Read more from the Oct Issue of Athleisure Mag and see Party at Daybreak with DJ Eloy and State Mgmt’s Coco Yu in mag.
This month's cover is graced by another one of our faves, CNBC's Jon Fortt who we see everyday as Co-host of Squawk Alley where, he shares his insight on what's going on with startups as well as tech companies. In addition to rocking an array of menswear that is transitional winter/spring style, he shares with us how he got into the industry from journalism to broadcasting, his approach to his work and more.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us your background and how you got into broadcasting and ultimately to CNBC?
JON FORTT: I’m kind of an accidental broadcast guy. It was never a big goal of mine to get on TV. I actually started out working for newspapers as a print reporter. There was a national newspaper chain called Knight Ridder and they had this amazing scholarship for aspiring journalists and media businesspeople from ethnic minority groups. Every year, they’d pick four high school students to win a financial award, and more important, summer internships during college. Unfortunately, Knight Ridder doesn’t exist anymore, and there aren’t enough programs like the one they had.
Anyway, I worked for a Knight Ridder paper called the Lexington Herald-Leader after college, then got a job in Silicon Valley at the San Jose Mercury News just before the dot-com bust. I eventually made the move to magazines, editing at Time Inc.’s Business 2.0 and writing for Fortune. That’s where CNBC found me. They’d have me on every now and then to talk about Apple, which had become my specialty. Back in 2010, they decided they wanted to take a chance on a new correspondent, and fortunately, I was it.
AM: We know that you enjoy talking about tech companies, startups, products and services. What is it about technology that makes you so passionate and do you have a specific topic within it that you really enjoy focusing on?
JF: That’s a cool question, because I don’t think anyone’s asked me in that way before. It’s a little bit of an accident of timing that I’m into technology, I think. I got out of high school in 1994, the same year the web browser was born, and I think that has a lot to do with it. I got to the college newspaper and we were suddenly facing this question of what we were going to do about the web. Some of us started learning HTML, and built the first website for the paper. (I don’t think I had much to do with the final product, but it was fun to learn.) Not long after that, the paper got its first digital camera, which was seriously high-tech back then. It could only shoot black-and-white photos, and the resolution was really bad, but it was about 10 times faster to get a photo shot and processed compared to the darkroom. It became clear pretty quickly that technology was going to be the edge I would need in my career to get things done faster and at higher quality. That’s what I like covering most, I guess – the way seemingly small ideas can completely change the way we get things done.
AM: When we're watching CNBC, you talk about a range of companies and startups - and you have a fresh and fair approach to present it to those of varying levels of understanding - how important is it to make these topics relatable to a wide, as well as a niche audience?
JF: Maybe it’s the writer in me, and maybe it’s the time I spent doing tech reviews. I try to remember that there’s no excuse for making the audience feel dumb. Our audience is smart, but a big portion of our viewers aren’t into all of the jargon – they’re people managing stock portfolios preparing for retirement, or retirees trying to understand the forces that are affecting the stocks they own. The temptation is always to match the wonkiness of the guests we have on – economists and investment managers – to sort of prove that I can go toe-to-toe in the conversation. But I think it’s always important to remember why I’m there: as a representative of the viewer.
AM: We love the Fortt Knox Podcast. How did it come about and what is its mission? What are some of the challenges that live interviews bring?
JF: Thanks! The Fortt Knox Podcast was born because I felt like I was leaving too much good stuff on the cutting room floor. I mean, sometimes a Fortune 500 CEO is willing to spend an hour with me, and I’ve got five minutes of live air time. Depending on what’s happening in the news, maybe I’ve got to ask about the company’s stock price, or something political – if that’s what’s moving markets that day, it’s what you’ve gotta do on CNBC. That’s a third of the live interview time, gone. Why not record a longer interview, and offer it up to people who want to go deeper?
The mission? There’s a line I say to introduce each episode, and I think it sums things up: “We’re going to learn how the very best climbed to the top, and pull out lessons along the way.” The stuff I do live on CNBC is mostly for investors and fans of the public markets who want to understand where to put their long-term dollars. Fortt Knox is for people who want insight into building their careers, who want to understand how high-achieving people get things done.
At the same time, because I’m a little crazy, I decided it would be cool to do a live streaming show, Fortt Knox Live. That’s also weekly, and a CNBC producer, Evan Falk, works closely with me on it. The mission behind that is to answer the question, "What are the best ways to manage your time and money in a culture where tech is taking over?"
AM: Walk us through what it is like to prepare as a Co-Anchor for Squawk Alley and for your podcast Fortt Knox? Wow, what does your day look like when you're preparing for Squawk Alley and then when you're getting ready for your show?
JF: It’s sometimes a bit nuts. I get up in the morning at 6 or 6:30, and I immediately check my phone (iPhone X at the moment) for headlines and indications of how stocks are likely to begin trading that day. I look for emails from the producers about changes to the guests and timing of the show. I copy that over into a folder I keep in the cloud in Microsoft OneNote. (See, I’m not a total Apple guy.) Eventually, I walk to the train, about a mile and a half, and catch New Jersey Transit to Hoboken and then a PATH train to World Trade Center. I’m really conscious of all the spots where I will and won’t have Internet access, because I’m compiling my research for Squawk Alley the whole way. I walk from World Trade to the New York Stock Exchange in Lower Manhattan, where we broadcast the show live from the floor.
After Squawk Alley ends at noon, I might head up to the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square to record a Fortt Knox Podcast interview, or on Wednesday to stream Fortt Knox Live. From the Nasdaq I’ll make my way to CNBC headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. I finish the in-office day there. I might be editing the audio for the podcast, which I produce and edit myself, or I might be planning the next Fortt Knox Live with Evan. Or I might be pouring over stats and trying to figure out how to boost the distribution and quality of both the podcast and live show. Sometimes that bleeds over into time at home, too. But I try to get home by 6, in time for dinner with my wife and two boys, who are 7 and 9. I like to give them a hug goodbye in the morning, have dinner with them and get them ready for bed if at all possible. That means bringing Fortt Knox work home sometimes, but ideally the kids don’t see too much of it. I try not to pull out my phone much in the evening. One of the upsides of technology is that it helps us to be more flexible in where and when we work. Of course, that can backfire if we use it to overwork ourselves, but it can also give us more time with family if we can work it right.
AM: What's your hectic time of year in terms of covering tech and startups?
JF: I used to say it was the springtime, but now, with Fortt Knox, there is no slower season. If things are getting slow, it means I need to step up my game in booking guests.
AM: What are your impressions on the state of the crypto asset ecosystem? Do you have any recommendations for people interested in the space?
JF: I’m not one to give in-depth investment advice – that’s my colleague Jim Cramer’s gig – but I’ll say this: if you’re doing it right, investing is a game of skill, not a game of chance. You shouldn’t put your money into anything unless you believe you have a decent idea of what makes its value go up and down. I see a lot of people putting money into cryptocurrencies who have no idea what’s making prices move. Some people say, “If you just put 1% of your net worth into cryptocurrencies, it’s OK.” But let’s be real, if 1% of your net worth is $2,000, and you buy some Bitcoin and it doubles, you’re either going to sell it and say, “that was fun,” or you’re going to be tempted to start chasing it and put $10,000 in. Hey, unless your 401(k) is fully funded with the match, you have 6 months’ worth of expenses saved in cash, you're carrying zero student loans and you're not carrying a balance on any credit cards, don't even think about putting more than a couple hundred bucks into cryptocurrencies. It'll distract you from more important uses of your money and time. That’s the advice I’d give family, anyway.
AM: We love that you call it like you see it. How does your approach to journalism best bring out the story? How have you adapted with new media and distribution platforms along the way?
JF: After a certain period of time, with certain subjects, I think the audience gives a journalist permission to offer what I’d call “informed analysis.” How’s that different from opinion? Well, everyone’s entitled to their opinion, right? Informed analysis is different. You get to deliver analysis when people understand that you have a bit of background in the subject, and you can give historical context for why something is likely to happen, or why a product or strategy is important or risky or not. I try to be careful about that, but I think the “call it like you see it” approach is important in today’s journalism, when some executives or companies might be trying to put up a smokescreen or overhype technologies. The key is that the analysis be informed.
AM: Who are some of your favorite interviews so far on-air? Who are some people you’d love to have a session with?
JF: Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, is fun because he has this unique approach to leadership. He doesn’t take the drill sergeant approach, or the admit-no-faults approach that’s popular in some circles of leadership today. He’s thoughtful. Jeff Bezos was great too, but it’s been too long. I’d love to have him back. It’s also been a few years since I last talked to Mark Zuckerberg on air. Now would be a great time for him to sit down with me again. Subtle, no?
AM: What would you tell those that are interested in getting into broadcasting and podcasts? Anything to add with tech-specific shows particularly?
JF: The great and horrible thing about getting into media right now is, you no longer have to ask for permission. If you’re really passionate about telling people’s stories and about sharing knowledge, you can just do it. If you have a broadband connection, a PC and a phone, you have everything you need to start showing the world what you can do. So whenever young people tell me they’re interested in getting into media, I’m like, “Show me what you’ve done.” Don’t tell me, show me. And I’m not looking for top quality necessarily, but I’m looking for drive and evidence that this person is getting better. Often, young people can’t show we much they’ve done. And that tells me you’re not truly passionate about media, you maybe just like watching videos. There’s a difference.
With tech-specific shows – it’s just like anything else you’re interested in. Be a voracious student of the area you care about, hone your craft as far as how you write, and speak, and present information, and you’ll be surprised how far you’ll go.
AM: When you're not on air, what can we find you doing?
JF: I’ve become something of an amateur photographer lately. I shoot with a Sony A7ii, a full-frame camera I got from an eBay auction a year and a half ago. (The secret with those auctions is to use a sniper program like Gixen.) I just recently put together the newsletter for my youngest son’s elementary school PTA. It was 12 pages, full color, far too elaborate.
AM: How do you maintain balance between your schedule from being on air, hosting events and your family?
JF: I try to limit the business dinners and do lunches instead. Then there’s the whole being home for dinner thing. I read the kids a Bible story, read to them from a book (right now we’re in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, powering through C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia series). I tend to be the parent who primarily handles bigger projects like book reports, speeches and science projects. My philosophy is, if I make specific commitments at home the way I do at work, I have to move other things to make them happen.
AM: What's your personal style on air and how does that differ when you're running errands or out on the town?
JF: I’m one of those guys who knows what I like, but I wouldn’t say I qualify as someone who’s deep into fashion. If I’m just going to be around the house, it’s sweats or the same athletic gear I wear to work out. If I’m going out, I’m one for dressy jeans, a button-down and layers. Lately I’m into more details, collars and cuffs, and quality stitching. It’s the nice thing about being an adult who’s not growing anymore and being able to maintain a pretty constant weight. Quality stuff lasts. Some of my favorite pieces are more than 10 years old. I’ve got a couple of leather jackets that I picked up in Italy on our honeymoon 11 years ago.
AM: What fitness studios do you go to?
JF: I know this is sacrilege, but I don’t do fitness studios. CNBC has a free gym at headquarters, and when I’m doing what I should, I get in there two or three times a week for some time on the bike and a few weights. My staple now that I’m over 40 is body weight exercises – pushups, pullups, planks, squats, lunges – that sort of thing. At home I’ve got resistance bands, which are great for promoting flexibility and muscle elasticity. I get the fitness studio thing - the camaraderie, the motivation - but it's not my thing. The last gym I went to was a Gold's in Silicon Valley. I went at 5 a.m. with the old people and bodybuilders, and it was a cool $15 a month. Very business-like. Come to think of it, if I were single I’d feel differently, but at this point I’m not trying to meet new people at the gym, you know?
AM: What are three must-haves that you take with you to work daily?
JF: I’m not going to count my phone, because that’s a gimmie. I’ve got to have my Anker portable battery, because there’s no way any phone can get me through a full day on a single charge. I always carry my Tascam DR-40 with two XLR mics for podcast recording. And I’ve got a pair of JLab Audio Epic2 Bluetooth earbuds.
AM: What's currently on your playlist?
JF: I’m all over the place. I’m still bumping A Tribe Called Quest’s last album, and I have a mild obsession with Dua Lipa’s New Rules – particularly that spot in the chorus where the rhythm shifts from 3-2 to a standard back beat. X Ambassadors are the most underrated alternative band out there… “Love Songs Drug Songs,” and “Unconsolable” get heavy rotation from me. And of course real hip-hop from The Roots, Mos Def, Nas… I don’t touch the new mumble rap stuff.
AM: What charities/organizations do you support?
JF: We’re longtime supporters of World Vision and Children International, and over the past five years, we’ve stepped up our giving to International Justice Mission. IJM is a pretty phenomenal organization that goes into communities around the world and works to free slaves. Their work includes victims of human trafficking, the fishing industry, brick-making operations... you name it. They work with local law enforcement to not only liberate people, but also bring criminals to justice through the courts.
AM: If you weren't working in your current field, what you be doing?
JF: I thought about taking a year off after college and trying to make it as a singer/songwriter. I’m glad I didn’t have to resort to that. In high school, I took architecture classes and thought I might do that for a while. Whatever I’d be doing, it would probably have to involve bringing creative concepts to life using technology.
Jon's shoot took place in the Hudson Yards and Hell's Kitchen neighborhoods, which are two hot areas in the city on the west side in midtown. Throughout the shoot, we showcased luxury living at Sky, which is developed by The Moinian Group. We wanted to know more about why this property has had so much buzz due to its location, amenities and more.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What is the concept behind Sky Residences?
THE MOINIAN GROUP: The largest residential tower in the country, Sky debuted in January, 2016. With an abundance of resort-like amenities and services, Sky was designed to provide the ultimate luxury experience for its residents. The 71-story building, which offers studio to two-bedroom homes, sits at the nexus of two thriving neighborhoods – Hell’s Kitchen and Hudson Yards – allowing residents to immerse themselves in best-in-class services while experiencing one of Manhattan’s most vibrant, growing communities.
AM: Who developed this property?
TMG: Leading NYC developers, The Moinian Group are the development team behind Sky. The Moinian Group is one of the top national real estate entities to develop, own and operate properties across every category including office, hotel, retail, condos and rental apartments. The team's portfolio of 20 million square feet spans across many major cities including New York, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. Bold New York handles the leasing for the building.
AM: Who created the interior design?
TMG: The stunning interiors at Sky were designed by celebrated architecture and design firm, Rockwell Group. Founded by award-winning visionary David Rockwell, Rockwell Group was also responsible for spearheading all of the building’s design features.
AM: What amenities are offered?
TMG: Sky leads by example in luxury residential living, featuring a myriad of world-class amenities including including an outdoor deck with two zero-edge pools; a private park; full-service spa with nail salon; professional-sized basketball court designed by Carmelo Anthony; water club with Turkish hammam; indoor/outdoor yoga spaces; billiards lounge and café; two libraries with fireplaces; a Spot Canine Club; and a 10,000 square foot fitness floor. The building also features world-renowned artwork by Yayoi Kusama, including a larger than life, carved bronze pumpkin in the building’s infinity loop motor court, as well as the two Kusama “Infinity Net” paintings in the building’s David Rockwell - designed lobby. Sky also features Gunther Forg’s Lead Paintings.
AM: What bespoke services are offered?
TMG: Sky offers a 24-hour doorman, valet services, on-site lifestyle concierge service by Luxury Attaché, Spot Canine Club, exclusive events, in-house room service from LifeCafe and a full-service spa with an adjoining nail salon and massage studio.
AM: Tell us about LifeTime Athletic at Sky.
