Sunday, March 29, 2009

Garden Drive In Cleaners, Evergreen Park, IL.

I love photos like this....

Friday, March 28, 2008

Another Career Crossroad....

Originally uploaded by Kristian Hedberg
Right now, I am kind of feeling as if I am at a standstill in my career. I left a great job at AI, which I loved, but there were reasons that I am not at liberty to discuss, but I will say it was very tough to say goodbye. Very bittersweet indeed. Now, I've found out that my gut was right in the sense that there are many changes happening at the old office. The new job that I've taken, while the money is good, it doesn't offer me fulfillment - which is something that is very important to me. When I took this job, I was given a different picture of what was to be expected and am a little disappointed. I am not content to be an order filler - I am all about developing relationships with people and making them last. I guess that it took many years of not keeping in touch with people, that I realized how important it is to have a strong network of people whose relationships evolve over time. Realizing what is important to me is truly helping me map out my future.

Friday, February 22, 2008

the ridiculous jennie-o commercial

jennie-o turkey store
Originally uploaded by lizzy poo
So, I'm watching TV in the midst of a snowstorm and this ridiculous commercial appears. A woman is walking down the street window shopping for clothes and all she can think of is how the pattern of the dress can inspire her to make some crazy poultry creation. Come on! When I see a mannequin in a store window, I'm not thinking turkey - rather, I am thinking about how the dress always looks better on the mannequin than on a real human being.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Target New Years Eve in Times Square

Times Square 07 027
Originally uploaded by Rachel Dubler.
These days, it seems that everything is sponsored by someone. When baseball fields and arenas started to take on corporate identities in the 90s, it seemed really odd to me. It shouldn’t be so out of place in our capitalist culture, but something about it feels odd or lopsided.

Now, events and celebrations are named for their sponsor. This year, the Kentucky Derby was brought to you by Yum! Brands (hmmmm, KFC anyone?), and most recently, NYC’s New Year’s Eve celebration was dubbed “Target New Year’s Eve in Times Square.” The new year was unseasonably warm, but for the millions who watched the revelers in Times Square, all we saw was a sea of red. There were 3 times as much confetti as usual, with what they called “wordfetti” with different words of “inspiration” coming down every hour prior to the countdown.

Their objective was for the consumers to connect with the brand in a completely engaging way, using celebration to create excitement. This isn’t the first time that Target has used alt-media to engage consumers – last year, they were the sole advertiser of the New Yorker magazine for an issue – commissioning artists to fuse the ideas of New York and Target.

Is this our future? Well, think of it this way – the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has always been that way, so the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Betty & Veronica Get an Extreme Makeover

archie comics
Originally uploaded by black_coffee_blue_jeans.
I used to read, wait – devour Archie comics when I was a kid. I totally loved Betty and Veronica and I think I may still even have some of the books from the late 70s-early 80s. Anyway, I just read an article talking about a makeover of the characters and I couldn’t believe it! They want an older audience and they want to update the overall look, but the new Betty looks like an Olsen twin and the new Veronica looks like Lindsay Lohan!!! Sacrilidge! (take a look here:

The thing that really gets me the most upset is that these are iconic characters. Sure, you can look at Barbie and as much as the look and feel may have changed over the years, overall the characteristics have remained the same, classic look. Imagine other comic books losing their overall style – you can’t – I mean, what if Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Pigpen were redrawn for the 21st Century – you just can’t even fathom it, right?

I don’t think the problem of lacking sales has anything to do with the image – the original look and feel of B&V is purely 1940s – something that Gwen Stefani has capitalized on in real life – I think it is more on content and the writing. A bad writer can kill anything, and changing a cast, revamping a wardrobe can’t do much to salvage that. Teens want good content – and teenage girls don’t read comics like B&V anymore as they are too busy devouring Manga or reading series like “Gossip Girl.” The great thing about Archie was that it was an innocent look at teenage life, and it wasn’t trying so hard to be like everyone else.

you don't need to travel alone

Originally uploaded by Morghannn.
Using an online dating service is very standard these days – I don’t know anyone who hasn’t tried at least for one date or hasn’t completed eHarmony’s crazy assessment test (which is pretty clinical). Speed dating and friending has become a bit of a phenomena (which is a really strange concept to me), and now travel-based introduction services have started to pop up all over the place

Hitchsters is a site where you can split a cab to and from the airport here in NYC. It’s a good idea, but there are some kinks that need to be worked out. Whoever exits the taxi first is responsible for 60% of the fare (which is to ensure that the other person isn’t left with the tip) and there really is no guarantee. The matching part to the airport seems good – you are matched with someone coming from the same area and going to the same airport, but on the way back, you need to be lucky enough to be on the same exact flight as your ride, which means you really can’t rely on the service to get home.

