LAURA NOLTE AND KEVIN KEARNEY
“MAN,” ARISTOTLE DECLARED, “IS BY NATURE A SOCIAL ANIMAL.” IN 1838, AUGUSTE COMTE, COINING THE TERM “SOCIOLOGY,” GAVE RISE TO A DISCIPLINE BASED UPON THE VERACITY OF THE PHILOSOPHER’S ASSERTION. THE FRENCHMAN’S STUDIES SOON LED HIM TO POSITIVISM, A UTOPIAN ACCOUNT OF SOCIAL EVOLUTION THAT PROPOSES THAT THE “INFORMATION DERIVED FROM SENSORY EXPERINCE — A.K.A. DERIVED KNOWLEDGE — INTERPRETED THROUGH REASON AND LOGIC FORMS THE EXCLUSIVE SOURCE OF ALL AUTHORITATIVE KNOWLEDGE.”
Laura Nolte and Kevin Kearney validate Positivism daily. The Marketing Director of the Standard hotels (Laura) and the Managing Partner of Alldayeveryday (Kevin), Laura and Kevin employ the information gained through their respectively vast cache of personal interactions — derived from diverse New York experiences and international travels, and critically deciphered — to successfully create and galvanize communities. But their drive goes beyond Aristotle’s essential explanation. For Laura and Kevin, cultivating community is a personal and professional passion — it’s also what led them to each other.
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY?
Laura: After almost every bath, my mom would wrap me in a towel, including my head, so I couldn't see. Then she'd carry me through our Zurich apartment and stop at the mirror before my room, pulling the towel down so I can see myself and saying, "Koo koo!" I thought this was hilarious and so much fun.
Kevin: Pushing my dad's fishing poles off the boat into the Sea of Cortez.
IF YOU COULD RELIVE ONE DAY OF YOUR ADOLESCENCE, WHICH WOULD IT BE?
Laura: My best friend at the time lived in a loft on 7th Street, between C and D. We used to lay in her bed on hot summer days, listen to Lauryn Hill and eat mangos.
Kevin: Winning the Fall Classic, a really big soccer tournament in Virginia. We beat all the teams in the South.
WHAT DO YOU DO BEST?
Laura: Find the positive in everything.
Kevin: Get people excited.
A SONG FROM THE FIRST CONCERT YOU WENT TO
A SONG YOU HAVE LISTENED TO 10 TIMES IN A ROW
A PHOTOGRAPH YOU WISH YOU'D TAKEN
A QUOTE YOU LOVE?
Laura: In "Just Kids," Patti Smith wrote that from Robert Mapplethorpe she learned: “Contradiction is the clearest way to truth.”
YOUR FAVORITE BOOK?
Kevin: Cheap Amusements.
YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR MOST ADMIRABLE VIRTUE?
Laura: Positivity, if that counts.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST IRRESISTIBLE VICE?
Laura: Wine, stinky cheese, liver pate… so I guess gluttony.
A PICTURE THAT WAS ON YOUR WALL AS A TEENAGER
A SONG THAT MAKES YOU NOSTALGIC
YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD PHOTO
HOW DID YOU AND YOUR PARTNER MEET?
Laura and Kevin: In the conference room.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICED ABOUT YOUR PARTNER?
Laura: How enthusiastic and passionate he was.
Kevin: Body karate.
WHAT WORD WOULD YOUR PARTNER USE TO DESCRIBE YOU?
Laura: Sweet, smart and maybe something about how much he loves my butt.
HOW YOU WOULD DESCRIBE YOUR PARTNER TO A STRANGER?
Laura: Magical. He's incredibly thoughtful, caring, smart, affectionate and driven.
Kevin: Sweet as a Georgia peach — brown stallion with skates on.
He's going to kill me.
WHAT WAS THE WORST VACATION YOU'VE EVER TAKEN?
Laura: The last time I went to Asia two years ago; it was pretty depressing. I was there for the first time over 15 years ago and it was pristine. Now it’s overrun by speed boats and plastic bottles are floating everywhere. The environmental crisis is so palpable in countries like that. I had nightmares in which I was drowning in plastic, which we technically are. It’s soul crushing what we’re doing to our environment, but it motivated me to focus on the issue at home more.
Kevin: That time I went to Thailand with my girlfriend and we broke up.
WHAT WOULD YOUR 20-YEAR-OLD SELF THINK OF YOUR LIFE TODAY?
Laura: She would be think, "Ahhhh, manifesting works!"
Kevin: He would thank God I'm not dead or in jail.
A FIGHT SCENE
IF YOU COULD HAVE DINNER WITH ANYONE ALIVE, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU ASK THEM?
Laura: I think about this all the time. I can’t pick just one! Anthony Bourdain — What should we order? Maureen Dowd — What’s the last thing that impressed you? Beyoncé — Should we go to Bembe after this?
Kevin: Francis Mallmann — Can I spend a month with you in Patagonia?
YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING ENCOUNTER WITH A FAMOUS PERSON?
Laura: Last summer my little sister and Kevin ran after Martha Stewart and asked her for a selfie. I was embarrassed for them, but I admired their determination.
Kevin: While I was having lunch at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Taos, New Mexico, I asked Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray why they looked so familiar and if they were friends with my parents.