The LookUp Times - Live In The Moment, Stay Focused & Reduce Screen Time

The LookUp Times. Episode .02

Posted by Jackie Hamilton, Creative Director at LookUp on

Welcome back to Offline Encounters, your weekly LookUp newsletter chatting all things Offline. What’s bringing us joy, connection, inspiration and more, far, far away from the scroll.


  • Going to the movie theater: I finally took myself on a solo-date to see Dune 2 this week at Nitehawk. And okay, yes, this is also staring at a screen, WE KNOW. But there is something different in letting yourself be immersed in the collective movie-watching experience with a giant theater full of strangers’ oohs, ahs, and giggles, and your favorite movie theater snack (I am a Raisinette’s girl, and I won’t be taking any slander). My attention span is zero these days and being forced to be off my phone for the entirety of a (Dune-length) movie is something I struggle with on my own at home (and actually now when I most often use my own LookUp tin). 

Fun fact: There are no phones in the Dune universe that we see in the movies because years predating Dune One, humanity had waged a war with AI and subsequently outlawed all technology. We posted about this on our Insta this week. Make sure to follow for inspiration to stop your scroll.

  • Hitting the farmer’s market: There is no time to look down here because the McGorlick Park farmer’s market is a true feast for the senses. I invited a couple of girlfriends over to my neck of the woods to experience my favorite Sunday ritual of wandering the market and picking up both things I don’t really need, and some things I definitely do. A sausage roll from my favorite meat-pie stand is included in the latter. Save yourself the purchase of one of those artsy “what's in season” posters, and spend that money on the fresh produce at your local farmer’s market instead. 
  • This building. The way the sun hits this red color at dusk stops me in my tracks every single time. This is my “Perfect Days” moment (see below).


What we’re watching:

  • Perfect Days: I can’t even begin to describe how incredibly touching this film is. It should be required watching for any of us who occasionally lose perspective in the world of keeping up with Jones’, hustle culture, and chasing a continuously elusive form of happiness fed only by acquisition and aesthetics. In the film we follow Hirayama, who cleans toilets around Tokyo, through his daily routine- the blips of interruption into the mundanity, sure, but mostly through the parts of his day that stay exactly the same. If you have a deep love of music and its ability to call you back to specific moments in your life, or have ever found yourself taking pictures of random trees (or buildings) and felt almost brought to tears by the way a beam of sunlight filters through the leaves, you’ll feel seen by this film. Not to mention how incredibly cool the featured public bathroom designs around Tokyo are.. but that’s an aside. The quote from the movie that best summed it up for me was, “Next time is next time. Now is now.” May we all slow down and see the world through Hirayama’s eyes.

What we’re listening to: 

  • Babylon, David Grey: This song came out in 1999 and 25 years later (?!) it continues to hit. I’m calling it now, this will be my most played song of the year because I start pretty much every morning hopping onto my Citibike and putting it on. 
  • The Perfect Days Soundtrack: When I said you’d love this movie if you love great music, I meant it. Nina Simone, Patti Smith, Otis Redding’s “Dock of the Bay,” and more- a perfect album to put on for a slow-paced work session or a walk through the park. 
  • BLACKBIIRD, Beyoncé: Beyoncé covering one of my favorite Beatles songs, and probably one of my all-time favorite songs, was not on my Cowboy Carter bingo card, and I could not be giddier over it. Even cooler that Bey brought in four young, up-and-coming black country artists on the track. Also on Cowboy Carter I’m loving Jolene (that little Dolly P intro!), II Most Wanted with Miley, Protector, and Riiverdance.  

Something that reminded us why we started LookUp:

  • Okay, I was a bit hesitant to write on this one, but I live in New York and the discussion around men’s violence towards women has been a more-than-usually hot topic this week. It started with a viral TikTok video posted by a New York influencer talking about her experience being assaulted on the street while walking and looking down at her phone. Countless videos of women detailing similar assaults followed and older videos of the like resurfaced. Let us be crystal clear, neither looking at your phone nor ANYTHING else you might be doing, wearing, or saying, merits violence towards women, or anyone. No victim-blaming in this house. What we do want though, is to continue to promote safety and awareness, something that goes hand in hand with staying present and vigilant while out in and moving through the world. New Yorkers and women everywhere- please keep your eyes up in the streets and on the train, pay attention to the people around you, and look out for your friends. We are so used to being heads down and removed from reality, lost in a recent email, a text from a friend, or a funny video. I myself am often in my noise-canceling headphones, podcast or music on, and when my eyes are down I could truly be anywhere, completely in my own world. Our mission is to build better habits for digital health, and this week we’re reminded that these habits go even further than protecting our mental health, and are important for our physical safety, too. 

Best thing I ate this week that made me put my phone down: 

  • Wu’s Wonton King: Your neighborhood “Grade Pending,” BYOB Chinese restaurant with the most perfect invention at every table (a lazy susan, obviously). The Peking duck in bao buns, General Tsao’s chicken, fried rice and chow fun were my highlights. Over-ordering and bringing your own favorite bottles of wine (pet nat and orange for our crew), take this experience from incredible to perfection.  

Stay cool and Look Up. 

Xo, Jackie, your LookUp Creative Director and phone-health evangelist