Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A year ago today ...

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I remember it vividly: I was sitting alone at the Times, watching the ball drop on my little TV at my desk. There was no one around me. I counted down the seconds to myself in complete depression. "Not next year," I thought. "Next year I'll be in New York at some chic party, yelling down the seconds with everyone around me. Next year I'll be in New York."

And with that, I made a resolution to be a New Yorker by New Year's Eve this year. It's the only resolution I've ever kept.

Happy New Year's, everyone.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hooray! Fun plans for New Year's!

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I now have a night full of fun things planned for tomorrow and I'm super excited, thanks to wonderful Meredith!

After work, she and I are having dinner at this awesome Mexican place right by the office, which is also right by where the party we're going to. She's a big foodie and says this place has great food, so I'm sure it's delish. I figure since I'm not having to pay cover or pay for drinks all night, I can afford to have a decent dinner. Plus, it's always a good idea to eat before drinking.

Then, we're going to a party at her friend David's place. She had to pull some strings to get me in since his place is really small, and I'm so thankful she did! So that will be where I ring in the New Year. I'm so looking forward to meeting more fun people!

Hooray!

Monday, December 29, 2008

A white Christmas, among other things

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Sorry I haven't posted in a while, I've been lazy. Christmas in Connecticut was great. Mandy's family and my family are eerily similar, so I got to practice the same traditions but with different faces.

The plan was that I was going to leave for Grand Central after I got off work on Wednesday and be in CT around 9:45 p.m. Well, my office closed at 2:30, so I rushed over to the Terminal and made it there by 5. Before I got to Grand Central, I was really worried about finding where I was supposed to be and all that. My only experience with Grand Central was when my mom and I came to NY to tour colleges, and I remembered this vast sprawling underground city with countless trains. But when I got there, it was extremely easy and I bought my ticket and found my terminal right away. There was even a cool light show to watch:


I was really happy to be able to get to CT early because that meant I got to meet pretty much all of Mandy's extended family and participate in a gift exchange. I forgot what it's called, but it's where you all get a gift and go around in a circle and you can either pick from the pile or take someone else's gift. It was fun, and I scored a sweet fleece blanket. It was also Mandy's grandma's 78th birthday. Apparently they never really celebrate it because it's on Christmas Eve, but this year they did, so it was cool to be a part of that.

We all got up around 9:30 on Christmas, and it was really exactly how it would've been in Florida. Everyone took their turns opening gifts, we had a big breakfast afterward and then family came over for a big turkey dinner. The Easters were overly generous with their gifts for me, and gave me a pretty warm sweater, cashmere scarf, candle, umbrella and some other cool things. Mandy's mom even knitted me a stocking and stuffed it with candy. After everyone left after dinner, we all played Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader and Scrabble into the night.

The day after Christmas, Mandy showed me around town. It's a very small, picturesque place and the 11 inches of snow they received a few days before made it even more beautiful. We met Mrs. Easter for lunch and then went to the mall to take advantage of the after-Christmas sales. I got a few pairs of black stockings that I really needed, and then two turtle neck sweaters that were only $10 each from New York and Co.

Mandy's mom is a hairdresser, so on Saturday she cut and colored my hair, which saved me about $300 (at least). My hair is a lighter red now, which I really like. Then, it was time to go. Mandy's brother had to pick his girlfriend up at Newark Airport, so they drove me back to my apartment since it was pretty much on the way. It was great not to have to lug my suitcase on the subway, and they got to see where I live. I really can't explain how grateful I am for all the kind things they've done for me.

On Saturday afternoon, my friend Britney came to stay with me. Originally, she planed to come up to NY for New Year's Eve with her friend and they would stay at her friend's boyfriend's place. However, after she booked her ticket, the boyfriend decided he didn't want Britney to stay with him, which is really shitty. So she didn't have a place to stay. So she stayed with me on Saturday night and we went bar hopping in the Village. We had a great time and met some interesting people along the way.

On Sunday, her friend's boyfriend changed his mind and decided it was okay for Britney to stay with them, so she packed up and we headed to the Financial District where he lives. He greeted her with a big hug and said how happy he was to see her, which disgusted me. How could you call someone a friend and then literally leave them out in the cold in a huge unfamiliar city? What if I hadn't been there? Where would she have stayed? Gross. I don't have any patience for fake people.

I had a quiet night last night, which was fine by me. I watched some TV, talked to my parents on their new Webcam, got groceries delivered and went to bed early. New Year's Eve is Wednesday, and I still have no idea what I'll end up doing. I have no desire to go anywhere near Times Square, and I don't feel like going to an uppity club and spending an obscene amount of money to get in. What's more disappointing is that Revival is hosting a private party, so I can't go there, which really sucks. We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I'll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams

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Merry Christmas Eve, everyone. I hope all of your Christmases (or Hanukkahs, or Kwanzaas) are filled with love, family and friends.

When I think of Christmas, I think of my brother waking everyone up as soon as the clock struck 6. By that time, he had already assessed the presents under the tree and grouped everyone's together. In later years, the time of awakening got to be an hour or two later, but his enthusiasm never diminished. We would all go through our stockings first, see what little travel items or other small treasures my mother (aka: Santa. Sorry, kids.) had picked out for us.

Then we'd move to the Christmas tree room, which was our Bible study room. We'd each take turns opening a present, reading who it was from and showing the room what it was. We'd go around the circle one by one until every present was opened. By that time, the tree room had grown a mountain of wrapping paper in the middle of it. After cleaning it up, Mom and/or Dad would start making a breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast and sometimes cinnamon rolls while Scotty and I would start getting ready to go to Grandma's. We'd all sit down and eat together when it was ready.

After everyone was washed up, we'd venture across town to either my grandmother or aunt's house to see extended family and open more gifts. There was always a huge meal waiting, and lots of family to share it with. We'd visit into the evening, and leave when we were all sufficiently exhausted.

This is the first year in my life I will not share in that tradition. I won't be woken up at dawn by my brother, I won't sit down to breakfast with my family and I won't get to run around with my cousins. I am, however, very thankful that another family has taken me in. My former roommate and college friend Mandy and her family live in Connecticut, so after work today I am taking the train to spend Christmas with them. They're a loving family and I know them well. Thanks to them, I won't have to bare the thought of waking up in an empty apartment on a cold Christmas morning.

But I will greatly miss my family, and I know they miss me too. Unfortunately, reaching my dream has taken me away from them. I know I did not adequately appreciate my time with them during all those Christmases. So those of you who are spending the holidays with family, give everyone an extra hug and take a second to look around and appreciate the loving people around you, because you never know where you could be next year.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

New friends make for a fun weekend

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I had a really great weekend. It was fun, relaxing and just right.

Saturday night I met Meredith for drinks at a wine bar in Harlem. She and I had been talking for a few months online but this was the first time I met her. We started talking because I saw her ad on Craigslist saying she wanted to find a fun roommate, so I e-mailed her telling her I was coming to New York. I'm obviously not her roommate, but we kept talking and finally met up. We had a really good time. We have a lot in common and got along great, and I am really thankful to have another girl friend in the city. The wine bar was really cool, too. It was pretty small and had a really good atmosphere about it. The people were easy to talk to, too.

Today I went sledding in Central Park with Leighann and her boyfriend Josh, which was awesome. It was quite a voyage to get there. They're on the east side, so I had to take four trains to get to our meeting spot. But once I got off the train, I realized that I was in the heart of the Upper East Side. Dogs had Burberry coats on, children were wearing Chanel, every building had a doorman, women were wearing extravagant furs, and I swear I saw a real-life version of Chuck Bass (from Gossip Girl).

They picked up a tube to sled on, so we all shared that. Here are a few shots:

We also made snow angels and had a little snow ball fight. Once we were sufficiently frozen, we went back to their place to hang out and have some hot chocolate.

I'm starting to build my own little circle of friends, and it feels good. I don't feel so alone in a big city anymore. I'm leaving Wednesday to spend Christmas with Mandy and I'm really excited about it. Life's good.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A white Friday

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It definitely snowed a lot yesterday, but nothing like the blizzard-ly conditions everyone was talking about. Here are a few pictures:




Walking home was a bit of a challenge. Stepping off curbs was especially hard. The slush that was on the sidewalks gathered and you could never tell how deep it was, so there were a few times I stepped into an ankle-deep puddle. Thankfully I bought some cheap flat knee-high boots on my lunch break so my feet were covered. It was pretty funny seeing these usually super cool New Yorkers being so careful of where they stepped, every once and a while slipping a little bit. I know, I'm mean.

