Welcome! It is a new year and millions around the world have made resolutions. Shared in private or aloud, these resolutions are an attempt to hit the reset button on life. Lose weight. Save money. Exercise more. People make resolutions because they want to change something about themselves or their circumstances. While resolutions vary from person-to-person, they share at least one common requirement: commitment. The scale and depth of one’s commitment plays a critical role toward self-actualization. Unfortunately, commitment levels wane during the year and resolutions become nagging unpleasant reminders, finding themselves at the back of life’s junk drawer. For this reason and others, I stay far afield of making resolutions. Life is more than hitting a reset button. It is about refining one’s focus each year.
How do I define “refined focus?” It’s a continual quality perspective on the virtues of life. In addition to family, health, and community, for me, a significant virtue of life is the impact of real estate, art, and architecture on our world. It often captures who, what, when, where, and how I am moved.
My recent endeavor – the redevelopment of Hale House in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood – is a testament to refinement. The turn-of-the-century historic townhouse has been carefully restored to its original grandeur. The front of Hale House is graced with a glorious statue of bronze and marble to commemorate the legendary humanitarian Mother Clara McBride Hale, whose non-profit organization was the prior building owner. Mother Hale performed community outreach to find homes for unwanted children and children who were born addicted to drugs beginning in the 1940s. Hence, the Hale House project embodies the aforementioned elements which exemplify my commitment to a refined focus.
While my local projects are fulfilling, my development scope has widened to include housing needs outside of the United States. During my studies at the Kennedy School of Government, I became more aware of housing issues related to war, climate change, and political instability. This led me to ask other questions: Can portable housing meet the needs of people moving to refugee camps or those living in countries at war? How can housing be made more humane for people with little voice through public-private partnerships? What are the latest technological advances in sustainable tent housing for those displaced by war? Finding answers to these questions remain essential to my expanded focus. While form and function are foundational to my projects, you can expect them to have a positive impact on the community as well.
Thank you for taking the time to check out my blog. Going forward, you can expect to read my interviews with thought leaders in the fields of real estate, art, architecture, and community activism. These are individuals with keen and thought-provoking insight, and with whom I share a deep level of commitment within our respective disciplines. They inform and influence how I move. So, yes, in this New Year I continue to evolve with a refined focus.