Thursday, February 24, 2011

Brooklyn Photoshoot

I’ve never really posed for anyone else other than Katelyn James before.

So I was intrigued when a friend I’d met when I first moved up here asked if I would help model for a photoshoot in Brooklyn. She knew someone who owned a small clothing company, mostly specializing in religious scarfs, belts, totes, etc.

I weighed the pros and cons in my head and based my decision off one thing: it’s an experience. “You’ve never done it and you’ll probably never do it again,” I told myself.

Plus I could blog about it.

“Yeah. Sure, I’ll help out,” I replay via Facebook. The plans were constructed throughout the next week. Where to meet, what to bring, my sizes… everything was slowly being pieced together. Before long it was Saturday night, and I had less than 12 hours before I needed to be headed towards Brooklyn.

But of course it wasn’t that easy. The weekend was busy, and collectively between Friday and Saturday I’d gotten about 11 hours of sleep – which honestly, isn’t that bad for me, but I was beginning to stress about the looming bags under my eyes and the amount of chocolate I’d consumed throughout Valentine’s Day week.

How shamefully “girly.”

Never the less, I woke up Sunday at 8am and showered after chugging a huge glass of water. I stayed away from coffee because it can give me the jitters, and picked at an apple and some bread.

Eck. I was nervous.

I made it to Brooklyn easily enough and found the row of warehouses that people rent out for events like this. I only got lost once, accidently walking into a factory where a bunch of workers were making wires. “Whoops. Sorry. Not for photos,” I say, heading a block over to the correct warehouse. I mean… they all look the same.

The rentable warehouse in Brooklyn.

Enthusiastically I was thrown into a whirlwind of hair and makeup. For nearly an hour and a half I was brushed, flat-ironed, curled, primed, and painted. The girls attacking my hair and face were nothing short of fabulous – they gave me doll-like vintage red lips and cheeks with wavy ringlets I could only dream of creating. The transformation from tired mess to a vintage success was certainly a noteworthy accomplishment for them.

The beautiful gal who put this all together getting her makeup done.

Canvases were being moved here and there to catch the correct lighting, and I was changing in and out of clothing, heels, and accessories. There were two male models, and three of us girls. We were all freezing, and perpetually throwing on the scarves that were not being used during the photoshoot. You see, rentable warehouses do not have heating – so wearing a little skirt and thin cotton shirt was not ideal.

Setting up the lights and cameras.

But it was a “model moment!” I could almost hear Tyra Banks screaming, “Look fierce girls!” as we all smiled and fought through freezing fingers. My sister’s and I had practiced for this moment many a time, striking laughable poses… and now it was real!

I tottered in high heels, almost got stuck in a small pencil skirt, was freezing, hungry, told I looked great, told I looked not-so-great, and positioned a zillion different ways… but it was fun for a few hours! The shoot was like playing a part, or acting out the role of “model,” which is so different from reality that I found the afternoon to be hilariously enjoyable. I really loved the photographer, who made the posing easy, and I’d say we all had quite an experience, which was exactly what I was looking for.

But the best part of my day?

The huge everything bagel I rewarded myself with after the shoot ;)

The prop table with clothes and such.

The space we used.

Oh how ironic...

One of the other fabulous models.

Doing hair, tying scarfs, and trying to stay warm.

The End.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

You Guys Make Me Laugh

So I can see on my blog tracker when someone uses a google search to find the link to "The Why" blog. Don't worry - I can't see who you are... but do I know the key terms used in a search engine that pull up my webpage. And some of them are pretty funny.

For one reason or another, last week there were 19 Google searches (yay!) and a lot of very interesting phrases that 1)brought you to my blog successfully 2)made you accidentally stumble onto my blog or 3)gave you my blog's hyperlink instead of whatever else you were looking for - sorry 'bout that.

Anyways. Here are some of the phrases that led people to the blog this week. I really love that "poor student" and "things an indian would say" were some of the key words.

1) Upbeat Josh Garrels (probably from Summer's 10 Days of Music)
2) Was Random House profitable in 2010 (I wish I knew)
3) They Say A Poor Student (is me)
4) The Usual Please (this post was from when I just found the spring Lounge and Brooklyn Bagel)
5) Britney Fitzgerald NYC Blog (fabulously specific)

1) Newerk Mission Trip (we'll ignore that Newark is spelled wrong because let's face it - I may be the worst speller in all of Knew York Sity)
2) The Why Brifit (which I'm surprised led you to the blog - love it!)
3)Internship Penguin Publishing (from all my searching around)
4) How to Get a Martha Stewart Internship (I'll tell you)
5) Words New Yorkers Say (Dounkin Donuts, you guys, kwoffe, etc.)
6) Ball Room in the Great Gatsby's House (aka. the Plaza Hotel post)
7) List of Things New Yorkers Say (go to the tab "People" on The Why homepage)
8) Student Poor Living (hahaha I love this one...)
9) The Great Gatsby Letting Go of the Past (from a quote in the Annapolis blog post)
10) The Why Brit (I feel like my sister did that Google search)
11) Things an Indian Would Say (I am just so happy someone typed this into Google and then got my blog post about an Indian I met in a bar!)


