Monday, September 16, 2013

7 Life Lessons We Learned From Joey Potter

It has been over a decade since "Dawson's Creek" filled an hour block on the CW, making Wednesday nights a sacred time for the teenage girls of the '90s. I'm still nostalgic for the time when I followed the lives of the people in Capeside, even those characters would all be in their 30's now. For me, it's one of those shows that teaches you something, despite the cheese factor. It's a silly guilty pleasure, but I'm okay with that.

While the kids from the Creek taught us a lot during their 128 episodes, I think Miss Josephine Potter was the wisest of the group. She chose Pacey over Dawson, after all. (Sorry for the spoiler, but come on, it's been over 10 years!)

Here are seven life lessons, courtesy of our pal Joey.

1. Don't be afraid to wait for the guy who will buy you a wall.

Forgive me for starting off the list with a corny lesson, but at least I'm getting it out of the way. I remember watching this episode as a teenager and thinking about the romance behind this gesture. Pacey was showing Joey his support for her passion and helping her start out in the best way he knew how. No wonder she ends up with him in the end.

2. Always check the recipient list when sending emails, no matter how tired you are. 

No, seriously. Even if you think you've selected the right person, check again. If it's a personal email that could be embarrassing on any level if it is sent to your entire school or office, check three more times.

3. Being trapped in a Kmart isn't necessarily the worst thing. 

It turns out that, in addition to help you rekindle your romance, getting trapped in a Kmart is a fun little getaway. Everything you could ever need is there, and then some. Even so, I must say I'd prefer to be stuck in a Target.

4. Take a leap of faith: Travel to Paris or go sailing for an entire summer. 

Life is about making memories and experiences. Don't shy away from something just because it doesn't seem like the most logical or practical thing to do.

5. Circumstances don't make a person.

No matter your situation, you can still come out on top. Even with a father in prison, a mother who passed away, and bills up to her eyes, Joey Potter managed to find happiness. Sure, there's some Hollywood magic in there, but I think the lesson applies nonetheless.

6. A lot can happen because of a karaoke song. 

Karaoke songs can be deeply meaningful, whether you're reflecting on the past with someone while doing a duet (all while making eyes at someone else), or getting on stage to prove to a fling that you aren't afraid of taking a risk.

7. Happiness can be found in New York City. 

You'll have to have a box of tissues handy because you can't get through the series finale without shedding a few (hundred) tears, but once you watch it, you'll see what I mean.

This article appeared on PolicyMic.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

6 Famous American Films That You Didn't Know Are Foreign Remakes

It seems like Hollywood is all about making movies that have a counterpart. This includes movies based on books, like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, or everything by Nicholas Sparks, as well as comic books, video games, and even board games. 

But beyond this, Hollywood turns to great minds around the globe for inspiration. Some of our favorite movies are actually remakes of foreign films. Here are our top six that fall into that category. 

1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

This 2011 American movie was based on a novel by Stieg Larsson, and a 2009 Swedish movie, all with the same name. Larsson, who wrote this series of books as a hobby in the evening, never saw any of them published. After his death, the books were discovered and received great acclaim. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, the final book in the series by Larsson, became the highest selling book in the U.S. in 2010. The book’s popularity paved the way for the movie’s success. The American film was set to have sequels to immediately follow the first, but as of August 2012, the next release in the series had been delayed until 2014 at the earliest. 

2. City of Angels

This 1998 American rom-com stars Nicolas Cage, before he got weird, as an angel who falls in love with Meg Ryan, before she discovered collagen injections. It was based on the German film, Wings of Desire, set in Berlin. Like many Hollywood remakes, City of Angels departs from its 1987 doppelganger in a few key ways. First of all, Ryan’s character is not a trapeze artist. And secondly, the American version may go down in history as the only transatlantic remake with an ending more depressing than the one created by the Germans. 

3. The Departed

Martin Scorsese’s 2006 The Departed is such a masterpiece of cinematic storytelling that everyone forgave him for making Gangs of New York. Leonardo DiCaprio plays a young copy placed as a mole in a South Boston mob family, while Matt Damon plays a young mobster who infiltrates the Boston P.D. Scorsese certainly doesn’t get all the credit for this great film. It’s based off a 2002 Hong Kong police drama, Infernal Affairs, which is basically the same thing, with the Triad instead of the mob.  

