Tuesday, November 1, 2011

MET Fashion Photo Show Presents: Tatiana Walker

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and welcome back to another edition of the MET Fashion Photo Show blog. As I mentioned in the last blog, I was going to focus on a wonderful young woman who is working very hard in school to become a Child Psychologist. She is currently in her senior year and she takes on a lot of volunteer projects that help a lot of people reach their individual goals. She is scheduled to graduate from Bennett College on May 15th, 2012. She has a grade point average of 3.9, and is on the honor roll at her school. She is majoring in Psychology and wants to pursue a career in Child Psychology. She wants to go to graduate school to receive a Doctoral Degree in School Psychology. It is my pleasure to introduce you to Ms. Tatiana Walker.

Good afternoon Tatiana and welcome to the latest edition of the MET Fashion Photo Show blog. I want to first congratulate you in everything that you do and for the work that you have done. As I understand it, you took six classes for a total of 18 credits. Can you tell the audience what school you attend and what your major is, as well as how you did last semester?
TATIANA: I attend Bennett College and I am a Psychology major. I did well during the spring semester, but not as well as I desired. I received five "A's" and on "B". It was a wonderful semester over all though. I finally learned how to balance work and play.

ME: Thank you Tatiana, can you please tell the audience about yourself?
TATIANA: I am twenty years old. I am known to be a social butterfly, but shockingly enough, I am very shy. Reading, cooking and baking are my favorite past times. My passion is serving others, and service is very important to me.

ME: Besides taking classes at Bennett College, what other activities are you involved in at school?
TATIANA: I am the former president of the Student Ambassadors Association. This year I will be the tour coordinator. I am a Certified Peer Student Educator for the HIV/AIDS Taskforce. I am also the Intake Chair for the Psi Chi Honor Society. I've been on my class executive boards as well. I am also in the Psychology Club and my honor societies include; Alpha Lambda Delta, Pi Gamma Mu and Alpha Mu. I am also a member of Alpha Kappa Sorority Inc.
ME: We just got back from Costa Rica (CR) & Nicaragua, you also had the experience of visiting Costa Rica earlier this year. Can you tell our audience what Costa Rica was like for you and why you were there?
TATIANA: Costa Rica was an incredible experience. I was there studying the role of African American women in ecotourism. I took a Spanish course, and a Sociology course while I was there. While I was there I volunteered at an orphanage. The mission was to immerse ourselves in the culture. We took cooking classes as well as dancing. In the end, I learned a lot about myself.

ME: What did you like most about the Costa Rican Learning program that you participated in while you were in CR?
TATIANA: I liked that they provided us with an opportunity to volunteer with the children. This service was amazing and ten times better than park clean up for example. They were also very responsive to our needs and patient when they were teaching us their language.

ME: You were born in New York and raised in Queens. You were raised in the Baisley Park Houses. You have had the opportunity to not only go away to school, but you also attend one of the Historical Black Colleges via Bennett College. Can you tell the audience what it's like to go away to school?
TATIANA:It's different, but well worth it. It is an experience that you can't get by staying home. Going away to college teaches you independence and opens the avenue to self exploration and personal development. Going away to school is a treat and you watch yourself mature.
ME: You participated in the "You Can Go To College Program" with Ms. Dorita Clarke and Sister Shirley. How did this program help you prepare for college?
TATIANA: They were a very supportive and encouraging support system for me. Sister Shirley introduced me to Bennett College. I would not have applied to this school if it weren't for her. They also helped me tremendously in applying and receiving scholarships for school.

ME: Would you recommend this program to other high school students? And if so, how come?
TATIANA: I would recommend this program to other students. They are great people who truly, and genuinely care about their students. They can open many doors and have many connections and resources.
ME: What are some of your plans for your upcoming final year?
TATIANA: I want to apply for national fellowships for graduate school and I also want to apply for graduate programs. I also plan to start a book club called "Tea Time" and participate in a service project for Haiti called "Operation Oasis."

