Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Remember that online research I did for the Finance issue?


Check it out:

Portraits of New York's Wealthiest

Online Financial Calculators

I'm freaking out. Ha.

Monday, January 14, 2008

I took a bite out of the Big Apple and now I'm addicted

I'm down to my last two days at Redbook. (Insert big sad face here.) I leave Thursday for the flat land and I think I might cry upon leaving New York. I have had many interesting experiences in my two week stay. Not all completely positive, but all have been interesting. There was the chick fight in Chinatown, my first Broadway show, judging the nation's hottest husbands with Redbook's editorial team, eating dried rose petals in the Lower East Side, getting schooled on makeup knowledge by a guy in Sephora and exploring Times Square all by my lonesome, just to name a few.

Redbook has been a great learning experience. However, not in the way that I expected at all. Most of the work I did included making copies of past articles, printing out the hot husband pictures and answering crazy fan mail. So most of my learning was from my surroundings. The busy grind that was all around showed me just how a major consumer magazine operates. It takes a huge number of people and each person's job is incredibly specialized and changes issue to issue. Their jobs couldn't possibly be boring. One week they are researching how to grow seedlings in your kitchen and the next, what body shimmer makes you look the best while naked. Even though I didn't do much or any journalistic work, I listened intently to phone interviews and directions from editors to assistants. Everyone was very nice and eager to find out why the heck a girl from Kansas wound up in New York.

The most important thing that I learned while here is that this is my comfort zone. I like working with articulate fashion-loving, beauty product-seeking women that love their jobs. I like not driving to work even if it means taking a subway that reeks of urine. I love that I can walk a block and have a pharmacy, market and clothing store all within my reach. I love New York and (pardon the cliche) I want to be a part of it.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

lazy weekend.

Today, I finally went grocery shopping. And, I tried Tasti D-Lite, the famed New York ice cream shop (it wasn't that great). Other than that, I've been pretty lazy. I couldn't seem to find my bank debit card, so I was politely fretting about it. It's now five o'clock, and the bar is still not answering my phone calls. No word.

Yesterday I had a great day at work. The finance issue comes out next week-- for the new year they do a four-part issue for four weeks about detoxing yourself and getting yourself back on track. This week is the fitness issue, next week finance, and the week after... not sure. But, anyway. The finance issue closed this past week, but I was working for the web editor. Because the Web site content just switches over the day the issue comes out (Wednesday's), they were still getting extra web content put together to complement the issue. I researched and wrote about different online calculators that help you finance your life-- i.e. mortgage calculators, loan calculators, renting vs. buying, debt pay-off goal-setting, how to become a millionaire by a certain age, etc. It was interesting because it's a topic I know absolutely nothing about... I mean, a mortgage and fixed interest rates? Not exactly my thing, but it was great to finally write. Even though they were 50- to 80-word blurbs about each "calculator" and its use, I still was trying to fit into the Time Out New York writing style-- witty, tongue-in-cheek, and hip. After I finished that project, I researched and wrote about some of the wealthiest New Yorker's (which I found from the Forbes' 400 list). The editor said to play up their "lavish" lifestyles and try to poke fun at them. I was never really given an assignment like this where I really had to mess around with something that could have been pretty straight forward. Not sure if I succeeded, but it was a good experience. Also, it was hard to play into the New York audience, since I don't live here and not familiar with all the little "inside jokes" of the city (because trust me, there are a lot, and Time Out NY uses them all the time).

Last night after work, Julee, Lauren, Brad and I headed to Tortilla Flats, a crazy fun Mexican-themed bar in the meat-packing district. It was for Lauren's "going away party," because she leaves New York City on Monday. Later on I met up with Matthew for his going away party, because he leaves for Italy on Tuesday! He's this fabulous choreographer extraordinaire-- he's the assistant choreographer for the international European tour of Hair. And, that's how I lost my debit card. I've called everywhere I think I needed to call. Hopefully I can try traveling to the place I think it is, since they don't seem to answer their phones.

I have some fun news! I ended up taking pictures of my office for you all to see. I'm obsessed.

On the right, this is the building I work at, at 36th and Tenth Ave. It's on the west side of Manhattan, with not very many tall buildings around, or much tourism for that matter. But, if you walk to 34th, you can see the Empire State building (which is located on 34th street, only a couple avenues away).

Below, you can see a little sneak peak of the office through the glass doors. This is what you'd see right when you arrive on the twelth floor.

On the left, you get a better view of the main lobby of the office. The office is on the 12th floor, but also has a 12th floor mezzanine level, or an upper level with more offices (and where I work, in the corner...). As I have described before, the decor is eclectic and urban. I love it.

And below, another angle of the lobby from the upstairs mezzanine. The front office is in the right corner.

Oh, one more-- my favorite. It's a sitting room upstairs close to where my little cube is. This was the first day I started working, and you can check out the beautiful sunset across the horizon.

Hope these pictures give you a better view of where I work.

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

The first week is almost over...

Carol's contact, Kate Williams, left New York today for Los Angeles. She gets to interview Rachel Bilson who is going to be the cover of our spring issue. I would love to sit down and talk with someone like Rachel. She seems like a fun and interesting person. Maybe I'll transcribe the interview next week, shutting my eyes and imagining that I'm there, too.

