Halloween Weekend Planned! (win tickets!)

Oct 22, 2013 by

The gang of freaks over at The Numbered Days are back with the sweets, beats, and treats for a Halloween Loft Party on Saturday, October 26 at Logan Square Auditorium (2539 N. Kedzie Blvd.).  Remember trick-or-treating? This party would be like the house that gave out king size Snickers in a bowl on the front porch that says ‘take one’. 

The party kicks off with three local DJs, Kyle Garner, mash-up DJ Clash Gordon (who’s opened for Common and Lupe Fiasco), and local favorite Matt Roan (who was just named America’s top local DJ and performs at Studio Paris).  

Drinks will be plentiful and available for purchase (cash bar). There will be a costume contest for the best overall, weirdest, and groups. There will be a trick-or-treat booth. And of course, there will be surprises throughout the night. 

Halloween weekend is special. As the 450 of who danced the night away with The Numbered Days at the January Loft Party can attest, this will NOT be a typical night out. Buy your tickets and tell your friends.

Want to get your hands on a pair of tickets? Comment and tell me your favorite costume idea! A random comment will be picked to get their hands on a pair!

See you on the 26th. I’ve already got a wicked costume ready! 

 

events chicago sami ari social sami halloween

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Halloween Weekend Planned! (win tickets!)

Oct 22, 2013 by

The gang of freaks over at The Numbered Days are back with the sweets, beats, and treats for a Halloween Loft Party on Saturday, October 26 at Logan Square Auditorium (2539 N. Kedzie Blvd.).  Remember trick-or-treating? This party would be like the house that gave out king size Snickers in a bowl on the front porch that says ‘take one’. 

The party kicks off with three local DJs, Kyle Garner, mash-up DJ Clash Gordon (who’s opened for Common and Lupe Fiasco), and local favorite Matt Roan (who was just named America’s top local DJ and performs at Studio Paris).  

Drinks will be plentiful and available for purchase (cash bar). There will be a costume contest for the best overall, weirdest, and groups. There will be a trick-or-treat booth. And of course, there will be surprises throughout the night. 

Halloween weekend is special. As the 450 of who danced the night away with The Numbered Days at the January Loft Party can attest, this will NOT be a typical night out. Buy your tickets and tell your friends.

Want to get your hands on a pair of tickets? Comment and tell me your favorite costume idea! A random comment will be picked to get their hands on a pair!

See you on the 26th. I’ve already got a wicked costume ready! 

 

events chicago sami ari social sami halloween

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Who should go on your Spotify list

Oct 10, 2013 by

It’s the time again, the temperatures are cooling off, the PSL’s are being ordered and you’re wondering what new artist you’ll listen to this fall.

The thing is, most of the time I stumble upon great finds by accident. Then there’s the time when I tweet @MarisaVictoria for music recommendations. She always knows what I’m going to like and points me in the right direction.

Granted, you may or may not be into her recommendations but it’s a great place to start! She blogs over at Broke Hipster here

Don’t have the time to read her posts? No problem! Below are some of my favorite of her recommendations. 

I love HAIM because they’re these three super goofy sister from west coast who also make amazing music. If they’re ever in your city, GO SEE THEM! 

Second come another trio. This time from GlasgowCHVRCHES. Synthpop goodness oozes all over their album

 

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Win Tickets to RISE Party by The Numbered Days

Apr 14, 2013 by

You’re in for a treat when you’re going to an event thrown by the same folks that were crowned one of Chicago’s Best Parties of 2012 by HuffPost

I can’t tell you how great it feels to find an organization that accomplishes few of the things I love: Chicago music, giving back and throwing an amazing event that brings people together. 

The Numbered Days have generously provided me with a pair of tickets to give away to a lucky reader. With bands that include Gemini ClubTeam Bayside High, and acts by Chicago Dance Crash, you know it’s going to be one of the best Saturdays of your year. Did I mention hosted drinks by Chicago favorite Revolution Brewery and Tito’s Vodka and free rides from UBER to new users? 

Want to score a pair? Enter your email below! It will only be used once, by yours truly, to send you an email whether you’ve won or not. Don’t forget to confirm your email once you sign-up! 

Also, contest ends on April 17, 2013 and when the time on my computer shows 12:01 a.m. CST.

 

 



 

RISE Art Showcase and Party event in Chicago  by the numbered days post by  social sami ari  

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Check this Music Out: The xx

Mar 25, 2013 by

What do I wish for when I hear The xx? That they’d play at Lollapalooza this year. After all, I’ve missed them when they were here in Chicago last year because I was on my way to Tokyo. Funny thing, they just left Tokyo before coming to the US. Some where over the ocean, we might have crossed paths.  

