Tom Critchlow

A Letter to Arnold

November 30, 2020

I met Arnold Waldstein in the USV community, we transitioned from online friends to offline friends in the comments on his blog and I learned of his passing in Fred’s RSS feed.

So it’s only fitting to write a little something on my blog for Arnold. I think he’d have liked that.

Blogging was always a way for us to pass ideas back and forth - we’d either discuss the blog posts over wine or the blog posts would come from an evening of wine drinking. Writing and wine came easy to both of us.

We met frequently at his local Racines for natural wine and conversation. What started as a connection made through art, consulting & technology eventually just became a simple friendship. I loved hanging out with Arnold. He made me laugh, he inspired me, he taught me about enthusiasm for life, pouring energy and passion into new things.

He always had a deep warmth and a fire in his soul. I still recall fondly meeting him at Racines one night in deep NYC winter wearing a thin coat and he berated me for not looking after myself with a real coat. A literal warmth!

Arnold had a deep love for new things - crypto, technology, startups. But everything always came first from community. From the Black Mountain College to launching Honu, a part cat/part sea turtle CryptoKitty NFT token to natural wine to the art world - everything was an experiment in community formation, engagement and sustainability.

Arnold always supported Fiercely Curious and came to a bunch of our art shows. He was a big believer in our model early on and just a huge lover of art, it was the original spark that connected us and I’m grateful that we had that thread between us.

The last two times I saw Arnold in person - once sat outside Laughing Man Coffee where we laughed and joked and once over wine at Racines seeing his eyes light up talking about Medley Media his latest venture partnering with the Ocean Elders for digital community gathering/programming.

I learned a lot from Arnold - he taught me about consulting, about carving your own path, about bee keeping, about black mountain college, about art and yes, about natural wine.

We are nothing less than the richness of our own perceptions. It’s what makes us interesting and valuable.

I believe if you take this personality of influences, add the formative experiences of your work world, your continued passions towards learning and embracing change, shake well, you simply get a much better self.

We may all not be fortunate and talented enough to create art that lives beyond ourselves, but we do get to determine what matters to us, how we live and what we do.

I miss you Arnold but I’m deeply grateful for our time together and for the energy you brought to my life.


This blog is written by Tom Critchlow, an independent strategy consultant living and working in Brooklyn, NY. If you like what you read please leave a comment below in disqus or sign up for my Tinyletter.

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