Today seemed to be the day all of the interns at NYLON worked. The office was filled with people who were busy, busy, busy. And I....had nothing to do. I had finished transcribing Kate's interview with Jason Crombie, the editor of the new zine, "Wooooo," which is in the style of a paper back book that is full of interviews with interesting people, and realized that Kate had left for L.A. this morning giving me nothing to do. She had simply told me to ask people around the office if they needed any help, but I don't think they knew what to do with me. I spent most of the day fact checking some articles. One was about this new band who call themselves "Cut off your hands" (that's not morbid at all...) and Diego Luna who is in a new Spanish film this spring as well as directing a film, (the article called "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights" a bad movie roll choice--I loved that movie!). I was happy with myself to find some incorrect spelling of names, but I still feel like I haven't done anything "journalistic," (is that a word?). The other day the staff had an editorial meeting and they didn't even invite me to sit in on it. The editorial staff is as nice as can be, but I know they see me as an insignificant intern who is only staying for two weeks, but it would be nice if they let me experience the "real-NYLON."

The hostel is fun, minus the mouse that we saw dashing around the lounge area last night. Haha. The girls and I are having a blast. It's like freshman year in college all over again. Tomorrow night we are seeing "Hairspray" at the Neil Simon theater. It should be tons of fun.

Is everyone still wanting to go to the Back Page on Saturday night and try and get some old KU Alumni men to buy us hot ladies some drinks!? :)



I can't believe the week is almost over. I've almost completed my massive cover line research project, and I'll continue researching cool winter sports tomorrow for the "In Focus-You Can Do This" section. This assignment is kind of tough for me because a) I hate winter b) I hate snow c) I don't ski/snowboard...and to top it off, I have to find a new, cool sport or a sport that is making a comeback that a freelancer can go participate in for a long weekend (4 days). I've had some luck finding cool stuff (skwalling/telemark skiing/snow jumping) but I still need to find good trend reports. Good thing Rodale has an excellent library staff (yes, we have our own LIBRARY!) in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, that I can consult.

This afternoon, the other two interns (from Rutgers and Northwestern, respectively) and I went to the staff meeting. The editors get together with Alison to talk about future stories (they plan out the magazine very far in advance) and progress. The editors pitched ideas and talked everything through. I liked watching this process---I expected it to be very formal, but a lot of the editors were stream-of-conscious talking and bouncing ideas off of each other. They were all very supportive of each other, too, and Alison was very receptive to everyone's ideas.

I set up a meeting with a freelancer and former editor today. I'd been in contact with her since October, and I'm finally going to have coffee with her on Monday at a chic little coffee joint near work (not Starbucks!). She has edited for teen titles and Glamour, and just released a teen lit book (which I need to finish reading by Monday!). I love the opportunities available in NY---young people in publishing are so great about helping up-and-coming magaziners---so I'm definitely taking advantage of that!

Most nights, I'm way too tired to go out and do stuff with everybody---I missed the KU game and haven't even seen everyone yet---but I think we all feel that way, and I agree with Danae that there's nothing wrong with exploring the city on your own, on your time, at your pace. I did do a little shopping after work today---mostly makeup and skincare---at Barneys and Bergdorf', did I feel like a little girl in those stores. The lady and gentleman at the nude beauty counter inside Barneys were so sweet to me and really took care of me, though---hello, free samples with my lipgloss purchase! The person at Chanel in Bergdorf Goodman was a little out of it, though...I ended up with brown mascara when I asked for black...guess I'll be back there tomorrow :(

I'm very ready for the weekend, but I'm dreading the masses that will be out shopping on Saturday. I'm planning on doing some sightseeing with some of the girls early Saturday morning...hopefully I'll make it to the Statue of Liberty! Until then...I'll be watching Sex & the City.


"Attention, Can I have your attention please..."

That wonderful intercom message came across the whole building twice yesterday. Once because the alarm was going off in the concourse and once because of a "small condition" on the roof! Luckily, no major problems seem to have occurred but they did shut down the elevators for a little while each time.

Other than that I finally finished one of the 6 assignments I have! I'm so glad I'm done with SOMETHING. I got to call and request products be sent to us that may be featured in the Travel issue. One guy in Oregon was hysterical. When I told him I was with Real Simple he said, "Well you guys are kicking Martha Stewart's butt, aren't you!" No offense to Mother Earth News but I can definitely tell a difference in recognition working here. Everyone knows what I am talking about when I say Real Simple.

As for the rest of my NY experience, it has been a blast. My roomies have been tons of fun. The other night I felt like I was back in high school at a slumber party because we all got into bed, turned out the lights and then decided to talk for at least the next hour. None of us knows when we actually went to bed, and there was TONS of laughing involved. That is not to mention all of our "quotes" and our extensive boy-band conversation yesterday (because NSync is WAY better than the Backstreet Boys). I am waiting for the next sleep-in day but I am kind of sad the first week of this experience is almost over. Guess I better enjoy it while it lasts! :)


Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I have a lot to catch up on.

