What My Smart Friends Are Trying & Doing Right Now.   By Dish Stanley

What My Smart Friends Are Trying & Doing Right Now. By Dish Stanley

. 6 min read

Like me, you no doubt have friends who are “first movers” on everything from what they read to where they go. They are not trendy, but rather smart, discerning people who are informed, confident, grounded, and often in front of the pack in recognizing a truly good thing. This is a periodic column where I’ll occasionally round up recommendations from my “first-mover friends” and share them with you.

HiNote App

My friend Mary and I were going to dinner last week. Mary always knows good things. When I was in Venice last Fall, she sent me to our favorite restaurant of the trip - Osteria alle Testiere. If you just want the splashiest, most expensive option any guidebook will send you to the likes of Cipriani. If what you're looking for is a pint-sized family-owned 10 table intimate fresh fish place, you need a Mary.

Anyway, to confirm last week she sent me this text:

It's from the HiNote app. HiNote provides the tools for more personalized mobile communication. I was immediately hooked. Once I got Mary's HiNote I was off to the races for all sorts of things I needed to send.

But here's the one I'm really looking forward to sending out:

Habitually Chic's Paris Guide

My sister told me about Habitually Chic's Paris Guide before my trip there in December. Unless you've lived in Paris yourself, I wouldn't go to the City of Light without it. First off, she updates it after each of her visits and took the time to send out the updated version automatically to all her purchasers, so you always have the latest information. That tells you how thorough and thoughtful she is. And then of course she recommends everything from fabulous one-of-kind shops, with particular emphasis on design; to intimate less expensive, family-owned boutique hotels; where to eat depending on your location, time-of-day and appetite; and she even shares a list of what's open on Sundays. (Valuable!) And if it's your first trip, there's a helpful 101.

She lists a super secret insider boutique hotel in Saint Germain that will be perfect for my next trip, which I've already booked. (I'd share it but she says that the hotel likes to keep it under the radar so nobody should post. This is how much I like this Paris Guide. I don't dare.)  The guide is magnifique!

Adam Grant's Knowing When to Quit episode with Annie Duke

It's good to know when to quit. It's really hard, too. Annie Duke, a former professional poker player and author of How to Decide and Thinking In Bets (both of which I've read and recommend) is out with a new book Quit. A friend who is considering leaving her job (and possibly career for a whole new thing) mentioned that listening to Duke lay out some frameworks and considerations for decision-making in this podcast episode with Adam Grant was enlightening.

In life (like poker), Duke argues, often the biggest winners are the most strategic quitters. "Grit," she says "gets you to stick to hard things that are worth while, which is a really good thing." But the problem is we tend to take grit too far, so we stick too long with the wrong things, and we use all kinds of rationalizations to continue. Duke's first rule of thumb is that if you are thinking about quitting "it is usually already past the time when you should have quit." She and Grant talk about quitting all kinds of things, including graduate programs, jobs and relationships. She also shares who to go to in your network to talk about getting unstuck.

I do think somebody on Tom Brady's management team should have set him up with Duke for a conversation.

Duke is so convincing that I immediately dumped a half-read book that kept putting me to sleep and a knitting project that was making me miserable. Next up? This other situation I haven't been able to get out of. To decide on that though, I think I'll first read the book. (Recognize that? Rationalization + procrastination. That's a decision too.)

For the first one, I asked them to share what they’re reading and listening to this Summer.

Reading & Listening:


We Don’t Know Ourselves. A Personal History of Modern Ireland By Fontana O’Toole

“A wildly ambitious and entertaining account of sweeping change in modern Ireland.” (Thanks Jeff)

The Secret Heart By Suleika Dawson

“I got my hands on this just-released memoir about [British spy novelist] John le Carre written by the mistress he kept secret for over 40 years. Le Carre and his personal world show up in many forms in his thrillers and I love a good back-story.” (Thanks Michele)

Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World By Liaquat Ahamed

“This is a Pulitzer Prize winning story about the macroeconomic decisions (and personalities) of the dominant Central Bankers [in the US, England, France and Germany] leading into the Great Depression. Had been on my “must-read” list forever, but boy is it timely.” (Thanks Jim)

Midlife: A Philosophical Guide By Kieran Setiya

“I need to step back from the blocking and tackling efforts at managing midlife (how to organize my free time with most of my kids off to college, better eating, more exercise), step back and gain some perspective to make sure I am one of the ones who actually appreciates that my present and future are the prime of my life. This was written by a philosophy professor from MIT and its short and entertaining.” (Thanks Tom)


The Cartographers By Pen Shepherd

“Brilliant good fun! A mystery and thriller for nerds, and a bit of a romance drama. It gets Harry Potterish on the back stretch but the writing is lovely.” (Thanks Tomas)

Nonfiction Listen

The WSJ podcast miniseries Hack Me If You Can “This story about the guy who ran one of the best Russian hacking rings is fascinating, and I’m not (as you know) a techie. It’s a sizzling cat-and-mouse game between the main character (the hacker) and a tenacious US Agent and there’s betrayal, a winning all-female Counterstrike team [an e-sport league game], a look at how extradition laws impact enforcement and (some) redemption.” (Thanks Samantha)

Staying Informed.

Tuning into/Subscribing to The Bulwark (from its website: a news network launched in 2018 dedicated to providing political analysis and reporting free from the constraints of partisan loyalties or tribal prejudices. The Bulwark is owned by Center Enterprises, Inc.) . “I’m intensely interested in how we are going to find common ground and the emergence of a moderate, centrist base that will propose solutions. The Bulwark has become “must-reading” for me for weighing arguments on important issues. And the writers have a sense of humor, too, which is greatly appreciated. It was in a recent issue that I learned about the new Moderate Party in NJ that is proposing “fusion voting” — where multiple parties can nominate the same candidate, who would then (because of their presumably common sense, centrist position on an issue(s)) appear as a candidate on multiple party platforms. We need ways forward. I don’t know if that is the answer, but I like that people are proposing ways forward out of this extreme dead-locked partisan country and that The Bulwark is reporting on it.”

I’ll be trying these alongside you, CRUSH Readers. I’d love to hear what you think at Dish@PrimeCrush.com.

If you love me as much as I love you (and I really do love you!), then please help me grow by forwarding this {love} Letter to a friend!  And I'd love to have you join us on instagram, facebook & twitter.

The Crush Letter
The Crush Letter is a weekly newsletter curated by Dish Stanley on everything love & connection - friendship, romance, self-love, sex. If you’d like to take a look at some of our best stories go to Read Us. Want the Dish?


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