Thursday, May 30, 2013

San Francisco Here I Come

During the long weekend, I headed back to San Francisco for the most hectic house hunting on the planet. I was warned that the market right now is the most competitive it has been since the Tech Boom in the 90s. Back then, there was a serious housing shortage that lead to a severe increase in prices.

I also read an article that said, "The best time to rent in San Francisco was yesterday." It's true. Even over just the past four months of me tracking Craigslist... prices are increasing.

How crazy is that?!

After viewing many different studios-- many of which were just simply awful... I finally fell in love with one. In retrospect it was kind of a dump, but after a hopeless weekend with fail after fail, I was so enamored with the location that I didn't really care. After starting to place furniture and make plans to fix the bathroom and spice up the studio, I was told by the agent that there were seven other qualified applicants who I was competing against. SEVEN.

He warned me that I was the youngest and riskiest by far as many of the other applicants had two shared incomes... blah. blah blah. He encouraged me to write a really great cover letter explaining why I wanted to live in the apartment and why I'd be a great tenant.

No kidding, this was like applying for a job. I wrote the best cover letter of my life along with ample other materials proving that I was the best tenant... only to find out the next day that I didn't get it.

I was complaining to my mom that in any other city, it is the landlords who are trying to convince you to take the apartment. However in San Francisco, you have to convince the landlord why you should live in the apartment. Nuts I tell you.

Feeling oh so defeated, we had one last viewing that was scheduled on our way to the airport. We pulled up to this Victorian and all I could think was... Full House.

Though I absolutey abhor making decisions on the fly, I signed the lease while the cab kept the meter running. It's a summer sublet with the possibility of staying longer if I want, but it will give me my next home base.

There is a Whole Foods within walking distance, an adorable street lined with boutiques and cafes and the LinkedIn shuttle swings through this hood.

Plus, isn't it just charming?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Song for Monday

Happy Monday to one and all. This song was on the finale of New Girl Season 2 and I can't get it out of my head. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Foodie Adventures: Queenstown Public House

One of my favorite aspects of my current internship at a premier PR/Advertising/Creative agency in San Diego is its hot location in Little Italy. Less than a block a way, we have some of the most fantastic restaurants in the city.

About a month ago we noticed that an abandoned victorian cottage was being refurbished into "a public house." Our curiosity kept us watching and we were delighted to see the creation of Queenstown Public House-- a perplexing little cottage restaurant inspired by a secret burger joint in New Zealand.

At first, I thought it was going to be New Zealand food (what is New Zealand food?)-- but in fact, it's some super creative dishes with a speciality in burgers.

As this joint is located right around the corner, my favorite intern besties and I took our lunch one day to check it out.

Though we stuffed our faces, we wish we could have enjoyed the 20 beers on tap, 10 bottled and wine list featuring some of my NZ favorites at a very reasonable price (they have a few bottles between the $20-30 price point... NICE).

Alas, 'twas the middle of a work day so we settled on indulging in:

Hogs and Heffers: organic grass fed beef, bacon, avo, edam cheese, served on focaccia bun.

Meso Tasty (our server's favorite): grilled chicken breast, grilled pineapple, maui onion chips, swiss cheese, balsamic sauce, red pepper aioli, served on a toasted focaccia bun

Kiwilango: organic grass fed beef patty, jalapeno, blue cheese, tortilla chips, hot sauce, served on a toasted focaccia bun

...and we shared the Sweet Potato Fries topped with sea salt and blue cheese crumbles

I give this place to two thumbs up. It was a fabulous lunch. I'd love to come back and try their pitcher of mimosas on a sunny Sunday brunch. Queenstown, I'll be back!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Big Debut in The San Diego Union-Tribune

Today, I was featured in The Union-Tribune (or as we call it here in San Diego... The U-T). The story showcased a handful of graduating seniors from San Diego universities. I was extremely flattered when the publication reached out to me after the UCSD Career Services Center gave them my contact. Check out my portion of the story by Karen Kutcher.

Photo by: KC Alfred 
"In three years, Mac Witmer accomplished everything she wanted at the University of California San Diego: She earned a bachelor’s degree in communication — with a minor in art history — studied abroad for a semester and landed a slew of internships.
After graduation, she’ll start the next phase of her life in San Francisco — as a sales development specialist for LinkedIn.
When she was picking a college to attend, she narrowed her choices to a small women’s liberal arts school and UC San Diego. She selected the La Jolla campus partly because of its reputation as a top university in the region. “San Diego has a lot of professional opportunities,” Witmer said. 
With a strong interest in luxury goods and technology, she has completed internships at Bump Network in La Jolla, Benefits Cosmetics in San Francisco, the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego and the i.d.e.a. brand in San Diego.
Witmer’s mother is head of communications for a mining company, and Witmer said she started networking right from her freshman year.
She began looking for post-college employment in January, and it took her three months to get offers. She is excited about the chance to work at LinkedIn, which will be her first job in sales.
“I wanted to land a pretty large name for my first position,” she said. “My goal was to get into a place that was growing. I thought long and hard about what is important to me at this stage in my career, and that is growth.”