I then fantasize about meeting them in person to thank them for what they’ve accomplished. Their music is the type of stuff that gets you through a rough breakup or a 2 hour train ride. In my opinion, it gives your heartache an appropriate level of drama. Admittedly  I was introduced to them when they came out with their second album, Coexist. Maybe it was because the first one I heard but I prefer their sophomore album to the first one (or maybe it’s the missing band member). It’s one of the few albums that I can play on repeat for a while and I will never realize where it finishes or starts—some might think it’s because every song in the record sound like the one after but I disagree. I love this album because of its ability to teach the listener to let go and accept. It’s not about giving up on love or being happy after a loved one has left. To me, Coexist is about accepting reality and dealing with the awful feeling of being utterly lonely and coming out of it being able to breath better. 

Sunset might be the standout for me. Hearing “When I see you again// And I’m greeted as a friend// It is understood// That we did all we could” absolutely crushes me but then makes me happy—very much like a sunset does. Then again, I don’t think I can pick a favorite, the entire thing is absolutely amazing. Give is a listen on Spotify then go buy the album! If you’re lucky, check them out live, you’ll be blown away. 

 

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Personal Luxury Meets Savvy Technology at Conrad Hotels & Resorts

Dec 26, 2012 by

You’ve checked in at the Conrad New York and now rummaging through your bag for that toothbrush that you know you forgot but refuse to admit that you did. If you’re like me, you’ve been less than enthusiastic about calling the front desk about forgotten amenities or last minute requests (I forgot to order transportation for tomorrow’s flight!). 

Swoops in the Conrad Concierge app. The concierge app, available for both Android powered phones, iPhones and iPads, allows guests to manage all aspects of their stay. Whether it’s pre-arrival requests or on-property amenity, it’s all accessible via the app from where ever you may be. 

I was asked to test out the app and see how much it affected my stay at the Conrad New York. After all, the hotel reported higher guest satisfaction rate from those who have used the app. In the world where our lives run on our phones, it’s no wonder we’re happier when we can personalize luxury to meet our needs and wants. 

I also felt less guilty about ordering room service at 3:00 a.m. when I knew that I can do it all via the app and not have to call anyone. All in all, it made my stay so much more convenient. 

Other services provided by the Conrad Concierge app:

  • Books stays at Conrad hotels worldwide
  • Arrange car service and valet parking
  • Schedule wake-up calls
  • Make dining reservations
  • Access suggestions for local entertainment and dining
  • Request housekeeping
  • Check flight information
  • Directly book spa appointments
So go ahead and give it a whirl and let me know if you love it as much as I do! After that, tweet me at @SamiAri and @ConradHotels and let us know which Conrad hotel in the world you’d like to try the app at. I will select a random person to win one free night (courtesy of Conrad Hotels & Resorts) at any Conrad in the world. Contest ends at 12:00 a.m. CST on Friday, Jan. 11th. 
 
Disclosure: I was offered complimentary stay at Conrad New York but by no means was obligated to write above review. Those views are strictly my own observations of the Conrad Concierge app.

Conrad Concierge App by social sami travel social media

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Tokyo Travel Talk: Transportation

May 27, 2012 by

I’m not one to often brag but one thing I’ll happily brag about is my knowledge of Tokyo. Through the past 3 years I’ve developed an extensive bank of memories of Japan and specifically Tokyo. These days when someone wants advice on traveling there, they find me, if not by knowing me directly then by being referred to me by someone who does know me. Each person does have different reasons and ways to experience Tokyo but when it comes down to it, there are always common things that we want to experience going there. Any one is always welcome to send me an email about what to do. Many people have but I thought I should blog about it too to cover certain things so people have a point of reference. Of course, if there’s something not covered or if you have any questions, always feel free reach out!

It started 3 years ago during my first trip. I published some posts back then but they weren’t lengthy. After all, I was on vacation and blogging was the last thing on my mind. I plan to publish 5 or so posts for the next few months to hopefully help guide traveling souls planning on going to Japan and specifically Tokyo. I only hope that it’ll help open your eyes and show you the reason I’m in love with the greatest city in the world.

I’ll come back to this original post and add links of the newer posts so that this one can act as an outline for things that are covered in other posts.

Narita Airport Sign Welcoming

Airfare:

Flying to Japan is not cheap, I’ll be the first to admit. The first time I went there I spent countless hours watching deal sites like Kayak and Orbitz to see how the price fluctuates from day to day to week to month. I also visited airlines’ sites directly after I noticed that Korean Air offered an incredibly cheap price that wasn’t in the search results for Orbitz. After about 5 weeks I realized that the price wasn’t changing much. This was about 3 months before my flight. I got very very lucky because Korean Air was having a sale and scored an unheard of price on one of the nicest airlines out there so always check out more than one outlet for a good price. Sometimes travel agencies like IACE will have last minute extremely cheap deals so keep an eye for those in case you’re not the type to plan months ahead.  $1,200 seems to be the average for a round-trip ticket from USA, being cheaper if you travel from west coast. If you score a ticket for less than $900 then you’ve got yourself a good deal.

