Author Archives: Brendan

Back In the New York Groove

New York City has a flow like no other. Everyone walking is in a rush to be somewhere and they’re most likely running late. A walk down the street doesn’t just get you to your destination but also doubles as cardio! If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Or NY’s version, If you can’t walk fast, GET OUT OF MY WAY! ;)

Needless to say, the pace of New York is much different from my hometown. And I love it. However, when you’re out of the city for SEVEN WEEKS (much too long for me) it takes a day or two to readjust. I have to use the New Yorker part of my brain, and put on my New Yorker legs. There’s an art to bobbing and weaving through pedestrians without bumping into them and I must say I’m an expert artist!

Now that I’m synchronized with the pace of the city, I look forward to starting my semester at FIT! This is the first semester where I’m taking all major related courses! I find that something to celebrate. No more science, history, math classes…well at least until my bachelors, I think.

This semester I’m taking Sales Promotion, Research Methods in IMC, Advertising Copywriting, Audience & Media and the Credited Internship class. It’s so awesome once you start to see lessons from one class being integrated into another. That’s when you really start to absorb all the information because you see where it all fits in the industry.

My schedule this semester is also very on point. I intern with fashion designer Daniel Vosovic at the CFDA Incubator Mondays and Tuesdays, work on wednesdays (eyeroll but money doesn’t grow on trees), and class Thursday and Friday, and work Saturdays! I’m already loving the different structure this semester. Being in the industry two days out of the week teaches me a lot, sometimes more than I’d learn in a classroom setting.

Spring semester comes with a side of optimism. No matter how frigid and indecisive Mother Nature is the first month or two, Spring IS right around the corner. NYC comes back to life along with all living in it. Trees bud, flowers bloom, and opportunities arise for everyone. I can’t begin to explain how magical NYC is in the springtime. And did I mention summer comes after spring? ;)

Springy thoughts my friends!

xx, Brendan

Three Things I Miss About New York

It’s a dreary day here in upstate New York, rain and fog. I’m sitting on my couch working on my online class and day dreaming of the city that I will be back in oh so soon. Winter break is a lovely thing, always much needed, and always very fun. However, sometimes I feel like it goes on for too long. I get stuck in a rut, and I need to be back in the city and back in my routine. Here are three things I miss most about being in New York City and at FIT!

1. Just going for a walk

I really miss being able to just leave my dorm without a plan and go on an adventure. New York is great in that way because you don’t need a destination. Something will catch your eye, a coffee shop, a clothing store, a street performer, a park bench. The possibilites are endless! My only real option in upstate New York is going to Target and spending too much money on things I don’t necessarily need! I’m SO looking forward to walks throughout the city this spring semester!

2. My internship

I am so lucky to first off have an internship and secondly, get along so well with the designer I intern for. Everyday I go into the studio I know I’m learning something. Even if I’m running looks to a magazine office or just pulling pictures online for inspiration, I’m pushing myself and absorbing what its like to be in the industry. I’m very much looking forward to going back to my internship this semester and seeing what is has in store for me!

3. My view

This may be corny and cliche, but I miss the view from my window at Kaufman. I live on the 13th floor, which means I have a pretty nice view. The Freedom Tower stands tall directly in front of me, I can see some of the river, and thousands of buildings in between. And the sunsets – well they’re just breath taking. Sometimes when I’m stressed I just take a minute a look out my window. I’m in New York City and this is my view! I shouldn’t be complaining about much!

 

xx, Brendan

Online Classes

I wasn’t completely able to escape classwork this winter break.  A few months back I chose to do an online winter course while I was home because I wanted to get a credited course out of the way so I wouldn’t be too overwhelmed my last semester in my associates.

I’ve never taken an online course, or a winter course through FIT, so this experience is completely new to me! It is really nice that FIT offers online classes every semester, because it accommodates different students lives and needs. I’m not on campus this winter break but I’m still able to work towards my degree!

The course I’m taking is Macroeconomics, honestly a class I was not looking forward to at all. I had heard horror stories about online classes, where you had to be logged in at a certain time each day, for a certain amount of hours. Already, I was getting nervous. I didn’t want an online class taking over my winter break! I have work to go to, and friends to spend time with.

The course started the week after Christmas and ends a few days before I head back for my spring semester. I like the fact that its a shortened version of a regular semester’s course, but with that comes many deadlines and due dates. I don’t know if it’s just the particular course, but I feel like there is so much to do. Everyday is a due date, which means every morning I’m waking up to work on macroeconomics.