I see you guys had fun with that. Haha here are the key words from today's statistics.

1) britfit thewhy hey britney i like you i am a town
2) britfit thewhy i can send you any message i want to through
3) britfit thewhy is the sky blue
4) britfit thewhy this is joeyyyyyyy byers
5) britney fitzgerald nyc blog
6) the why britfit
7) bahahah britney this is what your sister googles when she is
8) britfit the why it's a town that was my old roomate earlier

So I think Sebouh and A Town are fighting via google key phrases, and Kathryn threw a search into the mix.

Yeah. You guys make me laugh.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thursday’s Things New Yorkers Say

Valentine’s Day brought some interesting characters out all over town, and while I can’t even explain how much sugar I’ve consumed, I can tell you what I’ve heard on the NYC streets.

On the N train on the way to Bloomingdale’s:

“I told you my family doesn’t celebrate Christmas or any of the big holidays – only Valentine’s day!” She says to Him. “But why?” Him asked to She. “Because it’s the day of LOVE!” She practically screams at Him. “Oh duh,” Him replies to She – still slightly confused and defiantly amused.

In line at Dunkin’ Donuts on 30th Ave:

The older gent in front of me is dressed in a baker’s apron and looking thoughtfully at a sign that promises 6 heart doughnuts for $6.99. “I want that please,” he says in Italian/New York/Old Man talk. “We are all out,” says one of the Indian women that I see at least 3 times a week from behind the counter. “You’re all out, ahh yeah? But I need those Valentine’s Day doughnuts…” he scratches his head and looks desperately uncomfortable. “I’m so sorry,” the woman says in her clipped accent, though she has probably seen one to many heart-shaped treats throughout her day.

“What am I gonna do!” The older man paces a little bit, preventing me from even thinking about ordering my coffee. The conversation was apparently not done, and we were obviously all in this together now.

“Will there be more Valentine’s Day doughnuts? I’ve gotta a guy… he really wants them! He wants me to buy them for him… and I think he wants to give them to someone else, see? There’s no more?” he asks.

What is this, the mafia? He’s got a guy who’s got a crazy broad, who’s got a crazy appetite…

“Um… there seem to be three in the back…” the Indian woman says. “Three?!” He replies. “Wait no I can’t have only three… I need all six Valentine’s Day doughnuts,” he resolves. “Well I think we’ll get more at 2 o’clock.” She can barely hold in her smile now.

“2 O’CLCOK! I’ll be back. I’ll be back for the Valentine’s Day doughnuts. I’ll be back.” I’m nodding, the Indian woman is nodding, the crazy Valentine-obsessed doughnut man is smiling and nodding… heck, I’m almost positive the whole line was happy the dude would get his doughnuts for another dude who was consequently giving the doughnuts to someone else.

“Everyone is crazy,” the Indian woman says to me. “We have been through over 200 heart-shaped doughnuts!” “Oh my gosh…really?” I respond. She continues to bob her head up and down. “Yes, yes. When will it end?!”

“Ha… probably tomorrow,” I say.

I hope that man got his doughnuts.


And speaking of Valentine's Day, look what my complication on Facebook sent me at Martha Stewart! Quite a fabulous little book that will hopefully one day explain our five year relationship of complexities. Haha thanks again Steve! It was a hilarious surprise, particularly when people working around me asked to see what I'd ordered...


Sunday, February 13, 2011

The First Vlog

A little experiment... I wanted to see how long the vlog would take, if the video would upload, and wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day!


A Lovely Little Post

A Valentine's Day treat to try... the classic New York crumb cake:

The ingredients for deliciousness.

Yes. I even bought buttermilk, which by the way, does not taste like milk in the slightest. I thought my roommate was going to gag when I took a shot of it.

Separated yokes, too much butter, and plenty of sugar = a healthy dessert!

Starting with the crumb topping, I added sugar, flour and cinnamon together.

Finally, melted butter was thrown into the mix. And that was the end of the crumbs.

The cake was a little more tricky. Alternating between eggs, buttermilk, and flour, a cake-like dough is created. Two egg yokes, salt, baking soda, sugar, and butter are also throw in to the bowl throughout the process. But the results were delectable...

From me, to you dear readers.

My roommate and I decided to share the love. I took half the cake to work in fear that I would gain 100 pounds over the weekend. The recipe did call for several sticks butter...

These little guys are best served warm with butter melted on top, or even a drizzle of syrup. They are also great as is, and pair perfectly with a hot cup of coffee.

And there we have it - my first cake from scratch! That's what happens when you sit at an internship all day and look at delicious pictures of food.

Happy Valentine's Day peps.