ME: Tatiana, this is a blog focusing on real New Yorkers wearing real new York fashion. please describe for the audience what you are wearing.
TATIANA: I am wearing a tan skirt, a pink button down shirt and a navy blue blazer with brown patches on the elbows.
ME: Where did you purchase your items from?
TATIANA: The skirt was from J-Crew, the shirt was from Ralph Lauren, and the blazer from H&M.

ME: Where do you get your hair done, and what is the name of your hair stylist?
TATIANA:I get my hair done at "Betty's Unisex Salon" by Iesha

ME: Where else could you wear this outfit?
TATIANA: You can wear this outfit to a business casual lunch, an informal meeting or shopping on Fifth Avenue.

ME: What other accessories would you like to add, or have added to this outfit?
TATIANA: Blue pumps, a thin pearl necklace and sunglasses.

ME: How would you describe your fashion style?
TATIANA: Collegiate and very "preppy."

ME: What are three must have items for the fall?
TATIANA: Three must have items for the fall are The Ipad 2, a Tiffany bracelet, and "Hater Blockers" (Shades)

ME: Thanks for your insight, if the readers want to know a little bit more about Tatiana the student and what it's like to be a student that goes away to college, what are three words that you would use to describe this experience?
TATIANA: Overwhelming, Liberating and Inconceivable.
ME: Finally, in your opinion, what are three must have items for this fall season?
TATIANA: Chestnut Uggs, a scarf, and feather earrings.

ME: On a final note, what would you like to say to the audience?
TATIANA: Always keep a camera nearby. A picture is worth a thousand words and it is the best way to capture just a snapshot of some of your unforgettable moments. One photo can bring forth the same emotions you felt that exact moment that it was taken.

ME: Tatiana, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all of your time and to wish you a safe trip back to school, and to do well this semester.
TATIANA: Thank you.

Friday, September 23, 2011

MET Fashion Photo Show Presents: Costa Rica & Nicaragua

Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to another edition of the MET Fashion Photo Show blog. Last month my wife and I had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica & Nicaragua with friends and family. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity so I wanted to capture the trip with as many pictures as possible. I wanted to share some of our experience with you in this special edition of my blog. As promised in the last edition, I will be giving away a souvenir from Nicaragua. This leather bag is a little token of my appreciation for those of you who have registered as followers of my blog. In addition, the lucky winner will also receive a free photo shoot for one hour that will include a limited use CD with the images taken during the photo session and five, 5x7 portraits of your choice from the images taken during the session. Right now I am working toward making this a monthly contest for one lucky winner each month. Contest rules will be made available soon so stay tuned to the blog!

Costa Rica is approximately a five and a half hour flight. Because we always wanted to visit Costa Rica the flight didn't seem so long. Once we arrived in Guanacaste, we were surrounded by rich, beautiful countryside. August constitutes part of the rainy season. (The rainy season takes place six months out of the year from May to November) When we were told that this was the rainy season, our first thoughts were of tropical depressions pouring lots and lots of water on us on a daily basis. (We were wrong!) It barely rained during our trip and when it did, it broke up the humidity that filled the air. We stayed at the Villa Cansada where everything is all inclusive. The food was very good and the staff was even better. The staff really went out of their way to make us feel at home. There were no televisions in the room, and not too many outside distractions making Guanacaste a great destination if you want to get away from it all.

Guanacaste is known as the "Beach Spot" in Costa Rica. The views are amazing. Here is the view from the front side of the villa.

Even more stunning than that are the sunsets that take place. The villa had two jacuzzis and a swimming pool. The second jacuzzi has a little hut on top of it. There is a waterfall directly under the hut that adds an amazing touch to the villa.
A five minute walk will put you onto the beach. The beach has beautiful beige sand. There are rocks that can be climbed that the locals use for fishing, viewing the island and simply relaxing. In Guanacaste you become one with nature. The animals run free and they don't mind showing up at the villa for food. A couple of staff members have visitors that come by for food everyday. Here are a husband and wife team of iguanas.
The iguanas come by religiously everyday at lunchtime. Sometimes you would see strange visitors that would be considered food themselves, stop by to say hello, or to grab something to eat.

