A Blog About Blogs May 24, 2013 No Comments
You would think after working on a computer for 7-8 hours, I wouldn’t want to go anywhere near my laptop after my work day. Surprisingly, this is not the case most of the time. After I get home and unwind, I like to catch up on websites like Buzzfeed and Tumblr. Over some time, I’ve found a few blogs that make me smile and/or laugh. Here are my top 5 (in no particular order):
1. Reasons My Son is Crying
It started as a dad posting pictures of his son whenever he cried, and explained why he was crying, which was usually something ridiculous. Now other parents can submit their children’s pictures, as well. I just love the reasons, I could go through this blog for hours.
2. Corgnelius The Corgi
A blog about a Corgi named Corgnelius. He’s adorable and wears cute outfits. Enough said.
3. Daily Dishonesty
Daily little lies posted by a graphic designer.
4. When Parents Text
A blog dedicated to parents and their mishaps with cell phones.
5. Damn You, Autocorrect!
Hilarious autocorrects! I love it!
I hope these sites bring someone else a smile! Have a great weekend everyone.
P.S. I advise you not to read this blog while at work, you will end up distracted for hours.
Blog, Interrupted May 21, 2013 No Comments
A few weeks ago, with the goal of increasing our blog activity, the LFC team decided that we should take turns blogging and aim to post at least one each week. Last week my turn came and I had spent the week prior trying to think of creative ideas. Would I aim for a funny anecdote? A business-savvy take on client relations? A roundup of my favorite sandwich shops in Las Vegas? I began to write each of these with moderate success, but kept coming across every PR professional’s dreaded fear: writer’s block.
My week was full of failed attempts at writing my blog. An important email would come in that I decided needed to be answered right away. A project came up that I felt required my attention more immediately than the blog I was (attempting) to write. Alas, 5 p.m. Friday hit and my attempts at blogs had amounted to nothing more than introductory paragraphs of “Blog 1 DRAFT,” “Blog 2 DRAFT,” and “Blog 3 DRAFT,” saved in the Miscellaneous folder on my desktop. At the end of the day, I went home without a post.
Over the weekend, I decided that the weather was just too perfect to waste indoors. Friday evening, I met a friend for an outdoor happy hour at Town Square. Saturday and Sunday, I took my dog, Maddie, on several long walks and made it to the pool at my apartment complex to soak up the sun.
Come Monday, after a weekend of fresh air and a much needed haircut, I felt like a brand-new person. It was no longer my week to blog, but I couldn’t stop thinking about not being able to finish my blog the previous week.
On Monday’s third after-work walk with Maddie, it hit me. Each time my previous week’s attempts at writing had been thwarted, it was always by the same culprit: technology. I was constantly being distracted by emails, text messages, Internet, Twitter and Facebook.
When I had my epiphany, I was not near a computer and my phone was plugged in at home, blocks away from me. I began walking back to pen my blog and thought about a book I had read a few years ago, which was recommended to me by my first PR employer.
In Republic of Noise: The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture, educator and writer Diana Senechal argues that ever-expanding access to technology has created a culture where multitasking has become the norm.
“The very word ‘multitasking’ has something unsettling about it, a hint that not a whole lot of heart, thought, or soul goes into any of the tasks,” Senechal writes.
That’s it, I thought. The cause of the writer’s block that had plagued me all week was summed up by a scholar in a book I had already read.
I am not going to go into the details of Republic of Noise or the author’s prescriptions for a culture of distractedness, but I will say that one of them certainly cured my malady: not being afraid to disconnect and spend some time reflecting in solitude, if even just for a short while.
Memorable Food Moments in Movies May 7, 2013 No Comments
Last night I watched the movie Sideways, starring Paul Giamatti as a struggling writer and wine aficionado named Miles who goes on a road trip through Santa Ynez Valley with his soon-to-be-married best friend Jack, played by Thomas Haden Church. This is a movie I have watched many times and enjoy doing so because it is filled with many satisfying and boozy tasting moments, with wine country as the picturesque backdrop. And wine is one of my favorite food groups. From Miles schooling his friend on the ins and outs of wine, to screaming “If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am NOT drinking any f%^&*#@ Merlot!” it’s a pretty entertaining movie for food and wine enthusiasts.