I assume you would be buying economy. After taking more than few international flights I realize that all airlines are not created equal. Delta being my least favorite and Korean Air my most favorite that I’ve taken.

 

Language Barrier:

Of course it’ll help if you know Japanese or have a pocket phrase book but it’s not very necessary to have a great time in Tokyo.  Most people (especially the younger crowd) in Tokyo will speak English but theyʼre always shy about it. They always think their accent doesnʼt sound good even though itʼs just fine. So never feel that no one would understand you. Just try to speak slower . Not like youʼre talking to a dumb person, but like youʼre talking to someone who canʼt understand fast English well.

All of the main signs will be in English. Even the announcements on most trains will be in English. If you stick to the main neighborhood, you’ll even be able to score an English menu by asking for it. That said, a pocket phrase book will go a long way in helping you enjoy your Japan trip.

Side not: I really recommend you see Lost in Translation if you have the chance. It’s a wonderful film and, in my opinion, gives a very good impression of what Tokyo might hold for a stranger.

 

Transportation – from Airport:

 

NEX Train in Tokyo, Japan travelAt this point I’m sure you’ve come across JR-Pass. Here’s what I think of JR-Pass: If you’ll only stay in one city then it’s not worth the money you’ll be spending. If you’ll be visiting cities far from Tokyo, Kyoto for example, then I urge you get that JR-Pass because then you’ll be able to take the Shinkansen (bullet train) at a reduced price than what you would pay if you paid separately for it and your other transportation costs. Keep in mind, JR is one of many transportation companies. The JR trains will take you pretty much any where in the city but you might have to take other rail companies like Metro, for example. In that case then the JR pass won’t get you a free ride and you would have to pay for your ride.

The reason I just explained above is because JR-Passes need to be purchased outside of Japan, before going on your trip. Allow plenty of time to account for mailing, etc. Once you get to the airport then you can exchange a document you’re mailed with the actual JR-Pass. After that you’ll be able to purchase trains to go from the airport (Narita is main one in Tokyo) to the city.

The fastest way to get to Tokyo from Narita is to talk the NEX train. It’s an express train that goes from Narita to Tokyo Station and few stops after that in case your hotel is close to other main stations like Shinjuki or Shibuya. If you have the JR Pass then it will cover NEX cost. If not then you’ll have to purchase it separately at the station.

You have 2 options when you purchase NEX. You can buy it alone or you can buy what’s called a NEX/Suica combo. Suica is a Public Transit Card. In Japan, the fare depends in how long you go and it can get complicated to calculate your fare but if you have a Suica card itʼll take care of that for you and all you have to do is scan the card when you enter and when you leave a train station. When you get the combo you get a special deal and save about $15.

Another transportation option available from Nartio to Tokyo is the Airport Limousine. They stop in most hotels and can be a great option especially if you’re traveling with heavy luggage and want to avoid the intimidating public transportation system, especially if you’ve never experienced it before. Check their website for more details.

 

Transportation – around town:

Regardless of where you’re located, it’s hard to get around without taking the train and that’s why getting a Suica card is most likely your best option. I have never had the need to take the bus and doubt that you will too. Trains are very efficient so if you missed another train then don’t worry because another one must be coming soon. If you can, try to avoid taking it during the morning rush. For a lack of a better phrase, it’s a nightmare!

A friend told me about this website before my first trip and it life so much easier. With this free service you can enter your starting station and your end station and it will show you how to get there and if you need to make any transfers.

Another thing to keep in mind is finding out what exit you are coming off once you arrive at your station. For example, the Shinjuku JR station has more exists than I can remember and each one can be as far as a mile from another exit.

Trains do stop running around 11:30pm 12:00am so make sure you know the time of the last train where you need to get back to your hotel or where you’re staying.

Taxis:

Cabs are pricey! So unless youʼre about to cry because you just canʼt take it anymore with the crowds of public transportation then try to avoid them. A 10 minutes cab ride normally would cost $15-20 so itʼs not that bad. Iʼd rather you spend money on shopping or food! That said, taking a cab can be a treat. It’s not usual to drive around Tokyo and it can give you a glimpse of the city you can’t get from walking or being on the train. I remember my favorite views of Tokyo Tower were taken while being inside a cab.

That about covers transportation. I wanted to add general information but this post is already long as it is so there will be another one with general tips.