Friday night was pretty mundane. I wasn't really in the mood to go out, so I just stayed home and watched Mamma Mia, which my parents shipped me. We'll see what I do for the rest of the weekend. Leighann and I might go sledding in Central Park today, which would be fun. There's plenty of snow still on the ground. I'm not sure what we'd sled on, though. I suggested a cardboard box and she suggested a cafeteria tray, so if you see a cardboard box/cafeteria tray hijacking on the news tonight you'll know the story.

Chris left this morning to spend the holidays in Florida for two weeks. Thankfully, we got cable this morning so I have something to occupy myself with while I'm home. I'm spending Christmas in Connecticut with my old roommate Mandy and her family. Of course I'd rather be home, but I'm thankful to have her family to spend it with. Being alone in the apartment on Christmas would be really depressing. And I'm excited to see her home town.

Well, it's my first weekend alone in the City. Hopefully I don't get lost and end up in Jersey.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Change of plans

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Well, there's been a change of plans for the weekend. Thanks to forecasts of heavy snow, sleet and rain, my dad's meeting was canceled in Jersey so he's not coming up. I know, bummer.

I got this from Chris today:
"THU DEC 18 2008

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WATCH...WHICH IS IN
EFFECT FROM FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING FOR ESSEX-HUDSON-UNION-NEW
YORK (MANHATTAN)-BRONX- RICHMOND (STATEN ISLAND)-KINGS (BROOKLYN)-QUEENS-NASSAU-
NORTHWESTERN SUFFOLK-NORTHEASTERN SUFFOLK-SOUTHWESTERN SUFFOLK- SOUTHEASTERN
SUFFOLK

SNOW IS EXPECTED TO OVERSPREAD THE REGION FRIDAY MORNING...AND COULD BECOME
HEAVY AT TIMES IN THE AFTERNOON.

THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 OR MORE INCHES.

A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT
SNOW...SLEET...OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL.
CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS."

Sounds fun, huh? Looks like I might just have a relaxing stay-in weekend. Thank GOD we're getting cable on Saturday. Well, we better still be, hopefully the weather doesn't mess it up. Chris is flying to Florida for the holidays on Saturday for two weeks, so I'll be all by my lonesome. It was beautiful today and yesterday. Today there were no clouds and it was really sunny.

Last night I met up with a former coworker's sister for dinner and drinks. I think we really hit it off, she's a really fun girl. We ate dinner at that Irish place I went to before, and of course wandered next door to Revival afterward. We brought in "Rocky Horror Picture Show" to play at the bar, but the TV they have there didn't play sound so it was confusing to say the least. I'll have to watch it again with sound, but I hear there really isn't much of a plot. Still, it was an interesting twist to the night.

I went to lunch with the ladies in the office today, which was really nice. The four of us went to a little upscale restaurant named Punch which is right next to the Flatiron building. I had a delicious crab cake sandwich with sweet potato fries, and we all split their homemade dark chocolate pudding for dessert. It was really my first somewhat gourmet meal in the City. I was looking forward to having some good meals with my dad this weekend, but I guess that will have to wait till later.

My plans for Saturday night might be put on hold for now too. The high is 28 that day with more heavy snow forecasted, so that's not really prime going-out weather. We'll see.

Well, that's all for now. Hopefully I don't get blown away tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

SNOW!!!

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Update, 10 p.m.: Okay, forget what I said before about it not sticking. It's been snowing all night and everything's white! It's so pretty!!! It's still snowing now, so I can't wait to see what it'll look like in the morning!
The front of my building.
Chris trying to make a snowball.
So pretty!!!
-----------

It's snowing!!! The flakes are pretty large, but they're not really sticking. Hopefully it doesn't turn into ice later. But I wanna go play in it!



Monday, December 15, 2008

Holy climate change, Batman!

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Today was unseasonably warm. And when I say unseasonably warm, I mean that anyone who wasn't convinced of global warming before should be now. The high was 67. 67! The high yesterday was 45 and the high tomorrow is 41 with a lovely mixture of snow and rain coming our way. Not that I'm complaining about the warmth. I took the opportunity to wear my Bebe wide-leg capris and heels for possibly the last time for months to come. I wore a scarf and jacket today out of habit, and ended up taking them off after I started to sweat on my walk to work. Weird.

I took a different route to work today. Instead of the 1, I took the A express train and transferred to the D at 54th St and got off at 34th instead of 23rd. It took about 10 minutes off my commute and there's a lot more to look at on the walk to work, plus I don't have to deal with the tunnel and hopefully running into those punks. I didn't take it before because I don't have to transfer when I take the 1, but it's worth it.

Plus, on the ride home, I had three random acts of kindness happen to me. First, a woman saw me standing and purposely saved her seat for me when she got off. Then, three French tourists, who didn't speak any English, understood what she was trying to do and slid over to make it easier for me to go through the crowd and sit down. Finally, a guy held the door open for me at the end of the station. I got off feeling touched and had the peace of mind knowing that I was on a nice train.

This week is full of fun events. Tomorrow at work, a guy is bringing in breakfast for the whole office, which is nice. I'm really excited for Wednesday. I'm going to lunch with the gang from work, including the EIC, and then I'm going to meet my friend's sister for dinner and drinks at Revival. Not only for dinner and drinks, but we're also going to bring in Rocky Horror Picture show to watch at the bar, which everyone is excited about. I've never seen it (I know, shocker) but everyone we tell instantly starts singing the songs. So it'll be a fun night and a great way to meet someone new.

Then Friday my dad is coming to town. I'm still not totally sure what we're doing, but it'll be fun. And Saturday after we have dinner and he flies back I'm meeting a girl who've I've been talking to online who lives here to go dancing. Hopefully I hit it off with her and her friends so I can have some girl friends in the city, of which I have none of yet. So hopefully after meeting my friend's sister and her group I'll start building my own group good friends.

=)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The apartment

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I've been scolded from various people about not posting pictures of my apartment yet, so here they are:



The living room.


View from the door.


The bar. That's not even all of it.


The roommate, Chris. He's making brownies. Awesome.


The bathroom.


My little closet. Hey, at least I have one.


I was going to clean up, but that would take away from the authenticity of the blog, right? Or I'm just lazy.


My new dresser thing and stuff I still need to hang up.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rockefeller Center: A photo essay

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Chris and I braved the crowds tonight to get a glimpse of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. Here are a few shots (if you click on them you can see a bigger version):











It's Christmas time in the City!

Cover story + first Friday = fun times

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Well, the first work week is officially over.

Friday was a much better day than Thursday all around. The rain stopped and it turned out to be a beautiful day. I started the day by playing Christmas music at my desk while I wrote a cover story for the latest issue. Yep, when Hairdo Ideas comes out in January you'll turn to page 3 and see a 3-page spread I wrote about eight celebrity hairstyles. There wasn't a whole lot of writing involved really, just short blurbs about each picture, but it's excited that it's a big spread.

After work I met Chris and his intern at a dive bar near the Financial District. It was the kind of place that played a mixture of country and classic rock on the juke box while the all-female bartending staff walked around in super-short skirts and lacey tops. The main bartender's shtick was that she would show her very large fake breasts and light her nipples on fire if it was someone's birthday. Yeah, classy. But it had really really cheap beer and food.

After a beer Chris and I went to his favorite dumpling place in China Town for dinner. They offer five dumplings for $1. Can't beat that. Then we hopped on the L and headed to Union Square to go to the Revival. Yes I know, we go there a lot, but it's a really fun place. I'm sure I'll branch out and go exploring soon enough.

We got to the Revival around 7:30 or so. At around 10 a good crowd started to form and I ended up talking all night to the bartender I met the first time I was there. He mentioned that his building was having a party in Brooklyn and I was welcome to crash at his place if I wanted to go. So I said what the heck and went. A good time was had by all.

