Sunday, November 30, 2008



Tips + Notes
If you tip building staff, the mail carrier, or anyone else who contributes to your daily life, add a hand-written note stating what you appreciate about that person and his/her work. People remember kind, personalized words as much as they do the monetary gift.

Blessings All Around
For more than 25 years, I’ve been participating in my family’s holiday-time exchange of written blessings. Here’s how it works: I pick out or make a card that reminds me of each member of my family. (Family can include anyone with whom you celebrate the holidays. My family includes my brother’s wife and their children.) I write a message to each person, sharing what I appreciate about him/her and what I hope for him/her in the upcoming year. Sometime before the New Year, we gather and open our blessings. Both the giving and receiving of these written gifts has always been a highlight of the season. I also love going back and reading blessings from past years.

Remember and Share Highlights from the Year
At the beginning of winter, I pick out a non-religious but festive greeting card to send to friends, family, and clients. I enclose an “A to Z Highlights of the Year” with the card, sometimes adding a personalized note. It’s a satisfying way of remembering, communicating, and sustaining gratitude for all the good folks and happenings in my life.

Collage Your Vision for 2009 (And Beyond!)
Step one: set a date to get together with your friends or colleagues. Step two: round up some poster board, colored paper, magazines, stickers, markers and glitter glue. Step three: using magazine pics, create a collage that represents how you want your life to look in the upcoming year. Step four: put this collage up in a visible spot so that you are reminded daily of what you intend to bring into your life. Step five: watch good things come your way!

Create Written Goals and Priorities for 2009
Go to your favorite cafĂ© to write down what you want to bring into your life in the year 2009. Some categories to consider: Health/Wellness, Relationships, Family, Creativity, Finances, Career, Home, Travel/Adventure, Community Involvement. Go back to that list every couple of months to gauge where you are, make amendments, and figure out what the next steps are toward the desired outcomes. Extra-fun assignment: Pretend it’s December of 2009. Write about your year as if it happened exactly the way you wanted it to go! Like the list of goals and priorities, this document is useful to return to throughout the year.

Simplify Gift-Giving
Show appreciation for colleagues, clients, employees and mentors by purchasing multiple copies of an inspirational book that has wide-spread appeal. A favorite book of mine for this purpose is Dominique Glocheux’s La Vie En Rose: The Little Book of Joy.

Make the Gift A Shared Experience
Establish an agreement with family members and significant others to replace gifts of the material kind with a shared experience like a culture- or nature-based event, dinner out at an extra-special restaurant, or a weekend getaway.

Make Friends with Your Neighbors
Host a holiday potluck where you invite neighbors who you’d like to know better.Another option: invite neighbors with children to come over to do some holiday baking.

Clean Sweep: Clear a Path to the New Year
Get your family members or room mates together for an afternoon of cleaning out rooms, desks, and closets. Collect everyone’s donatable items and organize a trip to the closest thrift shop.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


If you want to take your business to the next level, get a new job or create serious financial abundance, this is the event for you!

Join us for the “I’m READY!” event on December 5th from 8:00am-10:00am in NYC. (for women only)

I’m ready to create financial abundance.

I’m ready to start making my career dreams a reality.

I’m ready to tell the world who I am and what I do!

I’m ready to take the next step. Are you?

Are you ready to accomplish your goals regardless of the economy? Join us for a very special breakfast networking event featuring three New York women who are experts in their fields and living their professional dreams. They’ve found a way to THRIVE in a down economy and they’ll show you how you can to.


Judi Rosenthal—Senior Advisor with Ameriprise Financial
Maggie Mistal—Career Coach and Radio Host,
Laura Allen—Co-Founder,

WHEN: December 5th, 2008, 8:00am-10:00am
WHERE: Residence Inn Manhattan/Times Square
1033 Ave. of Americas, b/w 38th and 39th st.

FEE: Event is free! (Judi, Maggie and Laura are sponsoring this event, so please come as our guest!!)

You must RSVP to: Due to space limitations, we cannot accept walk-ins, please RSVP.



The Gowanus Canal Conservancy (GCC) invites visual artists to participate in a benefit art exhibition and sale, "Gowanus Basin: A Sense of Place”, on December 5-22, 2008. This event has come about very quickly, due to the imminent availability of a new retail space in Gowanus, on Bond Street between Union and Sackett.

The primary objectives of this exhibition are to raise funds for GCC, to bring focus on Gowanus as the center of northwest Brooklyn neighborhoods, to generate public interest in the preservation of the Gowanus landscape, and to foster opportunities for local artists.

Very prompt action is requested by interested local artists -- the Opening Reception will be on Friday, December 5, 6-8:30 pm. Regular gallery hours over the following 3 weeks are Thursdays 3-8 pm, Fridays 3-6 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 11 am - 7 pm. There will be a Final Day Sale on Monday, December 22, 11 am - 7 pm.

