Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In Case You Missed It

In case you missed it... I have two new article on Parents Magazine's "Goody Blog." One is about eating dirt (yes, fo real), while the other focuses on the gender-neutral preschool debate.

In case you missed it... Martha Stewart Living's Family Blog is currently posting their
"60 Days of Summer" throughout the next two months. You may or may not know who wrote them all...

In case you missed it... The woman at Dunkin' Donuts officially knows my summer beverage of choice (small iced coffee, with milk and sugar). She makes me very happy and I hope she's aware of that fact.

In case you missed it... I would like a dog. But I'm poor and would be deemed a bad mother under current circumstances (i.e. - When am I home for more than just dinner or sleep??)

In case you missed it... New York is sweltering again. AC units are back, blasting the sticky air with what little defenses they maintain, and utility bills soar upon arrival of an annual heatwave that wraps the city in a suffocating blanket. But we won't complain - not too much. Because we were here in winter too... and let's not even go there.

Incase you missed it... I fell in love the New York in the summer time, and I am still just as enamored as ever.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Keep New York Weird

The city was bursting with people this weekend and almost on the cusp of explosion during certain subway rides or inside particular restaurants. Between the Gay Pride Parade in the West Village, the Hope and Possibilities Race in Central Park, and the typical summer tourism, we were at full capacity.

This meant Bloomingdale’s Saturday shoppers were exceptionally hostile, snapping and biting like a pack of wild dogs. Train rides were cramped, even in off hours, and Broadway evolved into a “no walk zone.” Never the less, late nights were enjoyed and Sunday brunches were appreciated.

But there was one detail about this weekend that quite a few of us noticed by our own accounts, and then collectively agreed upon: New York was…well... weird. I stumbled into several situations that ranged from downright odd, to completely intriguing.

Here’s a photo list of some of this weekend events:

In the subway... can you find me?

This was some sort of transvestite fest in Tompkins Square Park with possible "spirit believers." Yeah, I don't know.

We found this "pi" compass in front of each subway stop throughout Soho. What does it mean? I wish I could tell you.

This is pretty cool. Pick up that phone and start dialing, because behind the back wall is an entrance to a speak easy. It's located inside an old hotdog shop, and a definite on my list of places I must go.

Costumes in the East Village. Lions, brides, unicorns - we saw it all.

Oh blast, I believe he forgot his trousers!

However weird you are New York, you're still my beautiful city.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Importance of Being Curious

I want to take you somewhere. Today we shall travel to…. well, just keep reading.

Part of the pleasure of living in New York is enjoying the hidden gems of this cultural capital, and whether planed or accidental, you do indeed stumble upon many a treasure. With free afternoons, the occasional “happy hour” is attended. With free evenings, you’ll find some cheap pub with complimentary food. And with a rare, entire day off? Well that’s when an adventure truly takes form.

I’ve wondered quite frequently around the city, constantly curious of what’s along the next street, behind the next door, down the next block… and luckily, the majority of my friends seem to share a similar love of the unknown.

“What about a winery tour in Brooklyn?” I asked Ivy as she lay sprawled out on my couch. “That might be fun,” she said, sitting up and stealing a look at my computer.

I had “Time Out New York’s” freebie section on my browser. Neither of us wanted to spend more than $5 over the course of tomorrow– and we were defiantly eating bagels in the morning. So that left our budget at about $2.25…

Yes, something free would probably be best.

We arrived at the winery half and hour too early, so we decided to stroll around Williamsburg, Brooklyn. As we turned a corner, Ivy spotted tents in the distance. And do you know what tents mean?

Street festivals.

We happened to discover a craft fair with hundreds of vendors situated in a circle around a large soccer field. Spectators watched the game, hopped between tents, and ate frozen icy drinks. Children milled about, and the occasional stray ball bounced into a group of (mostly) un - irritable adults. There had to be over 1,000 people in the area.

Our day was already delightful, and we hadn’t even stepped into the winery yet. But our romance with the establishment was almost immediate. The space included 4 main areas for guest and a wine making section behind closed doors. The guide/bar tender showed us the process of how to bottle wine by hand and where the liquids chill in barrels. It wasn’t a long tour and it wasn’t anything flashy, but the organic, do-it-yourself feel of the place was enchanting.

