Tuesday, January 31, 2012

No more BlackCity313 .. tell everybody!

Good morning Faithful Readers!

Just a heads up, whereas I loved my old URL, and I love my hometown (Detroit CITTTTTTTYYYYY), I had to grow up the #BlackInTheCity blog a lil' bit ... the new URL is


Add it to your favories, change your RSS feed list, ... do what you have to do, but there is no more BlackCity313, sorry about the confusion.


Friday, January 27, 2012

BLAC-ican Cuisine

I am trying to introduce myself to a few different types of cultures...that of a Texan, and that of a (healthy) wife.  

Coming from Detroit where I lived alone, I did what I want, when I wanted...I ate alone and art any restaurant I wanted. Now with a combined budget a little added responsibility of an extra mouth to feed, I am exploring options in the kitchen. ... I have fallen in love with Mexican food ... here are some of my exploratory lunches from the last week or so.
Chicken Tortilla Soup

Talapia Tacos w/ Fresh Avocado Lime Salsa

Salmon Salad and Orange Chicken

My Juice Diet .. This is a GIANT bowl of Fruit and Veggies

I know it's upside down ... steak bites, super salad, shrimp/mango salad

Steak Sandwich, Sweet Potato Fries and Coleslaw
There's everything from talapia tacos, chicken tortilla soup, steak bites, salmon salad, homemade veggie juice, sweet potato fries, coleslaw, orange chicken and shrimp salsa.

If you want any of my recipes let me know...they were all delicious.  Just ask @igboswag.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

HomeGirl Chronicles #3: Daddy's Girl Options for Gifting

If you follow me on twitter or have ever met me, you know that I am a Daddy's girl, tried and true.  I hold my father as one of my top references in arguments, research papers, lifestyle decisions and jokes.

Today is my dad's birthday and I wanted to share a few options with everyone on gifts that dads would love.  Gone are the days when a new tie or a shiney new Bible cover would suffice, dads are doing more and deserve more ... especially the best Dads, like mine.

The first rule of Gift Giving For Dad is ...

1.  Remember what it is they like to do.  Yes, all dads have passtimes and hobbies, but sometimes we (as Daddy's Girls) don't recognize that they do other things but cater to us all day.
I often regarded my dad's lifetime supply of wood scraps, nails and tools as "the crap we keep in the backyard" until I found out that that "crap" kept food on our table for 18 years.
Speaking of food .. I DO KNOW that my dad loves to cook! So, instead of adding to the pile of crap in the backyard, an apron would be a great idea for a gift.  Because it makes everyone happy, Dad gets something new and I get to watch him twirl around the kitchen in it while he whips me up my favorite meal ... lasagna.

#2.  Remember what you and your dad have been through together.  A lady only gets awarded Daddy's Girl status after you've stood your ground.  I am not going to admit to giving my father gray hairs ... I am not going to openly say that I may have made him cry a few times (more times than not those were tears of joy ...right?) But I am going to say that my Dad and I have had our ups and downs.  He is, and he'd agree to this, my first boyfriend ... so yes, we faught, argued and battled over more than a few things.  And in each instance, I like to think I made him better at what he does ... i.e. understanding me.  (what did you think I was gonna say?) What better gift to show this off than a comical mug.

And lastly,
#3.  Understand where your dad is coming from.  My dad is hitting 70 years young, but he's still up with the times.  I mean, as best as he can he's managed cell phones, wireless phones, speaker phones and even answering machines .. computers, not so much.  He still drafts his emails on his typewriter (that wasn't a joke, I have proof) .. so when gift giving for dad, always remember their generations.  You don't want to shock them into keeping up with the rest of the world, so an iPad is out of the question .. plus, all the Dads I know have the biggest hands in the world, I wouldn't even want to watch him manipulate the slide and sweep actions of Angry Birds.  What better gift but a little bit of technology nostalgia ..think a good ol' (super unnecessary) customized mouse pad.  I mean, there's no way that he would understand that mice have infrared technology and could be used on any surface now ... and I've been meaning to replace the one personalized with my 9th grade photo he's had for years (he leaves it around the house for literally everyone to see)
A man and his typewriter - love this guy dot com

So, Happy Birthday Dad! You're 
(clearly, obviously, indisputably) THE BEST!
My Dad Stay Swag'd!

oohh, all of these gifts listed come from CafePress.com ... right now they have some really cool deals, including free PHONES with purchase, so you can get something for Dad and something for your self as well! 

237641_Save $5 on Political Gear at CafePress on orders $40 or more!