And among the things I adore, food and movies are at the top of the list. So after watching Sideways, I have been reminded of the many memorable food moments in movies that make me all warm and fuzzy inside and those that leave me in fits of laughter after I watch them. In no particular order, I’ve listed some of these moments below. This is just a start and I’m sure I have left off many other deserving mentions, including memorable food TV moments. So later down the line I’ll make another list, so we can keep this conversation going. After all, food is one of the beloved experiences that bring people together. And I believe that movies do the same.
From start to finish, this animated movie is filled with magical food moments. My favorite is when food critic Anton Ego takes a bite of Remy’s ratatouille and is instantly transported back to his childhood when his mother prepared the same dish for him. In a rare glimpse to the softer side of this usually dismissive food critic, Ego is filled with emotion in this heartwarming scene. #LoveAtFirstBite
2. Pulp Fiction
I’m a big Tarantino fan and this movie is packed with favorable nods to food. A couple to share:
• The Big Kahuna Burger- Samuel L. Jackson’s bad-ass character Jules talks burgers before unleashing gunfire in this apartment scene, noting “Hamburgers! The cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast!” #RoyaleWithCheese
• $5 milkshake- In Jack Rabbit Slim’s restaurant, Uma Thurman’s character Mia shares a milkshake moment with John Travolta’s character Vincent, who questions if this shake is worth the $5 it’s priced at. His verdict: “That’s a pretty f$%&*@# good milkshake.”
3. My Cousin Vinny
Joe Pesci’s character, lawyer Vinny Gambini, talks grits while cross-examining a witness during trial.
“How could it take you five minutes to cook your grits when it takes the entire grit-eating world 20 minutes?”
“Perhaps the laws of physics cease to exist on your stove. Were these magic grits? Did you buy them from the same guy who sold Jack his beanstalk beans?” #TrueGrit
4. Lady and The Tramp
The Tramp takes Lady out on a date to the back alley of an Italian restaurant where they share a plate of pasta and meatballs, and their first kiss, while slurping noodles. #PuppyLove
5. The Big Lebowski
In this opening scene of one of my all-time favorite movies, Jeff Bridges’ character “The Dude” is cruising through Ralph’s grocery market in his robe and slippers while drinking a carton of milk that he later pays for with a 69 cent check. #TheDudeAbides
Will Ferrell’s character “Buddy the Elf” drinks an entire liter of coke at the dinner table and then drenches maple syrup all over his spaghetti. “We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.” #WordsToLiveBy
7. American Pie
The warm apple pie scene. #NuffSaid
8. The Goonies
Chunk and Sloth bond over their love for a chocolate candy bar. #BabyRuth #TruffleShuffle
9. Inglourious Basterds
Tarantino is at it again. In this nail-biting scene, Christoph Waltz’s character Colonel Hans Landa sits at a high-end restaurant across the table from Jewish cinema owner Shoshanna Dreyfus while talking about his delicious slice of strudel with crème, while she is fearful for her life.
