I was very happy to be back in my neighborhood this summer.
(From my phone.)
Most of my 3 month stint in New Zealand this year consisted of EditMate work (pitch meetings, editing videos, cursing NZ's archaic wifi when uploading and downloading said videos) but I did make sure to step away from my laptop and get out and enjoy NZ's epic landscape.
Here's a few photos from a day hiking the Mercer Bay Loop:
It's one of the oldest settled areas in the Waitakere Ranges and has a tragic past. Maori folklore says a Maori Chief's beautiful daughter drifted off from here after mourning her husband who got swept off to the ocean from a giant wave that hit the cliff.
Since then, multiple women have gone missing from this cliff (one just this past March) only adding to the Bay's haunted legend.
New Zealand in green, blue and black + white.
From my phone.
Scott was back in his homeland sorting out his American Business visa and a few things were happening with EditMate in the southern hemisphere -- so in January, I flew over for a New Zealand summer. It was a joyous reunion with Smokey. And Scott too.
EditMate had it's 1st birthday in January.
I use that date loosely because when we "launched" (with a post on Facebook) I didn't know that January isn't the best time to launch a business in New Zealand.
In the USA, January is a time where everyone gets back to work after Christmas vacation. Employees power walk back into the office on January 2nd, fresh from the holiday, motivated with resolutions and new year goals.
In New Zealand, January is the smack dab in the middle of the summer... therefore Kiwis are stacking up their Christmas days off with their vacation days off (4+ weeks, which as an American is enviable but as a new business owner was infuriating) and everyone is still at their bach, sunburned on the beach, not looking at their email and not scheduling meetings with a new company that wants to talk to them about "user generated video". No one wants to think about that until at least after Valentine's Day. And so, January 2016 was a quiet month. Things really got going in February.
Nonetheless, EditMate's birthday is in January!
And since then, we've gained clients in 3 markets (New Zealand, Australia and the USA) and edited over 160 videos for 45 brands. Our website has changed (from where it started) and things have evolved. It's been a good year.
For a bit of a recap, here are a few of my favorite recent projects:
More on EditMate's Video Channel too.
An accurate description of what it's like to work from home.
Let's all just start dressing in full monochrome because how great does this gal look doing it?
Someone buy me this.
Like I needed another reason to adore Chance the Rapper.
Paula Scher on the creative process: "I think your mind is like a giant slot machine. On one side of your brain, you have all the experiences of your life: every influence, everything that ever inspired you, everything that’s ever made you angry, everything you’ve ever thought, just rolling around in there. It’s fodder. On the other side of your brain is where you input a specific brief, and the specific brief has all the constraints and needs of the particular situation. It all sort of rolls around like a slot machine. You want the brief to line up with a perfect piece of fodder. You pull that fodder to make analogies and make points. It may be something that’s stylistic, or may be a pointed reference of some sort, and these things come together and solve the problem. Now, how does the machine work? How do you know it’s going to work? You don’t."
PREACH: Being Lazy Is the Key to Success.
Then one night at 2 AM in January I bought a single ticket to a Monday night Maggie Rogers show in Burlington, Vermont because her first tour wasn't stopping anywhere near Boston.
I woke up the next morning with the kind of vague regret that usually only accompanies heavy champagne consumption (the $12 ticket seemed like a bit of rash purchase as she had only released 2 songs at that point). Nevertheless, I packed a bag that Monday morning and drove 3 hours in the snow to Burlington.
Going to a show by yourself is kind of like a weird form of meditation. You find yourself standing quite still (as to not bump into anyone to avoid polite conversation), very mindful as to what is going on around you (like noticing how the kids in Burlington get dressed up for a night out in what I would wear snow-shoeing) and quietly reflecting back on the last time you were in this situation (Fall 2004, early Freshman year, at a tiny John Legend show in a BC basement class room. I barely had any friends at that point and none of them had ever heard of John Legend).
To my relief, her set consisted of more than 2 songs and her modesty ("I feel like new artists shouldn't really play an encore. The Rolling Stones should play an encore but not me") and enthusiasm ("Oh my god, thank you all so much for coming! This is the biggest crowd we've ever had! Well, I've ever had. My band has played a lot more shows than me. This is only my 5th show. Thank you so much!") was sweet and genuine.
She was also amazing live. It was definitely worth the drive.
The rest of my time in Burlington consisted of coffee shop hopping (Uncommon Grounds is good for people watching and Muddy Waters is like dining in a tree house) scoring a signed copy of Maria Semple's Today Will Be Different at Crow Bookshop and talking politics and watching Trevor Noah with my AirBnB host.
It was a great winter trip to Vermont.
P.S. Maggie Rogers now has an EP out, called Now That the Light is Fading, if you'd like to check it out. It has 5 (!) songs on it. And her new US and European tours are selling like hotcakes. Go if you can.
We like Naushon (and Ari) so much that a few of us went back for New Years Eve.
We rang in 2017 with cupcakes and champagne, a french bulldog named Willy and a sunny hike on January 1st.
My friend Ari lives and works on Naushon Island, a private island just off of Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard. A bunch of us took the ferry over for a cozy weekend full of Ari's cooking and general goodness.
He's missed on the mainland but island life seems to suit him. Plus, it's always nice to have an excuse to visit a place that has a population of 30 people.
Jess and I entered full on, basic-bitches-in-fall mode for a morning of Apple picking at Smolak Farms in North Andover.
We went so late in the season that we were the only ones in the orchard but we fully immersed ourselves in the autumnal spirit with hot apple cider, apple cider donuts and bags of apples which I had big plans for (apple sauce! apple crumble! apple pie!) but then just ate raw over the next month because honestly, who has time for that.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
When climbing the stairs to the museum, I thought to myself "I think this is where Serena and Blair used to sit every day before school".
It was the perfect blend of both high and low NYC culture.