B A H j o u r n a l i s t

Brian Anthony Hernandez

I’m on video ► ‘Restaurant urges eating and tweeting’

Click on the picture to see me talking about 4Food, a new burger joint in New York City. Credit: Reuters video

On Friday, Emmy-nominated show producer, anchor and reporter Carmen Roberts interviewed me for a story about 4Food, a new NYC restaurant that combines America’s fascination with social media with America’s obsession with healthy eating.

The tech-savvy burger joint opens in September, but I got a sneak peek of the location and food because I follow the @4FoodNYC on Twitter and responded to the profile’s request for volunteer eaters.

Click on the picture or here to watch the video in which you’ll listen to me briefly talk (I sound as though I’m 12) and see me order, explore and eat.

The video gives you the gist of the restaurant, but here’s a summary of my cool 4Food adventure, which was unlike any dining experience I’ve ever had:

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August 23, 2010 Posted by | New York, Personal | Leave a comment

Say what? | ‘Ellen DeGeneres is now following you on Twitter!’

Yeah, the subject line in an e-mail in my inbox read, “Ellen DeGeneres is now following you on Twitter!”

“Say what?” I said aloud to myself. “Cool.” I clicked on the e-mail. The message revealed that I don’t follow her. Uh oh, I thought. I do now. I’m one of the 42,964 accounts she follows. The picture shows my profile on her list of followers.

August 19, 2010 Posted by | Online, Personal | Leave a comment

Guest blog | Journalists, rekindle your romance with writing

My friend Laura Chapman, who is a communication specialist in Texas, operates a blog about writing.

Guest blogger Laura Chapman

In this guest blog, she discusses mending her broken relationship with words and challenges journalists everywhere to rediscover the joys of writing – even at work. The next two paragraphs are excerpts from her guest blog.

“All too often I find myself writing to a formula or template. … It’s worked for me these past two years. Somewhere along the way, I fell out of love with writing. While I do not necessarily look forward to the articles I have to write for work, I have tried to be a little more creative, even if I can not push it too far. I have also put more time into writing for myself, both in my journal and in my personal special projects.

“As journalists, so often we focus on getting the facts and less on how we will present them. While the first part is certainly important, I challenge you to try something new with your writing, and rekindle the romance.” Continue reading

August 18, 2010 Posted by | Guest blog, Journalism, Personal | Leave a comment

Mission accomplished – I’m living and working in NYC

In June, I left my job in Phoenix to fulfill two life goals:

1) Live in New York City. I moved to Brooklyn on Aug. 14.
2) Work in NYC. Today at 12:07 p.m., I accepted a job offer.

Starting Aug. 25, I’m a full-time business reporter for TechMediaNetwork’s BusinessNewsDaily.com. My editor, Robert Roy Britt, also oversees the company’s other major websites such as SPACE.com, LiveScience, TechNewsDaily and Newsarama. Basically, according to TechMediaNetwork, the company “is a network of world-renowned technology and entertainment sites.” BND, the online publication I’m working for, launched this month. My reporting will focus on small businesses and startups. I also will contribute to the site’s social-media efforts and will be allowed to write for the other TechMediaNetwork publications.

My office on Park Avenue and 31st Street in Midtown is a few blocks away from the Empire State Building, Bryant Park, Times Square, Herald Square, Fashion District and Museum of Sex, among other notable places. Continue reading

August 17, 2010 Posted by | Arizona, Journalism, Online, Personal, Phoenix, Uncategorized, Work | 6 Comments

Guest blog | ‘Al Roker! I wanna rub your head!’

“Al! Al Roker! Al Roker I want to rub your head!”  Yes, I yelled that to the NBC broadcaster.

Guest blogger Katherine Greene

My friend Katherine Greene explains why here in an awesome guest blog titled “The story of how I didn’t see Ke$ha perform on ‘The Today Show'” The next two paragraphs are excerpts from her blog. Click on read more to view the blog in its entirety.

“Here’s something they don’t tell you about the Today Show: while you sit enraptured by the interrogation skills of the beautiful reporters questioning today’s newsmakers (Lindsay Lohan’s mom, anyone?), the crowd outside is just waiting. It’s no wonder, then, that when the TV personalities come outside, everyone cheers – it’s the only thing they’ve had to do all this hot morning long.

