This is my daily journal on the month long travels I have committed to: from Copenhagen to Paris, to London, to Boston, with Milwaukee thrown in for fun. Don’t feel my pain, there is very little. I enjoy my bedouin like existence. With friends across the world, and special places in most corners of the world that I have come to know, I have found a way to make a living and live my dream at the same time.
The Memorial service, view from my room, photo by Larry Eder
I have been coming to the Charlesmark for nearly a decade. It is at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, across from my other favorite hotel, the Lenox. A boutique hotel, in the European tradition, the Charlesmark also has one of the most remarkable bars in the world. I am in love (as is my habit) with at least three of the women bartenders at most times.
The staff at the Charlesmark, especially the bartenders, have been my Boston family for years. My routine normally is, check in, get a walk, have dinner with friend, Mark Bossardet and his wife, Lisa, at someplace Italian, and cover various events, from New Balance Indoor GP (February) to Boston Marathon (April).
Last year, the night before the Boston Marathon, (April 15 was race), I was sitting at the bar, writing and chatting with some of my friends from New Balance. They were having a bash and enjoying the time and quiet before the big race day.
Big race day was fine, until 2:49 PM, when the sport was molested by two sociopaths. My room was part of the hotel close down, and it was not until three days after the race, hours before we left for London, that my son got to my room to clear it out. He had twenty minutes to clear out my unorganized mess.
This year has been, well, surreal. The memorial on Tuesday was well done and thoughtful. Vice President Biden, who I really enjoy, did it right and well, combining heart felt thoughts and a bit of humor. I have always felt that the VP would be the kind of guy who would be fun to have a beer with, and hear some good jokes. I do like that about him.
The evening on Tuesday, with the young man who left his back pack (the second back pack was left by a media group), was stranger than fiction. Apparently the young man is bi-polar an will spend the next thirty days in the State Mental hospital under observation. Hopefully, he gets the help he needs. So many folks with bi-polar disorder do not take their meds, and it is one of the mental disorders that can be managed.
I love the Charlesmark because of its location, its nice, clean rooms, very Euro style and its staff. The staff takes care of my packages, helps me get reservations and laughs at my jokes. The manager, Curt, and the team is fantastic and they allow me to come and go, do my meetings, write and work where and when I need.
This morning, I am at the Lenox, across the street for breakfast. Dan, the manager, used to run the Jurys of Boston and has transformed the Lenox into the highest class hotel in Boston. Staff is superb, City Table restaurant is funky, with superb food, and great service. I write there a couple of hours a day and coffee is supplied and attention is given.
My walks in the Boston Commons are my lifesaver. I will head out there shortly, for my walk, and then, a day of meetings and work. Don’t get me wrong. I love my life style, and my work. I work for 35 publishers, and they are fun, and challenging. Good people, who love their businesses and want me to always sell more and represent the group. I love that.
Working with my son, Adam, who partners with his two partners, Mike and AJ, on the Shoe Addicts is a dream. Adam has been around the business since utero. He has sat through meetings with his mother and I when he was five and six, with his crayons and tablet. His understanding of the business, developed through meeting key players and developing his own business over the past four years, has been a great support for me. Adam knows when to challenge me, and how to get his point across. I need that and thrive on the challenges.
Along with my son, my brother, Brian is my other partner. Brian understands me, and when I get obtuse, he knows how to bring me back to planet Earth. We spent a week together in London, covering the race, with his partner, Cherri and it was great to have him there on race day, as we did twelve hours of live coverage.
This morning, I saw David Murphy. Murph is a long time friend, who I met in 1976 when I was a freshman at Santa Clara University and he was runing at University of Nevada ( I think it was Las Vegas, could have been Reno). He, the Tibuidiuzas, the late Eric Hulst, Tom Wysocki went 1-7 in our conference meet that year, chatting away. When I next saw him, about 1986, we chatted about that and he cracked up. A long time adidas media guru, David recently retired from The North Face and is working on the Boston marathon. The long time announcer in the media room for Boston, David Murphy’s knowledge of the sport, and love of the sport shine through.
Boston is about seeing friends, catching up and getting a litmus test on the sport and business of running. That is my goal over the next few days.
Speaking of activation. Hats off to New Balance. The two premier hotels near the finish line, the Lenox and the Charlesmark are virtually owned by New Balance. The signage, the presence is well done, not overwhelming and gives NB a presence in an event so overwhelmingly owned and sponsored by adidas.
The Charlesmark, my home away from home, allows me to focus on my business, and the marathon. And that is what a hotel should do.