Submitted artwork should be representational views of streetscapes, landscapes, or interiors, and specifically of locales in the Gowanus Basin area of Brooklyn [the neighborhoods of Gowanus, Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill]. Artwork must be 2-dimensional media: painting, photography, original prints, etc. and must be framed or canvas edges painted or taped. No wood strips attached to canvases will be accepted. Artwork must be securely wired for hanging. Artwork should be priced generally between $100 and $1000, and there are no size restrictions. Artists may request either a 2' or 4' wide space, and on acceptance artists will be notified of their space assignment.

Accepted artists will be responsible for hanging their artwork on 12/4, 2-9 pm, or 12/5, 11 am-3 pm. Accepted artists will also be asked to gallery-sit for at least one 2.5-3.5 hour shift during the show. Artists will have the option to participate in the "Final Day Sale" on Monday, December 22, when retail prices will be lowered by 20%. Any unsold artwork must be removed from the gallery on Tuesday, December 23, by either the artist or a designated representative. Artist’s payment checks for sold artwork will be distributed at that time.

The Gowanus Canal Conservancy will serve as the gallery operator, and artwork will be consigned to them for the duration of this exhibition. The Conservancy will also be responsible for all sales transactions and accounting for them, retaining 35% of sales as a donation (40% for sales over $400); provide liability and property insurance for the temporary gallery space during this exhibition; create and provide artwork labels based on information provided by artists; generate publicity by sending out postcards, e-mails, blog postings, press releases and placing local paper ads.

To apply to exhibit at this show, send an email with your name, telephone number, artwork media, price range, and 3 sample images [in small jpeg files] by 5 pm on Monday, December 1, to If accepted you will hear back by 5 pm on Tuesday, December 2, and will be expected to send by email your list of artwork for the exhibition with pertinent information (title, medium, size, price) by 5 pm on Wednesday, December 3.

The Gowanus Canal Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located at 509 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231. For more information please visit, or call Lauren Collins at the Conservancy office, 718-858-0557.=


This is Pepper, Guardian Dog of President Street in Carroll Gardens, on the day before Thanksgiving.

Seems like dogs are the creatures that bring humans together.

Last year, an audience went wild for Uno, the first beagle to win the Westminster dog show.

Many folks are interested in what kind of pup the Obamas will get.

The New York Public Library has a program where struggling young readers read aloud to dogs.

There is a Dachsund Friendship Club that meets in Union Square Park for big gatherings.

My friend Linda has dedicated herself to animal rescue for the last twelve years.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Today, I felt like I did when I was ten, when I went outside and never wanted to go back in. Just wanted to spend hours outside to play and play and play and play.

I started the day in a little neighborhood cafe with the morning paper and a bagel. A pigeon hopped in and I started a game where I'd chase it out and it would hop back in and then I would chase it out.......

Did some work from home and then went back out into the sun and cool, fresh air, walking all around to do xeroxing and purchasing of postage. It was great to see people, dogs, then sit in Carroll Park, absorb the sun, watch and hear little ones playing, and look up at the sky.

What did I see when I looked up? Sky, sky, sky and tree branches spreading out into the blue.

Finally, as the chilly winds started to swirl around me, I picked up my laundry and came home to my sweetie.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


This is a reprint from the blog of a new client, Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn .

Okay. So I finally succumbed. Last week I called Eleanor Traubman of Creative Times and a professional organizer and cried: SOS. I was feeling completely overwhelmed and disorganized and I could not face the big green tub of unopened mail I had to look at and file.

Luckily Eleanor had time the very next day to come over. Phew. What a life saver.

How to describe what Eleanor does. First of all, she is very calm and calming and she doesn't judge. Maybe she was just being nice, but she didn't faint when she saw my existing filing system or the huge tub of mail.

Then we sat down and began to organize me. Basically she taught me a couple of tricks. The first one is a wonderful acronym: RAFT.

I kept thinking life raft and what a life saver Eleanor is.

R means refer. A means action. F means file. T means toss.

So that's what we did for the better part of two hours. And as we did this, Eleanor created these lovely file labels for me and I felt like a patient in a nice warm bed getting chicken soup in the form of organized files.

After two hours life saver Eleanor left me with a shopping list and a smile. Oh and an appointment for next week. Her number is this. Call her now if you need SOS: 917-499-7395.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Rooftop Films is now accepting submissions for the 2009 Summer Series!

Submit your movies! We are currently accepting submissions for the 2009 Summer Series. In May 2009 we will begin celebrating our 13th year of bringing the best underground films in the world outdoors and to the rooftops of New York. Submit your films and videos now and participate in one of the most unforgettable, unique, filmmaker-friendly, independent film events in the world!

