When you visit a city or country that you would like to live and work, how do you make the leap from tourist visa to resident? Short answer, have brunch at Balthazar. Melanie arrived in NYC with a 3 week visa hoping that it could be longer. During her 1st week in NYC while having coffee at Balthazar, she got a random invite to a BBQ. She told her American friend “I don’t know anyone in the City so I’m just going to go.” Well, following her intuition lead to her first job and 4 years in NYC working for editors from Vogue, Elle, Glamour, etc.
I thought I was just filming a story about a NYC dog lover and met Annette Frey, a dog owner that created a healthy treat Biscuits by Lambshops that’s distributed at dog shops around NYC and online. What happens if your dog is allergic to every treat on the market, leaving you with no edible reward options? Annette thought she was out of luck after her dog Lambchop developed a myriad of medical issues, including kidney disease and food allergies, and was placed on strict dietary guidelines. With nothing to reward him but a “good boy” and a pat on the head, she knew she had to do more. She not only developed a healthy treat that he loved but now those treats are available at shops around New York City such as Bark Place on the upper east side, Salty Paw, Paw Paw and Urban Canis in Soho.
Biscuits by Lambchop™ dog treats are free of gluten, soy, corn, rice, dairy, eggs, nuts, animal proteins and preservatives and are low in fat, sodium and phosphorus to accommodate the needs of dogs who have these restrictions in their diet, such as those with some types of kidney, liver and pancreas problems.
I have walked by the Harlem Public under construction sign and like everyone else I wanted to know the story. Lauren Lynch & Jay Janawsky are opening the pub in a matter of weeks and all the garnishes for the cocktails will be grown in Maggie’s garden located just behind the bar. Maggie’s Garden opened in 1996. I had a wonderful conversation with Lauren and Maggie about the impetus for the pub, the garden, their collaboration and we tour the bar and garden. Maggie has received tremendous support from Bette Midler’s New York Restoration project, with the goal of revitalizing neglected neighborhood parks in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods of New York City.
2 months after I posted the Harlem Public story, they were featured in the Wall Street Journal
Grayson quit his Calvin Klein job in order to realize his music dream. “If u don’t love people for people..and you look at somebody and see color..or look and see poor or you see ugly well fuck you I look at people and I see a person..a person from God..a person that is on this earth..if you cant respect that you cant respect shit.” Meet Grayson Gordon aka Kaiser Sosay. He is a 26 years old music artist, driven and compassionate. I love his spirit.
I was walking through Soho and Andrian was painting it. “Im a local artist..painting on spring and lafayette street. I love Soho. Ithas great energy and life i love painting. I picked up painting a few years ago. I took an art class in college at Indiana University. I’m from Indiana. I’ve been in New York 1 year. The hardest part is making the first step.”
After filming the kid’s lemonade stand story, the vendor next to them says. “Have you heard of Skelly?” I said you want to share a story. “It’s A New York City Street Game that all the OGs and old school grew up on. What I did was patent it and made sure everything we did in the street we can now play in the house, in the schools, YMCA and after school programs.”
I was walking by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital on a very humid day and met Kevin, Emil & Robert. They are 3 very enterprising kids and we met on the 1st day of their lemonade stand. They share advice for those who would like to open their own lemonade stand. These kids are going do very well. Look out for kid entrepreneurs in the future.
I entered the uptown 4 train to about 50 kids being lead by their camp counselor singing songs on their way back to their school PS 85 in the Bronx. Great moment. I would welcome their singing over most performances I hear on the train any day of the week.
Sxip Shirey describes his music as “John Cage makes love to a circus while listening to Public Enemy”. I filmed the atmosphere of the New Museum Block Party to the flow of Sxip’s flute. Sxip Shirey is a composer and performer who lives in New York City. Ecstatic melodies, unimaginable sounds, and deep beats are played using industrial flutes, bullhorn harmonicas, regurgitated music box, triple-extended pennywhistles, a miniature hand bell choir, obnoxiophone, glass bowls with red marbles, human beatbox, and a handful of curious objects.
I randomly met up with Stacey McKenzie. Like many I know of Stacey but until now I did not really know her story. Stacey shares her inspiring story of passion as her anchor to accomplish her goal of being a model although everyone told her she did not have the “look”. Stacey McKenzie (born in Kingston, Jamaica) is a global fashion model living in Toronto. She is a runway coach and most recently a model coach and judge on the Canadian reality television show Canada’s Next Top Model.
“I always wanted to model since I was 6yrs old..even though I was told I was never gong to make it..because your not pretty enough..you’re not beautiful..its never going to happen..I didnt listen to anybody..it hurt a lot. Throughout my life, I was always told that I’m not good enough, I’m not beautiful..Im not pretty..its never going to happen for you..but its what you take from it..I refuse to let anyone stop me from pursuing my dreams”
After being told, early in her career, that she was too distinctive for the Canadian market, she moved to New York. She was immediately picked up by Elite Model Management.
Unprepared for the challenges of a modeling career, McKenzie returned to Canada and finished high school. In 1995, she moved to Paris, France to pursue modeling further. During her first season, she modeled for top designers including Jean Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler and Christian Lacroix. She also landed her first campaign with photographer Oliviero Toscani for Benetton.
In the wake of her initial success in Paris, McKenzie was commissioned to work in markets around the globe including Paris, London, Italy, Austria, US and Japan. She worked for Alexander McQueen, Betsey Johnson, Tommy Hilfiger, Todd Oldham, Michiko Koshino and Jean Paul Gaultier. Her magazine covers include Essence, Le Monde and Panache, as well as editorials in Vogue (US, Japan, Korea, Britain, Spain), Harper’s Bazaar, Interview, Flare, Fashion, and Vibe.
She has appeared in a number of major campaigns including Calvin Klein CK, Jean Paul Gaultier, MAC, Mexx, Reebok, Todd Oldham Jeans, Nordstrom, Barneys, and Banana Republic.