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When Tara Met Blog
Monday, April 17, 2006
Little Darlings
It's that time of year, end of quarter bonuses are being given out, sweet. I also got two new blog sponsors for my sidebar, and the poll that's being displayed (only for one week though). So what did I do with my new found wealth? Spent it of course. Well not all of it, I'm putting half into my ING Orange savings account to gain some interest like a good little girl. The rest went towards a dress and other clothing items. Let me explain.

Every day on my way to work I pass this cute little dress store called Darling, where a Marilyn Monroe like silk dress is on display. The owner, Ann French Emonts, a former costume designer for Broadway and off Broadway set up shop three years ago, the same time I moved near by. Fate? I think so ;) Yet, up until now I haven't bought anything there, just admired from afar.

The quaint boutique looks like Magnolia Bakery but instead of scrumptious cupcakes on display it's dresses and very girly tops and accessories. There's a Parisian / early 50s look to the overall setup.

I went in with every intention of buying the silk dress that runs for $235 in either red or gold but was captured by another halter like dress sill in gold by Bari Jay($165). Instead of silk it's lacy but has a silk sash that cuts just under the bust, straps tie behind the neck revealing my back. One of my freshman year roommates is getting married in July, so I can wear it then.

Ann the owner came downstairs to the dressing room ara to show me a little trick to zipping up the back of the dress by placing my hands on the sides of my ribcage in order to bend my posture into an easier position for sliding up the zipper. It worked. She says she's always showing people that trick.

The dressing rooms separated by cloth sheets comes equipped with high heels to use when trying on their dresses in order to see the complete look with a little extra height. If the Cinderella like shoes that I used were in my size I might have bought them too. Confession: I'm a pretty impulsive buyer, which is why I don't allow myself to go into stores like these unless I'm prepared to buy.

After paying for the dress I was then captured by a collection of custom jewelry old fashioned rings with bright fake gems. It looked like a Queen's treasure chest or going through a rich grandmother's jewelry collection. I wouldn't know about that though, but it did make me feel like I had one. I picked out a very glamorous antique looking red gem in a circle shape with diamonds along the circumference. All the fashion rings are $10. Mine's a little big but that's usually the case due to my smaller hands, but I'll just put it on my pointer finger and make due.

Last but unfortunately not least I made another impulse buy and bought a dainty umbrella, the long Singing in the Rain kind with a wooden handle and powerful bright purple and magenta colors that should be fun to carry in the rain some time. Cost $38. Finally buying something at Darling and feeling elated from my purchases? Priceless darling, priceless.

PS: I hope everyone had a lovely Easter and/or Passover. I spent the weekend in Connecticut spending time with my mom, Nanny and Stepdad's family.

News update: Phew! Molly the cat rescued from New York building after 14 days

Posted by Tara at 9:26 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 18, 2006 11:16 AM PDT
Friday, April 14, 2006
Cat's Delicatessen
For the last three days, only two blocks from where I live, I've been passing several news vans with their antennas extended up in the air on Hudson Street, plus police cars and an animal control van and a crowd of people. I had no idea what is was all for or what they were looking at since they appeared to be just standing in front of a deli and a cigar lounge. I thought maybe a robbery took place but then was confused by animal control being there and the press still being there the next day. Being busy and a sad excuse for a reporter as of late, I kept missing the nightly news. Today on my way to work, day 3, when I saw the commotion still going on, I finally did some digging.

Turns out at Meyers of Kenswick, this little deli that specializes in selling British goods and where I buy the occasional Cadbury bar, apparently has a 11-month old cat named Molly stuck behind the wall in their basement. I have no idea how Molly got there, but she has been trapped for 13 days now. Apparently they can hear her meowing but can not get to her. One animal control worker brought in his 3-week-old kitten in a fruitless attempt to lure Molly from the wall. Poor Molly she must be scared due to all the commotion.