At nite you can hear the monkeys in the trees. When they are playing with one another, the sounds can easily be mistaken for crying babies. There are about four different types of species that roam the islands. They will not bother you, but if you offer them food, they will not forget you. It's no different than feeding the animals here. Costa Rica is also known for its beautiful bird population. However, because of the rainy season, the birds fly off to other destinations. As you can see in this photo, not all of the birds fly away for vacation. The birds that visit the villa greatly appreciate a free meal just like everyone else.

There are great souvenirs that can be purchased in town. Local vendors pride themselves on the items that they sell. If you are a collector of beautiful handcrafted, wood items, then Costa Rica is the destination for you. Fruits grow plentifully here. As seen in this mango tree, there is no shortage of fruit. Breakfast was a real joy as fresh cut fruits were served for breakfast everyday.

We took some wonderful tours across the island exposing us to the many different sites that make Guanacaste an excellent place to spend vacation. Costa Rica is next to Nicaragua and the Panama Canal. If you are willing to take the drive, in just under two hours time you can be in either country. On this trip we took the two hour trip to Nicaragua. We didn't know what to expect. You always here about the negative side of the country such as the former military conflict and the poverty that greatly exists. We did see the poverty that affects this country greatly, however there is also the beautiful countryside as well. Our biggest regret was not being able to spend more time in Nicaragua. Nicaragua is a photographers paradise. At this time I want to share some of the pictures that I took in Nicaragua.

We did a tour of the many mini islands that exist. On these islands you will see white faced monkeys.

These monkeys are very tourist friendly and do not mind asking for food. They love bananas and other fresh fruit. They do not like dried nuts or trail mix. (My wife found this out the hard way! The monkey tried it and abruptly threw it to the ground!) The crocodiles like fresh fruit. Yes crocodiles! They swim up to the boat when they are called. Yes, you did hear that right. The locals are able to call out to the local crocodiles and they will approach your boat.

When we arrived in the center of town, we were dropped off in what the locals call "Central Park". Their park is not as large as ours, however it is just as beautiful if not more beautiful. There are churches, a school, a big flea market in the center of the park, a large shopping area that goes on for several blocks and fine restaurants that offer the best Nicaraguan cuisine.

After we completed our visit to the local islands, we toured an active volcano. The pictures that you are about to see are the sign of the cross that is found by climbing the steps to the highest accessible point to the volcano. You are also looking inside of an active volcano with the sulphur rising from the volcano.

There are economic problems that clearly exist on the streets of this beautiful country. Artists have taken to the walls of the streets to voice their concerns and to make the general public aware of what is going on. I took some pictures of the walls and performed very little changes in restoring these images into potential works of art as seen in the eyes of the artists who created them. I wanted you to have a clear visual picture of the beauty that does exist.

Just when you think that there is nothing else to take pictures of, the sun begins to set. Costa Rica has some of the most amazing sunsets that you will ever see. I thought that this would be a good way to conclude this edition of the blog.

Well, that's it ladies and gentlemen. I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy day yo read about our trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua. I will announce the winner of this months contest in the next edition of my blog. Next time I will introduce you to the scholarship winner chosen from the You Can Go To College Committee program, Ms Tatiana Walker. If you are interested in seeing some more pictures from our trip, please visit my Facebook page, or my website, madisonspics.zenfolio.com, "Costa Rica & Nicaragua". No password is needed to view the pictures.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

MET Fashion Photo Show Presents: "By Me Brooklyn"

Good afternoon again ladies and gentlemen and thank you for joining me in another edition of the MET Fashion Photo Show blog. My blog focuses on real New Yorker’s wearing real New York fashions. In addition to interviewing New Yorker’s wearing fashions, I am going to also interview boutique and clothing store owners as well. In today’s edition of the blog I am going to focus on a boutique located in Brooklyn on Myrtle Avenue. “By Me Brooklyn” is located at 519 Myrtle Avenue. This boutique has the latest women’s fashions and tends to be a very popular stop amongst the residents that reside in the neighborhood. At this time I would like to introduce you to two of the fashion coordinators that make “By Me Brooklyn” a must stop on your shopping list. It is my pleasure to introduce you to Jaqueline and Chloe.

