Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite: 5 Question Friday with Monica Samuels

Friday, July 4, 2014

5 Question Friday with Monica Samuels


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5 Question Friday - the FIRST! 

Where I ask friends and interesting strangers to answer the same 5 questions. It happens on Fridays. 


I've wanted to feature other people on my blog for a while but I haven't had a reason or a purpose. I thought a series where I ask the same questions to each individual would be a good reason and the purpose would be to answer the same 5 questions on the same day of the week - a series. That's how I came up with "5 Question Friday".

My friend Monica agreed to go first (and she helped me write the questions). I asked her to start with a short bio, describe how we met, and then dive into the questions. Anyway, here it goes...


Monica Samuels
I’m the National Sake Sales Manager for Vine Connections, a company headquartered in CA that imports wine from Argentina and Chile, and premium sake from Japan. I’m based in NYC but I cover all 50 states and some parts of Canada, so I spend most of my time on the road. I met Leyla in December of 2005 when I moved to Chicago to work as the GM for SushiSamba Rio. Back then she had a Samsung flip phone and her social media activities were limited to sending text messages. I moved back to NYC in January of 2008 to manage the Sake Portfolio for Southern Wine & Spirits. Leyla and I still visit each other regularly and despite our mismatched energy levels, alcohol tolerance, and consumption of pork products, I have a feeling we’ll stay in each others lives forever.


1. What defines you? (Be descriptive, is it your job, family, a certain skill or talent you may have?)

What defines me is probably my curiosity and enjoyment of food and drinks. I spend most of my time thinking about what I’m going to eat or drink next, and one of my greatest frustrations is wasting a meal on mediocre food. I also think that being raised bilingually and spending my childhood in Southern California and Tokyo has given me a unique perspective. I got to observe two very different cultures, without feeling like I completely fit into either one, until I moved to NYC ten years ago and finally felt like I was somewhere that I could call home.


2. What song energizes you when you are looking for motivation? (maybe it is more than one depending on what you need to get motivated for)

I would have to pick more than one. The song that’s on every single one of my running/workout playlists is “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” by Michael Jackson. At a wedding, the song that always gets me out of my seat is “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran, and I have a really cheesy dance that I attempt when I’ve had too much to drink. If I’m driving, which I’m unfortunately doing more and more lately, one of the songs that always picks up my mood is “This is the Place” by the Talking Heads.


3. If you were to show up to a potluck, what would you bring? (and why? And what kind of potluck is this?)

I’m envisioning a BBQ of some sort as far as type of potluck. I would bring 7 layer dip, because sometimes I worry that I come across as too highfalutin and I think everyone secretly loves 7 layer dip anyway. I would never bring something that needs any finishing touches applied in the kitchen of the potluck.


4. Describe your perfect day... 

Right now I’m traveling so much for work that my perfect day would definitely be at home. I’d sleep in late – I generally wake up early out of habit but occasionally I can sleep in until 11 or so. Then I’d go to a yoga class taught by my favorite instructor, Melinda Abbott. Then I’d get some friends together and have a picnic in Central Park supplied by Epicerie Boulud, the wonderful (albeit overpriced) French market in my building, along with ample quantities of rose wine and sake. I’d probably go get a massage after that, maybe go on a boat ride at sunset, and then have my sister cook me dinner. I haven’t had a home cooked meal in months, and I can’t imagine anything better.


5. What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery? What would you do if you won $100 million?

I guess if I won $1 million I’d think about buying an apartment in NYC. If I had $100 million I’d donate 50% to the Fund for Global Human Rights – it’s a really well organized charity that makes a huge impact with limited resources and $50 million would be an unprecedented victory for them. I’d probably invest 25% of it. With the remainder I’d try to help out any friends or family who are financially struggling, get a crazy beach house somewhere, and put the rest in a vacation fund.

If you want to know more about Monica:
You can tweet her @MonicaASamuels 
Follow her on Instagram @MSamuels1212 

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