“I did have something else I wanted to ask you, but right now, for the life of me, I can’t remember what it is. Oh, well, must not have been important. Til tonight.” #WaitForTheCrème
Kristen Wigg’s character Annie Walker makes the perfect cupcake. And the hilarious side-splitting food poisoning scene that unfolds in the couture bridal shop. #NotVeryLadylike
11. Reservoir Dogs
Steve Bucemi’s character Mr. Pink preaches his thoughts on tipping. “You know what this is? It’s the world’s smallest violin for the waitresses.” #MrPinkStinksForNotTipping
12. The Breakfast Club
The lunch scene during detention tells a lot about each of the characters. The rich girl brings sushi; the jock brings a lunch bag packed with carbs and fruit; the outcast makes a sandwich made of pixi sticks and Cap’n Crunch cereal; the geek has a PB&J sandwich with the crusts cut off and a glass of milk and apple juice; and the bully who is too cool for school is also too cool to brown bag it. #TheBratPack
13. Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory
A world of amazing candy secrets, chocolate rivers and waterfalls, oh my. One of my earliest childhood food memories, with a cherry on top. #PureImagination
14. Silence of the Lambs
“A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”
15. Benny and Joon
Johnny Depp’s character Sam makes a grilled cheese sandwich, flat pressing it with an iron on an ironing board. “Some cultures are defined by their relationship to cheese.” #DoTryThisAtHome
16. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
In the opening scene of this girly girl movie, the gorgeous Audrey Hepburn’s character Holly Golightly gazes into the window of Tiffany’s while eating a danish and sipping on coffee. #DiamondsAreAGirlsBestFriend
17. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
After an array of holiday misfortunes, Chevy Chase’s character Clark Griswold cuts into the family turkey dinner, which is bone dry and instantly deflates.
“Save the neck for me, Clark.” #GriswoldFamilyChristmas
18. Napoleon Dynamite
Napoleon refuses to give his tater tots to a bully and also lets his gal pal know she can drink whole milk. “I see you’re drinking 1%. Is that because you think you’re fat? Because you’re not. You could be drinking whole if you wanted to.” #VoteForPedro
19. A Christmas Story
When the neighbor’s dog eats the Christmas turkey, Ralphie and his family head to a Chinese restaurant for Christmas dinner. #FaRaRaRaRaRa
Italian feasts for mobsters in prison. #FeelsGoodToBeAGangsta
How to Survive 4 Fights in 1 Month May 1, 2013 No Comments
Everyone knows how much I love working in boxing…. Picture it…I’m fresh off of a beautiful week in mid-March from Manhattan Beach for Bradley v Provodnikov at Home Depot Center, and I have one week in-between fights to prepare for a fight at Mandalay Bay, then another week off to prepare for a fight at Radio City Music Hall in NYC, and needless to say, I’ve got my work cut out.
Well, it’s now fight week here in Las Vegas… time for Rios v Alvarado II on March 30 at Mandalay Bay. It’s Wednesday of fight week and I wake up to an email from Top Rank asking if I am available to go to China the day after Rios Alvarado II, 4 days away. I immediately jump out of bed screaming with excitement. I love being needed, and while I knew how tough it was going to be I was very up for the challenge and I accepted it. Now amidst all the hours a fight week entails I am tasked with packing and wrapping my head around China…SO last minute.
So fight week at the bay goes off without a hitch…it was a GREAT fight…I got a new longboard as a gift on fight night and decided to go boarding down the strip with my friends after….I knew I needed to pull an all nighter to ensure that I could sleep on the 16 hour flight to Hong Kong. While I am not yet a VIP with Top Rank, I had to sit in a regular coach seat, even more of a reason to be beyond tired. I am super thankful to my friends for staying up with me all night.
First stop is SFO, so I power through without sleeping, manage the short layover then finally board for Hong Kong. I get on the plane, pop a melatonin and settled in for slumber. Next thing I know I wake up in Hong Kong. From HK you have to take a ferry to Macau. Sitting in the ferry terminal with all my Top Rank family was pretty awesome…all in the same ‘boat’ so to speak…tired and weary. We take the hour long ferry to Macau and get transported to the Venetian Macau, my home for the next week. Walking into the Venetian Macau tripped me out because the entrance and exterior is pretty much identical to the Venetian here in Vegas. We arrived late in the evening, checked in and set off to my room to try and sleep for a few hours before a full day of work.
