If you’re on vacation and find yourself in the very cool city of Berlin, you have to plan a break for strudel and coffee or tea at the Cafe Einstein.
The Cafe Einstein is a great old-world Viennese cafe bursting with years of history. The place just bustles with great cheer and festive energy. I am not much for desserts these days since I can’t have sugar but when in Berlin I make an exception and have a few bites of the most amazing strudel. It’s truly worth the trip!
See Cafe Einstein’s link at: http://www.cafeeinstein.com/en/
Back in July of last year, the company I worked for over 11 years lost the account that I worked on. The inevitable laying off of many wonderful people and close friends soon followed.
At the time, I was annoyed, pissed off―call it what you will―at the need to put my resume together and pound the pavement for the ever-elusive new job! What I didn’t realize at the time is that the old cliché is so true, “when one door closes, another one opens!”
While I toiled at sending my resume out via e-mail and setting up job interviews , a wonderful opportunity came my way via my soon-to-be defunct job. The company that won the account was interviewing people with experience to work at the new firm .
At first I thought, “This is lame!” I can’t see myself working on this again after I worked on it for over 11 years. What I didn’t realize was that I’d get a promotion, have more input within the department, and have more say on the account. While this may seem like a small thing, the opportunity this brought gave me a renewed joy in my life―career wise.
So the next time you get laid off and think your life is over or set back, remember that change is inevitable and can be a good thing, and that new possibilities can be found right under our noses. So go out and open that door!
Culture Club The Beauty of Traveling Alone By: Camille Siegel
THE SINGLE TRAVELER
Whoever said, “traveling alone is a drag,” never traveled alone! The great thing about going it alone on vacation is the ability to really experience another culture on your own terms (don’t get me wrong, my trips with my friends or boyfriends were wonderful too).
The extraordinary thing about what I call “culture immersion,” is the ability to lose yourself in the culture. I begin by researching the country to learn their local customs; I like to absorb everything I can and become a so-called native. I dine on the country’s cuisine, while taking walking and day tours to find places that you wouldn’t otherwise see. I then like to hone in on the nightlife and drink the country’s wines and eat the local delicacies. While in Portugal, for example, I discovered the national pastime is a form of singing called “Fado.”
Fado goes back to the 1800s. It’s a soulful music, almost opera-like, that will transport you to another time and place. Every night, I would go to a Portuguese restaurant and listen to a Fado singer, and get lost in the affecting and mournful sounds of the land, while drinking the traditional “green” or white wine. There’s something to be said for such a feeling! Thanks to Fado, I learned much about the history of Portugal, and got a real feeling for the people― a warm and engaging society.
Further, a friend who had lived in Lisbon hooked me up with some of her Portuguese friends who showed me all around Lisbon and Sintra. They took me to many places I would have never known about. We ended up going to a Portuguese Wine exhibition, a huge space of over 200 red, white and other liquors―talk about a wine drinker’s dream! I tasted numerous wines, some available in the States. And I ended up conversing with many different people from Portugal, while learning about their wine history.
Overall, the experience of immersing yourself in another culture is a magnificent event. The time I wandered the streets of Lisbon and went around the coast was an amazing and reflective time. I was able to look back on the year, and chart a new and positive road for 2008. Now if I could only find that bottle of Quinta do Ameal White Wine that I had, life would be perfect!
Recently, my friend Deborah Perry Piscione shot a lynda.com (owned by LinkedIn) tutorial about risk-taking for leaders. I highly recommend this tutorial for those who want to further along their skills and ideas, this is a derivative from her last book called The Risk Factor. Through this course, you will learn the following:
What is risk?
What role does risk play in leadership?
Assessing your risk-taking style
Understanding your organization’s risk tolerance
Cultivating smart risk-taking behavior
Modeling risk-taking leadership
This tutorial is an essential learning tool for the leaders of the world and future leaders.
It’s been awhile since I was at a Broadway show, perhaps because the tickets are so expensive nowadays and so many shows bleed into the next with revivals that after a while I really don’t want to cough up $100 dollars up for a ticket unless the cast is so stellar, I will sell my right arm to see the show.
But recently, I was more than pleasantly surprised to see the show Something Rotten at the St. James Theatre.
To begin with, I had no idea what the show was about going into the theater, as my friend got me a ticket at the last-minute and I agreed to go. Since I was pressed for time to research the story, I was truly in the dark–in this case, I was elated to find a gem of a show.
No wonder the show is a hit!
It’s been a long time since I was at a musical where I was laughing and clapping all the way through. And to see the audience standing on their feet at half time and at the end of the curtain call was a true delight.
The premise of Something Rotten is the hilarious story of two brothers, Nick and Nigel Bottom (played by Brian D’arcy James and John Cariani), who are playwrights and are trying to compete with the great Shakespeare (played by the amusing Christian Borle), known as the “Bard,” who in this show comes off as a rock star with an ego to boot.
Enter a local quack soothsayer, Nostradamus, hilariously played by Brad Oscar, who predicts that a “musical, pronounced mooosical” is the way to go. And all laughing begins!
Clever costumes, choreography and brilliant performances by the great cast make this show the must-see for the spring season on Broadway.
Mark my words, you will be laughing all the way out of the theater.
I attach their link for more info: http://rottenbroadway.com/?gclid=CJrH2_TDzcsCFYk9gQodHo0Jfw
Back in 2015, I attended a fascinating evening at the Scandinavia House in New York City in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the U.N. and in honor of one of its most respected Secretary-Generals, Dag Hammarskjöld, the event was hosted by the current U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and composer and pianist Per Tengstrand.
The evening consisted of two friends sharing great stories and piano pieces staged to the themes of the evening from the great book by Dag Hammarskjöld’s Markings (1963).
By six degrees of strange separation, this extraordinary book came into my life around 1989 when I was assigned the book to read at Hunter College in one of my many Political Science classes that focused on the United Nations.
At that time, being young and overwhelmed with school, as well as working to get by with too many courses on my plate, I breezed through the book not realizing that the profound words of the book would come back into my life at the most sad and disturbing time at my job.
Listening to the words read by the well-versed and extraordinary Jan Eliasson was a sight to behold and music to my ears by the great pianist Per Tengstrand permeated the room. The book and the words of a man long since passed drew me in and prompted me to purchase the book after the event.
Upon reading the book, I discovered what I had glossed over so many years ago, the memoir of a man who carried a great burden of duty of work, along with being profoundly lonely. His pain and despair, thrown in with much joy and his wrestling of his faith are at the forefront of this exceptional book.
But what struck me most profoundly were the words on page 28 that hit me with such clarity and intensity. At this time while I was reading the book, my colleague was suffering from CPD (Chronic Pulmonary Disorder) and had been out of work since Christmas. He was slated to return to work on the first week in February.
On a cold and chilling night that Friday, he chose to end his life in a sad and tragic way. I sat at my desk after I heard the news at the beginning of the week in disbelief and in great sadness for a man who was in such great pain and loneliness, he simply couldn’t see a brighter tomorrow. Who knows what demons were haunting him before he chose this path of no return.
For days, I wrestled in my mind with the questions one asks themselves when someone commits suicide. I proceeded to go to lunch and on a cold and snowy day in February, I sat in the corner of the cafe where I have dined almost every day for years and had read countless books, I began to read Markings. As I turned the page and came upon page 28, the profound page and eerie resonance of my colleague’s death found a concrete conclusion in Dag Hammarskjöld’s haunting passage. Dag’s passage brought closure to a moment in time that was indeed hard to grapple with at that moment in time.
Dag Hammarskjöld, Markings (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1964) pg. 28.