A complete list of rules and regulations are available on our website• Films can be submitted via or directly to Rooftop Films• General deadlines and fees have changed since last year: Earlybird: $9, postmarked by January 5, 2009; Regular: $13, postmarked by February 02, 2009; Late: $16, postmarked by March 1, 2009; Without A Box Extended: $16, April 1, 2009 (Without A Box members only.)

Rooftop continues to accept films year round, but if you want to guarantee that your films will be considered for the 2009 Summer Series please make sure to submit them on or before the deadlines.THE FESTIVAL: The 2009 Summer Series will run from May through September and will feature more than 200 daring new films, all screened outdoors, in front of big, loyal audiences in parks, along the water, and on rooftops overlooking the greatest city on earth.

More than 15,000 people attended Rooftop screenings in 2008, making it one of the most popular festivals in New York City. The 2009 Summer Series will surely feature even bigger crowds, even more beautiful venues, and more incredible films.

SUBMITTING TO ROOFTOP:Rooftop Films is committed to helping filmmakers get their films screened and we believe that it is the responsibility of a film festival to make it as easy as possible for filmmakers to submit their films and get them screened. That is why we don't demand that filmmakers send us exorbitant submission fees. There is a recommended early submission fee of $9.00 per filmmaker or curator for any films postmarked prior to January 5th, and for that fee you can submit as many films as you like without paying additional submission fees.

Our early submission fee is the same as our regular ticket price, and every filmmaker who submits to Rooftop will get TWO free passes to any regular Rooftop Films show (a value of $18). We try to keep the cost to filmmakers as minimal as possible and though we can't show all the films sent in to us, we hope that all the filmmakers that submit come out to our shows—and the first one is on us.

If you have any other questions—please email Program Director Dan Nuxoll at *submit at rooftopfilms dot com*


Tonight, November 24, StoryCorps, one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, will be hosting a book reading at the Court Street Barnes and Noble in Brooklyn at 7:00 PM.

Events at Suffolk Community College and the New York City Tenement Museum will follow in the next few weeks. Tens of thousands of everyday Americans have interviewed their loved ones through StoryCorps. "Listening Is An Act of Love" is a compilation of some of the most remarkable stories, arranged thematically to form a moving portrait of American life.

At these events, Dave Isay, legendary radio producer and founder of StoryCorps, will be answering questions and sharing some of these stories.For more information about “Listening Is an Act of Love” and the book tour event, please visit

Friday, November 21, 2008


By Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster

In every person's life, there are moments when things don't go according to plan. In fact, there may be times when something truly disheartening happens. Perhaps you don't get the promotion that you assumed was yours to claim. Or you receive a surprisingly critical review when you thought you were a stellar performer. Maybe your boss takes another job and you're left with a supervisor you can't stand.

Then there are those really big adjustments like sudden lay-offs, company mergers, and, most recently, national financial bail-outs. Today, we all face a level of economic uncertainty that is unrivaled since the Great Depression.

When faced with such challenging times, it's tempting to feel anxious, hurt, angry, betrayed, and disgusted. You may get depressed, feel deflated, and put your head in the sand. Or, you may react by mouthing off, erupting at others, stomping off in righteous indignation. Either way, it's easy to take a nosedive into emotionally dark territory.

Rather than linger in those dark waters, we encourage you to take steps to rebound from recent economic fluctuations, and pull yourself out of the emotional swamp. The following are five tips that you can follow to weather any stormy situation at work, and pull yourself out of the depths.

When something horrible happens to us, our bodies act like sponges and absorb the pain. Part of pulling yourself out of the depths involves tending to your physical well being so that your body can release the sadness, anger, frustration and pain that it took as a result of the bad incident. Getting physical can include working out on a regular basis, getting massages, taking baths, going outside for walks in nature. Find ways for your body to release the toxins and bring you back to a healthier state.

Safe harbors are the people and places where you don't have to put on your game face and where you can get emotional support to move forward. When you crash and burn - whether you've lost a job, ended a relationship or suffered a catastrophe - you'll get out of the depths faster if you turn to people who can hear your story without judgment and help you put the pieces of your life back together. A safe harbor could be a trusted friend, a support group, a spiritual fellowship or a paid professional. Use your safe harbors to buoy you up until you can float on your own.

There's no situation so bad that excess drinking, drugging or eating won't make it worse. When you're in emotional pain, it's tempting to turn to drugs, alcohol, chocolate, ice cream, donuts, and other substances for escape. The problem is that those substances make you feel good in the short run and WORSE in the long run. What is your drug of choice? If you know what it is, avoid it when you're in the depths. Most substances used in excess are depressants and take us deeper into the hole rather than pulling us out.

