Sunday Supper Club: Let’s See if This New Tradition Catches On

Sunday Supper Club: Let’s See if This New Tradition Catches On

 

A few years ago, I organized a Sunday Supper Club: Summer Series held every week in the garden of the Standard Hotel East Village (pic upper left). It was my friend Nystrom’s idea – apparently it’s a southern thing. Once the summer passed, however, Sunday Suppers fizzled out.

Now I’m trying to bring them back. Sent out invites for this month’s dinners and fingers crossed there is sufficient interest.

  • Based on early feedback, I’m optimistic this can be turned into a monthly, if not weekly, event.
  • It’s a great way to update and refresh our networks- and it’s fun!
  • If it works out as intended, Sunday Supper will be THE way to kick off the week. Friends will tell friends and people will want to get on the invite list.
  • It may also inspire others to start their own Supper Clubs
  • I’ll report back and let you know how it is working out

Read on below for more details should you want to organize your own supper club dinners.

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What’s Next After Tinder and Porn? Lifelike Sex Dolls

What’s Next After Tinder and Porn? Lifelike Sex Dolls

 

What’s the newest growth industry in China? Lifelike sex dolls are happening as the country grapples with a major shortage of women (30 million fewer women than men).

  • Sales of sex dolls surged 50% on Alibaba year-on-year over the last 5 years.
  • Singles Day (China’s biggest online shopping event) saw an especially large surge in the sale of sex dolls

For Americans, who might think this is weird, I ask you to consider it in light of the growth of the porn industry and “dating” sites like Tinder. Both have gone mainstream because they offer convenience and efficiency.

Based on online comments around the topic, many men (and women) consider romance a waste of time and money when all they want is a little nooky. Typical comment: “Porn doesn’t play games, porn doesn’t text back slow, porn gives you exactly what you ask. I love you porn.”

Porn sites receive more regular traffic on a monthly basis than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined. Additionally, 35% of all internet downloads are porn-related.

As marriage rates continue to decline and relationships are increasingly perceived as hard work, plenty of sex is still being had – just not with a typical love interest.

I’m going out on a limb here but I predict sex doll popularity will grow in tandem with porn and gradually overcome the stigma associated with it (in this country).

Fascinating highlights below on the growth of the sex doll industry in China as young men seek out high-tech alternatives to real women. Full article from foreignpolicy.com (via SupChina) here.

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Key to Success: Being Interesting and Having a Great Story to Tell

Key to Success: Being Interesting and Having a Great Story to Tell

 

 

Own The Room Core: Base is coming up on October 25th. The topics I am most excited to learn more about include executive presence, being memorable and the power of stories. I will, of course be reporting back.

In the meantime, I stumbled across this insightful piece in Entrepreneur on what it takes to be more interesting than average – and again storytelling features prominently.

Here are some key takeaways:

#1:  Be a powerful storyteller

Knowing how to tell stories is a powerful skill that interesting people possess. It’s also a skill that entrepreneurs need to have.

  • Rags-to-riches stories are especially compelling. Some believe it is part of our DNA to gravitate to stories of struggle and hardship that ultimately have a successful outcome.
  • This is clearly why I find biographies so fascinating (I didn’t realize it was part of my DNA).
  • Many prominent business leaders, athletes, and politicians who I admire have inspiring  background stories. Favorites include Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Rafael Nadal, Jamie Dimon (Chase), Phil Knight (one of the best stories ever). And I am about to start reading Principles by Ray Dalio.

#2:  Live an exceptional life that generates intrigue

 The best way to live an exceptional life is to surround yourself with people who already do fascinating things.

  • According to a study that followed 1,000 people over the course of eight decades, the people you associate with are the strongest influence on who you grow into.
  • Who is the most interesting person you know? For me, it’s got to be Brad. He never ceases to amaze (and amuse) me. I’m especially impressed by his appetite for life. He puts himself out there, unafraid to be on the stage of life. It’s the “doing” that makes him interesting. I’m much more of an observer, which is good but definitely a degree or two less interesting or exceptional.

Scroll down for more and click here for the entire Entrepreneur article.

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Social Media Trends for 2018: Real-Time Selling Is the Most Intriguing

Social Media Trends for 2018: Real-Time Selling Is the Most Intriguing

 

I’m currently tracking and evaluating several trends for the coming year but livestreaming as it exists in Asia is absolutely fascinating. It is worth watching because it is creating a new online culture and disrupting how consumers and brands use social media as a marketing tool. The U.S. is lagging far behind.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs have predicted that China’s livestream video market will grow from $2 billion in 2015 to $15 billion in 2020.

  • Livestreaming is creating a new online culture and producing new modes of real-time selling, as well as spawning new on-air personalities.
  • Livestreaming video is monetized by real-time consumer purchasing, virtual gifting, and ads vs. on-demand video which is monetized primarily by ads.
  • Top livestreamers attract over 100,000 viewers per session.
  • They generate money through purchases of virtual stickers and filters as well as through micro-transactions e.g. small gifts and donations by fans in real time during the livestream.
  • Livestreaming creates new opportunities for fame as Asian millennials broadcast their everyday lives equipped only with smartphones and selfie sticks
  • Marketers are taking advantage of this phenomena too.
  • 70% of over 100 beauty brands with operations in China use livestreaming as a marketing and advertising tool for product launches, fashion shows, and real-time buying links.
  • Maybelline sold 10,000 lipsticks within two hours by livestreaming its products using a Chinese influencer (Angelababy, pic above)
  • Alibaba’s Taobao and JD.com, two of China’s biggest online shopping sites, have both launched their own livestreaming platforms
  • The stage is set for livestreaming in the US as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and other channels enable livestreaming across their platforms.

Source: ZDNet

Read on below for three additional social media trends.