 

 

 

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Discover the Fabulous World of Brigitte Bardot at Sofitel Chicago

May 11, 2012 by

The Sofitel Chicago is a name synonymous with Chic. As if the two couldn’t been more perfect for each other, Brigitte Bardot joins them and for a truly marvelous threesome. Until May 26, 2012, Sofitel Chicago highlights its French roots and esteem for international cinema by displaying a traveling exhibit titled ” BB Forever – Brigitte Bardot, The Legend.”  Besides being utterly beautiful, Bardot is a former fashion model, actress, single and animal rights activist. Her photographs are hung throughout Sofitel’s lobby and Le Bar. BB Forever will also travel to Sofitel properties in Washington DC and New York after its run in Chicago. The exhibit will be open to hotel guests and visitors alike. So go head, visit Sofitel Chicago, sip on bubbly and admire Brigitte Bardot, The Legend.

Brigittee Bardot at Sofitel Chicago by Social Sami

Brigitte Bardot at Sofitel Chicago by Social Sami

Photo credit: “Bonnie & Clyde” ©Paris March – Jean-Claude Sauer

 About Brigitte Bardot:

French film actress Brigitte Bardot was a feminine role model in the 1950s to 1970s, an international star and

the face and muse of many artists of the period. Equally at home in childlike roles or as a femme fatale, she

worked with the top film directors in roles that were both light and sensual, quickly becoming a sex symbol and

international movie star, like a French Marilyn Monroe. With 48 films under her belt in a 21-year career, Brigitte

Bardot, also known by her initials of BB, is one of France’s most famous artists. She retired from the world of

acting in 1973 to devote her time to animal rights, even establishing the Brigitte Bardot Foundation.

 

 

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Chicago Restaurant Week – Where to Eat!

Feb 14, 2012 by

For ten days, over 200 restaurants in Chicago (and its suburbs) will offer special prix fixe menus starting at $22 for lunch and $33/$44 for dinner. Take this opportunity to discover new dining hot spots and re-visit a few of your favorites.

Participating restaurants may offer Restaurant Week menus for lunch, dinner or both – at their discretion. 

It’s probably my favorite thing about Chicago winters. Well maybe my favorite eating ritual during the winter in Chicago. Check out the full list here.

If you haven’t already made reservations then you better get to it asap! If it’s a place like Naha or Blackbird then chances are that you won’t find a time slot but there are still great options to indulge yourself in!

If you’re a French cusine fan then this year has a great selection! My personal favorites are Cafe Des Architectes and Bistro Campagne

Union Sushi has upped the ante and offered a dinner menu for only $22.  If you like to make your own food then check out the menu for Gyu-Kaku, a Japanese BBQ joint. 

The Bedford is delicious! Even if you can’t make it during restaurant week then check them out for their half of champagne & oysters. Another favorite of mine to go any time of the year is Terzo Piano! Steak is where it’s at at C-House. 

Have you been watching Top Chef this season? 6 out of the 16 final contestants are from Chicago! This might be a good time to check out what those chefs are cooking in their home-town.

Funny how it worked out but Heather at Sable and Bev at Aria are the ones at restaurants participating in Restaurant Week. If I have to explain the humor behind it then you’re likely not a Top Chef fan. 

Honestly, I’ve glanced at the list and almost all of the restaurants will not disappoint you so get eating! Besides, isn’t winter for over eating and layering? 

You can make reservations via Open Table

 

 

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A Reflection Post – Asking the Right Questions

Dec 20, 2011 by

I was having a drink some few weeks ago and started a conversation with a rather pretentious obnoxious fella. I’m not good with judging characters upon a first impression so I always try to give someone few meetings before I make a final call. I’m generous with my time. I’m sure I’ll talk to this gentleman again (maybe two more times) because he has great questions for me. See, having good questions is a great thing. A lot of times we meet people that just talk to us, about their work, love, etc. They do ask questions too- “How’s work?”, “did you have fun at your vacation?”, “what did you have for dinner?”.  We need to break away from those questions. If we’re going to contribute to a worthwhile conversation we should ask questions that questions more than the ingredients of someone’s dinner. It’s fine to start that way but the conversation needs to evolve after that. Ask something that drives someone into a corner. Ask them to question their way of thinking. This is not to be taken as convincing someone that rainbows are a sign of water pollution.

I sometimes try to stay away from connecting with folks I don’t agree with which I think is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. The problem is staying away from them before I’ve entertained the notion of engaging with them and trying to understand their thought process and ask them questions that challenges their reasoning while expecting to get the same in return. Only after that I should make the decision of retreating from any engagement with said person. I asked you why you think that polluted water is the cause of the rainbow you see instead of the scientific explanation that I showed you on Wikipedia. If you still chose to think the way you always did then I chose to leave you to your own devices.