TMG: LifeTime Athletic at Sky - NYC's premier health and fitness club - features an unparalleled array of amenities and services. Residents can enjoy four fitness studios with offerings such as Pilates, Yoga and Cycle in addition to a full range of group fitness classes. The 70,000 square foot space also offers LifeSpa, LifeCafe, expansive indoor lap pool, spacious locker rooms with lavish amenities and towel services. LifeTime provides an ease of access to all residents, allowing them to take an elevator straight into the fitness club and enter through the residence entrance.
AM: Tell us about the neighborhood.
TMG: Sky is positioned right in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, the home to many of NYC’s famed theaters and award-winning restaurants. Residents are also in close proximity to the iconic Highline and West Chelsea’s renowned art galleries. The booming Hudson Yards District, set just a few blocks from Sky, will soon feature brand new office towers along with more than 100 new luxury shops and restaurants.
AM: What is next to Sky?
TMG: The retail space next to the Sky residences is curated by the Moinian Group. This past year The Moinian Group created Sky Art, a nonprofit art center founded by Frahm & Frahm and The Moinian Group that featured exhibited work from Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. The artist's latest collection, I <3 John Giorno, was designed as a tribute to American poet and activist, John Giorno. The location, now named Sky Space, has been transformed into a premier event venue fit with high ceilings and glass curtain walls.
AM: How can people contact you?
TMG: For more information visit liveatsky.com, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call our leasing office at 212.588.0042.
PROPERTY PHOTOS COURTESY | THE MOINIAN GROUP
If you don't know Brandi Rhodes, you're missing out on this stunner who embodies #GirlPower and #CoupleGoals. While you get to know more about her through her social, you can catch her wrestling with Women of Honor alongside her hubby Cody Rhodes (as she is apart of wrestling royalty)! You can also catch her this month in the debut season of E! WAGS Atlanta, where she is one of the breakout stars.
In addition to shooting her fabulous editorial for our anniversary issue, we talked with her about how she got into the industry from modeling, her start in the WWE, being in ROH/WOH, her busy schedule and how she maintains her site, Not a Basic B for her fans to get to know her more!
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us how you got into wrestling and what your journey was into the sport?
BRANDI RHODES: I was scouted by WWE as I was modeling in Miami, FL. They contacted my modeling agency and expressed interest. From there I had meetings and then a try out to assess my athleticism. Then I was offered a contract to come to Florida Championship Wrestling and begin training. The rest is history!
AM: We know you were with the WWE and are currently with WOH - can you tell us about your experiences with both and what you're looking forward to within this league?
BR: With WWE I was an announcer, and unable to wrestle (which is what I wanted to do all along, but once it was discovered that I was good on the mic, I was placed in that position and
unable to transition away from it). In WOH I am of course a wrestler and am able to spread my wings and grow and learn so much! I also am able to work with my husband in ROH which is so
much fun. ROH/WOH allow me to do everything in the realm of wrestling, which is very challenging and fun.
AM: What's it like being married to Cody, who is also a wrestler and is in ROH?
BR: I’m the luckiest woman in the world to be married to Cody. He is incredibly smart, ambitious, handsome and has such a big heart. It’s inspirational to get to work with him in ROH. I learn a lot from him, and I have a front row seat to this time, being the most successful of his career. In Wrestling, many times wives have to stay home and watch their spouses compete from afar. I’m grateful to be on the road with him and able to see some of his most important
AM: How do you balance your schedules as we interviewed WWE Superstar Natalya Neidhart last year and Danielle Moinet/Summer Rae last year and know that as an athlete, you guys travel a lot to global matches? When your husband is also doing these, how do you connect
and find balance?
BR: We are big on having our fun. We plan our downtime just like anyone else. This month we are looking forward to a long awaited ski trip after heading to Japan for WrestleKingdom, one of the biggest wrestling events of the entire year! But sometimes it’s a trip to Disney or Universal Studios to recharge and connect, others it’s a trip to our favorite movie theater, and other times, we have to find time to have dates on the road! Last week we had to see The Last Jedi, in New Jersey because we were working, but refused to miss out on seeing the movie right when it came out. No matter how busy our schedules are, we can always find time to do things we love together. We make it if we have to!
AM: When we looked through your blog, Not Another Basic B - we were obsessed with your accessories and style - tell us more about your blog, why you created it, and how important is it to you as a creative outlet?
BR: Initially I created Not Another Basic B as a way to express my creativity. I was very bored and just not satisfied in my previous career. I couldn’t control that at the time, but I could challenge myself by creating the blog and the content that I put into it. I loved fashion and often would have people tweeting me trying to find out what brands I was wearing on TV, and this blog made it easier to connect with these folks and get them that information! From there, the blog took off to become more than fashion. I started sharing my travels, things about my
family and my marriage and personal stories as well. Now people look to the blog as a place for everyone. From the fashionista to the wrestling fan, to the traveler! I’m so proud of what it has
AM: How did you become apart of the cast of WAGS Atlanta?
BR: I was living in LA working on another TV project and Casting reached out to my management asking if I would be willing to do a Skype interview to get to know me. I did the interview and a week later was sent over a contract to do the show! It was really fast! I later
found out that I was the last member cast. They were looking for someone who had an existing fan base and presence, and thankfully I have the most loyal fan base and following from the
wrestling world and they are really excited to see me on the show!
AM: We know that the season just started, but would you come back for another season, and/or be open to future reality shows?
BR: There are a lot of factors that come into play when determining what happens next and when. But I am happy to have this opportunity to be a part of the E! family, and for viewers and our existing fans to have the opportunity to get to know us a little better!
AM: How do you stay in great shape?
BR: I train very hard daily! My workouts are 6 days a week and incorporate weight training, interval exercises and plenty of cardio. I’ve found a balance with training, it’s something that challenges me, but also that I enjoy greatly.
AM: What do your workouts look for a match versus just maintaining when you may be in a few days of downtime?
BR: I really don’t deviate from routine when I have a match coming up. I compete pretty frequently, sometimes multiple times in one week, so for me it’s important to stay consistent at all times. In the summer, however, I do tend to add runs into my workouts simply because I love running outside!
AM: What are 3 go-to power foods when you're working out versus 3 splurges when you're treating yourself?
BR: When I’m working out I love a good protein shake, my favorite is from a place called Kale Me Crazy. I’m also very big on tuna packets, because I can take them anywhere and they do the trick! Then I love almond butter. Put it on my toast every morning. Splurge foods: pizza, burgers and any kind of cake. I have a ridiculous sweet tooth!
AM: You travel frequently what are 3 beauty products that you swear by that keep your skin fresh and vibrant?
BR: I always travel with Foreo. It’s a face cleansing device (similar to Clarisonic) but they come in Travel sizes and are so easy to use and keep clean! I also need my Dermologica face lotion
which is lightweight and SPF50! Lastly, I always have a good mask with me, I tend to go back and forth between charcoal and mud masks.
AM: How do you take time for yourself?
AM: What do you wear when you go out for brunch, versus when you're running errands?
BR: I definitely dress up for brunch! A sundress with jewelry and heels in always up my alley. For errands, however, most of the time I am dressed “gym fab” because I’ve either just
come from the gym, or I’m on the way to the gym! Often time that’s head to toe Lululemon or Lorna Jane!
AM: What are your goals this year in wrestling, business, the site, family etc?
BR: This year I’m hoping to chase the dream of becoming WOH Champion! I’m looking forward to taking the blog to new heights this year with some upcoming partnerships! There are a few exciting things underway so just keep your eyes and ears open for me!
AM: What charities/philanthropies do you give your time to?
BR: I’ve always had an interest anything that helps with cancer research. Over the past few years my family has known too many families that have lost kids to childhood cancer. I’m always passionate in that research and spreading the word about ways to help.
BR: The best ways to connect and interact with me! Those are my social pages: @TheBrandiRhodes - Twitter and IG and of course NotAnotherBasicB.com! Aside from that I’d like to wish everyone an amazing 2018! It’s going to be as great as we make it!
We end our year the way we began it - with NERVO, but this time, in addition to our interview, we hung out with them right before their Lavo NYC show to shoot the International EDM DJ duo. Liv and Mim have been traveling, DJing around the world, releasing new music and continuing to connect with their fans.
We brought them to Grammy winner and music icon, Desmond Child's home (we have an exclusive interview with Desmond following this interview), which was the perfect location for this shoot. We talked with them about what they're up to, who they've been working with, where they'd like to perform, their upcoming show for NYE at the W in Miami and what festivals you'll see them in during 2018.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We kicked off the year with an interview with you ladies and it's only fitting that we close it with you as well as you're gracing our Dec cover - what has been a snapshot of this year from what you were up to personally, musically, - whatever you wish to share.
NERVO: We have had a year of absolute madness. Lots of great things going on that we just need to pinch ourselves sometimes. We also are just doing our best to keep our heads above water and enjoy the little moments you know… We think all touring artists or just busy people, in general, are the same. There’s a lot of pressure mixed with a lot of adrenaline filled moments. It can be a lot sometimes!
AM: You ladies are multiple threats as you're DJ's, producers, songwriters, composers, models, brand ambassadors, etc., so it was only fitting to have you shoot in Desmond Child's home
- can you share some of your projects that you did this year or next year?
N: Tell us about it - Desmond Child is a total legend. What an honour to be shooting in his home! Love how we decked his house out.
So… We released a bunch of music this year, including a few collabs - one with New York based band Sofi Tukker and some others with more dance artists like DVBBS and Danny Avila, Oh, and then there’s the collab we wrote with Cheif Keef which was pretty special! We have been touring mainly Europe for the summer, but we also have our residency at Omnia in Las Vegas, which gets us over to The USA about 16 times a year.
We have a bunch of new songs in the works which we are focusing in on now. Quarters 4 and 1 are always for making new music and that means touring a bit less.
AM: What's the process like when you're creating your music and how is it different when you're creating something for another artist?
N: We’re more relaxed when we make music for others or even for a collaboration. Something about it being less pressure. When it’s your own record suddenly you feel like people are going
to hate on you if they don’t like it. It’s a part time job blocking out that noise!
AM: How do you go about finding inspiration for upcoming projects?
N: We are constantly inspired. To be honest we don’t have enough time to not be inspired. We have so many unfinished ideas that we just need an extra 2 days a week to finish. We must be
ADHD or something.
AM: What is a NERVO Christmas like - do you make it home to Australia for the holiday, do you guys cook and what gifts are you looking for this year?
N: It’s pretty low key and is the same every year. We have a huge lunch in our family home in Melbourne, then we all go to our Aunty Mary and Uncle Max’s home for more food, and then we
eventually pass out around 10pm with belly’s so full that we couldn’t dream of eating dinner! Leftovers are eaten for the next 4 days or so. We are Italian/Australian so there’s always SO
AM: This NYE, where are you playing and what about 2018 makes you excited to ring it in?
N: We are playing Miamiiiiiii! At the W Hotel. We can’t wait!! Miami is just the best for New Year's Eve. We think we might hang around a few days and have some beach time and Cuban food.
AM: What's on your playlist at the moment that gets you up and moving?
AM: Where are some festivals/cities that you'll be hitting this year that we can expect to see you performing at?
N: We are playing Tomorrowland in Belgium again. Always a yearly highlight! We are also playing Creamfields in South America. And of course, everyone can catch us at Ushuaia in Ibiza and Omnia/Hakkassan in The USA for our residencies.
AM: What is a gig that you would like to do ie. Super Bowl Half Time show, that you have yet to be asked to do but want to check off your bucket list?
N: Probably Coachella. It’s such a great festival and one of the only ones we have never been asked to play at. We don't think they like us. ha! Maybe we're too bubbly or mainstream or
something... We dunno. But we have been to the festival and it's such a great vibe. Always perfect weather.
AM: You're rocking a lot of fun styles throughout our Dec cover shoot, but what is your personal style when you head out to play a set for NYE versus when you're hanging out?
N: We like to dress things up when we play a gig. We love body suits, lycra, face jewels, creepers, teased up hair, more is more. When we are hanging out we’re a lot more chilled and casual - for example we are loving the Fenty clothes that we wore in the shoot for our travel/studio days!
AM: You guys travel a lot, what are your 3 musts that you take with you no matter what city you're rocking in to feel like you're at home?
N: Iijin snake skin silver and gold shoes (for Liv), Hairspray (for Mim), and our laptops (for both of us).
AM: The Winter Olympics are coming up and we're fans of curling, what teams/sports are you cheering for?
N: Ooohh we’ll have to check it out!! We do love to ski so that’s something we would like to watch. Does Australia even have a team? If Australia is competing then we would have to go for
them but if they don’t then we would go for Italy because that is where our parents were born :).
NERVO YORK CREDITS
COVER + PG 14 | FENTY X PUMA Blocked Track Jacket + Blocked Taped Track Pant | OUTDOOR VOICES Sport Bra | FENTY X PUMA AnkleStrap Sneaker | FENTY X PUMA Monday Cap | FRAME Le Original Patch Jacket |
FENTY X PUMA Hooded Zip Front Leotard | FENTY X PUMA Printed Bra | RUBEN GALARRETA Legging Harness |
PG 16 | BLACK MILK Fatale Dress | LAGOS JEWELRY Black Beaded Caviar Bracelet | ARTISTS' OWN Wrapped Bracelet, Charm Bracelet, Watch + Hat |
PG 19 | MCM Shearling Bag | ARTISTS' OWN Bra, Shorts + Scarf |
PG 20 | SPLENDID Racerback Turtleneck Sport Bra | ELIZABETH ACKERMAN Palazzo Palm Pants | DIANA ROSH FUR Olive + Blue Fur Coat | LOVE KNITZ Hat |
PG 21 | DIANA ROSH FUR Multicolor Coat | HAT ATTACK Arm Warmers | MIRA RAE Velvet Leggings | MCM Shearling Hat |
PG 22 | ROMPLY Blush Wrap Romper | HAT ATTACK Hat | LAGOS JEWELRY Ring | ARTISTS' OWN Bra |
PG 25 | ROMPLY Navy/Gold Tapestry Romper | NINA JEWELRY Swarovski Bangle | MCM Polke Backpack in Starry Eyed Bunny | ARTISTS' OWN Marcher Jacket |
Athleisure Mag readers know that a number of our shoots take place in luxury apartments that have yet to be released to the public or are being sold. We tend to maintain the privacy of the homeowners; however, this shoot was perfectly aligned as it took place at Grammy-winning and Emmy-nominated songwriter/producer Desmond Child's home!
He is one of the most accomplished hit-makers, having written and produced more than eighty Billboard Top 40 hits spanning five decades including "Livin' On A Prayer”, “You Give Love A Bad Name”, “I Was Made For Lovin' You”, “Dude Looks Like A Lady”, “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” and “Waking Up In Vegas.” From Aerosmith to Zedd, his genre-defying collaborations also include Bon Jovi, KISS, Motley Crew, Joan Jett, Cher, Michael Bolton, Cyndi Lauper, Ricky Martin, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks, Meat Loaf, Selena Gomez, Katy Perry, Sia, Mickey Mouse and Kermit the Frog, selling over 500 million records worldwide as well as downloads, YouTube views and streaming plays already in the billions. His upcoming autobiography LIVIN' ON A PRAYER: BIG SONGS BIG LIFE with David Ritz is scheduled for release the Fall 2018. Desmond Child was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008 and serves on its Board of Directors as well as the Board of ASCAP. In 2012 he co-founded the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame and serves as its Chairman/CEO. He is also Chairman of The Fountains of Musica Foundation, who’s mission is to complete Alan LeQuire's aquatic bronze masterpiece MUSICA located at the entrance to Nashville’s Music Row.
ATHLEISURE MAG: It was an honor to shoot in your beautiful home and NERVO was very excited to see that they were in your apartment. Please share with our readers about how you got into the music business and whom you have worked with.
