Hamilton

imgresI don’t like musicals.  Let’s start there.  Fred kept pushing to go see Hamilton and after hearing some feedback from people who know my dislike of musicals got me to finally agree to go.  I am really glad we went.  Fred posted on it this weekend.  Worth watching the video on his post.

Lin-Manuel Miranda who wrote the play is brilliant, nothing less.  He was inspired to read this after reading Hamilton by Ron Chernow.  The hip-hop lyrics create a banter that is unique to theater.  Genius.

The choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler is one of the keys to the show.  The costumes are incredible.  The acting is superb. Still thinking about all of it.

Not a huge fan of being trapped in a room for almost 3 hours and do believe that there are a few songs that I could have done without.  When the show comes to Broadway it will be interesting to see how it changes.  My guess is that this play will be showing for years to come.

I am glad that I went.  Glad I was able to see it at the Public.  The historical content is amazing.  Went home to read more on Hamilton’s wife Elizabeth and the impact she made after he was killed by Aaron Burr.

All and all, one of the best musicals I have seen….and I still do not like musicals.

 

 

AIPAD at the Armory

After going to the Paris Photography Show I am a bit spoiled.   It was the best show I have been to, hands down.  AIPAD is evolving.  The armory show used to be mostly older galleries with classic photography but now there is more than a handful of the photography galleries that carry contemporary artists.

vikmuniz
Here were my highlights.  Vik Muniz at the Edwynn Houk Gallery.  I have been following his work for years.  Have yet to pull the trigger.

mlksteve shapiroMartin Luther King marching for voting rights by Steve Schapiro at the Monroe Gallery of Photography.  This is some of the older works I was talking about.

katrinkormanKatrin Korfman photo of dancers in a square at Kopeikin Gallery.

foodtrucksPhotos of food trucks by Jim Dine at the Robert Klein Gallery.

dougandmikestarnDoug and Mike Starn from Hackelbury Fine Art.

parisClaire de Virieu from a Parisian Gallery of a rare light snow in the Luxenbourg Gardens.

bklynbridgeBrooklyn Bridge by Abelardo Morrel at the Edwynn Morrel gallery.  Another photographer I have followed for years.  Finally pulled the trigger here on this piece.

jimcampbellThis is a photo with LED lights behind it that creates images that are walking across the screen.  Jim Campbell at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery.  I really love this.

diverThis is a great piece by Nino Migiliori at Keith de Lellis Gallery.

ingesmoralI love these.  We own a few.  Inge Morath at Danziger Gallery.

gordonparksLots of Gordon Parks.  The foundation just released a new group of photos.

cliffordNice to see this new work by Clifford Ross at Steven Kasher Gallery.

A little bit of old and a little bit of new.  Definitely a great annual event.

 

 

Code, Debugging the Gender Gap

imgresWe saw a few movies this weekend at the Tribeca Film Festival.  Two were not worth seeing; The Wannabee and Tumbledown.  My guess is that the only way you will ever see those two are on an airplane or a random Netflix purchase.

There was one that we did see that I hope you will be able to see anywhere.  Code, Debugging the Gender Gap.  This documentary, made by Robin Hauser Reynolds, was incredibly well done.  It is about closing the gender gap around computer science while adding diversity to the workforce of computer programmers.

The film shows the past and brings us to the future with facts. She interviews young girls, women CTO’s, women software programmers, women teaching CS and espousing the importance at colleges and more.

You walk away understanding the challenge with the realization that it starts with the youth.  That we can and must change the trajectory of women learning how to code.  How learning to code is an essential part of our future….and theirs.

Don’t stay home too long

imagesSomeone told me the other day that 70% of millennial women are thinking that they do not want to have children for a variety of reasons including their desire to have a career first.  Then on the other hand something like 35% of male millennials are interested in staying home for a period of time to raise their family.  Having it all is impossible at least at the same time.  Something gives and from those statistics it sounds like the millennials are acutely aware of that.