I want someone to ask me why I think Japanese is hard. Why I think Salt Bread and Sami is not a waste of money and time. Why I think revolutions happen with or without social media.

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A Letter to Tokyo

Dec 2, 2011 by

Dear Tokyo,

I miss you. I want to walk your streets, smell your air & hear your laughs.

Do you remember me? Lost in your streets. I still laugh at that time I got on the wrong train because of a silly misunderstanding between the two of us. I thought you meant the east exit and not the west. At least I never stumbled, fell and made a fool of myself. Then again, to hear your laugh would have been worth it.

The first meal we had together was dinner and we had salmon & sake. I know it sounded like a typical date to many but to us, it was special. It was our first time together.

After dinner you showed me the magic of being lost in a crowd of organized chaos. It was late but everyone was enjoying the late night breeze that swept away the humid hot August day.

Even when I went to bed that night alone, I knew you’d be there the next day. I was nervous about what you might do to my naive soul the next day but I knew that it would be full of happiness. If it wasn’t, I knew it’s because you wanted to teach me something about yourself. After all, no one’s perfect and everyone has a bad day every now and then.

3 weeks passed. We thought it would never end but the eve of my departure came. Went to an Italian restaurant (I know, I know, should have had some sushi instead) and asked for an outside table. The waiter thought it was odd there was an order for an entire bottle of wine but it was my last night with you. I thought about how it all started 3 weeks earlier. The challenge of eating at every macaron shop I could spot was a lot of fun (didn’t complete it but I did well). I won’t forget about getting lost in an underground garage en route to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. How did that happen? I wasn’t even inside a car and ended up inside the parking lot! It’s fine since it was worth it to see the view form the top of the building. Still, my favorite view was the sun setting on you while on top of the Mori Tower. That was quite possibly a sunset that’s made of every pure love on this planet.

I don’t know what pushed me to write this but it may have to do with listening to an album called Cherry Tree. It’s not really related to anything, as far as I can tell. But, have you not been in love before? Every thing you see reminds you of what you love the most.

I won’t say that I hope to see you because I know I’ll see you. I know, you may laugh because it’s cheesy but it’s true. I really will see you in few months. When cherry blossom trees petals cover our faces. I can’t wait Tokyo!

Sent with an infinite amount of love,

 

Sami

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Join Us at Champagne Chic at the Sofitel Chicago

Nov 16, 2011 by

Thanksgiving will be over, Christmas will be right around the corner and before we know it, we’ll find ourselves at the end of another great year in Chicago. Join other fantastic Chicagoans on Twitter to celebrate the end of year. Come meet friends and make new ones!

 

Of course, it wouldn’t be a celebration without champagne! This is the perfect time to check-out Le Bar’s Champagne Chic and enjoy bubbles and bites with great conversations about upcoming plans and the conclusion of 2011 without worrying about fitting it in 140 characters or less.

Your admission includes a bubbly cocktail (or beer or wine, if you’d prefer)!

 

Get to know your host at @SofitelChicago and Facebook.com/SofitelChicago and follow our hashtag #SofitelTweetup

 

Have any other questions? Use “Contact” feature to shoot us an email!

And to top it off, two lucky attendees will walk away with a bottle of Moet & Chandon champagne each. Courtesy of Sami! Another lucky attendee will receive a print from thumbtackpress.com! Who doesn’t like new art to hang in their home?!

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Six Movie Trailers that Will Make You Want to See the Feature

Nov 11, 2011 by

Melancholia. Two sisters find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide into the Earth.

Lucky. A wannabe serial killer wins the lottery and pursues his lifelong crush.

The Art of Getting By. George, a lonely and fatalistic teen who’s made it all the way to his senior year without ever having done a real day of work, is befriended by Sally, a popular but complicated girl who recognizes in him a kindred spirit.

One Day.  After spending the night together on the night of their college graduation Dexter and Em are shown each year on the same date to see where they are in their lives. They are sometimes together, sometimes not, on that day.

 The Sleeping Beauty. A young princess is the subject of a tug-of-war among witches, as each struggles to find the suitable antidote to a death sentence inculcated by an evil sister.

 Like Crazy. A British college student falls for an American student, only to be separated from him when she’s banned from the U.S. after overstaying her visa.

