Friday, September 25, 2009

The day the stars aligned

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Hey folks - sorry about the delay! I knew this would take some time to write, so I wanted to wait till I had time to really think about it. Tuesday of last week, the day before Fashion Week ended, all the stars aligned. Be aware - this is a very long post!
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I woke up bright and early to try to get in to the Badgley Mischka show. I thought to myself, "If I can just get in, this will be the best day ever." I called the week before to get confirmed, but never got a final answer. So Laurie and I got to the Tents at 9:15 a.m. so we could be first in line for the show which started at 10. For some reason, the guards were being extra grumpy that morning and made everyone wait till 9:30 before they let us in.

Once inside, we went straight to the check-in table. I was fully expecting to be turned away when we said our names, but we weren't! We were on the list! On the list for standing tickets, but on the list nonetheless. So we were first in line for standing, which meant we were getting in! But 10 a.m. came and went, and I started getting nervous. The standing line was very short, much shorter than expected for such a big show, so I started to think they weren't going to let any standing in at all.

At around 10:15, they finally let us in! We ran to get a spot where we could see, which was quite difficult because there were already a lot of people standing, which pissed me off a little. But Laurie and I found a spot as best we could and waited for the show to start. All of the sudden I heard, "Jess!" and Laurie grabbed my hand. She had been keeping an eye on the usher and spotted two open seats next to each other - which never happens. We rushed to the seats, and the show began. We had SEATS at the Badgley Mischka show!!!



The clothes were so beautiful, but the jewelry really stole the show. Unfortunately, you can't really see that in the video because the lights are so bright. Bright corals and pinks along with blacks that were so detailed made this for a very special collection. There were several looks that I wish I could have in my closet.

After the show, Laurie and I hung around the Tents for a bit, trying to network for eFlirt Expert. Then I got a frantic call from Terry, asking us to rush to the Skin show in Soho to shoot pictures for him because he didn't have a camera. We didn't really feel like going, but Terry had done so many amazing things for us that week, so we decided to return the favor. The show was supposed to start at 12, so we had to hurry.

We got to the location of the show, got right in, and waited. And waited. At 12:30, the room was still almost empty. The workers instructed everyone to take a seat in the front row, I'm guessing so it looked like there were more people there than there actually were. At 12:45, we started to really get annoyed. Finally, after the workers rearranged some more people, the show started. Skin is basically a loungewear collection, full of robes, shear tops and peak-a-boo undies, along with big fur boots for the ladies. The designer is definitely an ass man. Here a couple looks:

The show finished off with two children, who I'm assuming were the designer's:

There was such a delay between the end of the show and the finale (where all the models come out at the same time), that people started to leave! Then, the finale finally started with people standing on the runway! A very bizarre show indeed. I would fire my publicist if I was the designer for sure.

Laurie and I were starving by the time the show ended, so we found a little place across the street and had lunch. We were both exhausted, so we decided to call it a day at the Tents, plus I knew I had the Baby Phat show at 9 p.m. That night, Rich and I went to dinner. Still tired and not really feeling like going to the Baby Phat show alone, I asked if he wanted to come with me. Now, Rich is anything but a fashionista, but in the spirit of experiencing something that he never had before and trying to understand why I loved it so much, he whole-heartily agreed.

After styling him in a blue-vertical stripped button-down shirt, straight leg jeans and brown ankle boots, he looked modern enough to make it in. I had an extra ticket because the St. Petersburg Times sent me theirs and I had one from the folder that IMG gave me, so I knew it would be a piece of cake.

Thankfully we got there half an hour early because the line was already half way around the block. The workers started to work down the line and give us our seat assignments. I knew I was in because of the Times, but would have to finesse a story for Rich. The first girl didn't buy it and passed him by. Then, I had a genius idea. The invitation had a box for standing, so I just pulled out a pen and checked it for him. Done. They started letting everyone in and Rich just passed the guards by without a second look.

We got inside and grabbed a couple free "Kimora cosmos" (yes, that's what they were called) and scoped out the venue. I saw that my seat was in the last row and there was no way I would be able to see anything, so Rich and I decided to go up to the second level where the standing people would be and grab a great spot. It was perfect! I could see the whole runway and everyone on the first level, including all the "celebrities." By the time the show started, I saw: Kim Kardashian, Ice-T and Cocoa, Sheree from the Real Housewives of Atlanta, Russel Simmons, Fonzworth Bentley, Amber Rose (Kanye West's girlfriend), Lisa Rinna and several other D-listers who I couldn't remember the names of. Then, the show started at 9:30:



Oh, I love me some Kimora. The models stomped down the gold-sparkly runway in crazy lace-up heels, ripped leggings, bikinis, sequined skirts, jean vests and of course tie-died jumpers. Oh, and none of the male models had shirts on. Such a fabulous hot mess, as always. I heard one person describe it as a "school project." But she knows how to put on a show, you have to give her credit for that.

After being enlightened to what street wear was going to look like next season, Rich and I finished the night with some sangria at Victor's across the street.

Phew! What a day!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day 2: Networking and Nicole Miller

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So Laurie and I both got to the tents at 4 yesterday, and what a different atmosphere it was! We walked around a bit and then started working the room.

After meeting a few people, we bumped into Terry again who introduced us to Karen. Karen is the owner of a modeling agency in Maine and a social butterfly if I ever saw one. After mingling for a bit and networking with other new friends, we had a mission: sneak into the Nicole Miller show.

Karen then set out to make it happen. She befriended a security guard last year, so we tried him first. He got her in, but was no help to Laurie and I. So after we were sure the coast was clear, we snuck under the ropes. Then Karen gave us our instructions: Stay in the middle of the line, don't make eye contact and just go in like you belonged. And we did! We swooped past the guards and scrambled to find a place where we could see. Laurie and I both found a place just big enough behind two other taller girls near the end of the runway. Here's the finale:


It was such an awesome show. When one thinks of Nicole Miller, thoughts of matronly business wear usually comes to mind. Well, throw that out the window for next season! This is the inspiration for her line, as stated in the folder on every seat:

"The girl has a tougher edge. Pushing forward body consciousness. Reinventing fabric manipulation. A modern take on prints. Experimenting with new technology and abstracting traditional craft."

Liquid leggings, cropped leather jackets, asymmetrical cuts and different textures made the line look rocker-chic. I'm definitely going to be shopping at her store next spring.
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I'm taking today off from the Tents. We didn't have any tickets today and there's still four more days to soak in as much fashion as we can stand. So Rich and I are going to MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) and then meeting up with some friends to watch the USF game. Go Bulls!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fashion Week Spring 2010 Day 1

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I've said it once and I'll say it again: You just never know who you'll meet or where you'll end up during Fashion Week.

I walked into the Tents around 4 today, hands shaking with excitement. I took my time and walked around, taking in the sights, sounds and sponsors. Unfortunately, the last show of the night started at 5, so the Tents were pretty dead after that. But there were still people milling about, trying to snag their last free drink. I sat down at one of the tables and met Terry, a fabulous Webzine editor and soon-to-be new best friend.

