About Last Saturday...

Early last Saturday morning, before the sun had even come out, I sleepily shuffled into the kitchen where I pulled an ice-cold block of butter and a dozen eggs out of the fridge. I left them on the counter and just-as-sleepily shuffled back to bed, snuggling up against Eugene who was sound asleep and completely unaware of what I'd been up to.

An hour or so later (once the butter had softened and the eggs had reached room temperature) I pulled out of bed again and got to work. I had a to-do list as long as my arm and very few hours to do it. At 1pm that afternoon, I was expecting a photographer who was being sent over by the New York Daily News to photograph me cooking and styling my food for a story in the paper about New Yorkers who chose their homes because of their hobbies. The main selling points in my case were the relatively large kitchen (that's NY apartment big, mind you) and the dishwasher (::cue choir of angels::).

The aforementioned butter was pulled out of the fridge because the reporter had asked me to prep a few things for the shoot and I figured I might as well bake a cake! I actually was filling an order for one of my regular customers who had bought one of my Italian Rainbow Cookie Cakes for her daughter's 13th birthday, which I thought would look lovely in a photo, and I also prepared a batch of espresso cocoa truffles (which I'll post tomorrow).

The big surprise came a little later after I'd finished cleaning the apartment, baking the cake layers, and had laid out my props to shoot the truffles. I hopped in and out of the shower and as I stood in my room with wet hair dripping all over my shoulders, the phone rang. It was the photographer saying that she would be over in 5 minutes--a full 45 minutes earlier than expected. I told Eugene to answer the door as I rushed to tie up my wet hair and throw on a dress. I was a bit flustered since I'd timed everything down to the minute, but she was nice about waiting for me to finish applying makeup.

Ultimately, I think the shoot went well. She took some photos of me spreading the cake filling and making ganache for the frosting. Then some photos of me styling and shooting the truffles. And finally a couple portraits of me holding a basin of truffles and smiling at the camera. She left about an hour and a half later, at which point I collapsed on the couch in pure exhaustion.

All week long, I waited for the article to come out with a mix of excitement and nervousness. The latter mostly because I was terrified of the photo being awful. It was scheduled to be printed in the real estate section of the Friday paper, so yesterday morning I had another pre-dawn wake-up as I rushed to get ready and run down to the bodega to buy the newspaper. I didn't open it until I was on the train, and it was there, squooshed between two other commuters, that my heart was a little bit broken.

They didn't run my photo.

The article was there; a full three pages with four large photos of the other people in the story, but not a single picture of me. I kept turning the pages and re-reading it to see if I was missing something, but there was nothing. I did appear in the words of the article; one sentence in the beginning and a nice little paragraph in the middle (although they got my occupation wrong; I'm a magazine editor, not a web editor), but the part that I'd been most excited about...actually having a photo of me cooking in the newspaper, was missing.

I told the girls at work about it when I got in (they'd heard all about the shoot and had also been looking forward to seeing the photo) and Eugene via IM. Like me, he was bummed. "After all that work and preparation you did! You barely slept!" We both commiserated for a while, he assuring me that it probably had to do with space issues and not, as I'd conjectured, because "I came out ugly."

"That's ridiculous!" he told me. "And impossible."

He assured me that this just wasn't my turn, but that I'll get another (bigger! better!) chance someday soon. With that assurance, I went about the rest of my day happily, only occasionally glancing out of the corner of my eye at the paper with a tiny sneer.

The article, if you'd like to read it, is here. It's actually a very cute story, even if it is missing my photo. ;)

6 comments:

  1. That sucks! The sad truth is that you can't count on the media to get anything right. Yes, I said it. As the chocolatier for a chocolate company here in nyc we've been featured in a lot of press and not a single article was 100% correct. Some made things up. Or they left out seriously important info. Or they wasted 4 hours of our precious production time taking a million photos that they never even ran. Or they printed the most horrendous photo of me (which really made me cringe). Eventually I stopped caring because there was nothing I could do about it. Anyway, congratulations on being featured and on the fact that they did provide a link (which actually works) to your blog - that is excellent. You are a good writer with an interesting blog, so you will get another chance to shine! And i'm sure your photos came out very pretty.

    ps: I'm so jealous you have a dishwasher (and space for a dishwasher!) My kitchen does not even have an inch of counter space. True story.

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  2. As a Journalism major, and one who worked on the school's newspaper for too long, I can completely concur with everything said above. A lot of reporters don't pay attention to like, anything, and they will instead fill in things they thought they heard instead of calling back to check the facts hastily scribbled in their notebooks (I know because I MAY have done that, like, oncenever. Shhhhh).

    Also, I know full well how horribly things get butchered at the last possible minute. Just think of it this way: They probably had your lovely picture all arranged on the page, but they had to get rid of it to make room for the lovely paragraph about you :).

    Also, since you are a magazine editor, you probably know all of these things.

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  3. I'm sorry your photo didn't end up in the article, I can only imagine how disappointed you were, especially after all that preparation!

    But at least they did run the article, and you got a great shout out!

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  4. Oh, man. I HATE that feeling of getting your expectations on something, waiting for it, waiting for it... and then, when the thing finally happens, it isn't what you expected. I'm really sorry.

    On the other hand, I am so proud of you for being featured - love the line about being a "baker on Sugar Hill." Also, Eugene really shines in this story---good responses, bravo to him---and that is valuable in a different way, because while it doesn't show us your picture, it does show us you are loved.

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  5. aww sweetie. I'm sorry about the photo but I'm so proud of all the exciting things that have been happening in your little world out there in the big city ;) Its been a while since I've read all the updates on your blogs and I'm so proud of you! There will be many more articles and eventually people won't need your picture in front of them to know who you are!

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  6. I checked your blog today to see if the rice pudding had been transformed into something even more fabulous :-) Bummer about that photo, but dude - those truffles look amazing!

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