Friday, April 2, 2010

Trains, Planes and Derilict Taxis Driven by Derilicts in One U.S. State Capital

Every generation mourns. It's not just family or friends but people who we have admired either for what they stand for or what they accomplished or contributed.  My first feeling of mourning was for JFK whom my mother told me was going to be a catalyst for big, positive change in America (and whom I saw up-close when he was on the campaign trail and always remembered how the audience, at an outdoor venue in Rego Park, New York, would almost not let him talk as their exuberance for him could not be contained; he stood on the podium for many minutes with a huge smile, just saying 'Thank you" over and over again).  My most recent and continuing experience with mourning is about my father.  But mourning over a 'figure' as opposed to a family member or friend, while different, nevertheless reminds us of the uncertainty and brevity of life, or perhaps of this life.  It's particularly poignant when someone 'young' dies as happened this week when David Mills, a highly respected TV writer and producer, died of a brain aneurysm at age 48.  He was shooting a scene for the show“Treme”, which he created, at Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter of New Orleans and was sitting in a director’s chair when he suddenly slumped over. He was taken to Tulane Medical Center, where he died without regaining consciousness. “He was talking to someone who turned away for a minute, and when he turned back, David was just, well, gone,” said one of his colleagues.  Blam!  Just like that.  I find that reading the obituary section of the New York times is a wonderful way to learn about people albeit after they have left.  Some of the anecdotes that are written in those columns are wonderful snapshots of a person, whether they contain a quote from the person themselves or from someone who knew them well.  When I first discovered the book "Type A Behavior and Heart Disease" in 1985, one of the exercises recommended for those who wanted to rehabilitate themselves from Type A behavior was to write your own obituary from time to time.  The idea was to see how you saw yourself and whether you were happy about that and how others might see you.  To this date I have still not written my own but I have had modest success with my own Type A rehabilitation program.  All of which is to say that as we experience or read about people passing on, our time is also tick, tick, ticking away.  And each day we have the opportunity to choose how we want to be remembered and do something about it.  Maybe writing our own obit from time to time is something to think about.

Since Butler beat Syracuse in the NCAA's I've been rooting for them.  Now that they're in the final four which is being played in their hometown of Indianapolis, it's becoming a great story for the media; comparing the situation to the movie "Hoosiers" (one of my very favorites).  It's cool when art resembles real life and also cool in the reverse.  And, as I do believe in destiny, I have a feeling that they are going to win.  I'm a sucker for stories like this!

Here's a good summary of the MIPIM conference.

While I had seen this (and maybe even shared it with you already) I got it this week from  my friend, Pepijn Morshuis of The Ibus Group in the Netherlands and wanted to share it with you again.
 "At a Washington, DC Metro Station a man with violin played 6 Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx. 2000 people went through the station. After 3 minutes a middle aged man slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried on. 4 minutes later the violinist received his 1st dollar. A woman threw the money in the hat without stopping and continued to walk. 6 minutes: A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again. 10 minutes: A 3yr old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard & the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. The musician played continuously for an hour. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. The violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5m. 2 days before he had sold out a theatre in Boston. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the Metro Station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and people's priorities. The questions raised was "In a common place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?" So – stop and smell the roses this weekend!"

On the road....
April 5-9:  West Coast
April 12-14:  Dallas for the UBS Client Conference
April 16-21:  Vacation in Tuscany
April 22-23:  Venice for the INREV annual conference
May 13-15: North Palm Beach, FL for the annual Homer Hoyt Institute/Hoyt Fellows conference
July 13-16: Laguna Beach to attend the NMS Real Estate Roundtable

Photo:  An erie photo of the Empire State Building early this week. 

These are my views and not that of my employer.

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