DESMOND CHILD: My beautiful mother, the late Cuban poet and Bolero composer Elena Casals, was always writing her romantic and soulful songs at her old upright piano on the dairy farm in Hawthorn, Florida, where I was born in 1953. At that time, I didn’t know that most people don’t write songs as a natural expression of the ups and downs of ordinary life. I would sit on my mother's lap at the piano and bang out long unrepeatable classical sounding improvisations. As soon as I could sit upright, she would make me play for her bohemian friends sitting around on the floor smoking and drinking during the Mad Men era when that was actually still good for you.
Not being able to afford a gift, I wrote my first official pop song titled “Birthday Blues” at the age of 15 in 1968 as a birthday tribute to a beautiful girl I was trying to impress named Laura
Stern. After that, I never looked back and kept writing songs all the way into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, where I was inducted into in 2008. That only took 40 years. ;)
ATHLEISURE MAG: Your home is awesome and there were so many elements that were amazing, but we all enjoyed your piano - when did you decide that you would have these notable talents sign your piano, and are there signatures that you have yet to get, but still
want to have in there?
DC: It was a random day, and I was walking down 57th Street, and when I got to the Steinway showroom, I looked through the window and saw this gorgeous Steinway D lit up like it was on a stage. I went in, sat down at it, and it seemed to just play itself. I ended up buying it on the spot, but I had to put it in storage for 2 years while my apartment was being renovated. When the time finally came to move-in the piano, I had to hire a crane to lift it up on its side in a massive wooden crate and slip it through the living room window.
It was an incredible feat that tied up Fifth Avenue traffic and pissed-off a lot of people.
As soon as I started doing writing sessions with top stars or important visitors, I would ask them to write their names in the piano along with the date. It started to get crowded in there and some names are completely unrecognizable, so I guess I will have to create a map of the stars to keep track of them all.
These are the names I would love to have in the piano: Joni Mitchell, Sir Elton John, Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson, Sade, Imogen Heap, Paul Stanley & Gene Simmons, Beyonce & Jay Z, Steven Tyler, and Joe Perry.
AM: Are there projects that you are working on that you can share with us?
DC: I am just putting the finishing touches on my auto-biography - LIVIN' ON A PRAYER: BIG SONGS BIG LIFE with David Ritz. I hope to release in the fall of 2018.
AM: What is currently on your playlist?
DC: I only play two records ever… AMOROSO by Jaoa Gilberto, produced by my dear late friend Tommy LiPuma, and Sade’s epic LOVE DELUX. Over the past 5 years I’ve added Concha Buika’s
rare but exquisite albums. Any other music I hear is by accident.
AM: With New Years Eve just around the corner, what's the perfect playlist that we should be creating to celebrate the end of 2017 and the start of 2018?
DC: Any of Amy Grants 5 Christmas albums. Amy is my husband Curtis’ favorite artist of all time…. It just ain’t Christmas without Amy Grant.
We enjoyed finding out more about Desmond Child and his home which is currently on the market. We sat down with Louise Phillips Forbes of Halstead properties to find out more about 1215 Fifth Avenue #8CD as well as the neighborhood it resides in.
ATHLEISURE MAG: There are so many great aspects to this apartment, from its layout to the INCREDIBLE views of Central Park - what can you tell us about this property?
LOUISE PHILIPS FORBES: What’s not to envy in this exceptional home?! It’s a full-floor combination apartment with panoramic views of Central Park that are breathtaking year-round, and an abundance of custom designer details like art-deco moldings and Venetian plaster walls. The grand and expansive formal living room is an entertainer’s dream with four large picture windows (manufactured by Hope's) facing west, high-beamed ceilings and a statuesque
wood-burning fireplace. Plus, the spectacular views carry through to the formal dining room. A peaceful retreat, the master suite also showcases the Central Park views and features superbly crafted built-ins and an oversized walk-in closet that resembles a luxury boutique. You can escape to the spa in the elegant Vitrolite tile and Terrazzo master bathroom with a deep soaking tub, double sink vanity, walk-in steam shower, and heated floors. But it's the park views that will transport you to another world. A culinary delight, the eat-in chef's kitchen is the heart of the home with an open design that includes a substantial casual dining/living and media area. Kitchen highlights are the sophisticated Terrazzo countertops, abundance of pantry storage cabinets, and high-end appliances. A coveted laundry room holds the side-by-side and full-size Miele washer and Asko dryer with a sink and storage. To top it off, there is a new state-of-the-art Lutron lighting system and Crestron integrated surround audio system with built-in
speakers all through the apartment. Two oversized bedrooms and a second full bathroom complete the home with through-wall AC's in every room and great closets throughout. It’s pretty close to perfect!
AM: What amenities are offered in this building for residents?
LFP: A pre-war treasure, the Brisbane House at 1215 Fifth Avenue was developed and built in 1928 by distinguished journalist and columnist for Hearst newspapers, Arthur Brisbane, and designed by the renowned architectural firm Schultze & Weaver. The beautiful 16-story limestone-and-caramel-brick building boasts an elegant lobby and full-service amenities, including 24-hour doorman, live-in superintendent, private courtyard, fitness area, central
laundry room, personal storage, bike storage, and pet-friendly attitude.
AM: Tell us about the neighborhood that is directly around this building and what neighborhood is this considered?
LFP: A premier residence nestled near Carnegie Hill, this elegant gem is conveniently located across from Central Park and along Museum Mile with easy access to world-class exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Guggenheim Museum, and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, among others. Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue
beckon with high-end boutique shopping and fine art galleries, plus there is an abundance of distinguished restaurants, charming cafes, gourmet grocers, supermarkets, Equinox Fitness
Club, the 92nd Street Y, and many popular retail destinations.
AM: For those that are interested in purchasing this unit, how can they find out more information?
LFP: It would be very easy to call this stunning apartment home given the grandeur of the rooms, designer details throughout, and abundance of Central Park views! To schedule an appointment, simply contact me directly and I will be happy to give you a private tour and discuss the purchasing details. You can reach me via email at email@example.com or at 212-381-3329.
AM: Where can readers find out about additional properties that you represent?
LFP: Visit my website and click on the tab for “My Listings”. You can view pictures, 3D floor plans, and videos along with detailed descriptions of each property I’m working with from
downtown to uptown. The available homes range from a three-bedroom loft apartment in Tribeca to a 6-story grand townhouse on the Upper East Side.
This time of year is not only about enjoying the last of summer and bringing your fall wardrobe in, but it's also about looking at upcoming fashion and new items hitting the runways at New York Fashion Week. Athleisure Mag presented its second annual Athleisure House NYFW SS18 with attendees in fashion, fitness, entertainment, influencers and media. We were pleased to unveil a project that our Co-Founders, Paul Farkas and Kimmie Smith have been working on - UG|RO Ugly Romper which is a line of rompers that are for the girl on the go whether she's running errands, heading to a game, a power lunch, meeting up with her friends for brunch and going out for a night out. Wherever she's going, she's bound to shine in these looks.
This show had great support from our sponsors: Makeup Pro, Aubrey Loots - Wella Hair Professional, Kawaii Girl Cosmetics lashes, Qupid Shoes, Vera Bradley handbags and JBL headphones. Guests enjoyed Truly Sparkling, Icelandic Glacial, High Brew Coffee and Mochidoki while taking in a night on the rooftop of 50 Clinton (in the historic Lower East Side).
ATHLEISURE MAG: What are the amenities offered at 50 Clinton St?
50 CLINTON: The building’s plentiful amenities include a landscaped rooftop offering residents a private outdoor retreat with 360 degree views of the Manhattan skyline and ample space for
outdoor cooking, dining and lounging. Amenities also include a state-of-the-art fitness center, bicycle storage, and 24-hour doorman.
AM: What is the concept behind the design of the building?
50C: Issac & Stern designed exterior is comprised of intricate brick masonry and expansive windows. Inside are 37 residences designed by acclaimed interior designer Paris Forino. The elegant architecture, with an articulated red brick façade, reinvents the historic palette of both industrial and residential buildings at the turn of the century. 50 Clinton combines old-world chic with a modern European flair for an unprecedented quality of living in the neighborhood.
AM: For those that are residents, what are the neighborhood selling points?
50C: 50 Clinton Street is a boutique condominium located in the heart of Manhattan’s Lower East Side with incredible boutique shopping and great restaurants in a fresh and young area.
This is a thriving downtown neighborhood where there is strong demand for a product offering luxury at an attractive price point which is what 50 Clinton offers.
| 10 MGMT PG 27 Beata Komoni |
| ABBEY LYNN MODELS PG 19 Mirejah |
| MAJOR MODELS PG 15, 17 25 Sage Pineiro |
| MSA MODELS PG 18 Allegra; PG 15 22, 23 Amanda; Cover, 14, 16 20 21 Diosmary; PG 19 Keke; PG 14, 24 Malia |
| PG 14 + 26 Alanna Reece |
Think back to your favorite movies and we guarantee that there are some action sequences. Although there are some actors that do their own stunts, most enlist a stunt person to make the scene truly look and feel as next level as possible. This month's cover girl is celebrity stuntwoman and athletic personality, Jessie Graff.
Jessie has been in a number of movies and TV shows. In addition, if you're a fan of NBC's American Ninja Warrior, then you have seen her crushing courses on this TV show as well while donning a Wonder Woman costume. We spent an afternoon with her shooting her for our
cover and this energetic woman showcased her athletic ability while also sharing anecdotes how she got into the business, where we have seen her as well as how she has honed her craft over the years.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What was your journey to becoming a stunt woman from childhood to actually selecting this career?
JESSIE GRAFF: I wanted to be a super hero, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xena Warrior Princess. I loved the physical part most, but didn't know that stunts were a separate job, so I always thought I'd be an actress. After majoring in theatre in college, I learned that the actors don't usually get to do their own stunts, so I immediately researched everything I could about stunt people. I read every article I could find, studied the stunt player’s directory, and found
out where stunt people trained. Then I got photos, made a demo reel, moved to LA, and signed up at every gym in where I could find stunt people. Then I copied everything they did, learned everything I could, and eventually, earned my place in the community.
AM: What type of training does one engage in order to become a stunt woman?
JG: Fights, falls/wipeouts, weapons, parkour, gymnastics, rock climbing, every style of martial arts, wire work, rigging, trampolines, bicycles, air rams, Russian swing, high falls, scuba, sky diving, cars, motorcycles, fire burns... There's so much to learn!
AM: Obviously, you're in great shape, what workouts do you suggest for great abs, glutes and arms?
JG: I organize all of my workouts into a 3 day cycle of push day, pull day, and leg day. It allows me to push each muscle group to the limit, and give it 2 days to recover, while I'm training the other 2 main muscle groups.
I suggest FORGETTING about how you want your body to look, and choosing workouts based on what you want to be able to do, and how you want to feel. If you want great arms, get hooked on rock climbing, gymnastics, or calisthenics. Set goals like climbing at a certain difficulty level or learning to do a kip on bars. Then do all the drills, progressions, and strength training to get those skills, and make a new goal 1 level higher. Want great glutes? Work on, bounding agility obstacles, improving your vertical jump, or learning parkour. When you get passionate about a hobby that requires those muscles, every workout is more inspiring, and there is no end. If you want an 8-pack, and you get there, how do you stay motivated to work out and eat healthy? How do you maintain it? But if you succeed in your goal of 10 pull ups, great! New goal: get 12, or 15 or 20.
AM: What are your go to foods between your travels, working out etc?
JG: I always carry B-up protein bars and roasted seaweed with me, because fruit/carbs are easy to find, but protein and vegetables are harder to grab on the go. Basic structure of any meal is 1-2 servings protein, colorful vegetables, 1 serving of carbs or fruit, all on top of a huge pile of dark leafy greens.
AM: What's on your playlist when you're in the gym?
JG: Jessie Graff's Wonder Woman Playlist on DC Comics and "Try Everything" from Zootopia.
AM: What movies have we seen your work in?
JG: Look for me with purple hair in Future Man on Hulu, and Bright on Netflix. Other projects are Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Transformers, The Dark Knight, Marvel's Agents of Shield, G.I. Joe, Die Hard...
AM: What is the process like in terms of casting when you are going into being a stunt person in a film?
JG: If there are lines, we go to auditions as actors. We send demo reels or they are submitted by the stunt coordinator, so that they know we are qualified to do the stunt required for the role. We are given lines anywhere from the day before to at the audition, read for camera,
maybe have a call back, and are booked for the acting role. The auditions to be the main stunt double on a big action movie are the most fun. It's often a whole group of us in a gym, learning
fight choreography, and showing off kicks, flips, weapons, and any other applicable skills for a couple of hours.
AM: How do you prepare for the roles that you participate in?
JG: I rarely get more than a week's notice for a job or big audition usually 1-2 days. I have to guess which skills are most likely to come up, and prepare for EVERYTHING, so that no matter what comes up, I can be prepared (hopefully). Training constantly in so many different disciplines, improves my ability to learn brand new movements faster, so that even if something totally new comes up, I can adapt.
AM: What is the thinking behind wearing the Wonder Woman costume during your American Ninja Warrior run?
JG: My first year, I dressed as a chicken to advertise my short film 'Epic Chick Fight,' but a parent messaged me on Twitter about her 6-year-old daughter, who had never been very physically active. After watching me, she said 'I like her. I like her outfit' then promptly dressed her Barbie like me, and went outside to climb the jungle gym with her. It made me realize how much impact my clothing choices could have on kids. Now, I choose outfits that seem most likely to inspire kids to be healthy and strong.
AM: When you're not training, what is your personal style when you're out and about versus when you're in the gym?
JG: My personal style is pretty much Under Armour shorts and sports bras, or maybe a tennis skort to shake things up. The world is my gym, so I dress for workouts at all times.
When I'm at work, I wear whatever the costume department puts me in. For super fancy red carpet type events, I require that the mid-section be fitted, and stretchy, with a full circle skirt that allows for full range of motion. I always wear shorts under my skirt, so that I can flip and kick without wardrobe malfunctions. Other than that, I don't understand why I would ever wear anything other than workout clothes or swim suits.
AM: We love your videos on Instagram with your pup and your pig, it's a great way to show your physique and to get to know your personality, how long does it take to do them?
JG: It takes about 30 seconds to toss spinach around the floor, to keep @SammoHog occupied and in frame, and 20 seconds to 5 minutes to shoot the video...well... up to 1 min for Instagram,
but Facebook videos allow for longer workout clips. It rarely takes more than one take. Unless it's a compilation of multiple attempts. Those may take 30 min or so of trying and failing 20 times before I succeed, and another 5 minutes to edit.
AM: Are there any charities or philanthropy that you are a part of that you would like to share?
JG: I really want to do more to help educate people of all ages about healthy eating and exercise habits, and how to make them feel fun and effortless. I currently do that by sharing my own tips, tricks, and experience on social media, but would love suggestions on specific charities that deal with those topics.
AM: What advice would you give to a girl that is looking to get into the world of stunts?
JG: Don't pursue stunts unless you REALLY love it. You will get beaten up. You'll be cold and wet, falling down concrete stairs at 3am, or sweating in a full leather suit on an overheating motorcycle, on a 110 degree day in the desert. They will constantly throw crazy and unusual
challenges at you, and you'll have to think on your toes, to figure it out on the spot.
If working out 5-8 hours/day, and fighting to achieve seemingly impossible feats sounds like a dream job, do it. Work your butt off. Learn everything. Be smart. Be humble. Listen. Pay attention, and be helpful. If you are talented, work really hard, and have a great attitude, you will have an amazing career, a lifetime of adventure, and become friends with some of the most incredible people on the planet.
We get to be the unknown heroes of the film industry.
Our photoshoot with Jessie Graff took place at Henry Hall in NYC's Hudson Yards. We took a moment to find out more about the interesting concept of this residential property that also makes you feel like you live in a hotel as well.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What are the amenities offered at Henry Hall?
