Best On The Fourth Floor posts from 2011

For our last post of the year, we’ve put together a round-up of some of our favourite and most-read posts from the last 12 months. We have had almost 175,000 page views since we started in the summer of 2010 thanks to you. Fist pump. xo

Our first Media, Darling of 2011, Sasha Tong, was fun to interview, and her post full of good advice and insider secrets is our most popular to date. 

The snowboarding vs. skiing debate raged in our office in February, when we went head to head with each other to see which snow sport reigned supreme. The verdict? Find out here.

Back in March, we went to visit a brand new little resto that opened just around the corner from us called 416 Snack Bar. We chatted with owners Dave and Adrian, and have literally been back almost weekly to sample their tasty wines and homemade snacks. It really is our Cheers.

We eloquently expressed our rage regarding biking in the city in April, since we’d just taken our trusty steeds out of winter storage and were still getting used to the new “war on bikes” era ushered in by Mayor Ford. We hate to say it, but things didn’t really change for the better when it comes to biking downtown. Maybe in 2012?
We were excited when PR maven Kelly Cutrone stopped by the fourth floor in May, to give us some advice (and record a funny video with our own Matt Austin, a former Power Ranger). 
Delicious cooking made an appearance on the fourth floor in June, with a delicious fiddlehead and ramps recipe, complete with quinoa. Yum.

Our appreciation for art increased with our trip and subsequent post about the Abstract Expressionism exhibit at the AGO, featuring Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and others. 

Lazy summer days gave us plenty of time to ponder email etiquette, so we put those thoughts on screen and generated a strong response. People have opinions about email etiquette.

We checked out the brand-new Black Hoof cocktail bar. Needless to say, we were impressed with the clever and careful concoctions. 

TIFF was busy and exciting, and we celebrated our favourite moments and memories from a festival that were full of encounters with talent, great music and fun after-parties (in between all the work!).

Immediately after TIFF, we dove into fashion with LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oreal Paris. Guests really brought their style, so we snapped shots of our fave looks. 

We got our craft on at Miracle Thieves and created some clever and sassy pumpkins. 

Finally, we closed out 2011 strong with our very successful step-by-step ballerina bun post. If you see these pretty hairstyles around the city, and want to DIY, read this

Thanks again for reading, commenting, tweeting and subscribing. It means a lot. We have some fun things planned for 2012, so keep on coming to visit us on the fourth floor. Happy and safe new year to you all. xo

 

Media, Darling: My first record – part 1

Last year for the holidays, we asked some of our past Media, Darlings to share their favourite holiday traditions (check out part one here and part two here). This year, we decided to mix up it a little, and got them to spill about their very first album/record/tape/CD. The results were even better than we were hoping for. Without further ado, here goes the first round: 

Laura Serra: Culture Club’s Colour by Numbers. I used to turn our family room into a dance studio, jump off the sofas and boogie the night away.
Doug Wallace: Throughout the whole of the 1960s, I was obsessed with The Beatles. She Loves You came out when I was two years old, and the words were dead easy to remember! Aside from the obvious bubble gum compilations (so cheap and pressed for peanuts in Mississauga) that my teenaged siblings brought into the house every weekend, I spent my “drugstore” money on Beatles albums, until I had most of them — and then they broke up. And now, as they slowly die off (and their hair is brown still!), I have my eye on the complete iTunes set. On my list.
Flannery Dean: I have an older sister and so much of my music (like my clothing) was hand-me-down and consisted of mixed tapes (cassettes!) that she and her friends made. But my first big-girl purchase was a bargain-bin CD of Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits when I was 12 or 13. I bought it because I had a crush on a boy at school who was a self-styled troubadour in the vein of Bob D (he was adorable and pretentious — adorably pretentious). The crush on the boy faded. My affection (One Too Many Mornings) for Bob Dylan endured. 
Athena TsavlirisGosh, I think it would have to have been a Madonna album. I totally remember wearing white fishnet gloves and belting out Papa Don’t Preach into my curling iron. 





Maryam Siddiqi: I have a horrible memory and can’t remember the first album I bought (though I have faint visions of Corey Hart’s Christmas EP — on red vinyl!), but do know that the first poster I ever had on my bedroom wall was of Wham! It was the cover of their Make it Big album. Many a hairbrush was used as a microphone for my renditions of Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, and I had a bit of a crush on Andrew Ridgeley. Fun fact: I’ve never really cared for Careless Whisper.