Morning comes and I feel surprisingly good. I meet my assistants for the week and the PR/events team at Venetian and get started with a meeting. Fight weeks off to a good start and I start making sense of everything. Not an easy task, and particularly not easy when you’re lacking sleep. Macau is 16 hours ahead, so in one week there was zero chance of getting used to it. I slept for an average of 3 hours a night, one night I had 5 uninterrupted hours and I was ecstatic. The thing about boxing is that we’re a family, we pick up and do our thing all across the world and we all like and help each other out. While in theory you would think going to Macau, China would be amazing, I am telling you, it was not. I basically never left property….every morning I would walk outside to try to get some sun to let my body know it was daytime, but the sun NEVER shined. The hardest part was the lack of sleep. I was dead tired during working hours, and unable to sleep during the night. We were all feeling the same way, so we all had empathy and helped one another even more. There is nothing better than the working relationships forged in boxing.
Another issue I had was eating….being a vegan, you would think finding veggies in china would be no problem. Not true. No one understood or knew what being a vegan means…no amount of explaining seemed to get it through their heads….the two restaurants I tried at I was unsuccessful. They put fish oil in everything. I resorted to eating in the EDR every day. My diet consisted of white rice, lettuce, tomatoes and peanut butter all week. They eat some funky meats there, beyond disgusting. And, as much as I hate Starbucks, I was super stoked they had one on property so I was able to have my dirty soy lattes every morning. I spent more money at Starbucks on the ridiculous amounts of coffee I drank than anything else the whole trip.
So fight night comes and goes, and all went smooth, huge accomplishment for me. I was truly honored to have been asked to go, feels so good to be needed.
I pull another all nighter after the debut of Zou Shiming in Macau on April 6, and we all gather in the morning to take the ferry to Hong Kong…by this time, maneuvering all my bags with little to no energy over all the ramps, on and off the ferry was beyond taxing…finally to HK and finally on my return flight…I settle in and sleep the whole flight. The lady next to me was in awe that I was able to sleep the whole flight…after I told her I hadn’t slept all week while in China, she understood. Next stop SFO then Vegas…..I was home for long enough to unpack and repack to go to New York and pick up all my work gear. Monday morning I am off to NYC.
I get to NYC Monday evening and fight week starts bright and early Tuesday morning. No time to catch up on sleep, adrenaline kept me fueled. I was greeted in NYC by two fine friends who were my help for the week. The Donaire v Rigondeaux fight in NYC on April 13 was at Radio City Music Hall, which is a beautiful venue and made for some great pictures, but super challenging logistics wise.
NYC is one of my favorite places to visit and I always find time to visit my favorite vegan eats. I definitely made up for the lack of eating in China. I ate at Gypsy Caravan which I have wanted to try for years and it was delicious. There were five of us, me being the only vegan, and everybody was surprisingly shocked at how good the food was. Whenever I am in the city I always eat at Blossom, and yet again wowed another non-vegan. My final meal in NYC and by far my very favorite of all is QUINTESSENCE, raw food joint in the lower east side. This joint is about the size of a closet, but produces the best things I have ever tasted. Raw food done right is unbelievably impressive and so super addicting. Eating raw gives me much needed energy and leaves me full for a long time. That was it, walked back to my hotel, took a cab to the airport and returned home to Vegas. I took a couple of days to catch up on sleep and all some personal things and now I am back in the office.
While I absolutely love traveling and working on the road, it was nice to see my fave smiling faces when I came back to the office.
Life… and Other Beautiful Things April 23, 2013 No Comments
There are many components factored into my choosing of this topic. First being the Life is Beautiful Festival coming up in October that we have had the privilege to work with. The festival will celebrate the beauty of life- including forms of art, music and food. Festival attendees will leave the eye-opening festival with inspiration, culture, creativity and perhaps a completely different perspective on life.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We have all heard it, but what exactly does that mean? What is beautiful to you? Recently, a link to a Dove commercial was passed around the office, and it really made me think. Aside from it being a great commercial, it passes along a vital message that is relatable to everyone. The commercial shows an experiment about how you see yourself vs. how others see you. The results proved that others see the beauty in you, often times more than you recognize it within yourself. The message proves that each individual is beautiful in their own way, despite what the media says is beauty, or what society accepts as beautiful- a form of beauty is identifiable in everyone.