Catch the rest of the story and the other featured students here.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Top 5 Mother's Day Cards

Take this little blog post as my friendly reminder that Mother's Day is right around the corner. If you haven't sent your lovely mother a card yet... you still have time!
Here are my top five favorite Mother's Day cards. I especially love the "Bitch" card because as Mama Deb always says...
"Being a bitch will always get you what you want in life, but if that doesn't work... cry."

Thanks Mom.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Private Moments in The Louvre

Everyone has their happy place. The one I go to in my head is an empty museum gallery.

There was one incredibly special moment in my life where I was alone in a museum. It was a small traveling exhibition of about 20 Monet pieces. The gallery was about to close and the guard had already taken off. It was just me and the paintings.

I was free to stand as close to the works as I wanted in complete silence. It was truly a spiritual moment.

When this video went viral, I was reminded of that magical moment with Monet. For those who haven't seen, "A Path of Beauty" by Florent Igla - this short video follows a woman completely alone in The Louvre. In her dreamlike journey, she visits some of the most incredible and famous art works of all time.

Those who have visited The Louvre know that it is far from empty and unfortunately, the large crowds often steal attention from the masterpieces. This woman had the opportunity of a lifetime to film this video.

Enjoy this small piece of serenity and beauty to calm down your Monday.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

House Hunting in San Francisco

I have a new obsession. Don't worry it's healthy. Sort of.

Each day rather than scroll through my Pinterest feed (okay, I still do that too)-- there is a new feed that I am spending loads of time on. That, my friends, is the Craigslist Apartment feed of San Francisco.

Anyone who has ever lived or tried to live in that city knows that it is one of the most competitive and expensive markets in the nation.

A studio apartment will run you $1500-2500 depending on the neighborhood. Further, there is fine line between the Tenderloin and "Lower Nob Hill."

That being said, I've had lots of fun exploring the different neighborhood options. My family used to have a house on Telegraph Hill right down the street from Coit Tower. This is my dream neighborhood. Unfortunately, I won't be able to afford this 'hood until a couple promotions down the road. Last summer, I lived in The Castro which was a lot of fun, but wasn't the ideal scene for me to meet men. Well, I mean, there were plenty of them... but, yeah you get the picture.

Several friends have sent me this article and I find it hilarious. The author decided to give a very straight forward description of each SF neighborhood.

He explains,

"When I moved to the city at the age of 24, I played Pin The Tail on San Francisco and picked the first apartment I saw. And this is how I ended up in an apartment in the worst part of town with five random people and a live-in landlord who was a registered sex offender (yes, I'm serious).

I mean. This town is fucking weird if you don't know what you're doing."

Take a read for a good laugh and a glimpse into what I have to look forward to :)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Thank You!

Dear Readers,

Thank you for continually reading my posts as goofy, random and narcissistic as they may be.

We've reached a milestone here on mackenziecharlotte. As of yesterday, we reached over 10,000 page views. Are they all unique? No. However, did I stop tracking my own page views? Yep, on day one.

As a social media strategist, I've always been engaged with the analytics behind my blog. You'll be interested to know that the average blog post receives 80-120 views. Readers spend roughly 3-5 minutes on each visit (though there are the occasional outliers who spend hours stalking... you know who you are and I love you).

I have viewers from all over the world including Russia, Lebanon and Peru. Naturally, my most active audience is in the US, but my French friends have maintained consistent engagement as well.

So, in short-- thanks. You guys rock. I've been humbled and amazed by all the support behind my blog. It's changed quite a bit in the short four months of its life and I'm sure it will change even more.

Stay tuned. Stay classy.

MacKenzie Charlotte (or as you all know me, Mac)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Crying in Class

Due to the fact that I am a Senior and nearing the end of my college days, I have taken full advantage of all the academically stimulating classes I always wanted to take... philosophy, physics, etc...

Kidding. The classes I've always wanted to take include: Gospel Choir and Women in Comedy. Though I have equal love for both classes, last Women in Comedy class made me cry of laughter (and I was not the only one).

The class set up is pretty cool. We listen to lecture about the commedienne's life and then we watch her work. After hearing all about Ellen, we watched a stand-up performance called "Here and Now." It was an hour of Ellen rambling on about funny observations she's made about life.

This little snippet is what caused the waterworks. My friend and I were simply dying.


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