Niche List. April 29

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This picture is the delicious Meat Hook sloppy joe that Tom Mylan bought to Liza de Guia’s spring potluck on Monday. It was yummy!

Bacon Marmalade and More: The Brooklyn Lyceum is having a Spring Food and Craft Fair on May 1st and 2nd.

Bulls on Parade: Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market is having a food truck parade on Sunday May 2nd.

Faggity Haggity: The Miss Fag Hag contest is May 2nd at Comix. I will be there not competing, but wearing something fabulous.

The Original Foxy Brown: Pam Grier will be reading her new memoir Foxy, My Life in Three Acts on Tuesday at Barnes and Noble Tribeca on Tuesday, May 4. I am reading the book now and l love it.

Les Salonnaires

les salonnaires 005

Saturday night, I had the pleasure of attending a wonderful salon in a tenement building in the Lower East Side. It was hosted by Les Salonnaires. Dinner was provided by Kara Masi of Ted and Amy Supper Club. There was a ramp soup, an asparagus salad, and pasta cabonara and a delicious lemon semifreddo for dessert.

les salonnaires 007

There was amazing delicious bread made by Amatullah Jabriel, of Sweet Spice and Honey.

After dinner, there was a performance by Harpist Pamela Martinez who is also the lead singer of Teletextile. There was a trio of “naked cherubs” in the background while she played.

les salonnaires

Niche List. April 23

abandoned stuff animals
This photo was taken on my block. Who abandoned the stuff animals?

Hester Street Fair opens this weekend. Now people in Manhattan will not have trek across a bridge to enjoy artisan food and overpriced vintage. 🙂

Cupcake Eating Contest at Ivy Bakery. I’m judging and will make sure that every crumb is eaten.

The Lascivious Biddies are playing Monday at Rockwood Music Hall on Monday. Wish I could see them, but have a prior engagement. You go for me!

Bonus: I was quoted in a Mashable article, Eight Social Media Strategies To Engage Multicultural Consumers.

140Conference Day 1

For some strange reason, I thought that the 140Conf was at 92YTribeca, not the 92nd Street Y. So I had schlep from the “Lower West Side”  near the Holland Tunnel to the Upper East Side.

I got inside around 10AM to hear the end of Dan Harple’s presentation. He was talking about creating places and experiences. Gypsii.

Chris Lehmann excellent presentation about School 2.0. He is the principal of the Science Leadership Academy. Classes cannot be silos but lens to view the world.

Jeffrey Hayzlett, CMO at Kodak, and now famous for his appearance on Celebrity Apprentice. Regarding ROI for using twitter, Hazlett says “forget return on investment. it’s return on ignoring.”

Ivanka Trump was  interviewed by Jeffrey Hazlett. “To develop your brand means you have to be extremely consistent.”

Chris Weingarten. His presentation/rant was great. “Firsties! The race to be first is the most insidious fucking Ebola virus to hit the internet. When clicks are your lifeblood, good writing dies. Don’t let math dictate your music choices. Don’t believe the Hype Machine.”

Andrea Syrtash used relationship advice to apply to Twitter relationships.1. Worry less about impressing others. Let others impressed you. 2. You can’t have intimacy without vulnerability. 3. People want to be challenged-not changed.”

Joan Walsh from Salon lead a panel on Twitter rules when talking about race. Follow a diverse group. Don’t use lazy words.

ElonJames.Don’t be a douchebag. If you write something, and makes someone uncomfortable, then tweet it.

Prof Blair Kelley.Tweet as you who are. Make sure you have the time. Always use evidence. Don’t use the word “racist” or “racism”.

Liza Sabater. Harness your inner asshole. Vocabulary matters. Use emoticons when being snarky.

You may have heard the expression, there is no free lunch.  I never thought it would apply to a conference. I stopped taking notes after getting lunch at Effy’s Cafe and tweeted a little during the rest of the afternoon.

Azaleas and Patio Garden Tour


I spent the weekend in Philadelphia and stayed with friends Chris and Len. They have a lovely house in Northern Liberties. Out on their patio, they have planted both flowers and vegetables. They also have a potato bag which helps you grow potatoes.

