This is what a failed product development experiment looks like. I’m sharing this because I think it’s important to talk more about failure, especially in science.
I spoke to Michael DeLoach & NYC Water about the #FatbergFreeNYCinitiative. As a grad student at The Biomimicry Center I’m learning to use biomimicry principles and my experience in product development to invent a flushable wipe to eliminate fatbergs.
This was my green chemistry solution and my finished product. My dachshund, Phineas, is my lab assistant. He’s a bit like Beaker so I guess that makes me Bunsen Honeydew. We listened to the podcasts Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, Ologies Podcast, and The Story Collider to stay inspired as we did our research.
This was only the 1st attempt. It failed. And that’s okay. I stand by the green chemistry solution. I just need to find a sturdier delivery material that quickly biodegrades. Trial #2 is already underway.
And given that it’s May Day, a day when we celebrate those who work, toil, tinker, and invent, here’s 3 cheers for all of you working to solve our world’s toughest challenges and make this a better planet for all beings.
“Don’t quit before the miracle.” ~Anne Lamott
Listen up, gorgeous human. You don’t have to settle for the scraps that fall from the table.
I just woke up from a dream that put everything in perspective for me and I wanted to share it with you. I was enrolled at a very sexist college as one of only a very small handful of women. Graduation was upon us, and our small group was talking about making our graduate school decisions. A very old and cranky professor whom I had in undergrad in real life (who was not supportive of me at all) sat down at our table to tell us that it really didn’t matter what we chose to do because none of us were going to amount to anything. And I just snapped.
I stood up, grabbed my bag, and told this professor that he knew nothing about what any of us are capable of. I told him I planned to move to New York, and soon he wouldn’t have to wonder what I amounted to because he’d be reading all about it. Everyone would. Then, in true Leslie Knope fashion, I wished him a good day and said I felt sorry for him that he was so unhappy with his own life that he felt compelled to be terrible to other people.
Everyone at the table, including that professor, was completely shocked. (FWIW, everyone was wearing the same drab grey clothes and I was wearing bright pink. I was only aware of this after I stood up from the table.)
Now, here’s the fascinating part: in my dream, my dream was to have the life I have in New York in real life. That realization was a lightning bolt. I sat straight up in bed, in real life in New York, with every opportunity just outside my door. This is what I’ve amounted to: I have my dream’s dream.
Brian often tells me that we get what we settle for. It’s a refrain that rings through my mind every day. I’ve only ever been willing to settle for my dream, and bit by bit I got that dream. It was hard work, with lost of disappointments and twists and turns. I never gave up, and I’m not done yet. There are still some pieces waiting to be found and set in place—the right romantic relationship, another book, a film, a home I own—and they’re all abundantly possible. I know that now. Let’s go get Monday, shall we?
I literally gasped when I turned the corner to see the dinosaurs of the T. rex exhibit at New York City’s American Museum of Natural History. It’s stunning and I learned so much about these magnificent animals. Absolutely go see it if you can! (All photos taken by me at the exhibit.)
We’re just one week away from the next New York City’s Secrets and Lies storytelling show at Caveat. Secret societies! Organized crime! Saucey ways that New Yorkers make a living! We’re cooking up something extraordinary for you with an A+ kickass cast. We can’t wait to see your gorgeous faces, tell you stories, and give you prizes from Untapped Cities! Grab your $12 tickets by clicking here and join us on Tuesday, April 9th at 7pm. Wondering what the show is like? I made you a little video to give you a sneak peek:
I’m so incredibly excited to share that my storytelling show about secret New York City history returns on Tuesday, April 9th. We have an incredible lineup of storytellers, a stellar special guest, and a fun, timely theme of MONEY!
“Money makes the world go ’round” is a widely used saying invented right here in New York City so this month New York City’s Secrets and Lies is getting into the wheelin’ and dealin’ that’s been flying around this city since it began. Corruption! Extortion! Bribery! Organized crime! Greed! But there’s a catch: one of us has completely fabricated the story we’re going to tell you. Can you spot the lie that’s just too scandalous to be true? If so, we’ve got a big, fat prize with your name on it from Untapped Cities. Join us and test your knowledge of NYC secret history!