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My 15 FANTASTIC minutes with #theKindnessCab & Leon Logothetis

Oct 31, 2011 by

My 15 FANTASTIC minutes with #theKindnessCab & Leon Logothetis

Sunday night was spent watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s since “people don’t belong to people” kept popping in my thoughts. As I’m watching it and checking my twitter feed (because we can’t do one thing only, anymore) something came up. I saw a tweet that said “this is so cool #thekindnesscab & Leon Logothetis will be in Chicago tomorrow.” I’m paraphrasing here and I wish I remembered who tweeted it (UPDATE: It was @CristerDelacruz that tweeted it! Oh Twitter, how do I love thee!).  Did some digging and found http://www.kindnesscab.com/. It might have taken me about 40 seconds to decide to call Leon and leave a message with my number in it. I didn’t know why or what I would get out of this experience but I knew I wanted to try it. Leon called me 15 minutes later and we confirmed the pick up time and location. I went to bed excited but still unsure of how things will go the next day.

The Kindness Cab in Chicago!

The Kindness Cab in Chicago!

18 hours since I spoke to Leon pass. Almost six pm and I do some Google action and find out that Leon wrote a book called Amazing Adventures of a Nobody and I make a mental note to check it out later because he just sent me a text that he’s downstairs. 

On my way to The Kindness Cab an epiphany of sorts struck me. This is exactly like that movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. If my memory serves me right, the action of that girl not picking up the phone (or was it the alarm?) triggered a sequence of events that lead to a disaster. Only this is the opposite. Leon picking me up out of the kindness of his heart triggered my happiness which will trigger a series of events, starting by me making another person happy. Like dominoes helping each other up instead of pushing down. Wow, is this how we can achieve world peace?

So I get in enthusiastically after taking a picture of The Kindness Cab and saying hi to Leon. He greets me back and says “pick up one of those books in backs, it’s for you”. I cannot believe it! It’s a copy of Amazing Adventures of a Nobody. My eyes immediately start to sparkle like those cartoon characters.

After 15 minutes of what words might have trouble describing, I walked away after meeting an amazing man, another kind man one from the Kind Village, a Halloween lollipop, a copy of the Amazing Adventures of a Nobody (that I’m so excited to start reading), a receipt that showed $45 dollar being donated to charity from Leon and inspiring conversations about traveling. I left my company wishing it was longer but even more, wishing Leon and #theKindnessCab all the best in the future. I left them with so much admiration with what Leon is trying to accomplish. I left them with so much inspiration.

With Leon Logothetis

Then I arrived home. I arrived home and found a package from a friend. It was a Daruma Doll from Japan. A hollow, round doll. These dolls are more than toys, Daruma dolls are seen as a symbol of perseverance and good luck, making them a popular gift of encouragement. And happiness overcomes me on top of the inspiration and the admiration.

Not a bad Monday. In fact, one of the best I’ve ever had.

Just like anything else, kindness starts with you.


 

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Check this Music Out: Lykke Li

Oct 27, 2011 by

Technically speaking, she is perfect and before I go on I’d like to go on the record to say that I am a huge fan of Lykkle Li. But, I also have to say that her live performances are a different story.

Lykke Li at Lollapalooza Music Fest

Lykke Li at Lollapalooza

Friends and I have had conversations about Lykke’s live performances. I saw her live at Lollapalooza Music Festival this year and I actually left after her 3rd song.

Why? I think Lost in Concert said it best. Her show always has smoke and enough lazer lights to take you back to your high-school rave days. However, emotions rush through you because back during those rave days there was so much jumping around and a dance dialogue. Lykke’s performance lacks that dialogue. I couldn’t tell if it was part of her act or not but her performances felt very one way. It never seemed like she made eye contact with the audience. She was…having a conversation with herself and while we were allowed to watch, we weren’tinvited to join-in.

Regardless of all of that, I’m still a huge fan of Lykke. Her voice is perfect. Her words are timeless and she has a wide range of songs that enables the listener to enjoy her during different moods. I first was introduced to her when I heard Little Bit which is the video below. It still remains my favorite work of hers. I also dig the version she did with Drake. I am going to see her when she’s back in Chicago at the Vic and hope that last time was just a fluke. 

 

 

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The New Effective Social Media Way to Recruit Employees

Oct 11, 2011 by

The New Effective Social Media Way to Recruit Employees

Traditionally, companies used external recruitment in the form of advertisement, referral programs and recruitment agencies. More recently the introduction and availability of social media, made it much easier to recruit potential candidates. Taking into account, most of companies seeking talents are typically in the Advertising/Marketing/PR field. This made the most sense. Find talent where the talent spends their time at.social media online to offline recruiting

Job seekers used social media presence to develop a brand or a personality to help identify who they are to potential employers or recruiters that might be scouting the space. It’s important to point out that just creating a Twitter account did not mean that you “know” social media. Recruiters do not only look at the information you share but also the information and conversations you create.