Laurie got to the Tents around 5:30, just in time for everything to be wrapped up. But at least she got to see the inside and knows how it works so she'll be more prepared tomorrow. I introduced her to Terry, and we proceeded to leave the Tents in search of stores participating in Fashion's Night Out — a sort of fundraising event featuring various celebrities, discounts and free drinks at stores to promote spending and the economy. Of course we were only looking for celebs and free drinks.

We get to BCBG when Terry realizes he has a show to get to in 45 minutes over in Chelsea, and asks us if we want to come. Laurie had a dinner she had to go to so couldn't make it, but of course I jumped at the opportunity. Thus commenced the long journey to Chelsea. Not that Chelsea is far away at all, but transportation became an issue.

There wasn't really any subway stops near the show and the subway was too far away anyway, so that was out. Everyone was leaving the Tents, so there were absolutely no cabs available. So after many failed attempts at getting a cab, we decide to try to catch a bus. We jump on one and almost sit down when a woman tell us it was an express bus to Brooklyn, so we run out just in time before it leaves. That would've been horrible. While waiting for the right bus, we decide to go into Lord & Taylor for some free champagne and saw a famous photographer who I forget the name of now.

We finally get on the bus and make it to 28th Street, but now we have to get over six avenues, which is about a mile. Again, there were no free cabs in sight, so we start walking. The show is supposed to start at 7, and now it's 10 minutes till. So I throw off my heels, throw on my flip flops and we book it. Mind you, I don't have a ticket so there's really no guarantee that I'll even get it, but I figured the worst that could happen is being turned away and I didn't have any plans anyway so who cares. Plus, Terry and I were having a blast joking about everything under the sun. He also taught me many things, like never leave home without a bologna sandwich.

We got to the show 10 minutes late, but luckily they were also running late and there was still a long line outside. They finally let the rest of us in and didn't even check if we had tickets. Everyone was already seated and the show was about to start, so we had to scramble to find a place where we could actually see, which was no easy task. Thankfully, we found a really good spot on some stairs where we had a clear view. Here's the finale:


After the show, there were several extra swag bags that people left in their seats, so I swiped one. It had so much awesome stuff in it! From there, we decided to go in search of other Fashion Night's Out stores in the Meatpacking District. After a long walk, we stopped in Hugo Boss and DVF. Then it started drizzling, so we decided to part ways and call it a night.

Befriending an editor? Check. Sneaking into a show? Check. Getting free stuff? Check. And it's only Day 1! At this point, the rest of the week could be horrible and I would still count it as a success. I've been confirmed for the Baby Phat show on Tuesday and there's a chance Laurie and I could get into the Badgley Mischka show, so keep your fingers crossed!

I'm still spinning from what an amazing night it was, and can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What Not to Wear

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Check out the latest blog I wrote for eFlirt expert:

It's Fashion Week here in the Big Apple, so in honor of the best seven days of the year we're doing a "What Not to Wear" episode of our own — online dating style. Read the full blog here!

Fashion Week Countdown: 24 hours!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Full circle

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It's crazy to think that a year ago this week I was arriving in New York to intern with IMG during my first Fashion Week. I remember being more excited and nervous than I've ever been, not knowing what to pack, not knowing what to wear and not knowing what to expect.

Since that time, I've moved to the City and been to another Fashion Week. I now know what to expect and how things work, but that doesn't mean that I'm any less excited! Today I went and picked up extra invites at IMG thanks to a friend from my internship. I was expecting to get just a couple, but I was given a whole manilla envelope! Laurie and I are sufficiently covered for most of the week and will even be able to check out Milk Studios, Bryan Park's main competition for shows. Milk is supposed to be a much smaller space, but with much more exclusive guests.

I can't wait till Thursday, and know this will be a great opportunity for eFlirt Expert. Stay tuned.

Fashion Week Countdown: 2 days

Monday, August 31, 2009

The perfect weekend

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This past weekend can only be described as perfect.

On Friday, Rich and I celebrated our six-month anniversary with dinner at Tavern on the Green. It was so beautiful. The floral walls, colored chandeliers and intimate tables made it one of the most romantic restaurants I've ever been to. Plus, being at such an iconic New York landmark was really special. The food was surprisingly delicious, and the lobster bisque was the best I've ever had. Then, Rich surprised me with a room at the Hotel Pierre right by Central Park. It was the perfect way to celebrate our first big landmark in our relationship.

Then on Saturday we went to our friends' Josh and Leighann's birthday/housewarming party. They have a great roof deck and it was great to be with close friends and make some new ones while grilling out and having a great view of the East River Bridge. So much fun.

Sunday was a great, relaxing day. Around 3 o'clock, Rich and I went to explore the High Line. The High Line is an old train track that was used for transporting materials in the '70s and hasn't been used since then, so it became overgrown with weeds and plants. It's now been turned into a park, which is really cool. Also, it's about a block away from our apartment, so there's no excuse for us not going to see it. It's just one of those really unique New York things and it was a beautiful day to experience it. Then we wandered around the Meatpacking District and came across several fun restaurants and shops, and ate dinner at a cute Mexican place with a lot of character. Finally, we met up with Josh and Leighann to see the movie "Julie and Julia" for a little double date. It was a perfect way to end a perfect weekend.

Below is a picture of the High Line:


Since Rich and I spent so much time away from the city this summer, we're making an effort to experience New York more while we can. Last weekend we went to the Met and the Museum of Natural History with the kids, which was a really fun time. I had never been to the Natural History Museum before, so that's one more museum checked off the list!

To say I'm lucky would be a great understatement.

Fashion Week Countdown: 10 days!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Special deal for Life's a Runway readers!

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Attention deal divas everywhere - get $30 off Ugg boots! The owner of www.whoogaboots.co.uk is a fan of this blog and wants to offer you all a discount from her store! All you need to do is visit her Web site and enter the code FIERCEFASH into the cart. There are no conditions and it's possible to ship to all countries.

She sells a few different styles of sheepskin boots including the classic tall and short styles and also the mini and metallic (gold and pewter) boots. They are an Australian-owned business and have been selling sheepskin boots for about six years. Their main focus is on providing the best customer service and the highest quality boots - which they do by only purchasing the highest quality (A Grade) Merino sheepskin.

The price for their most popular boots the Classic Talls is $115 USD (which makes it $85 if you use your $30 gift card). Everything is still handmade and they use a grading of sheepskin fleece which is slightly thicker than traditional ugg boots which creates a softer and more cushioned feel.

Hooray!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fashion Week countdown begins!

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This just in: I'm going to Fashion Week again! I've been trying to get in to The Tents so Laurie and I could network for eFlirt Expert (and because I wanted to get into The Tents) so I sent out a few e-mails to people who I knew had a few extra passes. And we're in! One of the people I interned with at IMG came through yesterday and told me I could pick up a couple a few days before Fashion Week starts. These passes don't get us in to any shows, but they get us in to the Tents, which is good enough for me.

This is a really great opportunity for eFlirt Expert. Crazy networking goes on inside the Tents and it's a way to get some high-profile clients. Plus, Laurie has never been to a Fashion Week, so I'm excited to take her during the last time it'll be in Bryant Park. It's moving to Lincoln Center next year.

Fashion Week Countdown: 35 days

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mom's visit!