4. The Birdcage

This 1996 comedy, starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, is actually a remake of the French film La Cage Aux Folles, from 1978. That title may ring a bell, thanks to its several stints on Broadway, most recently in New York in 2010. The Birdcage follows the struggles of an extravagant, gay cabaret owner who struggles with meeting his son’s conservative fiancĂ© and her family and finding a sense of belonging in his son’s new family life. Even if you haven’t seen it, can’t you just imagine the laughs that ensue with Williams and Lane together?

5. The Ring

Yes, the film that had high school girls squirming and inspired sections of Haunted Houses across the country was actually a Japanese film first. The 1998 film was remade in the U.S. in 2002 and starred Naomi Watts. But not even the original film, Ringu, was an original. It was based on a novel by the same name, published seven years earlier. The psychological ring cycle maintained consistency across all three versions because Koji Suzuki, who wrote the book, also co-wrote both film adaptations. 

6. Godzilla 

A list like this wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Godzilla movies. In 1954, Japanese film Gojira was released and had rave reviews. In May 1998, Roland Emmerich, the brains behind Independence Day, directed the American version. Even though the American version wasn’t as well received, the U.S. is apparently giving it another go, with another same-named film currently in post-production and expected to hit theaters in 2014. And this one stars the lesser-known Olsen girl, Elizabeth.

This article appeared on PolicyMic.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Tony Awards 2013: 5 Broadway Shows That Take On Millennial Issues

The Tony Awards are on tonight at 8:00 p.m. EDT / 7:00 p.m. CST on CBS and it is sure to be an award show no Broadway fan wants to miss. But the Tonys are more than just golden statues; they are a chance to spotlight the year's best shows.

Some of these stories take on issues that hit close to home for many millennials. Check out our top five and then let us know in the comments what other shows you think tie to the issues facing the millennial generation today.

1. Hands on a Hardbody

This show, which opened in March, is about 10 Texans trying to win a pickup truck. You know the drill; last one with their hands on the truck wins. But it's about more than just a truck for each of them. They're fighting for the freedom that winning could mean. While the hardships and obstacles each character's story brings to light are things Gen X and boomers faced, they resonate even more so with us because we have to solve them. Millennials may not have the same concept of the American Dream that our parent's generation did, but we are still out there fighting for what we want our lives to be. Hopefully we can show as much heart, hope, and perseverance, even if we take our hands off the Nissan.

2. Matilda

This musical, based on the book of the same name by Roald Dahl, opened at the Shubert Theatre in April. This is the story of a gifted little girl who is often ignored by her family. After a strong of outbursts and pranks, Matilda's family finally sends her off to school, where she has a lot of trouble with the principal. But Matilda connects with a teacher, Miss Honey, who sees her potential and helps her with her newly discovered telekinetic powers. Matilda uses these powers to do silly things around the school. Millennials work hard and play just as hard and as often. We need educators and employers who see our potential and encourage us to take breaks from the daily office grind to have a Nerf gun fight or play a round of pool.

3. Kinky Boots

In this new musical, Tony (Stark Sands) inherits an almost-bankrupt shoe factory after the sudden death of his father. Tony feels the pressure to keep the factory alive, but finds he cant' do it by simply trying to be his father or make the same men's dress shoes his father made. Tony teams up with Lola, a transvestite showgirl, to make shoes for like-employed performers. By daring to reinvent himself, as well as his father's company, Tony learns a lesson that rings true with most of us; no matter in whose footsteps we follow, we must also make our own impact on the world, embrace change and not get lost in the shadows of others.

4. The Trip to Bountiful

This show is set in the spring of 1953 in Houston, Texas. Carrie (Cicely Tyson) is a widow, living in Houston with her son and daughter-in-law, who she doesn't get along with. Carrie spends her days dreaming of returning to her hometown of Bountiful and one day takes off on a bus to go there. She meets several people along the way who help her embark on self-discovery. As millennials are facing returning home after graduation, even heading back to their childhood bedrooms while they hunt for work, it's important to know that it isn't always about the location. Who you meet and the experiences you have are going to teach you a lot about yourself and the world around you, possibly even more than paying rent each month.