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Check this Music Out: KOREAN POP STYLE Yanghwajin Band

Sep 23, 2011 by

Check this Music Out: KOREAN POP STYLE Yanghwajin Band

And another great one from @FrequentLee. I’m still waiting for him to review a cute girl group full of enough cuteness to cause diabetes! Until then, I’m happy with what he’s giving us. Enjoy!

 

This song feels like I’ve always heard it, yet refreshing and new at the same time. Anyone who’s ever watched anime gets the basic feel: I will always protect you. Every anime has that theme at some point or other: “I’ll be the hero! I’ll protect all the people who are precious to me! ALL BY MYSELF!!!”

Given the nature of the drama (City Hunter…I know! The drama sucks! But their soundtrack is so great! I don’t get it!!!!), I think it not only fits perfectly here, but it also has a great beat and a nice rush of adrenaline. Nothing I would work out to, but as a nice energy bump in the middle of a long stretch of ballads and whatnot. A neat little pick-me-up to get the heart pumping.

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Want to Change Your Twitter Handle? You’re Out of Luck!

Sep 21, 2011 by

Actually, you’re absolutely not!

Few years ago many knew me at @Tokyofan (seems like it belongs to “pete” now). After hours of self-deliberation I decided that I should change my handle to something that represents me more. I’m still Tokyofan and will always be one but it was just a part of my personality. I was very worried at first. I wondered if it’ll turn into a project that I can’t handle. How will people know I have a new name now? Will I lose friends? Will anyone realize what happened? OH NO, NO ONE WILL LIKE ME OR TWEET WITH ME ANYMORE!

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7 Ways to Help You Get Inspired

Sep 16, 2011 by

When I met @RachelYeomans for the first time over coffee and pie she asked why I haven’t been blogging about art. You see, like any seasoned social media type would, she glanced over at my blog before meeting in person. It’s great because I did the same and we had things to talk about even before we met! Twitter, I love thee.

I told her the same thing I’m about to write. It’s hard. It’s really really hard to write about art or become inspired to write anything for that matter. Whenever I need to come up with a new idea I try to follow these steps to help me get out of my funk.

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Use Your Social Media Skills to Win Scavenger Hunt: Downtown Dash

Sep 7, 2011 by

Social Media is awesome and if you know me you’ll know how much I’m a fan of it. More than anything I’ve met so many wonderful people through Twitter and I’ll always be grateful for that. I’ve also seen some cool things done with social media and the Downtown Dash scavenger hunt is definitely one of these knarly things.Downtown Dash in Chicago, a social media scavenger hunt social sami

To give you some background:

On 9-10-11 Social Media types will be able to exercise their savvy skills as they navigate their way around Chicago seeking scavenges, looking for money saving clues and completing physical tasks. Teams of two will finalize their tasks by checking-in on Foursquare and sharing their findings with their social networks.

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Check this Music Out: KOREAN POP STYLE, Navi

Sep 1, 2011 by

Here’s another KPOP installment from @Frequentlee (he noted I misspelled his last name last time).  Did you know that Justin’s email signature is: Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. By James Bovard.

I honestly loved this post because I’m such a sap and Justin TRANSLATED some of the lyrics!

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Dîner en Blanc – Chicago

Aug 27, 2011 by

Attending #DeBChicago was such an amazing time. I cannot thank the founders enough and am so proud to have been a Head of Table (HOT!) in this fabulous event! All I have to say is: I cannot wait for next year!

It all started with @SecndCitySoiree asking me to be “Head of Table” for a group that will depart a point in Chicago to meet up at a secret location in Chicago. Diner en Blanc of dinner in white by social sami ChicagoA flashmob meets a picnic kind of thing. Only this picnic was a really fabulous event of everyone dressed in white, eating a 3 course elegant meal. We were to guide a group of 20 people or more along with our own tables, chairs, food, etc. At first it seemed like people wouldn’t care much about an event that required a lot of work but before we knew it there were hundreds upon hundreds ready for the event. Everyone was so happy to be there and people got very creative with their foods, outfits and even decorations for their tables. Big congratulations to the founders of DeBChicago. Again, can’t wait for next year! Check out my flickr for more!

 

Diner en blanc or dinner in white in Chicago by social sami in summer

 

 


DebChicago diner en blanc dinner in white by social sami in Chicago

 

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Check this Music Out: KOREAN POP STYLE, Kim Bo Kyung

Aug 25, 2011 by

Justin is a great friend of mine. He’s one of the few who encouraged me to start a blog few years ago. He’s also a great writer and have proofread my posts before.  He’s much funnier than I am and the idea of him guest posting here was tossed between the two of us several times before we decided that it has to be done! I couldn’t be more excited to have him contribute and with his quirky style, loving him is not going to be hard at all!

Once a week for the next 4 weeks or so I’ll include a post from Justin of a Korean pop song (KPop is what it’ll be referred to from this point forward) he likes and a paragraph or two as a companion to the song.