Bad things do happen to good people. In fact, these events are often tough lessons on the road to our greatest successes. When you experience some kind of career disappointment or business disaster, it's easy to think, "Why me?" To pull yourself out of the depths, re-focus on your initial goal before anything bad happened: Did you want to do work that you love? Do you want great financial success? Would you like to influence others or contribute to society in some way? Re-focus on the goals that you are truly passionate about and take small steps every day to get there.

FAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT (Wear the cape):
You may FEEL like getting up in the morning. You may not FEEL like getting dressed and going to work. Recovering from workplace disappointments requires a certain amount of faking it until you make it - acting as if you are okay and heading towards greater things. Dress as if you care about yourself, talk as if you believe in your future, and put yourself in the company of people who see you in the same light.

Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster are the Owners of K Squared Enterprises, a management consulting firm that specializes in interpersonal relationships at work. They are the authors of the best selling book Working With You Is Killing Me and the soon to be released Working For You Isn’t Working For Me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Tips to Help You Make the Most of Holiday Events
By Victoria Munro and Dave Block of
Make It Fly

Take advantage of holiday parties to make new friends and grow your network, which in turn can lead to growing your business. The tips below make this easy.

View each holiday gathering as a networking opportunity. Go prepared with business cards, an attitude of giving and a commitment to help others.

Don’t try to sell your products or services. Rather, ask questions to gain information about the person you are talking to, and learn about their interests and passions. Find out what’s special about them and how your can serve and encourage them.

Wear something unique that stands out and makes it easy for others to ask questions and start a conversation. Pins, custom nametags and embroidered logos can pique someone’s curiosity and beg a question.

Be a giver! Plan to leave each person you talk to with something of value. This could be as small as a smile or as significant as a referral. Other ‘gifts’ might include: information to help them deal with an issue or situation they’re facing, a relevant, helpful article or book, or someone they should meet and get to know.

Avoid the challenge of trying to balance a plate and glass while you shake hands and talk with others. When you’re eating, focus on that, but when networking, give your full attention to the person you’re talking to.

Have a positive attitude about the event you’re attending. Let the host or organizer know how much you appreciate the hard work she or he put into making the event a success.

Prepare to offer ideas for unique, affordable, fun holiday gifts that people you meet might give to their clients, friends and family members.

Do your best to let everyone you talk with feel important, special and valued. Offer sincere compliments and pay attention to what they have to say.

Ask people what they enjoy about the holiday season and what they find challenging. Listen, and, if it’s appropriate, offer helpful suggestions.

Avoid any negative comments or conversation and maintain an attitude of gratitude and joy. It will prove contagious!


Caitlin Dean is one to watch. Three years out of college, she is starting a non-profit outdoors program, Girl Guides, for fourth through tenth grade girls. Good news! She is launching a pilot group in Northwest Brooklyn, and is spreading the word through as many community networks as possible.

Says Caitlin of her own outdoors background: "For years, my sister and I spent part of our summers in Belgium, where we have family friends. There, we participated in summer wilderness camps with Girl Guides, which is the Belgian equivalent of Girl Scouts (and actually the name of most countries' Scouting programs for girls).

In practice, it's very different from Girl Scouts here in America. For one thing, Girl Guides is a youth movement, which means that the groups are run by young adults (usually college-age girls or recent graduates), not parents, and that over time, the participants learn leadership skills and take on increased responsibility within the group.

Girl Guides also puts a strong emphasis on outdoor activities and environmentalism, and it encourages teamwork, cooperation and communal living over individual recognition (there is no focus on merit badges, for example). Activities are held throughout the school year, usually on weekends (afternoons, day trips and overnights), building up to a two-week camp in the summer. Our 'camp' is actually just a field that we transform into a community. We pitch tents, build our campsites (literally - the constructions are incredible!), cook over open fires, hike, play games, sing around the campfire, and learn to live in nature as a group. I have long wanted to make it possible for American girls to participate in such a wonderful program, and so I have decided to take on the challenge of starting an American version of Girl Guides.

For more information, check out Girl Guides USA or contact


I did a double take when I walked by a new restaurant on 181st Street in Manhattan. That's where a health food store used to be. I popped my head in and found an aesthetically-pleasing space with art on the walls, magazines to read, and super-friendly folks working there. The new joint is appropriately called 181.

While inquiring about a sandwich on the menu called The International, a guy sitting at the counter said "It's sweet." He turned and looked at me and I said "Aren't you one of the owners of Zanny's?" Zanny's Cafe is a little cafe in Morningside Heights. "Yes, this is my new place," he replied. I reminded him that we had also met at my friend Meghan's going away party.

So now, James has his hands in both joints. I told him I thought that this was just the kind of place that 181st Street needed. He gave me a complimentary coffee and mini muffin before I went back out into the cold, crisp air.

Best wishes to you in your new venture, James!