5. Golden Boy

Joe Bonaparte (Seth Numrich) was a promising violinist at a young age and was planning to make this his career until a prizefight promoter offers him a different opportunity. He gives up the violin because he can get more fame and fortune from becoming a boxing superstar. Millennials face many similar choices, in both education and employment. Many are skipping college and entering the workforce sooner, in hopes of finding a quicker route to prosperity. Many millennials are looking to become solpreneurs, find jobs in startups, get crowdfunded, or come up with an app that alleviates the need to work all together. But forgoing formal education all together can end up doing just as much damage to your mind as boxing does to the hands.

This article appeared on PolicyMic.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

"The Office" Season Finale: 6 Things We've Learned From the Show

Thursday night won't be the same without our weekly visits to Scranton, Penn., with Jim, Pam, Andy, Erin, Dwight, Angela, Creed, Phyllis, Meredith, Stanley, Toby, Kevin, Oscar, or any of the other Mifflinites. The final episode of the series airs on May 16, with a rumored return of former-manager Michael Scott. Until then, let's take a look at six lessons we learned over the last nine seasons of "The Office."

1. Pranks can help improve the workplace. 
the, office, season, finale:, 6, things, weve, learned, from, the, show,
Whether it's a stapler in the Jell-O or a cell phone in the ceiling, we've seen some good pranks around "The Office," especially between long-time rivals Jim and Dwight. Let's face it; these people sell paper for a living. Things could get pretty mundane around Dunder Mifflin without some good ol' fashioned fun, and what better way than putting someone's office supplies in the vending machine?

2. Your work-life can exist outside the office.

Have you ever seen coworkers who do more together than our favorite paper crew? Whether it's dancing down the aisle at Jim and Pam's wedding, supporting each other through breakups and family struggles, or heading out on a bus for a team-building field trip, this group does it all together. In our lifetimes, we'll spend an average of over 90,000 hours working, so it's a good thing to like the people you work with.

3. Sometimes it's OK to leave for the Michael Scott Paper Company. 
the, office, season, finale:, 6, things, weve, learned, from, the, show,
Do you remember when Pam left her job as the Dunder Mifflin receptionist to join the Michael Scott Paper Company? She took a leap of faith and it ended up being more rewarding for her than simply having a steady income. Don't be afraid to risk something for what you want. Some of the scariest things in life often bring you the greatest success.

4. You better recognize. 
the, office, season, finale:, 6, things, weve, learned, from, the, show,
When you work hard and do a good job, it's nice to get noticed. Your office doesn't need to host their own Dundies, but don't forget to tell teammates you appreciate them and their work.

5. Take the time to give back. 
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After a bat bites Meredith and gives her rabies, the Office gang hosts a charity fun run to support the rabid. So, whether your team helps build a Habitat for Humanity house, hosts a food drive, or adopts a highway, it's good to give back to the community and those in need around the office.

6. If you ever step on a George Foreman Grill, wrap your foot in bubble wrap. 
the, office, season, finale:, 6, things, weve, learned, from, the, show,
Really, this is just useful information.

What has "The Office" taught you and what will you miss most about the show?

This article appeared on PolicyMic

Sunday, April 21, 2013

3 Reasons to Call New York City Home at Least Once

I moved to New York City (Manhattan, to be specific) shortly after my 23rd birthday. When I announced that I was leaving the Utah mountains for the Big Apple, I got a lot of different reactions and unsure looks. I was told several times how unsafe and unaffordable life in the "big city" is and how I wouldn't have my own car for transportation. The same things I'm sure many New York transplants hear.

Being a stubborn Taurus girl, I didn't listen. I went and, within hours of unloading boxes, fell deeper in love with the city on the coast opposite from where I grew up.

If you've ever thought, dreamt, or even considered living in New York City, do it. It'll be unlike anything else you ever experience and you'll be glad you took on the adventure. Here are three reasons why.