I left Brooklyn around 2:30 today and headed home. On the ride back, a group of five young boys delighted the train by break dancing. It was actually really amazing. The youngest one couldn't have been more than 5 and he is well on his way to becoming a pro. They restored my view of youth in the city and I delightedly gave them $1.

I haven't done much else today. It's the first day in about two months that I've been able to really relax and do nothing, so that's what I'm doing. I'm sure I'm going to do something tonight. We'll see what shenanigans I get in to.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Welcome to the city

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Well, this was going to be a post about me organizing my room and how it rained all day but the city is still beautiful ... until my walk home from the train.

There's a long tunnel that leads to and from the 1 train, which is great for when it's raining or snowing. But it has crossed my mind about it being kind of scary at night. And when it gets pitch dark around 5 p.m., it's pretty much always night.

Well today I was walking home and there was a group of about 12 or so young boys walking toward me, spanning the width of the tunnel. The oldest of them couldn't have been more than 15, but some of them were still bigger than me, and collectively they could definitely take me if they wanted to. I had to brush against one of them to pass, and he then slapped my ass. Surprised, I turned around and said, "Excuse me." That seemed to delight them, and they presumed to call me a variety of derogatory names. I kept walking, thinking it would be worthless to do anything, and I was surprised again by a slap on the back of my head.

It was a wake-up call, to say the least. The thought that even a group of young boys could potentially be dangerous makes me worried about men my age or older. I'm buying mace tomorrow.

In better news, I unpacked the three boxes that came last night, and my room is finally starting to feel like my own. The last box came today and was left with the leasing office, but they close at 6 which is before I get home and aren't always open on the weekends, so I'm not sure when I'll be able to get it.

It rained all day today. I spent a part of my day arguing with my doctor and Duane Read to transfer my prescriptions to New York, and I ended up having to walk to the closest CVS after work. So I walked about eight avenue blocks in the pouring rain. At first it wasn't that great, but after a while of trying to hustle with the crowd, I decided to take my time and enjoy the walk.

I think I passed by a sample sale in action. Yves Saint Laurent was a frenzy inside and there were guards by the doors, which is how I've heard sample sales described. There's no way that many people could afford YSL unless it was 70 percent off.

Well, I'm gonna call it an early night. I don't really have any plans this weekend, but I'm sure I'll have some fun.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Work rocks, roommate rocks ... New York rocks

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So I really like my job. Like a lot. I like that there's always something to do. I like the people. My editor-in-chief is the nicest woman on Earth, and people NEVER say that about editors-in-chief. I like that I'm doing everything: writing, editing, downloading pictures, calling for products, etc. Even when I'm editing pages and pages of credits and it gets a little mind-numbing, I like that I'm doing something that's important, and I like that I can listen to music while doing it.

I knew that I was going to be able to sleep in a little bit this morning since I was taking a half day because my packages were coming from Florida, so I did the responsible thing and went drinking with Chris last night after work. We went to the Revival again, which was much more subdued than last week. But the bartender was cool and we had a good time. After a few hours we wandered over to another bar, don't ask me what it was called or where it was. We only stayed for one drink there, since it was getting late and the bartender was a jerk.

Then we got on the wrong train and ended up in Brooklyn. Yep, Brooklyn. Thankfully, Chris was drunk enough to offer to pay for the cab ride home. Needless to say, I wasn't feeling the best this morning, and I have no idea how he got to work on time.

My stuff came today. Well, most of it. Three of the four boxes came. I still have yet to unpack. In fact, I'm using this blog to procrastinate. I really do want to get things unpacked and organized, but the actual unpacking part is keeping me from doing it.

I came home from work today and Chris was making some pasta with chicken and cream of mushroom sauce. I could get used to that. We had a lot of fun last night and are getting to know each other better. I'm sure we'll have many more stories to tell in the future.

My dad is coming to visit next weekend, which I'm really excited about. It took all of three days for him to find a reason to come up here, haha. He has a meeting in New Jersey on Friday and is coming to meet me afterwards, then is staying at my place Friday night. We're gonna do some sightseeing on Saturday before he goes up. I need to look around for some cool places to try when he's here.

I can't believe it's only Wednesday. It really started to hit me last night that I live here. Hopefully when I get things put away it'll really feel like it. Okay, okay I'll start unpacking.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The first day

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Today was really fun all around. The morning started with me signing all the forms so I can get paid and all that fun stuff. I got an employee handbook which answered a lot of questions I had about the company.

The magazines give away a lot of free stuff for people who write in to the giveaways, so the rest of my day was pretty much spent sorting through mail since they were really far behind. I sorted mail, picked the people who won, typed up labels of the winners' addresses and sorted the products. It sounds monotonous, and it was for a while, but the products were really cool and it was fun to think about what the people's faces would look like when they won.

I also got all set up with an e-mail address (jessica.hartman@harris-pub.com), phone and got on the network. Because Harris publishes two really huge R&B magazines (XXL and King), everyone in the office is really musical. So when I clicked on my iTunes, I got to listen to everyone's shared music files at my desk, which helped keep me awake.

Mary and Mackenzee showed me around the office and introduced me to a bunch of people. Mackenzee also showed me the sought-after product drawer, full of all the leftover products. I'm sure I'll raid that by the end of the week.

One of the women I met told me about a Bed Bath & Beyond that wasn't far from the office, so I headed there after work. I desperately needed some kind of drawers for clothes and a mirror. I asked a woman who worked there how I should get them home, and sure enough, they delivered. So between 10 and 1 a.m. tonight, I should get two sets of cloth drawers, a mirror, trash can and some other organizing stuff. Hooray!

After Bed Bath & Beyond, I stopped at the Old Navy right across the street. I got a couple long sleeved shirts that were on sale for $5 and a really cute gray jacket. Then I stopped by H&M and got a really beautiful cream jacket that was on sale for $60 and a couple hats. I'd say it was a successful shopping day. I still need more pants and warmer shoes, but that can wait till I get paid.

It was about 7:00 by then, so I got on the 1 train and headed home. I made some fettuccine alfredo for dinner and now am watching the Goonies with Chris. I really hope my drawers come closer to 10 than to 1, I'm already getting tired.

Can't wait till tomorrow!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Here at last

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Well, today hasn't exactly been the smoothest, but when you're dealing with airlines these days, it never is.

First of all, AirTran lied to me. They said I was on a non-stop flight, and that just wasn't true. It had a stop in Virginia, but I wasn't supposed to have to get off the plane. Upon arriving in Virginia, I find out that there is a two-hour delay thanks to wind in New York, so I de-planed.

After arriving in New York over two hours late, I thought I would be frugal and take a bus to Penn Station and catch a cab from there. The bus ticket guy said it would be here in about 20 minutes, so I paid the $12 and took a seat. Over 45 minutes later, the bus finally arrived, and I was regretting my decision.

I bought groceries online yesterday and picked a delivery time between 8-10 p.m., two hours after my original departure time, thinking that would be safe. By now it was 8:45 and they had called twice asking where I was.

The bus dropped me off at Grand Central Station (not Penn Station) and I caught a cab. Granted, the fare was cheaper, but it took a grand total of an hour and a half after I landed before I got to the apartment. Not worth it. Thankfully Fresh Direct waited for me and I had food when I arrived.

It's now 11:05 and I still haven't started unpacking. I'm thinking I'm just going to set out an outfit and leave that fun step for tomorrow. The four boxes I shipped are supposed to arrive sometime Wednesday.

Well it's time for bed. I need to get up at 7:30 for my first day of work tomorrow. Oh, by the way, it's COLD!!! The high is 30 tomorrow with a wind chill in the teens. It was 70 and sunny when I left Florida. Sigh.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Saying goodbye is never easy

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I packed up my life today. In the span of a few hours, my apartment went from messy and unorganized to vacant (thanks mostly to my parents).

I have said goodbye to the people who have been the most important to me in the past five years this week. Friends who have been there for me when I was at my lowest. Friends who have been there for me at my best. New friends who have become family. And friends who have made me the woman I am today. I said goodbye to them, and I said goodbye to the city that started me off on my own. It wasn't easy.

I can't imagine what my life would be like without them, and now I have to. Of course we're going to keep in touch, but I won't be able to call them and go to a bar, or go get dinner with them at work.

I became a woman in Tampa. I fell in and out of love. I made life-long friends. I learned more about myself in the five years I lived there than in my first 18 combined. And now I've shut that door to open a new one.

