Tuesday, December 31, 2019. New Year’s Eve. Lots of rain and wind moving through but temps in the 40s, too warm for the white stuff. Tomorrow night at this hour we’ll be back at the beginning of New Year.
Over here at the New York Social Diary, JH and I are beginning our 20th year online. It’s an awesome number when we think about it; five days a week, 52 weeks a year for twenty of ‘em — although the time and focus required has always strictly diminished our time to think about it.
We’ve been very fortunate in many ways as well as the good fortune of having a great staff of contributors including the late great Liz Smith as well as her cohort Denis Ferrara, Blair Sabol, Bob Schulenberg, Sian Ballen, Lesley Hauge, Jill Krementz, Debbie Bancroft, Barbara Hodes, Jeanne Lawrence, Jamee Gregory, Charlie Scheips, Nina Griscom, Delia von Neuschatz, the great Augustus Mayhew, Michael Grace, the late John Foreman; Susan Silver, Sharon Hoge, as well as the ladies and gents with the lenses: Mary Hilliard, Patrick McMullan, Billy Farrell & Co., Cutty McGill, Rob Rich, Annie Watt, Richard Lewin, Pierre Crosby, Julie Skarratt, and more.
It has also been an organization with no office politics — for two people working so closely together — because there is no office. We communicate daily and sometimes frequently when the matter requires it. We have our “board meetings” over the phone, or email, or occasionally at a lunch meeting when others are involved. JH and I came to work together like this when he was fresh out of college (UWisconsin) and I was editor-in-chief at Judy Price’s Avenue Magazine.
About 18 months later, we left the magazine to start the NYSD. From scratch. The initial idea was DPC’s “Diary.” We were so primitive tech-wise, but JH managed all that, creating and designing (as well as re-designing) and launching the site as well as running the business, laying out the features and the Diary, as well as taking care of all the photography in the beginning, as well as the lead in my Diary. In other words, it’s really his show and my good luck having him as a partner.
In a way it’s a 24/7 business. I don’t know about JH but it’s the center of my days and my thoughts, as it is as I am writing this Diary. Today we’re running our annual Christmas/Holiday cards. These are cards sent from friends and readers and associates. We ran them the first time in 2001. Readers loved them and it’s become an annual.
This year we’re running about 75. The cards change from year to year, as we do. People, families grow up, get married, move away. New friends send greetings. Over the years you could almost follow the outline of a family. Every year the children would grow taller and the adults would continue to “mature.” Now many of those families no longer send cards. Photo cards have been popular for more than a generation but the generations who send cards in the first place like to communicate an optimistic, good feeling. A sharing …