“It’s what happened to Brian. … The crew came out. ‘Al! Al Roker! Al Roker I want to rub your head!’ Brian screamed over the din as America’s most recognizable weatherman headed to a platform above the crowd to do his segment.” Continue reading

August 17, 2010 Posted by | Guest blog, New York, Personal | Leave a comment

Friend responds to my questions about newspapers on his blog

Alex Dalenberg, a reporter friend in Arizona, wrote about his confidence in newspapers on his blog after I had asked him and others, “As 18- to 29-year-old journalists and as consumers of news, why are we and why should we be confident in newspapers? Or why are we not confident? And beyond newspapers, why are we confident in journalism, including online media?” Read more responses to these questions in a blog post I write tomorrow. I had asked these questions after reading these Gallup survey results. Read Alex’s post, “Are we confident in newspapers?”

August 16, 2010 Posted by | Arizona, Journalism, Personal | Leave a comment

Reuniting with New York Times SJI friends

I had brunch Sunday with four friends I hadn’t seen since July 2008 at a journalism conference in Chicago or since January 2008 when we first met in Tucson, Ariz., during The New York Times Student Journalism Institute, a two-week program that brought together 20 students and professional journalists from Times Company papers.

Rick Rojas, Yolanne Almanzar, Marlene Peralta Cortes and Mariana Minaya hang out in Little Italy.

I had kept tabs on their adventures after the Institute, which functioned as a working newsroom, but I recently lost touch with some of them.

During brunch at Essex Restaurant in NYC’s lower east side, I learned about the latest exploits of these four: Rick Rojas reports for The Washington Post and moves soon to The Los Angeles Times; Yolanne Almanzar attends Columbia University as a graduate student; Marlene Peralta Cortes works for CUNY TV in New York; and Mariana Minaya attends law school in Baltimore.

I’m fascinated with the different directions the five of us have chosen, and I wonder what the other NYTSJI folks are doing now. Help me fill in the blanks. If you know what the people listed here are doing, please post a message and I’ll update this blog post.

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August 16, 2010 Posted by | Journalism, New York Times, Personal | Leave a comment

Meet my new roommate in O, the Oprah Magazine

Credit: Oprah Magazine

I moved to the southern end of Sunset Park in Brooklyn on Saturday. My first apartment in NYC is off the N train near 59th Street, and my first roommate, Britnee Foreman, is a marketing major from Baylor University.

“Turn to page 214,” Britnee said nonchalantly Saturday night as she tossed me the September issue of O, the Oprah Magazine.

I did and saw a two-page spread devoted to her in a 12-page article called “Hire Power,” in which Britnee and three other women – who want to land dream jobs – get help from career coaches, fashion experts, hairstylists and makeup artists.

“My roommate’s a celebrity,” I exclaimed.

Aside from revamping Britnee’s look, the O squad redesigned her resume.

Britnee wants to break into the music industry by earning an entry-level position in artist management.

“I don’t require a huge salary,” Britnee told O. ” I just want to love what I do!”

If you or someone you know can help Britnee attain her goal, message me and I’ll pass along the information.

August 15, 2010 Posted by | Personal | Leave a comment

When comic gold lands in your inbox … you go see Ke$ha

I like NBC broadcaster Al Roker as much as pop star Ke$ha likes “your beard.” Today, I saw both of those entertainers at Studio 1A in New York City during a taping of “The Today Show.”

However, my favorite part of my “Today” experience was this e-mail I received yesterday from my friend Kat Greene:

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August 13, 2010 Posted by | Personal | Leave a comment

Brushes with fame

Star magnet. That’s what I nicknamed my friend Tyler Keyser this week after he revealed his best celebrity sightings: Paris Hilton in a hotel lobby and Tiger Woods on a golf course. Cool, eh? I think so.

Ted Allen is one of many celebrities I've met. In 2006, I bought him a cup of coffee at Racoon River in Iowa.

Most recently, Keyser ran into Donald Trump during “The Apprentice” auditions at Trump Tower in New York City. Keyser remembers extending his right hand toward the billionaire, only to be greeted with Trump’s awkward handshake formation. Trump used his thumb, index finger and middle finger. Keyser later learned about Trump’s displeasure with handshaking and germs.

