Sunday, September 18, 2016

My Office Send-Off Party!

Next week, I'm starting a new job after 14 years of working as a news reporter for the Memphis Flyer, an alt-newsweekly. I'll be the communications coordinator for Crosstown Arts, a nonprofit arts organization that, over the past several years, has been responsible for turning my neighborhood from an area with way too much blight into a thriving arts district. The neighborhood is still in transition, but it's getting there, and lucky for me, I bought a house in the Crosstown area in 2012, right as the changes were beginning.

The switch from journalism to PR is a natural one that a ton of reporters make at some point in their careers. I never thought I'd do that though. I loved working at the Memphis Flyer, adored my co-worker family, and truly believe in the importance and the power of indie media. But, as a Crosstown resident and supporter of local arts, I couldn't think of a better position for me than the one I'll be taking at Crosstown Arts. I want to be part of the positive change in my neighborhood. I want to help spread that message.

But man, I'm going to miss my Flyer family like crazy! My last day there is Tuesday, but on Friday, they threw me a going-away keg party on our loading dock at 2 p.m. (technically, it was supposed to start at 3 p.m., but hey, there was a cold keg of Memphis Made Lucid Kolsch downstairs, so we got our pre-game on).

Here's the most of the Flyer editorial team, minus theater critic/arts writer Chris Davis, who showed up later.

Brian Groppe, the art director for our sister pub Memphis Magazine, made this "historical marker" for the occasion.

My managing editor Susan organized the whole thing, and she decided it should be potluck. I didn't expect my non-vegan co-workers to bring vegan snacks! But they did! There were all manner of hummus, guac, salsa, chips, and even vegan dessert! Of course, there were non-vegan snacks too.

I made Vegan Pigs in Blankets because they're super-easy to throw together. Just Smart Dogs and Pillsbury crescent rolls. 

And I made the Rosemary White Bean Hummus from Thug Kitchen because it had, like, five ingredients and was just a matter of turning on the food processor. This has white beans, tahini, rosemary, and balsamic vinegar. It has a yummy twang. I had some leftover that I plan to make pizzas with later this week!

Here's my plate with guac, salsa, and a few kinds of hummus. Plus pita, bagel chips, and tortilla chips.

Shara made Homemade Boiled Peanuts! I love boiled peanuts so much. If you've never had them, imagine a spicy peanut with a soft beany texture. She sent me home with a bunch, so I've been snacking on them all weekend.

The coolest surprise of the day was this Vegan Caramel Pie! Susan knows it's my favorite pie from Imagine Vegan Cafe (baked by my friend Stephanie), so she ordered one from Stephanie! It has a creamy caramel layer atop a graham cracker crust, and it's topped with vegan whipped cream. I had a giant slice at the party, and a few others had some. But half the pie was leftover, so guess who has pie in her fridge? I'm going to be eating pie every day this week!

Frank brought Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies from the Whole Foods bakery. I may have dipped my cookie in my pie slice. No shame.

Here's me and editor-in-chief Bruce (a.k.a. Flyer dad). Fun fact: His son, Andrew, is in MGMT. So Bruce is basically a rock star dad.

A few of us did some tequila shots. Here's a before pic.

And the after pic. The looks on Jackie's (the girl sitting down) and Bruce's faces!

I wish I would have gotten selfies with everyone! But I did take a lot of random pics. Anyway, I'm gonna miss these dudes so much. Of course, I'll still show up at every Flyer event or function around town! 


Babette said...

Congrats on your new job =)

I remember reading about your job at the newspaper throughout the years and it always sounded like a great place to be with amazing people. I hope the next job will be just as great.

vegan peace said...

How exciting for you to be starting a new job!! It looks like you guys all had a really fun day! The food looks amazing. What a treat to have half of that pie in your fridge!
I can't wait to read about the new chapter!

Trixie said...

Best of luck on the new job!

Jennifer said...

Man it looks like your co-workers know how to party (with a vegan)! Tequila shots? Keg? AND vegan pigs in a blanket? I can see why it is so hard for you to leave. Best of luck with the new job!

Susan said...

Good luck for the new job!
Looks like they knew how to send you off in style! How lovely that they got your favourite pie. Dipping cookies into the pie? Inspired.