As an investor, founder, CEO and business book author, I write about startups, design, how to build a good business, and I like to muse about culture in any form.

Real Deal Road Trip No. 2 — Maria’s Tree


Florescu for News took this photo. Experts picked Maria Corti's spruce after an exhaustive search that included examining numerous potential candidates from a helicopter. Read more:

I’m in New York.  Last night I took a little field trip to see the tree in Rockefeller Center.  Why?  I loved that it came from the Connecticut backyard of a fifth-grade teacher, Maria Corti.  She’d called and suggested it last year.  When she heard nothing, Maria assumed the offer hit the circular bin.  She was surprised and delighted when New York officials called to accept her tree in the place of honor.

(Officials credit the lush perfection of the tree to the fact that it grew up over a septic system.  Natural fertilizer, and all that.)

So I had to go see it.  Workers were swarming all over it, late at night.  It will take until December 2 to get the tree fully installed and decorated. I took a photo that came out way more artsy than I intended.


I’m only on Real Deal No. 2 and I had imagined stories about direct connections with people and places.  I’m not from New York.  I don’t know Maria.  But I loved that she wanted to share her tree with me, and everyone else.  I do feel a direct, human connection.

On a side note, my day yesterday began and ended with highly confectionary experiences.  Here is the photographic evidence:


9:00 AM yesterday, Boston. Taste testing the most exciting ice cream I have ever encountered. And I know my ice cream. If you think you do too, don't miss this Grommet.


9 PM yesterday. New York. Dylan's Candy Bar. My youngest son asked me to bring him something back.

I hadn’t been to Dylan’s before.  I had heard plenty about it.  I was underwhelmed.  The quantity and variety of choices was impressive.  But the prices were stratospheric.  Case in point:  I saw a lovely holiday lollipop in the window at Henri Bendels for $6.  Way too much I thought–not worth the price.  Same lollipop at Dylan’s for $7.  Made Bendels a bargain.

But I did love the Dylan’s stairways:  translucent backlit material littered with embedded real candy:


2 Responses to “Real Deal Road Trip No. 2 — Maria’s Tree”

  1. NancyVerve

    Pricewise Dylan’s is a rip-off for sure, but the insanely childish giddiness I feel when I’m there is worth the sticker shock in my book! I look for any excuse to take kids there!


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