Watch the Dove commercial.
Finally, in light of recent tragic events, we are forced to reflect on life. We all get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life with work, traffic, stress, and other day to day occurrences. Have you taken the time to notice the beautiful things in life lately? With the current reminders as to how fragile and unexpected life can be- take some time. Look delicate pale pink color of a cherry blossom. Watch the sun rise. Listen to the birds sing. Let the little things go and relish in the beauty of life.
Rocking Birkenstocks and Slinging Beers in Boston – Remembering Patriots Day April 16, 2013 No Comments
I received an email from my dear friend, Adrienne, yesterday. It was addressed to me, my wife, Jamie, and my friend’s husband, Mike. The email had a single photo attached with the message “still one of the most amazing pictures…wish we were rocking birkenstocks and slinging beers in Boston!”
I remember that day better than some, and worse than others. It was Patriots Day in Boston, 2004. What I do recall is that it was very warm that day. And the Sox were playing host to the Yankees, I believe as part of a double-header. We met early in the morning, which is a Patriots Day custom, at (I think) the Tiki Room in Kenmore Square. A large group of us were there, and others came and went as the morning progressed, and we all drank a little too much. I may have drank way too much as I paid for my indulging heavily later that day, and into the next morning, but that’s a different story.
The Sox won the game, I remember that much very vividly, and we all celebrated with another round of drinks, or another Tiki Bowl or shots, or something that people in their 20′s do. It was sort of a big deal as the Sox were still coming into their own during that season, and beating the dreaded Yankees was always good times. About six hours later, after severl more rounds, my wife leaned into our remaining group of friends and said, deadpan “what’s the score of the game?” It’s a quote often relived and laughed about when this group of friends gets back together.
On the walk back to our apartment at the corner of Mass Ave and Comm Ave, I vaguely remember getting into a spirited discussion with a member of Boston Metro as to why exactly I couldn’t cross the lanes of traffic to where we lived. Turns out there were still people finishing the race, the last of the pack, and they kept the streets closed. In my celebratory condition, I may have kicked one of my Birkenstocks in the officer’s general direction. We eventually made it home, and the rest is history.
Yesterday when I received that email, we all traded a few remarks back-and-forth, and went on with our day. Not too long after reciving the photo, my Dad texted me “two explosions near the finish line at the boston marathon. Live on CNN.” Not yet knowing the full extent of the carnage, I wrote back simply “that’s no good” and a follow up note “across the street from where I used to bar tend at Uno’s.”
I got in the car shortly after for my drive home and turned on the radio and started hearing the accounts of just how horrible the scene actually was. And I was transported back to 2003, again Patriots Day, when I was bar tending the morning shift at Pizzeria Uno on Boylston St. – situated near the corner at Exeter Ave. – between where the two bombs went off. I couldn’t help but have a few “what if” moments. I was sad. I was angry. And I was afraid, realizing that no matter how safe we think we are, anything can happen just about anywhere, at anytime.
Later that night when I got home and after dinner was cleared I turned on CNN to keep up with the news. I saw the reports of 8 year-old Martin Richard, who was killed in the blast, after running onto the course to hug his father who had just crossed the finish line. He headed back to his family when the first bomb went off. Finding myself absorbed in the reporting, I didn’t notice my 6 year-old daughter was also downstairs. She turned to me and asked “Daddy, what’s a bomb?” I turned off the TV, much to her objection, and promised her I’d explain it to her someday. But not that day, and probably not anytime soon.
Today as I took that same daughter to school on her new scooter, she fell down and scraped both knees. I took her home, cleaned her cuts, put on Band-Aids, and we decided to walk to school instead. She was tardy, but I didn’t mind. We walked slow to school, looking at the wildlife in our neighborhood, talking about silly things and discussing the virtues of the alligators who live in the ponds and lakes all around us. When I signed her into the office, I just stood there, not wanting to leave. I thought about her skinned knees, and Martin Richard and his parents, and how I know they’d give anything in the world to see him skin his knees again.