Our daughter Emily just handed in her thesis.  The title is Life Sequencing: A Viable Solution to Work-Life Conflict for High-Achieving Women.  What came across loud and clear is a few things.  The lack of childcare options is certainly one. That many of these high-achieving women end up marrying someone who is in the same socio-economic bracket and because of that they can make a decision to stay at home.  That is the piece I continue to think about.

When I meet women and men I often ask a bit about their backgrounds.  What does your Dad do?  What does your Mom do?  Where did you grow up?  A huge percentage of the people I see came from families where the Mom stayed home and raised the kids.  A tough job and no doubt commendable.  I did it for awhile and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.  Yet many of these women never went back to work for a variety of reasons.

I remember when our kids were young we would go down to DC and visit my Mom.  My Mom had several careers.  The kids would go visit here at her office.  She was an entrepreneur.  It was obvious that she ran the place.  I always left thinking how great it was that our kids especially our daughters saw that my Mom had built her own company and worked hard.  I also used to tell our daughters that you must figure out how to be an entrepreneur or do something where you can freelance so when it comes time to have kids that you will be able to continue working in some capacity to keep your intellectual curiosity going and kids don’t stay small forever.

Mothers are role models for their children.  Telling your daughters to go to the best schools, excel in school, be the best, do anything you want to do when you took off to raise them and never went back to work is not setting an example.  It is saying that at one point you can jump off the train and not get back on.  Then history repeats itself.  How do we break this cycle?  Certainly having more men get off the train would be a step in the right direction.

I hope that the next generation of parents both opt to stay home in some capacity.  If you get off the train for a little bit then get back on.  Trains don’t hang out in the station for long.  Those role models are essential to the future for women leaders in the workplace.

A few restaurants

Have been making the rounds at some old places and some new places.  Just sharing some thoughts and pics.

shishtoUpland  has been getting a lot of accolades.  The restaurant is really beautiful.  Large wrap around bar, open kitchen in the back, comfy seating everywhere and soft lighting.  The architecture is great.  I am actually going back for lunch in the next few weeks.  We stopped by for dinner and sat at the bar.  The blistered shisito peppers with shaved bottarga on top were good but just needed about 5 more minutes in the pan.  They should be charred more and not so crisp.

whoelfishThe fish was simple.  Lots of citrus which I liked.  I would have liked to see the fish serve whole although I know many people don’t love that.

lambNext stop was El Colmado for lunch.  I assume that overtime that their newest location in the West Village will grow the menu.  I am a sucker for rotisserie and there is no doubt that it will be a main stay of the menu.  The lamb and carrots were solid.

beetsaladThis beet salad was really good.  Roasted beets, candied almonds, cheese, arugula and horseradish.  An absolute winner.

carrotsricottaEmily’s in Clinton Hill is fantastic.  Small, cute and no reservations.  The smokey roasted carrots with black beans and whipped ricotta was off the charts.

pizzapepperoni
The pizzas are amazing.  Super crispy thin crust and fresh ingredients on top.  There are four categories: reds, pinks, greens and whites.  The key is going with more than two people so you can taste a bunch of them.  We got two (one red and one white) and felt compelled to finish them off.  The colony is sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, pickled chilis and honey.  The honey changes everything.

whitepizzaWe also had Emily.  Mozzarella, pistachios, truffle cheese and honey.  So glad we finally got there.

Continuing to move forward checking out some of the new spots that have opened this spring and returning to some old faves.  Damn I love this town.

Skylight

imgresThere was a point where we belonged to three different theater groups.  It was overwhelming.  I found that over the years that sometimes the plays were good and sometimes they were great and most of the time they were just ok.  In the land of theater I think you have to see a lot of bad stuff to get that one incredible experience.

We are taking a new path.  We are no longer going to buy tickets in advance when the cast looks good and crossing our fingers.  Instead we are going to just suck it up and pay up for the theater we want to see.

We went to see Skylight this past weekend.  It is only playing for a limited time of I believe six weeks.  This is the type of theater I love.  Funny, poignant, emotional, raw, intelligent and no music.  All three actors were excellent.  Cary Mulligan, Bill Nighy and Matthew Beard.   The play is written by David Hare.   If you can get tickets, go.

