Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Honored to be a Guest (Blogger)

I recently wrote a guest blog post for Polish My Crown, a wonderfully inspiring blog that is run by Andi Teggart. Andi is one of the most cheerful, optimistic and incredible people I have ever met. I have always looked up to Andi because she is a PR goddess who emanates confidence and motivates all around her to live with passion, positivity and joy.

I feel compelled to thank Andi for giving me the opportunity to write a guest post for her blog. It is truly an honor to see my words amongst the other beautiful and encouraging writings on Polish My Crown. My post is called "Be anything but normal." It focuses on the importance of leading an exceptional and unique life, rather than a life characterized by normalcy.

"You have the power to be anything you want to be . . . Be anything but normal."

Read the entire post here:

And after you have read that, read everything else on Andi's amazing blog. I guarantee you will leave feeling empowered and elated.

As Andi would say, "Go polish your crowns -- You are all queens."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The New Yorker

I feel compelled to share details from my first trip to New York City. The Concrete Jungle is a wilderness I have always wanted to explore, and I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to do just that a couple of weeks ago.

How it all started:
This summer, I am interning for Intern Queen Inc., a company that works to help individuals land the internships of their dreams by connecting students and employers all around the world. Ironic as it is, I am the Intern Queen's intern (the "Intern Princess," if you will). One of the amazing projects I got to help with this summer was planning and coordinating the very first Intern Queen Party. The Intern Queen Party was an event designed to celebrate the end of summer internship season and to allow students and professionals to meet and network. The event, if you couldn't guess, took place in New York City. After much debate, I decided to take a hiatus from Athens, Ohio to travel to NYC and help with the big party. (Who am I kidding? I was DYING to go and would have walked there if it came down to it.)

En route:
My flights were safe, short and mostly on time. On my journey, I met football players from New Orleans, a funeral home owner from New York, a frat boy from Chicago University and two moms who chatted way too much about their daughters' allergies and flat feet. Overall, it was a pretty typical air travel adventure. By the way, does anyone else enjoy the sport of airport people watching as much as I do?

The hotel:
I stayed in the Gershwin Hotel, an adorable boutique hotel near Madison and Fifth. I would describe the hotel as funky, modern and fun.

Even the hallways were picture-worthy

I enjoyed pretending like this hotel room was my personal city apartment. I wonder if it misses me as much as I miss it.

Modern wall art 
More modern wall art
A bed fit for a king -- or an Intern Princess

Before the party:
I landed in NYC with only a few hours to spare before the Intern Queen Party. And in those few hours, I had a meeting to attend on Broadway Ave. I quickly settled my things in the hotel room and headed out to take on the Big City. I walked leisurely at first, admiring every tourist trap along the way. Then, I realized I only had 15 minutes to make it to the meeting, and I began to bolt down Broadway. I did not realize that streets in this city stretch for miles. In retrospect, I probably should have taken a taxi. But the bright side is that walking at an alarmingly fast pace was good exercise, and it allowed me to act like a hasty New Yorker -- something I have always wanted to be. I arrived at the meeting headquarters just in time and was united there with Mike and Sarah, two other Intern Queen summer interns. This was our first in-person meeting. I know what you are thinking, "How is that possible?" Well, we are all virtual interns; we work from our separate locations and communicate via Skype, phone and email. Finally seeing them in real life, as opposed to on the computer screen, was wonderful. We are a proud little Intern Queen family. A little later, I was able to meet my boss, Lauren Berger a.k.a THE Intern Queen -- The family reunion was complete. After the meeting, Mike, Sarah and I made our way straight to the party venue.

The party:
The party took place at the 404 Restaurant on 10th Ave. @ 33rd St.

I helped with set-up for only a short while before guests began to arrive hours before the start time. (What happened to fashionably late, people?) The party was complete with a red carpet; a DJ; a signature "Intern Queen-tini" drink; and a "rockstar" panel of internship coordinators from some seriously impressive companies like Us Weekly, CBS, Marvel, McGraw-Hill, College Humor, Oscar de la Renta, Teen Vogue, and BWR PR.

On the red carpet with Lauren 

The guests rolled in . . . and rolled in  . . . and then kept rolling in.

Enjoying the party with Catherine
The Intern Queen & her interns
The "rockstar" panel

We estimated that around 850 people attended the party. Not bad, considering we originally thought we would hit a max of 200 guests. At the party, attendees networked, danced and simply enjoyed themselves. For ambitious college students, this was the party of the century.

Madison Square Park & Fifth Avenue:
The day after the party, I checked out of my hotel and took on the city once more. I first enjoyed the scenic setting of Madison Square Park.

I envision myself enjoying many sunny afternoons in this very location when I live in NYC on a more permanent basis.

Next, I headed to Fifth Avenue. I strutted the shopping haven like a true New Yorker and channeled Julia Robert's character in Pretty Woman as I acted like I belonged in every high class shop along the way. I spent a good portion of my time in H&M and Urban Outfitters, the stores that best fit my style (and budget).

kate spade new york

Later, I enjoyed some delicious frozen yogurt from Red Mango as I stared out at the glorious Manhattan scenery.

It was a perfect day.

That evening:
That evening, I met up with my friend Catherine at Hearst Towers. Catherine attends Ohio University with me and is interning for Marie Claire this summer. She is a major inspiration and a huge role model. From the towers, we lugged my luggage through the subway (not very fun) and made our way to her summer dorm on NYU's campus. After we got rid of my baggage (literally, not figuratively), we met up with our friend and former classmate, Grace, for dinner at a cute Mediterranean (and vegetarian-friendly) restaurant called Bite. It was delicious, absolutely delicious. Later, we headed to Sweet Revenge, a cupcake eatery and wine & beer drinkery in Greenwich Village. There, we met with a few other interns from the city and enjoyed some tasty desserts. It was the sweetest revenge I have ever had.

My "Pure" cupcake
Enjoying our sweet, Sweet Revenge

Next, we spent more than a few miserable minutes trying to hail a cab in the pouring rain. Once a driver finally took mercy on us and stopped, we headed back to Catherine's dorm for a few hours of shuteye.

They say the city never sleeps, but this girl was exhausted.

The morning after:
Catherine and I awoke the next morning and were out of the dorms by 7 a.m. We made our way to SoHo, where Williamson PR, Catherine's other internship office (yes, the girl has TWO internships this summer), is located. Before Catherine headed to work, we grabbed some breakfast and, of course, some much needed coffee. We debated for hours (OK, minutes) over from which of two places we would get our morning meals. Finally, we made a decision -- and then found out that the restaurant we had chosen did not open for several hours. So, we walked instead to convenient Cafe Duke, where we ate and chatted as our coffees slowly turned us into functioning, pleasant humans.

I spent the rest of the day admiring and shopping in SoHo. I could have spent seventeen days exploring that area.

Needless to say, my last few hours in New York City sped by a little too quickly. At around 3 p.m., it was time for me to depart from the city. Reluctantly, I said my goodbyes and grabbed a cab back to the airport.

That, in a nutshell, is my first (and not last) trip to NYC.

Now, I can officially say it: I love New York!
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