Tomorrow I'm going to say goodbye to my childhood friends and family, and the city I was born in. I'm going to say goodbye to my parents, who have been there for me through all my crazy ideas and dreams. I'm going to say goodbye to my dog. I've already said goodbye to my brother, who is out of town this weekend. That won't be easy either.

I'm saying all these goodbyes, to say hello to a dream I've had since I was a teenager. To say hello to a city that has held my heart since the first time I saw it. To say hello to a future that holds the promise of everything I've ever dreamed.

I will take the people and places I've said goodbye to with me. In saying goodbye, I have not left them forever. I will be back to see them, and hopefully they will come to see me in my new life. It's goodbye for now, not forever. But I will miss them, and will think of them every day, and wish they were there with me.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Day 2: A dream realized

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K folks, I'm gonna have to keep this short. It's after midnight and I have to be on a flight in the morning, but I didn't want to go to bed until I updated you.

So I got into work this morning at 9:30, said goodmorning to Phyllis (editorial director) and she said we would talk later. So of course all day that's all I can think about. Most of the day was spent checking credits on photos, which was a little mindnumbing but I was glad to have something to do to distract myself.

I walked to lunch with Mackenzee, the other assistant editor, and got to pick her brain a little. She started about a month ago, and said that she also didn't tell them that she wasn't living in the city. She said it first, not me. So that made me feel a little better. She said she really liked it and had already been to an event where she got her hair dyed for free. So that's cool.

At the end of the day Mary (EIC) stopped by my desk and reminded me to talk to Phyllis before I left. Like I could forget. So I go by her office and she's not there. She's not there for about 20 minutes, easily the longest 20 minutes of my life. I finally caught her and sat down by her desk. She asked me if I liked it, I said yes, and she said that I did a fine job and they'd like to give me the job. (AAAHHHH!)

I could've stayed and started tomorrow, but I told her that since she had told me that I would start the next week I booked a flight to Florida to pick up my last stuff. She understood and I officially start Monday.

To celebrate, I wanted to go see the Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center, but those hopes were quickly dashed when they stopped letting people in and I was caught in a huge crowd of people. I had to jump a barricade to get out. So I met Gordon and Chris for dinner at a diner near Times Square and paid $20 for an omelet.

Gordon had to go home because he was getting groceries delivered, so Chris and I headed over to Union Square to his local bar hangout, the Revival. Let's just say, I'll be back. Everyone in there was awesome.

So I'm flying home tomorrow and coming back Sunday to start Monday. Don't worry, I've had these tickets since last week. It still hasn't sunk in yet. I'm moving to New York. I have a job in magazines ... in New York. I did it. I'm moving.

Whoa.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Trial: Day One

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Overall, today went great. But there were a few bumps along the way.

I woke up with a headache, which was not a good start. Anyone who knows me knows that once I get a headache they don't usually go away very easily. I found the train easily and got on right away, but any hope of a relaxing ride was dashed when I saw how crowded it was. Thankfully, after about the third stop I found a seat.

I got to the office about 20 minutes early and they didn't waste any time putting me to work. I worked mainly with Mary, the Editor-in-Chief, and Mackenzee, the other assistant editor. They gave me a writing assignment right away where they asked me to do an advertorial of sorts for 10 products they were featuring. Every time I turned in an assignment, there was another one waiting for me, which I actually really liked. I love that I was working throughout the day instead of sitting there bored. I think in total I wrote three stories, edited two others and found pictures for two more.

My desk is huge. It's kind of tucked away in a corner and it's obvious the desk was made for two people but I have it to myself. Harris also publishes two hip-hop magazines called XXL and King, which my desk is right next to. I wouldn't care really, except for the fact that some of the guys like to play rap music pretty loudly, which doesn't help when you have a headache and are trying to focus on what you're writing.

The office seems like a friendly place. I hear a lot of people talking to each other and laughing. Mary is super nice. She kept saying how much she liked my writing and was very pleased that I was completing my assignments quickly. There are some style things that I need to learn, obviously, since I've never written about hair before, but she was very understanding and said she would give me a style guide tomorrow.

No word about a final decision yet, but I didn't hear anything negative today. I'm sure we'll talk about it tomorrow.

I got off work right at 5 and Chris and I went to get dinner at a cute Irish pub in Union Square, which I found out is walking distance from the office. I walked down 5th Ave. to get there, which might have been a mistake. I learned that there were dozens of great clothing stores walking distance from the office. Pretty much everything you could think of was there. The bartender at the pub was a full-blooded Irishman, and called me little lady and called Chris old chap.

I must have walked a good three miles today, and my feet didn't really start hurting until I got on the train home. But after a hot shower they felt better and my headache finally went away.

It was an eventful day, to say the least, and I hope tomorrow brings great news.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sealing the deal

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Update - 10:30 p.m.: Well I got to New York safe and sound. I must say I'm very pleasantly surprised by Chris's apartment. It's huge by New York standards (pictures to come soon). My room is plenty big for me and it has a twin bed and a closet. The only thing I'll really need to get is a mirror and some kind of drawers for clothes. The living room is huge and it has a nice sized kitchen.

When I got in, I dropped my bags off and we went to get some Chinese at one of the local restaurants. I got a nice-sized thing of chicken lo mein for $3.75, can't beat that. On our way, Chris gave me a quick tour of the neighborhood and showed me where my subway stop was, which I'm sure will be very helpful. There's a liquor store right across the street, a couple small groceries, a semi-cute clothing store, a pizza place and some other odds and ends. It looks like a nice place.

The apartment building itself is really nice. It has an elevator, which is a rare thing in the city, and a laundromat on the bottom floor, which is awesome.

Well, I better try to hit the hay. I need to be up by 7:30 if I want to look presentable and get to the office by 10!

-------------

Well here I am, at an airport for the third time in three weeks (well, the eighth time if you count all the transfers and flights back). It'll all be worth it when (not if) I get the job, but I gotta tell ya, I won't be flying for a while after that.

It all started to really become real yesterday. I finally sold my bedset and said goodbye to one of my best friends. This is the first time since graduation that I'm saying goodbye to people that I might never see again. Sure, we all say we'll keep in touch and visit, but in reality you just never know.

Then I started thinking about all of the people I won't get to say goodbye to, and thinking about the last time I saw them. What would I have done differently if I had known that it was the last time I might ever see them? Something to think about.

It's hard to believe that I'll be working for Harris tomorrow. Everyone keeps asking me what I'll be doing, and I really have no idea. During the first interview, she told me that I would be involved with generating story ideas, writing, editing, the whole nine; but I wonder what I'll actually be doing for the next two days.

At the last interview, she said that I was "at the top of the list" and they were only doing this trial run with me, so she made it sound like it was my job to lose. You better believe that I'm going to work harder in the next two days than I have ever worked in my life.

I'm meeting Chris when I get into New York around 6. He suggested that we get dinner before we go back to the apartment, but I'm worried about having my bags with me. I had to pay $90 to check my bag because it was six pounds overweight by the way, which is total B.S. And now my flight is delayed. I looked up the subway route from the apartment to the office last night, and it looks like it's right at about an hour. It sounds long, but there aren't any transfers, so I can just get on and relax.

I'm sure the next four days will bring many surprises and revelations. Stay tuned.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Operation: Pack for New York in Three Days

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Ok folks, here's the tentative plan. Try to keep up:

I'm back in St. Pete now. I'm working for the Times through Sunday. I leave for New York for my trial run with Harris on Monday. In that time, I have to go through and pack/clean everything in my apartment. Thankfully, I don't really have that much stuff left.

I'll be in New York Monday - Thursday, and working for Harris on Tuesday and Wednesday. They said if they decide to hire me, I'd start the following week. So I'll have Thursday - Sunday to pack and ship everything else. I'm going to leave pretty much everything I pack this this week with Chris, who I'm staying with and who I'll be living with, so when I come back for good I can hopefully pack everything else and won't have to ship very much.

My parents are coming over on Friday to help me pack up my stuff. Then I'm going back to Orlando on Friday or Saturday to leave my car with them, and then I'm off Sunday! So, to recap, I have tomorrow, Sunday and Monday mornings and then Friday left in St. Pete.

