Monday, December 05, 2005

Online Holiday Shopping Guide

For my first annual "Online Holiday Shopping Guide", I would like to share with you some of my recommendations for buying holiday gifts online...

Where else? A great collection of unique and creative gifts by independent artists. The site is easy to navigate, is professionally assembled and has great photos of their unusual inventory with detailed product descriptions.

Fast shipping, ease-of-use and fun specials sent by email are what have made me a loyal customer. Some unusual gifts can be found here for your co-workers and loved ones. Oh, and their new Holiday Gift Guide makes it really easy to shop!

Stop trying to pronounce it. This NYC shop has earned it's great reputation by stocking the most unusual goods, let alone their incredibly fun all-Flash website! Add items to your cart and the shopping bag below the perched bird in the tree will keep tally. Considering all of their cool goods, you better keep tabs on your spending!

This is Crate and Barrel's funky and hip Chicago-only spinoff launched with little hoopla not long ago. Although their site leaves plenty to be desired, check out their "$25 tops" section for unique and affordable gift ideas!

Harry and David
The (classic) perfect gift for a business associate. Their site allows you to easily send to multiple recipients, each with their own address and personalized message. Even for under $25 you can get an incredible small basket with their famous fruit and sweets. Harry and David create classic gifts that will never be out of season.

Cherry Moon Farms
A division of ProFlowers, their baskets of fresh fruit and candy are attractively priced, but their outrageous shipping fees + tax takes the appeal out of their specials. Additionally, in this case the ability to easily send to multiple recipients is not possible. Harry and David still have this category locked down.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Report from Ad:Tech New York

I spent most of my day yesterday at Ad:Tech NY, strolling past booth after booth of sales and marketing folks pitching their services to me. Every other word you heard from passerby was "SEARCH this..." and "SEARCH that...". With so many "me too" companies all touting essentially the same product or service, it's remarkable how each claim their product or service is unlike any other technology out there. Hmmm.

However, I was impressed by Eyeblaster's latest technology and new reporting, Oddcast's really cool animated voice charicatures, Atlas' ever-expanding suite of services and... Google's free G-O-O-G-L-E magnets!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Colbert Report: Outstanding Television

That's right Daily Show fans, one of our favorite reporters has broken off from the team to claim his own place atop of "Mt. Late-Night News Satire". Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central's new "Colbert Report" serves us exactly the right mix of opinionated fake news, filled with tasty, comedic satire. The kind that sometimes oozes out of your sandwich and onto your shirt. Yum.

CIS Counseling NYC Website

UPDATE: The finished site can be viewed at

I've been working with CIS Counseling for a couple of years now, in the the capacity of a marketing consultant. They're a great non-profit counseling center in downtown NYC and have been very active with Project Liberty, NYC's response to post 9-11 recovery efforts. I'm currently assembling a simple website for CIS in an effort to develop public awareness within the community (NYC's 5 boroughs), and connecting with those in need of help with mental illness or substance abuse.

Our next steps are to develop printed marketing and promotional materials. We expect the website to launch within the next week. In the meantime, (as always) I welcome any constructive criticism.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

BG's MUSIC REVIEW: Soulive - Break Out

BG's MUSIC REVIEW: 4 stars (out of 4)

"Break Out" is an unbelievable new studio album from Soulive, with a totally new twist on their style of jazz. They bring the funk with some fresh sounding horns and sax, with the most tracks featuring vocals on a Soulive album to date. Some of the folks that help keep it soulful are Chaka Khan, Ivan Neville, Reggie Watts and Robert Randolph.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

TV Guide's Broadband Connection

Yesterday Fusebox launched an online viral spot for TV that I produced and directed.

Click here to view.

Once you complete all 3 questions (or click "skip game"), be sure to click the "Bloopers" button below. I've got to hand it to Steve, who came up with the concept, Lawrence our CGI artist and Dayoan for a great job in compositing the video and animations.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Web Browser + Blog Capabilities = FLOCK

Today, WIRED reports that some of the brains behind Firefox are planning the launch of FLOCK, a new "social browser" that ties in nicely with all of the blogging resources and tools that have become commonplace among (us) bloggers. The buzz has been building for some time but it looks like they're nearing an official launch...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Motorola and iTunes—UNITE!

