Added responsibilities, added traveling, and added things

November 18, 2008

So the past few weeks have been fairly low key, yet in another sense not so much. I guess what I mean here is that I’ve kind of become a bit more set in my ways and less crazy about certain things. This might partially be because I’m no longer telecommuting so much, and I want to continue to do well at work. It was perhaps a huge relief to finally see my first paycheck, and also going hand in hand with that is my first real business card. Exciting stuff…I now also have a key to the office, and am learning a few other aspects of the business/job that I wasn’t responsible for before. But overall, things are going well, I think.

Spin’s been good. Just doing some simple stuff here and there for the marketing dept. Can’t complain. I’m in and out of there fairly quickly too, it’s like 10-11:45 twice a week.

Pep and I have been hanging out quite a lot, sort of doing a bit of exploring here and there and also settling on a couple of cool hangout spots. The best place we’ve found is this jazz club in the village called the “Fat Cat”. They have pool, ping pong, chess, scrabble, wireless internet, couches, jazz, and an assortment of good beer, and its like right next to the subway. You can feel the subway underground too, which is kind of funny.

Halloween was the shit. Saw the fantastic parade, got basically stuck in wall to wall of people crossing the street, had a low key rooftop party, and had some wacky adventures that led to a) white castle b) going to a mcdonald’s at 4 amish amongst the homeless people and much more that I’m going to have to leave out.

Philly seeing sis was nice. It’s so close, and I enjoyed the brief visit. Going to do that again soon. Was in Boston last weekend, where I a) saw some of Jamaica Plain (ha ha, yes really) b) toured the Sam Adams Brewery c) went to the North End and saw some crazyness d) saw some good friends of old in Cambridge.

So everything’s mostly good. I do have a few things on my mind probably like everyone else about the future. Going home for thanksgiving, which will be a good time. Also, trying to plan ahead for the next couple of months. I’ve got tickets to Atlantic City on dec. 24 and 25th roundtrip for a buck. I’m thinking I might actually go.

Also, if anyone who reads this wants to travel to Boston, NYC, DC, Atlantic City, or Philly for 4 bucks, let me know.

Really hard to condense so much these days.

Kind of ridiculous month

October 27, 2008

This month has been pretty ridiculous. It has included:

-SEVEN days (and counting) of telecommuting to work from home/ anywhere/ coffee shops. I have to say, I love the freedom, and the fact that I can really work on my own time. My bosses and I communicate mainly via AIM. Yeah, it can be a bit weird not having human contact while working, but the pros far outweigh the cons I think. And actually being employed full-time makes things even better.

-SPIN has been pretty chill. Only there like 4 hours a week, but its still cool to be a part of. Doing simple Excel stuff mainly…

-CMJ was this past week. It’s basically a bunch of free concerts around the city, many with open bars / giveaways, massive amounts of hipsters. Can get kind of intense. Ran into a former WBRS dj. Some of the bands were terrible though. Some comedically had their few groupies in front and noone else even listening. But as I said to my friend, “It’s not about the band, it’s about the scene.” Which I think would make a really good album title for some hardcore emo band. Skipped out on a few shows for my second NYC rooftop party, which was superb.

-The Halloween festival is this weekend. 2 million odd people turn out for this thing in Greenwich Village. All mayhem breaks loose, or so I hear.

-Saw sister out in Philly. She lives on South st., one of the coolest areas of Philly. I have to say, I like being there. It is a great city, and wouldn’t mind moving there someday (they call it the 5th borough since its so close to NYC). Back to boston for 7.50 again in two weeks.

Ah yes, gObama and go Rays.

Posted NOW!