I can't wait to just get there and get into my routine and stop living out of a suitcase. This last month has been so crazy, but so exciting!

Here's a little video I took this past week:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Interview: Part Deux

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This was the most meaningful and shortest interview of my life.

Got to the office about half an hour early, after buying some hideous shoes. The Editor in Chief and Editorial Director (who I met with last week) saw me early. I talked with the Editor in Chief alone for a few minutes, she said she just wanted to get to know me a little better. She was very nice and welcoming. Then, she went and got the Editorial Director and she came to talk to me.

She said that they wanted to do a two-day trial run next week and that they'd make a final decision after that. I was so excited that I didn't really ask questions and told her I'd see her at 10 a.m. Tuesday. When I called to tell my parents, they brought up some pretty good questions that I didn't think of. If Tuesday and Wednesday work out, will I start Thursday? Am I the only one they're doing this with? Am I getting paid?

So I got back to Gordon's place and called her back. Right away she said I would be paid, so that was nice. Then, she said, and I quote, "you're at the top of the list." She said they might do this with one other person depending on how next week went. And she said if they made the decision to keep me on, they'd start me the next week.

So basically, if I go in and do a good job, I have it. That's insane! When I told my parents I literally started crying, which surprised me a little. I just can't believe that after all this time this is happening so fast! I could be living in New York the first week of December! Wow. Just wow.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The stars aligned

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This morning I was in Orlando. Right now I'm in New York. Here's what happened.

Today was the day of the call, so last night I couldn't sleep. This call could be everything I've wanted since I was 14. So my family and I pile into the car and head to Panama City at 8:30 a.m for a family vacation. At 10 a.m. I get the call:

"Hello, Jessica. How are you?"
"I'm great, thanks."
"I'd like to ask you back to meet our Editor in Chief."
"That's great!"
"Can you be here today or tomorrow?"
"How about tomorrow?"
"Twelve o'clock okay?"
"Um, 12 is fine."
"Great, see you tomorrow."

Half of me was ecstatic, and half of me was terrified. How am I gonna get from the panhandle to New York by tomorrow? Then, the stars aligned.

I get on the phone with a friend who's by a computer. He looks up some flight options for me, none less than $500. Then, my dad, a Delta medallion member, works his magic. He gets on the phone with Delta and books me a flight leaving from Tallahassee at 4:37 that gets me into New York by 9 p.m. and gets me a return flight for 6 p.m. tomorrow that gets me back to Tallahassee by 10:30. Thank God for frequent flier miles, it only cost $180. And thank God Gordon was willing to put me up for a night.

My brother had a tour of FSU planned for 2:00, so my parents dropped me off at the airport before that. It really couldn't have worked out better if we had planned it. There was a little stress with my connecting flight in Atlanta. The flight from Tallahassee was half an hour late, and I only had an hour layover so I had to run to the flight. I barely had time to grab a soda and bag of chips and got to the gate just as they were calling my zone to board.

So here I am in Gordon's apartment, almost exactly 12 hours after I got the call. I flew into LaGuardia for the first time and got the most amazing view of New York at night. We turned a corner and all of the sudden it was lights and buildings as far as the eye could see. Beautiful. The cab fare is also half as much from LaGuardia, so I'll be flying into there from now on.

I better get it now! I'm so close!

Update: To add another twist to the day, I just realized that I forgot shoes! All I have are the white lacey ballet flats I wore to the airport. Looks like a quick trip to H&M is in order before the interview!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A day in New York: The interview

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How did it go? Well ... okay I think. I'm not sure. The woman who interviewed me was very nice, but very hard to read.

Here's the deal: I would be on an editorial board with three other women and we would be putting out nine different hair magazines. The reason I couldn't find anything on Hair and Beauty magazine is because that's not what it's called. Their main book is Celebrity Hairstyles, which I've seen in every salon I've ever been in. But they also have eight or so other magazines all about hair.

Me and the three other women would do everything: think of the ideas, get pictures, write everything, etc. I think this is great. I would love the opportunity to do all that. I'd really be able to let my creativity flow.

Now, again, the woman was very nice, but very hard to read. She was very direct and to the point, and I didn't really have a whole lot of time to say much. She said a few times that I was fresh out of college, but she also said that this is a great place to learn and grow, so I'm not sure if being fresh out of college is a good or bad thing.

Also, she surprised me with a copy edit test and a writing test right there on the spot. Now, I was on literally half an hour of sleep. I'm not exaggerating. I worked Monday night till 2 a.m. and had to start getting ready at 4 a.m., and of course I couldn't sleep. So it was all I could do to make sure my own sentences made sense, let alone edit someone else's. I missed two words I should've gotten on the copy test, but I got everything else including subject-verb agreement. I'm not sure how I did on the writing test, she didn't read it while I was there. But she said she liked my hair color and we talked about that for a few minutes, so that's a good sign, right?

The next step would be to go back and meet with the Editor in Chief. They're looking to hire right away and will call me on Monday to let me know if I've made the cut. The pay is much less than I expected, and I would have to get a second job if I got it.

It's a great opportunity. Something like this almost never comes along, especially nowadays. I'd be responsible for multiple magazines and I would have a lot of input in everything.

But I'm also not going to be crushed if I don't get it. I really like the idea of spending the holidays with my family and moving up when I'm more financially secure. It was the first interview and a good learning experience, and a day in New York.

So what did I learn? 1. Don't schedule an interview the day after I have to work.
2. Wear socks. Trying to be fashionable, I wore shoes that weren't supposed to be worn with socks, and I paid for it.
3. Dress warm. It was a cool 36 degrees when I got off the plane at 10:30 and it was down to 27 by the time I left. I wore a heavy jacket and scarf, but the lower half of me wasn't nearly as warm.
4. Be ready for a copy test and writing test right there.

I didn't do a whole lot with the rest of the day. The interview ended around 2:30 and my flight didn't leave till 8:30, so I had some time. But I didn't want to spend any more money than I had to on cabs or trains. So I just went to Times Square which was right around the corner. The office is right by the Flatiron Building, which is very close to where I interned during Fashion Week. I had a bite to eat at ESPN Zone and then just went back to the airport, because I could barely keep my head up. But I bought some pashminas!

It was a whirlwind day. Out the door by 5:30 a.m. and back by 12 a.m. Whatever happens is meant to happen, and I'll be happy with whatever is decided.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I GOT AN INTERVIEW!!!

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Aaahh! I got a call today from Hair and Beauty Magazine for an assistant editor position I applied for a few days ago and I have an interview on Tuesday!!!

This would be an amazing job and I really feel like I'm right for it. Can you imagine? A full time assistant editor position? Come on! Cross your fingers for me!

Finally, it starts

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I am writing to you all now in my empty living room. Well, almost empty. Yes, I have finally started to ball rolling. I have finally started to take those steps I've been talking about for so long.

I gave the Times my letter of resignation Friday. My last day is December 12. A month from today. The next day, I put my life up for sale. So far, I've sold my futon, dinette, TV and some art. I still have my bedroom set, coffee table, TV stand, desk and some other odds and ends, but it's a start.

When I sold my table, I stood in the empty space where it used to be and almost started to cry. I'm finally doing it. It's finally real. Finally.

I love my apartment here on the water. It's my first place of my own. I work hard for it and it's beautiful. And I will always look back on my year in St. Pete as the year that launched me into what will be my new life in New York.

With every piece of furniture I sell, I get prouder. Every piece that leaves me is a step toward New York and my dream. This is the first real sign of change. Not just talk, but action.

Finally.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Let the search begin

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All right, it's finally that time. The time to really start searching for a job in New York. I've been casually searching for a while, but now I need to start applying.

Thankfully, I have a HUGE upper hand. Michelle Lee has offered to forward my resume to all the HR departments she has contacts with, which is pretty much everyone. I e-mailed her my updated resume today and I really hope someone bites. I also finally updated my Web site today with the updated resume, new videos and pictures. I'm really proud of it.

I can't wait to write about good news!

P.S. If you know of any openings, please let me know!

Halloween fun

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You can't have a fashion blog without talking about the wonderful holiday of Halloween. This holiday was made for fashion. I mean, when else is it socially acceptable for you to be in costume out in public? Never. Fabulous.