In a follow-up to my previous post, Apple has just announced the details to their partnership with Motorola. It's not the iPod/cell phone collabo' we were all waiting for, but it's a sweet looking phone with iTunes on it! With a... 100 song... capacity... on it. Ummm, can I get a Woo-Ha? I thought not.

All hope is not lost. You can still splurge for the NEW iPod Mini, now called "Nano". This really offers true iPod looks and functionality on a smaller scale—not exactly what Apple succeeded in doing with the Mini or Shuffle.

Funny how the colorful iPod Minis instantly vanished from Apple's website... LONG LIVE NANO! (I guess the name will have to grow on us...)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Holding Out For My New iPod

As I wait with baited breath for my $50 Apple rebate, my sights are now set on next week's announcement of an iPod cell phone. Sure, I've heard rumors for some time now about Apple's collaboration with Motorola and Cingular, but this morning NY Times confirms.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Healthy Regimen = Caffeine-Free ENERGY

For the past few weeks, my new routine includes lots of natural vitamins (Amino Acids, Omega 3, 6, 9, Vitamin B, C, CoQ10, Multi-Vitamin), combined with a low-sugar and high protein diet, in addition to my regular exercise. I found a newly discovered source of energy within myself — energy levels that I never achieved with my usual 3 cups of coffee a-day.

As for my old vice, coffee? Sure, I was as hooked on my Starbucks Cafe Latte's just as much as the next creative in Manhattan. But I've successfully whittled my intake down to just one small (yet delicious) cup a day from Toasties each morning. Some fresh fruit with a cup of tea in the afternoon, and I'm set.

A healthy change of lifestyle I recommend to any of my fellow coffee addicts...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

BG's MUSIC REVIEW: Andy Guthrie

BG's MUSIC REVIEW: 3 stars (out of 4) listen here

Give this track a listen! Andy has a welcomed grittiness to his voice you might associate with Jack from the White Stripes, yet at times he's as gentle as a Howie Day or Damien Rice. In this track, you can also find a beautiful twist of a well-appointed jazzy piano and a bongo percussion. All of this is held together by Guthrie's sweetly-strummed acoustic guitar (he also performs on piano). All of this can be enjoyed on this lengthy 8-minute+ track, which held my attention the whole way through.

Andy Guthrie will find a permanent place on my iPod. And I'm glad to see he's a local New Yorker - my wife and I might check out one of his Forest Hills gigs on a Sunday afternoon.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Porsche Cayman - now I need to sell the Mini

The new Porsche Cayman is one of the most unbelievable new cars I've seen in a while. And they've got a sweet site to show it off - be sure to check out the Enhanced Video mode to really soak up this bad boy in action...

Monday, August 01, 2005

Walk to d'feet ALS - September 25

The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter is kicking off its annual Walk to D'Feet ALS. I am planning to be a part of that walk and I am asking you to join me in the fight against ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), the terrible disease that took my father's life earlier this year. I urge you to be a part of this day or simply make a contribution in support of my efforts and in memory of my dad. This year is the 5th Annual Walk in Long Island, held on September 25th at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, NY.

Sign up or donate at Team Charles Gerena.

Friday, July 29, 2005

DAY 1: Volunteering w/ NY Cares

I had such a rewarding experience last night helping out at the Chelsea Rec. Center, where New York Cares provides free computer training to its neighbors. I had the opportunity to work with two wonderful and eager-to-learn members of the community and even started some new friendships with them and fellow volunteers.

One woman in particular, an elderly woman named Edith, wanted to learn how to simply log into her email account to correspond with her niece and some fellow artists in her West Village community. I was very patient with her as she slowly and carefully articulated her passion for the arts and love of her creative community. But she had grown very frustrated with technology, unable to view or send emails to colleagues. As a society, many of us now prefer to correspond by email instead of phone or mail. This transition didn't sit well with Edith, but she knew she had to embrace email correspondence in order to stay in touch.