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Brand Partnerships: A Brilliant Way to Dial Up Your Cool

Brand Partnerships: A Brilliant Way to Dial Up Your Cool

 

Nothing gets me quite as excited as coming across a collaboration between two disparate brands that propel each other to new heights of greatness when partnered.

Conversely, nothing is as lame as a partnership between two has-beens.

This past week I ran into examples of both. But let’s start with the collaboration that I believe raises the bar for what a successful brand partnerships looks like.

 

Hearth & Hand with Magnolia at Target

Last October I visited Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco, Texas. It was powerful retailing. Link to blog post here.

  • Based on the crowds of shoppers and the buzz around the place, I knew someone would swoop them up. And that somebody is Target
  • It’ll be a win-win for both
  • The Gaines’ show, Fixer Upper, is the top show on HGTV with 4.3 million viewers (after 5 years, the Gaines’ have announced this will be their last season)
  • Joanna’s aesthetic is homey but very chic (most of my NYC designer friends love it)
  • Of course, the collaboration and design process will be featured prominently on the show (I don’t know this for sure – but of course it will!!)
  • Their home and lifestyle brand includes 300 items ranging from tabletop to home décor to giftables
  • The partnership extends over several years with many seasonal collections
  • The first collection arrives in store on Nov. 5, just in time for the holidays.

Read on below for 3 more winning collaborations plus two that miss the mark.

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Culinary Medicine: Just What the Doctor Ordered

Culinary Medicine: Just What the Doctor Ordered

 

Culinary Medicine has become a hot topic at medical schools over the last few years. It blends the art of food and cooking with the science of medicine.

Tulane University School of Medicine launched the nation’s first culinary medicine program back in 2012. Since then 10 other medical schools have licensed the curriculum.

What we eat has been linked to many of our most prevalent diseases e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes. Culinary medicine programs provide doctors with invaluable cooking know-how directly tied to health.

  • Providing primary care clinicians with a knowledge base of diet, lifestyle, and nutrition, and how they relate to disease.
  • Teaching modules are from a food-first perspective with an eye toward what patients face day-to-day when trying to make substantive change in their lives.

The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) is also now offering a new continuing medical education course on culinary medicine and the clinical practice of helping patients use nutrition and good cooking habits to restore and maintain health.

  • Culinary Medicine recipes and cooking techniques follow a high fiber plant-based diet and are achievable with low income to moderate budgets and amid time constraints.
  • In addition to the course, recipes and instructional videos have been made available for all medical professionals and their patients.
  • These resources are helpful for patients who want to start cooking healthy meals at home and need clear examples and demonstrations.

Read on below for more on how interest in Culinary Medicine is spreading around the country based on Tulane’s success.

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Street Art: Ever More Legit, Collectible and Pricey!

Street Art: Ever More Legit, Collectible and Pricey!

Selfie with Martha Cooper at the Bowery Mural Wall. Artist Lakwena in background

 

Street art (or now increasingly called Urban Art) has been my passion for years and it’s beyond weird for me to think about how elevated it’s become.

  • Huge article in the Financial Times (paywall) this past week about the Jean-Michel Basquiat show opening at the Barbican. And, of course, the FT is only writing about it because Basquiat is currently the top-selling contemporary artist at auction ($110 million for a street artist!).
  • But the most amazing thing this week was that I finally got to meet Martha Cooper, one of my heroes.
  • For those of you who don’t know Martha, she is the most famous documentarian of the graffiti/street art scene – in the world! She got her start photographing the New York City graffiti scene in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • I was so thunderstruck, I took her photo but forgot to ask if I could take a selfie with her. Ten blocks later, I ran back and she was still there, shooting Lakwena, the British street artist currently doing a new Bowery Mural. Fortunately, Martha agreed to the selfie.
  • And now that I have finally met her, I see her around the neighborhood all the time! Funny how that works.

Read on below for highlights about the business of street art from the Financial Times – they provide great perspective on what has made this art genre so major.

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Rice & Gold Now Open: Fantastic For Dim Sum Lovers

Rice & Gold Now Open: Fantastic For Dim Sum Lovers

 

Sampled a few dishes at Dale Talde’s newest restaurant, Rice & Gold, last weekend prior to its official opening yesterday (9/28).

I wolfed down the dumplings and pork buns – delicious. I will be back frequently over the next few weeks to try out the full menu. I anticipate this might become one of my favorite go-to’s (as long as reservations don’t become a nightmare).

Here’s what makes it worth checking out:

The vibe and ambiance are outstanding

  • The aesthetic is right up my alley. The street art murals by Mr. Ewok One set the tone – high energy, young, creative.
  • It’ll be a great spot for dinner with a group. It’s a huge restaurant (180 seats). My only concern is it could become super loud – not sure about the noise levels or what kind of music they’ll play. But I am an early diner and if I recall, noise has not been much of an issue at other Talde restaurants.

The food is excellent

  • Although I was there only for the Saturday Breakfast/Lunch menu – it was outstanding: vegetable mapo dumplings with shiitake mushrooms, tofu and soy-chili sauce and candied roast pork buns – delicious.
  • Jae Lee is Rice & Gold’s executive chef (and will also be providing room service for the hotel).
  • Caveat for diehard fans of authentic Chinatown dim sum parlors. Those mystery dumplings and wontons are not generally my cup of tea. I much prefer a more westernized dim sum offering which is what Gold & Rice delivers. So your call!

Service was great

  • Mind you the place was virtually empty since they were still in friends and family mode but every staff person I spoke with was incredibly well-informed about the menu and excited to be working there.

Rice & Gold is on the ground floor of the Hotel 50 Bowery (just below Canal Street). They are taking reservations on Open Table.

See photos below.

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