Now, there are basically three groups of people who dress up for Halloween:
1. The too-cool-for-school people who show up to parties in their regular shows and just say they're some celebrity or something.
2. The slutty girls who take this opportunity to wear next to nothing out in public by just inserting the word "sexy" in front of their costumes: sexy nurse, sexy police officer, sexy ref ... You get it. I admit, I'm a part of this group.
3. The uuber creative people who spend all year planning their costumes and who make them from scratch.

This is the one time of year I totally encourage breaking all the rules of fashion. Go out, make a fool of yourself, take pictures, eat too much candy and love every minute of it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Overdue update

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I was talking to a friend tonight about how much I missed posting, and then I realized that it's almost half way through October and I haven't posted at all.

So here are a couple fun fashion updates in my life:
1. I got the most awesome Dolce and Gabbana reading glasses. They're black framed, simple, chic and oh-so-cute. I've had the same frames since I was 14 (yeah, I know) so I was well overdue for an update. I figure I'll have these for about the same amount of time, so I could invest in a good pair.



2. While waiting for the glasses, I had an hour to wander around the mall, which is always dangerous. I've come to love Old Navy, which is a new development. All of their tops seem to fit me flawlessly all the sudden. So, I picked up two sleeveless turtlenecks, one cream and one grey, a cream sweater and a black pair of strappy sandals.

3. Fall 2009 Fashion Week is five months away, and it can't come soon enough. I was talking to a friend today about winter wear, and boy do I need to stock up. I have a scarf, but that's pretty much it. I need: coats, gloves, hats, boots, socks (I think I might have one complete pair), long underwear ... the list goes on. But then I started thinking, where the hell will I find these things in Florida? We might get down to 30 degrees twice a year, so most stores don't even bother selling winter clothes, well, not real winter clothes anyway. Any help?

4. November will be a crazy busy month. I'm going to start selling everything I own and start applying for jobs in New York. Michelle said that I should start doing this in November and try to schedule interviews when I'm in town for Fashion Week in February. Hopefully I'll be able to find another internship during it, but it wouldn't be horrible if I didn't and had time to really look around at places. I didn't get a chance to do that before.

5. So here's the timeline: Moving back to Orlando before Christmas (two months), Fashion week first week of February (4.5 months), move to New York ASAP after that, probably early March. Wow, that's soon.

Can I leave tonight? Pleeeeease?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The lack of fashion in St. Pete

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Hey folks - I have to say, I miss looking forward to posting all about my daily fashion adventures, because in St. Pete, there aren't any. None.

There was a woman in Publix the other day who had on a cute sundress and heels, and her 5-year-old daughter looked equally cute. Kudos to her for not letting the fact that she is a mom get in the way of taking care of herself.

I must say, I haven't been doing a very good job at all of keeping up with London or Paris Fashion Week, both of which were going on the past couple weeks. I know, what kind of fashionista am I? Not a very good one, I guess.

Going from the excitement of the Big Apple to the lackadaisical Burg hasn't been easy. Can I go back now?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The woman that is New York

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Here I am, sitting at my desk at the Times, missing New York like crazy.

Something occurred to me on the flight home: I really respect the kind of woman New York is. She's a tough broad, New York. She's not prejudice, she welcomes everyone of every race, religion, political party and sexual orientation, but you have to prove yourself to her. She's not just going to hand you success, you have to go out and get it. She's skeptical, only the people make their own path will earn her respect. But once you have her trust, you can make it anywhere.

She's real. She doesn't sugar code anything. She is the way she is and she makes no excuses for herself. She's alive. Her favorite hangouts don't have a closing time. She makes each day count. She's full of opportunity. She's glamorous. She's fabulous.

But like every woman, she has a dark side. There are streets you don't want to cross. Allies you don't want to go down. But even these parts of her she presents with pride. The people who see her dark side daily are the toughest of the bunch, and they know it.

She's independent. She hasn't had it easy, but she wouldn't have it any other way. She's unforgettable. Love her or hate her, you'll always remember the first day you met New York.

I, for one, love her. My nine days there have solidified my need to follow my dream. It wasn't a vacation, I lived there. I took the subway, I worked, I didn't eat out or go out often. For a week and a half, I lived in New York. And it wasn't nearly long enough. I met people who came from where I come from who have made it in the industry I want to be in. They did it, so can I. And they're willing to help me, so I have no excuse to fail.

I miss her, and I know she misses me too. But I'll be back soon.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Baby Phat Spring 2009

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No one can say Kimora Lee Simmons is afraid to take risks. Celebrating 10 years of her line, Baby Phat, her new collection aptly named "Decade" takes streetware to the next level. Experimenting with different colors, such as bright purple for men's shorts, or new shapes, such as super short shorts and cropped jackets for women, Simmons surprised attendees.



"I just want to further push the Baby Phat lifestyle: to be fabulous, to be bigger than life, to be over the top. You know, giving it to them how we usually do," Simmons said in a tribute video that preceded the collection.

And boy, was she over the top. The main thing that tied all the looks together was gold: gold chains, gold pinky rings, gold sneakers, gold belts ... you get the idea. It was all delightfully Kimora.



Baby Phat wearers expect nothing but the forefront if fashion forwardness, and they won't be disappointed this season.

Christian V Siriano Spring 2009

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Ladies and gentlemen, we have met the next huge American designer. Christian Siriano, winner of last season's Project Runway, has proven he is anything but a one-hit-wonder with his Spring 2009 collection.



Pops of bold colors, ruffles and new, different lines make his design as couture as one can get while still being wearable. He kept with is dramatic style when styling his gowns and his androgynous style when styling his pants. These looks paired with large hats and super high colored heels made his pieces complete. He even added color to the model's makeup, frequently painting their eyebrows or lips yellow or teal to match the color in the outfit. The audience frequently broke out and cheered when his more dramatic looks went down the runway.



The woman who is lucky enough to wear his clothes will be the center of attention for all the right reasons.

Aurelio Costarella Spring 2009

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Aurelio Costarella's Spring 2009 line was full of clean lines and simple colors with a few surprises thrown in. The only colors used in his collection were purple, yellow and teal, but most of his pieces were black and white or cream.



He paired conservative dresses with bold ruffles at the collar or an asymmetrical neckline, or both. However, these additions balance out the simplicity of the outfit instead of overwhelm it. His taste is impeccable and his surprises are met with delight.



Costarella's line is for a young businesswoman who isn't afraid to take risks in beautiful clothes.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Day 9: Like there's no tomorrow

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Recap of last night: I cannot even begin to describe how great last night was ...

At 5:00 I met up with Patty Adams, editor at Page Six Magazine and another USF grad. I got her contact info from Michelle. She was super busy but was so great to squeeze me in. We talked for about half an hour about how she made it and what I could do. Both she and Michelle said the importance of knowing when to move on from a publication. It's really the only way to move up and the best way to negotiate salary increases.

Then I met Chris up by the tents. I told the guards he was with me and he didn't have a problem getting in. I didn't have any time to stay, because I had to run to Christian's show.

Thank god I was not a minute later, because I was literally the last person to get in. And oh how there were celebrity sightings! Ok, when I say celebrity, I mean D-list reality TV stars, but they're celebrities to me. Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, Nina Garcia, Sweet P from Christian's season of Project Runway and Melissa from MTV's the Real World were all there. This was also the most reported show I've gone to so far. MTV News, E! News and some other news stations were covering it.

I didn't get a chance to download my pictures and video on my computer last night, but when I do I'll give you a full review of the show. Let's just say it was fierce, or in the words of Heidi, uuber fierce. It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

After that I met back up with Chris at the tents. He had made friends with a nice stylist and we chatted for a bit. Then she got up to get in line for the Aurelio Costarella show and asked if we were going. We didn't have tickets, so she told us she would just tell them we were with her. Amazing! We were one of the first in line for the standing section, and it was my best seat so far. Not to mention the show was so beautiful. Vanessa Simmons was spotten in the front row. Again, I'll write a full report when I download pictures. Sorry, I'm being a slacker.

After that, Chris was beyond amazed at this new fashion world I had gotten him in on, that he bought me dinner. We went to this fun bar over in Hell's Kitchen and I had a healty meal of cheese sticks and fries. There was a decent band playing too.