When they finally came to take her to class I knelt beside her, kissed her face and hugged her a little tighter than usual. I also decided, right there, that I’ll run the Boston Marathon someday. Maybe not next April, or even the April after that, but someday. And when I hit the wall at Heartbreak Hill, then trudge the last few miles into Copley Square and cross the finish line I’ll remember yesterday. Not that an act of cowardice took innocent lives and injured so many others. But that our country, in the face of horror, again stood shoulder-to-shoulder and rose above the mayhem. And I’ll think about my daughter, and her falling off her scooter, and how thankful I was to be able to wipe away her tears and fix her hurts. And I’ll remember Martin Richard’s parents and grieve for the fact they will never be able to do that for him again.
5 Tips for Better Client Service April 15, 2013 No Comments
My coworkers call me “L.G.” (Little General) for a reason… I really like to boss people around. It’s fitting, then, that the founders of Langdon Flynn Communications decided to put me in charge of training all new employees. (Those poor buggers!)
Ask any of the staff here, and they will tell you that I’m nothing if not incredibly concerned about our client relationships. I believe that the best way for our company to grow, and for our business to succeed, is simply to do awesome work right now. Today, and every day. While some clients would define “awesome work” as that major NY Times hit, often times it really just means that you’ve taken into account their goals, and worked diligently and tirelessly to achieve them. National hits are fabulous, but they are few and far between (unless you are Celine Dion). So, in between those marquee gets, what can you do to convince your clients just how much they need you? Here’s 5 simple tips for better client service:
1. Understand what they really want: If a client can’t tell you what he or she really wants or needs for their business, then you sure as hell can’t do it for them. Take time to read between the lines and understand their priorities. If they are concerned about something, you should be too. And if they aren’t clear about their needs, spend time with them until you collectively identify them, or maybe even suggest to take a break until a clear direction emerges.
2. Communicate (almost) daily: I get it. We are all super busy, and focused on all the work at hand today. It’s not always easy to notice when we haven’t touched base with one or two of our many accounts for a while. But if I were them, I wouldn’t want to wonder what my PR firm is doing for me lately. Figure out a way to make contact, for any reason. Even if you are in between projects or are still waiting on that silly reporter to answer your email, give your client an update. “Hey, I’m waiting on an answer” is better than radio silence, which leaves them to wonder what the heck they are paying you for in the first place?
3. Set up a structure of accountability: I don’t care if you are the most responsible person on the planet, you need deadlines and a system of accountability or things won’t get done. For each project, ask the client when he or she needs it, and set up regular conference calls or meetings to go over the status. If you are proactive about reporting your process, they’ll never wonder if you are working hard for them.
4. Technology is your friend: Collaboration tools like dropbox can let everyone in on the process of creating press materials and pitch grids. I also recommend using simple calendar reminders or shared Google calendars to remind you and your team when to check for press hits, or follow up on a big long-term project. Many times things slip through the cracks if you don’t have to do it right now. You’re not a robot, but your smartphone is. Use it.
5. Get to know your clients socially: As long as you can maintain a level of professionalism in social settings (and let’s face it, if you can’t then you shouldn’t be in PR), there’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks with your clients after-hours or playing a round of golf here and there. I’ve developed some of my best pitch ideas over a cocktail at 11 p.m. or during Sunday dinner with clients. Becoming an acquaintance of theirs only helps you understand them better. And these days, the line between work and life is almost non-existent anyway. Get out and have fun with them! It will spark your collective creativity and bond you further.
- Michelle St.Angelo
“New Foodie—A Brave New World” By Steve Flynn July 20, 2012 No Comments
People that really know me know that I have been, for the vast majority of my life, an extremely picky eater. As I am co-founder in a Public Relations firm that specializes in Food and Beverage PR, among other things, it has been a bit of source of frustration for those that work for me. It’s been a particular burr in the saddle of my partner Ken, who smells his food for about 34 minutes before even tasting it when it arrives at his table. We have a running joke in the office by affectionately referring to Ken, Rosalind and Sara as “food nerds.” Actually, they may not know that. I guess they do now. Sorry guys.