 



Sasha Tong:  The first CD that I bought with my own money was Blind Melon, you know, the one with that cute bee-girl on the cover. Need I say more than No Rain? Come on, that song is a pretty awesome jam and to this day it’s still one of my go-to Karaoke songs. You should also know that I went to see them open for Lenny Kravitz in Vancouver when Shannon Hoon whipped out his BLEEP and peed on a person in the front row. I thought it was really cool back then and I actually still do….


Randi Bergman: The first tape I remember having was a single of TLC’s Creep, which incidentally was purchased for me by my grandmother. I can’t imagine that she would have bought it for me had she known the lyrical content, but then again… I had no idea what it meant either.


Mackay Taggart: My first album, I’m hesitant to admit, was Boyz II Men’s sophomore CD II.  I was 11 and (at the time) far from soulful, romantic or deep…though come to think of it perhaps the same can be said for Boys II Men. My one saving grave was that the CD was a gift, however enough digging would probably reveal a letter to Santa that requested the title along with the latest air powered NERF gun. Looking back on the lyrics of the album’s hit single I’ll Make Love To You, I question what a sixth grader could really glean from words like “Girl relax, let’s go slow, I ain’t got nowhere to go….Girl are you ready? It’s gonna be a long night”. Nonetheless I had my hands on a record spun nightly by Tarzan Dan on AM640, so I felt cool. All this said, acquiring that album back in Christmas of 1994 was probably the closest I’ve ever come to having “game”.


Bonnie Munday: I remember playing Supertramp’s Breakfast in America over and over again as a kid with my best friend Sandra in her basement. I loved the lyrics and that the band was British, but listening to it now, it’s pretty cheesy. 



Paul Boynett: My first album was Never Mind the Bollocks by the Sex Pistols. I bought it because my close friend brought over Rod Stewart’s Do Ya Think I’m Sexy and I needed to cleanse my ear palette as quickly as possible (do we even have ear palettes?). I had never even heard the band but their notoriety intrigued me so I bought it without hearing it. From the opening sound of boots marching in Holidays in the Sun to the very end, I love everything about the album – still.

Funny side story: I left the album at my British girlfriend’s house and her mom threw it out.  I thought it was because it was so loud and obnoxious, turns out it was because bollocks was a “bad” word over in the UK and she was offended by the reference. Who knew? I guess the album was an education as well.



Stay tuned for part two of our Media, Darling’s first albums next week. What was your first album? Leave a comment or tweet us @rockitpromo.


Media, Darling: Sasha Tong

After working at MTV in the U.K., Sasha Tong moved to Toronto where she quickly landed a job at eTalk.  She’s been with the show for more than five years and heads up the fashion beat. Tong has been lucky enough to interview some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, including everyone from Oscar and Juno nominees to talent at the Toronto International Film Festival; she’s been afforded some pretty crazy opportunities. Tong also now writes a weekly fashion and personal advice column on laineygossip.com.

Twitter: @eTalkCTV

How can someone grab your attention with a pitch?
The most important way to grab my attention is with a pitch that’s quick and concise. If I have to read through a novel to get to the point, then I’ve already moved on. I know what will work and what won’t work for the show, so you typically don’t have to convince me. It’s really important though, that you know what eTalk features on a regular basis, so something like “how to wax your bikini line” just isn’t something I can feature on the show. Oh, and if you get my name right on the email, then that’s a bonus.

What do you find most useful when dealing with public relations professionals?
I always appreciate it when I’m dealing with a PR company that can get me everything I need on a tight turnaround. If you’re pitching me and I like it, I usually have to move quickly, so the more organized and resourceful you are, the more I love you for it. Because time is such an issue, I also find it useful when I can just shoot the shit with the publicist and be straight up. If I pass on a pitch I don’t want to feel like I’ve hurt your feelings.

What is the biggest mistake PR professionals make?

Hands down: when I’m stalked. I love a good follow-up email but if you start leaving messages on my work phone and my cell phone, that’s a quick buzz kill. 

My pet peeve
Please, oh please, put the email all in one font. When I get an email and everything is different sizes, I know you’ve just cut and pasted and pressed send. I don’t need to feel special, but paying attention to a small detail like that goes a long way.

Any other thoughts you’d like to add?

Ninety-nine per cent of the time, the publicists I work with are amazing. You guys are talented, innovative and creative. So keep up the good work.