Monday, November 17, 2008


  1. I will trust my crazy ideas.

  2. I will doubt my doubts.

  3. I believe the sky is not the limit.

  4. I know that the power of imagination is limitless.

  5. I listen to my inner voice.

  6. I capture my ideas.

  7. I form new associations.

  8. I keep feeding my mind and senses.

  9. I create in areas that I am passionate about.

  10. I choose to be creative.

  11. I accept failure and mistakes as essential steps toward success.

  12. I prefer creative clutter to sterile neatness.

  13. I choose to light a candle rather than to curse the darkness.

  14. I believe in my own creativity and nurture creativity in others.

From: The Little Book of Big Ideas: Inspiration, Encouragement, and Tips to Stimulate Creativity and Improve Your Life

Friday, November 14, 2008


This is Amanda, a super-friendly waitress at Little D Eatery in Park Slope.

What does Amanda likes about Working at Little D ?

According to Ms.A, "It is a nice vibe - casual but professional. The owner and manager set a good atmosphere. [Little D] is friendly and on-point with the food. It's about customer service but in a relaxed way." Amanda also appreciates that much of the food is organic and changes with the seasons. To this point, she strives to be knowledgeable about what is being served - esp. the wines and local foods.

About Amanda: She graduated with a degree in English lit. and anthropology. A photographer, Amanda is interested in being a photojournalist and a maker of documentaries.

Little D. Eatery is located at 434 7th Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn. For more info, call 718-369-3144 or go to<


Sometimes, a birthday calls for a big night out on the town. But not always.

Last night, I decided to spend my birthday in the coziness of my Carroll gardens nest. I took the day to relax at home and around the neighborhood so I could receive calls from family and friends. The most entertaining call came from my brother's family in San Diego. The four of them (baby Natalie is too young to sing) sang Happy Birthday and then 3.5-year-old Tyler sang I Had a Little Turtle.

As evening approached, and things became more windy and rainy by the minute, I realized that I didn't want to run around in the inclement weather. I called Mike at work and said "I would be so happy with a home-cooked meal."

When I got home, there were a dozen red roses in a vase on the kitchen table, a new white candle, and the card pictured to the left. Mike was cooking orange salmon and a delicious potatoe and green bean dish to go with it.

I savored every bite as we watched my favorite t.v. shows - Ugly Betty, Friends, 30 Rock, and Iconoclasts.

Then Mike turned off the lights and walked to me with a mini cheesecake with a candle in it as he sang Happy Birthday.

I went to bed a Happy Birthday Camper.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


My birthday wish is to find discounted tickets to go see Hairspray the Musical.

I saw the movie three times and have listened to the songs on my ipod endlessly.

Do you know of anyone selling tix or a good way to get them?

Help make this birthday girl's dream come true!



Last night, I attended a packed-to-the rafters event at Kidville in the upper east side.The event was organized by Collective-E and Big City Moms.

Moderatedby Collective-E founder Beth Schoenfeldt, the panel featured mompreneurs - mom entrepreneurs - who shared stories of how they took ideas for products and services and turned those ideas into reality. The speakers included Ellen Diamant, Co-Founderof Skip Hop; Grace Welch, Founder of Patemm Pad; Shari Misher Stenzler, Co-Founder of Kidville; and Risa Goldberg and Leslie Venokur, Founders of Big City Moms.

Although each woman had her own story to share about her journey as an entrepreneur, all of them shared a common lesson learned: "You can't do it all." These ladies stressed the importance of asking for help in every stage of the game, from conceptualizing a product or service to producing it to getting the word out about it. Phrases repeated often throughout the evening were: get help, hire people, get interns, barter services, ask family for assistance.

One of the liveliest stories of the evening came from Grace Welch of Patemn Pad, who was contacted via phone by The Oprah Winfrey Show one day and whisked off to Chicago within hours of the call to participate in an episode about moms who invented products for other moms.

The evening ended with time for participants to network and collect goodie-bags full of promotional products.


I met Sandhya Nankani several years ago at the Bowery Poetry Club. We were both there to be part of the First Annual Write-a-Thon, a fundraiser for The New York Writer's Coalition. I remember being in a mini writing workshop there and loving not only the words she wrote but hearing her say them in a calm voice that quietly invites you into her stories.

Some interesting stuff about Sandhya:

* She writes an amazing blog called Literary Safari and is a contributing writer for Sepia Mutiny
* She is a freelance writer, editor, teacher, and consultant whose clients include The New York Times Learning Network, Teachers College's Student Press Initiative, Macmillan, Scholastic, and Weekly Reader
* She used to be an editor at Scholastic Education and at Weekly Reader Publishing, where she edited a magazine called "Writing"
* She was born in Ghana and lived there and in India before arriving in the U.S. at the age of 12.
* She is the author of Moments with a Master: Meetings with Dada J. P. Vaswani , a memoir that has been called "inspiring, honest, relevant, and refreshing."
* Her nonfiction essays, feature articles, and poetry have been published widely in print and online publications, including Ms., Little India, Yoga +,, Times of India , the Weekly Reader, and Kahani.

