I Have A Lot On My Mind

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I imagine you do too. Not much happens on a typical Tuesday. It’s not the start of the work week or the Humpday, and it’s definitely not Thursday, which is almost Friday and then it’s not a weekend night or a gloomy Sunday. It really is the only meh day of the week. But not next week. Next week it’s THE only day that matters. And that’s why I have a lot on my mind.

This past week on Halloween, I attended a day-long conference on The Future of Work  hosted by The Atlantic magazine at the Park Hyatt in midtown. It ran from 9 until 3:30 and dispensed a whirlwind of information. Can you guess what the future of work involves? I’ll give you a big hint: it has four letters and rhymes with deck. There were many takeaways from the day, but here are my favorites:

“Today, technology is something that we use. Soon, technology will be something that we are.”

“Up until now, our lives were linear. We spent the first 22 years becoming educated, the next 40 years working, and the rest of our lives retiring until we died. Half of all ten- year-olds today will live until 104. That means that the work part of our lives will last at least six decades. In the future, after our first two jobs, we’ll circle back to education, retrain and then pivot in another direction. We might pivot a few times until the end of our careers.”

I’m sort of jealous that my life didn’t have as many loops as my kids’ lives will. I think this is one of the problems with empty nest women today who want to go back to work.  They have an incredible amount of life skills and perspective, but don’t have the current training to use them. Thankfully this won’t happen to our daughters. For more information check out Future Is Learning. I highly recommend checking out the upcoming conferences that the Atlantic hosts as they are super informative and FREE!

One of the things I love about Halloween in NYC is that you don’t have to plan anything and you can have an amazing time. The city is one big party, and everyone is invited, even fancy Mr. Eyeball.

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Tom is a mask guy. Unfortunately, with the crowds, it turned into more of a weapon.

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Thursday evening I went out of my go-to neighborhoods and had a drink with the poet (and my friend) Esther Cohen . Esther is a people poet. She talks to everyone, listens to their stories and then writes short poems about them. Even if you are not a “poetry” person, you will like reading Esther’s daily poems. She suggested Boulevard Bistro in Harlem on Lenox Avenue and 122nd street. I was so amazed to pop out of the subway on 125th and find one of the most beautiful boulevards I’ve seen in the city. I plan to return and walk the neighborhood. The small soul food restaurant is located in the basement of a brownstone. The staff couldn’t have been nicer and I look forwad to returning to try their food.

Living in Flatiron/Gramercy is a food lover’s paradise; however, there aren’t that many small local places that you can walk in and eat (please, if you are reading this and you feel differently, leave a comment and enlighten me). So I have tasked myself with noting small places that look interesting whenever I am out and about and Friday night we went to St. Tropez Winebar which really is a misnomer because it was so much more than a wine bar. The vibe is cool urban warmth, well lit with a tiny open kitchen that performs small miracles. We started with Moules Marinières, which immediately transported me back to Deauville circa 1986 and the best bucket of mussels I’ve ever eaten. Next we shared Daube Provençale (braised Black Angus beef stew in red wine) and truffle Mac and Cheese. For dessert, a slice of pumpkin cheesecake. It was all fantastic. They had a nice selection of wines by the glass too. So far, my little experiment was a success. If you have any local spots in your neighborhood, please let me know!

Have you read A Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata? It’s a tiny book that packs a punch. I lived in Japan for six years, and convenience stores (conbini) are the lifeblood of a Japanese person. The first one opened in the 70’s (a 7-11), but they are nothing like our convenience stores. The Japanese have a knack for taking ideas from other cultures and improving upon them in a very Japanese way.  I always tell tourists to make sure to visit several different ones while in Japan and buy things that they’ve never had before. On Saturday I went to hear the author talk about her book (and other books she’s written) at the Japan Society. Murata-san is an award-winning Japanese author, and she looks at life through a very interesting and unique lens. I guarantee you won’t be bored!

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Alas, Tom was adamant that we stay in Saturday night to watch Alabama vs. LSU (he is a big LSU fan) but the game was a huge disappointment. I guess no one can stop Tua Tagovailoa.

Have fun. Be bold.

 

A Politics-Free Weekend

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This is my third blog entry I’ve written while traveling on the Hampton Jitney. It’s a pretty decent place to write as they have free wifi, people are not allowed to talk on their cell phones, and chatter must be kept to a minimum. Also, it’s always a long ride – the length depending on what time of year it is, and which town you are coming from/going to. This weekend I was in Montauk, the farthest town on the map, but it’s offseason, so the traffic was light.

I was spending the weekend with friends, some old, some relatively new, but all of whom know how to eat well, drink the good wine, and stay physically fit (among this group I am the slacker.) However, when it comes to politics, we are all over the map. With the Senate hearings in our rearview mirror, a pact was made not to discuss the proceedings with the group. At first, it was difficult, as it kept coming up, but by the end of the weekend, I realized what a gift it was. We were able to spend time talking about music and books, food and travel, flowers and the worst jobs we’d ever had. There were no arguments, no insults, but there were a lot of laughs. These days, when politics divides us more than it brings us together, it’s important to remember why you are friends with the people in your life, and what brought you together in the first place. There is always time for healthy debate, but maybe not during one of the last beautiful Indian summer weekends.

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I still continue with my weekly “quickie” sessions at Stretch’d. I can’t say enough good things about this place, and how I feel when I leave. And their small shop has been the source of all my recent gift purchases – they have a nice selection of CBD products.

Tuesday I started a 6 week refresher course in Bridge at The Honors Bridge Club. I’ve played bridge for years, but it’s always good to go back and review conventions and best play practices. I was also blown away by the spread they put out. In addition to a full breakfast, they had cookies, cakes and an unlimited supply of peanut M&M’s. That could be a problem.

Are you a reader of The Atlantic Magazine? It’s super informative and one of the best things they do is hold events on relevant topics that are free and open to the public. Tuesday night I went to one on Artificial Intelligence. It was very informative – the panel of experts were all women in tech, which I loved. The event lasted about 90 minutes and included drinks and apps before it started. It was hosted at the uber cool Neuehouse. Check out their upcoming events here: The Atlantic Events.

Tom and I enjoyed Wednesday night at the NYC Ballet. The new season opened recently and we were fortunate to see an evening of Balanchine with some incredible talent, old and new. And we were given the inside scoop on everything we needed to know at each intermission (there were two) from our friend and ballet expert Jacqueline. The season continues for the next two weeks: NYC Ballet.

Things I’m looking forward to this week: The new season of Poldark. If you haven’t, you must.

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Child #4 returns from college for fall break and celebrating Tom’s birthday. I love it when he catches up to my age.

Have fun. Be bold.