The art of the ask

Kind of Genius

Quit your bitching.  This is generally seen as good advice. Find me a person that wants to be seen as a whiner.  But, what if I said bitching is good business. I’m serious.  Being able to articulate issues is an art form. Being able to pitch problems, now that’s an even more lucrative art form.…

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Pho

What A core Vietnamese dish with an inventive future and fascinating history, tracing back to street vendors in Hanoi and a touch of French colonialism influence. Description “It’s beef noodle soup; it can’t be that complicated,” calmly jokes Andrea Nguyen, a well-known Pho expert and author of The Pho Cookbook. In the introduction of her…

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L’Rain

What The stage name of Taja Cheek, a Brooklyn born and based artist, experimenting across instruments and personal change  Description L’Rain has a new album, Fatigue, which Pitchfork writer Eric Torres, describes as “painterly and methodical…marbled with personal recordings.” I don’t disagree. Why Every once in a while, I decided to dip my toe in new…

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Desert Door Texas Sotol

What  Driftwood, Texas based distillery, bar, and spirit brand  Description  Who built the business: “Judson Kauffman, former Marine fighter pilot Brent Looby, and former military intelligence analyst Ryan Campbell” met at The University of Texas’ McCombs MBA program with a shared entrepreneurial passion. The trio became the first in the nation to develop a now…

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Book list / Big ideas edition

Below is a running list of books articulating ideas worth bringing into conversation during your next round of beers with that friend willing to ‘go there.’ Last updated July 2021. Into the Woods: A Five-Act Journey Into Story “The book argues that all stories share the same blueprint – because they reflect the way in…

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Full Commission

What Food & drink in Grant Park Description  “Full Commission is an all-day southern gastropub serving counter service coffee, espresso, and breakfast in the morning with full-service bar and dinner in the evenings. On the weekends we serve full service brunch in the mornings.” Voyage ATL  Why The space, service and food speak for themselves…

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If you were a wine…

I take great pride in my birth year of 1993. I came of age in the time of cat-eye glasses, the Spice Girls, Britney Spears, Limited Too, Linsey Lohan, bell bottoms, glittery plastic accessories, and Mathew McConaughey rom coms, what’s not to love.   This likely explains my shameless satisfaction with The O.C. It lovingly represents…

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Content creation for personal branding

Personal branding can serve a business purpose, but don’t let this overshadow an equally important purpose: having fun. Have you ever heard the phrase, “If you say you’re bored, then you are boring”? Well the same philosophy applies to personal branding, and more specifically how you plan out content creation for personal branding.  So let’s…

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Hotel Saint Vincent

Located away from the buzz of the French Quarter in the Lower Garden District, it invites a slower pace and sense of place. —Vogue What Historic, personality-driven hotel developed with inspiration from musician Saint Vincent  Description “This spring’s opening of the Hotel Saint Vincent, in New Orleans’s Lower Garden District, represents a next act for…

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Why Data Science

Your greatest regret at the end of your life will be the lions you didn’t chase. You will look back longingly on risks not taken, opportunities not seized, and dreams not pursued. Stop running away from what scares you most and start chasing. — Mark Batterson I love this quote. I admit I enjoy chasing…

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Choosing Trust

“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.”  — Maya Angelou  I woke this morning exhausted—Not physically, but emotionally. Rather than forcing an early wake-up call, I stayed in bed until it felt like a good time to wake up.  Around 6:30am, I went through the ritual of turning…

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Cabbagetown Guide

Learn Curious how Cabbagetown’s artistic, closely-bound community has preserved its homes and heritage over the past 100+ years? Recommended reading includes How a Mill Settlement Evolved into Cabbagetown, A brief history of Cabbagetown, and an overview of the neighborhood’s historic homes. Experience Park at Euclid and Druid at the edge of Inman Park. While walking…

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King-Keith House

What Historic home in Inman Park, Atlanta’s first planned neighborhood. Description “Inman Park is architectural eye candy. The neighborhood is made up of mansions dating from the late 19th century, including a famous Beaux Arts estate once owned by Coca-Cola magnate Asa Candler. But even Callan Castle can scarcely compete with the King-Keith House for…

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Hanna Pittard

What best-selling author. Latest novel: Visible Empire Description In Hannah’s own words, Visible Empire’s gripping and beautifully interwoven stories center around “immediate loss” and how her protagonists navigate the aftermath. Why Invisible Empire was amazing, and while listening to the Archive Atlanta podcast, I was reminded of how much I enjoyed reading Visible Empire coincidentally…

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The Goat Farm

What place, mixed use art and film location  (*for a full description keep scrolling.)  Why Gallery hopping by its very nature is meant to unfold semi-unplanned. But I also believe engineering a great ‘stumble upon’ moment takes behind-the-scenes planning.  So here we are with our gallery gameplan: We had a series of five studios to…