As she drafted one of her first emails ever, she typed a beautiful short letter to her niece, using her index finger to type out each letter. I didn't mind being patient - I enjoyed seeing the excitement and joy in her warm but weathered face. Once she completed her letter, she accidentally closed the browser window, losing all of the content. Amazingly she calmly asked me how to login again so that she could retype her message. If that was me, I would have been frustrated and changed gears, moving onto something else. But not Edith, she was determined to draft an email.

At the conclusion of our session, she expressed her appreciation and invited me to a gallery opening this weekend in the Village, featuring some of her films.

This doesn't even begin to share how rewarding the experience was last night. I can't wait till my next project...

Monday, July 25, 2005

Shoplifting is Old Hat

Here's what's hot -- SHOPDROPPING:

To covertly place merchandise on display in a store. Primarily used in guerrilla ad campaigns, tactical media projects, and art installations. s. reverse shoplift, droplift

Link courtesy of The Morning News

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

"El Yielazo"

Link of The Day:Nestea Ice

Really quirky and clever site created by Juxt Interactive, but it feels more like Chopping Block. Tons of detail, quirky animations, great sound effects and music!

Tip: click on the Ice Splash video for "El Yielazo"!!!

Monday, July 11, 2005 say it ain't so...

Excerpt from article posted by Tobi Elkin on Mediapost:
There's a new domain for Web sites that are used in conjunction with wireless phones and devices. It's ".mobi."

The new suffix was approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers at a meeting last week in Amsterdam. The first Web sites for mobile devices will be ready in 2006. Companies backing the new domain include Ericsson, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, T-Mobile, and Vodafone. They say that having more Web pages optimized for mobile and handheld devices will spur consumers to upgrade their phones.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

FX Networks' 30 Days

The most unbelievable show on television right now is 30 DAYS, on F/X. Since watching the first show together, my wife and I have become huge fans and we haven't missed an episode. It's smart television, so tune in!

Powerpoint Gone Awry

A hysterical clip worth watching - ANIMAX' BOB & DOUG - brought to you by the kind folks at Animax. Kudos to Michael Bellavia for sending me the email via Viralbomb and creating my link of the day.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Let Thy Audience Interact!
Pass through the age verification and click on “Dancing Guy” (kind of hidden up in the top nav). Make the guy dance, take off his shirt... and of course, send to friends.

Coca-Cola Musicmixer
Play the piano and create your own beat as you interact with Coca-Cola world brands. You can save your recording and send to friends.

*sites created by Studiocom

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Brooklyn Bound? ...and so are the Nets

Jen and I are seriously considering a move to Brooklyn; Park Slope to be specific. A number of friends and colleagues call the neighborhood home, and a recent visit over the weekend (200 5th Ave -- for a delicious brunch) persuaded us even further.

This morning I read that the plans for the Nets arrival to Brooklyn may be an even larger footprint than expected. Then I realized just how close all of this construction is to the neighborhood we would like to inhabit.

Well, we've still got another couple of months to decide (or until I lose my mind commuting back and forth from out east on Long Island).

Thursday, June 30, 2005

These guys are smart and clever. I almost thought some of them were writers for the Daily Show!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Donald Trump does laundry?

What DOESN'T this guy promote? I personally found this to be just another one of The Donald's shameless promotions. But when I asked a group of my peers in an advertising and marketing forum "when has a celebrity gone too far, crossing the line to being considered a 'brand whore'?", I got varying responses:

"Personally, I think it's great. The Donald looks like he always having fun and making money at the same time that a bunch of negative people are throwing stones and looking for a reason to dislike what he does. Good for him and ALL detergent."

"Personally I think its amongst the worse self promotion I have ever seen. Not only that, the game is badly done, so much so I thought it was an unauthorized spoof"

"I dont see this as being unexpected or surprising."

"So much for his image of touting the best materials and the highest quality experience in his hotels and with his real estate. Abysmal."