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My mom came to visit Rich and I in NYC last weekend, and we had a blast! The only other time she's been to the Big Apple was when she and I were touring colleges when I was a high school junior, and that trip was quite the adventure. Neither of us had any idea what we were doing, which provided some comical experiences.

Let's just say this trip was the opposite of that. Thanks to my new knowledge of the city and Rich's generosity, she got to see how awesome New York can be. Rich hooked her up with a room at the Palace, and the first night she was there we had an awesome meal at the traditional Italian restaurant Il Menestrello. I stayed with her at the Palace the first night so we could be up bright and early to take the Circle Line tour around Manhattan, and that night we had dinner with Rich's parents at the Chart House in New Jersey. We had another amazing meal, but the best part about the restaurant was it's marvelous view of the New York skyline.

The last day she was there we went to brunch and then to the matinee of "Hair." Ok, maybe I should've done more research before picking a play. I knew Hair was about the '60s and Vietnam war and all that, but I wasn't prepared for how ... sexual it was. Let's just say the full nude scene took us all by surprise, among some other parts. But the play was still very good and we all had a good time. We finished off her trip with dinner at the classic New York steakhouse, Smith & Wollensky.

The trip went by so fast! Two and a half days is nowhere near enough time to see all that New York has to offer, but we all had a great time and now we know what we want to do when she comes back! It was really special to experience it with her. And a big thanks to Rich for making it all possible. =)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

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Here it is! eFlirt Expert's first real press - and it's in the Washington Post!


Laurie also had an interview with the Boston Globe, and hopefully that will be hitting news stands this weekend or next weekend too! Press = exposure which hopefully = clients! Woot!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Family, fun and sun

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So, it's been almost exactly a month since I last posted - which could be the longest I've ever gone since starting this blog - but I have a good reason! For the last three weeks I was on vacation surrounded by family, fun and sun. The first week I was in Orlando for my grandmother's 80th birthday and the last two weeks I was in Lavallette in the Jersey Shore with Rich and his family.

Some highlights:
  • Rich got initiated with the Hartmans with little to no injury, haha. No, just kidding, the visit went flawlessly. It was the first time he'd met everyone except my dad and they were all very accepting. Even Uncle Rick.
  • I got to take Rich to see a little of Orlando through a native's eyes when we went to my favorite restaurant, Cafe Tu Tu Tango, and to Pat O'Brien's at CityWalk.
  • I also got much closer to his family while at the Shore. His kids and I bonded a lot. I've spent a lot of time with his family before, but this was by far the longest at one time. Thankfully, I think they still like me.
  • I had forgotten how much I missed the beach. This trip came at just the right time - I was really stressed out about my job situation (or lack thereof) and needed to get away for a while. Some sand in my toes and sun on my skin did just the trick.
  • After loving the beach so much, I was actually really worried about how I'd feel when I came back to the city. But thanks to some promising news with eFlirt Expert and the knowledge that I'll still be able to work from home for ICE, I at least knew that I'd have some work to do. And as we were driving home, I got a perfect view of the New York City skyline and it took my breath away like always. I suddenly felt refreshed and ready to take on the future.
  • I started a couple freelance stories while on vacation that I'm pretty excited about. I don't want to say too much on here yet, but I think if I do the right research and interviews they could be glossy sellers. Hopefully.
So that's where I've been. Rich and I are headed to dinner with a good group of great friends tonight, and I'm really excited about it. I belong here.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Movin' on up

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Today I said goodbye to Washington Heights and hello to Chelsea. The Heights will always have a special place in my heart. It was the place I got my start in New York. If Chris hadn't had an extra room, I'm not sure how I would've made the move in time. It might not have been a glamorous place, but I was right next door to beautiful Tyron Park, the subway was right around the corner, and it had a great Chinese take-out place across the street. Your first apartment in New York isn't supposed to be glamorous anyway, right? I had a lot of fun there.

But like I said, I said goodbye to it today, and moved in to a super-cool loft studio with my boyfriend in Chelsea. I really love everything about Chelsea. There are a million restaurants around the apartment, including Moran's, and the people and atmosphere are great. I feel very lucky to be here, and am very happy about making the commitment to live with him. =)

Here are a couple shots of the apartment:
  
Yep, that's a backyard! A prized possession in New York.

I'm a lucky girl.

Monday, June 15, 2009

New job!

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So things at ICE have been a little rocky lately. The job is still solid and isn't near ending, but I feel like I've been there long enough and it's time to move on.

So this morning I set out to get a job serving. I know I didn't spend four years in college to wait tables, but at least this way I don't have to be behind a desk copying and pasting and can meet some fun new people. Plus, it'll give me more time to work on my internship with Laurie. Let's be honest, I didn't spend four years in college to do data entry either. 

Now, trying to get a serving job in NYC is no easy task. It's the fall-back job for everyone - actors, models, out of work journalists, etc. And in this city, that's a LOT of people. I went on an open call at a restaurant last week and within 10 minutes 20 people were in line for one hostessing position. It's no joke.

But this morning was different. There's this great historic steakhouse literally around the corner from my apartment called Moran's, so I went there first. I gave the owner my resume, answered a few quick questions, and then she said, "Ok, when can you start?" "Um, tomorrow?" I answered. And that was that. I start at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow. It's a small place but has great food and wine and has been around for more than 100 years. Best of all I can expect to get around 35 hours a week, which is a lot for a restaurant. I really only need three or four good tables a night to make enough money at a place like this.

I know turnover is crazy in the hospitality business, especially in NYC, but I think if I do a good job this will stick at least for a while. Rich and I have eaten here several times and it seems like a good place to work. Yay!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

eFlirt Expert promo video

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Here's the new super-cute promo video from eFlirt Expert! Check it out and tell your friends!


eFlirt expert promo from Laurie Davis on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hooray internship!

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I'm so excited about my great new internship! It's with my friend, Laurie's, new company called eFlirt Expert. Basically I'll be doing a lot of guerrilla marketing, including posting fliers, passing out cards, posting things online, etc. But I'll also be helping out with events and other fun stuff. We already have a networking event next week! It's just part time for now, but it has a lot of opportunity for growth and I can still work while I do it.

The company is really smart. Laurie has a lot of experience with online dating and marketing, so she turned that into her job. She does everything from revamp and create online dating profiles to being your own wing woman! She's really trustworthy and knows what she's talking about, and her prices are really reasonable. To get a full list of her services click here. She just started a few months ago and already has a few couples that are moving in together! I really think eFlirt will take off soon and I hope I can be a part of the company for a long time to come.

So do you or someone you know need a little push in the dating department? Talk to Laurie! She can help anyone from any state, so Florida people this is for you too!

Go to eFlirtexpert.com for more information! (Picture is of Laurie)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The point of no return

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Whenever I used to talk about moving to New York, people would always say, "Well, the worst thing that could happen is you move up there for six months and it doesn't work." It was weird, that was every single person's first comment. I remember thinking that if I could just make it to six months I would be home free. Well, I'm nearing my seven month anniversary here and there's no sign of it not working.

