2017 has been a good ol’ fashioned Coney Island roller coaster ride. I tend to view the world through rose colored glasses so I’ll close out 2017 with some positivity, reflecting on some of my personal favorite people, places, and things of 2017.
For me personally I tried to find pleasure in the little things in 2017. For two brothers who live by the Daniel Burnham quote, “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood” that isn’t easy for me – As evidenced by the manner in which I started 2017 by climbing a 12 foot fence and breaking my leg in 10 places.
So a quick shout out to the very capable team of nurses and surgeons at the Community Hospital of the Monterey. You made my list of favorite people of the year for putting Humpty Dumpty back together again.
I can’t get down on 2017 personally though. Four days after I got off crutches, Australian professional surfers Ellie-Jean and Holly-Daze Coffey moved into my house in Austin for the entire summer. That might sound like a drunk joke between friends but it actually happened, so I’m not complaining about my life.
Also, Ellie-Jean would like the Chivers to know they’re real and they’re spectacular. Ellie, you’re my favorite.
I’m currently writing this bellied up to my favorite bar in Key West, The Porch. A white-framed Georgian style house they converted into a bar 7 years ago. So basically I’m drinking an ice cold Mama’s Little Yella Pils in somebody’s living room in paradise. I live for this week.
I gotta give it to theCHIVE Community as my favorite things of 2017. You’ve all had a banner year in my opinion with the heartwarming words of encouragement from GiraffeGirl and Joshua; then Matt’s ‘Find Her’ wizardry.
I remember before GiraffeGirl flew to Austin to be crowned Queen, she’d had a rough few years, social anxiety and some bad circumstances had derailed her life a bit. But she was accepted at theCHIVE, it played to her strengths – she’s very funny, doesn’t take herself seriously, and that type of person who brings warmth with her wherever she goes. She is doing great and I love that girl.
Then we have Joshua, currently undergoing treatment for colon cancer, is still in the comments upvoting Chivers making cleverly-crafted ass jokes. Guy is a legend and there’s a seat at the Copper Bar waiting for you after you kick cancer’s ass.
I had an older gentleman stop my in Key West yesterday, reminded me of Papa Chive, and he explained why he loved theCHIVE. “I look at the comments as much as the content. Because it’s like we’re all imperfect, right? Nobody is as polished as their Instagram make it seem, and theCHIVE goes the opposite way, embracing imperfection, that’s real. Literally nobody else is doing that anymore.”
Favorite place: Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub on Bourbon Street
We go to New Orleans… a lot. And if you ever find yourself at the 9pm show at Fritzel’s on Bourbon street on a Saturday, you, my friend, have found nirvana. Still the best place for Jazz in NOLA. Best food – The charbroiled oysters from Drago’s.
If you’ve ever been to theCHIVE HQ you know we embrace our art and our artists. Pop art is everywhere at theCHIVE HQ. We come from a family of artists. After years of working her craft my sister Emily is at the pinnacle of her game. I’m proud of that. Her Bourbon Collection went so viral her two bedroom house became parchment central as she scrambled to get signed prints out to her fanbase. You know it’s good when your friends are texting you trying to get their hands on a sold out print. Emily has a few signed Bourbon prints back in stock as of yesterday.
My sis exists in that underground art circle of Austin’s up-and-coming talent. She recently got me an original from an artist named Kristin Moore. A few months ago Kristin reasoned that, “Americans need more wide open spaces. That’s what America is, it represents our freedom.” So she started painting these expansive skylines with just a whisper of the familiar. It’s magical.
Kristen also just started making prints, if you want one give it 4 weeks, but man I just got one and it’s worth the wait.
I don’t follow many celebrities on Instagram. Most celebs post the same vanilla yogurt content over and over again and it’s exhausting. But I have to say Macklemore mixes it up. Mackelmore’s Instagram is the perfect concoction of behind-the-scenes, pranks, and some really personal, hilarious moments with his daughter. It’s an honest Instagram, and I respect that.
Best documentary of the year is The Defiant Ones on HBO. The story of two unlikely friends, Dr. Dre and music producer, Jimmy Iovene, who took on the music industry, the FBI, and their own inner demons on their way to becoming multi-billionaires. If you’re an entrepreneur like I am, this four-part series is nothing short of inspirational.
