Swinging chandeliers, need I say more?
The proper meets chaos, the energy is here… 2021, roaring twenties are alive
Swinging chandeliers, need I say more?
The proper meets chaos, the energy is here… 2021, roaring twenties are alive
While I’m stuck at home, bored, with limited human interaction and talking ceaselessly to my dogs, I figured I’d reminisce about the time not so long ago when I was absentmindedly living in Florence without a care in the world. That is until the coronavirus hit Italy. It has now been over a month since my program decided to hastily cancel the semester. What was la dolce vita turned into a chaotic mess within 48 hours while we all tried to rapidly flee the country. At the time, it seemed like a major overreaction by the program. As it happened, that abroad program was the first American school to cancel in-person classes, a move that seemed drastic, yet now ironic, as practically every student from the US is currently completing their semesters from living room couches across the country. All of us abroad students, along with the rest of the world, are trying to grapple with what happened to “our time” abroad, “our time” to travel, explore and be free, “our time” to not be burdened with work for once and have nothing in our way. I know that there are many more severe problems that people are facing with this virus, and that is it truly a privilege to go abroad in the first place. Still, I think it necessary to accept and mourn everything we’ve lost, even the small things, to keep our sanity in this surreal situation. It has been an emotional blow for me since study abroad has been something I’ve dreamt of my entire life. Some days, I wake up, confused, and have to come to terms with everything that happened since I don’t usually live at home. Positively is key, however, and I can only hope to return to Italy as soon as possible and continue to explore and immerse myself in the beautiful country.
I’m very thankful for the time I got in Italy and Europe. If I have learned anything, it is to always take advantage of any opportunity because you never know when it could end or be taken away from you. I tried to make the absolute most of my time abroad, traveling when I could, and exploring Florence when I had the time. No, I didn’t get to see the entire city, regretfully saving many attractions for when my parents and friends came to visit. That’s ok, though; it gives me a reason to go back. There were many places I was dying to see this spring, yet, I can only look forward and still anticipate visiting them in the future.
After “fleeing” Florence, I luckily had the chance to spend some more time traveling in England and Scotland, as I had already planned a spring break trip in London and had friends I could visit there. I wanted to prolong returning home as best I could, and quite frankly, I stayed in Europe as long as I possibly could have. The two and a half weeks I spent on trains traveling around the UK were remarkable, and I’m thankful to have gotten the chance for more memories before the whole quarantine fiasco started. My travels in the UK felt as though there was a dark cloud over every excursion and conversation as the coronavirus was about to start affecting everyone else abroad. There was much uncertainty since it was only a matter of time until other programs got sent home. The virus was chasing after me, but there was nothing that anyone could have done. I had my adventures, often by myself, that I can look back on and cherish. I saw more of the country than I would have if my program didn’t get canceled, and I got to spend more time in London, one of my favorite cities in the world.
I’ve been reluctant to look back at all of my travels, and have put off writing about them while back at home since it seems as though it was a lifetime ago that I was carelessly moving throughout Europe. I have had a hard time thinking about my time abroad, choosing to focus on various crafts, family activities, and schoolwork to take my mind off of where I should be right now. Positive distractions are essential at a time like this. It’s been long enough, though, and I hope to share more about my journeys and experiences moving forward through posts and pictures to reminisce and celebrate the time I did spend in Europe. For now, arriverdverci
Austria, home of strudel, snitzel and the Sound of Music, has a sense of regality that makes you feel momentarily like royalty. History seeps into every grand avenue of Vienna, lined with enlightenment era white marble buildings and ornate cafes. Two days in Vienna allowed me to appreciate the cultural richness of the city from the classical music to the turn of the century art movements that define the golden era of the Habsburg empire. Across the country, lays Salzburg, in the mountains, where both Mozart and the Von Trap family originated. I regrettably only spent one night in Salzburg, but that was enough for me to fall in love with the alpine charm and natural beauty of the area.
