No means No! Not ‘Maybe’, nor ‘Sometimes’. It means NO!! Please. PLEASE! This hotel has gotta get it right. Please!! Please hotel peoples, listen here to things hotels gotta get right. That little sign you hang on your door must be very clear. I love the RED for “leave me the F alone!” and GREEN for “yes please come and tidy up my messes.” Excellent hotels get this concept, like those in Japan and the Kimpton chain, for example. Others the maids may be banging on your door just to piss you off. Because we know they are way overpaid (sarcasm alert!) for that (mostly) thankless and difficult job. See I owned, before the great crash, 100 apartments, and let me tell you, I’ve done PLENTY of cleaning. Down to the bone clean. So here’s a big
Octopus Bacon and Boats you Just Cannot Flip
Tonight is a spectacularly gorgeous “winter” evening, another near perfect Thursday here in sunny St. Pete, Florida. I’m gearing up for our weekly Entrepreneur Social Club, HQed at my historic wedding and event venue NOVA 535, which happens to be turning 9 years old today! Happy Birthday to Team NOVA!! So much love, passion, tears, hard work, sweat and real $$ equity went into building NOVA 535 out of the ‘ashes’ of a doggie day care and out of about 80 years of bad design decisions. I purchased 535 in the fall of 2005 and we opened February 8, 2009. Wow how time flies! And how tonight we discover and enjoy Octopus Bacon and Boats you Just Cannot Flip!
Athen’s Surprising Street Art Scene.
So I arrived late into Athens Saturday night, about 11pm, and “Tubered” to my AirBnB apartment. “Tubered” meaning using the Uber app but riding in a taxi. See many cities around the globe caved into the taxi union’s pressure and don’t allow Ubering they only allow “Tubering” with taxi (new word =Tubering). It DOES make the shitty taxi service better, less chance to sit around waiting, getting “lost” and being ripped off. (Props to all our fellow Entrepreneurs for making traveling in the 21st Century SO MUCH EASIER!! AirBnB, Uber, Expedia, Google Flights, etc. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!) Anyhoo, so after skipping dinner, and finally getting an excellent night’s sleep (check out my previous blog’s as to why), I awoke to a spectacularly gorgeous 1st day in Athens. Time to go out sightseeing! I was having some stomach issues, likely from
Lovely Vilnius Strange Little Uzupis.
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and was chosen as my post Riga next stop on my Summer 2016 Entrepreneur Social Club travel adventures. I didn’t know exactly what to expect, which, when you plan weddings and complex events for a living (NOVA 535 Unique Event Space) it’s nice to just let things happen as they happen. Minimal planning involved. So I took the 3.5 hour bus ride from Riga, easy peasy, and landed here in lovely Vilnius, on a beautifully sunny day. And Sunny night as this part of the world seems to enjoy looooooong days. Let’s explore!
Just the Fax Ma’am. Fax? Don’t you mean Facts? Er, nope. Read on… Spending a day experiencing the Belarus Consul (and their delightful 1950’s style of customer service, brought to you by Stalin.Inc) to a modern, friendly, tech savvy Latvian Entrepreneur named Dovainis Sinkevičius, owner of a new, really cute cafe, Localt. End to end of the spectrum here ladies and gents. See while traveling through the delightful Latvia and Lithuania, I decided to pop over to neighbor Belarus, into the capital Minsk….but not before a few days here in lovely Vilnius!
Design and Decisions. Good Bad Ugly Beautiful.
What goes into decision making? Does it feel good or bad? Is it beautiful or ugly? Would you do it again? Ultimately, for me, it’s would I do it again? Yes or No. It’s a binary answer to a complex set of questions. Would I go back to a restaurant? Take someone out for date #2? Watch a film again? Buy a 2nd bottle of that same wine? Take a 2nd or last bite??
Lietains Riga Retains it’s Vess.
Day two in Riga, the capital of Latvia, sandwiched between Lithuania to the south and Estonia to the north. As recently as 1991, all formerly controlled by Russia. Lietains, in Latvian, is rainy, and Vess means cool. Today Sunday July 3, 2016 it rained (lija) all day, yet the charm and vess of Riga, Latvia never diminished! Just like while under Russian authority, the sparkle of Riga remained strong, even when soaking wet. Better, brighter and more beautiful days are here for this gem of a city. So after a hearty (and included) breakfast in the swanky cellar of this renovated, historic structure, the Royal Square Hotel, I borrowed an umbrella and headed off for my Lietains Riga adventure!
Off to Casablanca Whoopsie Hello Riga!
Our aloha pos system went down at my main gig, wedding and event venue NOVA 535 (ugg, hard drive crash, quickly fixed by fellow ESC member Justin Petro of Advanced Millennium Computers, he’s fabulous!!). Too bad the NRC team wasn’t as great as Justin, they got 50% right then I left, and well the crazy busy night we have every First Friday was rocky. The POS wasn’t returned to “good to go” condition as planned. Luckily my amazing brother Chris Novilla and big Nick Mazeika were there to lead our team NOVA and our 100s of partying guests to victory, rough night but they got things done! Bravo guys!!
This was followed by our sound system crashing at NOVA, (a HUGE thanks to Chuck Taylor of Production Source, [he’s the Gandalf of the AV world] for saving our arses, THANKS CHUCK!!). Plus my packing and the usual craziness inside the NOVAverse. My original plan of going Tampa Airport to JFK to Casablanca got scrapped yesterday due to bad weather around JFK.
My heart dropped upon seeing this delightful update…
Every year here in Las Vegas, or as my late father always said, Lost Wages, there is a gathering of business owners and Entrepreneur for a convention called Catersource. This year was March 15 and 16th, 2016, and my long time business associate, adventure chef and brother from another mother Chef Brent Shaver, aka A Chef’s Adventure, decided to join me on this culinary world adventure for Las Vegas Catersource 2016. See my primary business, the historic wedding and event venue NOVA 535 Unique Event Space, located in beautiful downtown St. Pete, Florida, allows outside catering for our events. I want to stay up to date with how the best of the world creates, serves, presents and stores is food offerings, plus I’ve been hankering to do more on-site cooking as well. Las Vegas Catersource 2016 sounded like a great way to accomplish all these goals plus spend some time in a fun city with one of my favorite humans. Here’s the story of Our Fellow Entrepreneurs at Las Vegas Catersource 2016. PS we always review people’s business cards – at least 10 a week since 2009. So please take our advice with a smile, we’re only trying to help. (more…)
Every year I head out to Sin City, aka Las Vegas, aka Lost Wages, Nevada for the CES 2016. CES = Consumer Electronics Show, the world’s largest showcase (and getting larger every year) of everything in the tech and electronics industry. Health, Robotics, 3D Printing, Automotive, Entertainment, Phones, Gadgets, 8k HDTVs; I mean everything. For those of you who have never been to Las Vegas, huh, really? Gambling, strip clubs, pool parties, dining, dancing, drinking, shopping and entertainment options galore; plus world-class shows like Cirque du Soleil (amazing!!!) and newcomer Absinthe (incredible!! adults only), wow what a great way to spend a week networking and enjoying yourself. WORK CAN BE FUN…