It's so strange to think that I've already been here for seven months. It's gone by so fast. A lot has happened. I was laid off, found a new job, fell in love, made some great new friends and had scores of great experiences. New York is everthing I thought it would be and more. I used to worry that I would move up here and be disappointed, but that's definitely not the case. This is where I'm supposed to be and I'm so glad I took the risk of coming here. I can't imagine looking back on my life and regretting never taking the plunge, selling off my life, leaving my friends and family and everything I knew to follow a dream.

I followed that dream, and it's become my reality.

New York wrap up

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I know, I know, I've been a slacker. I'm sorry. The more I settle into day-to-day life here, the less there seems to post about. BUT here is a wrap up of what's been going on:

* One thing that I definitely should have posted about was going to see Rocky Horror Picture Show for the first time. Now, this isn't necessarily a "New York" thing because you can see it almost anywhere, but the fact that I got to see it for the first time here made it that much cooler. We found a theater in Chelsea that plays it every Friday and Saturday at midnight. For those of you who don't know, (which hopefully isn't many) actors act out the movie as it is being played behind them on a big screen and lip sync the lines. It adds to the humor and overall strangeness of the movie. I've seen the movie before, but have never seen it live, thus making me a "virgin." I won't tell you what they did to "devirginize" the virgins, but it was pretty hilarious. Overall the cast was awesome, especially Frankfurter.

* I helped redo my boyfriend's apartment and it turned out really great. It went from a small, midnight blue loft studio to a modern, cool, warm apartment with great furniture and art and an awesome backyard. Yep, it has a backyard in Chelsea which is pretty rare. I think I missed my calling as an interior designer. We threw a housewarming/Memorial Day barbecue last weekend and it was a big hit. I'm sure we'll have a lot of fun there this summer.

* The weather is still pretty strange. It'll go from being 80 degrees to 50 within a day, which kind of sucks. I'm just ready for summer already!

* Things are okay on the job front. Still temping for ICE doing data entry. That should hold up till July or August. A new opportunity just opened up here yesterday, so that would be great if it came through. I'll tell you more about it if it does. Fingers crossed.

* The months of June and July will be absolutely crazy. We literally have something to do every weekend. The first weekend in June is Rich's birthday, then it's his parent's big 40th anniversary party which we are helping put on, then the Rays are in town, then I'm going to Florida for a week, then we're spending two weeks at the Jersey Shore for July 4th. Phew!

Well that's about it from here. I'll try to keep you updated more often! Miss you guys!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The fashion 'Onion' = Genius

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Like The Onion? Like fashion? Like making fun of fashion? Well, your dream has finally come true. Introducing WWWWD: the fashion equivalent of the Onion. The name obviously coming from the highly respected WWD, it debuted during Fashion Week in February and was so popular that it has come back for a second newsletter and will continue until it collapses (so who knows how long).

Now I love and respect fashion as much as the next fashionista, but I also love how ridiculous it is. Now we actually have a site devoted to making fun of every downright stupid fashion disaster with totally fake parody articles! Why did this take so long??

My New York birthday

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My 23rd birthday was May 4 and I celebrated in style with my boyfriend. I'm lucky enough to be dating the best guy on the planet, and he treated me like a princess for my birthday with a New York staycation.

We started out by going to see Jersey Boys (I wore the tan strapless dress I got in the sample sale mentioned in the post before this). It has to be one of the best plays I've ever seen, ranking up there with Wicked and Phantom. Go see it if you can. Then we went across the street to Victor's, which has amazing Cuban food and awesome sangria.

The biggest part of my birthday was staying at the Palace for two nights. We had an amazing room that had a perfect view of St. Patrick's Cathedral right across the street. I lazed around on the day of my birthday and ordered room service for lunch, then we went to Daniel for dinner and had a great time. My "gift" (in quotes because the whole experience was a gift) was a heart earring and necklace set from Tiffany.

Every part of my birthday was quintessentially New York, and every part of it was fabulous. Thanks so much, babe. <3

Successful sample sale

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The first time I had ever heard of a sample sale was in the Shopoholic book series (it's a fun series, I recommend it for some light reading). The main character is visiting New York from London when she hears there is a sample sale that day. "What is a sample sale?" she asks. The women go on to tell her it's the most fabulous thing in the planet. You go to this secret location where designers' collections from last season are all on sale by a huge percentage. The catch? You have to fight the other women around you for the one or two items to chose from.

Well, I went to my first sample sale last Thursday with my friends Jessica, Leighanne and Meredith. We all bought the "VIP" tickets, which were $20 and included early entry into the sale, plus a gift bag, and were buy-one-get-one free so we only ended up paying $10 each. I heard about it because I'm on the mailing list for WWD (Women's Wear Daily). I'm usually annoyed by their constant "breaking news" e-mails, which basically just tell me which designer's profits have fallen. But this one had "MARC JACOBS, DVF AND OTHER DESIGNERS UP TO 80 % OFF!" as the headline, so of course I clicked on it.

It seemed more civilized than other sample sales and I figured it would be a fun experience. I didn't go into it actually thinking I'd buy anything. The doors opened at 5 for the VIP people, so Jess and I got in line around 4:30. Meredith and Leighanne couldn't get there till 6. By 4:30 the line was about half way down the block. At 5 I heard it was around the corner. But we were early enough to have about a half an hour of push-free shopping.

The whole Marc Jacobs and DVF shoutout was a bit far-fetched since there was probably about five items total from the two designers. But there was some really cute, cheap stuff to chose from and I ended up buying a white button-down shirt dress and a tan sleeveless bubble dress for $45 total. Not bad, right? Unfortunately for Meredith and Leighanne, it was an all-out war by 6:00 and they couldn't get by the masses to find anything. Oh well, now we can all say we've been to a sample sale. One more experience you can only get in New York.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sundress City

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Over the winter months, New Yorkers looked anything but fashionable. Big bubble coats that went down to the floor, hats, gloves, long underwear, etc. left much to be desired. But now the sun has come out and the coats have come off, and there are more colorful sundresses in the streets than colorful flowers in Central Park.

It really is a city of sundresses. Floridians usually just resort to shorts and tank tops in the heat of summer. Not New Yorkers. Wrap dresses, t-shirt dresses, v-neck dresses, floral prints, stripes, solids, bubble skirts (MUCH prettier than bubble jackets), dresses with pockets, dresses with belts ... you get the idea. I guess when you have six months of snow you embrace the warmth with much more fervor than when it's year-round. I've even bought a few cheap cute sundresses from H&M to keep up with everyone. I need to step up my fashion game here.

Tomorrow: My first sample sale. Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Seize the day

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I love everything about this city, but there is still so much that I haven't done here. Thus, here is my To Do list for the summer:

1. See as many live bands as possible.
2. Go to as many museums as possible. Still haven't been to the Museum of Natural History or the Museum of Modern Art, among many others.
3. Go to an art opening.
4. Have a picnic in Central Park.
5. Go to Ellis Island. 
6. Visit and do something cool in all the boroughs. 
7. Sun bathe in Central Park.
8. Be in the audience of a show taping. Something like SNL, Daily Show or Colbert Report will do.
9. Look for cool local bars/restaurants. 
10. Go to the opera, ballet or to see the Philharmonic (or all of them).
11. Compare New York beaches to Florida beaches.

That's all I can think of right now. Did I forget something? Let me know.