Vienna appears surprisingly like a modern busy city from the outskirts in with plenty of energy and vibrance. City center, however, old town charm is abundant. The churches show the best of baroque architecture, marked by the massively elaborate St Stephans Cathedral with its intricately colorful mosaic roof and spires. I happened to walk into a service at the church and got to hear the organ play while taking the elevator up to the rood which was quite an experience (imagine hearing the lords prayer sung in German). The cathedral boosts wonderful views of the city, along with views of the unique roof. The famous opera house, where Mozart, Strauss, Beethoven, among others, casually premiered much of their most well known work, is right across from the Sacher Hotel, home to the original Sacher Torte. I enjoyed the famous chocolate and apricot cake at the Sacher Cafe which was magically upholstered in deep red velvet and magnificent chandlers. The apple strudel from the cafe is also amazing and the atmosphere itself is worth it, even if you don’t like chocolate cake.
Schoenbrunn palace is a quick 15 minute subway ride outside of the city center and holds so much history from Austria’s Habsburg glory days. The giant palace sits on beautiful gardens and is well worth an inside tour since the rooms are perfectly preserved, including the grand ballroom and the big portrait rooms. From a historical standpoint, the audioguide offered a lot of insight into the palace’s history and the lives of the people that lived there which was extremely fascinating.
Belvedere palace is actually an art museum, yet looks extremely regal from the outside. The palace hosts many of Austria’s most famous works such as Klimt’s The Kiss and other works, and the big Napoleon painting that is instantly recognizable. The museum is really well done with a beautiful neoclassical marble interior and a great collection of art spanning many centuries.
Beyond desserts, Austrian food is hearty and comforting. I tried both pork and veal weiner snitzel served traditionally with potato salad, lemon and cranberry sauce. The breaded and fried meat pairs perfectly with the sweeter garnishes. It’s disgustingly delicious and definitely a must-try. Austrian beef-broth soup is also very tasty, served with a big singular dumpling (think matzo-ball soup with beef instead of chicken). Bratwurst stands can be found all over Vienna and they might seem sketchy, but they serve up the best hot dogs in soft baguettes. I tried a cheese filled one with mustard and I’ve been dreaming about it ever since. Cafe Central is a famous belle époque era cafe that mimics a gothic cathedral and has had many famous intellectuals as regulars over the years. I had apple strudel for breakfast there and have no shame about it.
Traditional Austrian dinner
Salzburg, at the foot of the alps, is a mountain city, full of both regal and charm. The Sound of Music tour was the perfect way to see the city and the surrounding area in a short time with unmatched panoramic vistas. You get to visit all of the filming locations and sing along to the music on the bus. The town makes Mozart’s presence know, with monuments and squares all over dedicated to him. Walking around Salzburg at night was surreal, as the hill top castle and other landmarks are lit up, along with the incredible rock face that the town is built into.
Cafe Sacher: famous and beautiful
Cafe Central: also famous and beautiful with good breakfast
Weibel’s Wirtshaus: great classic Austrian food in a nice setting
Zum Zirkelwirt: Fun atmosphere and casual Austrian food in Salzburg
Copenhagen, or as the Danish say “København” with the emphasis on the vowels, oozes with cool and style. I’m hard thought to think of a trendier city that I’ve visited. The “hipness” finds itself in everything from the fashion (think Ganni and ACNE Studios) and street art to the food and fresh juices. Compared to the cramped streets of Florence, the quaint Copenhagen streets feel reminiscent of fairy tales. The contrast between the old and the modern is very distinct in art and architecture.
The castles and palaces of Copenhagen are all beautiful and offer insight into the history of the country. Rosenborg Castle looks as if it could easily be out of Disney’s Frozen with its spires and picture perfect carp filled mote. The interior is full of rococo era art and decor and the basement holds the crown jewels of Denmark which are just as majestic as they are fascinating. Amalienborg Palace is more modern and it serves as the current home of the Danish royal family. The square, along with Frederik’s Church, is beautiful.
Walking through the city is quite honestly like walking through a fairy tale and Tivoli Amusement Park embodies the epitome of the Disney mystic. The park is found in the middle of the city, yet feels removed and magical with pristine rides and attractions that puts Disneyland to shame, visually. The winter lights at night are beautiful and the international food hall is a great and delicious way to save money on dinner. I felt like a giddy little child walking through the park and seriously could not stop smiling of happiness.
Taking a boat tour through the canals and harbor helped me grasp the layout of the city and see all of the interestingly designed buildings from the water. The opera house and library (both on the water) contrast the quaint colorful buildings that line the canals with state of the art unique modern architecture. The tour also goes to the famous Little Mermaid statue which is out of the way by foot and a bit underwhelming. It’s one of those things that you have to do as a tourist and the tour made it worth it.