GIF CHIVE TV, hands down. I was in a meeting in New York with a group of investors 18 months ago, my brother and I were being politely laughed out of the room, which is nothing new for us. We were spending millions of dollars on a streaming technology built to bring laughter to bars and restaurants called CHIVE TV. “We ascribe CHIVE TV zero value,” they said, “We wouldn’t give this a dime and we recommend shuttering the operation now and focusing on more robust social distribution model.” A year later, Facebook pulled the traffic rug out from beneath all publishers, there goes the social distribution model we never signed up for. Meanwhile CHIVE TV had become the largest DOOH network in the US and took home Digiday’s biggest award, ‘Best Brand Platform‘. I do have a defiant streak in me and I remember accepting the award, looking to my left, and seeing those NYC investors at another table, shoulders slumped. Sometimes success is knowing something nobody else knows, and believing in it so much that you’re willing to give everything you have to get it done. We were able to evolve as a publisher this year, and that feels good. We also refuse to charge for CHIVE TV. It’s fuckin’ free. Because we could all use a little more laughter in America.
CHIVE TV, hands down.
I was in a meeting in New York with a group of investors 18 months ago, my brother and I were being politely laughed out of the room, which is nothing new for us. We were spending millions of dollars on a streaming technology built to bring laughter to bars and restaurants called CHIVE TV. “We ascribe CHIVE TV zero value,” they said, “We wouldn’t give this a dime and we recommend shuttering the operation now and focusing on more robust social distribution model.”
A year later, Facebook pulled the traffic rug out from beneath all publishers, there goes the social distribution model we never signed up for. Meanwhile CHIVE TV had become the largest DOOH network in the US and took home Digiday’s biggest award, ‘Best Brand Platform‘. I do have a defiant streak in me and I remember accepting the award, looking to my left, and seeing those NYC investors at another table, shoulders slumped.
Sometimes success is knowing something nobody else knows, and believing in it so much that you’re willing to give everything you have to get it done. We were able to evolve as a publisher this year, and that feels good. We also refuse to charge for CHIVE TV. It’s fuckin’ free. Because we could all use a little more laughter in America.
You’d assume looking at this photo my next favorite thing would be something about Bill. And while I love Bill, one of my favorite things are the shorts he’s wearing. Bill is privy to the secret that possibly the best thing on William Murray Golf are the performance shorts. They have just the right amount of elasticity that they don’t punish you for gaining a few pounds. The shorts are easily outsold by the WMG Hats and Polos, but 75% of people who buy a pair of these shorts return to buy another pair, they’ve discovered the secret of the shorts. Bill loves them so much he wore them to the White House when it was 45 degrees outside.
One of my good friends, Milana Vayntrub, co-created a series called That Moment When which is as funny as it is innovative. It’s an interactive, choose your own adventure-esque series. The user is given multiple opportunities to choose where the narrative will go. For example, there’s a great episode where you get to help a guy break up with Milana, That Moment When You Get Dumped in Public. Be careful which you choose, as her character is a tiny bit emotionally unstable.
*Milana, sorry your eyes are closed here but I had to demonstrate the cool functionality of the series with a screen grab and it coincided with you derping a bit, but that’s part of your charm.
Favorite beer, Neato Bandito:
It’s hard to become a mainstay beer at theCHIVE’s Copper Bar. Deep Ellum’s Mexican lager, Neato Bandito has pulled it off in spades. It’s the best new beer in Texas and we are huge fans here at theCHIVE.
Dunno’ why, just makes my day for some reason.
My #1 of the year: Mac Faulkner’s Dominoes Pizza Rolex:
Mac started 2017 with a bang. I remember landing on a flight from New York, turning on my phone to 50 text messages telling me to ‘Do the right thing.’ My first impulse was ‘What the f*ck has Macenzie done now?’ What Mac had done was create a change.org petition called, “Make John Resig do what’s right and buy Mac this Domino’s Pizza Rolex.” – A petition that was signed by everybody from country music star Jake Owen to Ellie Goulding. It was his Mac’s master stroke, a Macster stroke.
For a month, that watch was all I heard about on the street. I remember one older Italian gentleman, a bartender at McSorley’s Old Ale House in NYC, handing me a beer. I wouldn’t assume he even knew what theCHIVE was until he spoke up, “Your weird friend, the Mexican one (Mac is German), I think this pizza watch might even him out a bit, you know? Maybe do the right thing and next time you come in here make sure he has it.”
And so Mac got his watch and all was right with the world. Has it mellowed him out a bit? Well he posted this video of himself bonging red wine using an oversized BBQ fork last night so no… no it hasn’t.
But that’s not the point, is it? The point is that when the Chivers get together they can truly make a beautiful mess, create an escape from the negativity like no other on earth. And that is exactly what professional misfits do last I checked.
Have a wonderful New Years, Chivers. We will enter 2018 as fiercely independent as we have ever been, and we look forward to making a beautiful mess of the internet in 2018. I’ll leave you with a hint of one of my favorite things to come in 2018. You saw it here first, more on where you’ll be drinking with us coming soon…