Besides news vans and the media, Molly has been attracting a wall of on lookers, which is why I couldn't see what they were all looking at to begin with. I had originally asked someone in the crowd but he had no idea either, yet he still looked on as if he did. The story has been picked up in the Chicago Tribune and in many papers outside of the New York too.

Trapped Cat Enters Day 13 of Captivity

From Faint Meows, a Frenzy Grows

Posted by Tara at 7:27 AM PDT
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Pitching lifestyle magazines and Marie Claire denial
I attended a Bulldog Reporter Media Relations 2006 class called "How to get featured in leading lifestyle magazines" on Tuesday afternoon. Held at the Marriott Marquee in Times Square the Q&A panel with lifestyle editors from Shape, Fitness, Essence and Marie Claire were on hand to provide insight. I was hoping the class would be useful for getting my two new female orientated and consumer driven clients covered by major lifestyle publications. Unfortunately it was unhelpful.

It wasn't that the editors weren't trying to be helpful to us "PR flacks" but I didn't learn anything that I didn't already know from pitching my own stories to editors during graduate school. They also didn't have a grasp on what public relations really is and what we do. The rest of their advice was common sense too since each editor said that PR people should check their outdated, unimaginative and unhelpful editorial calendars online and that we should pitch something "new"--no shit. Something "new," hmm why did I not think a reporter would want to cover something new before?

The panel did highlight that they are more likely to respond to pitches that are specific and that they are not interested in general briefings but rather are interested in hearing something in particular--something new. Plus they recommended using clear subject lines in emails and not jokes or "cute" or vague titles like "Not an average press release."

The editors also mentioned that they are more responsive to freshly presented information in new ways. Thus sending nicknack's or a sample of your actual product can help keep you at the top of their minds since they will see the items in their office. However, that doesn't help for my clients who have websites and not a physical product outside of their sites. Unless we whip up some chatski with their URL on it. Such bribery, *sigh*. It does work though, I fell for it often enough when I was assigning/covering stories.

A helpful but another obvious tip that they recommended is to think seasonally and about the trends that occur during the months, IE they typically cover weight loss in June and July since it's swim suit time as well as in January after the holiday feasting. However, although it's only April now most of them are already thinking about their Fall issues and back to school. Thus, planning ahead for long leads is important.

Away from pitching, Marie Claire's Senior Editor Julia Savacool, who was on the panel, kept telling the audience that her publication's readers are activists and that she's only interested in receiving information regarding "hard-hitting" global, social issues important to women, non profit organizations, diseases in Africa and so on. Activists? I was soo tempted to raise my hand and say, "I'm sorry but are we reading the same magazine?" I didn't want to be rude though. I'm holding May's issue of Marie Claire right now, which is dubbed "The Hair Issue" and highlights (no pun intended) include "20 Best Cuts for Your Face Shape," "Your Best Body By Summer," "Celeb Gossip: Why You Need More! More! More!" and a bonus pull-out haircut guide. Hmm very hard hitting, trumps illegal immigration any day.

Don't get me wrong I'm a subscriber, you can't beat thier subscription offer of $1 an issue, but when I think Marie Claire I think of it as a pretty fashion/female magazine and turn to my copies of Newsweek, New York Magazine, Vanity Fair or even Redbook before MC for more hard hitting articles. I'm not saying it's Shop magazine, but when I think of female activists I do not picture them carrying around an issue of Marie Claire in their recyclable made back packs.

Posted by Tara at 10:04 AM PDT
Updated: Friday, April 14, 2006 4:19 PM PDT
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Yesterday night my friend Angela and her friend from Miami also named Tara (although she says it like Tare-a piece of paper) and I went to an advanced screening of Neverwas on the 5th day of the GenArt Film Festival. The sentimental drama is an independent film with a big picture cast and a polished artsy feel, evoking the very fairy tale imagery, which the story is centered around.