Going after the older generation….that’s me

12talk-blog427-v2I have been following fashion trends as far back as I can remember.  I own the last 30 years of September Vogues.  I still get all the fashion mags delivered monthly.  Fashion is a fascinating business.  It is directly tied to the times we live in.

There have been times when more celebrities have graced the covers of magazines and spreads.  There have been times where it has only been models.  Young beautiful svelte women (and men) have been a constant for years dressed in the latest and greatest.  The new “it” model of each generation stands out. They wear the clothes well, like hangers.

There has been a backlash to the epitome of overly thin that even France has banned models deemed to be too thin based on weight and height on the runway.  In the magazines, photoshop can take care of that.

As we enter a time where aging seems to be more accepted even embraced. Health and wellness is becoming part of our daily life conversations.  Being comfortable in your own skin vs wanting to not look your age has shifted.  We all want to feel and look healthy, nothing more.

Seeing fashionably older women in the fashion magazines these days is insanely refreshing.  Truth is it makes sense.  Age is being celebrated.  More than anything else, who do you think can afford those clothes?

It is all about mobile

imagesI was at a non-profit board meeting the other day and one of the things on our agenda was ecommerce.  A few of us had been pushing for the importance of not only thinking about the website but the importance of mobile.

These days when companies are built from scratch it all begins with a technology platform.  That platform is the foundation for everything; sales, management, events, data, calendars, etc.   It is the hub.  Companies who did not start with that technology hub find themselves backing into it without the true realization of how important that hub is of course until they do.

Two of the board members, who come out of banking and consulting for big brands chimed in on the ecommerce mobile push.  They both said that they do everything from their phone.  Purchases, conversations, calendar…life.  They never use anything else unless they happen to be sitting at their desk at work.  Their lives are purely mobile.

I spend all day in a echo chamber of the new new.  I am highly aware of that because it can takes years for the new new to catch up to the masses.  Hearing those two board members talk about how they live their lives through mobile was certainly an “aha” moment for the non-profit but it was also a “wow” for me.

My friend sent me a study on Criteo stating mobile accounts for 30% of all ecommerce transactions globally covering almost $130 billion in sales.   It will hit 50% quite soon.

The study states conversion is high across multiple categories.  Smartphones have taken over tablets (noted by the two board members).  Android is becoming more important because not everyone has an iPhone but certainly consumer behavior remains the same.  Asia leads the pack in mobile transactions and in some countries Android out performs iPhone.

Sometimes when I read these studies or witness the world we live in today I have these small moments when I wonder what our founding fathers (and mothers) would think if they were transported in time to the world we live in today.

What will big businesses look like in 10 years?

imgresThere was a time when big businesses started acquiring and building verticals that made them huge organizations.  General Electric was one of them.  GE was founded by Thomas Edison and one of the first companies ever traded on the Dow.  Fast forward 118 years it is fascinating to read about the acquisitions that GE has made.  Starting out as a company about electrical properties it has an investment, transportation, healthcare, oil and gas, home and business solutions, aviation, and global research vehicle.  Due to many of the regulations that have been put into place after the last financial crisis, GE has opted to get out of the banking business.

I was talking to a someone the other day who told me that Goldman Sachs is having a hard time hiring kids out of school.  There was a time when recent undergrads and grad students flocked to the jobs at Goldman Sachs but no longer.  Another company that was founded in 1869 and evolved into one of the largest global investment banks in the world.  Will regulations and lack of interest in the next generation to work there change the empire?

Then I saw a business that wanted to change schools with a new curriculum that would turn every person into an entrepreneur.  Where are the artists, the writers, the teachers?

We are entering a new world.  The new college graduates that I speak to want to be part of the new technology economy.   They want to do something that makes them happy.  They want to be able to make a difference in the world.  The jobs are shifting and will continue to shift in the next decade.  More people will graduate with computer science degrees.  Technology will take us to places that we are just starting to think about.  Soon every business will have been disrupted by technology.  A huge percentage of the population will be a freelance worker.

I can’t help but wonder what will these big businesses that have been the economic backbone of our economy for hundreds of years look like in a mere decade?