ME: Good afternoon ladies and thank you for allowing me to interview you for the latest edition of the Fashion Photo Show blog.

ME: Jaqueline please tell the audience a little bit about how “By Me Brooklyn” and “Barking Brown” got started.
JAQUELINE: The owner is a graduate of Pratt University. She loves the area. She realized that this is a great neighborhood and it is continuing to gain in popularity. (The buses and trains connect to Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan in less than fifteen minutes) She also realized that there were not a lot of clothing shops or boutiques for the residents in the neighborhood. With that in mind, Barking Brown was created. (Barking Brown is located at 468 Myrtle Avenue, just three blocks away from Be My Brooklyn) Barking Brown has been open for about three years now. After the huge success of Barking Brown, By Me Brooklyn was created. (By Me Brooklyn is another fashion boutique and it is the sister store of Barking Brown.)

ME: Can you tell the audience what each store is known for?
JAQUELINE: Barking Brown has accessories, handbags, scarves and hats. The hats are for both men and women. By Me Brooklyn has more clothes and shoes. We feature the “Grace” line of hats which are created in Tokyo, Japan.

ME: What are your store hours and the phone numbers for each store?
JAQUELINE: By Me Brooklyn is open Monday to Thursday, 10am x 7pm, Friday and Saturday until 8pm, and Sunday’s until 6pm. (718-622-7260) Barking Brown is open Monday to Saturday 10am x 9pm, and Sunday’s until 8pm. (718-638-3757)

ME: Why do so many people visit your locations?
JAQUELINE: Our customers constantly tell us that they love to come into our stores and strike up conversations with us. Even if they aren’t buying anything, they love to stop in and receive a warm welcome, as well as answers to their fashion questions. If you are having an event and it requires a specific outfit or accessory, we can help you find it. If you have questions about clothing, or what’s in style right now, we love helping our customers find the right item or outfit that suits them. (I am witnessing this first hand as Chloe is attending to two customers while Jaqueline is providing the information for today’s blog) We don’t mind recommending another store if we don’t have, or carry a specified item that you may be looking for. (Jaqueline and Chloe have extensive knowledge about what is in this store as well as what is in Barking Brown. As one of the ladies in the store needs an accessory, Jaqueline is quick to remember that the item might be right down the street and promptly calls over there.) We want our customers to feel relaxed and to have a great experience while browsing through our store. We want the stores to have a personal feel to them. Both locations are small and intimate.

ME: And what major credit cards do you accept?
JAQUELINE: We take the four major credit cards, American Express, Visa, Master Card and Discover.

ME: And the feel of the store, how would you describe it?
JAQUELINE: Trendy, but unique.

ME: I’m pretty sure that the majority of our audience want to know what’s in this season.
JAQUELINE: Lace up boots are going to be be back this season.
Fur and trimming will be in reds and blues are going to be in this year as well. This year is going to be unique because you can have skinny or flair. (Jaqueline believes that within the next year or so, we could see the return of vibrant colors. (Such as the colors seen in the mid eighties, yes, those very bright neon colors!)

ME: Jaqueline, my audience is going to want to know about specific items such as jewelry and what can be done with it. I want to name some specific items and I would like you to tell our audience what they can expect to see.

ME: Lets start off with jewelry.
JAQUELINE: In regards to jewelry, you will see items with feathers, motif, shaped bangles (For example, rectangular shaped items). You will see jewelry that makes a big statement. Necklaces and rings for the Fall/Winter season will be popular.

ME: Sweaters
JAQUELINE: You will see sweaters that are a little tighter in the waist, but with a roomier fit in the shoulder area. This will be a good look with skinny jeans. Asymmetrical sweaters are in. You will also see short waist and long waist sweaters. There will be uneven cuts off of the shoulder as well.

ME: This is the part of the blog where I ask what are the must have items for the fall.
JAQUELINE: The must have items for the fall are:
Lace up boots
Flair pants
Bold, statement jewelry

ME: Can you tell the audience what clothing that “statement jewelry” can be worn with? (An example of statement jewelry is the necklace pictured on the side)
JAQUELINE: Statement jewelry can be worn with a turtleneck or worn over a dress. It should be worn with a crew neck sweater, or someone with a high neck.