Tickets on sale now at https://www.caveat.nyc/event/new-york-citys-secrets-and-lies-4-9-2019.
Spent the day at the birthplace of our NYC subway system. Had such a spectacular time learning secrets of the NYC subway on an Untapped Cities tour! Justin’s an AMAZING tour guide & I’m so excited he’s teaching me to give this tour. There are so many secrets that we pass by every single day. Once you know them, they’ll change your view of our city forever. I can’t wait to show them to you! MTA New York City Transit is a treasure trove, time capsule, museum, and living archive all rolled into one. The stories are endless.
You’re looking at New York City’s newest licensed tour guide! I took my exam and got a 138 out of 150. I was so happy that I hugged Barbara, the proctor at the Department of Consumer Affairs. Huge thanks to my adventure posse, fellow guides, and fabulous friends Erin Hunkemoeller & Ashley Semrick for all their study advice and resources, and to Michelle Young Pasquet & the Untapped Cities crew for encouraging me to take this step. I can’t wait to create cool tour experiences in our shining city with all of you! If you’d like to know more about my tours, please get in touch at email@example.com.
This is me at the very site of New Amsterdam where the difficult, complicated history of our modern day city began in 1626. In the background is the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island where my ancestors arrived from Italy 100 years ago.
A year ago I was flyin’; I had just finished the 1st show of NYC’s Secrets & Lies at Caveat with a sold-out crowd. I had no idea what I was starting but I’m so dang grateful to everyone who’s been a part of this journey, on-stage and in the audience. So many of you have been beyond supportive of this crazy idea and there’s no way I’ll ever be able to say thank you enough. This is a collection of our casts to-date and I just adore them all. How lucky I am that this show brought them all into my life! Their stories have inspired me, moved me, and made me fall in love with our city even more. Join us for our 1-year anniversary show on Thursday Feb 7th with another set of storytelling rockstars. Doors at 6:30pm. Show at 7pm. Click here to purchase tickets on Eventbrite.
January – Sarah Laskow, Michelle Young, Allison Chase, Carla Katz, Alex Neuhausen, Bridget Randolph
April – Adam Wade, Vicki Eastus, Suzanne Reisman, Carla Katz
June – Hannah Frishberg, Sabrina McMillin, Cindy Mullock, Emerie Snyder, Tija Mittal
August – Ashley Semrick, John Bucher, Erin Hunkemoeller, Tom Rowley, Leslie Goshko
October – Erin Leafe, Zak Martellucci, Alex Taylor, Michele Carlo, Julie Gaines
December – Justin Mugits (street artist Blanco), Jackie Peters, Vicki Eastus, Dustin Growick
Something cool happened today. I was walking my dog, Phineas, in Riverside Park, and I started to look at the trees differently than I ever have before. Now, I’ve been to this park hundreds of time. Maybe even thousands. But after studying trees for my biomimicry grad program, the trees seemed to speak to me in a different way than they ever have before. I could identify the trees, and see how they protect themselves. I could sense that they were in their deep sleep mode for the winter, and I let their peace wash over me, too. We are living in stressful times in this country right now, and today I am immensely grateful for the example and wisdom of these trees. Sometimes what we need to do most is rest. When in doubt, go outside.
Yesterday I took the best trip to the grocery store I’ve ever taken because I had the opportunity to buy groceries for Keith Polite, a man impacted by the government shutdown. He’s been a security guard at one of the Smithsonian museums here in New York City for 4 years, and the museum is closed until the government reopens. Because he’s a contractor, he won’t receive any back pay. I heard about his story through the local CBS broadcast, and decided I had to help. Another viewer also helped and was able to meet with Keith about a possible job opportunity. I’m really hoping that works out for him.
I hope this one small act inspires all of us to help one another during this difficult time. There’s so much we can do right where we are for the people around us. We’re all walking each other home. Here’s the news piece that ran about Keith if you’d like to see it: