Archive for July, 2008

The month of July

July 31, 2008

Ah, July. Such a good month. I was fairly lazy in some ways, and not lazy at all in others. This month included:

– Settling on an internship that is paid at Flatiron Media. It should amount to being perfect prep for a future career in online marketing / business school. I start next Wednesday full-time.

– An offer / the ability to intern a few hours a week at insound.com. They are an online music store based in Chelsea. They helped break bands like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and a few more, and are what people are directed to from the ridiculously popular/snobby/pretentious music review site Pitchfork Media. They would pay me in food money and store credit, of which I get a dollar per hour I work there. It would be kind of cool to buy my own turntable or something. I would be doing a lot of packaging and shipping though. Not so glamorous stuff, but nonetheless still a cool place. A five minute walk from Flatiron Media too.

– Interviews all over the place, jobs of which I didn’t get. I have one final one tomorrow at a PR firm in the Meatpacking District.

– A trip to Boston to visit various people and hit-up a Grad party. In Boston, I frequented all of my regular favorites, including Crazy Dough’s, Daisy Buchanans, Central Square, the 553 and 70 buses, Supreme Liquors, the Common, Cafe on the Common Coffee shop in Waltham, the Starbucks on State Street where Kentes works, and of course, all of the historic landmarks of Waltham. Walked through the Castle at Brandeis which was a good time. Went to a few local parties, and discovered a few new bars, one a German place called Jacob Wirth’s in the Theater District, and that there was a bar in South Station, hah. I shall return in late September.

– The Dark Knight opening day in Times Square, Siren Fest, McCarren Park Pool & walking the Williamsburg bridge, July 4th on the roof, all-star fan fest and the futures/ celebrity game

– Watched a bunch of random classic 80s movies: BTTF II, III, Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop I & II, Die Hard

– In addition, I’ve been walking between 5-10 miles a day. I’m turning into a serious power walking fiend. I walk all the way to Central Park and back, usually. That’s like 2- 2.5 hours on any given day, often with breaks in between.

Anyhow, I will probably add to this as I think of more stuff I did over the past month.

Kind of a middle of the night post but why not

July 22, 2008

Hey there peoples. I can’t fall asleep tonight. The last few days have in fact been quite eventful, as follows:

Thursday: The premiere of The Dark Knight, in Times Square. Now I’m not going to try and review this as it’s been done to death, but of course I enjoyed it. The line in Times Square stretched for blocks, and luckily my friend and I had both purchased tickets online for the first showing in advance, and were in the same theater. We were behind some girl whose boyfriend starting walking in, and my friend realized this and followed them. This meant that we got in before at least 80 percent of the people still waiting in line. They had shown up hours before we did to go to a later show. Ha Ha… And even better, we ended up in a section with no seats in front of it, right in the middle of the theater, next to a handicap seat that no one even sat in! All very hard to fathom, considering this was the biggest opening movie of all-time, in perhaps the epicenter of New York (and arguably the world…) Oh, and a subway ride back downtown at 3:30 am followed of course.

Opening night, Times Square

Opening night, Times Square

Friday: Interviewed at a place in Chelsea called Affiinitive. They are very similar to Kick Apps, though they are a bit more broad in dealing with social media. This basically means they do different kinds of consulting work around the Internet for major companies (GM, Sega, FOX, Nielsen to name a few). I’m not sure what to expect, it seems like I’m not as qualified there as I should be, considering I don’t really know that much formally about the marketing aspects, though I still am optimistic. They’ve got a wii, and ping pong table in their offices too, which is rockin’.

What is more likely to happen is that I’ll intern at Flatiron Media starting in August and then either stay on there for the long-term come Octoberish or use that knowledge to land a job at a place like Affinitive or more specifically in the music industry. Learning the marketing is first and foremost, and a good pre-req almost for many of the better things to come, or so I hope.

Following the interview, I hung out with a few friends, and had some tasty sushi and later pizza. Then Saturday. What a day. This involved a journey to Coney Island and meetup with a friend for the last ever Siren Music Festival, a free indie rock concert that the Village Voice throws every summer. The whole thing was surreal. I went two years ago and saw some good bands, but it wasn’t even necessarily the bands that made it surreal. Just the chaos of the entire place. It was a combination of tourists taking their kids on the rides, hipsters, people pigging out on fried foods, and sideshow entertainment. Of course, I hit up the famous Nathan’s, and ended up seeing Stephen Malkmus (formerly of Pavement), Ra Ra Riot, and Islands. I think I enjoyed Islands the best of all three, though I’d seen them previously.