ME: What other patterns, items or accessories will we be seeing in the near future?
JAQUELINE: Belts will be back but they will be thinner. There will be lots of mixed patterns. If you are conservative, you must wear bold, statement jewelry. Since there will be a mixture of fashion items, you should see things like a jean jacket with a cocktail dress.

ME: You told me that you are a “Fashion Merchandiser”, one of my students is also studying to be a fashion merchandiser, can you tell the audience some of the things that a fashion merchandiser does?
JAQUELINE: Some of the things that a fashion merchandiser does includes buying clothing and accessories for stores. They also set up displays for clothing items.

ME: Thank you Jaqueline.
JAQUELINE: Your welcome.

ME: Most of the staff that works here majored in fashion. Their dedication to their profession is evident. Customers that come into the store are greeted with warm smiles and a sincerity that is truly hard to find in a larger retail store. The conversations that take place with the customers keep them coming back often. This is truly a skill that many other stores do not have. I would strongly suggest visiting either location for a truly unique shopping experience. Once again I would like to thank you for tuning into the MET Fashion Photo Show blog. Stay tuned next time as I share my experience with you in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Don’t forget to sign up for the Fashion Photo show blog for a chance to win a souvenir from Nicaragua.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

MET Fashion Photo Show Presents Athenia "Tina" Rodney

Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to the MET Fashion Photo Show blog. After taking a very long Spanish class in summer school, and two wonderful trips to Florida and Costa Rica/Nicaragua, it is good to be back in New York. I am also looking forward to introducing you to some of New York's movers and shakers like yourselves. Today I am proud to bring you a young woman who does the work of several women. One minute she is organizing an event in the park for young people. The next minute she is organizing a hat party for some of Brooklyn's most powerful women. The next minute she is working on four projects simultaneously including a breast cancer fundraiser. At this time it is my pleasure to introduce you to Mrs. Athenia "Tina" Rodney.

ME: Good afternoon Tina and thank you for participating in today's edition of the MET Fashion Photo Show blog.
TINA: Hello, and good afternoon

ME: You do a lot of volunteer work in the community. Would you consider yourself a “Community Activist?” (Tina is directly involved with the Juneteenth Celebration, The Hat Affair, her own businesses and an upcoming fundraiser for breast cancer.)
TINA: I don't personally consider myself a community activist. I love working with people and my community. I am also involved in, and a former scholar with the "Posse" program. The Posse program awards merit scholarships to top high school seniors from New York City to top liberal arts colleges. As a student I attended Middlebury College located in Vermont. I am also a member of the Middlebury Alumni of Color Board. I organized events, started websites for alumni networks and mentorships for alumni students interaction. I also have a small business called "UMOJA Events & Balloon Decorations". This is an event planning business that organizes and creates unique birthday parties, baby showers, bridal showers and the like at an affordable cost. I organize a lot of gala's for not-for-profit organizations that helps them raise money. I'm looking forward to doing more events with for-profit organizations in the future.

ME: You recently organized and participated in an event called "The Juneteenth Celebration", please tell the audience about the Juneteenth Celebration and what it means to you and your family to be participants who are directly involved with the planning and coordination of the event.
TINA: This is our third year doing the Juneteenth Celebration. Each year we want to see it get bigger and bigger. We have enjoyed seeing families come out and enjoy themselves in a supportive, clean environment that allows them to see the arts and other talent in the community. I have enjoyed being involved because it feels great to see children, parents and father's come together. My initial involvement with this weekend was to support Father's Day and to promote father/child interactions. It is always good to see all the men out and about enjoying their families. UMOJA Events was the first major sponsor along with the George Walker Jr. coalition.

ME: About two weeks ago I also photographed an event that you were involved in at the Mount Piscah Church called “The Big Hat Affair.” It was well attended and you and your organization helped out a lot of people in the community. Can you tell us more about this event and how people can obtain more information about it if they would like to participate?
TINA: The Big Hat Affair is an event to highlight the women in the community that are encouraging, loving and going above and beyond for others. UMOJA Events sponsored the decor and music and entertainment. We also provided a full table arch, center pieces and event planning expertise.

