twenty five seconds

every second counts

To Be Grateful — March 1, 2016

To Be Grateful

Lessons I Learned From My Dad — February 26, 2015
What is Your Legacy? — February 24, 2015
Should You Live for Your Resume or Your Eulogy? —
The Art of Stillness — November 29, 2014

The Art of Stillness

“Making a living and making a life sometimes point in opposite directions.”


“I think many of us have the sensation that we’re standing about two inches away from a huge screen, and it’s noisy and it’s crowded and it’s changing with every second, and that screen is our lives. And it’s only by stepping back, and then further back, and holding still, that we can begin to see what the canvas means and to catch the larger picture. And a few people do that for us by going nowhere.”

“So, in an age of acceleration, nothing can be more exhilarating than going slow. And in an age of distraction, nothing is so luxurious as paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is so urgent as sitting still. So you can go on your next vacation to Paris or Hawaii, or New Orleans; I bet you’ll have a wonderful time. But, if you want to come back home alive and full of fresh hope, in love with the world, I think you might want to try considering going nowhere.”

Pico Iyer




Why a good book is a secret door — October 11, 2014
Seven Deadly Sins of Speaking — June 29, 2014

Seven Deadly Sins of Speaking

I really like Julian Treasure’s TED talk “How to Speak So That People Want to Listen.”  He begins with seven deadly sins of speaking:

1. gossip
2.  judging
3.  negativity
4.  complaining
5.  excuses
6.  lying
7.  dogmatism

He explains that we should avoid these deadly sins and focus on four cornerstone foundations if we want speech to be powerful and to make a change in the world.  He describes them as HAIL

H- honesty
A- authenticity
I-  integrity
L- love

He ends the talk describing how we have an amazing tool box with the capability of using our voices in powerful ways, yet very few people have actually opened their tool boxes.

“What would the world be like it we were speaking powerfully to people who are listening consciously in environments which were actually fit
for purpose?”

This is a great 10-minute talk.





It Was Mom — May 9, 2014

It Was Mom

“My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier, you will become a general.  If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.’ Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.”

Pablo Picasso



“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw.  All I am I owe to my mother.  I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.”

George Washington




Failure and the Drive to Keep Creating — April 26, 2014

Failure and the Drive to Keep Creating

“Your home is whatever in this world you love more than you love yourself.  So that might be creativity, it might be family, it might be invention, adventure, faith, service.  It might be raising corgis.  I don’t know.  Your home is that thing to which you can dedicate your energies with such singular devotion that the ultimate results become inconsequential.

For me, that home has always been writing.”

Elizabeth Gilbert




A Successful City is Like a Fabulous Party — April 12, 2014

A Successful City is Like a Fabulous Party

Michael Bloomberg asked me to be his planning commissioner and put me in charge of shaping the entire city of New York.  And he said to me on that very day, that New York was projected to grow from eight to nine million people.  And he asked me, “So where are you going to put one million additional New Yorkers?”

In this TED talk Amanda Burden talks about the importance of creating great public spaces.  Amanda has helped create some of New York City’s best outdoor spaces including Battery Park,  the High Line and Brooklyn’s waterfront.  She says that when she thinks about cities she thinks about people, where they go and where they meet.  She begins her talk with one of my favorite spaces in New York City, Paley Park.

“So what’s the trick? How do you turn a park into a place that people want to be?  Well, it’s up to you, not as a city planner but as a human being.  You don’t tap into your design expertise.  You tap into your humanity.  I mean, would you want to go there?  Would you want to stay there?  Can you see into it and out of it?  Are there other people there?  Does it seem green and friendly”  Can you find your very own seat?”

“A successful city is like a fabulous party.  People stay because they are having a great time.”

Bravo NYC.  Hopefully other cities will also continue to work on implementing great outdoor spaces.



Amanda Burden is “arguably the most influential figure in New York City government, next to Mayor Bloomberg.”

Vanity Fair, May 2010