Friday, July 31, 2009


It's been a while since I watched Savion dance, so this video was a real treat. I used to catch him and the rest of the gang here on stage at the free-form tap sessions hosted by Buster Brown at Swing 46 in Manhattan.

I am always cheering on Ayodele Casele, the only female member of Savion's group NYOT (Not Your Ordinary Tappers.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Hello, Dear Reader!

I'm writing to let you know about my search for work. If, after taking a look at my Four Basic Criteria for a New Job, you have an idea of someone you would like to introduce me to, feel free to call or email me with your brainstorm. I value your creative ideas!

Eleanor's Four Basic Criteria for a New Job

1. Can be part- or full-time

2. Involves lending my skills to a TEAM of people who work together directly (face-to-face) with other people

3. The work has an element of physicality or a hands-on element (moderate physical labor is fine, as is an outdoor setting)

4. Process-oriented (e.g. is not intensely deadline-driven)

BONUS: I am helping/teaching small groups of people

BONUS: I get to be around the arts (esp. theatre/dance), books, nature, or teens/pre-teens

PS: Doesn’t have to be a fancy title or position, just something satisfying.

Samples of Work Projects

* Co-Produce The Brooklyn Blogfest, an annual gathering for 300 bloggers, artists, local community activists & politicians who write, speak, organize, and make art about their neighborhoods and the world beyond

* Organize The Brooklyn Blogade, a monthly gathering of Brooklyn Bloggers who care deeply about their neighborhoods and about creating good environments for people to work, play, and live in

* Launch ongoing support groups for women artists and entrepreneurs who want to stay on the edge of personal and professional growth.

* Coach individual artists and entrepreneurs to grow their communities of clients and collaborators through both in-person and web-based relationship-building

* Interview entrepreneurs and artists for my blog and newsletter, Creative Times

* Organize first Take Our Daughters to Work Day for a middle school in Washington Heights, and work with 7th grade girls to create book & organizer’s manual about the day

* Coach parents to connect to their children through open-ended play (also called “play listening” or “special time”)

How to Contact Me

Thanks so much for your support! Please feel free to call or email with questions or ideas.

Eleanor Traubman

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Just before the first of July, I thought about what I wanted to accomplish, to create in each area of my life. While doing that, I decided to name the month Movin' 'n' Groovin'. I know, it sounds a little like a corny Richard Simmons exercise tape. But Movin' 'n' Groovin' turned out to be a great over-arching theme for me to organize my life around.

I started to go to the gym a lot more, to swim and to take new classes. Some of these classes nearly broke me in two. For starters, I got up the nerve to go take a class at The Mark Morris Dance Center. They convinced me, over the phone, that their offerings were not just for seasoned dancers. Uh, I beg to differ. When the teacher said "I don't break down the moves, it gets people too inside their heads," I knew I was in trouble. Sure enough, there was an onslaught of intricate and fast-paced choreography. I was tempted to run out the door, but I stuck around after making it a goal to just keep moving.

I went on to try a class called ZUMBA at the YMCA, where you don't feel like an ass if you can't pirouette twenty times in a row. The teacher was kind enough to say "If you can't keep up, just keep moving. If you stop moving in a sudden way, the blood will pool in your legs and you might get faint." Well, that was incentive enough to follow her instructions. While leading the class, she moved her legs so fast (think salsa steps done to songs sped up to house music beat) that precious few of us could keep up. When she asked us in between songs "How is everyone holding up?" we all just panted and let out big sighs. Then she'd play a song with an even FASTER beat.

I must have looked like a drunk, stumbling home cross-eyed the way I did after the ZUMBAfest.

Then I've been doing good old swimming. No matter how hot and cranky I am from being out in the heat, that's an activity that will put me in a good mood. This week, I switched my YMCA routine up a little and met some new friends at the outdoor pool in Red Hook. It's free and you get to swim under the big blue sky.

All in all, after staying with the spirit of the Movin' 'n' Groovin' theme for July, I have been feeling more strong, energized, centered, and joyful. It's paid off in more ways than one, so I think I'll keep on keepin' on!

PS - I am also a proponent of Naming Your Year.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


SARK has just launched her newest eProgram, called Juicy Journaling with SARK! It’s a juicy new journey through words, feelings, and fabulously juicy living, and I’m happy to share that our site is featured in the Program as one of SARK’s favorite resources for writers. SARK designed this eProgram to inspire writers of any and all levels to go new places with words. It’s overflowing with multi-media tools to unearth your writing voice and nourish your soul.

You can take a look at sample lessons, audio, and more, at:


Scott Gordon, a Clinton Hill resident for close to 15 years, and a successful photo art director for 10 years, has launched his own portrait biz specializing in pet photography.

He's offering Brooklyn residents a 20% discount on photo shoots in his studio through the summer.

Here's Scott's bio:

"Born in NY, I picked up my first camera - a Kodak
Hawkeye Instamatic, at age 8. I haven’t put a
camera down since, except to study fine art and earn
a BFA in painting. I went on to become a successful
photo Art Director before I started shooting
commercially. Although, advertising and editorial
became my specialty, I have since devoted myself
full time to pet photography.