HENRY HALL: Henry Hall features a unique amenities package focused on the building’s club and lounge areas and elite food and beverage offerings. As part of its innovative programming,
Henry Hall will debut Delicious Hospitality’s new restaurant, dubbed Legacy Records. The restaurant, bar and lounges will be spread over the building's first and second floors.
In addition to the restaurant and second floor lounge, Henry Hall residents will have access to an array of sought-after amenities, including a “jam room,” resident’s club room, private dining rooms and wine room, roof-deck, state-of-the art training center as well as exclusive access to Henry Hall Concierge for 24-hour service.
Henry Hall will also provide residents with Echo Dots connected to Amazon Alexa. The posh rental has equipped each of the 225 residences with an Echo Dot and created an Alexa skill tailored specifically for Henry Hall residents. Building Link, the leading online residential
management system, has developed a custom skill that gives Alexa the ability to answer numerous requests that pertain specifically to residents. Voice commands that residents can make include the following: “Alexa, ask Henry Hall if I have any packages”; “Alexa, ask Henry
Hall if there are any events in the building today”; and “Alexa, ask Henry Hall when the gym will be open.”
AM: What is the concept behind the design of the building?
HH: Developed by Imperial Companies, on behalf of the joint venture partnership with Shorenstein, and with interior design by the renowned Ken Fulk, Henry Hall is Hudson Yard’s newest destination rental. In contrast to the glass towers dominating the Hudson Yards neighborhood, Henry Hall gives a thoughtful nod to ‘Old New York’ with its brick and steel
façade. The 33-story building includes 225 studio to two-bedroom units with prices starting at $3,350.
Henry Hall is a new wave residential experience inspired by boutique hotel culture. Eric Birnbaum, Co-founder of Imperial Companies, and the vision behind Henry Hall, says his imagination was sparked by stays at The Bowery Hotel and The Battery SF, among other properties. “At Henry Hall, we take design and programming cues from boutique hotels. I fell in love with the idiosyncratic charm of their lobbies - the design elements, the way people move through them,” Birnbaum says.
Henry Hall creates social programming for like minded people, communal spaces to relax and recharge, exquisite meals & beverage, all with grand décor and a rooftop view.
AM: There is a distinct boutique hotel vibe to this residence - why is that and what offerings does the property provide to those who are not residents?
HH: Henry Hall will offer a residential option that merges New York’s nightlife and boutique hotel experience with luxury residential living. The residences were outfitted as a modern take on traditional grand hotels and in keeping with that theme the private lounges, jam room, rooftop deck, gym—were all created to extend the holistic experience of a boutique hotel. Launch programming features a summer music series, “Tuesdays at Henry Hall,” which
welcomes residents and friends to enjoy a rotating cast of notable and socially influential DJs.
AM: Within the space that was included within our photoshoot, who decorated it?
HH: Ken Fulk, who has been dubbed “Silicon Valley’s creative disruptor,” and whose credits include The Battery SF among other high-profile residential and hospitality projects, worked with Eric Birnbaum to design the resident experience throughout all aspects of Henry Hall, from the eclectic lobby to the elegant lounges to the custom finishes in each residence.
Design elements in Henry Hall's grand lobby include a floor made of three different types of marble set in a herringbone pattern; a 10-foot-diameter custom brass chandelier retrofitted
with 24 cut-crystal globes from the 1930s; hand-scraped teak wall paneling with brass accents; a salon-style installation of vintage oil paintings and frame photography; tribal rugs; and antique furnishings.
AM: What are other selling points in this building?
HH: Henry Hall is truly a first of its kind: a destination and a community similar to a boutique luxury hotel or a members’ only club.
The residences include finishes such as ash hardwood flooring throughout and oversized windows that flood the residences with natural sunlight and provide sweeping city views. Gourmet kitchens are equipped with stark white quartz countertops and backsplashes,
premium brass fixtures by Waterworks and stainless steel appliances by Bosch and KitchenAid. Custom hexagonal tiles line the bathroom floor and are accompanied by a medicine cabinet with integrated vanity lighting and polished nickel fittings. Each unit is equipped with a Bosch washer/dryer.
"Every space, however unique, public or private, is considered an essential part of the Henry Hall story. They become a defining element of the residential experience,” said Eric Birnbaum,
Co-Founder and Partner at Imperial Companies. "So many people would love to live in their favorite hotel or have the City’s newest restaurant be just downstairs - Henry Hall makes that a reality.”
For more information about Henry Hall, please visit www.henryhallnyc.com.
AM: For those that are residents, what are the neighborhood selling points?
HH: Located at 515 West 38th Street, the site of the former Legacy Recording Studio, Henry Hall is at the epicenter of Hudson Yards and is redefining luxury for a new generation of New
Yorkers. Hudson Yard’s close proximity to the major transportation hubs of the recently completed 7 train extension, Penn Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal provide an array of convenient transportation options. Henry Hall is in close proximity to the city’s finest shopping, dining, entertainment and cultural venues and is surrounded by Chelsea and The Meatpacking District to the south and the Hudson River to the west.
AM: Is there anything that we should know about the Hudson Yard area?
HH: Hudson Yards is just north of the Meatpacking District and Chelsea, adjacent to Hell’s Kitchen, stretching along the High Line and the river, and close to Midtown; an electric atmosphere in which you can work, play and live. A convergence of parks, public space, haute
cuisine, shopping, easy access to transportation and stunning views of the river and cityscape make it easy to see why the neighborhood is booming.
We grew up watching ESPN to catch highlights of our favorite games and to see what was going on in the world of sports. Without a doubt, SportsCenter is the essential destination to stay in the loop on whatever games are taking place in the world. Regardless of the time slot that you're viewing it on, it's the anchors that become extensions of your sports action, friends and family.
There's always something amazing going on in the world of sports; however, we were pumped to head to the headquarters of ESPN during the NFL's Free Agency and right before Selection Sunday of March Madness! Being in the midst of the energy, history, bumping into sports analysts, former coaches and more was definitely exhilarating and a lot of fun!
We are thrilled to profile and share the journey of these anchorwomen of SportsCenter, from what stations they came through, what their timeslot of SportsCenter is like, how they feel the state of women in sports/sports media is and how they balance life. We enjoyed shooting, styling and chatting with them in their world (at work, working out and outside of work) and sharing it with their fans!
Although we didn't talk to all of the anchorwomen of SportsCenter, we enjoyed walking in the shoes of Sarina Morales, Toni Collins, and Dianna Russini - three women who lead busy lives covering up to the minute stories, prepping before they are on air and living their lives.
ANCHORWOMAN | SARINA MORALES
SPORTSCENTER @ 7AM
ATHLEISURE MAG: We see you on SportsCenter and everyone has a story of how they got to this point, can you tell us where you're from, what college you went to, what stations you came through and whether these jobs were in sports coverage or other areas?
SARINA MORALES: I’m from the Bronx, New York. Woot woot! I went to Syracuse University. Whose house? Newhouse. As for my job path, that’s a good question. I don’t even know how to answer this because mine was definitely the road less traveled. When I started at ESPN someone was like 'Oh, where did you come from?’ And I was like, ‘Oh, I’m from New York City.’ And they were like, ‘No, what station did you work at?’ And I was like, ‘Oh, I came from National Geographic.’ They were just like, ‘Oh … OK.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, what’s the big deal?’ But I had never progressed on the so-called natural track.
A little background: I practically moved to London after graduation because it was 2008, the market crashed and I couldn’t get a job. When I came back to New York, I applied to be Nike's field reporter. It was a new position where I would get to interview all of their Nike athletes. Ethically, traditionally, you didn’t take these jobs as a journalist. But I understood what Nike was trying to achieve, being that they’re pretty innovative and creative with the way that they approach commercials and their technology and whatnot; this was a brand actually allowing a reporter to get inside access and create content.
I worked for Nike for a little over a year. And then after Nike I applied to News Channel 12 in the Bronx thinking. 'All right, here is my moment. I'm going to get a reporting gig and start my career in journalism.' And apparently that Nike job hurt me in a sense. They thought it was branded. They were like, ‘Well, you’ve interviewed all these celebrities, why would you want to work in local television?’ I was like, 'because I want to grow my work as a reporter and I want to start my career in sports.’ They said no and I ended up working at an investment bank to pay the bills.
The path from there was disjointed: Sideline reporter for Verizon Fios on the side, covering high school basketball in Staten Island. Then TruTV as a digital coordinator where I worked on shows like ‘Impractical Jokers,’ which was super fun, but I had limited job growth.
A year after working at TruTV, I came to a crossroads where I had an offer from CNN’s new morning show as a production assistant and an offer from National Geographic Channel as a social media coordinator at the same time. It was a risk for me to turn down the CNN job, because again, since graduating from Syracuse, all I wanted to do was to be a sports reporter, and yet, something in my gut told me to take the job with Nat Geo. So I moved to Washington D.C.
At the time, the VP who oversaw the marketing department said to me, ‘Listen, I know you want to work in sports, I know you want to be a sports reporter and be on TV, but I think you can find some fulfillment in this position. If you can work in sports in this job, do it. If you can do so some on-camera work and do interviews, then do it.’ So I did just that. I would tweet from the Nat Geo Wild account on Sundays like, ‘All right, the Chicago Bears aren’t playing all that well, but we’ve got real bears playing really well on Nat Geo Wild.’
I looked at the job so differently. I was helping grow the social media accounts for their Sunday programming.
In the year and a half I was with them, I was promoted from a temporary, to full-time social media coordinator, and ended up being a manager of the social media accounts at Nat Geo. I worked on the Nat Geo ‘90s special, I grew their Facebook page on Nat Geo Wild from 300,000 followers to 6 million in just over a year that I was there.
I was just so fully involved in the social media job at Nat Geo that people were like, ‘Let’s give Sarina some opportunities to host the talent show. Let’s give Sarina the opportunity to be the face of this ‘Explorers’ contest.’ And it was that contest that caught the eye of Rob King at SportsCenter at ESPN. He brought me in for an interview. He saw that video I did for Nat Geo because I uploaded it to YouTube.
And ESPN, what great timing, kind of saw that I had some value with my background in social media, my background in journalism and my background in sports that that would be a really good combination to come and work at ESPN.
So, no stations, just a lot of random jobs that kind of made me a good fit for ESPN.
AM: Were you an athlete in college and if so - what sport?
SM: So, I never made it to the collegiate level playing softball or baseball or volleyball - I played those throughout highschool. But I did play baseball in the Bronx for 10 years growing up. From age 7 to 17, I played. You know, at first it’s cute, right? There’s a little girl playing and there might be a few sprinkled around the league out of an 8-10 team league. There were fewer and fewer of them as I got older. By the time I was 14 there were two and they were both on the same team – it was me and this other girl. And then 15, 16, 17 I was on my own. I played in a league outside of my highschool.
I thought I was going to play college softball until I popped my hamstring my junior year, which is usually when athletes get recruited to go to college. I practiced with the baseball team at DeWitt Clinton High School my junior and senior years. So I was practicing with the baseball team, playing on the softball team. I came back and I had a really strong senior year playing softball, so I got looked at by other colleges, but no D-1 schools. At that point, I realized that if an injury like this can come pretty easily and take me out for a season, then I really need to focus on academics. So no, I never played college-level softball, but my dream before really focusing on journalism was to become the first female to play for the Yankees. I was going to take Bernie Williams’ spot in centerfield for the Yankees. It didn’t happen, so I went to Newhouse instead.
AM: When did you first realize that you loved sports and how did you know that that would be a career for you?
SM: The first time I realized I loved sports was – I can’t remember the precise day – I guess I was 5- or 6-years old and I was watching Saturday morning cartoons with my father. I was sitting on the couch with him. Usually, my mom would kick me off the couch and have me go play Legos or whatever after Saturday morning cartoons were done because she didn’t want us watching TV all day. My dad would stay though, because on weekends they would have afternoon Yankee games – Saturday or Sunday 1 o’clock games. So one day, I sat next to him and stayed. I was like, ‘I’m not going to move. I’m going to see what’s going on. I’m going to sit on the couch with Pa.' It was good family time, so maybe my mom decided to not kick me off the couch. Once I realized I what I had achieved, I was like, ‘All right. I beat the system. This is good.’ The wise 5-6 year old in me hung out watching baseball with him, and naturally, I just started asking questions. The inquisitive mind wanted to know: ‘What’s that white thing called?’ And he’s like, ‘That’s a base.’ And I was like, ‘What does that do?’ And he was like, ‘Look at this 5-year old child asking random questions.’ I was like, ‘Who is No. 23?’ He goes, ‘Oh, that’s Don Mattingly!'
I asked him enough questions and I beat the system to where on weekends I was always sitting down after cartoons and watching afternoon Yankees games with my dad. So it was great that after a couple of summers my dad was like, ‘Maybe I should put my daughter on a team.’
I caught this one ball that was hit to me one game and I earned my spot in leftfield for the first baseball team I played for. We won the championship my first year playing baseball for the Marlins. It was the best feeling to win and to beat everyone and know we were the best team. The best feeling was the smell of the grass, dirtying my white pants and putting stirrups on and kind of started to learn superstitions. I had to have my stirrups washed with my socks laid out before the game a certain way. My dad would buy me new cleats almost every season and I had to have my batting glove on one hand and not the other. It was the best feeling in the world to have that ball, catch it where the glimpse of sun would hit it as it falls into your leather glove. It’s just the best feeling. And that awesome summer breeze and the ice cream truck music would play and people would be shouting different things. You’d see people peeking through the metal fence to watch at Harris Field in the Bronx. I just fell in love with it. There’s nothing better than the noises and the smells and when that ball connects with that bat and the timing is just right, when you’re using aluminum bats, that clink is both scary and then exciting. Because it's like, OK, you're either running to catch that ball in the outfield and diving to make the best catch ever or you’re the one making that contact and you know it’s going to drop in the perfect spot and you’re going to get to second base. So, I knew by 6- 7-years old that I wanted to be in sports somehow.
The career was going to be, Bernie Williams, see you later: Here comes Morales, starting center field for the Yankees. I still didn’t decide on a walk-up song or anything.
AM: Even in 2017 we still focus on women in media - especially in sports and how we continue to break barriers - where are we in our journey as a collective?
SM: I think we’re in the middle somewhere. The norm is now a woman is allowed to be on TV and talk about sports. And that is something that is becoming more normal. But it's all forward-facing jobs. I’m just seeing at ESPN us getting female producers. It is becoming normal to see two female anchors hosting SportsCenter together. Forget what tweets they’re going to receive and the criticism that they’re getting, it is something at least more normal and accepted. It’s funny, a friend of mine said the other day that we had hyped up a lot having four females on ‘Around the Horn’ for the first time ever this year, in 2017. And we hyped it up. It’s a big deal. And it is. It’s a huge deal to have four females being guests on Around the Horn. But we are in 2017. So we’re definitely not to the point where it’s normal to have that, which is absolutely ridiculous with the amount of females covering sports now. Forward-facing talent, we’re getting there. I don’t think we’re anywhere close to equality in terms of
we're still going to see all the criticism.
We’re still going to get more comments about our looks than about what we're actually saying an the words that we use. I don’t think you really hear a lot of women doing play-by-play.
The producers, people who are making business decisions and higher up producers making larger content decisions, I don’t think there’s been a lot of opportunity for women there. And until there is someone that breaks that mold, the first person that does it is going to have the most difficult time. I'm so impressed by someone like Linda Cohn or Chris McKendry or Robin Roberts, Hannah Storm and Suzy Kolber - these women were pioneers. It's just so difficult, I can’t even imagine. But they made it so that it is normal for me to be on SportsCenter. Which is crazy. It’s just the generation before. So, I would say we’re in the middle if not lower middle. Low meaning we haven’t gotten anywhere and high meaning this is the best and it’s equal all around. So we’re not there yet. We’ve made improvements, but women in sports media are far from the norm.