1. You'll see New York City through the eyes of a local, not a tourist
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia
Times Square is a fun place and somewhere everyone should visit at least once, but it's probably one of my least favorite spots in the city. Partially because of tourists who stop in the middle of the sidewalk for no apparent reason, but mostly because NYC is more than the flashing lights and billboards in Times Square. Really experiencing Manhattan means getting outside of the tourist hotspots and seeing what New York is made of.

Enjoying Summer Streets, picking up fresh tomatoes at the farmer's market in Union Square instead of your nearby Food Emporium, having a Saturday morning bagel place, and knowing why you always carry a spare umbrella ... now you're starting to be a real New Yorker. Also, I can always spot a tourist when I'm walking down the street. Most New Yorkers wear comfy ballet flats or tennis shoes until arriving at the office.

2. You will develop an appreciation for space
Image courtesy of Flickr
I never had to share a bedroom until I got to college. And even then, I had more space in that dorm than I did at my first apartment in Manhattan. But I loved every square centimeter of that apartment. When I moved to my second apartment (a one bedroom!), I thought I was moving into a palace. I even had the luxury of a closet I could take a few steps into. Living in the city teaches you how to appreciate and utilize the space you have and how to discuss success based on square footage.

3. The food
Crumbs cupcakes photo by Brooke Niemeyer
Walking everywhere in this city allows me to try so many delicious foods. I didn't develop my full-fledged cupcake obsession until New York introduced me to Crumbs, Baked by Melissa, Magnolia Bakery, and Butter Lane. Then there's the to-die-for Chinese food that can be delivered to your apartment at all hours. Well, any type of food, really. No matter what type of food you're craving, or want to try, NYC can offer it to you. And more often than not, it can be to your door in 30 minutes or less.

Whether you live in NYC for a summer, a year, or never call anywhere else home again, this is a city you're sure to fall in love with and part of you will always be drawn back to the concrete jungle. And once you've conquered New York City, you'll always be able to say you've done it.

Author's note: Yes, I realize there are five boroughs that make up New York City. I'm a Manhattan girl, but I still have love for Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. 

This article appeared on PolicyMic

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

10 Things Every Woman Needs Before She Turns 30

From graduating college to landing your first real job, a lot happens during your 20s. You'll have plenty of laughs, learn a lot, and probably have some "what in the world was I doing/wearing/thinking?!" moments. While the major accomplishments and hopefully-minor embarrassments may vary from woman to woman, there are several things each should have by the time she turns 30.

1. Money in the bank in case you want to be frivolous

What fun is putting all of your income toward bills? Yes, you need to be responsible, but you should also have some money for when you want to pay yourself. That means splurging on that tropical vacation during winter or buying the flattering jeans with a price tag that implies the denim is made of gold. I recently bought tickets to a Justin Timberlake concert and it was gratifying to hit the purchase button without hesitation because I knew I'd been saving up for something just like this.

2. A savings account for the future

Yes, you want to be able to have money to spend on something "just because" but you don't want to be living paycheck to paycheck, either. There are plenty of things you'll want to invest in down the road (a car, a house or bigger apartment, a wedding/honeymoon, babies, a doctorate program ... The list goes on and on). Skip the occasional Starbucks macchiato if you have to; you'll thank yourself later. 

3. Your own toolset (and know how to use it)

When I was in college, my mom gave me a tool set for Christmas. At first I wondered if it would end up being a dust collector on the shelf in my apartment, but I quickly discovered it comes in handy. Now I can hang up all my pictures, assemble IKEA furniture, and fix a leaky faucet without having to call anyone. It's like being able to change a tire; you don't ever want to have to do it, but you have the knowledge just in case. 

4. Confidence (and pride) in your body

By the time you reach 30, you should've found parts about yourself that you love and know you rock. It doesn't matter if it's your eyes stealing the show when you put on your favorite gold shadow or how your calves look when you step into those strappy black stilettos. Embrace these discoveries. And try not to kick yourself too much about your thighs; they really aren't as big as you think. 

5. A story about your youth you're proud to tell 

Sure you can regale people with the time you did too many vodka shots in college, but that only gets you so far. Your 20's are a good time to have some good experiences to share with others down the road. Plus, these memories may inspire what comes in the next phase of your life, because you sure aren't done living!