It’s not like I didn’t sign up for this, I am taking an online course for god sakes. But it is cramping my “lazy style” this winter break. Maybe that’s a good thing…

Overall, I’m not sure how I feel about online classes. I don’t know if it’s just because Macroeconomics is a tough subject, but I don’t think I’m absorbing much information because I’m too worried about due dates and getting things in on time. I just want to get my credit and be done with it!

Have any of you taken online classes? If so, how did you like it? Let me know!

xx, Brendan

2014!

It seems like it’s been forever since I’ve had time to sit down and write a post on here! I know I’m not the only one to say the holiday season fills up everyone’s schedules, with work parties, holiday shopping, and family gatherings. You basically can’t take a breather until after New Years Day! With that being said, I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas and New Years.

Christmas in upstate New York will always be so special to me. Growing up here, I know nothing different during the month of December. I can’t imagine spending Christmastime in a warm or tropical climate! I’m so used to freezing cold temperature, and lots of snow! That’s how I like my Christmas and luckily that’s what we had this year. It was the perfect time to be cozy with my family, and an excuse to stay in and eat, drink and be merry!

I had an extra special New Years Eve this year. My best friends older sister got married on New Years Eve, to the wonderful man she met seven years earlier, at a New Years Eve wedding! I haven’t been to many weddings, but this was by far the most unique, special and beautiful wedding I have ever been to. A wedding is supposed to be all about the bride and groom, and this ceremony was so perfectly attuned to this couple. It was so wonderful being surrounded by love on a night like NYE. The positivity and joy that filled the reception hall brought out the best in everyone as we made the count down to 2014.

It has been a very relaxing, and much needed, winter break so far. I am lucky to have a job here at home to keep myself busy over this seven week break. I work as a busser/food runner at a local fine dining restaurant. I enjoy the food industry because its fast paced and you’re really able to develop your people skills without really realizing it. I only have about 2 weeks left on my winter break. It’s always bittersweet saying goodbye to my family and friends and heading back to the city, however, I’m extremely excited for my spring semester and all that it brings.

I wish everyone a happy, healthy, successful 2014! Cheers!

xx, Brendan

O Christmas Tree

And just like that…I’m back in upstate New York, and this past semester was all a dream…

Just kidding! However, I might as well fallen asleep in September and woken up this week because where did the time go?! I’m currently writing from my couch in Saratoga, New York. I’m surrounded by blankets, cable TV, yummy food, and the most festive Christmas decorations. I made it through all of my finals, alive and unharmed! Tell me that two weeks ago and I would have thought you were crazy, I felt there was no end in sight. But I must say it feels pretty darn good to have finished this semester strong.

Being home for winter break is different than any other, because who doesn’t look forward to being home for the holidays?! All of your friends slowly but surely make their way home from school and you can’t wait to hear all of their stories. There’s an urge to gather with your friends and family, and celebrate the spirit of the season together! I am so excited to be reunited with some of my long time friends, and like always it seems as if we just saw each other yesterday.

There was one thing I had to do before I travelled back upstate…I had to see the tree. No, not some random tree in Central Park, but the majestic Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center. Now I know many New Yorkers are probably over the hype of this annual tree, but I’m still pretty fresh to the city and I don’t think I’ve said it enough but I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

Last night a few friends and I bundled up and started the journey to 49th street to see the main attraction. I saw the tree last year for my first time in years, and to be honest I couldn’t see much of a difference in this years tree BUT I still was in awe. Immediately when you turn the corner and see the gigantic, twinkling tree – it takes your breath away! After taking multiple pictures at different angles of the big beaut, my friends and I stopped to watch the ice skaters beneath the tree. Boy, I could have stayed their for hours. I hate to say it, but I can’t keep myself from laughing when someone falls – it just comes right out! If you want some pure entertainment, spend a few minutes watching the ice skaters at Rock Center!

W O W

But as I was standing there, watching the skaters and appreciating the tree, I felt happy, grateful and proud for the semester I had officially completed earlier that morning. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the semester in the city than by seeing that tree. I was given so many opportunities this semester, through the FIT Blog, my internship and my job. I think that Christmas tree brings the best out in people, you could just feel it in the air. However cold it was, everyone had a smile on the face and were with someone they cared about. The joy was infectious.