On Monday, I went into work, and awaiting me was a tedious, yet rewarding experience. I started working with the Sports editor, Drew, on a ski resort project-- fact-checking and editing entries about ski resorts, lodging and restaurants for (I feel like) a hundred of the closest mountains close to New York. I was so excited to finally get work that was related to journalism. I dove right into it. I was surrounded with green trails, artificial snow, tubing hills, extreme halfpipes and terrain parks, and the "ski and stay" package deals at local hotels. It was a lot of research, a lot of calling, and a lot of putting myself in an element I know little about. I come to New York from wee-little Kansas, not knowing the area very well, not knowing transportation as well as the next person, and I've only started skiing since 2006. But, that's the thing with journalism that really gets me. What motivates me, honestly, is a challenge. And, I took the challenge by the balls, and tackled it to the ground. After a long and exhausting day, I completed the copy I had to get through. I was so proud of myself to finish a task that even the editor felt bad about giving to me.

I finally understood why people come home craving the ice, cold refreshment of a Bud Light. I felt like I didn't even do that much, but it was so intensive, delving myself farther and farther into mountains and resorts and prices and hotel deals, that I needed an escape. Things finally fell into place. I can't wait to devote myself to a job, to a company, to a magazine, so I can feel this rewarded-- by contributing to a greater cause. The exhaustion was altogether so soothing and cathartic, that I couldn't wait to endure it again on Wednesday.

Luckily for me, Time Out only allows their interns to work two to three days a week. At first, I saw this as a downer, but it was such a blessing in disguise. On Tuesday, I allowed myself to sleep in a little. Then, I literally took a "personal day." I did pilates, and stretched out my body (I am a dancer, afterall). Because I had the apartment to myself, I just sang. I sang at the top of my lungs. It was such a release. Aside from magazines, my other passion is musical theater, so this was a very rewarding day as well. I could just sit by myself, download new songs and teach myself to sing them. I think being in New York has motivated me in several ways to achieve all my dreams: that being fulfilling my two greatest passions (magazines and musical theater).

After researching and singing, I went to Time Square to try for Wicked the Musical tickets (through the lottery). There were about 200 people there, and only 13 names got called for tickets... needless to say, I didn't win. I couldn't have asked for a better situation, though. I bought student tickets to a new play, August: Osage County, not really knowing much about it. That night, I was in utter amazement. The play comes straight from the Steppenwolf theater company in Chicago, and my god, these people are phenomenal. The play, the characters, the talent were just altogether great. The play is about a family that begins to crack and fall apart before your very eyes, in this perfectly-timed drama, turned "tragicomedy." It's almost uncomfortable how personal you get with this family, seeing every little bone crack in their bodies under pressure-- the skeletons hidden in their closets all come to life. Honestly, I haven't been to a play since the beginning of college. I have been so turned on to musicals, that I never thought a play was worth my time. And, my goodness, I don't know what I was thinking. The passion, the intensity-- I've missed it so much. It was incredible.

Today, Wednesday, I went back to work again. Finally, there were other interns to keep me company. I have been working alone for the past week, but today new people began their own internships. It was fun to finally have people to relate to in the workplace. I had a couple organization, researching and fact-checking projects today. It's just great to know I'm making a good impression and getting a great experience out of this all. That's all I wanted, and I'm slowly getting everything I could have ever asked for.

Tonight, I came home exhausted from work only craving (you guessed it) a beer. My lovely "roomies" and I walked to the nearest bar (oh wait, there are about 15 "nearest" bars). It was a cute little place, definitely real "local." Julee asked for a Bud Light draft and our waiter, Roof, said "you haven't heard of us, have you?" Obviously we haven't. They only offered imports on draft, and had over 150 beers available. But, we had one object in mind: Jerry's Kids. It's a game my friend, Matthew, invented (I think...?), and we were bringing it to this bar in New York City. It was a blast to have some great girlfriends in the city to spend an evening with. This regionalizes me, I know, but it felt like I was on Sex and the City. I loved every second of it.

But, New York City isn't all about having those close friends (although that's very important). Another thing I've learned about the city is that it creates a true independent in you. Almost everything you do in the city, you can do by yourself. You can walk to work by yourself, wait for the train by yourself, transfer trains by yourself, sit by yourself, find the right direction by yourself. Cross the street by yourself, sit in a corner by yourself, eat lunch on your break by yourself, go shopping by yourself,. Go home by yourself, catch a cab by yourself, explore Time Square by yourself, wait for a musical lottery by yourself, take a tour by yourself, buy a ticket to a play by yourself, see a play by yourself, grab a drink by yourself, and ultimately take a subway ride home at 3:30 in the morning... by yourself (sorry, Mom). This city allows you to get to know yourself, all alone, and ultimately learn that just because you're alone, doesn't mean you are lonely. Until you can find a best friend in yourself, you will not be able to have a true connection with anyone else. I feel like this city has made me a stronger person and individual. And, it's not like I haven't been to New York before, it's just that I have been learning so much about my future and the path I'm paving for myself that it excites me.

I need to get to sleep-- I have a big day ahead of me, even on my day off.