Humanizing the 60 Blog

Brandon is back with the Humans of New York book that his loyal followers have been waiting for: Humans of New York: Stories. Ever since Brandon began interviewing people on the streets of New York, the dialogue he’s had with them has increasingly become as in-depth, intriguing and moving as the photos themselves. Humans of New York: Stories presents a whole new group of people in stunning photographs, with a rich design and, most importantly, longer stories that delve deeper and surprise with greater candor.  Let Brandon Stanton and the Humans of New York he’s photographed astonish you all over again.

If you’d like to read something inspiring and worthwhile, start following Humans of New York (HONY) on Facebook or other social media.  HONY is a photoblog and book that features street portraits and interviews collected on the streets of New York City.  Started by Brandon Stanton as a photography project in 2010, the initial goal was to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers on the street and “create an exhaustive catalogue of the city’s inhabitants.” After a while, he started interviewing the subjects in addition to taking their photos.  He’d include quotes and short stories, which went on to become an informative blog.  HONY has over twenty million followers on social media, and provides a worldwide audience with daily glimpses into the lives of strangers.

A month ago, Stanton shared stories from Moscow.  Click on this link to read more about this young lady and see her photo:  Humans of New York.

“I’m ninety, but I feel like I’m fifty.  I don’t take any medicine.  I never complain.  I’m just happy to be alive.  I tell people:  ‘Start with what you have, not with what you want.’  Every day, I dance for two hours.  And I’m still really interesting too.  I love politics and literature.  I love the sciences.  And I’ve got a boyfriend named Alexander.  We exchange books.  I don’t even know how old he is.”

So many great things to talk about.  She feels fifty and, in my opinion, looks fifty.  How many people do you know who don’t take medications as they get older?  (I know of one person, over 65, who takes one pill a day…a baby aspirin!)  And, c’mon, who dances for two hours a day?

I love that she finds herself “still really interesting.”  Would you describe yourself that way?  Do you know anyone, especially over 60 or 70, that brags about how interesting they are?




Returning the 60 Blog

Cereal is an acceptable meal at all times of the day.

It’s Tuesday, which feels like Monday.  And time to get back to work after a nice relaxing few days off.  Leslie’s boss gave them extra time off, so she’s been out of the office since Friday, and she returns to work tomorrow.  I hope she’s home today doing some laborious tasks, like laundry and preparing dinner.

It wasn’t easy to get up this morning.  But there wasn’t much traffic on the road (maybe schools are out one more day)? and I came in to a dead plant and a dead lightbulb above my desk.  It looked like I was going to serve cocktails for happy hour at mid-day.  The building engineer was here in no time and fixed the bulb while straddling part of my desk and knocking my keyboard over.  Awkward for the win!

Today is also a day to celebrate someone’s retirement.

Last year, BuzzFeed wrote an article about Diana Hunter, also known as the Honey Bunches of Oats Lady.  As the article stated, “Unlike Flo [from Progressive], Diana actually works at the company that she promotes—she’s legit!”  The article goes on to commend Diana because she has a permanent smile on her face, and she finds joy and love in life by doing her job.  She made those “sparkle flakes” you love to eat with a spoon.

One of her coworkers notified BuzzFeed about Diana’s retirement last week and a follow-up article states:  “Diana here finds the JOY and LOVE in life by making these flakes.  She’s not an actress—she’s just like us!”  She is indeed work goals, happiness goals, laugh goals.  Diana is everything.

Do you have anyone in your life who reminds you of Diana?  Someone who just appears to love life, does her job with a smile on her face, and has the admiration of her coworkers.  Are you that person?  At one time, I might have been the one who did her job with a smile, but I was young then.





Affiliating the 60 Blog

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I like to surround myself with people who share in my inappropriate comments, sarcasm, and random shenanigans.

It’s been almost a year since I started writing The 60 Blog.  It’s almost like keeping a diary or a journal.  I share some mundane factoid or story that you may enjoy reading and sharing.

When I started writing last year, I thought I might make just a few bucks.  I was told it’s easy to become an Amazon Affiliate.  Sign a few forms and you’re ready to go.  I could link Amazon products on my blog page and, if someone clicks in the product and ends up buying it, I could make an insane amount of money–like ten cents.  I signed up to become an affiliate of Thrive Market too (see Thriving the 60 Blog).  If any of my readers joined their program, I could make a few bucks too.

I knew I’d never strike it rich.  Ten cents here, a few bucks there, and at the end the year, I could have $50 (my most generous estimate).  So I persevered.  I linked things like books, vitamins, organic honey.