Ivy and I perused the connecting rooms, taking pictures and imaging ourselves visiting again during one swanky night out in Brooklyn. Even though only a few lingering people were hanging about the area, I could picture the bar full. Patrons would be mingling about, dressed in everything from jeans and a tee to stylish black dresses. While the lights would be dim indoors, the courtyard’s overhead illumination would twinkle like fireflies as guest ordered wine on tap.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, and falling into some imaginative world.

Which means...

We’ll simply have to go back. So who’s in?


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ode to One Long Week

This summer is all about movement and long hours,
But this was one of those weeks when you need super powers.
Between a paying job and my internship,
I’ve typically been working 60 hours a week without quit.

Monday began not bad at all,
Except for one very annoying call.
“Yea, I bought that and I bought this,
But the girl didn’t give me a receipt - and I’m pissed!”

“Well mam,” I say in a positive way,
“We can not take that item back today.
You have no recipe, credit card, or bill,
So your request is one we can not fulfill.”

The yelling and shouting and moaning began,
Making me pull the phone away with my hand.
We all know she stole the clothing or switched the tags,
Because she changed her story twice and her product knowledge lags.

At the end of the night, I really want to go home.
But the subway train stops and lets out a groan.
“We are stuck, so passengers change to another train!”
I think to myself “this is the biggest freakin’ pain…”

Tuesday is a new day, which begins well.
And at my internship, I feel like I’m doing just swell.
But then that night, I’m at Bloomies till 10.
Which means I’ve worked a 13-hour day… again.

See usually we close up the store at 9.
So I get home before 11, which is fine.
But because of a sale this week I’ve been getting out late,
And by the end of today, that’s something I really hate.

Thank goodness this 65-hour week is almost at an end.
Then I’ll be able to sleep and eat normally again!
And I’ll kill the cockroach I found in my room,
I’ll do my laundry and trash, and even use a broom.

Despite all this whining I bet that you see,
I truly am exceedingly happy.
I’m busy and running through the thrilling summer air.
And even with work, I really just don’t care.

You see, summer time is when I fell in love with New York City,
And anything less than exuberance would be such a pity.
So I will smile at work without even making a dime,
Because I know that night, the city will be mine.

Flowers blooming in Washington Square Park.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

He's Why I Slept on the Couch

I think there’s a cockroach in my printer.

After flipping on the light switch in my room, a horrifying scuttle arose from the darkness. The paper in my printer fluttered as something unknown disappeared into the machine’s mouth.

It’s hot. My face is sweating, and the apartment feels 25 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. But I’m frozen in my tracks, starring at the printer with a shoe in my right hand.

Haven’t I been in this position before?

Thinking back to my first experiences as a New Yorker, I definitely recall standing in my room, starring at inanimate objects hiding possible critters. I would simultaneously be praying that a bug would appear from behind the lamp so I could kill it… and that no bug would appear at all.

Because I really didn’t have the guts to kill it.

Let’s see. There were two cockroaches in my room that lost their lives. There was also the one that got away. I had two water bug scares (and if you’ve never seen a New York water bug, your missing one hellish creature). We’ve had several little guys in our kitchen, and I know my roommate has spotted at least one in her room.

So there have been a good amount of bugs.

But that makes the possible cockroach currently sitting in my printer no less scary.

I have this terrifying image of John Paul all tucked away from sight, hiding on my desk. Then I’ll turn off my lights, and John Paul will slowly pop his head out of my printer, watching me… always watching…

Then I’ll get ready for bed and lay on top of my comforter (because it’s too hot to sleep under it). He’ll skillfully scurry down my chair and onto the hardwood floor. Next, he will pause for a few moments and catch his breath. But I just KNOW what he’ll do next…

John Paul will then climb…or fly!... up to where I’m sleeping. And I’m quite sure he’ll want to snuggle. In fact he’ll probably climb right on top of me. Suddenly I’ll wake up with a fright, and scream, “something is not right!” only to notice a huge cockroach chilling on my bed. OR WORSE! What would I do if he attempted to climb in my ear!!!! I know that happens! If John Paul climbed in my ear – I would die. I’m pretty sure I would simply die.

