Friday, February 27, 2009

A Fiend For Mexican Cuisine

In America's backyard lies Mexico, a country rich with culture and great food. Tia Queta a restaurant nestled in Bethesda brings a little piece of Mexico to America. 

Washington Post journalist, Moira E. McLaughlin critiqued the restaurant in different segments based on the ambience of the restaurant, the best foods to try,  the foods to dodge, and drinks to quench your thirst. 

The menu features foods like nachos and enchiladas. Appetizers prices are between $3.95-$7.95 and entrees $11.95-$23.95.  The author expressed approval of the restaurant's enchiladas verdes which consists of "a solid dish full of fresh shredded chicken, a little cheese and a bit of green sauce. She also gave a kiss of approval on the desserts such as crepas and bunuelos.

Furthermore, McLaughlin conveyed distastes of the appetizers such as the tortilla soup. 
She stated, "Most disappointing was the tortilla soup, which just taste like tomato soup, albeit for a few strips of tortilla at bottom of the bowl."

In addition, the author also provided a little history of the creation Tia Queta. The restaurant is a product of Robert Montesinos, 60, who immigrated from Mexico 32 years ago. 

Despite the mixed review, the author described Tia Queta as a "casual place perfect for a night out with friends." 

In all, the article gave a balance view of the Mexican restaurant by presenting the positive and negative aspects. Though I personally felt that some of her criticism came off brash, she was nothing but honest. She did not sugar coat anything that she was not satisfied with.

 As far as the menu is concern, I did wish the author told the readers about the other entrees that are available besides the common food that most Americans are familiar with like enchiladas and nachos. Besides the one issue, the think the author overall presented a well-rounded article.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Executing My Story

First and foremost to successfully execute the first story I need to determine what the main/focal point of my story then I can assess what information (sources) I would need to accomplish this task.

Once I determine the angle of my story I will develop questions I need to ask my sources. Then I can set up a time and date to conduct interviews. 

After completing those responsibilities then I can take the required photos for the story. Lastly, I will begin a rough draft applying the WSJ formula and revise, revise, revise. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

It's All In the Formula

Every story has a formula or structure. Like a recipe there are certain ingredients that are needed and are placed in a specific order. The prominent newspaper named after one of America's famous street developed a template known as The Wall Street Journal formula. 

The structure of the story includes the following:
-anecdotal or descriptive lead
-the nut graf 
-the body of the story
-the ending (the close of the story usually reverts to the subject that was in the anecdotal/descriptive lead)

As an example, a Baltimore Sun article titled Brushing up on dental care demonstrates the WSJ structure.

The story begins with an anecdotal lead about a dental student who asked a kindergarten class how many times a day should they brush their teeth. The children respond to the question by stating two to three times a day.

The nut graf is presented in the third paragraph as it describes that most children know that answer including those children who come from low income homes and never see a dentist. Furthermore, the Cohn gives a brief description of a 12-year-old who tragically died from infected tooth that was not treated. It expands to the next couple paragraphs as it describes the growing problem of children not seeing a dentist.

The body of the story elaborates on the issues with dental care among children. It discusses the development of the Dental Action Committee, which is striving to get dentists to treat more impoverished children. In addition, it discusses the committee's  accomplishments.

The story finally comes to a close by discussing that the committees seeks funding for an education campaign and then the story reverts back to the death of the 12-year-old boy and then it provides further statistics of dental services among children.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Taste Of China For A Cheap Price

 The Mayflower Chinese Restaurant located on Nelson Street in Rockville, MD is serving up hot fresh food for a reasonable price, despite the economic downturn that has left many other businesses on the cusp of non-existence.

The restaurant has been in business since 2004 specializing in Szechuan and Cantonese cuisine. The prices for a meal range between $1.25 to $11.95. The lunch special meals are below $6.oo.
Part of the restaurants success is there ability to keep their prices fixed. 

"We just keep it regular price," restaurant owner, Joyce Kim said.

 For college student like myself, this restaurant is perfect. The prices are reasonable and the portion of food is more than generous. What more can you ask for?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Feature Presentation

With a society that has a shortening attention span it is essential for writers to grasp the public's attention in a creative and interesting way. 

Sometimes visual aids such as pictures may draw a person to an article in a paper or magazine, but what happens when there are no pictures to attract readers.  

Writers have to figure out a catchy way to lure potential readers to their article with a great feature lead. If a writer is capable of getting a person to read the feature lead than there is a greater chance that the person will read the entire article. Feature leads introduce the article and give a snippet of what to expect of the article. 

Feature leads differ from the traditional hard news summary leads because it enables the writer to be more creative. Instead of giving the the classic who, what, when, where, why, and how, which are the elements of a summary lead in a news story, feature leads have more flexibility and does not attempt to compress the 5 W's and H into one sentence.

An example of a feature lead is presented in an article titled Shaq's Last Hurrah by the Washington Post sports columnist, Michael Wilbon. His article discusses NBA player Shaquille O' Neal possible retirement.

He entices the readers to his article with a story telling like fashion. His feature lead states, 
"First, Shaq was in a suit. He was the only all-star in a suit. And a tie. And it was a special occasion that needed to be formally observed." 

Another example of a feature lead is also seen in a Washington Post article titled You Gotta Love the First Lady. No, Really, You Have No Choice.
Staff Writer, Robin Givhan begins her article with, "The rise of first lady Michelle Obama as an icon--of fashion, black womanhood, working motherhood and middle-class success--has propelled her onto a pedestal that would surely give the average person vertigo." The article continues to discuss Michelle Obama as a person and how she's a role model for women.

Overall, feature leads offer interesting and descriptive ways to begin an article.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bon Appetite!

If you love pancakes or french style food or food in general then this article titled Crepes- a -Go-Go in Dupont Circle located on the Washington Post website is the perfect read.  

In the middle of the hussle and bussle of Dupont Circle is a restaurant the specializes in crepes.  

The Washington Post staff writer, Jane Black describes the different types of mouth watering crepes that are available at this restaurant, that has a chain of locations in California and Maryland. This article incorporates the writer's opinions and experience at Crepes-a-Go-Go. 

The article had precise details of the look and taste of the various crepes, which made me crave for some food; however, she did not insert interviews or customer opinions. 

Public opinion of the restaurant or the crepes would have been a nice add to this delightful article.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Beat Blogging

Brainstorming and developing a good school topic for a beat proved to be challenging for me.

I transferred to Towson a year ago and I never felt apart of the community within the university, so I figured doing a beat based on the school would not work out so well.

Since I live in the Bethesda area which is right next door to our nations capital, Washington D.C. I thought a good beat would consist of finding cheap eats and places to see of and around D.C.

I think that this area is great and fun place to explore, and I will try to discover interesting places that most people over look while visiting the area.