So as I sit here in my childhood home, looking at our christmas tree, I look forward to a relaxing winter break with my friends and family. It’s always a great time to reboot and prepare to take the city into your hands next semester. I hope my blog doesn’t bore too many these next few weeks, upstate New York is V E R Y boring…big surprise!

I wish you all the happiest of holidays!

xx, Brendan

I Am Thankful For…

Three more days….Two more days….One more day….

Thanksgiving break is almost here!! My favorite meal of the year is only a few more sleeps away, and I can barely sleep thinking about it! This is our first technical break all semester and I’m sure I’m not the only one who couldn’t be more ready and excited. Many other colleges have some sort of Fall Break but not FIT. I’m assuming it’s because we recognize many of the Jewish holidays in September? Think about it FIT, I take the liberty of speaking for the students when I say we would definitely not be opposed to some long weekend maybe in mid-October?? Like I said, Think about it ;)

With Thanksgiving falling so late in the month this year, it’s very very close to finals week. I technically only have a week and a half left of this semester after Thanksgiving! Where the heck did time go?! I can’t begin to explain how fast this semester flew by. I feel like just yesterday I was complaining about how hot it was outside, now its below freezing and windy and can’t seem to stay warm! I’d like to think I’m not the only one when I say how stressed I’ve been this past week with finals prep. My term papers are piling up – well, not literally since I’ve only actually completed one… My final exams are looming over my head. Lately I’ve been feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all I need to get done!

Good point. Really good point.

However, there is an extremely bright light at the end of this weeks tunnel. THANKSGIVING! Thanksgiving technically marks the beginning of my absolute favorite time of the year – Christmas! I am so looking forward to escaping the city for a few days, retreating to my childhood home in Saratoga, New York and spending Turkey Day with my wonderful family and friends. I also plan on proudly gaining about 50 pounds within that day…only kidding hehe.

I am extremely thankful to go to school so close to my home, allowing me to be with my family on Thanksgiving. I know so many students at FIT are from across the nation or even across the world and are not able to have the proper meal and spend the day with their families. If I could bring you all to my house I would – but my house is only so big!

If you’re lucky enough to be with your loved ones this Thanksgiving, I urge you to take the time to tell yourself how blessed you are and to tell your family and friends how much you love them. Despite being very stressed and busy the past few days, I’ve been reminding myself of the upcoming holiday. I know I have SO much to be thankful for, oddly enough including the stress I’ve been feeling. Because if I wasn’t here at FIT then I wouldn’t be in New York, taking these classes, completing these papers, which are making me stressed. Sounds like far fetched idea but it’s true. I am thankful for FIT final papers and all. :)

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving everyone!

xx, Brendan

Have Yourself a Bizarre Holiday

 

It’s not everyday that your college lobby is transformed into a boutique, full of new and gently-worn designer womenswear including clothing, shoes and accessories. Then again, there’s no college like FIT! The grand opening of the Holiday Bizarre Pop-up Shop was today, Tuesday November 19th and is scheduled to run through Saturday November 23rd in the Pomerantz lobby,  everyday from 11 am – 8 pm and is open to the public. This year the Holiday Bazaar teamed up with The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Thrift Shop who provided all of the merchandise. All sales benefit the thrift shop, which supports patient care, education, and research programs at the Cancer Center.

‘Tis the season for holiday shopping (YAY!) and with that comes some of New York’s best pop-up shops. However, this is no ordinary pop-up. FIT is hosting a Surrealist-themed holiday shop designed, installed, and merchandised by students in the Visual Presentation and Exhibit Design program! I must say I was amazed at how the D building lobby was transformed. The students who were involved in designing and building the pop up shop did a fantastic job. I felt as if I was walking into a Rene Magritte painting filled with Catherine Malandrino gowns, Alexander Wang boots and Rag & Bone jeans – it was like a dream!

Unfortunately, all of the merchandise being sold is for women so I wasn’t able to find anything particularly for me. However if you’re looking for that special something to give to your girlfriend, mother or sister this holiday, the FIT Holiday Bizarre Pop Up Shop is the place to go! Womenswear, shoes, bags, and jewelry are displayed in the cozy shop with prices ranging from $40 to $300.

