Monday, December 31, 2012

Before There Was Instagram, There Was a Thing Called a SLR

In anticipation of my return to instagram (now that I've upgraded to a Galaxy SIII), I found some old pictures taken for my high school photography class using a manual SLR of Sean and my friend Mark skateboarding at Kaneohe Skate Park. Makes me miss shooting in film--having to manually focus the foreground, adjusting the aperture and not knowing exactly how the final picture will turn out. I haven't been on instagram for over a year now and am a bit hesitant fearing it will make me too lazy to shoot with my DSLR, but can I complain about a single filter making all my pictures look cool?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

All About the Z's

The annual Huang holiday family photo session featuring yours truly, my (not so) little brothers Zachary, Zadrian and awesome sister Zoe!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Surprise, It's a Boy! My First Gender Reveal Party

I LOVE BABIES. And my good friend Greg (the first of my friends to get married) and his wife Erin are expecting! Now typically you find out the baby's gender through a phone call or text but nowadays the trend is to reveal the baby's gender in a form of dessert whether its cake or cupcake. We were asked to attend the 'gender reveal party' in the color of the baby's gender we think it is. I showed up in pink but the blue representation was really strong, outnumbering pink 2-to-1--and to everyone's delight, after biting into the cupcake we all found out it was a BOY! Congrats Greg & Erin on your baby boy!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cartier's Epic Old World Luxury Storytelling Tactic Is Being Copied and Ruined

I recently noticed that Louis Vuitton's first TV commercial L'Invitation Au Voyage featuring a hot air balloon in Paris and Burberry's holiday gift campaign of gold balloons carrying presents across London landmarks reminded me a lot of Cartier's L'Odyssée campaign which premiered earlier this year in March with an epic 3:30 TV spot during prime time television.

It's clear just by looking at the websites for Louis Vuitton and Burberry that these efforts were influenced by Cartier's L'Odyssée:
Perhaps Louis Vuitton and Burberry hired Cartier's Creative Director, and that Creative Director had some spare time to work on a Martini & Rossi commercial as well (watch the last video in the post). Is the luxury and cheap champagne industry quickly losing its creative edge and identity by jumping on the latest and greatest shiny object of Golden Compass-like fantasy storytelling--a blend of old world with new attitude and lots of floating/levitation? I'll give Cartier credit for shattering the expectations of Luxury advertising and for throwing a ton of money against a very ambitious idea of creating a compelling mini-film commercial that's exciting and highlights the brand beautifully. Did Louis Vuitton achieved this with L'Invitation Au Voyage, I would say far from it. Did Martini & Rossi's golden balloons give me the sense of grandeur that Cartier's giant gold LOVE bracelets rolling in snow did? Not really. Did both of these commercials remind me of how mediocre they are compared to Cartier's epic journey through time and space, fantasy and reality? Yes. Moral of the story is 'go big or go home' and if you're going to copy a commercial make sure to include the panther.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Thanksgiving Miracle on Lorimer St

This was my third Thanks(friends)giving in Brooklyn and the past two have been pretty amazing with homemade sweet potato fries and kabocha pie, so when I realized two days before Thanksgiving that I had not decided on what I would be cooking, let alone shopped for the ingredients, I PANICKED. Did I ruin Thanksgiving?! Thankfully, my friend and fiance told me not to worry (but naturally I worried) and took care of all the shopping, preparation and cooking. I'm a lucky girl. Our meal was colorful with lots of vegetables--parsnips, leeks, kabocha, chanterelles--and a lot of butter. Like Paula Dean would have been shocked at how much butter we used. But it was very necessary, as the over buttery, over garlicky, over eating is just how I like my Thanksgivings.    

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What Is Wrong With This Picture? [UPDATE] THE L TRAIN IS BACK!

I'm not complaining because it's miraculous the city was able to get all the lines running except one in such a short amount of time. I just find it kind of funny the "L" had to be the last...

