Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Travel Writing Class

The genesis of this blog came from my e-mail correspondence from trips abroad - it has always been pretty free flowing and without much review and strategy. However, in the past year or so, I've begun to rethink that approach and consider a more targeted and structured writing style.

To support that effort, I decided to sign up for a writing class: "From Traveler to Travel Writer" at NYU. Our first take home assignment was to write a pitch for a story. No parameters on the topic, just whatever we wanted. However the pitch is supposed to contain the following components: Paragraph 1): get the editors attention; 2) provide the angle of the story (can be multiple paragraphs if needed); 3) explain the "peg" - what the story is tied too or why the topic is germane; 4) talk about you and why you're qualified to discuss the topic. That was a lot harder than I thought it would be; I found myself writing the story instead of focusing just on the pitch. This Thursday we will get feedback on our pitch so I'm not sure how well I fared, but here's the pitch for your consideration. Right now I am writing the story that goes with the pitch. It will be work shopped by my classmates next week - yikes!

Elbow Sweat Survival - Pitch                                                          Jennifer E. Gallivan

Surviving the oppressive heat and humidity of a Manhattan summer - Hamptons summer shares, Jersey shore houses, and air conditioned escape vehicles are the answer for some, but for the less fortunate what are the options? Creatively surviving elbow sweat conditions in the confines of this island without having to don your ascot is possible. I’ve done it. And I’m going to share my top three “to do’s”.

Whether it is money or schedule related, the perpetual summer weekend away can be prohibitive for many of us. But the opportunity to enjoy the same pleasures is not out of our reach. New York has a plethora of activities to enjoy ranging from sail boat cruises (unique from the typical Circle line ferry), new rooftop bars (that don’t require a black card or douche bag credentials), and outdoor festivals that combine unique historical experiences and cutting edge culinary treats.

Classic Harbor Lines offers a variety of unique boating adventures that go beyond the typical ferry ride around Manhattan. Either on an 80-foot schooner or a classic yacht, there are beer tastings, sushi & sake events, sunset cruises or brunches that provide the breeze of the open water without the overbearing crowds of other boating options. Bring your own picnic and simulate the experience of being on Muffy’s yacht off Sag Harbor.

Eataly, already a well known name around town for its fresh Italian market and eateries, will be debuting a 3,000 square foot rooftop beer garden, “Birreria”, in time for summer 2011. No dress code or subway ride required.

New York Brew Fest will be in its 5th year on Governor’s Island this summer. The afternoon festival combines breweries with local eateries amidst the historic back drop of Governor’s Island. Adult imbibers can enjoy a bike ride and historic tour of the island in the morning and quench their thirst in the evening with brewers from around the country. Depending on your drinking prowess and fatigue, the summer concert series has concerts on the island to be enjoyed post Brew Fest.

While my picks are not revolutionary, they aren’t main stream. Beyond Frisbee in the Sheep’s Meadow and cocktails at 230 Fifth Avenue there are a lot more unique ways to “escape the heat” and feel you’ve escaped the confines of the city and it’s at times burdensome social scene. My approach with this article is 36 hours in a Manhattan Summer weekend, creating a slightly less bourgeois itinerary for the stylish and active Manhattanite. I have already experienced the Sunset and Sushi & Sake cruises as well as Brew Fest. In anticipation of completing the article, I will visit Birreria, which is scheduled to open in coming months.

Growing up in San Diego, summer is synonymous with beach, being out on the water, enjoying al fresco dining and not melting to death. Paying to bathe in a non-top 100 beach is outrageous to say the least. I’m an active traveler, having visited 37 countries and 36 states, and cater my experiences to the path less traveled. Since moving to Manhattan in 2009, I have focused on experiencing the gamut of touristy experiences as well as unearthing the less mundane.  I’d like the opportunity to share some of what I’ve discovered.

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