And you know what?  Amazon thought I wasn’t getting enough clicks and they cancelled my Affiliate account.  Yes!  I wasn’t giving Amazon any business, so they figured, why keep her on the books in the hopes that we’d pay her ten cents some day?

I still include links in some of my posts, but I never know who or what is clicked.  I have a plug-in built in to my blog program that tells me I have visitors from other countries reading my posts, but I don’t currently know anyone in Italy or Japan.  My goal was to get eyeballs on my blog (along with making some serious green, of course!) and I am doing that.  Little by little.

I need your help.  If you like my anecdotes, tell your friends.  If you disagree with something I have to say, let me know by commenting below.  If you sign up with Word Press and give them your email address (and you only will have to do it once), you’ll get an email each time I post something.  You won’t have to look for me; I’ll just be in your inbox.

As I said, eyeballs are important to me.  I use a program called MissingLettr that recycles my posts and adds them to my Twitter (@nycaryn), Facebook and Google Plus accounts.  A week or two ago, Twitter notified me that I have a new follower.  Someone famous who reads my posts (or, more likely, has someone read them for him).  Ladies and gentlemen, Jimmy Kimmel is a fan!  You’re in good company.

And now for something ironic?  Last week, I received notice that I now have another Twitter follower.  Amazon Affiliates.  Ironic.


Rewinding the 60 Blog

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Dale Earnhardt, Jr.:  The whole cap came off…must’ve been a recap.

In case you missed any of my missives last week, here is a summary of the daily blogs.  Please share with family and friends:

Monday:  Rewriting the 60 Blog

Tuesday:  Hating the 60 Blog

Wednesday:  Laboring the 60 Blog

Thursday:  Internetting the 60 Blog

Friday:  Lugging the 60 Blog

Saturday:  Boxing the 60 Blog

Enjoy your day off, everyone!

Boxing the 60 Blog


Kindness is free.  Sprinkle that stuff everywhere.

I recently read an article about Zachary Gibson, who set out on a mission to place 100 miniature mailboxes in public places around Los Angeles, called the Tiny Mailbox Project.  He wanted to pass along a smile to every stranger who may need one.  An uplifting note is left in the mailbox, along with a few blank cards.  Gibson imagined that people would take a note and leave one for someone else.

When Gibson places a mailbox, he takes a picture of the box and the location.  He then posts the information to Instagram (@thetinymailboxproject) so that people can find their way to the box and share some love.

Gibson is nearing the distribution in Los Angeles, but wants the project to expand.  He states:  “If you want to do it in your city, I’ll send you the resources and all you have to do is buy the mailboxes.”  Click here to purchase the mailboxes for $4.49 each:  Oriental Trading Company.  You can contact Gibson for more information through Instagram by clicking this link:  The Tiny Mailbox Project.

Have you seen these mailboxes in the Los Angeles area?  If so, you’re encouraged to share your experience using the hashtag #thetinymailboxproject.

I love this idea and, frankly, I wish I had thought of it myself.  I know several people who are currently feeling blue and could use a little pick-me-up like this.  What would you do if you were at, say, The Griffith Observatory, and saw one of these little mailboxes sitting on a fire hydrant?  Would you feel compelled to open it and take out a note?  Imagine how great your day would be when you read a note from a stranger?  “You light up the room when you walk in.”  “People love having you around.”  “You make a difference.”

Kindness starts with one person and can spread quickly and lovingly.  Don’t you agree?


Lugging the 60 Blog

Head Case


Admit it.  Traveling is stressful.  And the last thing you want to do is lose your luggage.  Searching for and losing your bag at the luggage carousel can be one of the worst parts of your vacation experience.  Now there’s a product that can help you keep your luggage, and your fellow passengers will laugh while you’re doing so.

Did you see the new luggage that can never be mistaken for anyone else’s luggage?  There is now a product that lets you plaster your entire face on both sides of your luggage.  This guarantees that no one will accidentally or intentionally steal your bags.   All you have to do is upload a high-quality photo of your face to Firebox.  The retailer will create a custom-made, double polyester spandex cover to slide over your suitcase.  Available in small, medium and large, the cover can be fastened over your luggage and, like magic, there’s your face bumping around the luggage carousel and the airport.

Ranging from $26 to $39, the Head Case covers are affordable and it seems like a small price to pay for some sanity while traveling.

What do you think?  What would you say the first time you see someone wheeling this luggage around the airport?  Would you instead consider adding a picture of your dog or cat?  Or your Paris vacation home?

I think they’re a bit scary looking.  But if you want to check it out, click here Firebox Head Case.