A psychiatrist, Zach Riley, played by Aaron Eckhart (Thank You for Smoking), leaves an academic career to work at an institution where his father (Nick Nolte), a novelist of a renowned children's book called Neverwas, lived during different periods of his life while suffering from manic depression. At the hospital Zach encounters a schizophrenic (Ian McKellen) named Gabriel, who believes he is a real character from Neverwas and that the story is real. Desiring to understand both the book and the man, Zach becomes obsessed with finding out more about how his father lived out his final years. With the help of this delusional patient and a childhood friend's (Brittany Murphy) obsession with the fairytale helps Zach to discover the stories' secrets and his own place in the fantasy world created by his father. As he digs deeper and becomes closer to Gabriel it causes him to reevaluate his own childhood and wonder, what if Neverwas really exists? William Hurt also stars as the hospital's head doctor and Jessica Lange plays Zach's widowed mother. You can read my full review on Film School Rejects.

Eckhart was supposed to be at the after party at Embassy but was delayed due to filming somewhere else in the city on another project. Cold Stone Creamery was there to give out cups of their ice cream and luckily the Birthday Remix was on hand, it's my fav, yum. The photo takers Joonbug were there as usual snapping photos, here are three photos they took of us, which are now on their site. When the guy was taking the photos we were right near the bar and it was so crowded that he was flashing in and around heads that were bobbing by, thus me laughing in one photo. Angela, in the middle, is my childhood friend who is now pursuing a modeling career. I'm her self proclaimed publicist so please contact me if you have work for her ;)

PS: I didn't win the lotto yesterday, surprise surprise right? Actually it's fitting since my dad never won much either.

Posted by Tara at 5:17 PM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 2, 2006 8:19 AM PDT
Sunday, April 9, 2006
My Philadelphia Story
I feel like my blog is fastly becoming a travel blog as of late, since now I'm gonna share some highlights from my recent impromptu trip to Philadelphia on Saturday and Sunday.

It's only a 2 hour trip from NYC by car and neither my traveling partner nor I had been to the city of brotherly love before. It was indeed a friendly city and perfect for a quick weekend adventure. Unfortunately the weather on Saturday didn't want to cooperate so we spent the day trying to keep dry at the National Constitution Center seeing the Benjamin Franklin: In Search of A Better World exhibit that's running until April 30th, which was really very interesting especially when the fire alarm went off and the whole place had to evacuate and go back out into the rain. The center included the first public printing of the Constitution in a Philly newspaper plus lots of actual Ben Franklin artifacts, manuscripts and portraits.

We stayed at The Latham Hotel in downtown near all the fancy shops, ate at the yummy and fashionable Continental (much like a larger Cafeteria that's in Manhattan) and drank mojitos and did some salsa and meringue out on the dance floor at Cuba Libre. They had two professional dancers dance first and during the applause a guy near me at the bar asked, "Do you dance?" Pointing to the impressive couple on the dance floor, I was like, "Not like that!" Although I haven't had any lessons, except the steps my friend's husband Eddy showed me one time, I think I managed to hold my own, well, either way it was fun as was the place.

The next day was much nicer and sunnier so we got to see more of the city outside the mall and hit all the tourist highlights. Saw the famous Liberty Bell (smaller than I thought it would be), ran up the Rocky steps, received palms at Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, saw the Delaware River and the LOVE sculpture, rode the metro and bus and of course ate a cheese steak from Pats (so yummy, cheesy, greasy--I'm still full).

Here I am thinking I'm a Rocky-ette and a photo of the museum steps:

Some personal conclusions on the city: small streets, friendly people, scary alleyways, lots of fountains--actually the city seems fountain obsessed really, quaint buildings, lots of history and "benergy," pretty quiet for a city, not too many people and there's a reason why they are called 'Philly' cheese steaks and it's well deserved.

On a sadder note, today would have been my Dad's 52nd birthday. In honor of his bday and lotto affection/addiction (he'd spend 20 bucks a day playing the numbers) I'm gonna play 410 today in NY's Lotto.

Posted by Tara at 9:01 PM PDT
Updated: Monday, April 10, 2006 1:34 PM PDT

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