377 posts tagged janice
#properlife #bondvoyage Southeast Asia Non-Anonymous I (Dec 1-5) | NEW POST
4 Countries/3 flights/4.5 days. What day is it again? Lol. Today calls for a “cliffs notes” length of an account, but let’s start from the beginning.
I’m in Johor Bahru Malaysia (Dec 5-6) for the
I’ll be moderating a panel/dialogue today (yes, it’s Wednesday here already)
Branding and Integrity in the Arts
The Artists here for the event are “hands-down” amazing. The event is produced by a Chicago colleague and friend (former Director of Arts and Culture at Inner-City Muslim Action Network - IMAN) Asad Jafri.
To make the most of the multiple connections for my flight, I decided to make rounds on behalf of my company and clients in Kuala Lampur, Singapore, and Tokyo. I’d been hearing so many things about the art scene in SE Asia, and of course loved my time in Tokyo. Asad’s Instagram had me “hooked”, I at least wanted to maxamize the opportunity for some visual inspiration as well.
In the creative industry, inspiration is a form of currency.
I booked my flight in the most INDIRECT manner you could possibly imagine for a 10 day trip
Chicago —>Atlanta —>Tokyo —> Singapore —> Car to take me to Johor Bahru —> Kuala Lampur —> Singapore —> Tokyo —> Minneapolis —> Chicago
This would also allow for “breaks” in travel to get the mass amount of work done that is due this week. Crazy simple right? Or just crazy. Jury is still out on that ;o).
I left Chicago Saturday after an awesome Streets meeting at IMAN, and stayed overnight in ATL after a meeting with a pretty awesome band. Atlanta on a Sunday morning headed to the airport was jus BEAUTIFUL. Warm, sunny, my host was absolutely the epitome of “southern hospitality”. After an unusually “breezy” check in (did I mention for this entire trip I only have a duffel, computer tote, and a purse? YES me.) I arrive to the gate and boarding to a surprise. And not in the “You’ve won” way. My flight from Atlanta to Tokyo had mechanical issues, and has to be grounded/delayed. Now this is the second-time I’ve had a plane with mechanical issues within 45 days. Honestly, my position is “better on the ground than in the air”, but here’s the kick: this meant I missed my connection in Tokyo to Singapore. Now here’s where perspective kicks in: Business Class, cozy, veggie cuisine, movies, off to an awesome place, with a wrench totally lodged in my schedule. I was already “pushing-it” with the current schedule, now I would miss a full day of the conference and the national dinner/gala with the Prime Minister. Not to mention this would equate to arriving the DAY OF my panel.
I arrived to Tokyo, and once the missed flight was confirmed, I began searching quickly for any one-way I could find to Singapore that night. “Why not just take an early flight in the am?” You may ask. Well, that’s because there wasn’t one. My carrier only had one flight per day to Singapore, and it was at 6:55pm the next day. With a 7-hour flight due after that, you do the math. Those one-way last-minute airline prices were simply comical. Over three-thousand dollars? One was ten-thousand. WHO PAYS THAT? I thought there was some type of clerical error, or maybe the price needed to be converted lol. Anyway, after two hours of searching, I knew this meant one of two things
Sleep in Airport < Sleep in Hotel, Home, or Hostel
I don’t really like to inconvenience people at the last minute, plus it was super late. I found a bangin’ hostel two stops from the airport. I had 10 minutes to get some Yen, re-crash course in some Japanese to make a reservation , and make the last train leaving Narita International Airport (no cell phones on trains, and the last one was leaving for the night). Can you say T.hank G.od F.or F.lat S.hoes?
Keisei Line to Cabstand. Cab to hostel. Up four flights of stairs. Boots off. Quiet. Pay. Lie down. Deep Breath.
I took a few calls and sent a few messages for/to clients, etc. After a quick “check-in” with my body (still healing from a severe upper-respiratory infection/walking pneumonia I contracted right after Thanksgiving) I knew no-matter what it was time to rest.
A few hours later, it was time to get back to work. I’d made plans to meet a friend Fumiko in Harajuku for lunch. In order to do that, I really needed to make a “dent” in some tasks.
Even with a converter, does anyone else pray when they plug their Apple laptop and/or iPhone into a foreign socket?
I always plug my phone in first and wait a few minutes, JUST in case. I walked out into the lobby/common area, and made myself a few cups of tea. I SAVOR the tea in Asia. Even the store bought, packaged teas are divine. Rather than overwhelm myself all morning, I took an hour to sit by the window, and take in my surroundings. Little trinkets, floral, magazines and tourist guides. CNN was on, but (le sigh) props and propaganda.
I found myself chatting with another American, and somehow we ended up talking about why he was looking for work AFTER moving to Japan. He’d had a horrible breakup/had been used for citizenship by his wife after a 14 year marriage, and she left him after they returned to Japan. A little heavy for “getting to know you” chat, but I could tell he was REALLY sad/lost, and his heart was completely broken. I didn’t ask a bunch of questions, I didn’t offer advice. I offered the idea of taking back power and life in the situation through responsibility and love of self. He seemed hopeful. We spent a few minutes on that, and I prepared to be on my way.