Ring me up ... the "I'm Getting Married" post

In a lovely turn of events my boyfriend of 6 months, @IgboSwag, and I have chosen to spend the rest of our dark chocolate lives together.  I couldn't be a happier woman at this point.  Now, as I fling myself in between decisions for clients, writing press releases and proposals to planning a multi-national wedding. ...yes, I said multi-national.  That's the only word I can find to describe it.  If you haven't come to the conclusion now, @IgboSwag is Nigerian.  And traditionally weddings are sacred instances of massive partying.

There's so much involved.  So much to think about.  And apparently, it has to be perfect.

Nevertheless, I like to take things a little slower these days, especially when I am planning events, or maybe its because I am obsessed with rings.

I don't remember alot about the married women I knew and their wedding ring situation.  It wasn't until after college that I recognized that married black women's ring game was not up to par with those of other races.  The first time I saw a girl my age wearing a gigantic rock was while working a small boutique in Birmingham.  A young bride had come into the shoppe for the bridal registry, and her Tiffany set diamond caught my eye.  It was beautifully set in platinum and had all the sparkle in the world and it completely ROCKED mine.  Who was this man she was dating that could afford such a gift?  Was he "old money"?   Was he "old" in general?  Definitely no young man would have the audacity to purchase something soo flashy ... right?
(Clearly I use to think that everyone had to be as broke as I was)

 But that's when I found BlueNile.com ... it's diamond heaven.  And I've never been afraid to go into a place and try on a few diamonds, just to get myself familiar with how they feel on my body, so now I can sit at home and gawk, sqweel and cry over carat sizes ... and I can even build my own ring!
2-carat Channel setting, w/ Sapphires ... I'm this kind of girl
Blue Nile has kept me entertained for a few hours already this morning.. and I have ton of posts to write.

Oh wait, there is a SALE AREA.
#TeamOgba ... nice to meet you!
All those that wish to come to the wedding, click some links, it'll help us pay for the whole thing.

TTYL .... and most of my posts from here on out will confront some sort of wedding news, products or whatever ... so, prepare yourself.

The also have great options for Valentine's Day fellas ... I think the hubster is going to write a post on those.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The King of Love ... who's leading our battle now?

The first thing any black child learns about Black History Month is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  We learned his message, his battle, his opposers and his speech.  He was a fantastic man that the world has grown to truly appreciate, flaws and all.

I had the joy of attending the groundbreaking of his memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC about 5 years ago.  It was an exciting experience and the people that were there had a community feeling of love and acceptance.  And I treasure the moment spent with the likes of senators and tv personalities ... also, it was the last time I seen one of my best friends before she was killed by a drunk driver.
(RIP) Meloni, Kim & I w/ Soledad O'Brien .. #BlackInAmerica
@The MLK Memorial Groundbreaking in DC, 2006

When I think of Dr. King I think of everything that black people, women, orphans, people with disabilities, foreign Americans, and everyone that has suffered.  I think of the things that they've now accomplished after recognizing how to fight via Dr. King.

But I am sad because there aren't many stars that have risen to the occasion as King had.  Who is leading our people?  Where is that "voice" of reason when it comes to what battles we'll fight, or did we only learn to turn the other cheek ... and tweet anonymously, and crash a few computers, and sleep in a park  ... where's the real action?  The boycotts of big business?  The picketing of discrimination for those men that Governor in Georgia pardoned ... would the country be in such an uproar if those men were white?

What I am saying, in the words of my most favorite Nina Simone, What has happened now that the King of Love is dead?
ofcourse, we have a black president ... but congress has yet to be infiltrated by minorities  .. the senate too!
ofcousre, black boys are quarterbacks in the NFL ... but the NFL is owned by old white men who fine, yell at, starve and beat their high-priced (mostly) players ... same thing for the NCAA.
there maybe, free share of information across the board, but access to that information is limited in low income areas where libraries and public schools don't get the same amount of funding as their suburban counterparts ...
Are we still moving for the equality that Dr. King preached for?  Or have we settled for iPhones and tax refund checks?  Have they quieted our cries with free apps like twitter when gas prices are exuberant?

I know we aren't happy. but...
Are we still fighting?  
Let me know.

Monday, January 9, 2012

HomeGirl Chronicles #2: Make Your Own First Impression

Relying on introductions can be #TheWorst.  As a business person, neighbor, or just wanna buy a girl a drink you naturally want people to see you in a good light ... that is if you're like me.

As a marketer and publicist I find myself reaching out to people on a daily basis.  And I love when I get in touch with just the right person the first time-around ("Never Take a NO", new post coming soon).

I hate, however, when I have to go through other people to make a contact.  It requires patience and confidence that whomever your reference is can properly communicate information about you ... excuse me, GOOD information about you.

I mean, you can't always trust what people say or how it comes out.