Nevertheless, there has been a paradigm shift in my palate philosophy. For the past 64 days I have been on a mission to try new foods as often as I can. Hard to explain why this mission started, though I do know it began with Tartar Sauce on May 17. Before I decided to write about my food epiphany I wanted to get to 50 new items. Now, I will supply you with a list of things that I have tried for the very first time over the last two months. Before you read the list you need to understand a few things. Thing one…there are foods on this list that will amaze you that I have not tried before…deal with it. I can’t explain why I haven’t tried them to this point. Just be happy for me that I have found the right inspiration to try them now. Thing two…there are really only three things on this list that I didn’t care for (they have been annotated). I would totally eat all of these things again.
I have a brand new appreciation for what the F&B side of our company does. I understand that food, and the passion that people have for it, is about finding and experimenting with different combinations of tastes and textures. I used to roll my eyes watching Top Chef or any of those other cooking shows because they used to describe food in those terms. I would laugh at Ken when he would get into passionate discussions about food with any of our high profile chef clients. But it’s a brave new world. I know that combining tastes makes for such a much more pleasurable experience. Now I go into a restaurant and I don’t say “I would like to have this but I would like it without this or that.” Instead I say “I will try this” and leave it at that.
I would get into some long-winded rant about how you should never been afraid to try something new but that should be fairly obvious. Everybody should do that. Life is too short to not do that. And, really, if the worst thing that happens is that you need to drink water after to get rid of the taste, at least you tried.
Horseradish Sauce (blech)
Potato Salad (double blech)
Miso Goma Dressing
Yuzu Citrus Aioli
Truffle Parmesan Fries
Sweet Potato Fries
Baked Garlic (totally spit it out)
Boxing Adventures in New York December 3, 2011 No Comments
We have been fortunate in our years as Steve Flynn Enterprises and now as Langdon Flynn Communications to work on some of the most high-profile boxing events the sport has seen in the last ten years. We have worked in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Tampa, Mexico and Puerto Rico among others. This week we have been in New York working on the Top Rank fight between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito II taking place at Madison Square Garden Saturday, December 3.
Our job is credentials and that may not sound like the most complicated job on the planet. Imagine though, for a minute, being responsible for making sure that everyone working on the fight has a credential that gives them access to the parts of the building to make it possible to do their job. Or, more importantly, NOT have access to the parts of the building where they shouldn’t be. At the end of the week that number is well over a thousand credentials, all made with different colors and different codes of access. It is an extremely complicated process but one that we have perfected over the years. It’s a way of bringing elements of control to an extremely chaotic week.
I have been to the Super Bowl, The World Series, The Final Four and The NBA Finals and there is NOTHING that compares to the atmosphere that exists in a building when the two main event fighters are walking to the ring. And multiply that by about ten times when it happens at Madison Square Garden. It really is the Mecca of boxing and Saturday night should certainly be no exception. That feeling is always amazing because it comes at the end of a week’s worth of a tremendous amount of work.
A week like this is made even better when we work with a venue like Madison Square Garden. Larry Torres and his team are, without question, the best building to work with when it comes to what we do. To say that they have seen it all by now is an understatement but they work side by side with us to make the entire operation go seamlessly. We always owe a great deal of thanks to the entire Top Rank team, especially Bob Arum, Todd DuBoef and Dena DuBoef to entrusting the operation to us. And working with PR pros like Lee Samuels and Ricardo Jimenez is always great.
From a Partner and Co-Founder standpoint the team that we have here in New York is second to none. Ceatta is the most organized, most responsible and most remarkable in the midst of absolute craziness. She drives the week for all of us. Chelsea has worked some big events and has found her inner “Hammer” when it comes to dealing with media. Nanda is on her first trip with us but is coming along nicely.
We will all be completely exhausted when we board our flight back to Vegas on Sunday morning but it will all be worth it. The rush that comes from a job well done compares to nothing.