Listening to his brushes with fame made me think, “Who have I encountered?”

The memories re-emerged quickly. I’ve eaten hors d’oeuvres with New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., interviewed former first lady Barbara Bush, bought a drink for Esquire contributing editor and Bravo’s “Queer Eye” food and wine connoisseur Ted Allen (see picture), listened in class to Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Samantha Power, danced at a party featuring DJ Funkmaster Flex and sweat in the desert with NBA basketball player Amare Stoudemire outside of a courthouse.

Journalism has allowed me to interact with these journalists, celebrities and politicians, but I’m most impressed with the variety of other people I’ve met such as murderers on the verge of receiving the death penalty, victims’ relatives, governors, centurions, child progenies, felons …

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August 5, 2010 Posted by | Personal, Uncategorized, Work, Writing | 2 Comments

First night out in New York

From left: me, We Are Country Mice lead singer/guitarist Jason Rueger, Kat Greene and Steve Corcoran.

“Let’s make music more than just notes,” proposed Kurt Kuehn, drummer of We Are Country Mice, after his show in the Cake Shop‘s dim basement lit only by Christmas lights, fading bulbs and the glow of cell-phone screens.

Not knowing how to reply, I looked at Kat Greene, a Wall Street Journal reporter I’m staying with this week, who zealously responded, “Let’s make it … life.” Kurt raised his eyebrows. “I like you guys already,” he said.

So began our adventure Wednesday with the Brooklyn-based band on a “night” that ended for us when the sun began to rise the next morning. Before watching We Are Country Mice play live and hanging out with the band’s four musicians afterward, Kat and I had walked across the Williamsburg Bridge to eat dinner at the Meatball Shop. Spicy balls. Yum.

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July 29, 2010 Posted by | New York, Personal | Leave a comment

What stood out on my trip to New York? The People

The teenage girl wearing a hijab and thobe sneaked by me as I shivered inside New York’s Port Authority this morning.

Our eyes, however, met precisely when she wrapped her tiny fingers around the handle of my carry-on suitcase, and the calm expression on her face surprised me. She had tried to steal my luggage so nonchalantly that – in confusion – I had almost let her.

Of all the ways I had imagined my possessions getting stolen, this was not one. The wannabe thief didn’t hit or shoot me. She didn’t run away with items in tow. Rather, the nameless girl looked at me like a person trying to induce hypnosis: with peaceful intent. Exhausted from sitting on buses for more than 1,400 miles, I whispered, “That’s mine.” We briefly argued. Observers, who had seen me walk into the station with the suitcase, came to my defense.  She walked away, staring at me until closing elevator doors broke our gaze.

From Lincoln, Neb., where I began my bus trip Monday night, to Brooklyn, N.Y., where the journey ended today, I interacted with and observed the behaviors of people I thought could be supporting characters found in books on The New York Times best-seller list. The nameless girl was just one of many strangers that made The People the most fascinating part of my trip. Other standouts:

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July 28, 2010 Posted by | New York, Personal | 3 Comments

Photo blasts from the past

Look what I found: pictures of me pre-BAHjournalist when relatives called me Yawn because of my incessant yawning.

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June 26, 2010 Posted by | Personal | Leave a comment

The (early) gift of Gaga

My Phoenix friends rock. This is why:

Bladder full from guzzling blond sangria and hands sticky from dining on a lobster sandwich last night at Switch in uptown Phoenix, I silently excused myself from the patio table to remedy both discomforts.

A hush swept over the table minutes later when I approached my friends after my bathroom break.

My gaze settled on what I initially thought was a blank folded paper on my chair.

A map of US Airways Center fell out of the open end as I picked it up to examine. My name and an arrow pointed to section 202. Lady Gaga’s name and an arrow pointed to the stage, signifying what I would be doing on July 31, six days after my 24th birthday: watching the new queen of pop in concert.

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April 8, 2010 Posted by | Personal | 1 Comment

Join me: Things to do outside in April and May

If you’re interested in any of these activities, comment below and I’ll keep you posted on details.