AM: Who were your mentors that assisted you in getting to where you are today?
SM: I would say I have two mentors, now three. But my first was Harold Tamara. I interned for him while I was at Syracuse. Harold did not go to Syracuse, but I worked with him in digital media one summer when I was in school and he was so supportive as a mentor because he pushed me to think critically. He was the one who told me to get on Twitter. He was like, ‘If you want to do storytelling, then here’s another vehicle for you to do storytelling.’ He put me on to do interviews for different digital projects that he was working on and he just took chances on me. He showed me so much respect and taught me to think in unconventional ways. He pushed me to go study abroad. He pushed me to think critically, to think ethically. And so, Harold long term is still a mentor to me today. He’s helped me when I think about stories. He’s helped me when I did an interview with Laurie Hernandez recently. He talked me through the piece that I wrote for The Undefeated.
Another mentor is Hayes Tauber who was one of the people that hired me at National Geographic. He said, ‘Take the job at National Geographic. Be the social media coordinator here and then move up and make the space that you need and make the job that you need it to be so that you feel fulfilled and we can help you grow personally.’ And right now, Adnan Virk who is on ESPN is another mentor to me. He’s the one who has kind of made sure that I’m meeting with the right people at ESPN. He’s being critical of my work and giving me support when he thinks I've done well and talks me through questions that I’ve had being new in the journalism space – or I should say ‘conventional’ journalism space – because I when I look back at my work, I’ve been practicing certain aspects of journalism this whole time. It just wasn’t conventional. He’s been very supportive here at ESPN.
It’s funny that it’s been three men who have made the most impact but I’ve said this many times before, I think women can’t be their own cheerleaders because we’re fighting for our own selves to make space. I can say that Linda Cohn has certainly been a mentor to me in giving me advice here and there, but for long-term purposes it’s been three different men and again, that’s critical because those are the
guys who can speak up for women because they have a voice that women don’t have still.
AM: SportsCenter is such an iconic show - tell us about what you do, your time slot and what's a day like on an off the set?
SM: My job for the last year at ESPN has been co-hosting on SportsCenter A.M. with Kevin Negandhi, Jay Harris, Jaymee Sire and the newest and very valued member, Randy Scott. So there are five of us on the show. It's been a year now, or just over a year, of being a part of that show and working with great producers like Mark Eiseman; Heath Henry – he’s the CP of the show; Scott Clark helped us launch the show.
It was the first time we ever did such an early SportsCenter. It will be part of SportsCenter and ESPN history and that is such a big deal. So, every day I wake up at 3 o’clock in the morning. I get ready and I’m in to work between 4 and 4:30 in the morning and I’m looking at the rundowns. It’s a three-hour show, so there’s a lot of stuff that needs to get in there, but we get to digest and break down the bigger stories in sports, which is great.
Plus, we’re the first SportsCenter that people are waking up to. We used to just re-air Stan Verrett and Neil Everett overnight until the 9 a.m. SportsCenter, so this is great that we’re starting at 7 a.m. I go through the rundown when I arrive and see all the stories that we’re going to talk about. I’ll write in leads to video. I’ll do some extra research for some of my shot sheets that I’ll use to talk through highlights. If there are things that aren’t in there, this is the time before the show to question it. Like, ‘Hey, overnight I saw X, Y, Z …’ There was a day that Simone Manuel became the First African American female swimmer to win a gold medal in swimming at the Olympics. To me that was a huge deal. Yet her story wasn’t in the top of the show and I felt strongly about her being on the top of the show so that was something that we had a discussion about after she won. Michael Phelps had also won his Xth gold medal, but at the time I thought that was really important, her making history. There was a time when you had segregated pools, now you have this woman, the first black woman to win a gold medal for team U.S.A. in the Olympics. I felt like that was so important and needed to be in the top of the show because, again, as SportsCenter, as the first show in the morning, we set the tone for everyone else in sports that day and to have that understanding is important. We have to really hold ourselves accountable to set the tone for the rest of the sports day. So, it's a great position to be in. I suggested the story, we got that in. So that is the first part of the day. From 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. it's working on the show and executing all of that on the show. After that, we have a post-show meeting. I might have some meetings that will take me to maybe noon and then I’ll go home and take care of my personal life and naps and start my work day, again, at 6 o’clock, 7 o’clock at night where I regroup with the producers on a big e-mail chain about who is going to be on our show the next day. I put on the TV, I watch SportsCenter or I put on whatever game I want to watch and take some notes. I go on the internet and see what stories are growing. And then whoever is our guest that day, I’ll put together some questions for them. So we start the production process overnight and we have a great overnight crew that also puts in stories. They’re watching games for us if we’re not up to watch them. So the workday is broken into two parts. It’s a long day and it takes a lot of work, but because we have such a great crew and everyone is working and putting into the show, it kind of makes you feel like the work that you do matters.
AM: How do you juggle your personal life against the demands of ever changing news?
SM: It’s super difficult to juggle the two and I’m really bad at juggling, so there’s that. It’s really about the people that you keep around you. So luckily for me, Jaymee Sire being on the show with me is one my first friends that I had at ESPN. ESPN is such a huge company. There’s about 4,000 people just on the Bristol campus alone so being where you’re working, a lot of people just end up being friends with people at work. And at that point, there’s an understanding of, ‘Sarina is getting up to work at 3 in the morning, she can’t go have dinner with us.’ That’s a basic understanding. Dating is very difficult. I think that finding someone who works in sports and understands sports has been extremely valuable to me and also we can talk about everything.
Dating someone who understands my job and the demands has made it a lot easier because if that wasn’t the case, I’d be pretty miserable. My family, my mother has been super supportive. She’ll watch the show from her phone. My boyfriend wakes up every morning to watch the show and watch it with me, almost. As he wakes up, he watches it and gives me feedback on things throughout the three hours. If he sees something that he thinks works for the show, he’ll send it to me overnight. So having someone who knows the workload, who understands the sports world, who understands my job makes it a lot easier to then fit in those personal spots in the rest of my life. It’s so much more clear and easy. And again, having Jaymee, who is one of my closest friends here and at ESPN, to work with her Monday through Friday, to have our dinners on Wednesday nights, once a week we meet up and just kind of hash out and relax and the understanding of, ‘Hey, let’s have dinner at 4 o’clock,’ is not an odd thing to request because we’re both on the same schedule. So it’s really about the people that you keep in your life and those people have been very, very, very supportive. I couldn’t do all of these things without supportive people. That has made my life so much better and made my career and my career growth stronger in a lot of ways because I’ve had people who are strong for me when I can’t be.
AM: Who are your favorite teams?
SM: Oh, easy. The Yankees, Bronx Bombers, let’s go, pinstripes. The Knicks, which has been tough over the years but I always brag about the ‘90s Knicks with Charles Oakley and Anthony Mason (R.I.P. to Anthony Mason) and Ewing and Starks, that team, what the Knicks did for me was just taught me to just be such a hustler and to work hard. Just that mentality of New York. And the Yankees have always been an example of how to win. Being a kid and a Yankees fan, it taught me the winning mentality of you can be down in the ninth inning and win the World Series if you have Mariano Rivera pitching for you. So I learned a winning mentality from the Yankees. The hustler in me is definitely from the New York Knicks.
And the Giants, they’re just a stress factor, but it makes the football season really interesting. And obviously, clearly, probably the most influential team in my later years is the Syracuse basketball team. My eyes were drawn after the 2003 NCAA championship that they won. I applied to Syracuse in 2003 and it was apparently the hardest year to get into Syracuse, the year that I got in, because everyone applied and everyone wanted to go to Syracuse after winning a basketball title. So that was huge for me. Syracuse Basketball, another stress in my life, but for the better and going to the Final Four last year was such a great experience. Syracuse basketball keeps me busy all year round.
AM: March Madness is here - what's that like and how does it affect your normal day to day as you head into the office?
SM: March Madness is the greatest thing that’s ever touched the world of sports, besides the Yankees. I love March. It’s my favorite month. It’s one of those things where you just never know what’s going to happen. The games are exciting. I love watching these Cinderella teams trying to make their way to the second rounds, to the Sweet 16, to the Elite Eight. And it’s one-game elimination. It’s a genius, genius way to get basketball fans excited. The Thursdays and Fridays that they have all the games, that weekend, it’s great to work at ESPN, because I usually would have to take off from work for those days to watch all those games and now everybody has got a TV at their desk. You can just watch these games and it’s been so great to work at ESPN where everyone will have their TVs on. Everyone will watch them around lunchtime in the cafeteria so it’s like a joint force of excitement. People are all watching like, ‘Oh! Put on this one! This game is crazy! Oh, this one is close!’ There’s always a buzzer beater. There’s always one where it’s like, ‘How did this one happen?’ I had Michigan State last year going to the Final Four and with them losing in the first round, it made me feel a lot better about life because even though my bracket was messed up, then Syracuse had a shot of actually making it to the Final Four. So, it’s just so great. It makes my job more interesting and I’m very grateful to have the job because I get to watch sports and this is like the best time of the year to watch sports.
I actually went down to Brooklyn to take over the Syracuse social media accounts for the ACC Tournament. So here’s an example of this time of year making my job a little stressful. I went on SportsCenter that morning at the normal time, so got in at 4-4:30, did the show, left at 10 a.m. and drove over two hours to Brooklyn to watch Syracuse play Miami and I did a Syracuse Athletics Snapchat takeover, being the super fan that I am. I got to take in the game and be a storyteller again and that was a cool perspective, because I was able to panic for my team as well as show what panic looked on other fans’ faces as well. And then after the game, I had an even longer drive back to Connecticut to do the show the next day, I mean, I worked a very, very long 16-hour day to take in college hoops, but it’s so worth it. To be there live, that was a close game Syracuse had against Miami. We lost, but seeing Jim Boeheim at the press conference after the game and hearing typical Jim Boeheim comments, it was all great, it was all worth it. And it was fun to be able to do storytelling again via Snapchat.
AM: For this feature, we included Dianna and Toni - how much, if at all do you cross paths in terms of being on set, working on projects etc?
SM: Dianna works in the evenings, and Toni works on the shows right after I do. So it’s sort of like me and then Toni and then Dianna as far as like the timeslots. So because of that, I don’t have opportunities to work with them directly on any specific projects, but it is nice that we can throw support at each other. I tossed to a great piece that Toni Collins worked on just the other day, with the Dominican Republic World Baseball Classic team and how important that team is to the community and raising money and just the community feeling good about themselves as something that gives the community hope. After the show she walked past me in the hallway and said, ‘Hey, thanks for promoting my piece.’ I was like, ‘Absolutely.’ Again, we don’t get to work on projects necessarily, but we can support each other, because it’s a rolling day. At least we have it spread out. It’s not like they threw all the women together in one time of the day. We’re spread out so we can take the day and support each other throughout a 24-hour period.
AM: During our shoot, we shot you guys working out - tell us about your workout routine and how you stay fit? What are 3 exercises that we should do for tones arms, abs and legs?
SM: It’s difficult for me to work out with these hours because I used to wake up and work out first thing in the morning. But because the sun isn’t out, I don’t run outside before work. So after work I’ll usually try to get in a run. Especially during spring and summer, I’ll run outside. I did two half marathons last year. I can’t even count anymore, how many half-marathons I’ve run. I ran the New York City Marathon I think four years ago. So, running is my escape and it kind of fills the competitive void that I have, that I used to satiate playing baseball. Running for me has been a great sport that I’ve found that I can work on individually. I’m trying to pick up golf and I’ve been doing a lot of yoga in the early evenings. So I say a mixture of yoga and running have been my two things that I do to keep in shape and to keep mentally healthy as well. I think those two sports are good for both. I also go to the batting cages, too. You can find me in New Britain hitting 80mph balls on a good day.
Three things that I do: For legs, I would start with any squat. I’m big on squats. So, jumping squats or something with a weight, holding a dumbbell and doing a squat. Sitting in a chair position I think is great. Or any kind of jumping in general I’m big on for your legs, because it also exhausts the rest of your body. You’re getting your heart rate up. Another all-body workout is jumping rope. I’ll even do it in front of the TV in my apartment while I’m watching a game.
For abs, I do an elevated crunch. So I just balance myself on either a Bosu ball or a place where I need to keep my balance and then do a crunch that way. I think planks are great for that as well and a lot of workouts that I do for my legs and my arms also I use my core to keep myself balanced. So if I do a squat on a Bosu ball, then I’m also working on my core in that way. So I think a lot of the workouts that I do are core focused, even if I’m not doing a crunch of some sort. I also think yoga is really good for my core as well.
For my arms, I’ll do pushups on a Bosu ball. Those are great. Or with a medicine ball, doing one-handed pushups. They’re awesome. Again, I think they help the core a lot.
AM: Who do you like to listen to when you work out vs when you're out and about?
SM: When I work out, I usually try to listen to – depending on the run I do – it might be something really calm like Coldplay or it might be something really high energy, like we’re going Jay-Z or we’re going home. But it depends on the day and the mood I’m in. If I’m out and about, if I’m driving on a long road trip or something, I usually try to put on a podcast. I know a lot of people listen to podcasts when they work out. I have a hard time doing it because I just want to kind of zone out and hyper focus on my breathing. But I do love to put some really good high-energy music on when I’m using weights. If I go for a long run or in yoga, obviously, I’ll do something that’s a little more mellow so I’ll zone out. There’s been a couple races, like I’ve done four-mile races, where I’ve literally played the same song on repeat the whole time just to help me reset and go back into this zone of hyper focus. Music is very helpful for me when I work out, so if anyone has new music to send me, I’ll gladly accept.
AM: You're always on the move, what do you eat for great energy to keep you going and what do you love to splurge on?
SM: The secret to success is overnight oats. It’s awesome and for me is also good because I’m allergic to wheat. So I get gluten-free oats and again, because I’m so tired in the mornings when I wake up, the most I can do is make my coffee. So I don’t really want to think about making anything else or preparing in the morning. So with overnight oats I'll get some gluten-free oatmeal and I’ll pour in either soy milk or coconut milk, rice milk, really any type of milk that you want to use, and pour that in with the oats and put some honey, cinnamon, some nutmeg and some vanilla for taste and I'll let that sit overnight in my fridge, and in the morning if I have some raspberries or blueberries I’ll throw that on top and put it in a mason jar and just put the cap on it and take it with me and eat it when I get to work. So that’s a very easy breakfast. It’s filling, it’s healthy, I’ll put some chia seeds or flax seeds in the overnight oats as well, and it tastes good. I’ll eat that a lot in the morning and that kind of gets me through the show at least. Because I’m up and I forget to eat sometimes. I’m waking up at 3 o’clock in the morning and I’m working until 10. That’s 7-8 hours and you’re eating one meal. So for me, that’s super helpful because it’s filling and I try to start my appetite as soon as possible so I can get into a routine of not eating too late or overeating at one part of the day. So I would say that’s the key.
My splurge? Definitely French fries. I have a major problem with French fries. They’re the best thing that man has created. And I’m not using a hyperbole statement here. French fries are amazing. All of them. You got the steak fries that are great. Curly fries – shoutout to the curly fries that were big in the ‘90s. I love sweet potato fries. Who doesn’t want a sweet potato with a nice garlic aioli? Fries are great. They’re really great. A salted potato? You can’t go wrong.
AM: We see you on air - what would you say your style is on set versus when you're out and about with friends?
SM: Style on air, I try to keep it classy, San Diego. I try and also have my unique spin to my clothing. So I love jumpsuits. It’s freezing in studio, nobody knows this because people seem so warm on air, but we are freezing in studio. Some of the guys don’t get cold the way women do. So, I try and wear pants a lot, which apparently is very unique for people who watch television and are used to seeing women wearing dresses – just check my @ mentions. So I try to change it up and wear more pants. Pocket Square Fridays are my favorite days, not just because it’s Friday but I get to wear a suit and kind of add my own personal touch with the pocket square which I also don't think you see on TV too much.