Internetting the 60 Blog

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John Podhoretz:  Back in 1995, Bill Gates himself didn’t understand that the internet was the direction computing was going.

Yesterday, back in the dark ages of 1995, “CNN debuts today on the Worldwide Web with its own homepage, accessing thousands of pages of data.”  Doesn’t that sound quaint?  Basic?  Its own homepage?  Was that a thing?

And back in the day, we thought we could shorten Worldwide Web to W3.  I don’t remember that, but I recall what the AOL homepage looked like.  “You’ve Got Mail” is still ingrained in my memory, and I remember how our internet connection was always so slow.  Our first home computer was an Acer, and I’m sure we paid a fortune of money for it.  But it never worked the way we wanted it to work.

The Internet, a book by Kerry Cochrane written in 1995, started with “Who hasn’t heard about the Internet? It’s mentioned on television, in the magazines, and on the radio. Everyone’s talking about it, and everyone wants to get connected to it.”

Today the internet has become an essential part of our lives that we all seem to take for granted.   Who doesn’t get upset when a website doesn’t load within seconds.  Today’s generation has vague memories of life before the Internet, but I still remember doing homework while referencing the World Book Encyclopedia.  Who knew in the 60s and 70s that we would one day have instant references at our fingertips?

The future of online shopping and instant access to much of the world’s knowledge was not a given in 1995.  As Cochrane explains in the introduction to The Internet, everyone was talking about it. But there were plenty of skeptics.  Newsweek printed an article in its February 27, 1995 issue expressing skepticism about this new-fangled contraption:

We’re promised instant catalog shopping–just point and click for great deals.  We’ll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations, and negotiate sales contracts.  Stores will become obsolete.  So how come my local mall does more business in one afternoon that the entire Internet handles in a month?  Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet–which there isn’t–the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism:  salespeople.

Despite the skepticism, which was completely warranted when you think about what the Internet looked like in 1995, there were people who were futuristically explaining what the internet had to offer.  And what was written above has absolutely been proven true.

The Internet briefly explains the basics of 1995 email and how to find your way around the internet.  The last chapter, titled “Fun Places on the Internet,” is like a bizarre time capsule of the Internet’s baby pictures. Because even though the Internet’s “birth” can be traced to the first host-to-host connection at UCLA in 1969, the mid-1990s was really when the Internet went mainstream.

Some of the “Fun Places” shown in the book were expected, like an early e-card site and the Smithsonian home page, while others were a bit strange, like a random elementary school in Cottage Grove, Minnesota.

Do you remember the very first website you visited when you got on the information super-highway?  Back then, I was hard-pressed to think of anything to look for, and decided to type in  Why not read about my toothpaste?  At that time, we didn’t know what to expect once you got to a webpage, right?

And now, of course, we have little computers in our hands that can do everything we did in 1995 times infinity.  Mark your calendars:  the next generation of iPhone comes out in a few weeks.



Laboring the 60 Blog

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David G. McKay:  Let us realize that the privilege to work is a gift; that the power to work is a blessing; and that love of work is success.

Labor Day.  The unofficial end of summer.  What are your plans?  We’re not planning on much, while we think about Marissa (aka the-greatest-girl-on-earth) spending five days in Carmel, California.  Her boyfriend’s family has a home up there and everyone is going.  Maybe I can fit in the truck of her car?

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.  It constitutes an annual national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

According to the United States Department of Labor, the first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884, the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day.  Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday.  Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television.

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.


Hating the 60 Blog

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Martin Luther King, Jr.:  I have decided to stick with love.  Hate is too great a burden to bear.

Did you know that there is a list of items that people hate, broken down by state?  The dating app, Hater, known for matching people based on mutual dislikes, recently released a map highlighting which of its topics users hate most in each state.  Here’s a sample:

California        fidget spinners
Hawaii             taking videos at concerts
Idaho               asking for directions
Iowa                 long hair on men
Illinois             biting into string cheese
Missouri          people who believe in aliens
New Mexico   polo shirts
New York        Times Square
Pennsylvania  people who use money clips
Texas                sleeping with the window open
Virginia            dabbing pizza grease with a napkin
Washington     Keurig K-cups

I just got my first fidget spinner (in fact, two in one week) and I leave one in my car.  It might not be the best place to use a mindless toy, but I figure I can spin it while waiting at the Starbucks drive-through (which is always crowded!).

I’m not into men with long hair and dabbing pizza grease is a necessity in New York.  :-0  And really, Missourians like aliens, and just not the people who like them?  That’s almost an oxymoron.

What’s on your list?