Kim Bo Kyung – Suddenly

This song is from the soundtrack to “City Hunter,” a K-Drama that was originally a Japanese manga. I saw about 10 minutes of it and spent 9 minutes and 59 seconds ranting at the TV. Even for K-drama, it’s super childish and just…awful.

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12 Great Takeaways from #20SBSummit Keynote Speakers

Aug 22, 2011 by

#20sbsummit saw great panels and fantastic creative energy. By the end of it I felt like I’ve grown years in wisdom. I genuinely believe that it’s one of the best conferences this year in Chicago, along with #bbsummit11. Although, in terms of speakers and panelists I think 20SBSummit had the best of any conference I’ve ever attended. Hands down! I wanted to go home and do things and create things. I wanted to never sleep again because that would mean that I would stop creating things. I also felt that everyone “got me” at the conference. I didn’t have to worry about puzzled looks and judgements after I explained what I did.

Community seemed to be the running theme of the summit. After all, 20SB is a community of 18000 bloggers. How to create a community? How to engage with your community? How to make it bigger? Want to find out? Well, you can’t. What I learned is that there isn’t a formula to solve above questions. What I can tell you that it’s a lot of hard work, authenticity is the absolute most important pillar of creating a community and create a community to help others and not help yourself. Trust me, in the long run you will achieve success and profit will come but that’s not what you should have in mind when you try to start building community.

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Summer Lovin’, Havin’ a Blast…

Aug 17, 2011 by

 

We interrupt Sami’s regular blogging schedule to bring you a 20SB Blog Swap. So… hi! I’m Lacey from Perks of Being a JAP and I’ll be your host today. The topic for this round of blog swapping is “summer”. When I asked Sami what he’d be writing about, he wrote something about summer reflections… and I drew a blank. So I thought about it and whenever I think about summer, I immediately think of summer camp…

Some of the best summers of my life were spent at sleepaway camp. Yep, I went to sleepaway camp complete with a lake (that no one swam in), rec hall, nature center, canteen and tents to sleep in. Oh and a pig named Bacon (and this was a Jewish camp!) But camp for me was more than that. Camp was the place to be myself and to get away from everything that plagued me at home.

See in school, I was… well I wasn’t one of the cool kids. I listened to punk and ska music when everyone else was listening to R&B and hip hop. I didn’t wear what the style that the other kids were wearing, and I also was super skinny, and had glasses and braces for a period of time too. Get the idea? Lacey = kinda nerdy. But two months out of the year, I was a cool kid. At summer camp I could be myself and I was actually liked! From 1992 – 1998, every summer I spent at that camp, I didn’t have to worry about trying to fit in. I fit in just by being me. I could wear funky t-shirts, listen to Ben Folds and Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and dye red Kool-Aid strips into my hair and no one batted an eye. I was who I was, and that was OK.

So summer for me isn’t just about fun trips, and days at the pool, or even mourning the loss of my youth, since now I have to work every day (grumble grumble). Summer reminds me that even though my younger school years may not have been the best, and I wasn’t one of the cool kids for 75% of theyear, I lived in the summers. Those eight weeks showed a young me that I didn’t have to pretend to be someone, because I was accepted for who I was. And that’s what made my summers so amazing.

 

BIO: Lacey (or Lacey Bean) is a sarcastic, funny & slightly spastic 20-something born and raised in NYC. Event planner by day, 20SB Social Media Manager by night. Easily amused, and obsessed with: travel, meal planning, baking, crossing items off my life list, my android phone, chasing down food trucks, GLEE!, collecting every Hard Rock Cafe shot class out there, & rubber duckies.
Find Lacey: Twitter | Blog | 20sb

 

This blog post makes this blog so much cooler and I can’t thank Lacey enough for it!

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Check this Music Out: FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS

Aug 15, 2011 by

Fitz and the Tantrums are kind of like your sassy girl friend that will tell it like it is when it comes to love advice. Not to sound like a judge on Project Runway finale episode but it felt like their album was a cohesive collectionfitz and tantrums music review on social sami in chicago of songs that could stand out on their own but together told a bigger picture. Songs like “News 4 U” fill me with the kind of empowerment I’m used to getting from goddesses like Nina Simone. That’s another reason I love Fitz, they give me songs that I would expect from a jazz diva. It’s not Fitz’s personality but his soulful voice that reminds me of these jazz legends. That aside, I don’t think I’ve seen a team that has so much chemistry between each other and so much fun on stage. That coupled with their genuine enthusiasm to be in front of the audience is a good reason enough to check them out. They’ll rile you up, teach you how to give the middle finger to your ex and start a dance party in the duration of five minutes or less!

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