With a first winter comes a first spring

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It's been a hard winter. The white snow was so beautiful, but the day-after-day cold was almost too much for this Florida girl to take at times. Even in the middle of April, temperatures can fall to the low 30s. Finally, it broke. Yesterday was the most beautiful day in New York so far this year. This blooming of life is really inspirational after four months of none. Here are some snapshots - don't forget that you can click on them to see them up close.: 




Orly Couture

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Orly Couture can be summed up as Brooklyn-chic. Knitted caps, plaid, belts, lose sweaters and pashminas all made up the look. But there was something extra special. This wasn't just your typical plaid button-up shirt with thick black-rimmed glasses like we've seen over and over. Designer Orly Sheli added textures and cuts that made this a whole new genre. Her line is all completely wearable, and I wouldn't be surprised if I see it on the streets of New York in no time at all. This was her inaugural showing and it was at a club in the Meatpacking District - I wouldn't be surprised if I saw her at Fashion Week at Lincoln Center in a couple years. Watch out for Orly Couture in a store near you.



Thursday, April 16, 2009

Good interview + celebrity designer meeting + dinner and fashion show with the girls = best day ever

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So today was a pretty awesome day. I'm confident about how my interview went with Mediabistro. I think I'm qualified, I think they think I'm qualified and I hope to get a call back for a second interview sometime middle next week.

After the interview I had a late lunch with Rich. And who did I meet? RICHIE RICH FROM HEATHERETTE! Heatherette has always been a favorite line of mine. It's the epitome of fantasy and over-the-top fashion. You know you're in New York when you're literally sitting next to a designer at the bar.


Now I'm off to dinner with Leighanne and Jessica and then to a fashion show in the Meatpacking District. Expect a full report later.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hooray interview!

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Well ask and you shall receive, right? I applied for an "Education Assistant" position with Mediabistro.com today, and not three hours later I was e-mailed back for an interview on Thursday.

For those of you who don't know what Mediabistro is, it's a great resource for young journalists. Most of us use it to look at job listings within the journalism community, but they also offer a variety of classes, workshops, events, etc. I actually took their "Intro into Fashion Careers" course last March and it really propelled me to go for my dream, and even inspired me to create this blog. It's a really great company that I respect a lot and it would be great to be able to work with them. Plus, it's a full-time job with full health and dental benefits.

Here's what the job listing says:

The successful candidate must possess:

--An interest in technology and web-based learning
--Ability to multi-task and work independently and with a team
--Exceptional skills related to problem-solving and organization
--Ability to perform well under pressure
--An outgoing personality and outstanding phone skills
--Strong sales and marketing sensibilities
--Supreme attention to detail
--Awareness of NYC media landscape
--A Bachelor’s Degree
--Experience using online learning platforms is a plus (but we will train you on all software)

Responsibilities include:

--Guiding students to appropriate courses by phone and email
--Providing online class support, including trouble-shooting technical
problems, student and instructor support, and communicating with instructors
and students to monitor class quality; training will be provided
--Setting up online classrooms, proofreading and posting course materials,
and setting up student access
--Assisting in scheduling classes
--Working closely with education staff to meet quarterly goals, plan for
appropriate marketing, and maintain student enrollment
--Assisting in writing and maintaining course descriptions for the mediabistro.com web site
--Providing creative input for the overall education department
*This an entry level position and there is opportunity for growth.

Sound like me? Wish me luck! I'm also going to a fashion show on Thursday with my friends Jessica and Leighanne. How great would it be to get a job and go to a show in the same day?!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Someone, please, take a bite

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Every time I apply for a job, I think, "I am perfect for this. They HAVE to call me back." So far, I have yet to get any responses. Not even rejections. Nothing.

I apply for about three jobs a day, which is actually a lot considering most jobs have been turned into internships. My temporary job only has a few weeks left and the quiet worried voices that have been in my head are turning into screams. I'm probably going to start serving or hosting a couple days a week to make extra cash, but that won't be enough when the temp job is over. I might be able to squeeze into a customer service job at ICE, or maybe even a marketing job. Maybe.

I just want a definite answer. It's so frustrating, I know I'm qualified for so much and would be perfect for so many of these jobs that won't even call me back.

Someone, please, bite.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Life summary

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So there's been a lot going on, but none of it really relates to New York or fashion so I wasn't sure if I should blog about it. Thus, here is a quick summary of my life lately in true Chris Gardner style - bullets.

- I went to New Orleans and Florida two weeks ago. It was awesome. It was so great to be in two warm cities, one of which I had never seen before. New Orleans was so much fun and we ate three fantastic meals at August, Emeril's and the Commander's Palace. Yum. I want to go back. Florida was great because I got to see my family and go on the boat. It's hard to believe that I haven't seen them in over four months. And we had a little pre-birthday celebration for Scotty and me. I can't believe he's 18!

- I've started dating someone and it's going awesome. That's all I'm gonna say about it. ;)

- I'm still at ICE working on the temporary position, but it's rapidly coming to an end. I have a couple options, but I'm starting to get a bit panicky about what's coming next. I'll keep you posted.

- I got to go to the inaugural game at Citi Field, the new Mets stadium. I'm now a Mets fan, but the Rays will always come first. I figure it's okay to be a Mets fan because they're not in the same division as the Rays and, well, they're not the Yankees. I've never been to the opening of a new stadium, and it was really cool to see how excited the fans were about it. I'm sure I'll go to more Mets games this season.

- My days are mostly spent now working and exploring new restaurants with my boyfriend. Not too shabby. I've joined a gym to work off all the good food I'm eating.

The main thing on the horizon is finding a more secure job. I'm applying but have yet to get even a response from anyone. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Life Underground

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There is a whole world housed in the subway stations of New York. Artists, musicians, bums, white collar, blue collar, passerbys, children and everyone else come together in one place. Sometimes, it creates something really special.

The 8th Avenue station is home to little bronze statues in an exhibit called "Life Underground." Here are a few of the inhabitants: 






Subway stations are also home to thousands of street (or subway) performers, like this one in the Union Square station:


Just goes to show that, in New York, there's a lot of life that goes on underground.

Spring my ass

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So today is the first day of Spring, and what did I wake up to see outside my window? Snow!! WTF?! Seriously this is ridiculous. Snow is pretty and all, but I'm more than ready for some warm sunshine. Thank god I'm going to New Orleans and Florida next week where it will be in the upper 70s and 80s. This whole cold nonsense better be gone by the time I get back. Seriously, New York, get your act together.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Full speed ahead

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Things have been super busy - they don't call New York the City that Never Sleeps for no reason.

Dad came to visit last weekend. He's been to Newark on business a lot, but never to the big city. It's always really cool to show someone New York for the first time. I've only lived here for about four months, but it's nice to see the city through fresh eyes to remind me how special it is.

Right away we went to Times Square. We took a bunch of pictures and saw a pretty good street band. 


Then we walked up to Central Park at Columbus Circle. It was a perfect day to be outside; cool but not too cold. We ate lunch at a sports bar by the park and then took a nice stroll. It was actually really cool for me too because we went a way I hadn't been before. Central Park is so beautiful, I can't wait till the spring when everything starts blooming. Then that night we went to Del Friscos with Rich and had an amazing dinner.