    

I don’t know about you, but anything with the word “holiday” in front of it and you’ve got my attention! Now begins my absolute favorite time of the year. If you happen to be on campus, it is definitely worth your time to check out the pop-up shop! Not only is the shop for a great cause, but it’s so awesome to see the spectacular talent and artistry that is present in this institution. Look at it this way, class goes by a lot faster when you can go shopping in the lobby right after ;)

xx, Brendan

Wise Words for Your Monday Morning

Tonight as I finished up my homework, I wandered over to FIT’s website out of curiosity as to what would be happening this upcoming week on campus. After scrolling through this months events calendar, my eyes fell upon a graphic entitled “Meet FIT.” I can only thank the internet God’s for making me click that. I was directed to FIT’s YouTube channel which until now, I didn’t even know existed!

I first watched the video titled “Meet FIT,” which included a group of students, faculty and alumni (including Calvin Klein himself) describing what makes FIT the wonderful & innovative college that it is. I couldn’t have agreed more with what some in the video were saying. FIT’s channel includes different playlists of videos such as Academics (which showcases student projects from different art & design programs), Fashion Shows (where you can watch entire videos of FIT’s prestigious annual Future of Fashion show) and finally Commencement (where you can watch clips of speakers from graduation.)

Having just applied to graduate with my associates degree (what?!?!!!), I have graduation on the mind. Personally, I chose not to walk the stage to receive my AAS diploma but I most definitely will when I complete my bachelors. However, I was still very curious as to what a graduation ceremony at FIT would be like. I’d only ever been to my older siblings college graduation ceremonies, neither of which were from fashion schools! So, I think I might be a little more interested in this one ;)

The list of speakers from year to year is jaw-dropping! Names like Fern Mallis, Rebecca Minkoff and Joe Zee (to name a few) are enough to keep me motivated for the next two and a half years, just so I can see who will be at my graduation! The amount of speakers I could listen to on this channel is somewhat overwhelming, so I’ll be up for the next couple hours catching up!

I travelled back to 2011′s graduation when I saw that Glenda Bailey, the editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar, had given a speech. Harper’s Bazaar has been my favorite publication for years and to think I could sit and listen to someone of Bailey’s caliber speak at my own graduation ceremony is beyond exciting. But the best part is – because of FIT’s YouTube channel, I’m able to watch her speech and pretend I was there!

Bailey was speaking at the ceremony after receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from FIT. Her speech was brief, but very impactful. Her wise words (spoken in her delightful British accent) to 2011′s group of graduates gave me butterflies of excitement. I know these next two and a half years won’t always be the easiest. But once I’m sitting in that audience, donning my cobalt blue cap & gown, listening to someone like Glenda Bailey (maybe even Glenda Bailey herself!) I will look back at these years of hard work with the biggest smile and sense of accomplishment.

I suggest you take a look at FIT’s YouTube channel. Take a look at what YOU will be a part of, on campus, in class, and get those butterflies of excitement just like I did. Although I have not yet graduated, speeches like these give me the strength I need to wake up on a Monday morning and begin my week. I leave you on this fine Sunday evening with some of these wise words from Ms. Glenda Bailey.

“It’s today that I want you to really smell the success. You’ve worked so hard to achieve it, to enjoy it. You see, getting a degree was one of the best things that happened to me, and it’s one of the very, very best things that has happened to all of you…Remember that there’s no such thing as a problem, only an opportunity. Remember that sometimes good can be the greatest enemy of great and to really follow your dream. Today is the first day that’s going to start to make your dreams come true.”

Have a magnificent week, my friends!

xx, Brendan

When I Need to “Think…”

In a perfect world, I get all my homework done the day it is assigned. I come home from my 3 hour class, not at all mentally or physically drained from the lecture. In a perfect world, I repress the desire to jump into my perfect bed and watch hours of Breaking Bad and eat waaay too many pretzels. Instead, in this wonderful, magical, flawless world I take out my notebook and textbook and get down to business; writing paper after paper, reading and absorbing hundreds of pages of the textbook. “I’m such a wonderful student, la di da di da di da” I sing beautifully as the neighborhood bluebirds, bunny rabbits and baby deer shyly peek out from the bushes and begin to gather round. They allow me to pet and serenade them, like all the Disney Princesses that came before me…

WAIT A MINUTE! Unfortunately, we live in a very imperfect world, where scenarios like this one almost never happen. Well, I am a pretty good student but that whole part about hours of Breaking Bad and pretzel binging…yeah, that happens a little more often than I’d like to admit.