October 10, 2008

The last post I put on another blog, and forgot to throw up on here, just for those of you who read this one exclusively. So here’s what’s new since that last post….

this one is just about my new love for records:

Yaay, I have a record player. I’ve got like 5 albums, which include:

Ramones, s/t: maybe the definitive punk album of all time, and c’mon. It was practically created here (east village, new york, where Joey Ramone, CBGB’s, etc was…)

The Stone Roses UK, s/t: one of my favorites of all time. My boss at Flatiron and i love them. this is especially a great album on vinyl. though it doesn’t include one song that was a huge hit on the US version. i got the original non- US version I guess. or maybe its vice versa? either way, these guys are the godfather of all britpop…

The Prodigy- Experience: i wanted to change things up a bit and get some dance music. this is one of the best of its kind. theres reggae dub, dancie stuff, relaxed stuff.. yes, they sang smack my bitch up. but this album is their first, and perhaps best overall.

the pixies, both “surfer rosa” and “doolittle”: two separate purchases. but a great band, and both historic albums worth owning on vinyl.

the strokes- is this it: one of those albums that helped get me into music back in 01-02. it is almost more sentimental than anything else. plus its a great, rocking, indie rock album totally done new york style.

my bloody valentine- loveless: ridiculously great album to crank up loud and hear the complete sound on vinyl. this is perhaps the pinnacle of calculated noise. shoegazing. soo good.

arctic monkeys- whatever people say i am…: another big sentimental. these guys are awesome, and this is my favorite album since 03. its fast, clever, and amazing.

Posted a week or so ago

October 10, 2008

So the past month has sort of been this “wtf is going to happen” ordeal. More in a good way than in a bad way. I’ve been working fairly hard at both Flatiron Media and Insound, and it has been overall a great experience. I was getting a stipend at Flatiron, and “store credit” at Insound, meaning they pay me in vinyl or whatever I decide on getting. To generalize, I’ve met some really interesting people to say the least. So something had to give.

And luckily, the guys at Flatiron liked me enough to ask me to stay on full-time. This is great prep for a future in the online world, especially in the entertainment industry, and I’m basically learning about some really important things on the job, and getting a good sense for how online business works. And they say that I will start reaping these benefits once I’m aboard FT starting October 1. They are actually doing better in a recession (sad, but true), so luckily I will have some nice job security.

Perhaps the icing on the cake is the ability to do something I have always dreamed of, work at a big time music magazine. I’m talking about Spin Magazine, number 2 in the country, second only to Rolling Stone. I applied there for the online marketing internship the day before the deadline just for the hell of it and sure enough they emailed me back. This caused a minor problem with my bosses over at Flatiron who wanted me completely FT, but we worked it out. I start next Wednesday, and am only working like 5-10 hours a week there. But hell, I’ll take anything at this point. It’s Spin f’ing mag. All those hours in the BMC have paid off I guess. Seriously, a dream come true. So I’m quitting Insound to do Spin. Exciting.

Finally, I’m really considering how school is going to fit into all of this. There are a few options, though Music Business or a Media Studies type thing at NYU Steinhardt seems really ideal at this point. Not sure when I’ll consider going back, but it might be sooner rather than later. I am quite prepared to be working around the clock with both school and night classes/ homework. After all, this is the city that never sleeps.. I hope getting into Spin put me over the edge…

My social life kinda sucks. But things are slowly picking up. And I’ve done quite a bit of travelling in these last few months. Went to Chicago, DC, Boston, and going to Philly in the near future. Anyone ever been to Atlantic City? I’m thinking of going…

Ah, yes. And this presidential election. I’ve been following quite closely. Gov. Palin reminds me of my hometown, and my boss and I have fun talking trash to our token Republican co-worker on a regular basis.

And seriously, folks. This is the best time of year in some ways. The Office is back. Football is going strong, and the baseball playoffs start. Oh yeah, I hear Halloween is ridiculous here (Greenwich Village to be precise). I’ve noticed I watch a lot more TV now and read a lot more news. Is that normal for post-grads?

That’s it for a good while…..