Sunday we started the day exploring Fort Tryon park by my apartment. This was another thing that I haven't done yet, which I'm a little embarrassed about. But I blame it on the cold and vow to explore it more often now. It's crazy to think that this amazing park is literally in my back yard. It has a great view of the Hudson and has an amazing museum called the Cloisters, which is actually part of the Met. Then we had brunch at the cute restaurant in the park. After brunch, we actually went to the Met because we got free admission when going to the Cloisters. To get there, we had to cross Central Park, so it was cool to see yet another part of it. 

After getting back from the Met it was time for dad to go. It was a short trip, but it was good to see him. I only wish my mom and brother could've come too. However, I am so excited to go home to Orlando next week! I'll be home Friday-Sunday for my brother's 18th birthday. I can't wait to see everyone and soak up some Florida sun. And before that, I'm going to New Orleans! I've never been there so I'm super excited to see it.

As I get more acclimated to life here, I seem to have less to write about. It makes me a little sad, but it also makes me excited to think that this isn't a vacation and is becoming real life. But the last thing I want is to get complacent here and take for granted all the things around me, so I'll make much more of an effort to blog more often and see how special this city is.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring has sprung!

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Today was the first day that I didn't have to bundle up before going outside. No jacket, no scarf, no gloves, no stockings ... I was wearing a light sweater and I really could've done without that too.

It's 67 degrees right now, and I never thought I'd be so excited. It's interesting to see the different outfits outside. A lot of people didn't realize the warmth before heading out and are now carrying their jackets. Long sleeved shirts are rolled up. Some people are in flip flops. Every second person is walking a dog. A lot of people are shopping too - maybe the answer to our economic problems will be the weather, haha.

I can't wait to see the city really come alive with spring. It'll be a lot easier to explore new places too. This better not be a tease!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Kat's visit, et cetera

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Hello faithful readers, I'm sorry for the delay in post. Things have been a little hectic, in a good way.

Kat's visit was so much fun. We went to so many fun places and did fun things. To get a full synopsis, read her blog here. I hope it gave her a better idea of what living here will actually be like.

Things are good on the job front. The project is running steadily and doesn't seem like it'll end in the immediate future. Which is bad for ICE, but good for me. After that, I've learned that there's a position I could fill in customer service. It isn't necessarily what I want to be doing, but it's steady money and I'd get benefits, which isn't a bad plan B. 

Also - I'm coming home! The last weekend in March (27-29) I'll be in Orlando. So if you're there, call me! It'll be so great to see everyone and be in the Florida sun. And before that I'm going to New Orleans for a few days! Hooray! 

So all in all things are great!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

First celebrity sighting

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That's right people, that's ELIJAH WOOD! We were at Revival for Kat's birthday, probably the last place you would expect to see a celebrity (which is probably why he went there), and in he came! I saw him first and started freaking out as quietly as possible so he wouldn't hear me, and then Leighanne walked over to him thanks to some liquid courage. We snapped this picture and then left him alone, but didn't stop looking at him. AH! ELIJAH FREAKING WOOD!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Getting back up

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Well it's been an interesting week, to say the least.

I started my new job at ICE and really like it. The people I work with are all fun and I'm learning a lot about food. But I can't help thinking about what I'll do when the project is over in a few weeks. I keep hearing there may be another position that might be available, but that's not for sure.

This week has mainly been full of questions. I know not all magazines will treat me the way Harris did, but I'm a little disenfranchised with the industry right now. The fact that I'm getting paid almost double to copy and paste just shows how horrible the pay scale is in journalism. I'm beginning to look at marketing, advertising and PR (I know, gasp) for possible career changes. They all pay much better with better benefits and still allow me to write and be somewhat creative. Not that money is the most important factor in a job, but it is important.

We'll see. I'm in the best city for a career change and have made some good contacts so far. Stay tuned.

In better news - Kat is coming to stay with me for a week tomorrow! My new job allows me a little more flexibility with my schedule, so I'll get to see her a little more. If there's anything I need right now, it's a good friend around. I'm sure she can take my mind off things. =)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

You just never know

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I was laid off today.

I was called in to the office of the managing editor today at 10:30 and she told me that they didn't have enough for me to do, so I was laid off, effective immediately.

I've never been given a warning. I've never done anything wrong. I did all my assignments to the best of my ability. I was laid off.

Thankfully, I have a plan B. I finally got a second job doing data entry for the Institute of Culinary Education. My boss and I have become friends, and I told him my situation. He has brought me on full time, effective tomorrow. It's only a temporary gig, but I'm getting paid twice as much and there's opportunity for something more permanent. Either way, I have about a month of steady money and in the mean time I'll look for any kind of an opening.

I refuse to let this defeat me. I live in New York and I'll make it work. They won't win. I'm confident this will lead to something better with a better company.

In the words of Fashion Week, "Chic will go on."

I will go on. Everything happens for a reason. It's for the best.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Success!

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We got in! Armed with a badge and a ticket from last season, Leighanne and I walked straight past the guards and in to the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week tents.

Right away I noticed that the energy was nothing like it was in September. There wasn't music, there weren't as many people there, there were less sponsors shelling out free stuff, etc. This could be for a variety of reasons: the Fall season is less important than the Spring, so a lot of people don't even come, a lot of designers pulled out of the tents at the last minute due to economic reasons, and it was only the first day and there weren't really any huge designers showing last night.

Either way, I was stoked to be there. It's the 50th anniversary of Barbie, so there was a huge Barbie centerpiece with vintage Barbies holding up the flat screens, and the letters in the Barbie sign were full of, well, Barbies.

There was still an open bar and Leighanne and I helped ourselves to four free French martinis. We tried to get in to the Academy of Art show by saying that we had confirmed late and just wanted a standing ticket, but the pretentious girl with the clip board wasn't buying it. Oh well, it's only the first day. I'm just glad I got to be inside the tents again.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Now I've seen everything

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As much as I love and respect fashion, some things are just down right hilarious and ridiculous. 

We have designer clothes, bags, shoes, underwear, house decor, accessories, plates ... why not have designer condoms? Now you can literally cover every part of your body in designer duds ... or at least men can.

New York Magazine wrote about this three days ago and I've been laughing ever since. Who's the designer? Why, Alexander Wang of course (Get it? Wang? Hahaha, OK time to grow up now). 

"The February 14 date of Alexander Wang's fashion show could not be more fitting for the unveiling of the limited-edition condom he designed in collaboration with Planned Parenthood. The Proper Attire rubbers will be sold at Thompson Hotels and online, with all profits going to Planned Parenthood," the blog said.

Yes, now I've seen everything. I kind of want one just to say I have it ... it's for a good cause, right?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fashion Week schedule

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My mission is to get into as many shows as possible, so I took some time to look at the schedules. There are some goodies. Stars are by the ones I really really want to see.

Friday - 6:00 Nicole Miller*
       8:00 Academy of Art
       9:00 Venexiana

Saturday - 10 a.m. Lacoste
   3:00 Barbie 50th Anniversary* 

Sunday - 4:00 DVF*

Monday - 10 a.m. Carolina Herrara*
   7:00 William Rast* 

Tuesday - 6:00 Max Azria*
   7:00 TIBI
     9:00 Narciso Rodriquez

Wednesday - 7:00 Anna Sui*

Thursday - 6:00 Christian Siriano*
     8:00 Zac Posen*

How many will I be able to sneak in to? We shall see ...

