Monday, June 30, 2008

Officially on the Come Up!

Hello World!

I'm in a greeaaat mood today (hmm, maybe I should resurrect a box of those Frosted Flakes) because now, for the first time in a long time, I feel like I am officially on the come up. For those of you that know me in "real" life, you already know that I am a *proud* graduate of Howard University and a writer that moved to NYC six months ago in pursuit of an elusive magazine staff job. I've had a blast interning with a marketing company on their beauty brand accounts, and interning/temping/writing for magazines and websites.

But today, I got triple dose of really good news. One, the food site that I temped at last week might want me back for a long-term editorial assignment. Yes!

Two, my monthly column in Sister 2 Sister magazine on all things food was given major props by a reader today. It feels great to have something that you put so much time and effort into recognized by the people for whom it was intended. Oh yeah!

And three, I am the official Contributing Beauty Editor for a new lifestyle website that's rolling out soon. I can't give too many details, but trust that in a few short months you'll be seeing your girls mug and byline on a very smart, sassy piece of the internet devoted to all things beautiful. I had been very wishy-washy about telling people this because I didn't know how important my section would be or if it would be something that could turn into a full-time gig or not, but I got the contract in my inbox today and I am very, very excited to see that it's official and could turn into something that I do full-time.

Being a Beauty Editor is something I've wanted to do for a long time and I never imagined that I'd get anywhere close at this stage in my career, but the site is for young people and it just made sense to have the editorial content come from people in the age group. I'm ridiculously excited!

I'm working on getting lots of PR contacts together and generating story ideas, so if you happen to represent a beauty brand (or know someone who does), let me know about it at whitneyteal85@aol.com. Or, if you love/hate beauty, let me know about that too.

So Excited!
Whitney

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Lot of Food + A Trip to Brooklyn Bourgeois Bohemia

Since we've already established that the weekends are the only time I do things remotely interesting, I'll tell you about another, much more tame weekend. My friend Nicole (of the cute and fabulous blog Chestnut Orange) came to town last week to pursue a great passion; two of her photographs were being displayed at Positivity, a photo exhibition curated by Jamel Shabazz at the Danny Simmons' Corridor Gallery in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.


The kick-off for the exhibit wasn't until Sunday so Nicole came to my house Saturday to chill and catch-up. After working my first week at the mag job, I was unnaturally tired (probably because this was coming off of 2 weeks of unemployment) so we decided to spend Saturday afternoon indoors and cook up some goodies rather than spend money on food. Writing about food all day and penning a food column can make a girl feel like she can really burn in the kitchen...even when she can't. Nic, obviously the better cook, made the fried chicken (some with honey BBQ sauce..mmmm) and I was tasked with pasta salad (out of a box), organic green beans (random, I know), biscuits, cookies for dessert and a fruity, carbonated drink that I've named Orangeade Fizz, a mixture of Tropicana Pink Lemonade (2/3) and Orange Fanta (1/3). Try it...it's good :)



















Here's the end result. Nic, being a bomb ass photog, decided to get some shots of the food when we finished. It looked and tasted really good!

Next came Sunday, the big day for my friend who had no idea what she would be walking into at the gallery, but was pleasantly surprised by the great turn-out. Tons of people, all of the very similar artist community that seems to thrive only in places like Fort Greene and the East Village. I've named it la vie noir boheme (you know, like Rent). Just in case your thinking of moving to the area (which is idyllic by NYC standards, I must admit), the prereqs are:

-natural hair (the bigger, the better),
-an African companion (preferably a bf/gf but a close friend will do),
-a visable political statement or two whether it be a Marcus Garvey tee or a Barack Obama lapel pin and, of course,
-the obligatory Ivy League degree, or three

But I digress. It was all around good fun as Nicole and I, along with friends Charreah, Shaena and Eniola celebrated her success. Afterwards we wandered around the city for an hour looking for a suitable place to eat before settling on Spice, a Thai restaurant near NYU. The laughs were good and we were eventually joined by Jessica, the ever-hilarious, but the service was quite terrible. The waitress was weird and continually walked by our table asking the same questions over and over again ("Are you ready to order?" NO! We told you the first 10 times that we're waiting for other people to arrive) before taking away my plate of rice before I was done and attempting to do the same with my lemon chicken.

Later, we walked around aimlessly looking for a Crumbs bakery that was closed before going to a Cold Stone that didn't have waffle cones! What! That's like McDonald's not having fries! Sometime around midnight I hopped a train back uptown to watch the latest episode of The Next Food Network Star that I had missed (I'm really kind of addicted to that show). Sigh, another weekend under my belt.

Pictures from the exhibit to come very, very soon!

xoxo Whitney

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Freaky Friday

On Friday the 13th, 2008:

10:50am: Awoken by a phone call from a 212 number. Sleepily realize that it must be an employer and answer to discover that my staffing agency is looking for a web writer for a new food website. Yes! Please submit my resume.