6. A sinfully delicious meal you know how to cook by memory

It seems like almost everyone has memories of their mothers or grandmothers in the kitchen using their hands as measuring tools and never looking at a recipe book. There's something charming and classic about this skill. 

7. An ex you can think of fondly but never want to rekindle with

I recently ran into someone I dated seriously in college and all those memories came flooding back. I spent some time resenting his new fiance but then it hit me; she can have him. That was a big moment for me -- realizing you can love someone from your past, but not wanting to be with them anymore. It's the way life should be. Plus, all those former flames lead you to the one that doesn't flicker out. 

8. At least one stamp in your passport; more if you can swing it

Your 20's are a time for exploring both personally and geographically. Go somewhere while you aren't tied down to a career and a mortgage. See the world and add these stories to your repertoire. And hey, if you haven't marked this accomplishment off your list yet, refer to number one on this list -- have some cash set aside for the next time you discover a good Groupon for heading abroad. 

9. Friends outside of social media

Let's face it -- you don't have 651 friends. And really, would you want that many anyway? Can you imagine making dinner reservations? At 30, you don't need the shady back-stabbers or all the drama that comes with them. Embrace the life-long friends you know will be there through both the good and the bad times and let the others go. 

10. An opinion about kids

Even if you're not attached at the moment, you should know by now if you want to add little ones to your life or not. Not only does this help you determine your goals, but it helps with your relationships. If you can't walk through the store without cringing at the sound of a squealing child, you know it's time to say goodbye to the guy who is picking out baby names. 

What would you add to this list? 

This story ran on PolicyMic

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Will Smith's Movie Trailer in New York City

Happy spring, blog buddies. I am posting an ABC News segment from this morning about Will Smith's large trailer parked in New York City's SoHo neighborhood where he is filming Men in Black 3. Some of the areas residents filed complaints about the size of his trailer and the city has decided to make him move it. From this interview, some say it harms the environment in the neighborhood, while others say it adds excitement to the day and is part of life in the city. One man even adds that this is what Smith needs in order to make his movies (in addition to another nearby trailer he uses as a gym).

So, I turn to you, blog readers. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sammy Hagar: Van Halen Reunion a "Horror Fest"

Sammy Hagar, rock star even at a book signing.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer

Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar says the group's reunion in 2004 wasn't what he wanted or expected it to be.

"The Van Halen reunion was a disappointment for me," Hagar said Tuesday night at the Borders in Columbus Circle. "I was just hoping it was going to be great and everybody was going to be happy and a big love fest and just go at it again but it wasn't like that at all. It was the complete opposite. It was a horror fest."

Hagar, also known as the "Red Rocker," said even with all the ups and downs in his life, he has no regrets.

"The past is done and there's no reason to mess with that," Hagar said. "I'm in a really good place right now and very happy with my life."

He added, "I wouldn't want to mess with this moment either because I'm living the dream. This is more than anyone could ever hope or dream for. I just hope that I can keep doing this thing exactly the way it is now. I don't want to fix anything and I have no regrets."

He released his book, "Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock," yesterday, which chronicles his experiences from childhood to becoming a headlining rock star. Hagar says that even though some of the book gets graphic, he will allow his four children to read it.

"My sons are one thing... but my little daughters I'm nervous about it still," Hagar said. "I may make them read the Keith Richards book first and then they're going to say 'My pops is like the funny papers.'"

This story ran on's NiteSide.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Suze Orman: "The American Dream is Dead"

Photo of Suze Orman courtesy of Getty Images

Financial expert Suze Orman proclaimed to a crowd at Barnes and Noble in Union Square last night that the American Dream is dead.

"The old American Dream is dead -- the dream where bigger, better, and more was the goal," Orman said Thursday night. "Those days are dead for the majority of America and I think that's great because it's a waste. It's a waste of energy. It's a waste of space. It's a waste of money that you were earning."

She added, "We have now entered what I'm calling 'the New American Dream,' which is a dream where you value who you are over what you have. You value your money more than the things your money can buy."

