Saturday, November 20, 2010


It's been quite some time since I last wrote, and I realize that a blog needs to be regularly updated. I really wanted to share a little about the extraordinary events surrounding the TEDxEast conference on November 11 at the Times Center. I had the good fortune to help coordinate the event and work the event itself, and to spend some time with the speakers.

The theme was Inter-connectivity, which was a very relevant subject matter in this time when the Western world (and beyond) seems in a race to get as connected as possible. What struck me was the diversity of speakers: Jason Johnson of Re-think Books, Dennis Crowley of FourSquare, Gavin Starks of AMEE, chef Thomas Keller, artist Raghava KK, and more.

There was so much take-away from this afternoon, and I'm still wondering how all of the ideas around "inter-connectivity" bring us to a greater awareness about making change in the world. The event itself was certainly an opportunity for great thinkers and leaders from diverse fields to connect and share about big ideas, an inter-connective think-tank with video cameras and fancy cupcakes.

Because I am a glutton for inspiration, I'd like to share some quotes and thoughts that resonated most from the day. Do they have anything to do specifically with inter-connectivity? Maybe, or maybe not. Regardless, I'm hoping that by sharing them, you'll find a small connection, perhaps to something that inspires you to make one little change for the better in the world...

Sunny Bates: "We're looking for magic all of the time."
"Great men feel what good men merely know."

Chef Thomas Keller: "Success is... the memories we collect."

Gavin Starks, CEO of AMEE, an organization that collects data to determine our carbon footprint: Gavin spoke about looking at hard data to realize what we-- from individuals to organizations to governments- can do to make a sustainable change on the environment. We can measure how much energy we're using in order to determine how we can make simple steps to change. It's not all or nothing; it's making a contribution. And if enough people make a small contribution, we can make a major impact.

Raghava KK: "To unlearn, you have to be vulnerable." The idea of "unlearning" what we know, playing and exploring and putting everything we've learned aside to take new risks.

To enjoy the videos from TEDxEast, click here:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Blonde Redhead at Webster Hall

You know those shows in which you completely surrender to the music? In which all criticism, praise, and other worldly concerns seem to utterly disappear and you develop this perfect synergy with the music and the musicians who are performing it? That was the Blonde Redhead show for me tonight at Webster Hall.

I realize that this music isn't for everyone, but I've been listening to this band for years now, and I'm always moved by their surprising chord progressions, their ethereal voices, even their bizarre lyrics that I can't quite understand. This was the first time I saw them live, and their performance was just as gratifying, if not more so, as their recordings.

The two lead singers are married-- a Japanese woman and an Italian man-- and the man's twin brother plays drums. There's also a keyboard player. The Japanese woman started the set wearing a very unusual mask, with tight sequin pants. Why do I love this band so much? Maybe because they strike the right balance: provocative-yet-accessible harmonies, sexy without trying to be, and simple lyrics that are both profound and completely inane (like "Allow me to show you!!! The way which I adore you!!! Sometimes I think I must, Just let you be, let you be a horse, All I want is to be a rider...")

Such a blessing, to be taken out of oneself for a couple of hours and drawn into music. Which concerts have you experienced this with lately?