Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes

14 10 2010

A year and a half ago, I started working at Hearst Digital Media as editor of the holiday gift guides. Summer 2009 was Christmastime all the time, as I raced from event to event researching gifts for the likes of Esquire, The Daily Green, and Cosmopolitan, then writing and editing them for Marie Claire, Redbook, and Good Housekeeping. Our gifts ranged from fancy baubles to “get you laid” to trinkets your teenage relative, and other “difficult people,” will actually love. There were 60-plus guides and hundreds of gifts, making this an exhilarating (and exhausting) adventure — and getting them all done on time was a proud accomplishment.

Since then I’ve continued to work cross-network at Hearst, helping to boost syndication referral numbers, tracking site milestones, and much more. I’ve had a great experience, and I’ve learned so much, but now this chapter is coming to an end. My contract at HDM is up, tomorrow, and I’m feeling energized and excited about whatever may happen next.

Change is always scary, but it’s also exciting, and over the past week I’ve spanned the whole range of emotions. What’s amazed me, though, is the community I’ve got. This past week, wrapping up at Hearst, has been a whirlwind of coffees, emails, offers of support, help, encouragement. I’d call it networking, but in the sense that I usually imagine “networking” it’s something I always dread. This has been heartening, heartwarming, and, well fun.

And so, as I move forward to whatever is next, I say thank you: to friends, colleagues and family who have been so supportive, and to the design of this universe that has provided me with such an incredible (dare I say it?) network.

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New York Roots (and Travel Tips)

2 10 2010

A long, long time ago (at least it seems that way), when I first took the big leap and moved to the frightening and exhilarating city that is New York, I was lucky enough to find an internship at a friendly little travel website called EuroCheapo. With brothers Tom and Pete Meyers at the helm, EuroCheapo aims to make European (and New York, since that’s where they’re based) travel affordable by reviewing budget hotels that are actually comfortable.

I so loved going to the sunny office in Soho, and writing about travel, and laughing and joking and listening to great music with small but mighty EC crew, that I just kept going, and finally I was upgraded from intern to assistant editor. It was a sad day when I had to leave EuroCheapo, but now I’m making a triumphant return, not to the office, but to the blog!

I’ve just become the New York blogger for EuroCheapo, and I’ll be writing every other week about unique and affordable activities in New York City. It’s a fun turn of events that my first year of getting to know New York found me at EuroCheapo, and now I’m such a New York veteran that I can provide regular advice on what to see and do (and no Empire State Building here, folks!). Follow my New York tips and adventures here!





Lit Crawl Love

13 09 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010 could not have been a more beautiful evening, and it was made all the more beautiful thanks to the surge of literary love that took over the East Village (literally, in some cases). The 16-venue event was nothing short of magical, with a buzz of energy in each room and overflowing onto the streets.

As promised, The Paris Review brought “it” — and it brought the crowds (we estimated 150 folks crammed into Fontana’s). There was also a lovely 9/11 tribute compliments of some beloved denizens of the Lower East Side, but the highlight of the night may have been the street takeover that occurred when one venue wanted to charge our guests admission.

The hippie staff at Yippie Cafe had agreed to wave their usual cover for our free event, but on the night of new management changed their tune. But lit lovers are not to be thwarted. We stuck it to the “hippie” man and took our Urban Lives reading to the streets, literally. It was a wonderful and powerful sight to see 50-some lovers of literature on the sidewalk listening, rapt, to the readers who took their turn on a planter box stage on Bleecker Street. Only at Litquake.

Thanks to all who made it a memorable night, and stay tuned for details of next year, and a possible springtime foray.





Lit Crawl NYC

7 09 2010

It’s been madness over here, in the best of ways. The third annual Lit Crawl NYC will take place this Saturday, September 11, and I could not be more excited. We’ve got a great lineup, including (get ready to be amazed) The Paris Review, doing a sneak preview of their first issue with new editor Lorin Stein at the helm. It promises to be a stellar show, as does the return of the oh-so-fun BOMB-aoke and some battle of the sexes style trivia with Harper Perennial.

In short: mark your calendars folks. This is one night of literary mayhem that’s not to be missed. Also exciting (at least to the event’s humble co-founder/director) is our new “real” website, litcrawl.org and our official branding in line with Litquake. Who wouldn’t love the “See, Hear, Speak” monkeys?

Check out the full lineup!





Hiatus Announcement

30 03 2010

A quick alert that the stilettos are going on a bit of a break. They’ve actually been fitting in quite a few adventures, but between work and life and the adventures themselves, there is less and less time to write about them. Plus, and most importantly, I’m busy working on a new venture that has been a fledgling idea for far too long, and is a great next step. More on that to come (soon, I hope). A teaser that will make very little sense: we’re switching the focus from shoes to skirts…





Tales of a Gringa in Brazil

5 03 2010

I just finished reading up on the adventures of my dear friend Liz (of Argentina and alfajor fame) as she settles into her new home in Brazil. She is living for six months in the tiny town of Maravilha, population 20,000, where she will be teaching English (and has already become something of a celebrity). I would be lying if I said I wasn’t the slightest bit jealous, but I’m nonetheless thrilled for her, and can’t wait to read more about her adventures. Hopefully I too will appear on Gringa Tales one of these days, as I am going to do everything in my power to get down there and visit her.





Biblioburro!

1 03 2010

It’s surprising, really, how happy this makes me. It was passed along the Litquake chain, and it makes me want to visit Colombia. I’m amazed at the creativity and determination people can have, and the little ways they can make a difference. Because it’s already so beautifully stated, I will just quote the story. It comes from Ayoka, which, incidentally, is a pretty incredible organization in itself, a non-profit that’s tasked itself with giving voice to grassroots initiatives like the one that follows:

For the past ten years, Luis Soriano, a teacher in the small town of La Gloria, Colombia, has been following the same ritual. Every week-end, he gathers his donkey in front of his house, straps on the “Biblioburro” pouches to its back, and loads them with a selection of books from the eclectic collection he has acquired over the years. Off on his mobile library, he travels into the hills and through the fields to the villages beyond where children await his visits impatiently. He firmly believes that bringing books to people who don’t have access to them can improve the country and open up possibilities for the future generation of Colombia.

The video is a must see, and the full story tells that this has happened in other places worldwide. It makes me feel lucky, and incredibly inspired.