"I don't get it. I mop the floor and it gets dirty again. I wash the dishes and they get dirty again. I cook, but the ingredients somehow unmake themselves. I iron the laundry and the basket never empties. I clean the laundry, and it falls out all over the foor again."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

GREAT BOOK: Never Eat Alone

After several weeks, I finally completed reading "Never Eat Alone" on the train this morning on the way to work. The author, Keith Ferrazzi, is a great motivator and teacher -- the book is poised to help you succeed, and even has some great life lessons! I have recently noticed a dramatic improvement in my people skills and social skills -- which is not always a trait found in creatives (well, I guess I've always been somewhat charming). As a matter of fact, I would certainly attribute these new skills to helping me land my new job! Many thanks to author Keith Ferrazzi. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to succeed - read some more about it here:

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Your Dream Job, in 5 Steps!

Lately I've been advising my students, friends and colleagues on landing a job. The recent outpour of requests has led to a brief list of 5 easy steps I've created, and has been useful (well, I guess) to those I've passed it on to.

I suppose it could do quite a few others some good as well. Now remember, this is somewhat specific to advertising and graphic design, but you'll get the idea.....

To land your DREAM JOB, do these 5 things:

1. Freelance work on weekends and evenings can diversify your portfolio and build your professional network of contacts and references. To get started, try and craigslist

2. Find your DREAM JOB at a company that has clients you would kill to work for, and a team that has creativity and innovation oozing out of its hallways. To get started, find great design firms and agencies linked up at k10k, designiskinky, threeoh

3. Design spec work--in order to land your DREAM JOB you have to create ad campaigns, write creative briefs and design websites for your DREAM CLIENTS, ideally ones on the agency's client roster. You'll show them you can design and create for their clientele.

4. Build yourself a website. An online portfolio of your work can do wonders to expedite the process of getting your work in front of potential employers. With just a basic knowledge of html, a domain name (Network Solutions), cheap reliable hosting company (mediatemple) and a more professional email address than Hotmail.

5. Look for jobs--no, REALLY LOOK for jobs! Make it your business to scour the web ( and keep your resume on file at careerbuilder and American Job Bank --its tedious to go through their posting processes, but it is well worth it!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Long Island Railroad's Disasterous Service

Last night's long journey on the Long Island Railroad began when all of the passengers had boarded the 6:21 East-bound train to Ronkonkoma at Penn Station. An announcement, that was barely audible, went something like this: "We're sorry for the inconvenience, but this train is disabled. Please gather all of your belongings and board the incoming train on the next track."

Tensions had already mounted on the hot and steamy platform, and now we had to change trains. At this point the train was already late as we proceeded to our destination. Then we start to crawl. We come to a hault at the Mineola station—an unscheduled stop for the 6:21 Ronkonkoma train. "Due to a disabled train in Westbury..."

So we sat...

and sat...

The conductor's voice grew increasingly frustrated with each update: "Well, they report it'll be another 10 minutes, folks". After about 30 minnutes or so, we continued (albeit, at a snail's pace). Later that evening, I walked in the door to our apartment at 8:45PM, 2 1/2 hours after boarding the train at Penn.

Oh, and the rates went up for the LIRR in March! With frequent delays and occasional fiascos like this one, for some reason I don't feel like I'm getting my $239.00 worth each month....

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Sr. Art Director: WEEK 2

I am working on some fun projects here at Fusebox. Folks here are swell, and the neighborhood (20th, between 5th & 6th) has got plenty of character. The Barnes & Noble down the block on 6th is incredible! Beautiful architecture, huge selection of books and really cool new music listening booths. Not to mention a New York Public Library right next door to our office.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Sr. Art Director: DAY 3

Third day on the new job as Senior Art Director at Fusebox. I've been introduced to some really fun and exciting projects, and I can't wait to sink my teeth into them. We just seem to be in a holding pattern right now, waiting for client approvals on a few things.

It's such a pleasure to have windows again—the office is showered with natural sunlight. It's funny to watch the old guy across the street open his window a few times a day to smoke a cigarette. His office is filled with built-in shelves, stuffed with books. I can spot cans of spray mount, so I guess he's a traditional artist of sorts. But as for the cigarette... isn't it terribly inconsiderate to the pedestrians below... falling victim to the ashes the old man so carelessly "flicks", as he leans on his window ledge?