Contact her for more information or references regarding her editorial services


Want some inspiration? Visit an artist in their studio. I've been making treks to the upper east side to hang out with my friend Cecilia Abs Andre in her art studio, which she shares with a friend.

It is a big deal for an artist, especially a female mom artist, to stake out time and space to do her work. So my hats go off to Cecilia for making her work as a painter a near-daily part of her life.

In addition to doing her own work, Cecilia also runs art classes for small groups of young people and also for adults. (For more info, call 917-892-6705).

It's so much fun looking in all the corners of the studio. Unlike a typical work space, where so much is tucked away in filing cabinets and drawers, Cecilia's studio is filled with all kinds of photos, scraps of papers and fabrics, tubes of paint, brushes, pencils and pens, mugs - all out for viewing. Somehow, the visibility of the materials takes away from the mystery of what it means to be an artist.

Last time I was there, I found a photograph of an amazing loft-like space. It turned out to be Cecilia's living and studio space in her homeland of Brazil. I loved hearing the story of how she designed the space and the life she fashioned for herself there.

What space can be more full of stories than the one where someone is creating on a daily basis?

Artists need company of friends and family. No one can create in pure solitude.

I encourage you to find an artist and go visit them!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008


This article is from Scott, That Guy With the Nametag

You are a Finder. It’s non-negotiable.It's ingrained in the territory.It’s part of the job description.So, you need to get good at finding things.

For example:

1. Find a way. One always exists. Even when you’re tired as hell, broke as a joke or completely out of ideas. How many answers are you willing to accept?

2. Find economic buyers. Everyone else is a waste of your time. And time isn’t something you’ve got a lot of. Figure out who signs the check and give ‘em a pen. Are you playing to the wrong audience?

3. Find everything tasty. Even if you’re uncomfortable. Even if you’ve never had it before. Practice intentional discomfort and give it a try. Cognitively restructure everything you do to find inherent novelty and deliciousness. How can you make this into something awesome?

4. Find inspiring people. Hang with them. Watch them. Listen to them. Ask them questions. Note the things they say and do. Note the type of people they ARE and then emulate away. Whose thinking inspires your own?

5. Find opportunity everywhere. It’s there. You just need to look harder. And when you find it, you need to leverage it. Better, stronger and smarter than anyone else. What is today’s creative opportunity?

6. Find the doors. Wedge your way in. Be smart. Suck in your stomach and squeeze your way through. When was the last time you entered a new market?

7. Find thought bridges. Connect seemingly unrelated ideas. Notice ancillary answers, anomalies and other creative sparks. How are you finding relationships between everything?

8. Find uncontested space. Set up camp, put a stake in the ground, raise a flag and declare to the world, “This is MY house. Come near at your own risk.” And if some punk creeps a little too close, release the hounds. How are you being The Only?

9. Find your cause. Otherwise you’re slaving away for nothing. You need a calling. A cause. A higher purpose. A validation of your existence. The best part is, once you’ve got that tasty carrot dangling down through the depths of your heart, the work you do becomes twice as exciting, yet takes half the time to get done. Have you fulfilled the demands of your calling this week?

10. Find your part. It doesn’t matter if you’re the lead, an extra, singing in the chorus or a tree. Your part is essential. Have you determined your fundamental leadership role?

11. Find your woodshed. Sneak out there every night. When the dogs are asleep, when your wife is out cold, when your kids are passed out. Fire up the lantern and get to work. Finish as the sun comes up. Then sneak back into bed undetected.

What inspires your persistence and determination?Find. Find. Find. Find.It’s an entrepreneur’s favorite verb.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...What did you find this week?

Sunday, November 09, 2008


DO: Buy fresh flowers, a mood-brightener.
DON'T: Buy a Ferrari, a bank-buster.

DO: Buy tiny wind-up plastic toys for your desk or bath. Instant cheap fun, no batteries require!
DON'T: Buy a SUV, a pricey gas-guzzler.

DO: Buy a puppy. Something fun to focus on and an excuse to get outside and meet people!
DON'T: Bring it to pet day spas or boutiques. (Instead, go see Beverly Hills Chihuahua!)
DO: Make a gin-free Lime Rickey, fun 'n' fizzy.
DON'T: Drown your sorrows in liquor.

DO: Exercise to blow off steam.
DON'T: Sit on your bum all day watching Benny Hill re-runs. Okay, maybe some Benny Hill because it is so cornily ridiculous.

DO: Read biographies of inspiring people - e.g. leaders and innovators who have taken risks even in the face of adversity.
DON'T: Steep yourself in the constant flow of fear-drenched news. For that is the number one way to let The Man keep you down!