Copenhagen has mastered the instagram-era art of brunch with trendy cafes and ascetically perfect food. Not only does the food look amazing, but it also tastes amazing. The Danes are known for their open-faced sandwiches, so you know the avocado toast will be superb. I had two of the best avocado toasts I’ve ever had and that’s coming from someone who religiously eats avocado at every opportunity.
Copenhagen’s food scene is consistently named one of the best in the world, thanks to an emphasize on creativity and healthy natural foods. The now international juice chain, Joe and the Juice, started in Copenhagen and they are about as easy to find as a Dunkin’ Donuts in New York. Superfoods are abundant and they love fresh seafood. The smoke salmon and pickled herring were amazing for dinner and the baked goods for breakfast were unique and always flavorful.
I’ve never been to a museum quite like the Museum of Design, a museum dedicated to the tradition of cutting edge design in Denmark with displays from the 18th century to today. They had a special exhibit about the evolution of disco and nightclubs which was super interesting and well done. The permanent exhibits were a visual treat with a wide range of art, both modern and traditional, on display.
Places I ate:
• Restaurant Puk (Traditional Danish in a fun environment)
• Union Kitchen (Trendy brunch and coffee)
• Joe and the Juice
• Tivoli International Food Court (very good cheaper food and lots of options)
• Atelier September (great coffee shop with small plates)
• The Market (trendy contemporary Asian)
• Kompa 9 (small local coffee shop and bakery)
• Stroget street (longest pedestrian street filled with both danish and international clothing chains)
• Normal and Message (two trendy Danish stores with decent prices)
• Magasin (Big nice department store full of Scandinavian brands)
• Ganni (Danish “It” brand of the moment around the world thanks to Instagram influencers)
Here I am, in Florence Italy, writing while sipping a crazy cheap and crazy good cappuccino in a gourmet cafe at 4:30 in the afternoon (a huge taboo, guilty as charge). It’s been about two weeks since I first touched down in the land of pasta and gelato and so far I’ve loved embracing la Dolce Vita. Cliché aside, catch me wandering every street till I get lost all semester long. Culturally, the Italians love their food and they love their drinks. Give me an aperitivo plate of prosciutto and pecorino for every meal and I’ll happily relax among all the tourists and bustling locals in the large piazzas. On every turn, there is art, either in the form of a building, church, or street art. Nothing quite beats finding the ancient Renaissance era palaces painted with modern edgy street art and I could go on and on about the coffee culture. Watching elderly Italians sip their coffee at their corner cafes while reading the paper every morning always puts a smile on a face.
Florence is a textbook definition of a walking city. Everything is confined within the city center with the massive figure of the Duomo towering over the rest of the city. The central squares are pedestrian only and walks to destination are no more than 30 minutes. Every street presents a new surprise, whether it be an elaborate building facade, a cute cafe that you haven’t seen before, or a random ornate Renaissance sculpture which scatter themselves out through the city. There is a sense of joy and curiosity that comes from walking in Florence. Nothing is boring and everything is accessible. The lack of a subway system allows visitors and locals to take advantage of the walking museum that is Florence.
This past weekend, I ventured away into the tuscan countryside to explore the beautiful Chianti region and learn about the local wine industry. Driving through the hills covered in vines and cypress trees was reminiscent of movies encompassing the beauty of Italy. I visited a small local family vineyard where I learned all about the process of wine making and the history of Chianti. The tour ended with a traditional tuscan lunch paired with the local wine in a picturesque chateaux over looking the fields. Not only was it a super fun experience, but also a cultural one.
The Chianti region offers the perfect break from the bustling city of Florence, even for non-wine people. The vineyard I visited was only 20 minutes away from the city, but feels like an entirely different world. Chianti wine is probably one of the most well known wines from Italy, coming from the Sangiovese grape. The red chianti is smooth and flavorful, pairing well with the delicious ragu pastas that Florence is known for. For my first weekend away, it was a great little escape that really helped me gain a greater appreciation for wine.
