugural exhibition features work by late Mexican artist Martín Ramírez – and it is wonderful.
  • Half of the gallery space is devoted to the gift store
  • Worth checking out once but may not be on my roster every time I am in LA

ROW DTLA

  • Right down the street from ICA LA, you’ll find a complex of 3 historic buildings covered in RETNA hieroglyphics.
  • These former American Apparel factories are now being converted into a major creative hub featuring work spaces/lofts/mall complex.
  • If you come on a Sunday you can also nosh your way through Smorgasburg LA (same group as in Brooklyn)
  • During the week there are food trucks on site.
  • Next time I am back in LA, this will be a top priority for further exploration

Read on below for more recommendations.

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Everything Filipino Is Suddenly All The Rage

Everything Filipino Is Suddenly All The Rage

 

All things Filipino have been popping up on my radar over the last year. However, my visit to LA this week, dialed up my Filipino-awareness to new heights.

Since arriving here last Sunday I have been immersed in Filipino-ness through:

  • Food. Checked out Sari Sari at Grand Central Market and had their Buko Pie – so good!! (pic above). Note: I wrote about D.C.’s Bad Saint, ranked the country’s top Filipino restaurant back in April (the middle pic, lower level above, are the 3 founders).
  • Wedding traditions. Through my Uber driver, Arnulfo, who is getting married in November, I learned about family dynamics, wedding rituals and how important it is for a bride to master traditional cooking skills from the groom’s mom. I could tell that Arnulfo was a little disappointed that his Guatemalan fiancé would rather order in than learn to make the Filipino Pancit dishes that he loves.
  • Spirituality. Over a catch-up dinner with a longtime friend (who I did not realize was Filipino), I learned more about the fascinating indigenous religious beliefs and cosmology of Filipinos.

And then, I found this excellent write-up of a soon-to-be-published marketing book specifically focusing on cultural, social, personal and psychological factors observed in the Philippines.

Whether you do business in the Philippines or just have an appetite to learn more about different cultures, this is definitely worth a read (see below).

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5 Things Worth Doing The Old-Fashioned Way

5 Things Worth Doing The Old-Fashioned Way

 

As most of you know, I am not one for nostalgia – or looking backwards – but I was inspired to reconsider after I read this great piece in Gulfshore Life about old things that are cool again. I’m not 100% on board with all of the writer’s ideas but he is pretty spot on.

Having traveled a lot this year and having stayed with a lot of friends, here are some old-school fancies I’ve taken a shine to (even if some are beyond my skill set)!

Cooking from scratch without a recipe

  • My friend Rodrigo (Atlanta) is an amazing cook. It’s all from scratch, he just freestyles it in the kitchen and everything not only tastes delicious, it always looks exquisite (pic and video above).
  • My Rhinebeck friends, Janine and Steve, who I stayed with this past weekend, are also both great cooks. Steve, like Rodrigo, just whips up fantastic meals without ever checking a recipe e.g. amazing tuna on the grill – cooked and seasoned to perfection – along with vegetables and salad. Looked gorgeous and tasted sublime.
  • I just love it when people can cook intuitively. Never a cookbook in sight. It’s how my mom used to be in the kitchen.

Read on below for more.

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Weekends in America: One Guest Suite at a Time

Weekends in America: One Guest Suite at a Time

Guest suite at Jett Manse

Having spent much of this year traveling around the country, staying with friends who have houses and apartments big enough to graciously host guests, I’ve become somewhat of an expert on home design that is perfect for extended families.

  • Special shoutout to my friends Bob and Alice for hosting me so beautifully at their home in Savannah and to Rodrigo and Elliott for hosting me (twice) at their gorgeous home in Atlanta (pic above of “my” guest suite, more below)

Staying with friends for weekends in these, more or less, private suites, made me newly appreciate the on-going trend in real estate of building for multigenerational households living under one roof i.e. millennials, Gen Xers and boomers:

  • One in five Americans, or 19% of the country’s population, is living in a multigenerational household up from 15% in 2000 (Source: Pew Research)
  • This has become especially prevalent in cities home to high-tech companies where employees come from parts of the world where multigenerational living is the norm
  • For example, in Seattle, Lennar, a national homebuilder offers several multigenerational floor plans
  • One of the most defining features of homes for multi-gen families is the inclusion of elder-accessible first-floor units, complete with amenities such as kitchenettes and private entrances.
  • At least one condominium project in the Seattle area is catering to this trend as well.
  • Floor plans for the condo include full-size two-bedroom units with smaller adjoining studios. The building will also include day care, doctors, a salon and other services to further support multiple generations.

Link to SeattleMag article here.

See below for photos of multi-gen houses in the Seattle area as well as more on Rodrigo and Elliott’s guest suite in Atlanta

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Have You Heard of Activity Inequality?

Have You Heard of Activity Inequality?

 

Came across a fascinating study that used steps data from over 700K people in 111 countries to understand global health and the dangers of physical inactivity.

The researchers were surprised to find that a country’s average step count did not turn out to be the best predictor of that nation’s obesity rate.

  • Instead, a factor they called “activity inequality” turned out to be more important.
  • This is the difference between the most and least active people in a country (the ‘activity rich’ vs. the ‘activity poor’).
  • The size of the gap between them is a strong indicator of obesity levels in that society e.g. Sweden has one of the smallest gaps between the most and least active people, and also has one of the lowest obesity rates.
  • The United States has a large gap between the most and least active people and has a high obesity rate.

Places that are more “walkable” have lower levels of activity inequality.

  • In more walkable cities, activity is greater throughout the day and throughout the week, across age, gender, and body mass index (BMI) groups, with the greatest increases in activity found for females.

The findings have implications for global public health policy and urban planning and highlight the role of activity inequality and the built environment in improving physical activity and health.

The study has great relevancy for my hometown, NYC which is not only very walkable but also where we are increasingly getting around on bikes since the Citibike program was introduced.

  • There are now more than 450,000 daily Citibike trips in NYC (up from 170,000 in 2005).
  • Citibike’s expansion to all the boroughs means more people will be getting on bikes, making the city healthier
  • NY has more people commuting to work by bike than any other American city (46,057 in 2015 vs. 16,468 in 2005).

However, despite all that walking and biking, NYC still only comes in at #22 on the Fittest Cities in America study, an annual survey published by the American College of Sports Medicine. DC comes in at #1. See where your city ranks here.

And read on below for more findings from the global steps study including countries with highest and lowest daily steps. Link to full article from livescience here.

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