Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Without a care...

Lipstick on the pig
I used to care. My career consumed me.
I would passionately advocate the right
and wrong way to present markdowns
with a vigor rarely matched. I spent my
days chasing fashion and all the nuances
that made a garment as chic as possible.
While my personal life might suffer, I
connected every single dot in order to
deliver a three hundred and sixty degree
brand experience. Long before any omni
channel, I was channeling every ounce of
my soul to do the right thing. And then...
I simply gave up. Finally I'd had enough.
Is that all there is?
After years of battles, corporate politics,
maneuvering, manipulation, highs, and
lows, I suddenly realized that no matter
how much I tried, it really didn't matter.
There had to be something more besides
two day sales and private sale previews.
Everything started looking the same and
after thirty years, nothing was new. All
of a sudden it was "been there done that."
I'd scratched every back and yet mine
was itching for something more. And no
no matter how savvy I was, I didn't have
an ounce of innovation left in me. None.
Balancing act
Embracing the mortality of my career
was rather an odd sensation. At first
I wasn't willing to accept it. So I went
through the motions and did my job.
Anybody who truly knew me knew my
mojo was gone. My inner pilot light of
energy had short circuited. However on
the surface I could still strut my stuff
even while underneath an empty void
waited for "next". My apathy frustrated
yet somehow I survived purgatory. For
awhile my holding pattern was enough.
You see, I simply didn't care anymore.
Highs and lows
Over the last decade my professional life
has been filled with ups and downs. My
beloved specialty retailer was sold to a
woman who rejected every effort we had
made to make it viable. My venerable
department store was swallowed up by
a chain who craved national pablum not
local differentiation. The savior who all
thought might save retailing revealed that
he was nothing more than an errant egoist
as he hovered on the brink of extinction.
Finally, my last company was sold and
and I was left hanging. Why care?
Belly flop
I simply didn't have it in me for one
more try. Somehow every ounce of
passion for my profession had either
been sold off or restructured. And yet,
there were things that still excited me.
I love to write and truly get no greater
pleasure than sharing my thoughts via
this blog with you. We've restored our
home and with it, my passion for home
design and interior decorating. Could
I be brave enough to exit this rat race
and do the things I love? Rather than
care less, could I actually care more?
A skip and a jump away
Yesterday was my last day in corporate
America. Today is my first day as a free
agent. As I board the plane for Montana
I leave behind a city I love and adore.
Manhattan will always be "home" and
yet I doubt I'll ever live there again. Yes,
many of you question if this urbanite can
survive in the middle of nowhere! I too
cannot help but wonder what is about to
happen. But suddenly, I can't wait to get
out of bed each morning. Suddenly my
mojo is back and better than ever. Now
it's time to fasten your seat belts...

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Last chance
In days of yore, nothing was more
bittersweet than Donna Summer's
ballad playing at a disco. A signal
that it was time to wind down and
if lucky, get a last chance at love.
Whenever I hear that song, I get a
bit nostalgic. The balance of life is
so fragile and changes so quickly.
When young, the world seems so
established and permanent, never
changing. However as we advance
in age, our reality is that everything
changes and nothing is guaranteed.

Faded rose
Recently they turned off the lights at
Roseland for the last time. This most
famous dance hall had entertained us
since 1919. Lady Gaga was the last
performer to send off the old girl with
a sold out show. I was lucky to be part
of a team to stage a fashion show there.
Ill fated Anna Nicole Smith and KISS
performed to a packed house. For just
shy of one hundred years that and many
other fabulous nights happened there.
Soon a monolithic office building will
replace it. Is change always good?

Closed book
The beloved Rizzoli bookstore closed
last week. Located in one the last of
historical buildings on W. 57th Street,
this architectural gem was about as
civilized as one can get. Beloved by
bibliophiles throughout the world, it's
lovely interior will soon be a just pile
of debris. Protests and preservation
pleas were to no avail and while it
seems irrational to destroy something
so beautiful, time marches on. This
city is temporal at best. Here today,
scaffold and dumpsters tomorrow.

History repeats itself
Not everything beautiful is doomed.
The historic Plant mansion has long
been home to Cartier and has just
embarked on a two year restoration.
Cartier is now located several blocks
uptown into temporary space while
the magic happens. You may recall
the story about this building. Mrs.
Plant craved an opera length string
of perfect pearls. So, Mr. Plant traded
his home for them. Over a hundred
years later, Cartier is preserving a
piece of their history and ours.