These first two weeks have been an absolute whirlwind of cultural exploration, adjustment and fun. Embracing the Italian way of life has been easy, full of gelato and paninis. That’s all for now, as I anxiously await the start of my European travels. Ciao!
Hi everyone! I’m back after a little hiatus. College life has caught up to me and I seriously haven’t had the chance to sit down and write anything. Lots has been going on and I’m about to leave for my semester abroad in Italy where I hope to document every aspect of my travels while exploring Europe! To kick off two months before I leave, I want to revisit my summer travels in Argentina, an amazing adventure for my first time in South America.
Argentina is a rich country full of culture and vibrance. I had the opportunity to explore all sides of the country from the tropical paradise of Iguazu Falls on the northern border, to the Patagonian tundra and the spirited metropolis of Buenos Aires. Starting with the city, Buenos Aires is massive with many different neighborhoods that harness different environments and cultures. Like any cosmopolitan city, there’s your trendy quarter (Palermo), the bourgeois strong held (Recoleta), a boho artist dwelling neighborhood (San Telmo), and colorful working class neighborhoods (La Boca). What makes Buenos Aires such a delight to walk around is that each of these unique areas feels like a different city with their own cultures, arts and atmospheres. I relished walking around each area and discovering the little quirks while enriching myself through the Argentinian culture.
A must see and highlight of the city is the Recoleta Cemetery, a world famous cemetery that is unlike any other. The cemetery is quite literally a city for the dead (think of a village of tiny house mausoleums), allowing you to easily get lost with intrigue among the mass of uniquely designed tombs. The park that surrounds the walled cemetery is perfect for people watching and soaking in the Argentinian culture. Street musicians and tango performers are abundant. Sitting outside sipping a latte at an alfresco cafe is an ideal way to watch the vibrant scene of the large park. On the weekends, a large local craft market sets itself up around the cemetery. Browse the local artisan stalls full of unique crafts and get lost once again in the central highlighting park/cemetery of the Recoleta neighborhood.
Palermo Soho and Hollywood reflect their namesakes, being the “trendy” neighborhoods. Younger and colorful, they offer fun steakhouses or parrillas and many nice boutiques for shopping. Don Julio and La Carnicería are two popular and delicious options that were highlighting meals of my trips (both in the Soho neighborhood). The strong dollar and weaker local currency makes shopping a thrill in Argentina (take advantage people!) and some of the best and nicest Argentinian labels are located in Soho. For a break from shopping, stroll into a local cafe and enjoy the slow art of sipping an Argentinian coffee (preferably with a football game in the background).
The La Boca neighborhood is the grittier working-class neighborhood with colorful architecture and street art that reflects the vibrant pride and culture of the people. The vibe along the small streets is definitely touristy, but the buildings are interesting to observe and provide for great instagram opportunities (sorry, photo-opts). Fun and fascinating street art can be found all over Buenos Aires, but the best can be found in the more seedier areas such as La Boca which drawls tourists.
San Telmo claims to be the birthplace of tango and now boast a number of funky markets and gentrified streets. Many of the building were old “palaces” back in the day and it is interesting to tour the courtyards and balconies of the old dwellings since many have become stores, galleries or apartments. Foodies can delight in the San Telmo Mercado, an indoor market full of gourmet street food and antiques. Make a day searching for leather treasures and enjoying freshly baked empanadas.
Outside the metropolis of Buenos Aires lays a vastly diverse landscaped country. Iguazu Falls borders Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay in the tropics and is the widest system of falls in the world. The boat tour is truly a thrill ride that heads straight into the falls. You get the best views from the boat down below, but there is also a whole network of hiking trails up and around the falls that allow you to enjoy the nature and wildlife of the subtropical forest. The falls are unlike anything I have ever seen and really take your breath away.
There are few places in the world where one can ski in August. Argentina is one of them. Venture to Patagonia to explore a winter playground. Bariloche, a town about 15 minutes from the Cerro Cathedrale ski resort, is modeled after Swiss ski towns and is situated right on the edge of a massive lake. The desolate landscape of Patagonia along with the lake country makes the Bariloche area breathtaking and unlike the mountain of the northern hemisphere. The country also allows visitors to take advantage of local produce, showcasing the best steaks and Malbecs for a very reasonable price.
That’s it for the summer travels! Stay tuned for my adventures abroad, traveling across Italy and Europe!
