Diane Arbus

April 28th, 2010

"Boy with grenade" from The Indecisive Moment Blog 2009

and the journey begins…

April 27th, 2010

"Crumbs Bakery"

“Colossal Crumb”

This Colossal Crumb extra large cupcake is approximately 6.5″ by 6.5″ and serves between 6 and 8 people.

"Cupcake Showcase #1"

Some of the flavors include Chocolate Praline, Blueberry Swirl, Apple Cobbler, Buncha Crunch, Butterfinger, Coffee Toffee , Squiggle, and Carrot.

"Cupcake Showcase #2

"The Oprah Cupcake"

When purchasing the “O, Live Your Bet Life Cupcake”, one dollar from each cupcake will benefit these Charities: A Better Chance, Best Friends, Camp C.O.P.E, FFAWN, Health Corps, NYRP , Oceana , OCRF, Partners in Health and Share our Strength.

"The Tony Hawk Cupcake"

When purchasing a “Tony Hawk Skatecake”, a portion of the purchase will benefit The Tony Hawk Foundation to help build skate parks for at-risk youth

guidline questionaire

April 21st, 2010

Customers:

-Is this your first time at this store?, (if no: How often do you come here to buy cupcakes?)
-Why do you come to this particular store?
-Where else do you buy cupcakes?
-Knowing how costly each cupcake can be, do you buy these cupcakes out of convenience or necessity?
-Each time you come here, do you stick to your old reliable flavor or do you try something new and exciting?

-What do you like about the cupcakes? What keeps you coming back for more?
-Do you think the cupcakes are worth its price?
-How did you heard about this shop? Are you a regular costumer?
-What are some of your favorite flavors of cupcakes? Why

Questions for Employees and Store Owners
-What drew you to work here?

-What is the most popular flavor?

-What was the largest order that was ever placed?

-What would you say is original about your cupcakes?
-What kind of costumers do your cupcakes attract? Who buys them?

-How do you attract your costumers? Ads, name of cupcakes, etc.

-Can you tell us a bit about the history of the store?
-What type of cupcakes are you making/selling, and why?
-What were the reasons for you to start working here?
-In general, what type of costumers come here most?

getting serious

April 13th, 2010

Barbeau, William, Janet Johnson, Lisa Pong, and Daisy Stewart. “Evaluation of Alternative Fat and Sweetener Systems in Cupcakes.” Evaluation of Alternative Fat and Sweetener Systems in Cupcakes 68.5 (1991): 552-55. Web. 12 Apr. 2010.

The article compared and contrasted the fat content and variety of sweetening agents that are used to make cupcakes. Experiments were conducted comparing the use of shortening or sugar, and a sugar substitute. The end result concluded that depending upon which shortening is selected, will affect the heights and fluffiness of the finish product.  A big issue with the sugar substitute aspartame,  is that it leaves a bitter after taste in most foods. Due to the health conscious public demands, high quality and low calorie products that are low in fat and sugar are on the rise. The article continued to discuss how the use of different flavoring may add to the variety of the finish product and how certain artificial sweeteners will affect the gravity of the cupcake.

The popular bakery Babycakes, located in New York City, is known for their creations being made from refined sugar-free, gluten free, wheat free, soy free, casein free, egg free, and vegan. Does that make these little delights more appealing to some and not others?

Baumann, Shyon, and Josée Johnson. “Palatable Nationalism: A Study of American Cuisine through Gourmet Food Writing.” American Cuisine through Gourmet Food Writing 47.3 (2006): 391. Academic Press Inc. Web. 12 Apr. 2010.

This article discussed the sociological perspective on the food as a culture. Americans are very suggestible to television advertising and photographs that appear in magazines. The cooking network is another approach of suggesting new varieties of interesting dishes that may be prepared at home. Gourmet food develops into a case study based on qualitative quantitative data, as well as specifying the authenticity of certain foods. The authors uncover opposing viewpoints regarding the “cultural consumption” versus the taste and distinction within the mixed culture.

As I watched the news one evening, one of the stories had caught my attention. As I’m sure all of us have seen the venders on the streets of New York City, whether they are selling hot dogs, pretzels, ice cream, sodas, or even sandwiches. Standing strong in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Cakes and Shakes” is the newest addition to the vending cart family. These 100% organic treats vary in flavors, textures, and colors. What makes this new company so interesting is that they have the norms, including vanilla, red velvet, chocolate, etc as well as cupcakes that taste like ham and cheese, eggs, bacon, etc. Cakes and Shakes took the idea of cupcakes into a completely different direction. These treats are no longer eaten as dessert; rather, they have become the main course.