So, I was overjoyed when I found @WhoDoYouKnowAt ... its a site that (1) Locate the proper people and describe their relationship to you .. or (2) Allow you to build your own interactional (because you have to define this now, since everything internet is social, interactional is the congregation of actual people in a common place)

#WHOAT.NET will let you use their CHAMPION GOLF COURSE .. that's right!  If they can't find the right person you want to talk to, they'll let you use their  golf course.

The site is coming soon and has already gotten much acclaim as a top contender for super stardom!  Check it out and let me know what you think!

Got some great things in the terms of getting the coolest info and toys to my faithful tech-monsters. 

All this month readers will get some awesome opportunities to score FREE STUFF! Check back soon!


Monday, January 2, 2012

Homegirl Chronicles #1

As you all may know, I love to get things out in the open.  I like to speak my mind, and it really doesn't matter if anyone really hears me...but I know how to make people listen.

This new section that I am rolling out with this year is the BiTC.Homegirl Chronicles...and it's not just a play on letters, acronyms and words...this is going to get deep.  This series will implement dynamic views of the black community, how I associate with news, legislature, pop culture, not-so-pop culture and the random direction our entire young American community is headed (those darn young wipper-snappers!)

Let's get this party poppin'!

San Antonio, TX (and sometimes Austin) is where I call home.  But I am still a Detroiter, as you can see, half of my blog posts promote Detroit-based events.  It is my native town that gave me this weird view of my world, whereas now it is the most segregated city in America, in history it was the city every negro slave risked their lives to.  And now, living in Texas, I tell people about my Detroit roots and they give me the "glad you made it out" face... is it that serious?

I am not one to preach to the choir, but are we still on this "product of our environment" mess?

I am anxious to read what you have to say about how you've create new "not your average" opportunities in your realm, world, neighborhood or box. ... more to come from the Homegirl.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, New Lessons ... Putting an End to my Beginning

Happy New Year Everyone!!

BiTC celebrated its FIFTH YEAR ANNIVERSARY yesterday ... and I never really cause a big fuss over it...I love my blog, but I don't really celebrate it like I should.  Instead I like to think back on my posts and think how they can be better, a skill I learned at the end of every school year during finals...

I have been a freelance publicist for almost 2 years now.  I've worked on campaigns in Detroit, San Antonio, Austin, Chicago and the DMV as well as completed tons of online campaigns.  It's been a weird year.

When I last talked about my employment situation I had just been fired from Nordstroms for reasons unknown, other than being a cool headed black girl. .. I took my new-found forced independence in stride, vowing never to go back on the clock again.  I created proposals for new events and drafted contracts with new clients. I hit the keyboard at 6am most mornings finding contacts in the media and focusing on gaining ground in the realm of B2B relations.

BiTC talked a lot of mess in 2012...
 Part of being freelance is creating my own schedule as well as managing my own customer service methods.  Which is often the hardest thing for new entrepreneurs.  Of course every one imagines being able to roll out of bed whenever you want, billing large clients for exuberant amounts of "consulting" hours, networking and laughing it up with other entrepreneurs over a glass of red wine and a t-bone steak....but managing a service-centered small business is getting more and more complicated.  Having 5 years of fresh corporate experience did not well enough prepare me for 2011, and neither did the 5 years I spent at Michigan (yup, I'm admitting to the 5th year victory lap...atleast I finished)
A quick move to San Antonio, TX put BiTC in a good place to grow

Real world experience taught me where to start learning when it came to building my small business.  

Whereas I have just gotten over the fear of "what if I can't pay my [insert life altering expense here]?" phase of being an entrepreneur...the phase where I find myself applying for a few open positions every now and then... to the "now, I demand a deposit before any services are begun." mindset of entrepreneurship.  
@darealChrisReed, circa '09
Woodward bus stop, downtown Detroit
In 2011 I focused a lot on finding the lessons I need to learn from ... or in my aunts' words, I got into a ton of trouble.  I took chances, and explored how to talk to people, what to say, when to ask for what you want and to walk away when people tell you NO...because I am obviously talking to the wrong person.

@BethanyEastPR, 2012 ... San Antonio, TX ..
still wide-eyed, not so much bushy-tailed
Now, it's 2012 and BethanyEast PR and Mgmt. Consulting has a ton of new projects, ideas and opportunities for clients and affiliates.  This year we will be creating marketing gold on an international scale. 

We've claimed the San Antonio/Houston and Austin circuit as our new home and are ready to make waves in the media, among diverse audience.  

The #BlackInTheCity blog will also be changing to include a well rounded approach to what it means to be Black in the City, in the Suburbs, in America (thanks Soledad) and in your own right ... this year I stand to prove that blackness may be universal, but it most definitely is not what it use to be.

I am putting an end to my beginning entrepreneurial lifestyle, this year marks the overhaul.  Stay blessed, learn often and ...