They say that New York never sleeps, and this might as well be totally the case given that every street is lined with at least two artisan over-priced small scale coffee shops, a Starbucks and a Dunkin’. Finding caffeine in the Big Apple is no challenge. In my two months there this summer, I have attempted to try as many independent cafes (although I will never give up my tired and true Starbucks chai) as I could during my commute, lunch breaks and lazy Sunday mornings. There is a whole world out there of coffee ambiances and gourmet creations to explore in the mega city.
Bluestone Lane: An Australian offshoot, Bluestone is located all over the city and specializes in gourmet drinks and “toasties” which are perfect for a quick light lunch. The locations tend to be smaller, making it more of a grab and go type of place. *Over a dozen locations all over the city.
Chacha Matcha: My favorite New York cafe, Chacha Matcha quickly became my go-to beverage pick-me-up everyday on my commute to work. As the name suggests, they specialize in matcha green tea, but create funky takes on the classic matcha latte with matcha chais, turmeric lattes and matcha lemonades. They also have a delicious assortment of matcha flavored pastries and chilled breakfast items. The crowd, along with the decor, is trendy and instagram obsessed. *Locations in Noho, Nomad, and Nolita.
Birch Coffee: Birch coffee has one of the best chais I have ever tasted. A bit of a unique place, they discourage technology by not having wifi or any outlets. Instead, they have a whole wall of books for customers to cozy up to and little conversation starter cards that attempt to create a hospitable and friendly unplugged atmosphere. Ideal for non-electronic studying! *10 locations across the city.
Think Coffee: A classy and spacious cafe, Think Coffee is a place a study. Standard coffee menu with breakfast and sandwiches, the environment at Think is extremely pleasant. They have outlets at every table, plush leather seats and play a calming mix of classical music which makes you even want to study. In a crazy city like New York, Think Coffee offers a reprieve from all the hustle and bustle outside. *About 8 locations across the city.
Joe’s Coffee: Joe’s has been a New York favorite for a while serving up a quality cup of “Joe” to many neighborhoods for years. They are simple coffee counter stores, but simple does the trick. If you need a quick coffee on the go, Joe’s is the place to go. *Over a dozen locations throughout New York.
Gregory’s Coffee: Another favorite, Gregory’s coffee is kind of like a local Starbucks. They have a large menu of drink options, food, and juices in there spacious cafes. What makes Gregory’s great is that they have a lot of vegan and gluten free food and drinks, making it a place for everyone. *23 locations in Manhattan.
Ralph’s Coffee: The Ralph Lauren Corporation, already pioneers in creating a truly immersive shopping experience, recently opened Ralph’s Coffee Shop inside select offshoot stores. I visited one inside the Flatiron Club Monaco and was delighted to get a delicious iced mocha within the stylish green tiled walls of the coffee outpost and the pleasantly light and airy atmosphere of the store. The coffee is all hand crafted, and the store is perfect for pictures. *Located at the Flatiron Club Monaco, Rockefeller Center, and the Upper East Side Ralph Lauren.
Maman: Maman is a favorite of the stylish Instagram crowd and it’s easy to see why. Besides having great coffee, a decadent lavender hot chocolate drink, and cute pastries, the cafe makes you feel as though you have been transported to the South of France with its cute decor and blue and white color scheme. The cups and plates are all super cute and photogenic too! *Locations in Soho, Tribeca, Nomad and Chelsea.
Citizens Of (Gramercy, Chelsea): While more of a popular brunch place, the trendy cafe has a barista bar serving up an array of exceptional drinks. The Australian styled spot has a refreshingly light interior that feels especially cool on a hot summer day. Come for the avocado toast and stay for the dirty chai (it’s seriously one of the best I’ve had). *Locations in Gramercy and Chelsea.
As the fashion capital of America and a worldwide fashion hub, New York City is overflowing with a crazy range of flagship shops, small boutiques and mega department stores. This summer, I have had the opportunity to explore many different shopping areas. Here are some of my favorite neighborhoods and streets ideal for any fashion lover or avid shopper.
Soho is the designated “cool” tourist neighborhood with every imaginable “cool” store you can think of. While it might be busy, the area is vibrant and has some great destination stores such as Reformation, Opening Ceremony, Off-White, etc. There are also a lot of pop-up stores and concept places such as the Glossier Flagship. For window shopping, nearly every major design house has a location around Soho.