But, you know, it’s just as classy as possible. I don’t try to distract the audience by what I’m wearing versus what I’m saying. I wear a lot of black but I know I need to wear more color. And then off camera, the first thing I thought about is my camo T-shirt. There’s this one camo T-shirt that I bought at a London thrift shop when I lived there in 2008 or ’09 and I still have that shirt almost 10 years later. It’s like one of my favorite shirts. But like a camo T-shirt, some jeans and a pair of really cool kicks, that’s like a classic put-together outfit for me. A lot of black but there’s always a splash of color. There’s some pop of color that I’ll add to my outfit. But I try to keep it classic because it’s easy. When you think of the super geniuses of the world, like a Steve Jobs, he always just wore the same T-shirt and jeans. He didn’t really think too hard about what he was wearing. So I think for me that I try to get clothes where I can just take one thing, put it with another thing and they always go together no matter what two things you grab from your closet.
AM: Being able to be on ESPN's campus, we have some favorite places that allow you to truly take in sports history, where or what are your favorite spots?
SM: I think the newsroom is cool, seeing where stories break. I was sitting in the newsroom when Tom Brady’s Deflategate suspension was upheld and the newsroom went crazy. I think I heard one person scream. So to think about all the news stories that have gone through that newsroom over the years in Building 4, that to me is super cool. ESPN has with its reputation that if a big story breaks, people are putting on ESPN. Just the way that they’ll put on a CNN or an ABC or NBC, ESPN is the place to get breaking news in sports. So I think that’s really cool to walk into the newsroom sometimes and see all the different anchors and knowing that I'm part of this history. That’s a really good, cool feeling.
AM: What's your favorite story that you worked on?
SM: I guess my story with Laurie Hernandez, which is more recent. There’s a couple reasons why that’s my favorite. One, my favorite thing to do is interviewing. I love it. I enjoy being an anchor on the morning shows but I just really love sitting with someone and doing an interview and doing the work behind an interview – the research and trying to think of questions they might not have been asked. Or the way I deliver the question – whether I take a pause or I add a joke, or what’s the question that’s going to get them to be like, ‘Ah, yeah, I never thought about that,’ or to get a different answer. That’s a cool puzzle to solve as a reporter.
I had an opportunity to interview Laurie Hernandez right after her Olympic run down in Brazil and the success that she had. She was a success story out of New Jersey, she was a Latina. I felt like I could relate to. So I got to do a sit-down interview with her and her mom and her dad for a feature for One Nación, the special that we had on ESPN. It was her family story and the pride and the support that was poured into this young woman, this athlete. It really made an impact the way that you see these athletes as singular magical creatures, like superheroes. But the superhero can't be super without the support and I talked about that with her family. Her mom and dad put all their energy towards her because that was what they saw – she had a special gift. And her brother and her sister, the modesty and the lack of jealousy or anything on her family’s part to see how much she wanted to be an Olympian was inspiring. What an impressive thing.
To be an Olympian, to be a great athlete, to be these superheroes that we see in sports, that we idolize, there’s so much happening behind that one person. You can’t be that person without the support group. So for me, that was a really powerful story because that family didn’t come from money, that family’s superpower was the love that they had for Laurie and to see that firsthand was powerful for me because I felt like in some ways me becoming a SportsCenter anchor was the result of all of the love that my family had given to me.
The second part of why this is my favorite thing I’ve worked on is because I got to do a writing component that came to me during the interview and it was based on a question that I had put together from observations that I had made with Gabby Douglas and some of the racist comments and critical comments fans and media made towards Gabby when it came to her being a black female athlete and her hair and the way that she carried herself, or for not smiling. So I asked Laurie about the criticism that Gabby got and her observations there and how that impacted her as a teammate and did she also receive criticism in a similar way being the only Latina that was on that Olympic team. And she said to me that people were critical of her because she didn’t speak Spanish and they said she was a ‘fake’ Puerto Rican. And to me, that again touched something, a personal spot for me because I didn’t grow up speaking Spanish – except with my grandparents. My dad was made fun of when he moved from Puerto Rico to New York City, because he couldn’t speak English. So the first thing that my dad did was to make sure that I spoke English so that I wouldn’t be made fun of. Which is pretty sad when you think about it, right? Couldn’t we be bilingual? I would probably be way more bilingual had my dad taught me the language that he knew first, but he was made fun of as a kid.
For me, I still identify as being Latina. I still identify with Colombians and with Puerto Ricans. My family culture and traditions are something that’s really important to me and that make me feel safe. A good plate of Titi Glady’s rice and beans and pasteles is the most comforting meal I could have. So for her to be criticized for being a fake Puerto Rican when I myself am not necessarily fluent, it hurt me. So I was able to pitch this idea as Laurie being a fake Puerto Rican to The Undefeated and I had a writing component to the interview, which I thought was great. So to be able to stretch my skillset a little more and do a longer form writing piece was challenging but something that now I want to do more of because I was able to do that with the Laurie Hernandez interview.
AM: Do you do any charities/philanthropy?
SM: I donate a lot of clothes – except for the camouflage T-shirt that I have – but I donate. Also, I volunteer myself to speak to students on a regular basis, which I kind of forget that I do because it happens so frequently. Some student will say, ‘Hey, can I send you an e-mail?’ or, ‘Can I call you to ask you questions about your career?’ This probably happens now once a week where I’ll gladly take 30 minutes to an hour out of my day to talk to a student if it's going to help them with their career and give them some insight to the business. I speak to Syracuse students. I’m going to probably two or three career days in the Bronx this year and I also read to younger students recently for National Reading Day at a local school in Bristol. And then Habitat for Humanity, I volunteered with that group to help Katrina victims when I was a student at Syracuse. So I’ve continued to work with that group. I donate money to Planned Parenthood. Also, the Red Cross, during Hurricane Sandy, that was something I was part of with that group to help people that didn’t have electricity or food nearby, I brought food to those communities in Brooklyn who were hit hard by the hurricane. I’ve continued to work with the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity since those two tragedies.
AM: Please share anything that you feel you'd like to share!
SM: Sports is life. In sports, it’s a team effort. And if you don’t play on a team, you’re still part of a community. Even when I’m running by myself, I feel like I’m part of a running community. When I run past someone on a trail, I wave to them because I can relate to a community of other people who are running. The real ‘runner’s hi.’ So there’s that. And on teams, you obviously have community. Looking at the way that sports and outside influences like politics have all sort of intersected, it makes you think about the American dream where we’re supposed to have this idea where you make it on your own. I think that if you look at what sports tells us and shows us, clearly the most successful people don’t do anything on their own.
And when you look at women in this industry, you can’t do it on your own. When you look at winning a World Series or an NBA title or anything, you can’t do it on your own and I think that's a really strong lesson that sports has taught me.
As strong as you can be mentally, the strength that comes to you, whether it’s an opposing team or to fight the institutionalized barriers that are set in place, whether you’re a minority or a woman or whatever it is that keeps you from getting a job or something, if you look at the foundation of sports, it’s about community and being supported, and we need to think about that when we look at other facets of the world.
I also think sports teaches us that while in the outside world we’re supposed to be so good with multi-tasking, if you focused on one thing you would do more justice to that one thing and do better in the bigger picture if you were able to do one thing really great. So, again, hyper focus with sports, you can’t play the field and you can’t hit at the same time. I think that there are a lot of lessons that we can apply in our daily lives and we can learn from any game, whether it be football or baseball or basketball or track or whatever.
The ideas of community, of work ethic, of leadership, of support, of being mentally and physically healthy and challenging yourself to what’s the next thing – setting goals. I think people don’t take sports so seriously, but if you look at the power that sports gives us as something to cheer for, even if you don’t play it, it gives communities hope that they can be supported by this team. There are heroes created. I don’t think athletes think enough about the impact that they create on their communities and how important that is because you give hope to the next generation. I think sports, and covering it, has been a real blessing because the foundation, the fundamentals of what any sport is, Sports are really the fundamentals that we should be applying to our daily lives.
ANCHORWOMAN TONI COLLINS
SPORTSCENTER @ 11AM
AM: We see you on SportsCenter and everyone has a story of how they got to this point, can you tell us where you're from, what college you went to, what stations you came through and whether these jobs were in sports coverage or other areas?
TONI COLLINS: So it's been a quick journey, but a fun one so far and God willing a long one! I went to the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio. I played soccer there, majored in Media Communications with a minor in Sports Management. After college I found it hard to get a job so I interned at Univision in Miami, where I did everything from interning with their special events departments that mainly includes their TV Specials. But it wasn’t fancy haha, it was printing papers, umbrella holding for stars, getting coffee, transcribing interviews. Then I got moved to the networks magazine show Primer Impacto as an intern… and their reality show Nuestra Belleza Latina followed. I was there for about six months because I had applied at a sports radio station in Tampa and got the job! I was a board operator for almost 6 months. I had an opportunity to cover the Superbowl that year in Tampa, as well as the local Pro and college sports.
In the meantime I made a fake demo with several stand ups and sent it to several stations. Mcallen, TX local Univision and Fox station hired me off that! So I packed my bags, not knowing anyone and moved to Mcallen. I was there for 2 ½ years. I couldn’t have asked for a better first market. I covered it all! From Drug busts, murders, immigration stories, daily border stories, weather, sports. I reported for both the local Univision show at 5pm and 10 and the Fox newscast at 9. I also became the anchor for Fox toward the latter part of my time there. While in Mcallen, an opening for Univisions' local Dallas sports anchor opened. I auditioned and was hired by Martha Katan.
That was by far also the best year of my life. 2011. Dallas Mavericks went to the NBA Finals and won it! In baseball the Rangers went to the World Series, and even though we lost, it was an unforgettable journey to cover the team and the local beat in the DFW area.
During that year, Univision Network launched their sports network and allowed local anchors to audition. I did and got that job. We launched the sports network and I was there for about a year. Then ESPN, my dream, called me to audition. I didn’t do so well the first time, but they gave me hope. At my second audition months later, they told me I could have potential in English, mind you my whole career for the most part has been reporting, anchoring and writing in Spanish. It was an opportunity I could not pass up so I said yes and came aboard on the digital side of ESPN. After 2 years I was “called up” as I like to see it hehe to do updates on the TV side. It’s been a year, but every day I keep learning and trying to get better and do well in English with the opportunities that come my way.
AM: Were you an athlete in college and if so - what sport?
TC: I was! I played soccer all my life. Had the chance to play for the Mexican Women’s National team U19 and for my college Mount Union.
AM: When did you first realize that you loved sports and how did you know that that would be a career for you?
TC: From the first day I played soccer. Probably when I was 10. It’s a feeling I can’t describe when it's you and the soccer ball and you can create opportunities, score, or hear the cheers and especially make my parents proud. Career wise, I knew I wanted it from way way back. I grew up in a newsroom. My mom is an anchor and reporter and my childhood was in a newsroom or in the field with her because she couldn't find a sitter so I tagged along. You know when people say, "Oh I want to be a vet or a doctor or a policeman!" … I never had those thoughts, I have never had any other desire then to be a reporter. I saw how amazing my mom was at telling stories while growing up and what a difference one can make telling a story, it’s all I want to do and get better at that as I continue to grow with ESPN.
AM: Even in 2017 we still focus on women in media - especially in sports and how we continue to break barriers - where are we in our journey as a collective, in your opinion?
TC: I think we are making great strides! And one day, it won’t be a story or a headline. Just normal. Linda Cohn told me once, just look at everything in a positive light. It may not be perfect, it may not be fair, but its up to you to see it in a positive light and focus on that and how one handles the reality and how one can help the journey moving forward in a positive way.
AM: Who were your mentors that assisted you in getting to where you are today?
TC: I have so many in front and behind the camera. ESPN anchor/reporter Claudia Trejos. She became my mentor and friend when we worked at Univision Sports and now we are together again at ESPN…She is amazing! One of the most respected sportscasters in sports TV. Jack Obringer, he’s one of my bosses. The man is honest and bless his heart because he has to deal with me haha, but in all honesty his constant feedback from my segments, shows, and stories here at ESPN help me grow, learn, and put perspective about where I am and where I need to be to succeed. My mother. No words will describe how much I look up to her as a professional. She is unbelievable. To this day, I don't know how she did it! She was able to raise my sister and I, be a mother, be a professional, a wife, and a fighter.
AM: SportsCenter is such an iconic show - tell us about what you do, your time slot and what's a day like on and off the set.
TC: Yeah! I do updates for the SportsCenter show Coast to Coast from 11-Noon. I also am a reporter for both ESPN in English and ESPNDeportes. A typical day starts at 6:30 and ends around 3pm. However, so many things pop up such as meetings or if I’m working on a story and we voice and edit etc. Also I do some of the Voice Overs for the Sports Center out of LA so squeeze recording those during the week. I have so much fun reading those haha “SportsCenter brought to you by…”
AM: How do you juggle your personal life (dating/marriage, friends, family and personal time) against the demands of ever changing news?
TC: Well if we are honest. It’s tough. Dating is non existent haha and its ok! It’s a blessing in disguise right now as I’m trying to grow and learn the most I can. If I'm not at work, I’m with my girlfriends from here at ESPN, Griselda Ramirez and Alexis Nunes or my friend from back in the day in Mcallen, TX who lives in NYC a drive away, Janice Perez. That’s on weekends, but they are the balance I need from work, thank God for them!
Family wise it’s tough, but thankfully my mom being in the same field understands I can’t make it for holidays or birthdays etc. I try to go home every 5 months or she tries to come up, but she’s also so busy!
AM: We know you love Barcelona for soccer, who are your other favorite teams?
TC: Barcelona for life because of my father. He was from Cataluña and loved Barcelona, he passed away a couple of years ago so Barca means so much more than just a team. I do love the Steelers, Texas Rangers, Club Leon from Liga MX .. For hockey I’m totally on the band wagon and I’ll admit it, but I’m a Maple Leafs fan! I’m Mexican American and their star rookie Auston Matthews is as well. I find it so freaking awesome he is dominating a sport not really associated with Mexico. It’s so cool to see how all the sacrifices he and his family have gone through are paying off!
AM: For this feature, we included you, Dianna, and Sarina - how much, if at all do you cross paths in terms of being on set, working on projects etc?
TC: I get to see Sarina more because we cross paths when I go in for makeup. She is typically done with her show and I’m just heading in. Dianna, I always catch her doing her thing on SportsCenter! I wish we got to spend more time together, but given our schedules its so hard! So when we do have the time it’s always a blast! Like this one! It was so much fun to spend time, laugh and catch up!
AM: During our shoot, we shot you guys working out - tell us about your workout routine and how you stay fit? What are 3 exercises that we should do for toned arms, abs and legs?
TC: Oh man I’m so bad on my own I have help form a trainer. Nate Pagan. Bless his heart too because he’s got quite the task! Hahaha For legs, squats and deadlifts are a must. For abs, we religiously do hollow holds and planks, and for arms, simple and to the point…. bicep curls and tricep extensions.
AM: What do you like to listen to when you work out vs when you're out and about?
TC: When I work out, I love to listen to fun, fast paced music. When I’m out believe it or not. Spanish and country music is a must! I’m a Latina country girl for sure! haha
AM: You're always on the move, what do you eat for great energy to keep you going and what do you love to splurge on?
TC: I always have a Quest Bar or a bag
AM: You're always on the move, what do you eat for great energy to keep you going and what do you love to splurge on?
TC: I always have a Quest Bar or a bag of almonds on me. I tend to go to the cafeteria too to see if they have snacks or a piece of fruit. I am Latina therefore I love carbs haha, love love love bread, so combine that with my love for Italian food and I splurge on pizza! Give me pizza and I will love you forever!