DO: Reach out to neighbors and friends.
DON'T: Camp out in your pad, peering cautiously out in the cracks between the blinds 'till things get better.

DO: Commit Random Acts of Kindness.
DON'T: Push people on the subway, yell at people from your car, or take your stress out on people in service professions.

DO: Be the village that raises a child - be kind to young people everywhere.
DON'T: Frighten young children with that "My IRA is down to $3.50" scowel.

DO: Watch squirrels from a park bench. They do the darndest things - like eat leftover pizza.
DON'T: Take your frustrations out on small animals a la Caddyshack.

DO: Call your great aunt Mildred.
DON'T: Buy the "Le Million" cell phone.

DO: Take books out of libraries and go to museums on free or pay-what-you-will nights.
DON'T: Stay home and watch Knight Rider re-runs.

DO: Celebrate what good things you have in your life - love, nature, a sense of humor, a roof over your head.
DON'T: Keep your head in the sand. You're gonna miss out on all the beauty in life.

DO: Continue to contribute to the causes you believe in - especially the arts! Every little bit of time and money helps.
DON'T: Grip your wallet so darn tight. What goes around comes around.

Friday, November 07, 2008


This letter is from The Root

Nov. 5, 2008

Dear Brother Obama,

You have no idea, really, of how profound this moment is for us. Us being the black people of the Southern United States. You think you know, because you are thoughtful, and you have studied our history. But seeing you deliver the torch so many others before you carried, year after year, decade after decade, century after century, only to be struck down before igniting the flame of justice and of law, is almost more than the heart can bear. And yet, this observation is not intended to burden you, for you are of a different time, and, indeed, because of all the relay runners before you, North America is a different place. It is really only to say: Well done. We knew, through all the generations, that you were with us, in us, the best of the spirit of Africa and of the Americas. Knowing this, that you would actually appear, someday, was part of our strength. Seeing you take your rightful place, based solely on your wisdom, stamina and character, is a balm for the weary warriors of hope, previously only sung about.

I would advise you to remember that you did not create the disaster that the world is experiencing, and you alone are not responsible for bringing the world back to balance. A primary responsibility that you do have, however, is to cultivate happiness in your own life. To make a schedule that permits sufficient time of rest and play with your gorgeous wife and lovely daughters. And so on. One gathers that your family is large. We are used to seeing men in the White House soon become juiceless and as white-haired as the building; we notice their wives and children looking strained and stressed. They soon have smiles so lacking in joy that they remind us of scissors. This is no way to lead. Nor does your family deserve this fate. One way of thinking about all this is: It is so bad now that there is no excuse not to relax. From your happy, relaxed state, you can model real success, which is all that so many people in the world really want. They may buy endless cars and houses and furs and gobble up all the attention and space they can manage, or barely manage, but this is because it is not yet clear to them that success is truly an inside job. That it is within the reach of almost everyone.

I would further advise you not to take on other people's enemies. Most damage that others do to us is out of fear, humiliation and pain. Those feelings occur in all of us, not just in those of us who profess a certain religious or racial devotion. We must learn actually not to have enemies, but only confused adversaries who are ourselves in disguise. It is understood by all that you are commander in chief of the United States and are sworn to protect our beloved country; this we understand, completely. However, as my mother used to say, quoting a Bible with which I often fought, "hate the sin, but love the sinner." There must be no more crushing of whole communities, no more torture, no more dehumanizing as a means of ruling a people's spirit. This has already happened to people of color, poor people, women, children. We see where this leads, where it has led.

A good model of how to "work with the enemy" internally is presented by the Dalai Lama, in his endless caretaking of his soul as he confronts the Chinese government that invaded Tibet. Because, finally, it is the soul that must be preserved, if one is to remain a credible leader. All else might be lost; but when the soul dies, the connection to earth, to peoples, to animals, to rivers, to mountain ranges, purple and majestic, also dies. And your smile, with which we watch you do gracious battle with unjust characterizations, distortions and lies, is that expression of healthy self-worth, spirit and soul, that, kept happy and free and relaxed, can find an answering smile in all of us, lighting our way, and brightening the world.

We are the ones we have been waiting for.

In Peace and Joy,
Alice Walker


Hey There Busy Parents,

Professionals, Artists, and Entrepreneurs!

Do you have more stuff than space?

Are you overwhelmed by piles of papers, clothes, or books?

Would you like more serenity and less chaos in your home or work space?

Let Eleanor Traubman, professional organizer, help you………

Clear your desk

Unclutter your closets

Get your papers in order

Create rooms you love to live and work in

Make space for you!!!



A professional organizer since 1999, Eleanor assists busy New York women de-clutter and make better use of desks, closets, filing cabinets, and more. She has been featured in Time Out New York, The Brooklyn Paper, Family Circle, The Sun Times Chronicle, and Fitness.