I live in Brooklyn with my dog, Tibet."

Scott's Contact Info:

scott gordon
t: 718 701 0782
c: 347 244 5929

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Several years ago, at my birthday party, my young friend Lizzy gave me a pillow that she made herself. The pillow is fashioned from light aqua corduroy and embellished with a silver sequin spiral.

The pillow lives on my bed and is one of my favorite gifts of all time. Why? Because it's personal, hand-made, and reminds me of the giver.

Even if you are not an "artsy-craftsy" person, there are always things you can make by hand for people - like cookies, or a collage - that they will treasure because you made it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


You know how a dog can't be bullied into taking a walk? Well, a writer can't be bullied into writing.

In addition to writing this blog, I also create an email newsletter. Truth be told, I've been a little delinquent in writing it on a steady basis. For the past few days, I've been trying to think of what I want to focus on in my next newsletter. Mostly, what initially came to me are all the things I "should" be writing about. The harder I resisted the "shoulds," the faster they chased after me.


I heard a voice in my head say: "Wait until you are in the upper level of the 2nd Ave. Whole Foods today. You will get your idea there." Still, I forced myself to sit down at my computer and do internet research on the topics that were screaming "SHOULD!" in my cabeza.

I went out and visited my cousin for lunch, took the subway to the 2nd Ave. Whole Foods, and sat down at a small table on the upper level.

Guess what? A great idea came to me for my newsletter, something I was actually excited about, a topic I felt connected to.

Note to self: do not bully yourself into writing. Let the idea evolve and follow your intuition about when and where to put the ideas down on paper.



As someone who makes it a priority to remember the birthdays of friends, clients, and colleagues, I was delighted to find that Trader Joe's carries some wonderful birthday cards for 99 cents. The line - Gourmet Greeting Cards - is printed on recycled paper with soy-based inks. The only thing about these cards that bummed me out is that each of them comes inside of a cellophane wrapper. Isn't that a little contradictory to the other aspects of the card?

Anyway, if you are freaked out by the rising cost of birthday cards in stores like Papyrus, Trader Joe's is a good alternative, even if the selection is way smaller.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


While walking down Main Street in Beacon, NY over the 4th of July weekend, I saw this adorable dog in a store window. She's looking out onto the street, where a red car is parked.


Inspired by my trip to Zora Dora's, the place in Beacon that specializes in paletas (frozen Mexican treats), I decided to make my own.

I made two flavors. The one on the left is almond milk with vanilla extract and rasberries. The one on the right is Newman's Own pink lemonade with blueberries.

I'm looking forward to sampling my very own flavor combos!


This in from my friend Atiba Edwards:

F.O.K.U.S. presents The Stoop 2009 hosted by PattyDukes and Rephstar of Circa ’95 on Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 1:00PM in Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn, NY, – a FREE arts celebration featuring bands, vocalists and artists from a range of genres.

With a headline performance from the highly energetic, live remix band Keys N Krates, and supporting sets from emerging talents such as Belikos, Caleb Curtis, Gist aka The Essence, The Kid Daytona, Fascious and The Approaching Storm (a youth marching band) this year’s event promises to be a fantastic and unique addition to NY’s roster of summer events.

Organizations like The Orange Giraffe, New York Chess & Game Shop, Bowery Arts and Science and Yelp! will host information tables at the event, and Photo by TONE will be on hand to document the event and attendees via photos.

The Stoop 2009 will also feature giveaways (including food and drink) from our sponsors Independence Community Foundation, IZZE, Boyland Bottling Co., The Fader, NY Kings/Frank151, Robert’s American Gourmet , Yelp!, Staple Design and Fresh Industries.

For more information visit

Event Details:

The Stoop 2009
August 8, 2009; 1:00 – 6:00 p.m.;
Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn, NY

FREE Arts Celebration with
Keys N Krates, Belikos, Gist, The Kid Daytona, Caleb Curtis, Fascious, The Approaching Storm and more;
Hosted by Circa ‘95
Music by DJ Synapse

Atiba T. Edwards

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I just did a major home office reorganization today and I feel great!

For months, I was feeling claustrophobic with a huge Metroshelf unit towering over my desk area. Just by moving it to another, less prominent corner of the room, I created a ton more breathing space.

I got rid of papers and knick-knacks that were clogging my creative flow. Bye-bye! Fun stuff will be put out on the front stoop and scooped up in minutes.

I placed all the stationery and office supplies that I use on a regular basis within arm's reach, and put files and other stuff I use less often further away from me.

For less than $50, I got all the organizing equipment I needed at The Container Store. (They have a lot of sales now-a-days.)

A bonus of this whole process: Because more stuff is off the floor, it will be easier to clean in here. And.................I'm feeling more inspired already!!

Want help doing a home office re-organization this summer? A professional organizer to busy New York women since 1999, I'd be happy to help. Call me for a complimentary phone consultation: 917-499-7395

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I remember going to camp and to college and getting care packages from my mom. The packages were filled with little things that reminded me of all the things my mom remembered about me - candies, toys, themed socks, knick-knacks, special toiletries which reflected my loves in life. Plus there was always a specially picked-out greeting card.