AM: We see you on air - what would you say your style is on set versus when you're out and about with friends?
TC: Off camera I’m very chill. Steelers/Rangers/Mavs/Barcelona cute shirts and jeans. Love my Adidas sneakers too. When I'm on air, I tend to do a ton of dresses. It’s really hard for me with style because I’m such a tomboy. I really count on my mom still to help me out. She has such style! Its amazing and love what she picks out for me. But yeah I live in dresses and heels on tv and off tv sneakers tshirts and jeans.
AM: What's your favorite story that you worked on?
TC: So far it has to be the one I just finished in the Dominican Republic called Striking Out Poverty. Water is the primary need of the poorest communities in the most rural areas of the Dominican Republic. Growing up in the small modest town of Villa Mella, Pittsburgh Pirates’ Gregory Polanco is well aware of what the needs are in his home country. Polanco is one of 40 Major League Baseball players who have partnered with “Striking Out Poverty,” a campaign launched by the organization “Food for the Hungry” to raise nearly a million dollars to help nine of the poorest communities in the Dominican.
ANCHORWOMAN DIANNA RUSSINI
SPORTSCENTER @ 7pm or 9pm
AM: We see you on SportsCenter and everyone has a story of how they got to this point, can you tell us where you're from, what college you went to, what stations you came through and whether these jobs were in sports coverage or other areas?
DIANNA RUSSINI: I was born in the Bronx, New York, but eventually moved to New Jersey. I attended Northern Valley Regional at Old Tappan. I was a 4 sport athlete in high school, a decent one. I played soccer, basketball, softball and eventually ran track. My goal was to play Division One soccer. Not one school was interested. So I had a coach reach out to George Mason University to get me a tryout. They agreed because I think they felt bad. I walked on and made the team, barely. The head coach kept me, but at the end of the season he said, "I’m just going to let you know that I am going to cut you in the fall. You’re not good, you’re too little, too skinny – you don’t have enough muscle or skills.” So I said, coach give me one more spring season before the fall season and let me try out again. That spring I gained thirty pounds of muscle and was the leading scorer on our team. That fall, I made the team and eventually earned a scholarship. It was an incredible experience. I really had no business being on that field playing with some of the most elite players that I have ever played with in my life! They’re all still my friends to this day and we all joke about how bad I was, but they were the reason I was able to rise above and push myself. They all believed in me.
While I was in college, 9/11 happened. I was a freshman and I had only been at George Mason University, which is in Fairfax, Virginia, for about a month. My father was in Tower 1 that morning. He got out – which was a blessing. But, he drove down to Virginia to take me out of school immediately. Because at that point he was going through a lot of different emotions and I’m sure that one of them was, let me get my family all together. So he took me out of school and we sat and watched the news for hours and hours and hours – just like many New Yorkers did.
Everyone has stories from that day. My University was 5 miles from the Pentagon – which was another target. It was just bad timing. I still reflect on that day and it was the worst day of my life. But I feel blessed that the people who I love were able to get out. It was a moment that I realized when I was watching the news that I had had an interest in being a journalist. I knew I liked something about reporting, but I didn’t know what it was. At that time, I was 18 or 19 and I wasn’t too sure. Then after 9/11, I knew that that was exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a local news reporter and to be like those brave reporters who were down there reporting and being a messenger to the people. Those men and women were so important that day!
The next summer, my father suggested I get an internship at Channel Seven Eyewitness New in Manhatttan. Well, I put in for an internship and you know how it goes in NYC. Everyone applies to them because here are 1,000 schools. I drove up from school after practice and I was the last one to get an interview. The assistant news director Bill McFarland who wound up giving me the internship, told me that it was because I asked great questions. I’ll never forget when they called me to tell that I got it. I knew that once I got the internship at Channel 7, because we know how good of a station that is, that everything was going to come together. They supplied me with everything I needed to become a journalist.
come together. They supplied me with everything I needed to become a journalist.
From there, I did sideline reporting in college and I had to put together a tape. Mine was awful, but this little station called News 12 hired me in Westchester County, New York. I worked there and broke a couple of crime stories. The News Director at WNBC in New York heard about me through the grapevine and inquired. I met him for dinner, we talked about my process, and my goals to be a NYC local news reporter and he said, "how would you feel if I could make your dreams come true right now?" So at the age of 24, he hired me as the youngest General Assignment Reporter in NYC – which was so cool! A few months later, he was let go as the news director as were many of the people he hired. That’s when our sports anchor Bruce Beck suggested I get into sports. So I packed my bags and moved to Seattle, Washington and got a job there. From there I moved back to the East Coast and I went to the NBC affiliate in Connecticut and was a Sports Anchor and news reporter. While I was there the News Director from the Washington D.C.’s NBC affiliate was driving through CT, got tired, got a hotel room, flipped the news on and I was anchoring. The next day, he called my boss and said, can we hire her as a sports anchor in DC. It was good timing. WRC NBC Washington is one of the most respected local news stations in the country. I went there and a few years later, ESPN approached me about working as a SportsCenter anchor and I took the job!
AM: Even in 2017 we still focus on women in media - especially in sports and how we continue to break barriers - where are we in our journey in your opinion?
DR: We’re a little better – not great. I think the thought is, there are so many women on television or writing for newspapers/blogs in sports, it must be an even playing field now. It's not.
The respect that women receive in sports has improved in some areas, but we still have a long way to go. Here’s a concrete example.
Two weeks ago I was in Indianapolis at the NFL combine (a place where future NFL players work out in front of coaches, owners etc). Reporters have the opportunity to get out there as well to meet with all the people that are in the league. It’s an invaluable environment to get quality facetime with decision makers. There’s one or two steakhouses everyone hangs out in after dinner. It’s incredible, you can be standing next to Jerry Jones and Bill Belichick at the same time if you are there at the right time. One morning, I ran into a NFL head coach walking by Starbucks. He said, "I heard you were at the steakhouse last night until 1am." I said, "yes I was, why is that an issue?" He said, "you know as a woman, it looks really bad to be out past midnight with men in the NFL." I responded with “What do you mean. Everybody is out – what are you talking about there were 100 people in there.” He said “you don’t want people assuming that you’re doing anything unprofessional. Being out late could be dangerous.”
I could feel my face turning bright red, I was infuriated. What does staying out late have to do with being unprofessional? Dangerous? Is there a rule that networking has a curfew? I quipped back at him “because I’m a woman, I have to go home while my male competitors get the opportunity to hang out and network because they are men? Why don’t they go home! They get a few more hours in front of the coaches because they’re men? That makes zero sense to me.”
He felt bad and apologized while adding, "you always want people to respect your credibility and you never want them to think that you're getting stories any other way." Which I said, "if that is what people want to believe, that’s their problem – not mine!" Here we are in March 2017 and there are still these issues for women. I don’t blame him – it’s just part of the culture. When Adam Schefter or Chris Mortensen break a story nobody questions how they collected the information, but every time a women breaks news in sports, it’s always “what did she do to get that” and it’s unfair to women who are doing it the right way. So when you ask me to reflect on the barriers, my response is there’s still a thick one between men and women.
AM: Who were your mentors that assisted you in getting you to where you are today?
DR: That is probably the most important part of my journey! You are not able to be successful in this industry without great people around you. I’m really lucky because because I have many mentors for different reasons, but my family is the reason I have been
able accomplish many of my goals. I have two very different parents. My father is very cerebral, thinks things through. I then have my mother, who is a spitfire, competitive, and filled with love and personality. They have kept me grounded and focused every single
time I take another jump to another station or another level in this business. My brother and sister are both married and I have in-laws and my entire family is all-in on my career. They don't miss a SportsCenter, they watch every single show. My brother in-law follows me on Twitter to see what I am talking about and they call and text me. In terms of me, where I’m at in my career, I keep pushing it harder because if I don’t reach the goal or get to where I want to go to – I have these amazing people that I can fall back on – my family.
AM: SportsCenter is such an iconic show - tell us about what you do, your time slot and what's a day like on and off the set?
DR: I anchor SportsCenter during the evening hours. Sometimes the 7 pm SportsCenter or the 9 pm. Those shows have tons of highlights and most games are going on during those hours. It’s our job to update the viewer when they come over to us. Most of the time, my highlights aren’t even done yet because the game isn’t done yet! So I will just give you an update on here what’s happening in the 3rd quarter for Knicks/Bucks – here’s the score and here’s what happened. So it moves – it’s the fastest moving show at ESPN. This requires you to be organized, prepared and requires you to have a free spirit. You have to be ok that it’s not going to be perfect.
Off the air, I get in hours before and I start researching the game and thinking about what the storylines are for the games going on. I work with an amazing team on how to best prepare and give the best information to the viewer for when they tune in. I'm usually on for a minimum of 2 hours and for a maximum of 4. It's a lot of live television. It kicks your butt and it makes you really good!
AM: How do you juggle your personal life (dating/marriage, friends, family and personal time) against the demands of ever changing news?
DR: Ah that’s so cute, you think I have a personal life. Just kidding. It’s a work in progress for me. My family is all in New Jersey still so I try to see them once every two weeks. I also have a great group of friends back home that keep me sane. They keep my life balanced and healthy. Also when I started at ESPN, I was introduced to another ESPN host, Cassidy Hubbarth and we became really good friends immediately. When we hang out, we talk work for 30 minutes and we’ll say, “hey I caught you last night you need to do this” or “hey I saw you last night on the sidelines at the Rockets game – I loved your interview.” It’s great to get feedback from someone I respect, but also trust. We do everything we possibly can to keep things positive and to not talk negatively about anything at ESPN. That’s really important to our friendship, being positive.
From there, we’re just Cassidy and Dianna. We text all day and both worship Jennifer Lopez. For us she embodies what we want to be: classy, powerful, successful, and cool. When we are actually in the same city at the same time, we go out to dinner or just walk around Manhattan. I’m a better sports anchor because I met Cassidy. She also reminds me that I’m not defined by this business. It’s ok to love it and be passionate about my work – but there is also more to life. She’s a big reason why I am so happy at ESPN.
AM: Who are your favorite teams?
DR: Ok this is the worst part! I’m a die hard NY Jets fan, I'm proud to be a New York Yankees fan, I'm a Knicks Fan, and Islanders fan. I'm a new Portland Timbers fan and I'd say for women's basketball I’m a Seattle Storm fan because I love Sue Bird.
I anchor SportsCenter during the evening hours. Sometimes the 7pm SportsCenter or the 9pm. It's our job to update the viewer when they come over to us - it's the fastest moving show at ESPN.
AM: March Madness is here - what's that like and how does it affect your normal day to day as you head into the office?
DR: This time of year makes all the hard times being a sports anchor worth it. The environment in the newsroom, on set – the energy at this time of year is at the highest! Mostly because every one has a school that has a hand in the game and you want to cheer for it. It’s a great way to show that sports is a great way to unite people. I get more excited to go to work and sometimes I don’t want to anchor because I want to watch the games! That’s always a hard thing for me, but it’s so much fun and it never gets old. It’s something you look forward to every year. I can’t wait for it to start!
AM: For this feature, we included you, Toni, and Sarina - how much, if at all do you cross paths in terms of being on set, working on projects etc?
DR: Not at all. That was the first time that I had seen Toni in months. Toni and Sarina are morning people and I’m a night time anchor. When Toni is getting ready for bed I’m on TV so we don’t get to see each other and so I have to make an effort when I want to see the morning people and so do they. We all get along really well and I have to say that as much as it is competitive and we want to be the best and do whatever it takes, the women of ESPN do a really good job of supporting each other and understanding that there is room for everybody.
There is an understanding where we need to stick together as we’re not where we need to be.
AM: During our shoot, we shot you guys working out - tell us about how you stay fit? What exercises should we do for toned arms, abs and legs?
DR: I am a big body sculpting person! I hate running – if you told me I had to run for 5 mins, I would leave the shoot – that’s how much I hate cardio! I have figured out for my body type that I have a lot of energy and I’m intense. So body sculpting is the best avenue for me. When I was in Washington DC, I did pilates reformer every single day – 7 days a week for 3 months and then it was 2-3 times a week for the rest of the year. It changed my body completely and ended up toning my body. It elongated my body, I felt taller and leaner. If there was one workout that works for me that I would share with your readers, it's Pilates Reformer – you should try and it’s addictive.
I try, because I’m so busy, to take opportunities to work in little things during my day. For example, I have to walk from the newsroom to the cafeteria – there are these long hallways and I look crazy and I don’t care sometimes – I will do lunges there, when I walk to the car in the grocery store because I won’t get a chance to go. For me my lower body is something that I am always working on and it’s the weaker part of my body. For my upper body, my favorite workout is to row. My back is so much stronger. As for butt workout, besides the lunges – my go to is to get down on all fours and to do the raises.
AM: I do them all the time!
DR: They’re great right? Do you want to know who taught me to work out? My mom as she would do the raises in the kitchen when she cooked! She'd lift her leg when she was flipping pancakes.
AM: As soon as I saw you do the lifts in our shoot, it brought me back to when I was little, when I would “workout” with her and she did those! I knew your mom taught you that retro move!
DR: It’s SO retro and I’m so glad you called me out on that!
AM: What is on your playlist?
DR: I love Beyonce – you can put any song on and I feel like I’m going to take on the world. I don’t know what it is about her music but it gets me all the time. I love The Weekend. Anything poppy will get me going. Sia songs - “The Greatest.” I listen to this as I drive into work and I’m like, “I’m going to rule the world,” anything that fires me up, high energy with great beats. I’m a big podcast person. When I’m really zoned in at work, I’m a firm believer in keeping the process going during my day. This means, I anchor at night, I wake up, get coffee, and I go to the gym and I keep the process going by listening to sports in my ear while I work out. To add balance to my life. I listen to podcasts that are not sport specific too so I know what's going on in the arts, the economy, politics, pop culture etc.
AM: You're always on the move, what do you eat for great energy?
DR: Oh wow, you’re right food is really important and I am really lucky that ESPN has a great cafeteria. I’m a big grilled vegetable/grilled salmon person. When I first started, I ate a hamburger every single day. One day, the chef said to me, young lady have you ever thought about grilled salmon? I was like why and he said, I don’t know all this beef it may not be very good for you. I had never had it before but he said I bet you’re going to love this and I did. He changed my whole diet and so now I do grilled salmon and broccoli everyday and it’s delicious. I’m a big coffee person and I have learned through friends and my mom that if there’s one key to success when it comes to diet and exercise, it’s water! Water changes your life. If there is any take away from talking to me its this DRINK WATER! I see a difference in my skin, my body, my mind - everything changes.
AM: What would you say your style is on air versus when you're out with friends?
DR: SO my style on set is categorized as sassy fun professional sporty. I don’t want to ever distract from what I am discussing so I keep it very plain. You’re dressing yourself 5 times a week and its hard to get it right all the time! The key to TV is to wear something that doesn’t distract. Simple solid colors, dresses are always a go to for me.
AM: Being able to be on ESPN's campus, we have some favorite places! Where or what are your favorite spots?
DR: My favorite places – the makeup room, because the women we have on our staff are incredible. They are so talented and supportive and sometimes you just need a second to breathe! That room is just the place. Those women who I now call friends should charge for therapy! It's where most women feel comfortable and you can let your hair down. I love my coffee so Starbucks is my place and the baristas are my best friends at ESPN. I'm always rushing and on the phone and they know what I like! In the summer time, especially in CT, one of my favorite things to do is to walk from the newsroom to the cafeteria when the sun is starting to set and I love to look around and remind myself that I work at the worldwide leader. It’s the best way to recharge myself and to remind myself that this is a lucky break that I got and it’s up to me to make it into something.
AM: What's your favorite story that you worked on?