Thus, tonight I will sleep in the scorching heat with my headphones on and my Bear Bear over my face. If I can’t see him, he can’t see me! That’s the rule, right? So John Paul, you might be in my printer but you won’t win. One day or another, I’ll get you. I have a decent track record – so watch out!

Or maybe there never was a John Paul. Maybe nothing is hiding in my printer. Maybe I will just tell myself this…

Or maybe I will turn the printer on.

Hehehe… Goodnight John Paul…

Do you see the antennae?!?!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

First National Byline

I know it’s only a blog. But it’s a nationally known blog. I know it’s not real print. But it’s based off a real print magazine. I know I’m only an intern – but as it turns out, interns can write too my friends.

So I was quite excited when my first article was published on Parents Magazine’s “Goody Blog” last week.

YES! An actual magazine with an actual blog, giving me… an actual byline. There was none of this published “by the editors” or published “by the staff.” Nope. Britney FREAKING Fitzgerald wrote an article, and then took credit for it. And what a gratifying feeling that was…
So what did I write about? The news? Maybe something baby related? A product recall, or a story about a mother fighting to rid her child of the dreaded, teeth-ruining pacifier?

Nope again.

I wrote about hummus.

Hey. Rule #3: Stick to what you know.
And okay, so the article was kind of assigned. But I took great joy in sampling hummus dishes and thinking of adjectives for this refreshing chickpea treat.

If you haven’t already visited Parents Magazine’s blog, click here.
P.S. – A huge thanks to everyone who commented, liked, re-tweeted, or simply read my article. This is a short and sweet post, but your efforts really do mean a lot to me. Thank you again for always taking the time to read my work… even if you don’t like hummus.

Look at those guys, before they got all famous and such.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Please Call Me Back - Part #2

Bing. Buzz. Ring.
Bing Bing Buzz. RIIIIING!

“Parents Magazine this is Britney. Oh hi! No I’m so glad you called back…”

My email was
binging, my cell was buzzing, and my desk phone was certainly making himself known with a persistent ring.

“Yes, let me just check my email to see what we needed from you…”

Adrenaline was kicking in as the hours ticked away on my computer clock. If you’re just tuning in, I’ve got about 3 hours to call in books from the major publishing companies in New York. I’ve got no contacts, the books should be complimentary, and they must be rush delivered to the office.

To top it all off Box Expo America was currently underway in the city, which means the majority of publishing offices were empty as employees participated in the largest book fair in America.

“So it looks like we’ll need one of those, and one of these,” I say to a Big Publishing House. In the very back of my mind a small thrill creeps up, reminding me that I’m on the phone with one of the largest book producers in the world. My mind wondered briefly as I daydreamed about stacks of stories...

Bing, Buzz, Ring.

Quickly I turned back into work-Britney mode, or even better (and maybe much worse) I become the one thing my sisters have always despised: Competitive Britney. She rose from the depths of my soul and reared her ugly head! I WOULD NOT FAIL this first project. Even if I went out and bought $85 worth of these books myself, they WOULD be on the desk tomorrow morning.
We did have a small problem though.Two of the largest book companies were not returning my calls, and gave no specific email addresses on their website. But I needed numerous books from both, and if I could get those two contacts, I would have almost half my books. In essence, these were two pivotal companies for the success of my project.

Then suddenly, the coffee started working into my brain and I had a small stroke of genius.

Sure, I didn’t know any editors or publicity agents. And no, I’m not tight with marketers or CEOs. But I certainly know my interns… and they possess a secret power.

I texted Clare and Ivy (my Pub Club gals, classmates, and fellow interns) because it just so happens that they had both recently completed internships at the very two publishing houses I needed to access.

Bless them!
Not only did both of these contacts come through for me in the clutch, but they also promised to help point me in the right direction with the rest of my future projects pertaining to their companies.
“It would be great if you could overnight the package or send a messenger service. Yes? Okay great.”
My day was coming to a close, and it was almost time to run through Grand Central in pursuit of the 6 train. I had an evening shift at bloomies to complete my 14 hour day, but it didn’t matter because I had gotten my books.
I did not fail my mission.
*Editor’s Note: I owe a big thanks to Ivy and Clare for sharing their insider knowledge. My books wouldn’t have come in without you!
Look at that glorious pile of books. Have you ever seen anything so lovely?