April 10 / Basketball, sand volleyball at Encanto Park

April 17 / Pat’s Run at Sun Devil Stadium

April 24 / Mini golf at Castles-n-Coasters

May 1 / Hike Camelback Mountain –>

May 15 / Salt River Tubing

May 22 / Horseback riding at South Mountain stables

April 3, 2010 Posted by | Personal, Phoenix | 6 Comments

Light Rail Blogger mentions me in a post

In a post about the naming system for light-rail stations, blogger Tony Arranaga references a Twitter response I provided.

Click here to read the post titled “What’s in a name?”

March 1, 2010 Posted by | Light rail, Online, Personal | Leave a comment

Helping Boy Scouts earn a badge

Education reporter Megan Gordon and I gave Boy Scouts from San Tan Valley a tour of our downtown office to help them earn their communication badge.

They were most impressed with the sports section, conference rooms and the security-cameras hub in the lobby.

We gave them our contact information and hope to stay in contact with them.

February 23, 2010 Posted by | Arizona, Personal, Work | Leave a comment

A slap kept inside …

Her breath tickled the top of my left ear.

Busy reading, I didn’t acknowledge the sensation until her breath touched me a second time.  It was warm and uncommon. I looked away from my book, “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy, and my fake blue eyes met her real teal ones. Teal, an anemic blue, I thought.

“Most people don’t read,” she said, startled, in an attitude and tone that bore no resemblance to someone her age but rather to a child learning to string together words.

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September 14, 2009 Posted by | Arizona, Personal, Phoenix | Leave a comment

My experiences with Phoenix’s light-rail system

In hindsight, I shouldn’t have laughed at the man who wanted to die.

“Can you kill me?” he had asked as I exited the light rail on a recent Saturday night.

I stared at the gold beer cans in the man’s dirty hands, inadvertently caught his foul scent, which smelled like a rug soaked in cat urine, and responded with a retort that made him cringe: “No thanks, I’m busy.”

He shouted obscenities and stumbled as he tried to match my stride. I laughed and only slightly feared he would heave an aluminum can toward my head. Within seconds, he fell, and I continued my 10-minute walk to my condo in Tempe.

This incident marked the conclusion of my first time using Phoenix’s light-rail system. Starting that Saturday – Aug. 29 – I began using this form of public transportation to travel to and from work, a 26-mile roundtrip outing if driven. This post recaps the highlights and lowlights of my experiences since then.

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September 9, 2009 Posted by | Arizona, Light rail, Personal, Phoenix | Leave a comment

Update on my life: New York Times and more

Hey, gang:

As promised to many of you, here’s an update on my life. I’m moving to Phoenix because I got a gig at The Arizona Republic, the 10th most circulated newspaper in the nation. Starting June 8, I’ll be reporting and editing my ass off in the sweltering heat. I can’t wait.

You have all been instrumental in my social life, but I’ve really dropped the ball on keeping you up to date with my career aspirations and what I’ve done to attain my goals.

To remedy that, here’s a breakdown of my adventures in journalism, the experiences that led me to my new gig. Since 2004, it’s been a wild ride working for The New York Times Company, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Des Moines Register, Lincoln Journal Star, Daily Nebraskan and Scottsbluff Star-Herald and hanging out at the Jschool and journalism conferences across the country.

To keep this semi-short, we’ll just look back at what’s happened since January 2008. I dipped my feet in many areas of journalism since then such as working on multiple New York Times projects, interning as a reporter for The Cleveland Plain Dealer and serving as editor at The Daily Nebraskan, the independent student newspaper at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Below are the highlights of those rewarding experiences:

New York Times projects, spring and fall 2008

1) Nineteen other college newspaper editors and I blogged live for The Times’ political blog “The Caucus” during two presidential debates, one vice-presidential debate and on Election Night. This was a golden opportunity for me to sink my teeth into a national, large-scale form of new media. On Election Night, for example, I wrote four postings about Nebraska’s affirmative action ban results, senatorial candidate Scott Kleeb’s campaign blunder and my voting experience.

2) Last year, The Times’ Chicago bureau placed me on its list of Midwest stringers to help report on issues and events in eastern Nebraska.

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May 27, 2009 Posted by | Arizona, Arizona Republic, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Daily Nebraskan, Journalism, New York Times, Online, Personal, Phoenix, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Work, Writing | Leave a comment