Coney Island Chaos

Coney Island Chaos

Following the show, my friend and I hit the town, going to a couple bars/restaurants in my area. One place was right off of Tompkins Square Park, and this guy kept spilling all over my friend, which was obnoxious.

Sunday: Went to Williamsburg for another free concert, this time featuring Liars, F*ck Buttons, and some other random punk band who were okay. Now again, this is one of those things where the concert seems almost secondary. You’re seeing a concert in an empty pool called McCarren Park, and there are hipsters running around on a slip and slide and playing dodge ball. It’s turning back into a pool again after this summer too, which is mildly controversial within the area.  I saw Sonic Youth there last summer, and I have to say, it is a heck of a place to see a concert. Liars were decent, they a great on stage prescence. Photo below.

McCarren Park Pool hosting Liars

McCarren Park Pool hosting Liars

Then ended up walking around the area, taking a scenic journey across the Williamsburg Bridge back to Manhattan, and some random exploring of Greenwich Village. From there its not that interesting and I will talk of other things next time. But every weekend should be like that, seriously.

Couple Updates

July 16, 2008

I had another interview yesterday with this place called Kick Apps near Bryant Park in Midtown. They are the market leaders in selling different companies their own sort of built in social network services. A bunch of different places use them to help sort of power their websites, like NPR, New York Rangers, Bonnaroo, and ABC Family. This is certainly one of those jobs that is on the cutting edge, and they are sort of an established startup with about 75 employees and raking in the dough.

The problem is, the position would be more “sales” based, which I’m really not a fan of. I’ve never really wanted to do that since day one. I’d just be on the phone cold calling people and doing research for who to try and sell the product too next. Granted, I am not selling vacuum cleaners, but something useful. I talked to 3 different people and they all seemed very enthusiastic about everything, and it could be an opportunity.

I’m not sure what will happen next with that, but at the very least, it was a good glimpse into an established startup. The ones I’ve been at or interviewed with so far have been a little less far along in the overall process.

In other news, I put up an ad for a new roommate a few days ago. Since then, I’ve gotten like 30 responses, some kind of humorous, some actually legit. You can’t imagine the demand for sleeping on my couch in this location. Granted, I have to meet with everyone, show them the place, and go from there. If things work out, I might only be paying like 500-800 a month to live here. That might seem like a lot, but for Manhattan it is rockin…

Oh, and I got to go to two things that are awesome indeed, fan fest and the MLB Futures and Celebrity/Legends game, part of Baseball’s All-Star Weekend. It was fairly amazing to have the All-Star game here and to be at Yankee Stadium this weekend. It was weird though since the Yankees weren’t playing, which in a way was kind of nice for a non-Yankee fan. All these random celebrities played too, which was kind of funny to watch.

Finally, I’ve been pretty much on my own for most of these days. It can be a bit isolating at times, but generally I’ve been fairly preoccupied in the job search, and there have been a share of guests/visitors here. A friend and I are going to go to Siren Fest this Saturday, a completely free music festival on Coney Island. Like Yankee Stadium, they’re basically closing down Coney Island after this year. I have to say, the lineup isn’t as impressive as it has been in past years, but it is a happening. It is the one day a year that the hipsters invade the park, and I just can’t miss that.

To sort of kill all this pented up energy, I’ve been doing a lot of walking. Like an hour and a half to two hours every day. It’s nice because I usually try and pick a final location and just go. I went to Battery Park City, this giant community near Battery Park with a nice view of the river, and walk around the village alot. Next on my list is to walk the Williamsburg bridge over to Williamsburg.

That is all for now then.

Job Updates

July 14, 2008
Flatiron

Flatiron

Well then, it has been an interesting couple of weeks as far as jobs go. Unfortunately, I did not get what could have been a very good job at the American Association of Independent Music. They wrote me a very nice email back, and since there are only 3 people working for the company in set roles it is kind of one of those things that probably has little mobility. But they at least told me that if they needed someone they’d be sure to contact me. So at least I got a little bit of networking out of it, though I won’t be going to CMJ, SXSW, or Cannes, France for free.

The interview at Nielsen was ok. They are literally like 5 minutes from here, in the very same building that I interviewed at for the job at mtvU. They wanted someone to basically be in charge of a moderately new social network they were endorsing, attheroundtable.com. I assume I didn’t get that one either, since I haven’t heard anything.

