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When Tara Met Blog
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Strike a pose
there's nothing to it? Um I think not.

Last week I played "model" for a NYCPortraits Project that budding photographer Jenny Yee is doing. To build out her enviromental landscape portraits portfolio she reached out to me and several other people & couples to capture them in a NY envrioment that is important to them and/or to showcase their personality. I thought why not and figured I could also use the final photos for my writing bios and for all the conferences that I speak at. I was joking about the latter.

For my enviromental portraits I chose Chelsea Market--one of my favorite places in the City. It's near where I live and a spot that I love to visit, eat at and people watch. When I'm there I feel like I'm not really in the city. I'm always relaxed and at ease there too. It's also the home of The Food Network, NY1, and the Oxygen channel, plus the original Nabisco factory where the first Oreo cookie was made. Inside you can, see bakeries like Amy's Bread baking their breads behind clear window displays; sample awesome brownies from Fat Witch bakery; taste wine at Chealse Wines and pick up fruit, flowers, italian spices, kitchen supplies, jams and even fresh seafood. I especially enjoy the market's industrial artistic look of exposed pipes, brick and steel mixed with yummy food smells. Given my background in journalism I'll often read the paper inside on one of their stone benches or where ever I can find an available spot. I also like introducing the market and area to outsiders too, thus where I went for my photo shoot with Jenny.

Unfortuantely the weather was terrible, massive amounts of rain was coming down making for poor lighting, a bad hair day and wet clothes, plus creating the need to have to protect her camera while outside. On the upside, most of the photos she took were indoors and I got to show off my bright umbrella.

I posed, or tried to, for an hour and a half. It's so much harder smiling for a camera when you're not with friends or doing something in particular, plus even more so when a camera is being pointed right at you in close proximity.

Here is the final photo gallery that she put together. She really did a great job with the lighting that was available and keeping the photos itimiate. Keep in mind that she was working with such a difficult subject ;)

New DVD Review: Something New

Posted by Tara at 6:43 AM PDT
Updated: Thursday, June 15, 2006 12:20 PM PDT
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Take Pride
Here's a plug for my artist cousin Ryan who is working on a project with some other high-end NYC designers to create a series of meaningful t-shirts that support a good cause.

Each tee design was inspired by the experiences of an individual American who is serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. So they're also a symbol of support. Plus 20 percent of the profits are donated to charitable causes that assist veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Political? Not its intent. They were designed to give people, especially younger and more fashion-conscious Americans a new way to show that they recognize and appreciate the efforts of Americans serving in combat. He personally designed the shirts "The 2nd of February" and "One Land, Two Missions."

Go check them out at

Posted by Tara at 6:34 AM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 14, 2006 5:55 PM PDT
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
The Lone Star State
The wedding last weekend in El Paso--the sun city--was a good time and most importantly provided me with the chance to sample some real Tex-Mex at KiKi's (Hispanic Magazine named it one of the nation's 50 Best Hispanic Restaurants) as well as riding on the back of a motorcycle while visiting the state of Texas for the first time. The heat (hitting 101 degrees on the last day) provided a great escape from the constant rain and unseasonably cold weather we've been having in New York and the desert mountains were majestic. I experienced some of the local night life too and had a great workout while dancing to Techno and House music at OP for a couple of hours after pre-dancing at the wedding reception earlier.

We also hit up chains like Chicos Tacos, which one reviewer wrote "If you go to El Paso without eating at Chico's Tacos at least once, I fear you will have missed the point of your visit entirely" and Whataburger. I can now see why Texas is considered one of the most overweight states in the nation, there are just way too many good food chains across the huge state.

We ended our trip by doing a quick jaunt across the border to Juarez, which was a lot nicer than my previous Mexican border experiences of Tijuana, where there was more poverty. I also drank too much there due to their 3 for 1 drink specials and was almost denied entrance back to San Diego (long, fun story for another post). Anywho, it was an interesting time to be in Mexico since the World Cup was going on and many cars sported shaving cream messages saying "#1 Mexico" on their back windows, plus lots of enthusiastic people were waving their countries' flag.

