Argentina, Summer 2016

Argentina, Summer 2016

My wife’s family lives in Buenos Aires, and we try to visit every year.

After spending time with family and friends, the second best thing about visiting the country is the food.

As anyone who lives or has visited there would likely agree, the food is fantastic. Not only the beef for which the country is most famous….

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But much more.  The Italian food in particular is excellent.

Many people outside the country are surprised to learn that over half the Argentine population is of Italian descent.

It’s less surprising if you think of the family names of famous Argentines … Messi, Maradona, Bergoglio (a.k.a., Pope Francis) Ginobili, Del Potro. To put it in perspective, more Italians emigrated to Argentina than to the much larger U.S. (total population 318 million vs. 41 million).

One result — pasta shops where you take out freshly made pasta and sauces to heat at home.

Or, in many cases, just call up and they’ll motorcycle your order to your door.

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You can get all types of food directly from vendors this way. The best is moto delivery ice cream:

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Butcher shop delivery:

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Although the desserts have a way of calling you into the shops:

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Moving on from food, here’s public art we found in San Antonio de Areco:

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Buenos Aires….

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July = winter

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If you’re interested, I previously posted photos from past trips to Argentina here:

Candy From Trees

Buenos Aires, 2015

Writing this has made me hungry for a snack…

The Sky Zone story and CNN video

Inc. Top 10 Fastest Growing Companies in L.A.

I’ve been meaning to write more about Sky Zone ever since changing jobs in December.

Lucky for me, CNN recently shot a video that provides a great overview of the company, including one of the most interesting parts of the Sky Zone story:  how it started with one idea then pivoted to another, creating a new category of out-of-home entertainment in the process.

 

This entertainment category — indoor trampoline parks — is expanding quickly.

Sky Zone, by far the largest player in the market, was just named to Inc.’s Top 10 Fastest Growing Companies in Los Angeles (and #273 on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the U.S.).

Sky Zone and other competitors are opening parks around the world. E.g., Sky Zone recently announced park openings in Saudi Arabia. A recent Bloomberg article highlights this expansion.

Here are 3 more videos to help introduce the company and what it stands for.

The brand manifesto:

 

Some of the activities inside our parks:

 

Dodgeball is one of the most popular activities. It’s played year-round inside the parks — pick-up games, within events & parties, and some local tournaments. However, the biggest event is our international competition, Ultimate Dodgeball Championship:

 

If you haven’t visited a Sky Zone yet, I hope you have the chance to check it out. Jumping isn’t just a lot of fun, but a great workout, too.  If you do, please let me know your thoughts.

 

Buenos Aires, July 2015

Buenos Aires, July 2015

After half a year without a post, I’m back at the keyboard.

Where was I? Mainly in Los Angeles, adjusting to a new job and also busy at home with my family.

Luckily family time also included a recent trip to Argentina. As mentioned in an older post, we try to go as often as possible to visit family and friends.

After the last trip I posted a handful of photos, including a few examples of Buenos Aires’ colorful street art.

This time I’d like to share more photos — an attempt to capture a tiny glimpse of the aesthetics of the neighborhoods we visited (mainly Belgrano, Palermo and Barrio Norte).

Hope you enjoy them — and please share any comments or feedback, including about your own experiences there.

 

I wish everyone reading this post a great summer (or winter, for my Argentine and other southern hemisphere friends).

More posts to come…. in less than half a year’s time.

Cycle for Survival – Cancer Research

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Please help me raise funds for the battle against pediatric cancers, leukemia, lymphoma, thyroid, ovarian and other types of cancer.

I’m riding in Cycle for Survival this weekend to raise money to fund lifesaving cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

100% of every dollar you give will go directly to pioneering research within six months of the events.

Thank you for your consideration!

Donate here:  http://bit.ly/1BTKju6

Wishing you the best

Candy Tree

Parties, family and old friends, festive moods all around…  as the old song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

I wish you & yours a happy and healthy holiday season. Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and happy end of 2014!

And thank you very much for being a reader of The Contrast Principle. I don’t take anyone’s time or attention lightly, and am very appreciative of every moment you’ve spent with this blog.

Kind regards, and best wishes for a great 2015 ahead,
Josh

Baby Break

baby at heart of Contrast Principle break

Hello again!

As you may have noticed, this is my first new post since Spring. I’m very happy to share that this break was the result of joyful news:  my wife and I welcomed the arrival of our second child into the world. He’s a smiling, healthy baby boy, now almost four months old.

Anyone with experience with babies knows that along with the joy comes a serious disruption in previous life patterns, most obviously of the sleep variety. But in addition tasks like getting your other kid(s) off to school in the morning or to sleep at night become more complicated. This isn’t news to anyone living with kids.

Our experience has been no exception. The adjustment from family of 3 to 4 has been exciting but at times exhausting. One implication of this was… no blog posts.

But then, breaks can be very healthy. We all need time to relax, reflect and re-focus.

To that point, I hope the readers of this blog have had the chance to do the same over the past months, especially those who took time off during the summer. (“Summer” for those of you living in the northern hemisphere; I know many readers don’t, living in Argentina, Australia, etc.)

On that note, the New York Times recently published an article (“Hit the Reset Button in Your Brain“) about the importance and benefits of taking breaks. There’s a wealth of research on this topic these days, which isn’t surprising given our march toward constant connectedness and information overflow. (This article cites a statistic about brain strain: “According to a 2011 study, on a typical day, we take in the equivalent of about 174 newspapers’ worth of information, five times as much as we did in 1986”).

The article reflects upon the importance of resting and daydreaming to the creative process.

If we can train ourselves to take regular vacations — true vacations without work — and to set aside time for naps and contemplation, we will be in a more powerful position to start solving some of the world’s big problems. And to be happier and well rested while we’re doing it.”

I don’t anticipate solving any of the world’s serious problems anytime soon, but I do have hopes set on increased happiness and maybe even more rest (haha, see above, “baby”).

Thank you as always for reading The Contrast Principle. I look forward to posting more and continuing to connect with you.

Regards,

Josh

Instagram

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Are you on Instagram?

I recently started a personal account and would be honored if readers of this blog were to follow me.

My user name is ContrastPrinciple (http://instagram.com/contrastprinciple)

I’ll be happy to follow you back!


 

As you probably know, Instagram is on a tear.

Unique users were up 66% in 2013, making it the fastest growing of the top 10 apps according to Nielsen, and its momentum continues in 2014 (with brands as well as individuals).

One reason for its popularity: its core functionality specifically matches a prevailing trend in digital content creation and consumption — namely, more photos and short videos, and less text. And selfies. Not only the functionality but also the ethos of the environment is selfie-friendly.

Instagram’s functionality is easy to use and is also an almost perfect time kill — scrolling through photos and short videos (15 seconds max) requires very low mental commitment while waiting in a line, etc.

I’ve been involved with Instagram in my job since my team launched accounts for Universal Studios Hollywood, Halloween Horror Nights, and CityWalk. However, unlike our Facebook profiles which I was actively involved in starting, my input with the Instagram accounts has been on an oversight basis. Luckily, since the days when we first began social media initiatives, I’ve been able to hire social-media experts who have taken our initiatives to a much higher place. (I’m very proud of the team’s fantastic work).

Instagram has really caught my attention lately and in an effort to become more actively involved, I’m off and running with the new personal account.

Please join me.