Does the Big Apple have a Big heart?

I was in NYC during March and April 09 aiming to experience all the flavors, sensations and places, to be a part of the city’s vibe.

Always looking for people willing to tell me a story or share an experience, from the doorman to the CEO, from the visually impaired to the Pulitzer winner, from the homeless to the Broadway star.

All of this to take the pulse of NYC.
Here you can find a few Side Effects of this Health Assessment.

Pacemaking it

Charging... clear!
All I can get from my computer is a flat line. Arrhythmias are life-threatening medical emergencies that can result in cardiac arrest and sudden death.

Lets just hope for the best and a fast recovery. At least a fast recovery of its contents. Meanwhile, keeping the pace in the city with some borrowed Artificial Inteligency.

To be continued:
Synchroniciting in NYC
The books at Strand
The bee keeper that also kept the traffic lights going
The best candies at BH, the all things electronic
The shredded money from the Federal Reserve
A lullaby at open-mic Birdland
The "not for tourists" views on the city
In the city 18 years later with Solera restaurant’s Spanish views
I-chatting with the Geek Squad
The really really free market
Going low on the glamorous side
The Coyote Ugly´s ugly face
Shoes and the advertising agencies world
The Grand Central Terminal connecting summer houses with Park Av
Big views at big buildings
Sotheby’s dress code: scrubs
Kiki de Montparnasse and strawberries and chocolate fondue
The going under phenomenons at La Esquina
Making some noise with NYWSE and Base Design
NY Public Library with Leo Astor and Leo Lenox
Dumpster diving with the Freegans
Garotas Suecas on the Stage of the World
Emotional Branding with Marc Gobé
The Soho House and the being in a club
Pre-screening at the Directors Guild
Being a Knickerbocker

and more... and more...

Put your Heart where your Watch is

Acting as a 24 hour medical assistance check-up line, i´m lacking the time to write about all the check-up appointments with:

_The Volta NY
_TJ Walker and Jess Todtfeld on the Media Training workshops
_Arthur Avenue, The Bronx and real cheese with the Traveling Mom
_Connecticut, the commuting and the suburbs family life
_Renting with an heart and the Roomorama team
_Jim Power the Mosaic Man, on the power of love
_Suzannah B. Troy on how the streets are free
_Chrysler building and the Venture Capital
_Solera and the Spanish experience in NYC
_Brooklyn and ISCP engaging NYC
_A doorman with a dream
_Shecky´s chunky jewelry
_Chelsea and the goodies bag phenomenon
_Gastronomical house-made Brooklyn
_Underground Harlem jazz with Gordon Polatnick
_The Bowery Poetry Club
_Saint Patrick´s parade and the Pipes and Drums from the NYC Fire Department
_Rollerblading at sunset on the Battery Park City
_Digital Wednesdays, Eurocircle, Csquared and French Tuesdays, is networking ever enough?
_The Architects crowd
_Saint Paul, Saint Marks, Saint MOMA, and the others
_The ferries, Staten Island and Miss Liberty
_Interviewing with Comunidades USA
_The Ukrainian Store and the bee keeper
_A clown in the subway
_Macy´s and Bloomingdale´s
_Penn Station
_The Frankfurters at The Papaya King
_Hell´s Kitchen
_Baby Swimming lessons
_finding the One for Jasmina
_NY Knicks at the Madison Square Garden
_Farmer´s market at Union Square
_Where Harry met Sally at Kats
_Flea markets and more 2nd hand shops
_Windy Flatiron

and many more... soon.

Love at first stitch

At the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) in Brooklyn,
a program that allows young creatives from all over the world to engage with NYC, and compose about it.

The Power of Love

The Mosaic Man: Jim Power's work and devotion for the East Village (with Jesse Jane and Suzannah B. Troy).

Big heart, anonymous swabbers

Over 1,600 people signed up as potential bone marrow donors for Jasmina.
"I'm blown away by the number of people who came to help Jasmina. It shows what kind of wonderful community we have here in New York City" said actress Jill Hennessy, one of the many parents and volunteers who helped organized the drive. It was even extended past its 2 p.m. end time due to the number of potential donors.

Big heart, little swab

Five year old Jasmina has been diagnosed with an aggressive and rare form of leukemia. She is now undergoing 3 months of intense chemotherapy. Following this, a bone marrow transplant will be critical to her survival, but a match has yet to be found.

Jasmina is African-American, a group severely under-represented on the worldwide registry, and she is adopted so her mother Thea is not able to turn to Jasmina’s blood relations for a possible match.

