Monday, July 16, 2007

a city of distractions

"If you spend your whole life working and sleeping, you are left with no time for observation, let alone thought." (Thomas Pychon) quote via Silvia's blog (Thanks girl!)

So in the post below I gave props to the creative people - the restless spirits who stay up late creating with imagination and innovation.

This is a short post to give props to the strategists - the thinkers, the absorbers, the watchers and listeners. The ones who have a thirst for the new and an appreciation for culture and community (especially those that live in the Big Apple itself). Lee wanted to meet with some of his blog-commentators this past weekend in NYC. It was a thrill to 1)meet the minds behind the blogs and 2)share stimulating, thought-provoking conversation in a bar on a weekend night in Soho.

In a city of distractions (my personal, official summation of New York) it's hard to wrap your idea around a thought sometimes. Anybody with me? It's important to have an outlet for these fleeting moments > thank you tiny notebook, and it's also important to find your own way to opt-out: iPod or a good book are the two most popular options. Not only is it important to "take a break" from the constant stimulation available, for planners it's paramount to be able to take it all in and process what you've been exposed to; take the time to be aware of exactly what you're observing.
Bring it on New York! Spin my mind faster and let's see what happens...


johanna said...

Regarding the quote, I'll use a Warren Beatty quote to expand: "You've achieved success in your field when you don't know whether what you're doing is work or play." So I would argue against that other quote, because the truly rewarded strategists (or anyone, for that matter) don't draw a line between "work" and "not work." I don't mean this in the creepy "I work 80 hours a week" way, but rather in the way that we look at the world. Everything we do - whether we go to a film, sit at a diner all night, read a book, go to the Siren Festival - feeds back into our work. To me, planning is about culture, and culture - especially in this fair little city - is effortlessly available to us. That's one of the reasons for why being a planner in New York (to me, at least) is one of the best situations anybody could ever be in.

dharmaDiver said...

i love this entry. sounds like a great time! i'm so happy you're there, i can't wait to hear more...! i have referred to american culture as one of "mass distraction" so i can see nyc as being the capital city of our world. ahhhh consumerism... do i love it or hate it? ;)

Silvia said...

On Johanna's comment: I'm curious to know what Warren Beatty's definition of success is... 'cause I know many successful investment bankers who certainly have a thick line drawn btw work and play :0)

But leaving semantics aside... I think Warren's and Pynchon's insights are quite complementary, and actually give me double goosebumps. The reason: I've recently quit my job as bz consultant to venture into the planning space. Yep, the border line btw work and play was just everything but thin so..."no time for observation and thought".

On the need for "an outlet for fleeting moments": I totally agree. As a matter of fact, the exercise of blogging is not only an awesome means to free up some brain space, but also a very constructive way to digest thoughts. Am loving it :0)

LB said...

the life of the 24/7 boundries and all stimulation. I def agree with Johanna about the diminishing lines between work and play. Just recently enjoying my first job as a planner (2.5 weeks in YAY!) I have often stopped and asked myself am I really working? Can reading all my favorite sites (consisting of trend sites, blogs and celebrity gossip) really be work? For a planner, it IS! It is our job to keep on the pulse of consumer interaction and reaction.
Erin, I'm going to start writing in my blog again in need to expand my writing skills and internal thoughts. Also I just saw your mini article on PSFK...WOWWWWWWWWWW is all I have to say. Very surprised and very much admired.

erin said...

i love the quote from you Johanna, thanks!

I didn't so much mean the original quote as taking a break from planning, because I truly believe that when i find a job it will be just another way to pay me for what i do in my day to day life naturally. the quote was more in support for what planners do > they think. It's not work for us. and sometimes it wakes us up so that sleep gets put on the back burner for the energy of an idea. (i love it when that happens). NYC is no doubt the best place for a planner to be in AND also the place where a planner can get the most free education on this thought philosophy.
thanks for your comments ladies. :)