[UPDATE] 11/8 4:04PM

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Manhattan's Dark Night

The Empire State Building glows bright orange tonight for Halloween, but it's the only thing glowing in the lower half of Manhattan. Lower East Side and East Village is completely dark from the power outage. Black. Not a single light shines through. The magnitude of the power outage became real when I saw how much of Manhattan was in darkness right now. My thoughts go out to everyone affected by it. Here are some photos of east Manhattan from the Williamsburg Waterfront; everything you see in black is true to life, as I did not darken or mess with the colors. 

Are You Bothered By How Insensitive Brands Are In Social Media? I Am.

Something has been bothering me all day. The constant Facebook posts and tweets in my news feeds from brands and media outlets unrelated to Hurricane Sandy just doesn't sit right with me. Yes, I know there's a world outside of New York and the east coast area and life goes on, but selling me coffee or telling me how to use a shampoo in 3 different ways just doesn't feel right.

We live in a hyper-connected world, so brands need to be extra sensitive to what's going on in the world and how it affects their audience. This is what geo-targeting capabilities in Facebook are for, so brands can segment their messaging and post only what's most relevant to their audiences.

Don't ask your audience who might have lost their home what they are doing for Halloween. Don't tell your audience that just stayed up all night without power or water that they should be partying it up with your brand of beer. It's a fast way to lose brand credibility. Brands should think about whether what they are posting makes sense to someone like me who is living in a bizarre bubble of constant tragic news and unusual circumstances. If what they are saying doesn't make sense, then don't tweet it. Your business won't suffer from one less tweet, but you could lose a handful a followers with tweets like the above from @adage. Gap and American Apparel are guilty of the same.

I am not just talking about social sensitivity during natural disasters but also shootings, riots and large-scale accidents. Social media can be a very powerful tool to connect with your audience but it can also hurt your brand and business tremendously if you don't use common sense. Rule of thumb: if a friend dear to you would punch you in the face about what you are going to post, then don't post it.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Going to #Sensation Saturday? Here's a Few Things to Know Before Heading to Barclays Tonight

For Saturday Sensation goers, here's a few things to know:
  • There's a capacity on the floor, so if you want to be on the floor for the opening, which you do, arrive early or on time and head straight down to the bottom.
  • There ARE bathrooms on the floor. The line may look insane but moves quicker than you'd expect. You want to wait in the left side because that is the "in" entrance while the other is for people to come out.
  • There are NO bars on the floor but occasionally a man with a chest of beer will be walking around 
  • Bring cash because the beer boys and bars in the deluxe/VIP sections near the floor don't take credit cards   
  • Drinks are expensive (duh.):
    • Bud Light Platinums is $10
    • Red Bull Vodka is $18
  • Food stands are open the entire time. You know you'll get hungry from all that dancing.
  • The show and sound from the seats is actually pretty awesome. If you need to take a break from the floor its worth sitting up on the seats because the show looks entirely different from up there. 
Dressing up is also half the fun so make sure you look nice in white!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My First Time in Austin: Queso, Kim Chi Fries & a Surprise Art Gallery Proposal

When asked to partake in an elaborate surprise art gallery proposal for one of your closest friends in Austin, Texas, you go. And that is what I did this past weekend. It's hard to believe my good friend Ruchy who I experienced my first summer in NYC as interns together was getting engaged, as I'm still processing my own engagement. The reality is we're no longer interns, far from it, and these years ahead are going to be the most exciting years of our lives. I felt honored to be a part of the proposal (thanks Shawn!) and couldn't be happier for the couple. I cried at the proposal, twice.

But not so secretly, I was also super excited to VISIT AUSTIN! Many people have told me repeatedly that I would love Austin, since I love Brooklyn and Boston and Austin is a small, very 'hip' city. Well I can say after two days of heavy queso consumption and warm weather, I wasn't disappointed. Non-stop Tex-Mex, outdoor drinking spots, SIXTH STREET and late night food trucks was everything I could have imagined--Austin was like a real-life Disneyland. I didn't get to explore everything but saw enough that I look forward to going back, perhaps for SXSW.