Eleanor is also a writer, educator, culture maven, and community-builder whose passion is connecting people to each other, and connecting people to tools and resources for living an inspired and effective life. Her mission is to bring people together through the arts, creativity, and humor. She is Editor of Creative Times, a blog for artists and entrepreneurs, and also helps convene the Brooklyn Blogade, a monthly gathering of Brooklyn bloggers.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


1. Refuse to Participate in the Recession - Businesses and people that thrived during past recessions continued to go about their business as usual regardless of the market conditions.They stayed positive, worked hard and focused on taking actions to grow their business. Focus on business as usual and while others allow fear to paralyze them you will charge forward andmove ahead of your competition.

2. Increase Marketing and Advertising - It may seem counterintuitive to spend more moneyon advertising and marketing but with so many people and organizations cutting back on theseexpenses this is a great opportunity to build your brand, expand your presence and gainmarket share. People will still be buying goods and services and they will buy from those who they trust and see in the marketplace. This is a great time to win new customers and stand out.

3. Innovate - Just as the phoenix rises from the ashes, great ideas and new business ventures are born during economic hardships. GE, Disney, and Microsoft were all born during recessions. I believe when times are tough we are more open to new ideas, new products and new ways of doing things. For example, smart political and business leaders should be working on alternative energy and green technologies that would lead to great progress and profits.

4. Become a Talent Magnet - If you are a leader or manager there is no better time to find, attract and hire the best talent. Focus on strengthening your business now and you’ll bein a great position to capitalize when the market rebounds.

5. Think Big, Take Action - Consider that both the Empire State Building and the Golden Gate Bridge were built during the Great Depression. Now is a time to think big, create your vision and take action. With more people living in fear and fewer people taking initiative the rewards and recognition will be greater for those willing to work hard and dedicate themselves to building a great business, product, service, and vision. As we know, there is no substitute for hard work and now is a time where those with a positive attitude and great work ethic will shine.

5 Ways To Thrive During Tough Times
by Jon Gordon

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Teaching Literacy Through Art: Strategies for Discussing Art in the Classroom

Thu, Feb 5 & 12 and Fri, Apr 24 & May 19 am-3 pm

Learn how to facilitate open-ended conversations around works of art, and how to apply this methodology to teaching literacy and critical-thinking skills as well as social studies and science content. This four-day workshop stems from research conducted by the Guggenheim Museum, which concludes that discussing and creating art can lead to improvements in reading comprehension.

Tuition is $350 for four days and includes resource materials for the classroom.

Teachers of grades 2-12 in all subject areas are welcome to apply.

Enrollment is limited to 20 participants.

For more information, call 212 360 4260 or email

Completed applications, with principal's approval, must be received by Dec 1.

Visit to download an application.

Photo by Enid Alvarez.


The birds were singing more loudly than I had ever heard them singing in the morning and I think I know why.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008


This is the third fold of the pull-out cover of Vanity Fair's 2003 Music Edition.

From left to right: Anthony Keidis, Antwan "Big Boi: Patton, and "Andre 3000" Benjamin

Photo credit: Annie Liebovitz


Second fold from three-fold pullout cover of Vanity Fair's Music Edition from 2003.

From left to right: James Taylor, Mary J. Blige, Lucinda Williams, Liz Phair

Photo Credit: Annie Liebovitz


Every year, Vanity Fair produces a Music Issue.

This is Part One of the pull-out cover of my favorite Music Issue cover ever. It's from 2003. Yes, I've saved it for all these years!

From left to right: Queen Latifah, Nora Jones, Willie Nelson, Dr. Dre.

Photo Credit: Annie Liebovitz

Monday, November 03, 2008


Women are inspired by many things to launch businesses, and children are a big one.

Collective-E is proud to present the women behind 5 remarkable businesses:
*A woman who launched a national retail store
*Sisters who put on events almost every single day in New York, and have jobs on the side
*A woman who counts Andre Agassi as one of her investors
*The wife in a husband/wife team who created a bag that many women can't live without
* An inventor who created and launched something solving a problem for moms everywhere

Confirmed panel speakers include:
Ellen Diamant--Co-Founder Skip Hop
Grace Welch - Founder of Patemm Pad
Ali Wing-Founder, Giggle
Shari Misher Stenzler, Co-Founder Kidville
Risa Goldberg and Leslie Venokur, Founders Big City Moms

Panel Moderated by Beth Schoenfeldt Co-Founder Collective-E

Date: November 11th, 2008 Time: 6-8PM

Location: Kidville, 163 East 84th St.

Collective-E Core Member Cost: FREE. Please email to RSVP.

Collective-E Basic Member Cost: 25% discount. Please email for your member discount link.

Non-members: $42 in advance, $60 cash at the door
To order tickets, go to