My first book

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I haven't talked about this much, but it's been a little rough transitioning from five years of news writing to magazine writing. In college, my professors taught me that adjectives were my enemies and to not say something in 10 words when I can say it in five. Well now I pretty much have to throw all that out the window. Needless to say, it's been more than a little frustrating. I haven't seen my stories bleed this much since I was a freshman. 

Yesterday, Mary gave me one of the main features in an upcoming magazine for practice. I worked all day on it, trying to sound cutesy but not like I was trying too hard; making sure my sentences were short while still saying enough. I felt good about it when I turned it in. It still came back all marked up, but instead of major changes it was more changing a few words here and there. She said it was really good and that she was seeing improvement in me.

Well today I got my first issue to do all on my own. It's an "in-house" issue, meaning I do it while I'm in the office instead of being a freelance issue where I take it home. I don't get paid anything more for it, but she said that once I finish this I'd be ready to do a freelance magazine. 

I'm really excited. I'm basically acting editor in chief for this book. I'm doing everything - creating a line up (deciding what goes on what pages), writing EVERYTHING, getting all the pictures, editing it. It's my book. This is a big perk of working on a small staff, and how awesome will this look on my resume?! 

I have three weeks to finish everything (it's 90 pages). It's going to be a challenge and is a bit daunting, but I really hope I live up to Mary's expectations. 

=)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Fashion Week starts FRIDAY!!!

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Fashion Week starts in 4 days! While I haven't been able to snag any invitations, I've devised a genius plan. Last season I got in to the tents with a badge, but I remember people being able to get in if they had a ticket to a show. Well thankfully, I saved all my tickets from last season! All I have to do is flash it to a guard while in the middle of the crowd and I'm sure to get in. Then, all I have to do is be first in line for a show and I'll get standing room. I'm determined to sneak into at least one show this season. At least. I refuse to let Fashion Week pass me by, especially when it won't be in Bryant Park much longer!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My big break

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Yep, I got my big break today. Watch out, because I'm probably gonna be nominated for an Emmy.

I was on reality TV.

What did I do? Eat bugs? Disgrace my family by acting a fool, getting drunk and sleeping with someone? Well ... not quite.

My coworker was nominated for a makeover show and they needed people to be in the background for the big reveal. But some agent is totally gonna see me and make me a star, I know it. 

The show is called "Closet Cases" on the Fine Living Channel. Never heard of it? Me either. The show doesn't premier till April and I think we're the third episode, so watch out for it. But it was a fun experience, and further proves my theory that everyone will be on a reality show at some point.  

FYI: In case there was any doubt, reality TV isn't real in the slightest. Everyone there was supposed to be at a reunion in Ohio for the class of '88. Considering I was 2 that year, that's obviously fake. And New York is probably the opposite of Ohio. We all even had fake names. I was Charolette (yes, it was spelled wrong. Not my fault). 

 

Monday, February 2, 2009

Fashion Week is relocating

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This just in - Fashion week is moving from the famed Bryant Park to Lincoln Center starting in 2010.

"Although the fashion shows, now operating as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week to reflect a corporate sponsorship, were welcomed in Bryant Park in 1993, there were frequent clashes with the management company that controls its maintenance and security.

The dispute intensified in 2006, when the Bryant Park Corporation announced it would no longer allow the shows to happen in the park, because they were interfering with plans to operate a skating rink in the winter and public use of the main lawn in the late summer. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was then asked by designers, as well as Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue, to intercede on their behalf, leading to an arrangement for Fashion Week to remain there, at least temporarily," according to an article in the New York Times today.

For as long as I can remember, I dreamt of seeing a show at Bryant Park. Thankfully, that dream came true in September, because that may be my one and only shot.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Epiphany

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Ok folks, brace yourself ...

McDonald's DELIVERS!!!

I'm not sure why this is so surprising to me, everyone delivers: groceries, Chinese, pizza, etc. But freaking McDonald's delivers!

It's so weird, my friend Niki and I were just talking about how we wished McDonald's delivered. Then today, out of the blue, my new cube-mate at work Cynthia mentioned that they delivered on the lower east side. What?! I was then on a quest to find out if they delivered near me, and sure enough, they do!

I know, I'm way more excited about this than I should be, but come on ya'll! McDonald's delivers!!

Overheard

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So I was passing the time at work and wandered over to a blog I hadn't read in a long time, "Overheard in New York." Basically people submit real, hilarious things they hear on the street, on the bus, on the subway, etc. Here are a few gems I came across today:

Young boy, pointing out the subway window at the Gowanus Canal: Look, mom, a lake!
Mom: That ain't no lake! That's where the dookie comes out!

--F Train

Random guy on street: You have a great day, beautiful lady.
Girl: Thank you.
Random guy on street: No, not you. Her! (points to the girl behind her)

--Waverly Place & 6th Ave

Tourist looking at a subway map, drawing a line with his finger: Where does this train go?
New Yorker: Exactly where you just pointed.

--B Train

20-something grunge girl #1: So I plan on getting really trashed tonight, do you think I can crash there tonight?
20-something grunge girl #2: I wouldn't recommend it. Last time I crashed there I ended up with scabies.

--L Train

Old man: Are you guys tourists or something?
Couple: Yes.
Old man: Is that why you're walking so fucking slow?!

--8th St Station

Tourist trying to get through the turnstile with a credit card: Didn't this work last time?
Tourist friend: Try my Visa, maybe yours is expired.

--Bryant Park Station

Middle Eastern man surrounded by bags of rice: Would you like to buy some rice?
Young woman: No, thanks.
Middle Eastern man: But it's good rice. Good strong rice.
Young woman: Oh, I've got plenty of rice at home.
Middle Eastern man: But your rice no good. This rice much better.
Woman (offended, screaming): You don't know what kind of rice I eat!
(long pause)
Middle Eastern man, sheepishly: Only $20.

--F Train

For Meredith: 
Girl's in Queens for the first time: You can order milkshakes and cigarettes from the diner any time of night? This place is a fucking wonderland!
--Queens

And the last one, just for Chris:
Boyfriend, looking at girlfriend's iPhone: Who is this guy Nick that you're talking to?
Ditzy girlfriend: Whatever...you don't have to worry about him. He's from New Jersey, so I would never touch him.
Boyfriend: What's that have to do with anything?
Ditzy girlfriend: Hello! Everyone knows that everyone in New Jersey has STD
s!
--7 Train

Happy Friday, everyone.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New widget

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If you're a frequent reader of my blog, you probably noticed the new widget on the top right side called "Chris's Cancer Fund." 

One of my best friend's boyfriend, Chris, was diagnosed with cancer recently. Thankfully, they found it in time and he had surgery to remove it. However, he still has a long and costly road ahead of him, including radiation and possible follow-up surgeries. 

I know it's a hard time for everyone right now, so it's totally understandable if you can't donate anything, but please pass the link along to someone who you think might be able to. I wouldn't ask this of you unless it was for a good reason. I met Chris last summer when Lori came to visit Tampa and he's a really positive, great guy. It's such a shame this had to happen to such a good person. His copay alone is $7,000 and his insurance doesn't completely cover things like CT scans, etc., not to mention it costs $20 to park for every doctor visit. Every little bit helps.