Around 11:30 we decided it would be best to go home since we both had to be at work today. That was my best night yet by far.

Today: I can't believe I only have 24 hours left in the city. Tonight promises to be amazing though, with the Baby Phat show at 7 and Tom and Mike coming in for the Yankees game. It's my last night, so I'm gonna live it up. I can sleep when I get home.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Day 8: Seven years later ...

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It's interesting being in New York for September 11. I thought I'd be seeing a bunch of signs and memorials everywhere, or at least hear it brought up in the office. But no, nothing. The only thing that even reminded me that it was Sept. 11 was a memorial on TV this morning.

People here seem to have gone back to normal. Today is just another day. That is for the best, I think. However, I'm sure none of them have forgotten. Even though that fateful day will have a place in all of our hearts, the terrorists haven't won, and we can go about our day today in peace.

On another note, I'm beyond excited to go to Christian's show tonight. I'm kind of slumming it, though. I learned last night that you can really get away with wearing anything and no one will look at you twice, so I'm wearing skinny jeans, flip flops, a black tank top and a grey pinstripe vest. My feet cannot take another night in heels. I've never needed a pedicure more badly in my whole life. I'm sure I'll glam it up for the Baby Phat show tomorrow. Kimora demands it.

I can't believe it's already 2:00. I've actually stayed pretty busy today, which is nice. And I really can't believe that tomorrow is my last day here. It's gone by so fast. I don't know how I'll be able to go back to life in St. Pete.

Mara Hoffman Spring 2009

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Mara Hoffman's show was beautiful. Most of the pieces had bold prints and colors that looked like they were from somewhere in the Middle East, and were made of very light fabric. A trend that I saw in her show and in pictures of other shows is very loose, free-flowing clothes. Many of her sundresses could double as a bathing suit cover.



The bathing suits were mostly monokinis - one pieces that looked like bikinis but had a piece of fabric connecting the two main pieces.



The few long dresses looked like they could still be dressed down easily with a pair of flip flops. They were speghetti strapped that fit closely on the chest and then flowed away from the body, keeping with the overall theme of loose fabric.

On the Inside

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Hey peeps - sorry for the delayed post. My videos and photos took forever to load on my computer last night, so by the time they did I was way too beat to write about anything. Anyway ...

Inside the Tents


I walk up the steps of the Mercedes-Benz tents, past the groups of gawking onlookers. The same security guard who stopped me a few nights before nodds me through. I'm in.

People are everywhere. Live videos of the current show can be seen on a circular centerpiece in the middle of the room and its music is being pumped through the speakers. Between the music and the people trying to talk over it, it's loud. Two Mercedes-Benz cars are on either side of the room. Fashionistas are giving air kisses left and right.

There's no dress code -- people are in jeans and flip flops, dresses, mile-high heels, super short shorts, t-shirts, gowns -- one guy who stands out in my mind had on sneakers, red stockings, black cut-off jean short shorts, and some kind of fur shawl/jacket thing.

I walk up to one of the stands and get my free French martini (holy cow, it tasted good). Then I find a coveted opening on one of the seating areas and ask the two gentlemen to my left who they're here for. The one in the clear glasses looks me up and down and simply says, "Vogue" in a disgusted voice as if I should've known that. I explain that it's my first Fashion Week, and they immediately perk up. They ask how I like it and we make small talk for a couple minutes. Clearly tired of talking to the new girl, they politely get up and tell me to have fun.

I get up and walk around some more and then meet a nice girl who asks me where I got the magazine I'm holding. I point her to the information booth that has scores of free magazines. She comes back and we start talking. She's a 17-year-old senior in high school from Slovakia who is trying to get signed by a modeling agency. This is her fourth fashion week, she explains. Yeah ...

Needless to say, it is useful befriending a pro. She knows just what to do when it is time for us to line up for the Mara Hoffman show. Lesson No. 1: Just because you've been confirmed for a show, doesn't mean you get a seat. When I check in, the woman hands me a card that says "stand." Lesson No. 2: Just because you get a standing card, doesn't mean you'll actaully get in. We are smart and come early so we are in the front of the line, but the people in the back aren't so lucky.

We walk in after all of the people with seats sit down and take our spots in the standing room. People shift around trying desperately to find a spot where they can see. The music gets louder. The lights go down. Time for the show to start.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Day 7: Let the fun begin

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1:30: THIS JUST IN - I've been confirmed for the Christian Siriano show tomorrow night! Hopefully I'll get to shake hands with his fierceness himself. Will there be a Heidi spotting? Will Michael Kors be there? Gay Jay from Season 1? TIM GUNN?! Oh the possibilities!

AND I just got an e-mail from a travel Web site saying they want to advertise on my blog. Maybe this thing will make me some money!

11:00 a.m.: So I'm at the Daily, trying to contain my excitement for tonight. I'm going to my first runway show EVER and it's inside the tents!

I spent some time last night researching Mara Hoffman, the designer I'm seeing, and I loved what I saw. Her spring line last year was full of super-cute, wearable sundresses and her fall line had so many chic knits and fashion-forward hats. I can't wait to see what she has in store tonight!

The show is at 8, so check back later tonight for a full report from inside the tents. I was also confirmed for a VNY Model Management party tonight, but I don't think I'm gonna go. It's hard enough as it is for me to wake up at 7:30 and I'm already gonna be out late.

Work is going better so far today. I had enough things to do to keep me busy until this point, so that's a good sign. And my bangs are behaving too, so that puts me in a good mood, haha. I'm super hungry though, should've grabbed a bagel on my way in this morning. Hopefully lunch will be here soon.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Day 6: Making things happen

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3:30: So I got back a little while ago from my lunch with Michelle Lee, editor at In Touch Weekly and former USF grad. She had so many great tips for me on how to get my foot in the door and was so encouraging.

Basically she told me that the best way to get started was to start freelancing now. She also said to start e-mailing editors around December to set up interviews for when I come back in February and move in March. She said to let her know when I start doing that and she would forward my resume for me, which is awesome.

One thing that I found really encouraging was when she said that I would only need one internship at the most, and that I might be able to go straight into a paying editorial assistant position becuase of the experience I already have. At this point I think I'm on a great path. Between Michelle and my ambition I don't really think I'll have a problem.

I'm back at the Daily now. At this point I'm just going to use my down time and start brainstorming freelance articles. Every time I ask if people need anything, I feel like I'm bothering them more than helping, so I'm going to sit at my desk until they tell me they need me. I understand that everyone is busy and I know I get like that when I'm busy too, so I get it. I'm here if they need me, if not, that's fine.

I'm going to the Mara Hoffman show tomorrow at 8 at Bryant Park and then to the VNY anniversary party afterward. Stephanie from the Times is going to Fed-Ex me an invite to the Baby Phat show on Friday so that's super exciting too. I still haven't heard back from the Christian Siriano show on Thursday that I really want to go to, so I'll give them a call tonight. I'm also super excited for Friday because my friends Mike and Tom are coming into the city for the Yankees game, so we're all gonna party it up that night.

I can't believe I only have three days left!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Day 5: I've got the golden ticket

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Hooray invitations! Today Valentine handed me three full manilla envelopes of invitations for various events and said, "Pick whatever you want." AAAHH!

Unfortunately most of the events are already full, but I've already been confirmed for the Mara Hoffman show tomorrow at 8. Yay! Among the invites is the Christain Siriano show, the fierce Project Runway show winner from last season. Cross your fingers I get in!

I also got the Fashion Week pass that lets me get into the tents. It doesn't let me into any shows, but I get to go into the lobby and press lounge whenever I want.

Tomorrow I'm meeting Michelle Lee for lunch over by the tents, which I'm also super excited about. We're going to Osteria al Doge, an Italian restaurant. I'll wander over and peak in the tents before I go back to the Daily.

Today at work was a bit stressful. Not because I had a lot to do, but because everyone was pretty on edge. The internet was down for a couple hours this morning so they lost a lot of time and were scrambling to make up for it all day. I had a little more to do than the other days, but not much. Oh well, I got fun invitations!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The first glimpse

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Ladies and gentlemen, behold, it's the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week tents at Bryant Park.

I've been bursting since I got here thinking about all the fashion-y stuff that's been going on only a few blocks away, so I decided to check it out myself tonight. I tried to get in, but that wasn't happening. I passed several models on the street, none I really recognized but models nonetheless.

