New Year. New Projects.

Usually we find the fall months (particularly September) a natural “renewal” time, when many businesses launch new initiatives to follow on the footsteps of the post-summer, back-to-school wave.  The new year doesn’t usually lend itself to this.  Yet two exciting projects just happened in the span of two weeks that brought a little lift to my post-holiday slump. Continue reading

2012….Curiouser and Curiouser

It’s a new year, and I must say, I’m looking forward to it.  I’ve enjoyed several curiously-filled months (albeit mostly offline), occupying myself with wedding plannning and execution (for myself), wedding planning (for my sister), and shower & reception planning (for us both).  Oh, and I managed to kick-off two new design projects, as well as attend to my blogging duties over at Apartment Therapy.  In short, it’s been fun, but busy.

Before I dive into the thoughts that have started to bubble up in the first two weeks of the year, it’s best to start off on the right foot.  Here’s a humble nod to my muse, Miss Alice, who reminds me to remain curious in the new year, and to observe trends (design, food, or otherwise) as they unfold around us.  Looking forward to a fun, post-filled world in 2012.

Meeting Great Designers – Part 1

Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan & Kevin Sharkey

Each month, Apartment Therapy (the blogosphere’s leading design site) holds an “offline” Design Meetup. These Design Evenings give anyone the chance to come hear 1:1 interviews with some of the most exciting members of the design world.  Whether this is your business or your passion, it’s a wonderful way to get inspired and hear about how these designers got started, what motivates them, which projects they’re currently working on, and to ask them direct questions through audience Q&A.

I’ve been attending for almost two years and write up the evening’s events for the site.  We meet at ABC Carpet & Home in Manhattan (join us!) but the design evenings have also expanded across the country (check here for one in your city).  All links to our New York Design Evenings are featured here, but I wanted to start highlighting some of my favorites – this week, I’m featuring two designers who use color in fantastic, eye-catching ways. Continue reading

Reaching Towards The Sky The Ironworkers of One World Trade Center

“Sky Cowboys” – courtesy of the NY Times 9.11 tribute site

You don’t want to be afraid of too much. 
You definitely need to be a little wild. 
That’s why they call us the Cowboys of the sky.

I had the unique opportunity to visit the unfinished 48th floor of WTC 7 last spring (my former architecture professor was one of the project leads).  As we walked the perimeter of the floor, we marveled not only at the artwork being done by the few artists allowed to call this unfinished space their studio, but also, of course, at the skyline.  It is a breathtaking experience to view the city from a space like that, but what really got my attention was the workers at WTC 1, almost eye-level with me from that vantage point.

These workers are fearless.  Called the “Sky Cowboys” in the New York Times video for their 9.11 tribute, many of the ironworkers are 3rd, 4th, even 5th generation.  Although legally required to harness, I saw a few walking untethered across some suspended beams.  They think nothing of it – which I guess is the point.  Look down too long and your mind starts going elsewhere.  At that height there’s no time to second-guess.

It’s these types of fearless leaders whom I think of this weekend.

Listen to the story of the Ironworkers who built New York via NPR’s All Things Considered.
Read about another fearless WTC daredevil.
Learn about other modern-day cowboys.

Enjoy Your Labor-Less Pursuits

“Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”
~ U.S. Dept. of Labor

Take advantage of this national holiday to do something we often feel guilty about – less labor, less technology (none if you can swing it), and more enjoyment of this chance to be free of requirements.  Even if it’s only sanctioned for 3 days.

Learn More About:
The History of Labor Day
The History Channel’s  Video on Labor Day
Rosie the Riveter
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911 

Newsletters Worth Signing Up For

If you’re like me, you’ve got a messy inbox – daily and weekly emails that often get delivered due to signups from long ago.  I’ve tried to get in the habit of cleaning out my inbox once a week (Fridays are my “tech cleaning” days) but some of these pesky emails keep showing up.  And of course I feel bad – because I know what it’s like trying to get readership, and how hard it is to get someone back if they unsubscribe.

Luckily, there are some smart newsletter senders out there.  Some newsletters I get on a weekly, and even daily basis, and I love reading them.  These few folks have found a way to grab my attention with beautiful visuals or short text callouts that make this level of frequency worth it.  It’s hard to do.  So here they are, my short list of some newsletters that are worth getting in your inbox: Continue reading

How Do We Measure Worth?

The White Barn Inn, courtesy of

 An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force. An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

~ Newton’s 1st Law (the “law of inertia”)

Last month I had the pleasure of spending several days in Kennebunkport, ME with my mom and sister.  It was a getaway we all needed (each for our own reasons), but most importantly, it was a chance for us to spend time together.  As part of our trip, Allison and I took our mom to The White Barn Inn, the only AAA Five Diamond, Forbes Five Star restaurant north of New York City. We were looking to relax and enjoy a good meal, but the experience sparked a much longer conversation on how we measure worth as a society, and most importantly, what it means beyond the price tag. Continue reading