The dark cold has descended upon the northeast. We’ve entered that time when you need to be bundled up to set foot outside, and everything is brown and lifeless. That’s why I jumped at the chance to go speak in Miami this past weekend. The occasion was Jen Dziura’s Bullish Conference. It was full of life management sessions aimed at 20-something women. I had a great time. A few observations:
* Sitting by the pool in November feels extravagant. I brought my laptop and spent an hour working, but still — I was in a short sleeve shirt and watching people swim. That alone was worth the flight to Miami (where, on the way down, someone managed to get sick all over the place — and it wasn’t even that bumpy!)
* I don’t actually like speaking with PowerPoint. I do it, but it feels more genuine just to try to engage with the audience without slides.
* Dear Surfcomber hotel: Your space is lovely, and the manager’s wine reception is a great idea. But when it’s 72 degrees out, you really don’t need to run the air conditioning. I practically froze in the hallway. I came to Miami to get out of the cold!
* I really like Worn magazine. The tagline is “Where Ideas Get Dressed” and there was a sample copy of this fashion magazine in my gift bag. Haley Mlotek, who moonlights as Jen’s virtual assistant, is Worn’s publisher. My favorite part of Vogue is the last page where they do a little essay on some object of desire, looping in history, sociology, etc. Worn is a whole magazine of that, only the essays are longer and not as pretentious. Plus, the models are pleasingly diverse — not a small thing. I’m not sure how mainstream the mag can go. It only comes out twice a year, and costs like $9 a pop. But it was intriguing as a concept.
* Flying on the weekend after Thanksgiving is nuts. I flew deadly early both mornings (7:45 flights, which means getting to the airport around 6:30) and both times I waited in 30 minute security lines at that ridiculous hour.
* Some cities are set up to party. In Miami Beach (where my conference was held) the bars stay open until 5 a.m. In New York, not a particularly staid place, it’s around 2! As I was checking out of my hotel at 6 a.m. on Sunday morning, two dapper gentlemen dressed in white walked in to the lobby, clearly coming back from the evening. I felt incredibly uncool.
* Mojitos taste better the closer you get to their native land. One of my fellow conference goers remarked at dinner that the mojitos tasted “vegetal” and it was true. You could taste the garden on the mint.
How was your Thanksgiving break?