AirTroductions is another start-up that matches people on the same flight as you for traveling companions – it is based on a social networking platform that users register for. Once on the site, you enter your itinerary and AirTroductions tells you how many members are on the same flight as you. You still pick your own seat, but you can look at profiles and contact other members before the flight. Once you are at the airport you can decide if you’d like to sit next to each other during the flight. People are using the service not just for a budding romance, but for business networking as well.

Tripmates is another travel social networking site that works by getting the honest opinions of locals and fellow travelers. This is a way for people to avoid relying on tour guides that can be unreliable – plus, what better way to explore a city than by people who live and breathe it? Oh, and if you can’t find a hotel, try which lets you crash in someone’s apartment while in the city of your choice.

People want to expand their world – they want to meet others that are outside of their own friends. With the web weaving us all together, the world is really not so big and we connect with people from all walks of life. Millennials are truly a generation that live and breathe in the Global Village, and want to absorb as much culture from others as they can.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Microsoft Crashing the Party

Short Stack 2.0
Originally uploaded by *nathan.
When I think of Microsoft, the first thing that comes to mind is how much of a pain in the ass working on a PC is. The minute I switched over to using a Mac, I could not believe that all I needed to do to use any peripherals was just plug it in. With a PC, you need installation cds, run the application, install it...and so on. When Apple launched the iPod, a new generation of Mac users was born - more and more people made the switch over and the House of Jobs became a sacred temple. The iRevolution has changed the face of how we buy and listen to music - and some can say that Apple has saved the music industry.

Now, we all knew that Microsoft wouldn't just be standing in the sidelines and looking like a punching bag. Actually, they've been quietly developing their iPod killer for a while. The difference is that the Microsoft player will have Wifi so users can download audio and video content wirelessly. All in time for the Christmas shopping season. Honestly, I think that Microsoft is crashing the party a bit late, but since Apple does control 80% of the market, competition is a good thing.

Oh, and by the way - don't you think that Steve Jobs already thought of this? I think he has. All we can do is wait and see.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Let Them Have Cake

Office Birthday Party
Originally uploaded by NWC021792.
Imagine if you will a world without office birthday parties that included the all-important cake. People look forward to the cake. In fact, that's usually the only thing cubicle workers look forward to break free from the monotony of the computer screen. Okay, well no one really looks forward to the singing. Now with companies becoming obo-phobic, some places are banning certain foods from the premises - including that 4 o'clock chocolate rush. Making a healthy celebration is sure to drive the party to the local bar afterwards - I mean who blows out a birthday candle on a rice cake?

For the most part, bringing healthier foods to the office is a good thing - BUT employers should not force employees to only eat approved foods on their premises. Some places are really smart about it - revamping vending machines and charging more money in cafeterias for a burger and fries or a bag of peanuts than a grilled salmon entree or a pack of Ring Dings. Prohibiting foods that employees bring into offices is awful - these are adults and they can bring what they want- but changing the face of what's offered in the break room is another story. Maybe instead of individual birthday cakes for each employee, a good compromise would be to just have one cake for the month's b-days. Come on, it's only once a month!

You WILL Conform!

Mac & Cheese
Originally uploaded by Woupidy.
Mac & cheese is one of those dishes that everyone loves. I almost can't believe that I tried this quintessential comfort dish only a year ago.

In the past few years, a bunch of single dish restaurants have been popping up around NYC - you have Pommes Frites, Grilled Cheese NYC (which is now closed), Peanut Butter & Co., Dumpling Man, and now S'Mac - the new mac n' cheese spot in the East Village that has been getting quite a bit of press attention over the past week. The micro menu trend is getting more and more attention because it stands out from the crowd. Most restaurants serve dishes one way and don't build upon it - here, you have one base dish, and so many variations of it. I'm sure too, that owners are banking on the fact that you, the consumer will start to associate your cravings for that dish to their establishment - which can only lead to growth.

For people to wait on half hour lines in 90 degree heat for hearty winter fare must mean that S'Mac must be doing something right. With enough options to keep customers satisfy their cravings, the lines won't get shorter anytime soon.

Crazy Changes!

If anyone reads this blog and is wondering why there's been a lack of posts, just wanted to let you know that no, I am not becoming a part of the abandoned blog graveyard! Actually, a lot has been going on - I just moved from Jackson Heights to Williamsburg and also started a new job within one week of each other, so I've been adjusting to both.

Yeah, so rather than reading up on branding, I've been obsessed with Gothamist, Free Williamsburg, Curbed, Brownstoner, and Chowhound. I've been researching every iota of what's happening on Grand Street which is right around the corner from me here in East Williamsburg which does in fact exist! It's really exciting to be in the part of the general Williamsburg area that is still rough around the edges and the energy is real good here.

Alright, enough of this - let's get back to Culture Junk!