Twilight years
In the end even all good things must
come to an end. Memories seem to
be the one thing nobody can take
from you. However my father lost
all of his due to Alzheimer's. His
golden years in Williamsburg lost
their glow as he slowly faded away
and with him, his memories of the
New York he loved so much. I've
tried to preserve my legacy through
a series of photo albums. At least
there, they'll remain for prosperity.
If I forget, they won't be forgotten.

Final performance
I've been blessed to share my life
with a many friends and colleagues.
As I go, my team will remain here
at 1411 Broadway which few know
stands on the site of the old Opera
House. The old saying here today,
gone tomorrow, rings brutally true.
A co-worker sadly said the other day
"in a month you'll forget about us."
While I hate to admit it, that's most
likely true. Try as I might to hold
onto the past, what's done is done
and it's time to move on to next.

Go west old man
For the past weeks my dance card has
been fairly full. Saying goodbye is not
as easy as you think it will be. Frankly
it's very hard for me. You see, I adore
people and am fortunate that many of
the species seem to also like me. I've
spent my life gathering a collection of
old souls who've stayed next to me no
matter what. Now I'll shift from drinks
or dinner to e-mail and phone calls.
While companionship and conviviality
are wonderful, when it's over, it's best
to simply rip off the band aid. OUCH!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Is that all there is?

It's all mine
The rationale for renting a fully
furnished pied a terre was to not
buy, ship, or move a lot of stuff.
In theory, a smart idea. In reality,
a questionable dream at best. I'm
a stranger in a strange space and
while happy to live in someone
else's decor, I have to add a few
accoutrements to make it mine.
A natural nester, my environment
is important to me and hence I've
gathered some nuts and twigs
over the last thirteen months.
Everything must go
About to board on a plane home,
I must move my mound. After
hearing horror stories of small
loads being lost, I've decided to
ship it box by box. Recently a
friend was unloading boxes that
had been in storage since being
moved. While it had been months
since she packed it up, the items
seemed oddly unfamiliar. Upon
further investigation, six boxes
were not theirs, and what was
theirs was not there. But, where?
Grab and go
So, rather than risk losing my
precious things, I've loaded up
roller suitcases and wandered
across town to the UPS store.
At first it felt rather odd. I was
like those lost Europeans one
sees dragging their bags down
into the subway. But slowly
I developed a cadence and got
friendly with my local shippers.
Apparently nothing surprises
them given they pack and ship
all sorts of oddities every day!
More than I bargained for
Once you assemble your treasures,
it's tough to calculate the insurance
value to place upon it. While a bit
embarrassing to ramble off a huge
number, a few good coats or some
Lalique can bring the tally up pretty
quickly. If anything is lost in transit,
I hope I won't have to haggle given
they packed and shipped it. Hmm...
how does one prove that they were
foolish enough to pay the equivalent
of the price of a small vehicle for a
box full of dainty designer frocks?
Double indemnity
The oddest part of all of this is that
we're really not talking about a lot
of stuff. Two gay men do have to
look the part. Hence our wardrobes
are fairly expansive. Layer in shoes
and that's more than a bit of boxes.
Think of it, an occasional shipment
from e-bay seems like nothing. But
the amalgam of a year of indulgence
can be substantial. It all creeps up
on you an in the end, furniture isn't
what adds up. Rather, it's all the crap
that one seems to need to survive.
White space
Maybe some day I'll be a purist.
The idea of living in some five
hundred square foot white box
is intriguing. I'd wear a uniform
of black tees (hides the belly)
and dark jeans with one pair of
black oxfords and some flip flops.
Given I go commando I can also
do without socks. We'll order in
or dine out rather than outfit the
kitchen. A toothbrush, razor, and
a bar of soap and we're done! If
only I could live the light life...

Sunday, April 27, 2014

7th Day Surprise - SAME OLD

Some things never change.
And therefore it will come to no surprise to many of you
that on my last Sunday as a denizen of Manhattan...
I'm thinking of

This city of my youth,
it has always been "home" and therefore is beloved.

What will I miss most?
The simple validation of being a local,
a true New Yorker.