New York City

New York City, 1939 (Recolored)

9/11 Years Later

Remembering 9/11

I’d debated putting this post up for a long time. In fact, for the last decade, I was convinced that it had no place in a personal blog. Any reference to those terrible events, commingled with announcements of my studio‘s successes and incessant ramblings about the decline of customer service, just seemed to be a flagrant rodomontade more than a eulogy. In light of the barrage of articles commemorating the ten-year anniversary of the tragedy, the shameful exposure of Vincent Forres and the 9/11 profiteers, and the revelation that I now have a 19% increased chance of developing cancer, I’d begun to re-evaluate this position.

This week, I shared my concern of cancer to a dear friend, a friend that I’ve known since 2003, and he was surprised to hear that I even volunteered.  To someone with whom I share almost everything, it seemed equally surprising to me that I hadn’t mentioned it either. Maybe you should write something, he said. His suggestion was probably prompted by the concern for why I’ve remained silent for the last decade. And my understanding of this is ultimately what has lead to this post. Continue reading…

New York’s City Hall Ghost Station Re-opened!

Uh oh, the princess is in another castle

Our Ten-Year Anniversary

Two weeks ago, I turned 32-years-old. I’ve barely come to terms with the fact that half my life ago, I already owned a driver’s license and could legally drive in the State of Michigan. And now I’ve come to realize that next week marks the 10-year anniversary (the “tin” anniversary) of the date I threw everything into a U-haul and moved to New York City. Within the span of a week, I accepted a dot-com job offer, graduated from college, said goodbye to my friends and family, drove through the night and slept in a truck on the streets of Polish Brooklyn until I leased an apartment and began my new job days later. It was exactly 800 miles from my alma mater, five states away from the rest of my family and the longest week of my life.

Three years ago, I wrote a list of accomplishments to mark my 29th birthday. I won’t do that today as I’m afraid the undoing of some of those milestones would only depress me. And today isn’t a day to contemplate my own achievements, but rather to reflect on what New York City has done for me in the past decade. Continue reading…

AIGA New York – ERA404 gets a new barker!

Fig. 01: AIGA barker on the era//404 site

A little while back, Tina Roth-Eisenberg (known far and wide under the blog moniker “SwissMiss”) tweeted about an extra ticket to see the AIGA NY event with Ji Lee speaking about inspiration and the nexxus between gratification from work and gratification from personal projects.  For those that don’t know, Ji is one of a dozen or so creative directors at Google Creative Labs and the father of The Bubble Project.

The ticket, provided by the generous and inimitable Cameron Koczon, of Fictive Kin, opened up a world of creative thinkers, social drinkers and networking opportunities for design and development. We’ve had the honor of working with Ms. Roth-Eisenberg on various projects, including the MoMA staff site and I’ve followed SwissMiss‘s career for a half decade now, as well as the guest speaker and other participants in the event. And while many in the audience appeared to be students or those embarking on new careers, it was refreshing to see so many people passionate about design. Working in the vacuum that is era//404 can sometimes feel devoid of creative ideas, especially when members of a project are on the other side of the globe.

So, part of this year’s resolution was to create a stronger bond with members of the creative community in NYC and, with four days to spare, we joined the AIGA. The last professional organization I’ve been a part of was back in college (the American Center for Design‘s “Students in Design” and our chapter’s “Design Works” student organization) as well as participating in the Grand Rapids Area Advertising Foundation (GRAAF)’s annual “Addy Awards“, in which a colleague and I won a Citation of Excellence.

It is my secondary hope that, just as being members of NYPHP as brought us design opportunities among the developer network, being a member of the AIGA will bring us development opportunities among the designer network. First and foremost, however, we’re glad to be part of such a prestigious and reputable organization that shares membership with some of my greatest heroes in the design world: Paula Scher, Michael Beirut, Stefan Sagmeister, to name a few.

What are your experiences with the AIGA, or other professional organizations? I’d love to hear your thoughts as well!