Awesomeness

September 18, 2008

The past couple of weeks have been ridiculously awesome. These things have happened as follows:

  • First and most wonderful, I got an internship at Spin Magazine in online marketing. Spin Magazine. That’s the number 2 music magazine in the country with about a half million copies in circulation monthly, second only to Rolling Stone, I believe. I have been working for this kind of an opportunity for years. It is kind of a dream come true, and is an accumulation of all of the skills I’ve attained over the years. It’s part dot com marketing, part journalism, part music, part publicity. And they were very casual about it. I guess that’s just the way people do business around here. I should be starting there next week working about 10 hours per week. They gave me an advance copy of this month’s issue, which is also kind of cool. Yeehaw…
  • Heading up to Boston over the weekend. Going to a Harvard football night game, the only one of the year, and doing a bit of tailgating. Also seeing my dad who is staying near South Station/ Bank of America Pavilion in South Boston. Might see some Brandeis peeps.
  • Bloc Party concert for free tonight at Roseland Ballroom.
  • Getting to be crunch time for my internship at Flatiron Media. I’m getting more responsibility and just overall am working in different areas. Particularly interesting is dealing with media statistics, Comscore. They use this 50k per yer subscription service that chronicles like exactly who is viewing a website. It tells you what kind of cars people buy, how many kids they have, and so forth. Very interesting stuff.
  • Had a good friend come to visit. Went to Williamsburg, Kooks concert, Brooklyn Brewery, and simply just walked around.
  • Flew out to Chicago for cousin’s wedding. It is a nice city, I must say. Visited Wicker Park, the hipster mecca there, went on an architecture cruise, drank with cousins, and ate some ridiculously awesome steak.

So yeah. All in all its been good. The next few weeks could be even more interesting….

Thinking about the future

September 15, 2008

So tonight I have been sort of thinking about the next couple of years and where they might lead me. I guess I’ve considered going to Business school for a while now, to get an MBA. Of course, NYU Stern is right around the corner. But looking at some of the requirements, it kind of seems like I’d be taking a few less than desirable courses. We’re talking stats, finance, yadda yadda, which isn’t really that surprising for business school. I’m sure I could get thru this kind of stuff, but really, do I want to? So maybe I’m better off just going for the good old MA.

So that led me into looking into a few other options, and I have to say, The New School, looks freakin’ amazing. That is very close to NYU anyway, and has sort of an interesting history. A fairly amazing list of faculty too… No GMAT for this. I can get an MA in Media Studies, pretty much what I’m interested in. I think I will attend an info session at some point regarding this. Of course, I might not get in. But I think this could be a better path for me, and I’m glad to sort of realize this truth.

More on this to come, I’m sure.

A months worth of updates

September 2, 2008

So its been a while since my last update. Pretty much haven’t posted since I’ve started my new job. So here goes, a brief overview of the crazysexycool month of August:

-Started working at Flatiron Media full-time 3 days a week, and half-days on Tuesdays and Fridays. Basically, I’m doing a lot of different things, most dealing with the marketing side of the company. This entails a bit of excel spreadsheetage, emailing various companies back and forth in coordinating things, editing stuff on the new website they have launched, and trying to get the website out there. While it is certainly not the most glamorous job, which I didn’t expect it to be, it is an overall very positive experience. The bosses are very friendly, they have bought me lunch, drinks, and let me telecommute on various occasions, and are overall quite good people to work for. Telecommute, for those of you who do not know, basically means I can work from home, or wherever I would like, having a wealth of options here in NY, this is a nice added bonus usually once or twice a week. The office is in a very convenient location, and there are some nice places to eat in the area. I am a sucker for the Halal chicken and lamb platters. They are so cheap, and tasty! As for my status as a full-time employee following the end of this internship, I am not sure what will happen. But overall I can’t complain at all about the last several weeks.

-Also have continued working at Insound, which I chronicled briefly in my last post. It reminds me of the library I once worked at. They have a quirky mix of employees, while the overall atmosphere is usually pretty low key. It is more like volunteering to me really. The vinyl records market is doing very well as of late, and the company was featured in the NY Times the other day as a part of this trend, which I thought was cool. I’m saving up my accumulated store credit to get myself a free turntable.

– Other new stuff… I joined a gym 2 blocks away from here. They had a random one day a year deal where you get like 6 months free or something for signing up, so I figured what the hey, I should do this before the NYU kids come and winter sets in. Speaking of NYU kids, they are completely invading everything. I’m kind of assumed to be an NYU person from what I can tell, but it is doubly weird to be out yet still so close to all of the “action”.

