Thanksgiving Day has clearly become the true friends and family holiday of the year in America. This was confirmed by a survey I conducted. It's sort of perfect. Nothing really to dispute (well almost :-). No agenda. No religion. Just getting together eating, drinking, watching a football game, playing touch football or tennis or golf or ping pong and celebrating life. As a holiday, it's really a celebration of the harvest. And isn't harvest a wonderful word? It's even used in the real estate investment world!
You Guys Are Awesome Section
New York-Florida Stopover
ThisThanksgiving was spent with my cousin Jeffrey Felix and his significant other Nadine in their lovely home on a canal in Fort Lauderdale, FL where I've been chillin' this week. Amongst their guests were two brothers who create Electronic Dance Music (EDM) and I got an education about that industry. Funny how similar it sounds to the early days of rock and roll from a business standpoint. Another guest owns a Swedish advertising agency and is really into rock and roll (his sons are the EDM guys) and we shared some good conversation about biographies (One well written: Steve Jobs. One too long: Keith Richards). One woman used to be in TV show production and worked on some legendary sitcoms. Another works for Corum, the Swiss luxury watch maker. My final conversation of the evening was with a woman who for many years was a flight attendant with TWA airlines who described how things changed there when a corporate raider appeared. Her pension is being paid by the Pension Guarantee Trust Corporation (which uses our tax dollars). What's wrong with that picture?
Early Sunday morning I'll be on the road heading back to New York with a stop in the Daytona Beach area to break bread with my late Dad's wife and visit his grave for the first time since he died in November, 2009. Waiting for me in New York is a search for an apartment to rent starting December 1. My searching on Craigslist suggests excellent opportunities within my budget. Another exciting new start amongst other new starts this year.
You Guys Are Awesome Section
I have only one word for you: Thank you...to those of you who donated to Shannon Corey's volunteer mission to help children in two orphanages in Nepal. She reached her goal! You are one special bunch!
New York-Florida Stopover
Lumberton, North Carolina is a popular stop-over for people driving between South Florida and New York. The term "Snow Birds" is used for this flock as they leave the "snow" up North in October or November and "fly" (or in this case drive) to Florida for the winter.
On my drive last weekend I pulled off the highway and stayed overnight in Lumberton as (a) I was getting tired (b) there were many signs on the highway touting hotels, motels and restaurants at Exit 22. So I did...exit that is. I got a good last minute deal on a room (by making a reservation online in their lobby!) and then walked next door to eat at an Outback Steakhouse where, taking the last available seat at the bar, I not only had a terrific conversation with an 81 year-old woman and her husband (who have been married 56 years!) but also experienced some excellent customer service. You never know.
The Largest Cigar Store in the World
Also on the drive down, I was lured off the highway by billboards announcing J-R, The World's Largest Cigar Store which is in Salem, North Carolina. I wanted to surprise my cigar-smoking cousin and walked into an incredible scene which offered discounts on a huge assortment of items and, yes, what I now believe is the largest cigar store in creation. The power of billboard advertising has always intrigued me. In this case, as Dubai has learned, the use of the word "Largest" is something that attracts certain people (although I guess "cigar" probably contributes to the appeal).
Rosie Ledet...Zydeco Squeezebox player and performer extraordinaire (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhhHJgciKrk)
Word of the Week
"End or The End." Cousin Jeffrey said that this "Beatnik" term was used by Maynard G. Krebs, the legendary TV sidekick of Dobie Gillis. It means, like, the most wonderful / the ultimate. "That's End man." My search of other Beatnik terms resulted in these: Cool, Dullsville, Freebee, Groovy, Like Wow, Kookie, Tuned in.
Btw, "Beatnik" grew out of Jack Kerouac's (Author of my favorite book of all time, "On the Road," referring to The Beat Generation). Also, some of these terms originated in jazz circles. End, man!
On the road....
Nov. 27: Deloitte 2012 Real Estate Update at 30 Rockefeller Center, New York
Nov. 28: 80th annual Christmas tree lighting party at Rockefeller Center (Thanks to my good friends at Tishman Speyer for the invite).
Dec. 3-4: Chicago to attend and moderate a workshop at the NAREIM Capital Raising and Investor Relations Council Meeting.
Dec. 5: Holiday Cocktail Party for the Global Women's Partnership (GWP) at the Park Lane Hotel, New York. GWP seeks to empower women in the developing world with limited to no access to basic life-saving resources.
Dec. 13: Real Capital Analytics Holiday Party (Invitation only)
Dec. 15-Jan. 2, 2013: Liberia, West Africa. Return to see the progress made since my first visit in 2006 with The MacDella Cooper Foundation.
Jan. 23-25: Laguna Beach, CA to attend IMN's 10th Annual Winter Forum on Real Estate Opportunity and Private Fund Investing.
Feb. 27-Mar.1: Phoenix, Arizona to attend the NAREIM Winter Conference
Mar. 12-15: Cannes, France to attend MIPIM.
Apr. 28-May 1: CRE (Counselors of Real Estate) Midyear Meetings in New York.
June 4-5: London to attend the PERE Summit: Europe