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Bunkerhouse

What Austin-based hospitality group  Description This design-centric, dog-friendly hospitality group hosts guests at Hotel San Jose, Hotel Saint Cecilia, the Austin Motel (all on South Congress in Austin, TX), Hotel Havana, The Phoenix Hotel and Hotel San Cristobal Baja. They’re known for being community-centric, locally rooted, and in their own words, “proud to build business…

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Wildsam

What Special travel guides that aim to capture a local sense of place Description Wildsam was founded by Taylor Bruce in 2012 with a strong belief in the transformative power of wonder, particularly wonder captured through travel. In their own words, Wisdom seeks out “these real and rooted things, what’s truly authentic to a place.”…

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The Dinner Party

What An art installation created in by Judy Chicago in 1979  Description As the name suggests, The Dinner Party features elaborate place settings for 39 historic and mythic female icons including  Sacajawea, Sojourner Truth, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Empress Theodora of Byzantium, Virginia Woolf, Susan B. Anthony, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Touring 6 countries, this incredible installation…

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Homesick

What A candle company with a unique mission: to bring you back to the places and memories through scent. Description Homesick was founded by the young entrepreneur Nate Schmiedehaus, and includes a line of scents reminiscent of destinations (think states, cities, countries) and moments (American Summer, Twenty Four, Winter Mantel, etc.) Why My best friend…

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Hrishikesh Hirway

What A favorite music podcast where host Hrishikesh Hirway speaks with a musician and unpacks how one of their songs was made Description For Song Exploder‘s 200th episode Hrishikesh Hirway speaks with Yusuf / Cat Stephens as he describes his new 2020 version of hit Father and Son, originally released in 1970. Why This is…

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Do we Dare To Predict 2021

Beyond new resolutions and fresh mojo, I look forward to January for the forecasts. I get giddy to dive head first into Pinterest Predicts, Ford Forward, Pantone’s Color of the Year, and the hundreds of other corporate reports that take their best guesses at what’s coming in the new year.  But this year, I’m far…

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Athena Calderone

What Person, Interior Designer, Creative Director and much much more, Athena Calderone  Description “Armed with an eye for the unexpected, founder Athena Calderone created EyeSwoon as a form of visual expression, a place to transform ordinary life into a feast for the eyes. Through these creative journeys, EyeSwoon lifts the curtain on inspiring food, design…

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Fire Island, NY

What Place, Fire Island  Description A favorite blog, Escape Brooklyn, provides an excellent snapshot of this unique corner of the world: “Fire Island is a 31-mile barrier island just off the southern coast of Long Island. Its proximity to NYC–paired with picturesque beaches, cute neighborhoods, fabulous rental homes, and the radiant LBGT culture–make this a…

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Sibella Court

Who Person, Interior Designer, Sibella Court Description Arguable the most famous interior designer living in Australia. She’s the author of best selling design books including Imaginarium, Gypsy, Etcetera, The Stylist’s Guide to NYC, among others.  She’s also founded The Society Inc, where she describes her background — “With Sibella’s degree in History, her spaces &…

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Bar and Cocoa

What Food, Chocolate, Bar and Cocoa Description “Once you’ve tasted real chocolate, the other stuff just won’t do. So we made sure everyone could taste the difference.In 2015, we set out to make bean to bar chocolate easily accessible with a craft chocolate subscription service. After some success, we moved into e-commerce and retail to…

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Taos, New Mexico

3,000 BC: A Sacred Land over many Centuries  Permanent inhabitants first started farming in present-day Taos, New Mexico as early as 3,000 BC. Across the world, Egyptians were building the pyramids and city-states were forming in Mesopotamia.  1540: The Legend of Cibola – The Seven Cities of Gold   Europeans first visited the region now known…

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Neville Johnson’s iconic bedrooms

What British interior design company, Neville Johnson and creative agency, iProspect, came together to ask an intriguing question — what would Frida Kahlo’s bedroom look like if she were living in 2020? Description This ingenious PR campaign for Neville Johnson envisions how Kahlo, William Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth I, and Coco Chanel would decorate their bedroom…

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Predicting Personal Taste

Netflix thinks it knows what movie I’ll want to watch next. Amazon thinks it can guess when I’ll need a refill on dishwasher soap. Wayfair is convinced I need new blue bar stools.  Most of these predictions miss the mark. Nevertheless AI is no doubt a fascinating and powerful technology. And if I had to…

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Justina Blakeney

What Designer, home goods Description “Blakeney is the founder and creative director of home décor brand, Jungalow and the author of The New Bohemians book series.” Justina Blakeney – about Why Layered bohemian-style interiors. Her series is on my wishlist of coffee table books.

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