You never know why you are placed somewhere at a particular time. I don’t argue with the universe.
On my way to Harajuku, I meet the most lovely of Aussie young newlyweds from Brisbane on the train platform. Besides a few people from Australia that CLEARLY have never been to America nor encountered an American a day in their life (much less an American of color), I love my Aussies. They had a light around them, SO starry eyed and fresh, you could see the possibilities and wonder in their eyes as they were all over each other as conservatively as they could be. Speaking of trains, I have a tendency to be a source of pure intrigue and entertainment to Japanese children. As much as their parents attempt to restrain them, they stare at my face, try to sneak “touches” of my hair, wraps, and clothes. They even try to speak to me at times with their limited English or Japanese (which is TRULY unorthodox by comparison).
Yesterday was no different. That is all.
After a great lunch with my friend and meeting a few people in Harajuku about some opportunities in the city, I was reminded why I once wanted to live in Tokyo (prior to the earthquake). The intense energy and creativity, yet tradition, organization, and precision permeates every aspect of the culture there (you can LITERALLY set your watch to the trains in Tokyo). It agrees with me.
Time to go.
I make it to the airport, to discover I was in the wrong terminal. While on the bus to the next terminal, I help an American woman with her suitcase on her way to Shanghai. That conversation? All to be revealed. All I can say is I am SO grateful.
You never know why you are placed somewhere at a particular time. I don’t argue with the universe.
I sit for a moment in the airport and drink tea. “Check-in” once more, and it’s time to board. This time, Business Class felt the way it should. Good. My body needed to be horizontal for awhile, that’s for sure. I make it to Singapore, and immediately notice the difference in how different countries in Asia interpret the appropriate commercial christmas tree decor. Not that it makes a bit of difference to me, but it was still interesting.
Immigration. Customs. Driver arrives. Send tests and e-mails. Border checks. Hotel. Check in. Unpack. Breathe. Check emails. Adjust Calendar.
It’s almost time for breakfast here, and I have a bit of work to do. The kettle is on as I type ;o). I’m SO AMPED about today, let’s go! I’ll check-in again soon, in the meantime, follow my instagram and/or Twitter. All great things are now.
Color me humanae! Thx again @AngelicaDass 4 inviting me 2 be a part of this beautiful project. #art #photography #properlife
#properlife Saturday I met and sat for the Brazilian artist & photographer Angelica Dass @angelicadass at @expochicago. Cool project! http://humanae.tumblr.com/ #art #ExpoChicago #Chicago
#properlife Yesterday was Frida Kahlo’s 105th birthday. Loves her. Who is going to visit her house today in Mexico? *points at self*. #amped
Just a thought. lol #bookicide
Gløbetrøtter Magazine : Issue 1.1
#BEEC2012 Where Good Times and Great Minds Converged Part I : A New View
I’m usually at some sort of conference, workshop, seminar symposium, etc. nearly every week. When chosen well, these events are not only opportunities to receive useful information, but also a great time to “energize” and connect with “like minds”. I’d never been to a Black Enterprise Conference (believe it or not), and with Chicago being the host location this year there was NO WAY I was going to be counted absent. One of the best decisions I’ve made this year.
Honestly, Although I’ve always enjoyed reading publication, I’ve never been able to connect my entrepreneurial mindset to that of a “Black Business”, or “Black Enterprise”. I’ve always noted that the categorization can be somewhat misleading, or have limiting connotations pending the audience or potential client base. I simply have always aspired to run a great business, without the ethnic or cultural filters being the foundation.
Being a person of color as the “face” of the company doesn’t make your cultural background and ethnicity directly transferrable (whether good or challenging) in to your company business practices right? I think so.
All that said, I was in no hurry. But after the first “conversation” Wal-Mart hosted a dialogue on supplier diversity a month or so prior, hooked was I. It was clear that no matter what my personal views were at the time, this was clearly going to be an awesome space to LISTEN. Yes listen. After looking at the program online a bit closer, I realized there was an awesome balance of intergenerational talent and expertise, that spanned across a myriad of industries. After connecting with the digital team for BEP, I became one of the online “arms” for the conference (on Twitter? check out #BEEC2012 for the conference feed).
From minute one, the conference showed true value. For the next few days, I was surrounded by many I knew, respected, and admired. Entrepreneurs, inventors, philanthropists, artists, media outlets, and techies alike. SCHOOL WAS IN people. I received so much valuable information and resources, it has taken several weeks to properly process and “place” it all. Needless to say, Black Enterprise Entrepreneur’s Conference has a new “regular”, whether she’s “on the clock”, or not.
Mind your mind, mind your business. #properlife
My father always says, “Look a man straight in the eye when speaking to him.” It’s amazing how much more challenging that is when no one says a word. Then we are truly exposed. Human. Light.
Photo by Saddi Khali of Saddi Khali Photos http://saddikhaliphoto.com
How to “Get Down” in Foodie Town | Great Eats in the Windy City
There’s SO much to love about Chicago this time of year, festivals, gallery openings, rooftops, not to mention the beach. No matter what you choose, your “Windy City” experience is at a deficit if you don’t take advantage of the awesomeness that is the local cuisine.
