Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oh, and your apartment is the size of a closet, too.

"Hi. May I please speak to _____?"

"I'm sorry he's in a meeting/on another call/not available. Can I take a message?"

"Sure. My name is Shane Ferro. I am a reporter from Real Estate Finance & Investment. I received a press release about ____ and I'm calling to follow up and perhaps ask a few questions to whomever is available."

"Right. Well let me get your contact details and I'll have him call you back [in a week, or a month, or never]."

That's a cold call right there. An endless series of Hello, and My Name Is... That's what you do when you are a new journalist. You make cold calls and you wait. You wait sitting by your phone and wondering what you should be doing. Your list was so long an hour ago, and now that you've got ten calls into ten people, none of whom actually were available to talk, your list is gone and you are left with a blank word document and an abundance of time.  

That is, of course, until they start calling you back and then you've got three interviews for the same two hour window. Then you have three stories to write with only an hour left until you are supposed to go home, knowing if you leave it until tomorrow you are going to forget half of what they said that was important. But you go home anyway, because after all, you are just an intern and you don't get paid enough to stay longer. So then you go into work in the morning and you in fact, have forgotten most of the juicy stuff that was said, and then you feel like a bad journalist until you remember that you are, after all, just an intern and not a journalist at all.

And then, just as you feel like you are getting a grasp on what this is all about. You actually understand the meaning of CMBS and you know a guy at Prudential and a guy at CBRE and a few guys in London. Someone actually CALLS you for once. Well then, that means it's over. It's September. Time to go back to school and forget everything you learned and file this away on your resume as an "experience" with a reference and a phone number and that's it.

That's it. You're done. No more.

Welcome to summer in New York. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Great American dessert

Two days straight of making pie. "Why..." you might say, "would you be making pies at the tail end of a major heatwave in your crappy little apartment with barely-working air conditioning?"

That's a very good question. This is why. The Great American Pie Off. I found this in Time Out NY on Thursday and decided that it was an opportunity that I just couldn't pass up. On Thursday after work I broke out the mixing bowls, went out and bought a pastry cutter and a rolling pin, and set to work making dough. It's been a while since I made a pie crust: longer even than it has been since I've blogged (!). Beyond the simple fact that I wasn't sure I remembered how to roll out pastry dough, I was also unsure about how the dough was going to react to the hot/humid conditions, so I wanted to make sure I had time to make more than one pie. So Thursday night was crust night, last night was the first try, and today was potentially reserved for the final try.

Sure enough the first one I made came out less-than-spectacular, though that was more because I didn't put enough flour in the topping than anything else. In the picture it actually looks pretty good, but in reality the topping is soft and greasy rather than crunchy and delicious, so I opted for cutting into this one and making another for the contest. It came out much better. 

And now it's off to the races! Or to the Pie Off, rather...