I want to go in!

Day 4: Trying to keep up

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5:30: Just got back from the office, not a whole lot to report about today. They didn't really have anything for me to do, so I kind of just sat around most of the time. I wrote four or five quick blog posts and helped an editor rephrase a blurb for the magazine and that's pretty much it. They said they'd have a lot for me to do tomorrow, so that's exciting.

So yesterday I met Valentine, the senior editor, and he told me they had a lot of extra invitations for events if I wanted to go to any. So today I e-mailed him and asked if I could take him up on his offer, and he said he'd give me some stuff when he was in the office next. Hopefully I'll see him tomorrow and we can get down to the really fun stuff!

Random thought: My hair color seems to be popular with bums. Two homeless people commented to me about it yesterday and one did today.

I'm thinking I might go over to Bryant Park tonight and see what's there. It's a beautiful day today, the rain must've cooled things down, so it would be nice to take a stroll somewhere. Maybe I'll finally see someone famous.

11:00: Today hasn't started very well. I think the burger I ate last night must have been bad, because it made me sick all morning. I had to do the unthinkable and call into the Daily, which really really sucks. But the good thing is that I feel better now so I'm gonna head in. Hooray!

Quick recap of last night: Chris and I went to ESPN Zone in Times Square to watch the USF vs. UCF game. It was a much closer game than I wanted, but at least we pulled it out in overtime and won. Afterward we walked around Times Square and of course I took some pictures. Luckily it had stopped raining by then. Then we waited for what seemed like forever for the train to head home. It was fun to catch up with him and watch our Bulls win.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Day 3: Getting acclimated

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5:30: I'm finally almost back to normal. It was touch and go there for a while. I left the office around 3:30 because everyone was super busy and there wasn't really anything for me to do. Thank god for that because my hangover had begun to turn into a migraine.

It had been drizzling all day, but of course as soon as I leave it begins to pour. I bought an umbrella specifically for this trip, but of course didn't think to bring it with me. So there I was in my cashmere sweater and white Bebe dryclean-only pants in the pouring rain. I took off my sweater in an attempt to save it, so that means I had a white cami on that was soaking wet. Yeah, I got a couple shouts. Whatever, it's New York, people have seen more than a wet tank top.

Lesson learned: it is impossible to catch a cab in the rain. Impossible. Considering how horrible I was feeling and the fact that it was raining, I would've gladly paid for a cab ride home instead of taking the subway. But after spending way too much time trying to catch a cab, I walked to the subway anyway. By the time I got there, I was literally dripping. I'm trying not to think about what kind of infection my blisters might get from stepping in those puddles.

Only certain trains run on the weekend, so the ones that do are always packed. I now have a new version of what Hell would be like: damp, smelly New Yorkers packed in body to body on the subway and me soaking wet with a migraine. Horrible.

So as soon as I got back to Gordon's I took a shower and then took some Motrin and laid down. Thankfully the Motrin is working. Chris and I are gonna find somewhere to watch the USF vs. UCF game tonight, which I'm excited about. No drinking tonight though.

1:30: I'm at the Daily offices right now. So far today I've written a few blog posts for the "Chic Report" on the Web site and updated a few more events on the calendar. There isn't a whole lot for me to do right now, but it's cool because there's a lot of activity in the office that I get to observe.

They're about to send off today's issue, so everyone is checking over flats and making corrections. The magazine itself is really cool, I'll bring home some copies. It's bigger than most magazines but fewer pages because it's a daily. The art really pops and there's a lot of the "torn pages" look to it, where the graphics look like torn pages on top of the other pages. It's really fun looking.

The more I think about it, the more the idea of working for a daily magazine would be perfect for me. I've been working at daily newspapers for over four years and I've often thought about how it would be so different to not have a daily deadline. Most magazines are planned months in advance, but this one is put together every day. Brilliant!

I'm a little tired today. Ok, a lot tired. Gordon and I went out to this cool bar in the Village with a couple of his friends and we stayed longer than we should have ... and drank more than we should have. It was more than a struggle getting out of bed this morning, but I'm feeling better now after some food and activity. I feel bad for Gordon, he had grad school this morning at 8:30. Ouch.

I'm thinking I'm gonna try to meet up with Chris or Marissa tonight. We'll see what happens. I need some sleep first.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Holy pashmina!

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Ladies and gentlemen, a trend has taken over New York City. Pashminas! They're everywhere!

What is a pashmina? It's a fancy word for a scarf, basically. Um, it's hot in New York, people. Not just a little warm, HOT! Especially when you're speed walking to your next train or anywhere else. Alas, New Yorkers have taken to wearing these pashminas with everything: shorts, tank tops, jeans, business wear ... Usually the look is big sunglasses, t-shirt or tank top, shorts, flip flops and a ... scarf?

I must say, it is kind of cute. Very Mary-Kate. Maybe I'll pick one up before I leave. I know, I'm a sheep.

[Photo: Alibaba.com]

Day 2: No more trial run

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7:30 p.m.: Whew! What a day! Ok, let's start from the beginning:

Thank god I left an extra 45 minutes on my commute this morning. I got on and off the right trains, but on my transfer I made the mistake of going across the station to the wrong stop. Thankfully I realized it was the wrong stop before I got on, but then I had to go all the way back. Then, when I got off I turned left instead of right ... and walked about seven city blocks before I realized I was going the wrong way. I'm wearing heels, remember? Well, about four blocks into me walking back I decided to catch a cab because I was pouring sweat and my feet were already about to fall off. It was only a $5 ride and I had a little time to try to redeem my looks before going into IMG.

I met Abby at 10 a.m. Everyone is super nice. It looks like I'll basically be tying up loose ends for everyone at the magazine, i.e. updating the fashion calendar for the Web site and organizing lists like I did with the other intern, Ashley, today. But one of the first things Abby said to me was that I would be able to go to a FEW (that's the word she used) shows! Yay! Not just one (hopefully)! I was also told that I would write a few blurbs for the chic report for the site, where they basically give their two cents on a product. So yay I get to write too!

Even when I was updating the calendar and organizing the list, it was really fun because it was information that I cared about. Now I know everything that's going on this week -- every party, every show, everything! And I organized a list of famous people in fashion by their height for a story. In a world where height equals beauty, these people are short! Mary-Kate Olsen and last season's fierce Project Runway winner Christian Siriano tie for the shortest at 5'1. Carolina Herrara is only 5'2, Max Azria is only 5'3, Ralph Lauren is only 5'4 and Valentino is only 5'5. Did you know that? Well now you do.

The journey home was interesting. There was a four-man mariachi band on my first train. They were actually pretty good, but there were too many people in between us for me to get a good picture or video. But on the way to my transfer I saw this:



While I was waiting for my second train, a Jamaican man told me it was a pleasure to look at me and asked if he could call me. He was disappointed when I told him that I didn't live there and thankfully his train came before it could get any creepier. Then there was this awesome sign on the train:



I peeled off my boots as soon as I got home and found what I had feared: two nickel-sized blisters, one on each of my big toes. Thankfully, the dress code at the Daily is much more lax than I knew, so I'll be wearing flats tomorrow, and probably for the rest of the week. No famous people sightings yet, but I'm crossing my fingers that I get to go to a show tomorrow and I'm sure there will be plenty there. Now I'm off to shower and eat and hopefully I'll go somewhere fun tonight. =)

8:30 a.m.: I'm about to run out the door to my first day of work at the Daily (the magazine for IMG). I tell ya, it wasn't easy picking out an outfit, and I'm still not sold on what I'm wearing.

I initially thought I'd be sort of fashion forward and wear black slacks with a grey pinstripe vest over a white button-down shirt. Well, I looked like a marshmellow, so that was out. So I went to what I'm comfortable with: black slacks with a plum half-armed sweater over a white cami. I know, not groundbreaking, but at least it's not ugly. I'm also wearing my black boots because my damn slacks are still too long. Don't worry, I put Dr. Sholl's inserts in them and am armed with band-aids and flip flops in my purse. We'll see.

Anyway, I gotta run. I still have no idea what I'll be doing today or how long I'll be there, but either way it should be fun! No hopefully I get on the right train ...