If you are in good health and between 18-55 years old, put your heart into coming to PS 41 school (116 West 11th Street between 6th & 7th Avenues) today, March 7 from 10:00 am-2:00 pm.

The test to find if you are a compatible match is a simple cheek swab. And today the city’s compassion will be under some health assessment too.You can also order a home test kit, or make a donation. Just go to


Flying to NYC by your own means. And I´m not only referring to this being a personal project at personal expenses, I mean really flying by your own means. Flap flap, along you go. Who said it would be easier?

I sweated my way here. So did Billy: an homing pigeon released in Calais and intending to go back home in Britain on a race, that ended up flapping his wings on a 3,321 mile journey across the Atlantic. Nearly exhausted, touched down in a courtyard in NYC. (It is unlikely Billy flew all the way across the Atlantic, as apparently pigeons can fly up to 600 miles a day, but need a place to rest at night, so maybe he landed in a ship heading for NY). British Airways then flew him back home to England for free. "We will be glad to have him home - he's paired with a hen, Milly, and she has been wondering where he is." Mrs Warrens, the owner, said.

So what's the magnetism here?
Population -
NYC: 8,214,426; Pigeons - NYC: 547, 821,691, but 465,468 visit from NJ weekly, 4,665,465 visit from Connecticut weekly, and 22,250,000 from upstate New York and Long Island.

Maybe there is a place for everyone ( NYC hotel room inventory as of Feb. 2008: 73,333 ), even for Billy : "Foot Squad is NYC PRC's fledgling volunteer outreach that grabs thread / string / hair injured birds in the street and tries to fix them on the spot and release them, though more often than not they need a visit to a vet and a few days to weeks aftercare to ward off infections and bleeding". They even powered up a network of temporary housing for the birds to recuperate.

Billy, keep an eye as the Pigeon Czar is on to you. As for me, sure the lawyers will be seeking for any infringing upon their heart: New York Loves Its Trademark . So, high expectations in the results of this project. After all, there was a time when the pigeon took Manhattan.

Put your Money where your Heart is

on a Jimi Wallet stylish enough to hang it from your neck by Laborde Brothers

The Before: What is this all about?

1 . What
I put myself forward to perform a cardio check-up on NYC as a brand. Everyone is willing to wear the t-shirt with the “I love NY” brand, so let’s look at this from the other side: is New York willing to love us back? Are the ambassadors of this brand (meaning the people, companies and brands of NYC) willing to embrace such an emotional approach and “give back” in order to contribute to the city’s awareness and good reputation, and more, to the goal of enticing 50 million tourists annually by 2015?

2 . Why
Because it’s clear nowadays that the image, reputation and brand values of a city, and especially the way it is perceived externally, can impact its success, development, its population, offers and opportunities.

Such a powerful and high impact brand as New York must appeal to the global audience via innovative approaches. This project aims to create a compelling experience that will empower the city with competitive advantages and help people understand it from a different angle, reinforcing their role as true brand ambassadors. Researching and working as a Country Brand Consultant myself, I consider this as a fresh approach to help renew New York’s vibrancy to the world.

3 . When
I would be landing in New York on the 1st of March 2009 and leaving on the 31st.

4 . Who
This is a private project of Patrícia Soares da Costa , a Portuguese Country Brand Consultant working for Bloom Consulting in Madrid, Spain. Previously worked with Wolff Olins in London and Rio de Janeiro, with Mybrand in Lisbon and São Paulo, and with The Brand Union (former Enterprise IG) in Madrid.

5 . How can you, your company, your brand, help or participate
Creativity is key. The purpose is to get a taste of New York from a different perspective, and broadcast it. So think of whatever special or unusual places, events or experiences you have access to, and invite me along, to visit, to have lunch, for a coffee, and share a story with me. Below you can find a sample list of what kind of offers people have already proposed.

6 . What’s in it for you, your company, your brand
You want to participate because you want New York to look good and get talked about, and because you want to be part of showing fresh perspectives of the city, especially in times of such change and turmoil. You will be rewarded not only with publicity on the website, but also with a special “Donor card” that will identify you as a true NY Brand Ambassador.

Via the website, you can then expect people to learn about you, your company, your services, or your brand. Extensive press coverage for this project has already been guaranteed.

All of the experiences, sensations and flavors will be recorded through text, photos and video. The official blog ( will continuously report the month-long event. Also, some of the contributions currently proposed involve prominent advertising space, with several brands in advanced negotiations about getting involved.

