Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Metro: Link up to get ahead

In Metro:

How social networking can help and hurt your career

As the old adage about getting ahead goes — it all depends on who you know. In prehistoric times (before Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter), in order to expand your professional contacts, you would have to attend networking conferences and awkward work happy hours. But now, because of such sites, your social and professional networks have expanded indefinitely. And as many experts point out, it’s up to you to navigate it correctly.

“Social networking gives you the opportunity to build relationships with people across the globe, 365 days a year,” says Rebekah Hudder, a social media specialist. “It opens doors to meeting new people who could be potential clients, referral sources or employers. You can further your career and promote your personal brand recognition.”

But with the ease of the Internet comes the constant work of updating your pages and maintaining proper relationships online, as Diane Coffey, a public relations manager at Kel & Partners, a Web marketing firm, points out. “You need to give more than you receive. Be ready to offer information that can help others. People don’t forget who helped lead them to a great job opportunity.”

However, online social networking can also be detrimental because if you’re using it, you can bet potential human resources managers and bosses have seen your profile.

“Social networking can end your career as fast as you can say the word ‘Facebook,’” says Stephen Viscusi, founder of Bulletproofyourresume.com. “No boss would admit it, but every HR department uses it to make hires and fires.”

And in the end, you can’t forget about your old ways of connecting with contacts. “Social networking sites are used to connect with people,” says Coffey. “But they can only take you so far. Jobseekers should use social networking sites as a way to begin a relationship with a potential employer.”

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The L Magazine: Museums Go To War on the High Seas of Queens

On The L Magazine:

I left Duke Riley’s Naumachia (Latin for “naval battle”) completely soaked and covered with dried fake blood and tomato bits and completely satisfied. But before we get into all that, what exactly is the Naumachia?

Duke Riley, rogue waterfront artist extraordinaire, with help from the Queens Museum, called for homemade boats to participate in an epic, Roman-style live battle. Using the abandoned hockey rink attached to the Queens Museum as a boat shop, Riley and participants built recycled boats, using items like reeds from beaches and even materials from the hockey rink itself.
Before the battle, toga-clad spectators and participants crowded into the lobby of the Queens Museum of Art, downing free special lemonade after beer after wine. (Alcohol was free to those donning togas.) Last minute preparations were still being made with the boats. The battle would take place at the reflecting pool at Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, former home of the 1964 World’s Fair, within view of the Unisphere.

Families walked around with children, who waded in the pool. Darkness soon settled, and floodlights bathed the pool in light. The audience was getting restless, and took advantage of the boxes of bread and tomatoes that lay around the area, begging to be used, bombarding members of each side.

And then the battle really began. Each ship came out to be greeted by cheering and tomatoes. From my vantage point, it was difficult to see exactly what was going on, as the scene was shrouded in smoke, criss-crossed with flying tomatoes, and obscured behind huge splashes of water. Nevertheless, chaos ruled the scene. Bystanders jumped into the pool, taking part in the battle themselves. When the pigboat sailed in in all its swine-y glory, the audience gleefully jumped aboard.

Near the end, a replica of Riley’s favorite ship, the Queen Mary 2, came out and was promptly set on fire, as the battle went on around it. Soon, fireworks rocketed out of the ship, nearly hitting the audience at times.

According to other sources, since I couldn’t tell what exactly went on, the Queens Museum won the battle, but really, everyone did, in his or her own way – I even spotted a few audience members lugging chunks of boats back to the 7 train.

For the rest of the photos, go here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Metro: Row, row, row a boat in Brooklyn

In Metro:

PREVIEW. Instead of walking around New York, wouldn’t it be so much nicer to float around New York? It’s possible in Brooklyn, thanks to the Village Community Boathouse (VCB) and the Downtown Boathouse (DB).

The two nonprofit organizations are offering community rowing and kayaking every Saturday in August at DUMBO Cove in Brooklyn.

The idea behind the program is, “to introduce Brooklynites to on-water recreation,” says Rob Buchanan, president of VCB. “And to build citizen support for a flourishing network of community boathouses all along the Brooklyn side of the East River.” If you’re still interested after an East River paddle this summer, both groups offer rowing and paddling all season long.

Community rowing and kayaking


Saturday, 2-6 p.m.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
End of Main and Plymouth streets
Aug. 22, 11-3 p.m.
Aug. 29, 2-6 p.m.



Sunday, August 9, 2009

Metro: You need a ‘Hero’? Chris Kattan goes full-on Bollywood in new IFC miniseries

Chris Kattan, left, knows a thing or two about cheesy dancing. Photo courtesy of IFC.

In Metro:

Cue swirling bright colors, dancing, extravagant sets, and lip-synced Hindi songs. This isn’t a typical Bollywood flick however, it’s “Bollywood Hero,” IFC’s new original miniseries. Chris Kattan, formerly of “Saturday Night Live,” stars in “Bollywood Hero” as, essentially, himself. Kattan becomes tired of Hollywood so when he’s offered a starring role in a Bollywood film, he goes to India.

“To make fun of Mango and Mr. Peepers [two of Kattan’s “SNL” characters] and play someone grounded and real was attractive to me,” he says. “It was great working with some of the most beautiful women [I’ve seen] in my life. It doesn’t happen that often.”

But “Bollywood Hero” isn’t all dance numbers and gorgeous ladies. The miniseries also offers glimpses of India’s underside — the tiny shacks in crowded slums.

“The poverty situation is strong there and reminded me this is what’s going on outside my little box, but we can make a difference,” he admitted. The L.A. screening of “Bollywood Hero” helped fund Project Crayons, a Mumbai-based organization that helps orphanages like the ones used in the miniseries.

Kattan hopes that “Bollywood Hero” will mark a new direction for his career post-“SNL.” “It’s kind of a change for me, getting smart stuff. It’s nice to get acknowledged in that area,” he says. “It’s a big step from Mr. Peepers.”

‘Bollywood Hero’
Thursday, Friday, Saturday
10 p.m., IFC

And just because I went to the premiere and got a picture with him:

The L Magazine: Governors Island: Reimagined and Still Creepy

My second L Magazine photoessay, about the PLOT09 art exhibit on Governors Island. Text on the site by Hannah Levine.

The L Magazine: The High Line: West Side Story with a Happy Ending

My first L Magazine (website) piece, a photoessay on the opening of the then-new High Line, in Chelsea.