Monday, September 15

Work-cation

"So what did you do on your summer vacation?"

My answer is in this article I wrote for Huffington Post.

Click here if you'd like to hear about my work-cation!

What did you do?  What's your experience?  JIM

Sunday, September 14

#NYFW2014 - Fashion Week News


Last week was Fashion Week in New York and you could certainly feel the buzz in the air, without a doubt.  The restaurants were packed, taxis were all jammed, and the news was filled with notes of fashion.  It's one of the best weeks in New York.

E! was filming and reporting from the official events all week long, so all you had to do to keep up was click on the channel or the website.  For this week, E! became Fashion TV, although I must admit that I terribly miss Joan.

The hero of the week was Ralph Lauren, whose Vegas-style "4-D" extravaganza in Central Park (at 9:30pm Monday night) was a show-stopper for sure.

But not all of the news was tied to official Fashion Week events.

The show-stealer of the week was the appropriately named "Scarf Guy" who took over the social media buzz when we first saw him during the Apple brand announcement last week.  Having nothing to do with Fashion Week, he certainly made the fashion news around the country.

One brand that took away it's "brand" a few weeks back was still the talk of the town ... Abercrombie & Fitch.  They recently announced that the brand name will no longer appear so outwardly and dominantly on its clothing.  The announcement included "research" that their millennial consumers don't like overt branding, so the brand is merely addressing their customer's needs.  Many beg to differ:  it's the Abercrombie & Fitch brand that they don't want.

The over-exposed award goes to Kendall Jenner who is already managing to wear herself out.  She was everywhere during Fashion Week, and always in front of a camera.  While many says she's a beauty, many also say she'll be done before her time if she doesn't take it easy.

What a week!  Anything to report on your end?  What's your experience?  JIM.


Thursday, September 11

Waffles


What's up with waffles?  WTW.

It seems like every time I turn around, there's another "restaurant" selling waffles ... premium waffles at that.

Ice cream shops, diners, Taco Bell, and even high end restaurants. Cafe Bene, new to New York, has a whole line dipped in different flavors.  Food trucks pull up in front of stores and office buildings, making homemade waffles on the spot.  Everyone is talking about Liege Waffles, and in fact some are even importing them from Belgium just so they can be totally authentic.

I was talking to a restaurateur the other day who just bought special waffle making machines from Europe that exclusively press the exclusive mix of Liege Waffles that they are importing.  She's invested a substantial amount of money, hoping people are going to come for miles to try her waffles.

Me, I'm waffling.  I make them at home for sure, but I wouldn't go out of my way for them.

And let me tell you, people are picky.  If the caramelized sugar isn't quite right, then they're not quite Liege Waffles.  Next.

Have waffles replaced the cupcake that replaced the donut that replaced the chocolate chip cookie?

Just maybe.  What's your experience?  JIM.

Tuesday, September 9

BuyPartisan App


Not too long ago I loaded an app onto my smart phone that educates me on the food choices I make:  Fooducate.

I simply scan the bar code of what I'm about to buy or eat, and it grades it for me based on the nutritional value of the food.  If I just stick with A's and B's, I figure I have a plan to eat better.  It's super helpful.  An informed consumer is a smart consumer, right?

Well now there's a new app in beta test that takes this to another place:  political contributions.

BuyPartisan.

This new app helps educate me on the political donations of my favorite brands.  By once again scanning the bar code, I can see where the company puts its money:  Republican or Democrat.

And let me tell you, it's a pretty rich app.  You can see where the employees put their money (not sure how) vs. where the leadership of the company puts its money.  You can even compare two companies side by side.

It's the ultimate in corporate transparency, and yet another way that we can weigh our brand choices.

In an era where we as consumers want to know about the companies and brands we frequent and support, this is a great new tool in our library of gadgets.  Now in an instant I can find out calorie counts, fat content, and political beliefs ... right on my smart phone, right at the grocery store, and right as I make my purchase decision.

Pretty smart.  What's your experience?  JIM.