marcfreyIn 1967, it was The Summer of Love. What is it now?

A half-century ago, the hippie movement reached a milestone when roughly 100,000 people converged in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood for the Summer of Love. The cultural movement of the “flower power people” promoted peace, love, sharing, caring, meditation, anti-consumerism, suspicion of government, “dropping out,” the use of mind-altering drugs and Vietnam War protests. The creative works developed during that period — songs, poetry, art, fashion — are instantly recognizable and still reverb to this day. The greeting “peace” and the peace sign — holding up the index and middle fingers in a V — have been passed on to the next generations. The peace symbol, adopted from Britain’s Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the 1950s and ’60s, has become one of the most globally recognizable marks. Ultimately, the outpouring of resistance against the war in Vietnam helped turn the tide and end the direct involvement of U.S. troops in that conflict.

MarcoFreyIt’s the time of year when I misspell ‘days’. We’ve crossed the solstice, that midpoint in the earth’s lap around the blazing sun, and when’s the last time you checked in on New Year’s resolutions? I think we all can relate to slacking the rope during the hottest months. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But for those of us who are trying to push through past year mediocrities into our best selves, here are a few things I do to stay motivated in the mind-numbing heat.

A Father and Son Reflect on the Smartphone Revolution

marcfrey 2017


The first iPhone went on sale at 6 p.m. Friday, June 29, 2007, “and suddenly the world was in our pocket.” The device created the i-generation: i-centric and i-absorbed. It created a new cult and culture. A new language (apps, clicks, texts, likes, selfies, swipes). It turned us into an always-on society. It brought us the term FOMO, or fear of missing out. Millions started to measure their self-worth through clicks and likes. The urge to check the latest news became uncontrollable. We were consumed with capturing and sharing every moment with anyone who would “follow” us. The iPhone changed the way we communicate and the way we interact with each other, like breaking an engagement via text. While they seem to connects us, smartphones often leave us feeling empty and alone — even when we feel naked without them.

marcfreyThis spring, I was honored to sail with veterans as part of the “Warrior Sailing Program” during the venerable Charleston Race Week. I met some of the most high-spirited young women and men you can imagine, and no matter if they lost their eyesight, a leg, or got shot several times, they demonstrated dignity and a positive attitude I sometime miss among their more self-absorbed peers. If their smiles and can-do attitude could resolve conflicts, then this is all it would take to make this a more peaceful planet! It could be reasoned that their sacrifices have made this a better world or made America a safer place, but the question that came to my mind is how much say did these young citizens have in deciding how invading Afghanistan and Iraq was going to benefit us?

is that something terrible happens to one of their offspring. After all, as parents we only want three things for our children: that they become independent, that they are happy, and that they stay alive.

marcofreyMy girlfriend is about to visit one of the happiest countries in the world: Iceland, land of otherworldly landscapes and geothermal hot baths. Each year, the United Nations publishes its World Happiness Index, and Iceland has topped the list each year along with the same 12 or so countries. What qualities do they share? While there’s certainly no formula for happiness, each of these countries seems to possess a strong cultural identity, a government in tune with its people and a generous welfare system. 

marcfrey02It’s only an 8-hour drive away yet a world apart. The first thing that hit me when I got out of the car in Miami is how blue the sky and ocean are and how the constant breezes reminded me of the Caribbean. Exactly the reasons wealthy New Yorkers started visiting via railroad as early as the “roaring 20’s” remain the reasons it is magnet for our second gilded era and a showcase for wealth inequality.

marcfreyRecently an engaged reader thanked us for being a dependable and relevant source of non-fake local news. The compliment made me think deeper about the topic of truth.

It is easy to assume that in the age of the internet, finding the truth would be one of the great benefits that the communication revolution has enabled. But there are several fundamentals reasons why the “truth” can be hard to determine.

marcogrIt’s times like these, with rain and snow blurring the shrill light of fire trucks lined five deep down the Brooklyn street outside a raucous jazz session at my neighborhood pizza bar, that I recall the South.

What I cherish most are the in-betweens — some clash between open space and strange timing. One time, driving home from Charleston for Christmas on Hilton Head Island, I remember dozens of eyes suddenly shining from the median of Interstate 95. The deer had taken the quiet for their own strange church revival. I knew I wasn’t supposed to be there.

After sailing through the night, the flash of a lighthouse signaled hope for a safe passage to the chartered destination. For centuries, lighthouses helped sailors reach safe harbor. 

In a world that at times can feel dark and uncertain, it is more important than ever that we know how to plot our own courses and navigate ourselves and our loved ones to safe ports. How do you overcome the daily stress imposed on you by an environment that is full of noise, chaos, hatred and anxiety?