She released her 10th book, "The Money Class: Learn to Create Your New American Dream," this week and said its major theme is "to stand in your truth in every action, every word and every thought that you think."

"If you always do what is true all the time, I promise you will attract more love to you than you will ever have any idea what to do with," Orman said.

Orman answers viewers' questions about money and investments as the host of her CNBC program "The Suze Orman Show," as well as on segments of the "Today" show, but says her new book will give readers the financial education they need to have.

"You have got to read this book and take notes," Orman said. "When you open it up, the class is in session and it's going to be a class you won't want to miss."

This story ran on's NiteSide.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Author Discusses Women on Wall Street

Nina Godiwalla spoke about her new book at Borders.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer

Author Nina Godiwalla worked on Wall Street and revealed last night what inspired her to write the book "Suits: A Woman on Wall Street," which gives insight to what it's like to be a female investment banker.

"I wrote the book because I want people to learn and see what my experience was like," Godiwalla said Wednesday night at the Columbus Circle Borders. "When you can look at it and see what someone else did, I think it just helps you with your own career."

She explained that she believes the environment in that industry would improve if they started embracing differences more instead of discouraging them.

"The area I worked in was, in my opinion, a little more on the homogeneous side," Godiwalla said. "I found it was a little more challenging to be different. I felt like the culture was more like, you need to assimilate to what we are as opposed to let's be open and we all have different ideas. The hardest part for me was not having a voice or my own opinion."

After all of her experiences on the exchange floor, both positive and negative, Godiwalla says she doesn't discourage anyone from taking a job on Wall Street.

"If anyone can do it better than I can, more power to them," Godiwalla said. "The reality is, I felt like I made so many mistakes. I look back at the experience and I find it almost embarrassing."

Godiwalla is currently the CEO of MindWorks, a company she founded to train business professionals in stress management and meditation. She said she's going to spend some time focused on her company before starting on her next book.

This story ran on's NiteSide.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Inside the Jackie Robinson Foundation Awards Gala

Audry Quock and Russell Simmons on the red carpet before the awards gala.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer
The Jackie Robinson Foundation held its annual awards gala Monday night at the Waldorf Astoria in Midtown. The group paid tribute to Sean "Diddy" Combs, Ingrid Saunders Jones, and Joseph R. Parella for their humanitarian ideals. Check out the photo gallery I created from the red carpet for NBCNewYork.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fashion Expert Stacy London Advises to Just Be Yourself

Photo of Stacy London courtesy of Getty Images

Fashionista Stacy London told a crowd at 92nd Street Y in the Upper East Side last night that the expectations put on women by the fashion industry to look a certain way sends out the wrong message.

"One of the things we need to remember is the impossible standard that's being set up before us," London said. "Aspiring to that standard denies us the opportunity to realize and experience how unique we all are."

She added, "There is nobody comparable to you. Not on any level really. You can never be somebody else. You can try your hardest -- gain weight, lose weight, cut your hair, change your lipstick -- I don't care. You're still going to be you and that's who you should be."

London is the co-host of the styling reality show "What Not To Wear," alongside Clinton Kelly, and said they live by the rule that trends are not the most important.

"You don't have to worry about the trends because trends are going to come and go," London said. "As long as you are dressing yourself in the best shapes and styles for your body, you're always going to look good."

While most people pass judgement on others, based on appearances, within the first three seconds of meeting and also judge their own appearance, London says she likes to have a different approach.

"My sister taught this to me -- don't judge, just notice," London said. "Judging is not what I want you to do with your body. I want you to notice and I want you to be really honest with yourself about what you like and don't like because then you can decide what you want to highlight and what you want to camouflage."

She also advised all women to remember to embrace who they are and dress for their bodies, not an unrealistic model walking down a fashion runway.

"If we don't aspire to what's realistic, we'll always have a sense of failure," London said. "If you are busy comparing yourself to an unrealistic standard of beauty, what hope do you have of actually dressing yourself?"