Patio Garden in Philadelphia from Nichelle Stephens on Vimeo.

How To Make Money From Blogging…NOT

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When I heard about Media Bistro/AOL Seed’s event called “How To Make Money Blogging”, I signed up thinking I would get some good tips about how to make money. Note: I hate the word “monetize”. Many of the attendees were either newbie bloggers or people thinking about starting a blog. It was a stark contrast to the experienced bloggers who attended to the #bkblogs event on Wednesday. The panelists, Lockhart Steele (Curbed), Dorothy McGivney (Jauntsetter) and Stephen Lenz (Urlesque) were definitely knowledgeable. They all agreed that you have to blog about something you are passionate about. However, the event was more for beginning bloggers so it was the not the best fit for me. The oddest moment was after the panel when a woman peppered me with questions about why she should have a Facebook page and what kind of Facebook page she should have. I didn’t even know if she blogged or not. Don’t get me started on her question about the difference between Twitter Feed and Facebook Feed. [KILL ME NOW.]

On the upside,  I so loved the cool badges we got; and the reception was nice. Plus, I got to hang out with Erica and chat about blogging.

Anyway, I did learned something tonight. From Popeater to Lemondrop, AOL owns a whole lot of blogs and websites. I really want to know how AOL makes money blogging. That would be worth my time.

Multicultural Social Communications Leadership Forum

Today I attended BDI’s Multicultural Social Communications Leadership Forum at NYU’s Midtown Campus. At first I was frustrated by the lack of wifi in the classroom, but the speakers were so good that it was best to listen intently without tweeting or checking email.

First, I want to say this. If you ever run a conference, panel discussion or forum  related to multicultural marketing and social media, then start from GO. I don’t mean starting on time, but I mean don’t start from talking about a “Digital Divide” or why aren’t there Blacks or Latinos in Tech. I was so happy, almost to the point of tears to see that no one on the panel nor anyone in the audience ever questioned the HUGE presence of Blacks, Latinos, or Asians online. In fact, the numbers shown during the presentations today show more than I thought before. Thank you everyone for validating that!

Now on to the presentations. There were six speakers and a panel discussion afterwards.

Noel Hankin:  Senior VP, Multicultural Relations, Moet Hennessy. Noel talked about how luxury brands are not just for the rich.

He talked about three trends 1)The rapid rise of the Latino population in the States. 2)The Taking of African Americans for Granted. 3)The Growth of Secondary Segment (India, Southeast Asian immigrants.

IMHO about Trend 2). If brands continue to take the African American demographic for granted by not customizing  campaigns to the community or just adding Black faces to ad collateral, then they will lose market share to the brands who appreciates the importance of  executing marketing initiatives to the African American community.

Also, I learned about a very cool product that Hennessy launched last year, Hennessy 44. Whatever your politics, it is so smart of Hennessy to celebrate a historic moment of our first African American president with a special edition bottle of cognac. A portion of the proceeds go to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

Jon Yokogama: VP Consumer Engagement, interTrend Communications.

Jon’s presentation was a case study in experiential and online marketing with JC Penneys. Their goal was to reach Asian teens 13-17 for Back To School. They created a campaign with YouTube stars and had kids created video wearing JCPenney clothes. The interesting thing about this campaign was the excitement and high level of engagement among the teens. The Asian market is different in many ways, but one that stood out to me was how online is the first place to go. Since traditional media like TV or radio does not feature many Asian Americans entertainers, online outlets like YouTube is the place to find budding musicians and comedians.

Lesley Pinckney: General Manager,

Lesley, who also moderated the afternoon panel discussion, gave a very good primer on social media. First, she expressed enthusiasm for Foursquare, which was cool to me since I was just talking to someone who works at Foursquare last night. She talked about the importance of working with content partners and  how social media can help build a brand and make it more agile and responsive to users/customers. She also mentioned a site, Tracking Twitter, which shows a brands ranking on Twitter. When choosing which social media platform/s your company’s brand, Lesley advises: YOU MUST USE THE PLATFORM YOURSELF AT LEAST ONCE.