As for Texas being a red state and me being from a blue state, I actually didn't notice much difference, although it's not like I talked politics with anyone. In general I saw just as many Support the Troops car ribbon magnets here and there, but noticed the lack of rainbow bumper stickers and flags. Yet the number of Texas state flags flying were uncountable and literally everywhere, even tacked on restaurant walls. In contrast, I can't say I've ever seen a NY State flag outside of a court house or some state run facility. I guess we rely more upon our I Heart NY shirts and Yankees hats for state pride instead. Oh and I did spot a Budweiser truck in camouflage colors, which I have never seen here, but then again we don't have a military fort in Manhattan like Ft. Bliss.

Moving to the hot political topic of border control, I saw the fence that ran along the Rio Grande with the occasional Police car or truck patrolling by along the great stretches--no national guard or wall...yet at least.

Posted by Tara at 7:01 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 13, 2006 7:09 PM PDT
Thursday, June 8, 2006
Office Space
Here's a view of the quirky stuff that I have on my desk at work.

I'm a firm believer in having fun oddities on your work desk, gets the creative juices flowing. When ever one of my friends gets a new job or office I always give them something to put on their desk like a mini 8-Ball, Rubik's cube, bendable Gumby figure, strawberry stress ball and even a shoe fund ceramic pot, which I hear is collecting quite a bit of money by the way.

So what's on your desk? Besides paper work and a computer that is.

My latest DVD and film reviews: Cheaper by the Dozen 2, The Break-Up.

This weekend: I'll be in Texas for the first time ever. I'm heading to a wedding in El Paso and we may head over to Mexico too!

Posted by Tara at 7:53 AM PDT
Monday, June 5, 2006
Two Bachelorette Parties and a Gay Club
Nope the post title is not a setup for a corny joke but my recent weekend. My friend from high school, Anjali is getting married in July with a traditional Indian wedding. I love telling this part, guess how many people are going? Come on guess...700 people! That is just 75 people more than our very large graduating class.

Anyway, her cousins and friends came into the city this Saturday for her bachelorette party. We had champagne at her hotel and applied beads, removable kiss mark tattoos and presented her with gag gifts and then headed out to dinner. As we crammed into the small hotel elevator with an unsuspecting and may I add very lucky dude, we so sweetly asked him to take our picture, which came out pretty good. How he managed to get us all in it is beyond me. Well, a few girls were down in the lobby otherwise I doubt it would have been done. After some great pasta and more champagne drinking from erotic paper cups we then headed to Beauty Bar, which is a bar that looks like a very dark beauty parlor and of course along with drinking we hammed it up under the dryer seats that are in the bar. I especially love the photo since it reminds me of a Gail Goodwin photo that I like. Oh and we impulsively bought tees with the bar's logo on them. They are very cute.

Another friend, Divina (in red below), was in from CT to go to Anjali's bachelorette too and for a sorority sister's bachelorette party as well. So the two of us then headed to her friend's gathering at Prey and roped in my friends Ryan and Mike to join as well. After we blew that pop stand we went in search of some music, checked out Aspen, where we enjoyed the ski lodge like atmosphere but hated the Mojitos and sadly left them still half full or yes, half empty.

Finally we ended up at the very large club The Roxy, which my mother remembers as a roller rink--and it still is one but only on certain days apparently. The Roxy is also a gay night club which left three out of four of us out of the loop. However, the music was indeed much better as was the eye candy. Divina two shots later, made herself right at home talking away to the exotic dancers and even met a new friend in the bathroom. (Eddy you didn't read it here!) It was all good fun. She even was able to dazzle the DJ, who had a sign that clearly read NO REQUESTS, to play the new Mary J Blige song that we kept trying to hear. Around 3 a.m. Divina and I stumbled back to my apartment and I somehow made it up my ladder to bed.

Here's some of the evidence...the stuff I'll share that is:

Posted by Tara at 8:55 AM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 7, 2006 5:53 PM PDT

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