Here is the link to his cancer fund: http://chrisriehlmedicalfund.chipin.com/chris-riehls-cancer-fund


This doesn't have anything to do with New York or fashion, but using my blog to help is the least I can do.

Lovely weather this morning

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I mentioned to the Facebook world a while ago that no matter how cold the snow was, I still never got tired of it. Let me make one exception: I never get tired of it unless I have to walk to work in it and it's mixed with rain.

Usually walking to and from work while it's snowing is no big deal. It's pretty to look at and as long as you have an umbrella you're fine. Well, not this morning. It snowed pretty heavily last night, but my walk to the subway from my apartment wasn't a problem. It was still fluffy enough to not seep in my shoes and I like the way it crunches. 

But during my commute the snow had turned into rain. Yes, rain. My little weather gadget says "light snow" right now and it's lying. So, the heavily snowed on streets and sidewalks were now mixed with rain which created very wet slush, and a lot of it. It was ankle-deep at every curb.

This morning I made a conscious decision to wear my cute black sneakers instead of boots because they provided better traction and I didn't want a repeat of my spill from a couple weeks ago. Well, that was clearly the wrong choice when my feet were already soaking after only two blocks. Knowing I still had eight blocks to go, I decided to hail a cab. The $4 ride was worth it.

Meanwhile my friends back in Florida are going to the beach. C'est la vie. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lending a hand

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In this business it's all about who you know. I first met my boss at the Times at a job fair, then she remembered me when a position became available. My teacher put me in touch with Michelle Lee, InTouch Weekly editor, who put me in touch with Patty Adams, Page Six Magazine editor. You get the idea.

Well for the first time I get to help out a friend of mine. My best friend, Kat, is coming to visit for a week in February. I worked with her at the Times and she also has experience at Creative Loafing, the Crow's Nest, etc. She's gonna be here, she might as well work, right? Well I got her an internship with Harris. 

It took a little persuading. The managing editor was fine with it, but then the CFO wasn't so sure. But after some sweet talk and telling him how talented Kat is (which is true), he agreed. She'll pretty much be helping out where ever it's needed and will probably get to work with a variety of magazines, which will be great for her. And she's getting paid! 

I know when I got the experience of working and living in New York during Fashion Week it really opened my eyes to how everyday life was in the City, and I hope this will do the same thing for her. Hopefully this leads to contacts and skills that will help her career move forward in this time where the industry is struggling.

P.S. To all my other journalism friends: Don't think that just because you visit me you get a free internship! 

Friday, January 23, 2009

Random thoughts of the week

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Friendly train conductor: I've been meaning to mention this for a while now. Usually subway conductors are anything but friendly or memorable. Most of them yell out stops and even yell at people who get in the way of the car doors. But every morning as I get on the A train around 8:35, my conductor greets me with, "Good morning! Welcome to the downtown A experience (yes, experience, not train). This is 190 St., next stop will be 181. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride." 

I remember the first time I heard him. It was Christmas eve and he wished everyone on the train "Happy holidays." At popular stops, he tells everyone getting off the train to have a "wonderful day" or weekend. Just goes to show that no matter what job you have, you should take pride in it and do it to the best of your ability (I say this as I'm blogging at work). It really helps to have a cherry voice greet me as I'm still struggling to wake up, and it makes me smile every day. 

New haircut: Add a free haircut to the list of perks my job comes with. I interviewed stylist Brian Meehan, owner of the Wayne Thomas Salon, on Tuesday. I've interviewed him before and he always gives me great quotes. As I was leaving, I glanced at his prices and asked him about them. "Oh honey I'll do you for free," he responded. Score! I've wanted to get my hair done for so long. The last time I went to a professional stylist was back in September before Fashion Week, and since then I've gone to beauty schools, which leave much to be desired. 

So yesterday I took him up on his offer. I brought in a picture of Paris Hilton's new bob for an example of what I wanted (I know, I shouldn't be using her for fashion guidance, but her hair is cute). He only took a couple inches off the length, but what he really did is take out a lot of the bulk, which is what I really needed. Now my hair is a little above my shoulders and is perfectly shaped for my face. Pictures to come soon.

The second job hunt: I've been applying at a variety of places without any success. The problem with restaurants is that I get off too late to work the dinner shift and no one will hire me just for the weekend, because those are "prime" shifts that they give their best servers. Plus, I don't have "New York experience." Retail stores won't hire me because I haven't worked in retail since 2004, because, oh I don't know, I was working in my actual field. It's not like I've forgotten how to use a cash register or fold clothes, come on. I've applied for a few freelance jobs with no response. I made a profile on this babysitter site with no response. Sigh.

Last night I met this guy Geoffrey at Revival who is the front of the house manager at Bar Brenton. I've seen him at Revival a couple of times before that. He said they were way understaffed and if I came by he'd hook me up with a job. It's right by my office and I've actually been there once before without even realizing it. So today after work I'm going to go by and give him my resume. Hopefully he lives up to his word. 

Also, my job has incredible opportunities for freelancing. Because we do so many magazines a year, they freelance out some of the books. So basically I'd do a whole magazine by myself for a substantial bonus. My boss is having me work with Mackenzie on the book she's doing to get the feel of it, and hopefully in the next month or so I can do one on my own. Fingers crossed.

Weekend shenanigans: Once again, Meredith has come to the rescue for my weekend. Her friend is having a house party out in Long Island tomorrow and she invited me to go. It's kind of a long hike to get there, but I'm going to meet her at her place first and she'll drive me, and I can stay over at her place if I need to. It's a good way to meet more people and I haven't been to a good house party in a long time. Plus, house parties = free. Chris has gone to LA for a conference, so I have the apartment to myself for a week.

That's all for now. This is way longer than I expected it to be. Hasta luego! 

P.S. It got up to 45 degrees today! Whoa heat wave!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Where were you?

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Yesterday marked the most historic moment of my adult life thus far. The first black man was elected president.

I was beyond inspired listening to his inaugural speech. He spoke to the two million people who braved the cold to see him in Washington, he spoke to our enemies and allies, he spoke to the young and old, and he spoke to me.

"Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met."

"On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord."

"Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America."

"Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions, who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short, for they have forgotten what this country has already done, what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose and necessity to courage."

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth.

And because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace."

"Our challenges may be new, the instruments with which we meet them may be new, but those values upon which our success depends, honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old."

"... And why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath."


These quotes and many more left me in awe of my new president. It was the first time I have ever heard a president's speech and was left inspired, hopeful and excited. It was more than his words, it was his genuine earnest and love and patriotism that came along with them.

As I sat in a restaurant with my new boss and coworkers, surrounded by TVs and other hopeful Americans, I felt more patriotic than I have since Sept. 11. I know he won't solve all our problems. I know it won't happen overnight. But I believe the ball has started rolling. Things will get better. Even if you didn't vote for him, even if you don't believe in everything he stands for, even if you think he's too inexperienced, I hope you respect him and know he's a great man. He is our President.

Where were you on this historic moment?