ME: And if anyone in our audience wants to donate their time, money or both, who can they contact for more information?
TINA: Feel free to contact me to help out with any of these events, or if you would like to learn how to create balloon decorations please contact Athenia "Tina" Rodney at (646) 522-9869 or email, events.umoja@gmail.com.

ME: Today’s music is being provided by the Demolition Crew DJ’s of New York City. Your husband is DJ Basiq and like all of the members of the crew, when they are playing music, everyone else is dancing and having a good time. Who are the other members of the Demolition Crew and what’s it like to hang out with them?
TINA: The other main DJ's in the group are: DJ Fame, DJ Demo, DJ Pockets, DJ Tommy Lee & Barry Blends. Let's not forget the ring leader "Twizzle". Hanging out with the crew has been a real experience. I would say I am the glue that keeps everyone on the same page and organized. When you get a bunch of DJ's together all they want to talk about is music and who has the latest songs, or an older song that's no longer out. All you see is laptops with skinits of their names and external drivers during our meetings.

ME: You are an activist, mother, wife and more. You have a very busy, and I’m sure at times, “hectic” schedule. Despite all of this, you are probably going over your next group of projects and events in your head. Please describe for the audience what it’s like to juggle all of these responsibilities.
TINA: Don't forget to add my Mary Kay business to the fold. I have always kept myself busy and involved as a young person so as an adult I had to do the same. Getting involved with things that matter to me and my family are important to me. I stay organized with my trusty planner. My family works because we all enjoy the same things, family, God and fun. As long as that is together we know we can concur it all.

ME: With that being said, what’s your next event and where and when is it taking place?
TINA: My next couple of events include two events that are taking place this Saturday. The first event is at DUMBO. We are hosting a children's concert. Immediately following this event, we are hosting a fundraiser for Haiti at a gala in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn. My school (Middlebury College) is having its homecoming in Middlebury, Vermont and I will be assisting with the planning for it. In addition, I am looking to put together some fund raising events for the Breast Cancer Walkathon coming up on October 16th, 2011 in Prospect Park.

ME: As you know this is a blog about real New Yorker’s wearing real New York fashions. I need you to describe the suit, and the hat, that you were wearing at the Big Hat Affair.
TINA: Let's see, the hat was from my favorite place to shop, the Aqueduct Race Tract. My suit was from a boutique called "Mary's Place" located in Queens New York.

ME: I understand that today’s event is very casual but you have still managed to hook it up none the less like a true diva does. Wear did you purchase these items from?
TINA: For the Juneteenth Celebration I was wearing a custom made shirt from "Team Screen" located on Georgia Avenue located in the East New York section of Brooklyn. My shorts came from an Old Navy store.

ME: And where did you get your hair done?
TINA: I get my hair done at "Sister's Salon" located in the Downtown Brooklyn area on Lawrence Street.

ME: Can you please describe your fashion style for the audience?
TINA: My fashion style is simple, elegant and always affordable. I always look good without the hefty price tag unless the event calls for it. On my wedding day, my dress was hand made.

ME: Please use three words that would best describe you and why?
1) Leader

2) Organizer

3) Program Developer

My husband and my son motivate me to be the best at everything I do and never settle for anything less.

ME: Thanks Tina, now finally, in your opinion, what are three must have items for this summer?
1) My husband and my son

2) Foundation from Mary Kay (For these really HOT summer days!)

3) My loving and friendly Blackberry smart phone when it works

ME: Tina I want to thank you for taking the time to participate in today’s blog.
TINA: Thank you for caring. God continues to bless me so I bless others.

ME: Well ladies and gentlemen, I want to once again thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to read this edition of the fashion photo show blog. Now some of you have expressed an interest in advertising your business, showing off your products, and/or simply wanting to participate as a subject of my blog. All you have to do is contact me at (646) 294-1936, or send me an email at Madisonspics@yahoo.com so that we can set up the interview and photo shoot session. It is that simple. You will also receive copies of the photographs taken at the photo shoot to help promote your business, products and/or services. With that being said, until next time, have a safe, and blessed day!