I love parties. In high school, I created house parties in the basement of my house (since we were underage, there were only a limited amount of places high school kids can hang out).
The basement of my house with high school friends.
Then in college, I became a Brother in Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at Indiana University where I learned how to create parties on a much larger scale and even collaborate with other organizations and sorority houses. Also, since there were hundreds of house parties taking place on campus each week, there was a lot of inspiration to boost our creativity.
Our most creative party was called Arabian Nights (aka “Barbary”), which included a) turning our entire fraternity house into a Middle East palace filled with sand, camels, and running water fountains and b) getting the entire campus excited about the party by delivering exclusive invitations to the party by one of our pledges riding on a camel and wearing a sultan’s robe.
Facade of my fraternity house, Phi Kappa Psi at Indiana Universtiy, during the Arabian Nights Dance.
To me, the best parties consist of celebrating with people you know and welcoming those that are mutually connected. But when I moved to New York City, I noticed that parties were generally filled with people that did not know each other or were connected in any significant way, and everyone was not always welcome. In high school and in college, I had very little money, but I still knew how to make it a great time. But in New York City, I discovered nightlife is much more than just fun parties with friends, it is about the money.
I love LinkedIn. I lots of LinkedIn connections, and my LinkedIn profile is extremely open and revealing. My connections consist of people that I have long-term, meaningful relationships with, and others that are more short-term and random. Further, my most intimate and personal life stories are also fully exposed on LinkedIn and my personal blog for anyone to read and engage with.
So, am I the LinkedIn Lover?
After launching WindowsWear in 2012, we knew it would be extremely important to immediately let all the world’s top fashion designers know that we are photographing their window displays globally. Our goal was to celebrate the brands and the global visual display industry that brings these creative works to life.
As we developed relationships with the visual creative teams of the world’s fashion brands, we learned more about what it takes behind-the-scenes to create the world’s fashion window displays. We wanted to share those stories with the world through a guided tour of the window displays in New York City. After starting WindowsWear in 2012, we decided to launch a Fashion Window Walking Tour shortly after in 2013. Our tour currently has a 5-star TripAdvisor rating and has been taken by tens of thousands of people from around the world. But as you read below, our tour had to overcome its biggest challenge, which was being initially rejected by New York City.
Sunday was Karl Heiser’s 35th birthday. Karl passed away a couple years ago, at the age of 32. Karl was one of my best friends growing up, and throughout high school. Everyone who knew Karl loved him.
He was kind, thoughtful, and always had a big heart.
Over time, I learned of mysterious and shocking events that occurred throughout his life.
I was excited to join a fraternity in 2002, my sophomore year at Indiana University. Greek life had a big cultural influence at Indiana University, with about a quarter of the entire undergraduate class being in a fraternity or sorority.
It was also my first experience with the Confederate flag.
For anyone that knows me, rarely am I ever in the position to unequivocally say that something is really, unequivocally horrible.
ENTER: my experience with Norwegian Air Shuttle.
Given its name, I mistakenly thought Norwegian Air Shuttle was a government-owned national airline (it is not). To me, government-owned, flagship airlines showcase the very best of their country, and usually have world-class service like Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines. Obviously, there are also government airlines of less-affluent, third party countries like Uzbekistan Airways and Sudan Airways, but Norway is one of the world’s most developed countries and ranks #1 as per the United Nations’ Human Development Index. I therefore assumed my first time taking this airline would be a special treat.
Chabad has been a part of my life before birth. You see, when my parents immigrated to America from Israel in the late 1970’s, they were familiar with Chabad’s international efforts. Knowing that when they build a new life for themselves in America, they could find a local Chabad House to connect to the Jewish community and meet other Jewish people in America.
Like many immigrants, my parents arrived in America with a dream for a better life, where they can give back and reach their fullest potentials. My parents wanted their children to have a better life, and at times, that meant sacrificing themselves, to give me and my sister a better life.
Today is my 35th birthday, and I would like to share a special story with you. It’s a story that I have never shared publicly, and no one really actually knows about. It’s a story that I often think about, but have never publicly shared. The story is a little long, but it also reflects what I believe is my single biggest act of courage in all my 35 years. Read the story of why I left Lehman Brothers exactly 80 days before the firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.