Or my grandma would go on a trip and send me all the tiny-size toiletries supplied in her hotel room, including - yes! - the plastic shower cap in a box. My dream come true!

I recently shipped a small care package off to my brother's family. It included a birthday present and card for him plus a greeting card for his wife and for each of his three children. It was fun picking out a card which best expressed the sentiment I wanted to convey to each person. I decorated the package with some fun stickers to add to the festiveness.

With care packages, it's more the thought than the cost that counts. The contents don't have to be fancy, just stuff that you think will brighten someone's day. You would be surprised at all the fun stuff you can find in a large drug store, office supply store, or a local toy store.

Who do you think would love to get a care package right now? Whose life would you like to fill with delight and surprise for a special occasion, or just to express how much you like and appreciate that person or family? A relative, a friend, a colleague, a mentor?

PS - Make sure you package things in a environmentally-friendly way that they don't rock 'n' roll and break before the box lands in the other person's lap.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I've been thinking a lot about the way that Michael Jackson's life and death have been covered by the media and perceived by the public, and how the way he's been covered/perceived is shaped by our "mental health" system.

The way that we perceive folks with drug abuse problems is that the problem stems from some private struggle or individual neurosis. That's the idea that our entire "mental health" system is based on - that if you feel, experience, or show a difficulty in a way to makes others uncomfortable or seemingly interferes with your ability to be a "productive member of society" then you are seen as having a personal problem.

People's individual struggles are often connected to bigger societal hurts, to different kinds of oppressions. Racism is one of the biggest forms of oppression. Racism and internalized racism had a lot to do with Michael Jackson's struggles. So did the expectations that are placed on men to act and behave in a certain way.

It looks to me that the pressures put on high-profile Black male entertainers are brutal. I'm thinking about Michael Jackson, and I'm also thinking about Dave Chappelle and Martin Lawrence. When things got tough for them (e.g. when Chappelle left his show and went to Africa or when Martin Lawrence had skirmishes with the law), there were a lot of media references to mental instability.

We need a more accurate framework for seeing the struggles of Black men. Struggles around visibility, or with drugs, or with the tremendous pressure to absorb the expectations and longings of the public or entertainment execs, are intertwined with the deep blows of racism and also the small box of behaviors that is labelled as "acceptable" for men.

Friday, July 10, 2009


For the 4th of July weekend, Mike and I took a long journey - subway to Grand Central Station and then Metro North train - to Beacon, New York. A long trip, and well worth it. We went up to be part of blogger Phyllis Bobb's fiesta. Since we got to Beacon on the early side, we walked from the train station to Main Street. After getting a burger made of grass-fed meat, we stumbled upon an adorable place - Zora Dora's - that sells micro batch ice cream, hand-crafted frozen desserts, paletas, and cakes.

The paletas were definitely the center stage item there. As Steve explains on his Facebook page:

These Mexican ice pops -- chock-full of chunks of fresh fruit and available in a hypnotizing array of colors and clear, not-too-sweet flavors -- conjure images of hot afternoons in the park, time spent on a bench under a shady tree, clear blue skies dotted with red, white and green balloons.

Personable, friendly Chef/Owner Steven Astorino was there to answer all our questions about the place. He explained that he operates the store in the spring and summer time and uses seasonal, fresh ingredients only.

One of my favorite things about the store was its clean, uncluttered look and also its popsicles paintings which were strung on diagonal lines and hung in the window. It's the kind of place I could hang out in for hours, just admiring in the aesthetics.

Zora Dora's is located at 201 Main Street in Beacon, NY

Friday, July 03, 2009


About ten years ago, I found a video at the NYPL called He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin'. Curious, I checked it out, took it home, and was blown away by what I saw.

The documentary followed New York City Ballet principal dancer Jacques d'Amboise, in his journey as the founder and director of NDI, a 31-year-old dance program for young people in the public schools.

Then I found Who's Dancin' Now, which documents what became of the young people who were some of the first to go through his program. In their 20s, they talked about the impact that dancing with Jacques and his program had had on them.

Down the road, as a coordinator for volunteers in NY's public schools, I got to watch some of NDI's staff teach young people dance moves which culminated in an end-of-the year performance.

I learned that the best of the best from each school are pulled out each Saturday to do special rehearsals at LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts. This group is know as the Saturday S.W.A.T. Team, and this year they put on a spectacular tribute to John Lennon.

The performance was held at LaGuardia and the audience was packed each time the cast performed. They depicted the life and the music of Lennon through mostly dance, with one song sung by the cast at the end. There was a special tap dance number which featured Chloris Leachman.

The energy up there on the stage was through the roof high. These young people had obviously worked hard, hard, hard over the last year to master the many dance numbers which movingly portrayed Lennon's life, music, and message of peace.

After the show was over, I talked with an NDI staff member on the phone. He told me that some of the NDI graduates are open about the fact that the program kept them off drugs and out of jail.

I strongly encourage you to track this organization, to donate to their work, and to attend next year's end of the year performance.

Long live NDI!!!