7 . Gains for NYC
Unique photo and video coverage of the city and its pulse, approaching the familiar and not-so-familiar from lively new angles with a refreshing, intimate approach; it will receive heightened press coverage and media recognition.

Increased brand domestic support by getting in touch with the needstates of the brand endorsers and taking the pulse of the brand ambassadors, empowering potential flagship brands or persons, also expanding brand awareness externally.

Work documents that will contain the gathered information, research and analysis on the city’s rhythm, with main conclusions, recommendations and findings, identifying main strategic opportunities and key information to be considered for new proposed activities; updated research and findings on the City’s capabilities, flow and performances, and also on current trends.

8 . F.A.Q.
Do you need to be a New Yorker to participate?
No, you just have to live or be represented in NYC and be interested in promoting the city’s image.

What if several people propose to offer the same experience?
Diversity is a priority on this project. If this were to occur, we might end up joining a group of people in the same activity and even promote networking among New Yorkers. There will be no simple repetition of experiences.

How much will it cost to participate?
Participation is free, and any goods and services offered will not be sold to any third party.

9 . How you can contribute
You can start now by promoting the project amongst your contacts, and return with feedback, advice, suggestions, and contacts that might be interested in the project.

An invitation to have lunch at your company, or at your grandmother’s house, or for a cocktail at a must-know spot, or to a unusual restaurant, or to Sunday brunch because your friends have some great stories, a picnic in the Central Park.

Perhaps you have a spare ticket to a show, or a spare pass to your gym. You m ight invite me to a fitness evaluation because you’re a doctor, or to a piano lesson because you’re a teacher, or even to tag along on your salsa lesson.

A pair of shoes from your brand might help with all the walking that will be done over the month, or maybe you want to offer products or services from your brand on a trial basis.

You could offer advertising space in your magazine or website to raise awareness of the project, or space that I can trade with brands or companies to get them involved, perhaps you’ll give the project coverage on your blog, or even a sit-in on your radio talk show.

A manicure in your salon or a game of Mahjong in Chinatown, a ride in your classic car or an insider’s tour of a museum, gallery or landmark, the access to the rooftop of your building because of the unusual view. You could even offer office space or use of the printer and copy machines to help with the logistics.

10 . NYC is the capital city of the world… or is it?
There are new approaches to naming a city as “the capital city of the world”. Before, people would worry about real estate, financial data, number of inhabitants, etc, but now lots of other aspects are valued: art, music, events, people, fashion, urban planning, the cultural melting pot… even what’s evaluated as quality of life now includes a lot of new factors. In people’s minds, New York is a perennial capital city, an urban classic. What about the eternal rivalry between New York and London? With the organization of the 2012 Olympic Games, all the eyes will be looking at London.

Witness recent coverage:
“New York has the nostalgia, London the future. New York defines the metropolitan, London the cosmopolitan.” - Times Online

“Cities vie for Coolness: will London move ahead of front-runner New York to become the coolest city of the 21st Century? The unofficial battle for the title World Capital of Cool is about to resume. There are only two big beasts in the jungle: New York, once the undisputed champion, and London, seen by many as rapidly closing the gap." - The Guardian

“If Paris was the capital of the nineteenth century and New York of the twentieth, London is shaping up to be the capital of the 21st. It is not Britain and the United States that have a special relationship, it is London and New York - and it is that of wayward siblings, blood brothers who can’t stop wrestling for the top prize.” - New York Magazine

“The results of a study from a collaboration of New York and London Universities analyses what may not be a competition, but London and New York are compared with striking results. More dramatic differences were expected, but they really are neck and neck. The bigger concern is that these two cities not rest on their laurels: What happens to the two cities in the next five years will be really crucial. While New York did do better in certain categories, overall, the two cities have striking similarity.” - NY Sun

“London is set to overtake New York as the capital city of the 21st century. Says who? Well, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for one. Speaking at New York City Hall in January, the mayor cited a report by the consultancy McKinsey, which found London snapping at the heels of New York. If that isn't enough to make proud New Yorkers a tad nervous, New York magazine ought to do it. Its cover story? London - The Other New York.“ - ABC News

It’s time to take the pulse of NYC and show the world the Big Apple’s big heart.


Heartspitality is a new Tourism trend that is all about feeling the pulse of a destination and getting to the heart of a place.

Because you also share this mindset, but have no idea where to be inspired for your next quest, who to approach or what to do, Heartspitality aims to be your starting point.

- Heartspitality - blog
- Heartspitality - website

and started with "Does the Big Apple have a big heart?"