DR: My favorite interview that I have been able to be a part of – Kelsey Plum, a women’s college basketball player. She broke the record for most points scored in a career. I got to interview her after she did it! Her grace, humility and awareness of the moment inspired me. I also had the chance to have lunch/dinner with Josh Norman and D'Angelo Hall from the Redskins on camera. They were so open and honest.
AM: Do you give you time to charities?
DR: Yes! So it’s not really charity but giving of time - I really enjoy speaking to students and to women in the work-
force, sports or not. I make a point to volunteer my time to schools in NJ. I visit my little sister’s classroom twice a year. It's the most rewarding and fulfilling that that I have participated in my life. Every one always thanks me so much when I come to their classroom or convention, and I’m always like no, no thank you! I do feel tht you have to pay it forward and share the message. I like to share the message of mistakes that I have made and I’m comfortable with that. I'm saying that I'm a mess, but a mess on a mission.
Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, it's essential to travel comfortably while also being able to hit the ground running as soon as you land. Our Style Director, Kimmie Smith shared must have pieces! She appeared on The Jet Set with host Nikki Noya to share finds. Check your local station to see whether it's on CW, FOX etc in your area.
ON THE SEGMENT | SPENGLISH Cropped Pants + Sweatshirt | BOY MEETS GIRL Tee Shirt + Denim Jacket | BELOFORTE Grey pants with leather strips on pockets | KARL LAGERFELD PARIS Olive Jacket with matching pouch |
WHAT KIMMIE'S WEARING| SPENGLISH White Tank | ABBY MAY JEWELRY Necklace | SHE'S KIMMIE Beaded Bracelets | MISFIT Ray | GIRLFRIEND COLLECTIVE Black Leggings | OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE COSMETICS Alt Girl Lip Tar | SALLY HANSEN Wine Stick in Miracle Gel |
Our cover shoot took place at DOGPOUND, NYC's hottest new gym. This boxing haven brings celebrities, Victoria's Secret Angels, models, athletes, and those that are truly enthusiastic about perfecting their look. DOGPOUND has become the prime location where this all comes together through their focus on training members through personalization of their individual goals.
After spending the afternoon shooting here for our anniversary issue, we had some questions for this temple of fitness. What started from a group of workout buddies, has grown into DOGPOUND founded by Kirk Myers.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Can you tell us how DOGPOUND came to be before coming to your present location in Tribeca?
KIRK MYERS: DOGPOUND was originally called Kirk Fitness. I was working as a personal trainer, but my business started growing really rapidly. It was then I met Breylis Pena, who wanted to become a trainer, and we formed a group in the morning made up of clients who wanted to workout but didn't have a lot of time during the day. We started calling ourselves DOGPOUND. At the time we were renting space out of multiple gyms, but it wasn't long before we outgrew the spaces--even getting kicked out. So, we decided to build our own.
AM: What is DOGPOUND and what is the meaning behind the name?
KM: Some of our clients started bringing their dogs to the workouts.
AM: What is your background and what led you to create this studio?
KM: I was a chunky kid, but my health took a pretty big downturn when I suffered from heart failure. I knew I would need to make some pretty serious changes. I started working out, I started to see the results, they wanted to work out with me. My training business started to grow. I started at 23, and I've always been an independent trainer. I realized that in order to be the top trainers in the world, we needed our own home base.
AM: It's clear that beyond being a studio and a method, that it is a culture - what about it has made it a destination for models, celebrities, etc as a place to get the physique that your members want?
KM: I think there's a couple reasons why. It's because we are so passionate about what we do, and people see that and recognize it. That type of energy is infectious. We are in an up and coming neighborhood, we want our clients to feel safe and comfortable in the space and we are results oriented. We've created a community, so most of the celebrities and models who workout here, their friends workout here too.
AM: On the same note, how do you select trainers that you onboard to the DOGPOUND family?
KM: We hire passionate and positive trainers. That's our number one and number two. Our roster of trainers is pretty diverse. It is not really about what you've accomplished, but where you want to go. You really want to be a trainer, you really want to help people? That's the kind of trainer we want. We can develop the trainers and give them the education they need. We have our entire boxing program. No one ever boxed before the program, but we brought someone in who was a world class boxer and he taught us how to box and now we have a boxing program. You have to want to learn. Some of our top trainers weren't trainers when they started. We look for trainers who want to constantly seek improvement. Just like our clients come here to be a better version of themselves.
AM: We like that those who are members of your gym have the ability to be trained by a number of your trainers, what was the thought process behind that and how do you feel that that is beneficial to them?
KM: Because it’s always been my own business, I've had long term clients. The issue is that they can get bored working out with only one person. Not only do the clients get bored, but the trainer gets bored. When you have a team, you can offer strengths that you don't have personally in your service. It creates variety. Just today, I had a client who likes boxing, but I don't box, so I had him warm up with some boxing techniques with another trainer. Another client has a knee bothering him so I had a trainer that has more physical therapy background work with him. Workouts don't get stale. And, simply for a time standpoint, it allows for clients to make sure they can fit their workout in. If a client want's to workout but their only availabilty is at ten, but I'm booked at ten, they can work out with someone who has an opening at that time. Here you can always get into workout with somebody.
AM: Besides the location at Tribeca, are you planning additional locations?
AM: Do you sell apparel that is branded with DOGPOUND or other brands?
KM: As of right now, you can't really get apparel unless you come directly to the location. It's available only at the gym.
AM: What types of workouts are offered at DOGPOUND?
KM: Boxing, HIIT, Strength Training
AM: How important is offering nutrition as a service?
KM: It's extremely important. I think nutrition is 70% of your fitness goal.
AM: Clearly, you're a busy man, when you're not working, what can we find you doing on your "off time"?
KM: Relaxing and snuggling with my Pooh Bear. Oh, and watching the Raiders.
AM: When did you introduce the Machine Gun?
KM: Four years ago.
AM: What does the studio look like? Any signature decor?
KM: It was designed by Fabien Baron. Black, white, and concrete. Very sleek look.
AM: I know you have a varied clientele but could you generalize a bit and give me a brief description of the folks who go there?
KM: There are finance guys and girls, artists, athletes, celebrities, models and a lot of people who just want to get results.
AM: Can you be more specific about how the various disciplines are combined? Are you going from holding a yoga pose straight into a resistance exercise straight into a jump squat?
KM: Just want to paint a clearer picture of the progression of the class. The only class we offer is boxing, but we always start a one on one session with a dynamic warmup, but the workout is specific to each person's goals. All of our one on one programs are individualized. If you are a dancer, there will be more flexibility, toning and core work, but if you are looking to join the 1000lb club, there is going to be more strength training and heavy lifting.
Read more from the Jan issue.
Our ATHLEISURE LIST features premier fitness gyms and spas with you. We share the methods, offerings, amenities and more. On Oct 17th, we launched ATHLEISURE LIVE which features a fitness method of note that we host a session and select curated goodie bags for our fitness and fashion influencers and media. We kicked off our first one at IMAXShift and took a moment to find out more about this DUMBO gym.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What is IMAXShift and what is the meaning behind the name?
BRYAN MARCOVICI: IMAXShift is all about getting away from the repetitive and monotonous workout routine. The name is about getting people to ‘shift’ their expectations about what fitness can be and expect more from their ride. We want people to expect the magic of IMAX, to understand how being fully immersed in a visual experience can change the way they perform, the effort they give, and the enjoyment and results they get back. It’s about transporting your mind while you transform your body.
BREE BRANKER: IMAXShift is indoor cycling powered by IMAX. We have the great fortune of IMAX branding, giving us their theatre geometry, sound technology, and that big famous screen. Our goal is to use the screen to enhance your workout, immersing you in inspiring footage to help you achieve next-level results.
JESSE ALEXANDER: IMAXShift is a visual, physical, emotional, visceral journey that takes you sprinting, jogging and climbing all over the world BEYOND it. Our name comes from the basis of "Shifting" your reality. Prepare to lose yourself and gain everything.
AM: Who are the creators of IMAXShift and what are their backgrounds?
BM: Mark Weinberg (COO) and I (CEO) are seasoned managers who look for opportunities to disrupt existing businesses or industries that all seem to follow the same approach. We partnered with two of the leading indoor cycling instructors in NYC, Jesse and Bree, to ensure that IMAXShift is a performance-driven workout that is as fun as it is effective.
AM: In addition to the current location, are their plans to open additional ones?
BM: The first IMAXShift location in DUMBO is a pilot designed to prove out an entirely new approach to fitness. Early customer response has been extremely positive. If this concept proves successful, our goal would be to expand to several new locations along the east coast such as Boston or DC in the backend of 2017.
AM: What amenities are offered?
BM: In staying true to the IMAX brand, we sought to make the entire experience in our studio a premium one. We offer Redken products in the locker rooms as well as Detox Dry Shampoo. More importantly, we’ve partnered with Glam&Go to open a salon within our space that offers express styling services to our riders.
AM: Do you sell apparel in your studio?
BM: We have a small, but growing, line of private label apparel designed to showcase our brand and give a shout-out to the amazing DUMBO community around us.
AM: What types of workouts are offered?
BB: We have our signature ride, which is an eclectic blend of scenic footage, digital performance based worlds, and music videos; giving you a variety of high intensity bursts of energy balanced with internal and emotional moments. We have a music video ride which is a mix of fun and current music videos, inspiring more of a let go and have fun vibe in the studio, never leaving out our beloved intervals.
And lastly we have theme rides, some based in music such as a Beyonce ride, and some based in visuals such as the Around the World in 45 Minutes Ride. We have also done current event themes such as the Olympics Ride showcasing all of the summer events as well as a Suicide Squad ride, featuring footage from the movie and the soundtrack. Last but not least we have strength and recovery workshops in the lobby after certain classes in a series called FLOORPLAY, educating our riders on their bodies and ways they can use the studio space before and after class to enhance their performance and increase their social activity.
JA: At IMAXShift we offer our "signature ride" where you will hear all the beats from Hip hop, Pop, remixes, EDM and a throwback or 2 that will make you either shout, smile or flex (I like to flex!). You'll see visuals ranging from racing over the oceans in Hawaii, riding the beat through the Galaxy (note-avoid the asteroids!), or sprinting through our music reactive digital worlds. Theme rides for the holidays include Disclosure V Diplo, East Coast v West Coast Hip hop (we will be TAKING YOU to those coasts), and of course Beyonce V Jay Z. Not like any theme ride you've taken before. Come Ride Beyond.
Read more from the Oct Issue of Athleisure Mag
OPENING SPREAD | Mesh One Piece Swimsuit YANDY.COM | High Waisted Skirt WOW COUTURE | Earrings and Cubed Pendant Necklace E SHAW JEWELS | Gold Bracelet SEQUIN JEWELRY | IMG 1 LEFT | One Piece Mesh Cut Out YANDY.COM | Shine 2 MISFIT | Earrings and Amethyst Necklace E SHAW JEWELS | IMG 1 RIGHT | Zipped Dress WOW COUTURE | Layered Necklace and Earrings SEQUIN JEWELRY | IMG 2 LEFT Colorblock Swimsuit YANDY.COM | Seashell Necklace E SHAW JEWELS | IMG 2 RIGHT | One Piece Swimsuit YANDY.COM | Earrings and Necklace E SHAW JEWELS | IMG 3 LEFT | Banded Crop Top WOW COUTURE | White Short AMENPAPA | Statement Necklace and Stacked Bracelet SEQUIN JEWELRY | IMG 3 RIGHT | CUT OUT BODY SUIT WOW COUTURE | Raincoat HELLY HANSEN | Shine 2 MISFIT |
Read more from the May Issue
COVER + IMG 1 | Camo Pant SPENGLISH | Wearable Band WITHINGS | Everest 700 JBL | OPENING SPREAD | Short SPENGLISH | IMG 2 + BACK COVER | Underwear FRIGO REVOLUTIONWEAR | IMG 3 | Lounge Pant HANRO | IMG 4 | T-Shirt SPENGLISH | Jeans DSTLD PREMIUM DENIM | Chronograph Watch TIMEX |
We shot our cover editorial at Hanley New York, a Crescent Heights property within their Fitness Center, Resident Lounge and residence. We interviewed the property to find out more about the building.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What amenities are offered to residents at Hanley New York?
CRESCENT HEIGHTS: At Hanley, residents have access to a great selection of amenities, including the Fitness Center, designed by Jay Wright of The Wright Fit, and our meticulously designed, urban treehouse inspired Resident Lounge. A doorman building, Hanley residents also have access to a 24-hour concierge, porter, live-in super and in-residence package delivery service. Through Hanley’s resident app residents have access to multiple discounts on dry cleaning, laundry service, housekeeping, dog walking, furniture rental services, etc. Hanley also has a parking garage, laundry facility and bike and resident storage.
AM: We shot a portion of our shoot in your Fitness Center and Resident Lounge. Who created/designed these luxury spaces?
CH: Jay Wright, fitness extraordinaire and founder and CEO of The Wright Fit, designed the fitness center at Hanley. Overlooking the courtyard, the space offers an innovative approach to health and wellness. The Fitness Center not only encompasses floor space for residents to work out with their personal trainer, but is equipped with state-of-the-art exercise equipment, including Cybex Arc Trainers, and Woodway treadmills by 4Front. The Resident Lounge was designed by Lily Z Design, an interior décor firm based in New York City whose work has been featured in publications including Elle Décor and Time Out NY. The Lounge was inspired by an urban tree house, and features reclaimed wood panels, greenery and contemporary furnishings. Once combined, the space is the perfect place for Hanley residents to relax. The study area of the Lounge includes a built-in desk, meeting table, and wall-mounted white boards, with WiFi, while the children’s play space caters to creative minds with a chalkboard wall and imaginative soft seating that resembles large boulders.
AM: Are there sustainable features in the property?
CH: Windows are currently being replaced which will reduce noise pollution in residences and protect against drafts for more effective interior climate control. Hanley New York is also part of a steam condensation recycling program.
AM: Is the Hanley currently being renovated and when will it be completed?
CH: Hanley has been recently updated for an effortlessly elevated 21st century lifestyle. This includes lobby, amenity spaces, and the courtyard adjacent to the lobby. The courtyard was designed by award-winning landscape architecture firm Reed-Hilderbrand, the space will allow residents to enjoy a quiet, outdoor oasis in the heart of the city.
AM: For those moving to this building, what are key points of interest that will make residents enjoy living in the neighborhood?
CH: Hanley’s elegant Upper East Side location is definitely one of the building’s best assets. Set on the corner of 66th and 3rd, Hanley residents are footsteps from iconic New York destinations, such as Central Park, and the shops on Fifth Avenue. Stylish restaurants, internationally renowned cultural institutions and gourmet markets are also a stone’s throw away! Hanley is also within several blocks of the 4, 5, 6, N, Q, and R subway lines, and in walking distance from Midtown and the Plaza District.
AM: Are there bespoke services offered to residents in this building?
CH: Another unique feature of Hanley is the building’s digital advantages. Residents have a Hanley specific app that allows them to pay
rent, reserve amenity spaces, view the Hanley resident event calendar, track packages, and submit work orders and communicate with management. The Hanley app also allows residents access to exclusive perks, and resident discounts.
Read more from April Issue
Whether you work for yourself or someone else, lunch time is always a great break. It’s the chance to take care of a few errands, grab a bite and to give yourself the proper distance in order to power through the rest of the day.
Even with colder (or cooler for certain areas) temperatures, the ability to pop out is always a welcome respite between meetings and conference calls. When working, soft layers allow you to move with little restriction. Be sure to appreciate nature and the people around you.
The Athleisurist knows that this look also works if you have things to do prior to heading home. A pair of heels, a fitted jean and cashmere is an essential to add to your look as it’s truly a versatile option that lends itself to wearing no matter where you find yourself.