Here’s my problem – sometimes when I’m trying to get work done in my dorm room, I find it very hard to remain concentrated and not get distracted by the calls coming from my bed. “Lay with me Brendan, take a little break! You know you want to,” she says in that demure, irresistible voice of hers.

While ignoring my bed’s attempts at distracting me, I remind myself that I live in New York City! There are thousands of places I could go to get some work done. No one has chained me to my chair and desk, for God’s sake! Did someone say coffee shop?

So I did some research and came across Think Coffee. I “think” I really love it, hehe. They have multiple locations across the island, but I’ve found that I really enjoy the one located on 8th avenue between 13th and 14th street. (It’s also the closest location to where I live) This location is very spacious, including a whole back room with plush leather booths and wooden tables with benches, allowing for multiple people to sit together.

The chocolate brown leather booths and wooden tables are accented nicely by the wooden, steel and glass detailing of the walls. The warm glow coming from the scances provide enough light to get work done while making you feel comfortable and cozy (which is perfect since it’s getting colder outside.)


Did I mention the coffee is great AND they have free wifi?! I’m actually sitting in Think as I write this blog and tonight I decided to order an Iced Chai, a staple drink I can never go wrong with. I’ve yet to try any of their food but they have different types of gourmet grilled cheese…that’s all I have to say.

 

 

I’ve found that being in a coffee shop, surrounded by fellow New Yorker’s who are either chatting with a friend, reading the newspaper, or getting work done themselves, motivates me to get my work done. There’s something about the vibe and energy that a coffee shop (especially Think) emits. I’m completely relaxed and focused with a good drink, good music while getting things done – what more could I ask for?

I “think” you would love Think Coffee! Do you have a favorite coffee shop in New York? Do you find getting out of your dorm helps you get work done? Comment below and let me know!

xx, Brendan

5 Miscellaneous Tips For FIT Freshmen

Before I left home to begin my freshman year at FIT, I was constantly picking the brains of my older siblings, older best friends and basically anyone who had once been a college freshman. I wanted to know anything and everything that could have been beneficial to me. Now my freshman year is behind me and the list of things I’ve learned is endless. You’ll learn by having your own experiences and making your own mistakes, like those who came before you and those who will follow after you. But here are some boiled down, super random tips that I wish I had known as an incoming freshman!

1. Meet your future friends at New Student Orientation

Although it’s not mandatory, orientation is a great way to meet other students during your first week (DUH!) In fact, some of my closest friends to this day I met in my orientation group. Some students choose to skip the orientation activities entirely but I think thats the wrong move! Student Life works so hard on putting together fun things for you to do on campus and around the city, you shouldn’t miss out!

2. Naps are your BFFAEAE

We’re teenagers, we love to sleep. That’s nothing new. But learning how to integrate naps into your schedule is super beneficial. If you have a few hours between a morning class and afternoon class, hop right into your bed, get cozy and sleep for about 30-45 minutes! You’ll feel refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to learn. Just be sure to set an alarm to wake up in time!

3. Printing = $$$…Invest in your own printer

One thing I wish I had purchased before moving into my dorm is a printer. Preparing for a college dorm is super stressful as it is, and can cost a fortune. With college courses you’re required to print homework, essays, class notes, powerpoint slides etc. The FIT Library offers printing but you have to pay for it. If you don’t have your own printer, a weeks worth of printing from the library can begin to add up. It’s also super convenient having a printer where you live rather than a different building.

4. Going to the cafeteria rarely requires a cute outfit

Yes, we go to FIT, it’s obvious we all have a great sense of style. Yet we’re also college students that need to eat when we’re hungry, which is basically all the time. Attending one of the most fashionable schools in the nation, there are pressures to live up to it’s “dress code.” Sometimes you may feel pressure to impress other students, however that quickly dissipates. It’s really not necessary to change your clothes just to walk from one side of the block to another. If you need to eat dinner, and you’re already comfortable in sweats and a hoodie, ROCK that hoodie and sweats in the caf! Life isn’t always a fashion show.

 5. You don’t always need EVERY textbook – just wait!

It’s always safe to order all of your textbooks before classes start, but I’ve learned that with some classes I don’t actually need the textbook. We all also know how expensive books can be each semester, so it’s worth waiting to know if you should actually spend the money or not. When the time comes to order, websites like Chegg or Amazon are perfect because you’re able to rent the textbooks for a much cheaper price and mail them back at the end of each semester.