This story ran on's NiteSide.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Meredith Baxter: "I Would Drink All the Way Home from the Family Ties Studio"

Meredith Baxter photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Meredith Baxter, best known for her role as Elyse Keaton on the '80s sitcom "Family Ties," revealed Wednesday night that she used to drink at least a tumbler full of wine driving home from the studio every day because of her unhappy marriage.

"I would drink all the way home from the Family Ties studio," Baxter said at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square. "I didn't stop drinking until the marriage [to actor David Birney] was over. Drinking had started to serve a purpose for me because I was so unhappy and had no place to put it."

In her new book, "Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering," Baxter discusses her family life, battles with alcoholism and breast cancer, as well as coming out as a lesbian on the "Today" show in 2009.

"I knew that it was a woman that I would find myself," Baxter said. "I felt a safety and a music in a way that I hadn't before."

Baxter was married three times before coming out and meeting her current partner, Nancy Locke, and compares discovering her true sexual orientation to finding the right religion.

"I can only relate it to people who have been looking for a kind of religion in their life," Baxter said. "They try out Presbyterianism and then they check out the Methodists and they go to a couple temples and they listen to a few rabbis and then they find Buddhism and they say, 'Okay, I like their tenets here ... and this is where I want to be.' That's pretty much how it was for me."

When asked how it compared to beating breast cancer, Baxter said there was no contest.

"Breast cancer was a piece of cake," Baxter said. "I never really was present for the breast cancer because other stuff was going on, but coming out was more important. It was a choice."

This story ran on's NiteSide.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bourdain Says Chefs Love Gabrielle Hamilton's Memoir

Gabrielle Hamilton and Anthony Bourdain at Barnes & Noble Union Square.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer

Gabrielle Hamilton, the head chef of Prune in the East Village, says her favorite dish at her restaurant is something she eats on a daily basis.

"I probably eat a dozen radishes with butter and kosher salt every day of my life," Hamilton said. "I probably have a can of boneless, skinless sardines every day too."

Hamilton released her new memoir, "Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef," and spoke about it with Anthony Bourdain Tuesday night at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square.

Bourdain, who hosts "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" on the Travel Channel, said the book is popular not only with Hamilton's fans, but among their fellow chefs as well.

"They've all read it, and I'm talking about chefs that read one or two books every five years," Bourdain told Hamilton. "They all read the book and they all love it."

Hamilton sold the rights to this book five years ago and said that, even though it was just released on Tuesday, she only started working on it about a year ago.

"It took a long time," Hamilton said. "It's like asking how long it took you to finish college if you went to night school part-time. I have a full time job as the chef of a restaurant and the owner. At the time I sold the book I had a baby and another one coming out. Everything I wanted in the whole world happened all at once, so it took a little while."

The memoir has prompted her family and friends to ask when it will be coming to the big screen, but Hamilton has another goal she wants to achieve first.

"I just want to move to a bigger apartment," Hamilton said. "I live in a one-bedroom East Village apartment with my two sons and every time I take a shower, I'm stepping on Legos. ... If this book is successful, that would be great. That's success for me."

This story ran on's NiteSide.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Museum of the Moving Image Salutes Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin on the red carpet at Cipriani.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer

The Museum of the Moving Image saluted Alec Baldwin Monday night for his years of acting in film and television.

"I'm very honored to be here," Baldwin said as he walked the red carpet at Cipriani in Midtown. "I've been doing this for a while and when you start to get old like I am, they start giving you these awards. I've got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame now too. I'm getting old."

For many years, Baldwin mainly took on film roles, but now is in his fifth season alongside Tina Fey on the hit NBC series "30 Rock."

He revealed his secret to Niteside of how to be a successful comedic actor.

"I had an opportunity to do a TV show and most comedy involves one central thing -- you have to make an ass of yourself," Baldwin said. "It's not about looking good. You're not playing James Bond. I would love to be James Bond, but I'm not James Bond. They hired somebody else for that, so I make an ass of myself on the show and we've had a lot of fun."

With his experience in both film and television, Baldwin said being a part of "30 Rock" has been one of the best things for him.

"Sometimes the hardest thing to get in movies is an audience, but TV people stay with you," Baldwin said. "They like the show and they watch it every week and we have a great response with our show."

This story ran on's NiteSide.