What I did get was a paid internship position at an online marketing / advertising company called Flatiron Media. They help to manage various aspect of online ads campaigns on some huge sites, like eHarmony, Buzznet, and Beliefnet. It’ll be direct one on one with the CEO of the company who has an amazing background in this kind of stuff. About halfway into this podcast, he and another associate discuss the company and their ideas. They are for real.

To top it all off, this job is in Flatiron, an area just north of Union Square and Greenwich Village, and close to Chelsea and the southern part of Midtown. It’ll be a 25 minute walk to work every day, or an even shorter ride. But I think I’ll walk. Now this isn’t exactly what I wanted when I came here in the first place, but the more I think about it, the better it sounds.

The kinds of things they are doing are more relevant than ever. Generating revenue online isn’t exactly a dying breed (as is print journalism), isn’t something that has an enormously shaky future (the music industry or film industry), and really is kind of on the cutting edge. Plus, in a few years it won’t hurt when it comes to going to a good business school. The CEO is very friendly & likes britpop, its an intimate office setting, and the fact that the Flatiron building / Madison Square Park / Union Square are so close makes it ideal for lunch breaks and such.

So I’m looking at the positive aspects of this. The negatives are that it doesn’t start until the first week of August. They aren’t paying me enough to make a living, but that would only be for a few months, and then it’d be a full- time gig. And while the full-time gig may seem inevitable now, who knows what could happen. And perhaps most importantly, it might not be the most exciting of all areas of entertainment / media to get into. But it is a gateway to those things, I think.

So that gives me either a couple of weeks to have some crazy ridiculous times, or to continue applying for other jobs in the hopes I get something better. I’m guessing it’ll be a combination of both of those.

A month later

July 3, 2008

So it has been almost exactly one month since I arrived here for good (move in date was June 5th). So I’m gonna take a look at the pros and the cons and the progress I’ve had in general…

The month of June 2008

–Stayed in a hostel for 2 nights and found a great jazz club with sister.

–Moved in with the sister with little to no warning to East 4th street, Avenue A. Discovered I get free wifi in my room and on the roof. Moving in required trips back and forth to the local storage facility over about a week and a half period, which really became annoying.

–Worked for about a week and a half full time at a medical journal online doing layout.

–Had numerous guests/ hung out with many people, including: Sister, Limo, Kleinstein, Emerdoodles, Dustin, Goldman, Farr, Pep and GF, Chris Malchow, Robbie Schwartz, Rothman, Sri, Greg Farr.

–Ran into probably half a dozen Brandeis students many of whom I knew vaguely or were alums.

–Had coffee with a Jewish girl at Barnard. Hung out in someone’s Stuy Town apartment, where I almost lived.

–Established the local bar of choice, “The Continental”, where Iggy Pop drank, and a place that offers 5 shots of any kind of good quality alcohol for 10 bucks. Not only that, but Yeungling is like 1.50 after 8 every night. It’s right on St. Mark’s and like next to the nearest subway, ha. Second place at the moment: Lilly Coogan’s, not for the booze but the fact that they have as many free hot dogs as you’d like if you buy a drink.

–Attended a “rooftop party” next door. Got rained on and ended up not going to see “Vampire Weekend” for free in Central Park. Drank free PBR in hipster Mecca Williamsburg. Had shots with 50 year old veterans of Iraq. Had a cappucino in Little Italy with 6 shots of different kinds of alcohol in it and where Sly Stallone, Danza, James Caan and other Italians hung out. Learned about graffiti in East Village. Smoked hookah on Houston St. and in Williamsburg. Walked from one end of Central Park to another, and through Morningside Park.

–Numerous job opportunities that didn’t quite pan out. But most were unpaid stuff that I didn’t necessarily want anyway.

–An internship offer that is unpaid at musicdish.com. Not a fan of the unpaid.

–Interviews at a2im.org, a union of independent music labels, Nielsen Media, and Flatiron Media, an online advertising firm. I hope to god I get the a2im gig. More on that later, hopefully.

–A trip home to see nearly everyone in my entire family. A trip to White Castle, Caribou coffee and the “Nickelodeon Adventure Park” or whatever it is now at the Mall of America, and a ride out on the lake also ensued.

–Nice new speakers, iPod, and random shit for the house. Also established that I’m next to a discount liquor store that cares more about me stealing shit than carding me, and a 24 hour grocery store. The latest I think I’ve been in there so far is 3 amish, so I gotta improve upon that at some point.

–Given Pep a blister and then saving his life to make up for it.

–Heard a woman yell the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard at a driver. She yelled, “I hope you die and get your head chopped off” or something along those lines. Completely serious.

Ah June. What will July bring?