-I visited DC, and it was a good experience. Stayed at a few friends’ houses in the city and in Northern Virginia, and went to perhaps one of the best festivals I’ve ever been to. Not only that, but I had a sketchy experience coming back from Baltimore, which I will chronicle in another upcoming post. Overall, I was a tourist that day and it was very nice to see all of these sites again. It is definitely a nice place, though it lacks something that New York has, though I’m not 100 percent sure what. Maybe it is simply too clean and not funky enough for me.

-Of course, job security has led me to the ability to sort of settle in to a little routine, so I’ve been exploring new paths and hanging out in new places each day after work to keep things interesting. I found this great coffee shop over in West Village, a hole in the wall bar that a family friend took me years ago, several secret bars inside of restaurants, a cool pier overlooking downtown and parts of Jersey, and a couple of cool movie theatres….I’ve been adding all of these new places to my Yelp account, and it is always an adventure to keep trying more and more.

-Couple people visited, and a couple more are on the way. Culturally, its been an amazing month. I’ve watched the olympics, the DNC, followed the VP hoopla / election religiously via Liberal blogs, and seen several new movies and rocked out to some awesome new music. All kinds of stuff leaked this past month, ranging from Of montreal, bloc party, fujiya and miyagi, damon albarns latest crazy side project, the walkmen, primal scream, the verve, along with my getting into some older stuff hardcore. i’m also more interested in NYC local news than ever.

-Planning a trip up to Boston in the near future, for a grand total of 7.50 roundtrip. Would like to explore more great cities over the next several months like Montreal, Toronto, and get back to Philadelphia to see the sister. Also want to at least go to Atlantic City for a daytrip and see how sketchy it really is. Going to Chicago for a wedding at the end of this week as well….And of course, once I run out of real estate in Manhattan to explore, Brooklyn is next. I live so close, yet I haven’t been there that often.

-yes, finally, it is weird to not be back at Brandeis. School has in fact started. But I am pretty content with where I am right now. They opened up a Quizno’s at Deis and moved the convenience store, and The Hoot published its first issue completely without me. But similar to the way things worked in HS, I was kind of ready/ prepared to go. Those daily jaunts out to Boston helped prepare me for the kind of urban independence I needed and yearned for out here in New York. Granted, it is nice to know a few people, and I am slowly meeting a few, and that is what I will miss most about Bdeis. But to say I miss Grad, Waltham, or Cappy’s would be a total joke.

The real world

August 6, 2008

well, tomorrow is an important day. i start working for the start of my true professional career at flatiron media. i wonder how long i will work here, and what it’ll be like. i think it was probably a good decision though to accept this thing.

today was also decent overall, as i started volunteering/ interning or whatever you want to call it at Insound. They are basically paying me in vinyl, haha. They give store credit, so I’m probably going to use that to buy a record player in a while, and then get some classic records. i basically met people and just packaged stuff. nothing too exciting, but they hire almost exclusively internally and im in it for the long run, i guess. they have a very international clientele, and i joked about using my college education to become an expert with packing tape. as it stands, it’ll be good thing that could lead to a job there, plus its just cool to be around that kind of stuff and the people involved in it.

some other cool stuff. If any of you like sports or want to get all kinds of cable channels and have a PC / Parallels, I found this thing called TVAnts and Sopcast, which are video streamers that allow you to watch practically any MLB / sports event online if you go to the right place. you just have to find the right link in the popular forum http://www.myp2pforum.eu/. its really fairly easy. So I’m able to watch my Twins during their penant stretch, which is pretty awesome. and sometimes i even get the hometown broadcasters. i have a feeling this thing is going to be amazing come football season. Also got a cable to watch stuff from my computer on my flatscreen tv. nicee…

i am going to dc over the weekend to the virgin mobile fest. bob dylan, stone temple pilots, nine inch nails, iggy pop, moby, kanye west, the go team, black keys, and andrew bird for a reasonable price. should see a few comrades in dc too as well as your generic touristy spots.

cool, well things are about to get busy i think….

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.