When Eating Through Paris Be Sure to Plan Ahead November 6, 2011 No Comments
I love to eat. I’m not talking about just eating when I’m hungry and need fuel to keep me going. I love to eat whenever possible, and when traveling will typically plan entire trips around meals. When my wife and I visited Paris recently, this was how I expected to plan our daily itinerary. Local bakery for pastries and coffee, early lunch, late lunch, beer/snacks, dinner then maybe a late-night bite if we were up for it. And in between we’d see the sights the city has to offer. Turns out my wife didn’t want to simply make the sights an after-thought to our day so I backed off my eating-through-Paris schedule and made just two reservations at restaurants that came highly recommended by my friend and food writer Alan Richman. He had recently written a great piece for GQ magazine on the new Parisian dining scene (HERE) and I asked him to boil that down to the top “can’t miss” places. After all, it’s Paris, and everywhere you turn should be an amazing cafe or bistro, right? Turns out, and Alan discusses this in his article, that just is not the case.
The restaurants in Paris are divided roughly into three categories. The first group is the Michelin-Starred temples to gastronomy. These are the type of places where men wear suits, women wear dresses, and nobody is allowed to talk loudly during dinner. The food is exquisite, the service immaculate (if not a bit frigid) and dinner for two with wine will typically cost about $1,000. The second places are the tourist places – which essentially make up the majority of restaurants in Paris. They are everywhere you turn, many boasting great outdoor patios, but unfortunately feature lousy food and bad service. The prices are more affordable, sure, but still pricey all things considered. Then there are the places that we sought out based on Alan’s article and a list that our friend Angie, who lives in Paris, left for us. These are the places that are destination restaurants – somewhere that people in-the-know go to eat. The chefs are all the rage, the places next-to-impossible to get into (and sometimes very difficult to even find), and the prices are still pretty high. But not Michelin high. After two terrible meals our first day at local places that weren’t on the list, we agreed that leaving our meals to chance was not the best way to go.
The remainder of our trip was full of great meals. We were fortunate enough to get reservations at both Spring and Yam’Tcha- two of the city’s hottest dining spots. Both meals were incredible, though I was slightly disappointed with the lack of creativity Spring’s kitchen showed when trying to compose a vegetarian menu for my wife. Instead of thinking outside of the box, they simply took the standard plates for the night (the menu features only a prix fixe menu) and simply eliminated the meat or fish from the dish. Hardly what I expected from a restaurant that is in every foodie’s top 10 list. During a lunch at Yam’Tcha, a tiny little Chinese/French fusion restaurant near the Louvre, we encountered a similar situation, in that they offer only a prix fixe menu and it was not vegetarian friendly. We planned for the worst but were both very impressed with how the kitchen adapted. Instead of just removing meat from the dishes and presenting it that way, they created four completely unique dishes, any of which I would have been happy to eat as well. We also opted for the tea pairing, where the owner of the restaurant (he’s originally from Hong Kong, his wife is the chef and she’s Parisian) pairs a different tea with each course, and comes out to explain his selection much like a sommelier would with wine. Truly an unforgettable experience. Other meal highlights included Les Bouquinistes by Guy Savoy which is located just steps from the Seine; Chez L’Ami Jean – also suggested by both Alan and Angie and another near impossible reservation to secure (we lucked out and simply walked in and were seated during lunch) and Restaurant Perraduin which is just around the corner from Angie’s apartment (where we were lucky enough to stay for the week) and serves country-style French bistro fare.
Paris is truly an amazing city, and while you have to seek out the great places to eat, they are absolutely worth the hunt. So if you go be sure to plan those meals in advance as some of the more popular restaurants have 90 day wait lists for a table. But they are worth the wait, as a great meal can’t be replaced, and the bad meals there are truly awful. And regardless of when you have your lunch or dinner…the Louvre, Pantheon, Notre Dame and all the rest will be there waiting for you once you’ve satisfied your hunger.