Oh and PS, this cake is in dedication to the fabulous Alice Ricks. Happy Birthday Lissy!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday’s Things New Yorkers Say: Woodpeckers and Wizards

So sorry for the lack of blogging this week. School is fully underway, my internship is more intense, and work has just switched around all the merchandise in the store. Never the less, New Yorkers keeps talking… and here’s what they’re saying:

Just coming out of the subway station on 23rd near 8th Av:

I have my headphones on, but a very excited, normal looking 40-something-year-old man is peering up and then looking at me… and then back up. “Do you see him?!” he says with a New York accent, loud enough I can hear him over my music. I push pause, and ask “What – see what?” He continues with, “Do you see him! You see that woodpekka! He’s got bright red hair…look, look you see him?! Yeah, yeah… in that tree that’s drippin’ wit ice.” I kind of laugh, “Oh yeah I do see him… haha thanks for that…” As I’m walking away, I hear from behind “Aw man – lookata him!”

I’m not sure if this man had never seen a woodpecker before, or if he told me because I have red hair like the “little fella” but I’m glad I was apart of one of the most moving moments in this guy’s life.

Walking towards 9th Avenue on the way to MS Living, I hear the following scene playing very loudly in a car:

“Harry hurtled around the whole of the second floor, Ron and Hermione panting behind him, not stopping until they turned a corner into the last, deserted passage. 

"Harry, what was that all about?" said Ron, wiping sweat off his face. "I couldn't hear anything. . . ." 

But Hermione gave a sudden gasp, pointing down the corridor. 


No! The CD stopped! Then the car turned off, and an older man who dressed well and could have passed as a mafia member got out of the car – by himself. No little daughter or grandson – and I swear he smiled at me.

But the worst part? I knew that monologue was from “Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets” upon hearing the phrase “deserted passage.” HP nerds unite.

There were also a few phrases from a bar in Astoria my roommate and I went to for the Super Bowl along the lines of, “Oh my gosh, I’m an actor too,” and “Ben Roethlisberger is a very bad man!” to “You’re driving me home, right? And you know how to deal with an automatic transmission, right?” to which point I said, “Ummm… I think I’ll have another drink,” and after which I promptly walked home to watch Glee.

You got to love it.

So Anna and I went a little crazy at Sweet Afton during the Super Bowl Specials. We ate the chili...

devoured the wings...

and finally, we enjoyed fries, fried pickles, with several Abitas or black and tans. It was disgusting amazing - but most importantly, the Packers won.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thursday’s Things New Yorkers Say: In the Snow and Rain

I’m not sure that I’ll ever be able to top the Indian story. But here are a few phrases and tales from the streets of New York during our wintery weather:

Woman at work talking to another woman at work:

“My god. It is so bad outside,” Tall Lady says to Sitting Lady. “Tell me about it,” she responds. “I mean – getting to work this morning?” Tall Lady continues while the Sitting Lady nods her head vehemently. “I know, I know.” Tall Lady continues her saga. “I almost busted my butt coming out of my house trying to get to my car!”

Hold up. Empathy stopped right as she said the words “trying to get to my car.” Um, excuse me? You have a vehicle? Pardon me, but did you actually have to walk 15 steps outside? Oh I see, almost 20 steps in the snow… funny. I WALK 30 MINUTES TO WORK EVERYDAY, WOMAN.

My snarky side almost came out. Can you imagined if I screamed that? Ha! We would have to change this segment to “Stupid Things That Britney Says” - because there are plenty.

The main streets in Astoria.

Speaking of walking to work, this conversation took place on 10th street crossing over to 26th and the Martha Stewart building:

I was listening to my Ipod as the rain began to blow into my face. Honestly, the commute hadn’t been too bad that morning and my coffee and been above par, so I wasn’t very angry. But I must have looked exceedingly pathetic with my fur hood hanging miserably around my head. Everything was wet and slushy.

“You can stand under here,” I heard someone say to me. Now usually, words like that mean trouble. So I glanced hesitantly to my left. A man with beautiful coral flowers was standing under a large plastic umbrella. He looked like a fabulous African American God with that dry and enticing umbrella!

I didn’t think twice. “Well thanks!” I said, jumping to stand right beside him.

“Honey, you looked like a drowned rat!” he smiled while I laughed and slipped off my headphones. “Where you going – 601?” he replied, saying the address to my building. “Actually I am,” I said. “Yes, yes I thought so. I deliver flowers there all the time. Usually once a week… Daaaang it’s cold. When’s this weather going to end? Walking around flowers all day makes you want some Spring!”

I couldn’t complain anymore. Not even about the Tall Lady with the house and the car who annoyed me with her “getting-to-work-is-so-hard” griping. This man delivered flowers in the snow all day long, and still was one of the friendliest people I’ve met. Plus he didn’t ask for my number or do anything odd except tell me to have a “pleasant rest of the day.”

Sometimes New Yorkers say very nice things.

People got a little creative with the snow...

and yet there's still nowhere for it all to go.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Coming Soon

Start preparing your own embarrassing tales from internships or entry level jobs. While I still need to figure out a few specifics, this much is certain: I want to have guest blogger spots with entertaining stories of "a day on the job" and possible mortifying moments. Prizes will be involved, as well as voting. So let the brainstorming commence...