I Met The Founder of Book It! And Here’s How It Started

When I first met Bud Gates at a dinner party in Kansas in 2017, I had no idea that he was someone who had changed my life — and many others. His weaponry: books and pizza.

As we chatted at the Wichita Art Museum after hours, which had been transformed into a private swank candlelit dinner venue, I learned that Gates helped create the Pizza Hut Book It! program.

Buttons from Book It!, two circular buttons each saying Book It! on them Sample vintage buttons like I used as an elementary student in the Pizza Hut Book It! program


2019-03-28T12:09:29-04:00 March 28th, 2019|General|

Tasting a $60 Cup of Green Tea

Have you ever had a cup of $60 Japanese green tea?

I have, and it tasted super fresh.

Man in black turtleneck, many long-stemmed champagne glasses, and a pretty pink floral arrangement behind him. Tea master serving a special gyokuro during our tea tasting.

My friend Ramit Sethi and I attended an exclusive green tea tasting in Manhattan’s East Village on Thursday night, 7 March 2019.

Here are some of my notes and photos from the Yame Gyokuro event at 29B Tea House.


2019-03-08T14:57:58-04:00 March 8th, 2019|General|

My Pictures and Notes from Tokyo (2019-02)

Anthony Bourdain’s warning about the biggest city in Japan rings true:

“What do you need to know about Tokyo? Deep, deep waters… The first time I came here was a transformative experience. It was a powerful and violent experience.”
from the Parts Unknown: Tokyo intro, sent to me by Dan Lerman

I feel well-equipped to handle large cities as an 11-year veteran resident of NYC.

But Tokyo is still a challenge for me.

Jump ahead: Capsule Hotel, Food Pictures, Friends In Town, teamLab Borderless, Green Tea, To-Do List for Next Time.

Street with lots of lights in Tokyo Street in Shinjuku, snapped while quickly walking to look at a new capsule hotel (9H).

There’s simply so much. So much people, restaurants, lights, sounds, trains, and more. It can be overwhelming for even the most experienced travelers.

And because I was coming from a week in green-lush birdsong Hawaii (Hilo and Kauai), the culture shock was especially strong for me.


2019-03-01T13:50:29-04:00 February 25th, 2019|General|

Borrow a Shelter Dog at Kauai Humane Society for Field Trip

Did you know that you can borrow a dog at the Humane Society in Kauai, Hawaii?

My friend Amit Gupta told me about the fantastic Shelter Dogs on Field Trips program. Locals and tourists can now take dogs out on a hike or on a drive around town.

The Kauai Humane Society has pioneered this outreach and volunteer effort.

Amit Gupta standing outside a building in background plus about seven trees, cloudy sky in Kauai Hawaii. Green grass and a road. He’s holding a dog on a leash My friend Amit Gupta with our shelter dog for the day at the Humane Society in Kauai, Hawaii

We went to check it out on a warm Thursday morning in February 2019.


2019-02-23T09:43:13-04:00 February 22nd, 2019|General|

What’s On My Cork Board?

Above my desk I have a cork board. It has collected random slices of my life. Photos, quotes, comics, art, ephemera, customer loyalty cards, unused stamps, and more.

Here are some of the things on my cork board in February 2019:


Group of Museum Hack employees in NYC Museum Hack company party at the American Museum of Natural History. Fall of 2014, I think? Left to right is: Jess, Ethan Angelica, Mark Kennedy, Kate Downey, Lia Tamborra, Zak Martelluci, Michelle Roginsky, me, Jessye Herrell, Michelle Yee, Dustin Growick, Michelle’s boyfriend, and Nora Boyd.


2019-02-09T13:26:24-04:00 February 9th, 2019|General| v3 Info Session in New York City believes that the unicorn fundraising model has ruined a lot of businesses. “With each round of funding, you die a little bit more.”

I attended a presentation by Bryce Roberts on a rainy Friday morning in Manhattan to hear about an alternative way for startups to raise capital. We met near Grand Central Terminal at 8am, 8 February 2019. James Nord from Fohr would later make a guest appearance and offer a testimonial as a successful example.

Bryce started with a joke: “Are you all ready to trash some VCs?”

Man on stage wearing camo sitting in a chair Bryce Roberts, the Founder of, looking up at slides during the NYC road show for v3 this morning


2019-02-08T10:32:11-04:00 February 8th, 2019|General|

Epic Abstraction at The Met Museum

The Apollo Circle at the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted a night with curator Randall Griffey on 16 January 2019.

We learned about the museum’s new exhibit, Epic Abstraction. It has gotten a lot of attention which is best described as “bumpy.”

Man in green sweater standing in front of a red painting inside the Met Museum on a white wall Me near the back entrance to the Epic Abstraction exhibit on the 2nd floor at the Met Museum

Pollock to Herrera: This title of the show represents in Pollock the collection strength, and in Herrera the aspirational collection growth.


2019-01-30T12:59:19-04:00 January 22nd, 2019|General|