Ajoy Mahtab: Director of Sales and Marketing, SymCare Personalized Health Solutions, Johnson & Johnson

I have heard many analogies used to explain social media, but Ajoy said something different. He likened social media to the pool game of “Marco Polo”.  It is an effective to way to explain it.  His presentation focused on how to get buy-in from upper management and from brands.

Christine Clavijo-Kish: Senior VP, Multicultural Market, PR Newswire.

Christine gave lots of stats noting the Hispanic market online from a Florida State University study on Hispanic Marketing . MySpace is the top social networking for Latinos, and there is a mobile site for MySpace.

Lee Maicon: VP Strategic Service, Wing

Lee did not talk about social media, nor did he talk exclusively about multicultural campaigns. He talked about “experiential marketing in a post-digital world”. What does that mean? I gather from his presentation that storytelling and creating experiences are important. The more screens in front of us is actually less interesting. Experiences shared either offline or online can connect us. Conversations drive sales.

This event was great. I learned a lot and would suggest that conference organizers look to these people mentioned when they need a multicultural marketing expert. They know their stuff from shinola.

Brooklyn, We Blog Hard

Tonight was the #bkblogs event at The Bell House. It was like SXSW but only if it was constrained to the block of 7th Street between 3rd and 2nd Streets in Brooklyn. There was music. There were lobster rolls and shrimp rolls by Red Hook Lobster Pound. There were tech start-ups, bloggers, tumblrs, twitterers, blog-to-book authors and such. There were cupcakes by Robicellis.

Tonight, I met Bourgie Interrupted, @laurenthedark, Jean from Chermelle from Off Manhattan and Wendy Todd. I mentioned these five ladies because they are Black women in Tech that I am meeting for the first time. The Boy thinks I know everyone in Brooklyn who has a URL, so it was especially nice to met new people doing cool stuff. I love meeting “The Other Brown Girl” in the room, so feel free to come up to me at any event and say “hello”.

It was super sweet to see Chris from The Skint, Brian Fairbanks, Blondie and Brownie, STFU Parents, AmyBlogsChow, Emily Hanhan, Amber Marlow Blatt of HeyBrooklyn, Anita of Brooklyn By Bike, Eric from Garden Fork, Rob Blatt of IMDBoner, Melissa of ForkThis, Hagan of Wandering Foodie, Erik of Fancy Fast Food, Lilit of Save The Assistants, Clay of Midtown Lunch, Brenda of Chaos Theory, Only The Blog Knows Brooklyn, Brianna of Unemployed Brooklyn and anyone else I forgot to mention.

Thanks to Fucked in Park Slope, Brokelyn and Brooklyn Based for putting this event together.

Related: Check out Fucked in Park Slope’s recap.

Doughnuts At The Breslin

Doughuts at the Breslin

After seeing Doctor Who at The Paley Center and almost losing my wallet, the Boy and I went down to the Ace Hotel to have dinner at The Breslin. We had sweetbreads (yummy) and brandade (too salty). For dessert I ordered the doughnuts with banana ice cream. The doughnuts were warm and delicious. They were like fancy Krispy Kremes.

Chickpeas and Chorizo

Chickpea and Chorizo from Nichelle Stephens on Vimeo.

You may have heard of highbrow/lowbrow when it comes to culture or haute couture/low price duds when it comes to fashion, but today I cooked a high/low dish that was inspired by Mark Bittman of the New York Times. I love The Minimalist videos, and he recently did a Fried Chickpeas and Chorizo dish.

I bought chorizo from Brooklyn Larder. I bought the chickpeas from the corner bodega. The black olives were from a Goya can I opened earlier this week. I love Goya! The spinach, red onions and red peppers were from the produce aisle of the local Key Food. I added a little grated manchego that I bought Murray’s Cheese. It was delicious! Here’s a picture of the final result.

Chickpeas and Chorizo