11am: After using the restroom, lay in bed hoping that I get the job. Say a quick prayer that I get the job offer and that the rest of my scheduled interviews go well. Go back to sleep.

2:30pm: First interview with Banana Republic. Wearing my lucky black shift dress and sexy, professional patent leather heels. Store Manager Eric seems to like me and asks me to start immediately, must come in on Saturday. Yes! I rarely get offered jobs on the spot.

3:50pm: Glide to my second interview, on a strange yet unrecognizable high. Get a second job offer at the Jewelry company. But it's an unpaid internship...must think about this one.

4:10pm: Riding the elevator downstairs listen to voicemail from staffing agency...got the job with the magazine! Will start Monday! Almost cry from relief...rent is due in 2 weeks!

5:30pm: Tell mother and sister about wonderful day. Find the perfect shade of Cargo Lip Gloss Duo at Sephora. What a great day.

6pm: Text Charreah. She's up for a celebratory dinner :)

8pm: Meet Charreah and decide to head to some Caribbean restaurant. Riding the 3 train and want to go further downtown so decide on Dallas BBQ in Chelsea..then switch to Rosa Mexicano's in Union Square. Settle on Rosas.

9pm: Walking around for half an hour looking for Rosas. Find it. One hour wait for a table for two! No. Char knows a cool place around the corner. Find Punch, a very nice, affordable restaurant.

10pm: Oh no! My burger is way too pink. Polite staff brings me another. Delicious. Aged cheese just whiskied enough. My meal is free! We order chocolate bread pudding + ice cream for desert.

11pm: Bad news from a friend. She didn't get a job that she wanted. We decide that we can't let her be miserable on a Friday night. Go to Herald Square to get her. Spot the cutest yellow flowers on the way. Pick them up to cheer her up.

12:05pm: Said friend is cheered by the flowers! And she's rocking the hottest high-waisted pants. This, I think, is reason enough for her to be happy. Not all can pull off the look.

We decide to go out and notice it's after midnight. "Freaky Friday is officially over," says Char. D'oh! That's why today has been so weirdly great...it's Friday the 13th!

1am: End up at Barna, the only black people for quite awhile. The music is hot though (and the DJ kind of looks like Mark Ronson....) and I get double-cheek kissed by a hot French guy. The lucky dress continues ;)

1:30am: Friend seems to attract the strangest drunken white girls! No less than 3 come up to her and ask weird questions. One is so drunk and reminds me of a crackhead the way she is frenetically dancing. I crack up and we make up our own dance. I haven't laughed this hard in a loooooong time.

2am: A gaggle of guys begin to bombard our trio. One a short Nigerian dance machine, the second a taller, wanna-be cool Bald-y and the third a completely shitfaced, horny, Kappa that acts like a Que.

2:30am: Lips on my neck? The horny Kappa/Que is drunkenly kissing my scalp kitchen! Gross!

3am: Drink spilled on my leg by wanna-be cool Bald-y. Time to go home, but not before horny Kappa/Que gropes and tries to bite my boobs...am I back at a college houseparty?

3:30am: McDonald's in Herald Square. Ahhh, Sprite tastes so good and it's funny when the guy at the table next to us keeps repeating "I lost my mari-juana!" and then looks at us.

4:05am: Damn! We got on the wrong train and we're on our way to Queens instead of Harlem. Get off of said train and cab it back. Cab-naps are so much fun :)

4:41am: I gotta write all this down or I'll surely forget.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Hey Lover, This is More Than A Crush


Yes, I'm crushin'. Crushin' on a certain handsome, charismatic, educated, opinionated Lawyer of a man. Yes, yes, y'all I do mean Mr. Barack Obama, the Democratic Presidential hopeful that stamped out a field of worthy contenders (ahem, all middle-class white men and women) to snag the left-of-the-middle party's nomination.

And, man, oh, man, am I glad. I just have to think about my beautiful little niece-cousin Sarae, with her honey brown skin that she compares to chocolate milk and wide, innocent eyes that will look to the Senator's Presidential Campaign and think, "I can do that." Or the little Armenian-American boys that run up and down the stairs of my Harlem apartment, who will no doubt see the child of an immigrant in the Oval Office and say, "I can do that." It's a phrase I never would have thought possible, in my lifetime, for a non-white or non-male person.

I'm prepared to catch hell for this next statement, but I'm glad Hilary made it as far as she did. She campaigned hard (though not admirably) and was a worthy adversary for Obama, frankly much more of a challenge than I predict McCain will be in the Fall. And however much I do not agree with the way that she ran her campaign, especially towards the end, I'm thankful, as a woman, that she had the courage to do it and made history along the way.

I am so inspired by the possibility of a new America, one that I can be even more proud of and live even more fruitfully in, that I have decided to help Obama win the final contest against McCain. I've pledged to donate $1,000 to his efforts and I've already got $50 (woo-hoo!). Help us get the rest by checking out my fundraising page here. And, if you're so inclined, start one of your own! It only takes $10 from 100 friends to match my goal. Come on, challenge me!