Whether you’re here for a visit, or a resident looking to explore a few great places, check out a few of my fav spots! #Properlife indeed.
694 Wine & Spirits | 694 N. Milwaukee Ave.
#properlife Cozy. Intimate. Knowledgeable staff. Yummy wines and cheeses, along with a few other “bites” If Chris (owner) is there, you’re in for a special treat! Ask him for recommendations, always a winner.
Alhambra Palace | 1240 West Randolph St.
#properlife Beautiful Architecture. Great appetizers. Who doesn’t love a little belly-dance with their meal? My recommendation? Hummus, Tabouleh, and Dolmeh.
Big Star | 1531 North Damen
#properlife Taco + Margarita heaven. Bustling. Fast, friendly, and knowledgeable staff. Great bartenders. I’ve eaten here twice in the past week, and that’s saying alot. Being originally from Texas, I’ll admit I’m a bit of a taco-snob. My recommendations? Delicious mushroom tostada, pickled vegetables, Big Star margarita, horchata, guacamole.
Bijan’s Bistro | 663 North State Street
#properlife One of my favorite “late-nighters”. Open until 4am. My recommendation? Open-Faced Portobello Mushroom Tartine and Portabello Mushroom Soup.
Blackbird | 619 West Randolph
#properlife I. Love. Tea. Blackbird has some high-quality teas, although they don’t market it as their specialty. Small venue, notable quality
Black Dog Gelato | 859 North Damen
#properlife A little further north, this little spot made my tastebuds sing!
The Chicago Diner | 3411 North Halsted
#properlife Another “late-nighter”, for veggies and non-veggies alike that just want good food after a night on the town sans the unhealthiness.
EPIC Restaurant | 112 West Hubbard Street
#properlife Nice rooftop. Beautiful architecture on second floor. My recommendation? Truffle French Fries and Sorbet Trio
Falafill | 3202 North Broadway Street
Fast, healthy option. High quality. Falafill is one of my FAVORITE falafel spots in the city. New food is prepared daily by a health-conscious chef with an awesome palette. My recommendations? Try a bit of everything ;o)
Flight 1551 | 1551 North Wells St.
#properlife Great Wines. Luscious bites. Great location. I just tried this spot for the first time a few weeks ago, and A+ on the service, quality, not to mention they have “house made” truffles available. Swoon!
Japonais | 600 West Chicago Ave.
#properlife How about dinner along the Chicago River? My recommendation? When I was a fish eater I loved their sushi and tuna tartare. Now I usually have their flatbreads and Japanese Sweet Potato Soup.
Karyn’s on Green | 130 South Green Street
#properlife If I had a dollar for every meal I have eaten here… Beautiful ambiance. High quality vegan food. Lovely staff. Great Mixologist at the bar. Love the Butternut Squash Soup, and Portobello Mushroom Steak with potatoes. Feel free to try the elixirs and enzymes as well.
Le Colonial | 937 North Rush Street
#properlife Great food. Great wines. Great Location. Nice fusion dining concept. Located in the “Gold Coast”, I’ve enjoyed dining here for years. My recommendations? Vegetable-Curry Tofu with Sweet Potato.
MANA Food Bar | 1742 W. Division
#properlife Fast service. Fresh food. Small plates available. My recommendation? Collards, ANY of their polenta dishes, red cabbage.
Market Bar | 1113 W. Randolph
#properlife Multiple dining options. Nice space. Great “starter” spot. I’m an avid “roof-ie” I love almost any place with a view. Their Yoga pizza had me at “hello”.
MORE Cupcakes | 1 East Delaware Place
#properlife It wouldn’t be “proper” if I didn’t add this to the list. Delicious! My recommendation? Valhrona (Dark chocolate w gold leaf)
Ralph Lauren Restaurant | 115 East Chicago Ave.
#properlife You never know who you’re sitting next to. I love the sorbet here, as well as the seasonal flowers and offerings. A great place for a quick chat, or to “people watch”.
Red Kiva | 1108 West Randolph
#properlife I just ADORE the owner Julie. She knows tons about the city, and can give some great recommendations over art and an margarita pizza.
Tamarind | 614 South Wabash Ave.
#properlife High quality. Great service. Reasonable prices. I’ve been dining here since college. Their menu is consistently good, and so is their staff. My recommendations? Vegetable Green-Gurry Tofu with Brown Rice, Sweet Potato French Fries, Avocado, Coconut, Banana Smoothie (no tapioca, TRUST me, delicious). If you like Green Tea, they have a few great blends.
Wow Bao | 175 West Jackson
#properlife Fast. Healthy bites. Very reasonable pricing. Delivery available. My recommendation? Veggie Bao (edamame), Coconut Bao, Green Tea Ginger Ale.
ZED 451 | 739 North Clark
#properlife Great location. My FAVORITE Chicago brunch locale. Great architecture. Rooftop love. Delicious food. Accommodating staff. Multiple dining options. Again, if I had a dollar for every time I “wined it or dined it” here (in fact, this Sunday I’ll be there at 1 for brunch AGAIN). My recommendations? Brunch. They offer it both Saturday and Sunday.