In order to conduct our research in the proper manner, Lila and I will search through popular magazine articles, food network videos, books, as well as conduct interviews with store owners, employees, and customers. We will visit BabyCakes, Crumbs, Sprinkles, Baked by Melissa, and Magnolias Bakery, to try and unwrap what makes these treats so enticing. Through photo elicitation, conducting live interviews, and comparative taste tests, we hope to understand why individuals decided to purchase this fun food, rather than make it themselves. We are interested in seeing if gender or ethnicity plays a role in the sales demographic.

We are interested in uncovering whether celebrities play a larger role in this new social phenomenon, than we’d like to admit. By researching photographs, cooking shows, recipes, and online videos, we hope to answer some of our questions. Through interviewing store owners, customers, bakers, and employees we hope to gain an insider scoop into this exciting new culture. All of our findings, photos, interviews and research will culminate into a conclusive final presentation on what “food culture” really means.

For this project, we will inform the seller of our study of cupcakes and ask permission if we could take pictures in the bakery shop stating that all information contained would be for class only. We understand that all sellers believe their work to be original, so we would give them credit by indicating their shop name and would be kept private and use it solely for the purpose of our project. We would also ask the consumers questions and opinions of why they like them? who do they think buys them? and etc. We would let them know that their opinions would be credited or kept anonymous depending on their preference.

GROUP 3 ~ Indymedia ~

April 12th, 2010

The main objective of the Independent Media Center, or as it is most common known Indymedia, is to portray the truth of what is actually taking place in current events. Some of their goals include correcting the distorted truth that the media publicizes. In 1999  Indymedia was started by Independent Media organizations, with the purpose of providing the basis of various protests in Seattle Washington. Publishing articles on the Indymedia website is not a difficult or grueling task since all one needs to do is register themselves, and begin typing. This website is open to everyone.

From the way this website is portrayed, it doesn’t seem unorganized, however, on the other hand,  it doesn’t seem as if their is one person in charge. Many of their activities  include rallying for animal rights, feminism, immigration, race, and Third World countries. As well as the articles that are published on the website by their followers.Personally, I don’t believe that I would join this website since I usually don’t attend rallies or activist groups.

signs of resistance response

April 12th, 2010

This article discusses a visual sociologist’s exploration through New Orleans. Throughout his journey he uncovers the different meanings, interpretations, and hidden messages that are told through the different types of graffiti.

visual exploration

April 10th, 2010

This colorful photo was taken at a bakery located on Main Street. Although it may have not been so clear in the photo, these cupcakes are considered “mini cupcakes”. As most things do, cupcakes come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, textures, and flavors.  For that reason alone, I’ve decided to continue my exploration on what makes a cupcake, a cupcake.

These special treats are used to enhance the celebration of birthdays, holidays, and special occasions.  The popular website Facebook, has created a social group, where people from all over can post pictures of their fun and colorful creations, as well as comment on others. As seen in the photos below, cupcakes are used for all occasions, whether celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day, Easter, Birthdays, or just expressing ones true feelings, these little treats have the ability to speak volumes.

www.sprinklez.co.uk

ethical guidelines for our final project!

March 24th, 2010

There are certain ethical guidelines that need to be followed when conducting a research study. In our study, I hope to include video interviews, (with the verbal consent in the beginning of the interview) as well as cupcake photos   (with the permission of the bakery) and customers coming into the shop to  get there daily fix of the sweet little treats. The verbal consent will include telling them that we are Queens College students conducting a  research project. We will then ask  permission for them to partake in an audio interview regarding cupcakes that will then be posted on our class blog. Hopefully, people will be willing to help us out with out with this fun topic!

“midterm exam”

March 21st, 2010

"Scrape TV"

a new idea!

March 16th, 2010

(Times Live Blog 2008)

After much deliberation on our final research project topic, Lila and I decided to conduct a research study on the origin of the cupcake as well as why it has become such a social phenomenon. When visiting some of the many bakeries and stores, we will interview some employees to try to uncover the mystery on what makes this special treats so enticing to all. Whether visiting a Sprinkles in Texas , a Crumbs in New Jersey, Magnolia Bakery in the West Village , or The Famous Cupcakes store in Beverly Hills, people flock from all over to stand on line to taste “ a little drop of heaven”.


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