The area around the Flatiron building and Madison Square Park has a lot of major flagships found inside cool Gilded Age era Neo-classical style buildings lining the avenues and streets. Many mid-range stores such as Club Monaco, J Crew, Madewell, Anthropology, Intermix, Tory Burch and Brooks Brothers have huge flagships in this area. The crowds are less around this area too which is a huge plus.
Upper West Side
The Upper West Side area around Lincoln Center and along Central Park boasts an array of slightly trendier and more reasonably priced stores than its east side counterpart. European favorites such as Joie and Maje have large flagships here, along with popular American jean companies Paige and AG. The area is also super cute and quiet.
Around the High Line are some of the nicest streets in the city. They are lined with luxury apartment buildings and designer stores. A lot of New York contemporary designers such as Rebecca Taylor, Alice and Olivia and DVF have their flagships in this area, and Chelsea market is full of all sorts of local goodies and artisan crafts. Seek out bargains, window shop and admire the street art in the popular urban revival neighborhood.
The newest and coolest complex of Manhattan, Hudson Yards’ epicenter includes a giant 5 level luxury mall that is unlike any mall I have ever been to. The stores range from high-end designer shops to fast fashion places like Zara and popular places like Aritzia and Lululemon. What’s great is that the ac is blowing and the cool marble interior makes for a fun indoor experience on a hot summer day. The 5th floor holds New York’s first and only Neiman Marcus. They give it their all to give shoppers a modern retail experience.
5th Avenue and Madison Avenue
Throughout Midtown, 5th Avenue to Lex Ave are for the most part very touristy and not very worthwhile in terms of shops. However, the general area that borders central park is home to many of New York’s iconic department stores. Window shop at the massive Bergdorf Goodman, experience the newly reopened accessories and shoe departments at Saks, and take advantage of the many boutique designers being featured at Bloomingdales. Walk further uptown to Barney’s which is truly an experience for any fashion fan and admire the window displays of designer flagships along Madison Ave.
Back for a new post on my New York adventures! This time around, it seems obligatory to dedicate a whole post to Smorgasburg, otherwise known as the ultimate foodie destination. For those of you who do not know, Smorgasburg is a giant food festival that takes place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn every weekend in the summer. Many famous outrageous food creations have come out or started at Smorgasburg and you have certainly seen pictures of some of their craziest frankenfoods on instagram. Foods such as the Ramen Burger, the Spaghetti Donut, the Raindrop Cake and Big Mozz mozzarella sticks were all introduced at Smorgasburg.
With nearly 100 different vendors at Smorgasburg, it might be just a tad hard to figure out what to get. I recommend spending some time walking around and to just soak it all in. It is amazing to see everyone come together and experience a common love for eating and food all in one small outdoor space. Once you gather your bearings, it helps to plan it all out. It also helps to know that you should be splitting everything, or you might explode from overeating! Here is everything I tried… although there was so much more.
Spaghetti Donut (Marinara sauce): This crazy concept is new this year and is getting a ton of attention. Everyone loves pasta and everyone loves donuts, so why not put these too popular carbs together? While it might seem gross, the donut is pretty much just donut shaped slightly dried out pasta that is lightly fried to hold the shape. Personally, I’m not a huge red sauce pasta fan, so I felt like it was underwhelming. Others love it, however, and this unique food combo is definitely worth a try.
Fluffy Pancakes (Blueberry cheesecake): Oh my god, these were heaven. The airy souffléd pancakes were hands down the best pancakes I have ever tasted. While the pancakes alone are a reason to get them, the different flavors which include blueberry cheesecake and creme brulée make the pancakes extra special and a perfect start to your Smorgasburg experience.
Ramen Burger: There was a ton of hype surrounding the Ramen Burger when it first came out a few years ago. While the combo might seem random, the salty flavor-filled ramen pairs amazingly with the taste of the burger, out doing any bun while looking fabulous for that insta-feed.
Chicken and Waffle (Buffalo Chicken Bites): Someone, a genius perhaps, decided that chicken and waffles can easily become chicken in a picturesque waffle cone. Easy to eat and oh-so delicious, the buffalo chicken bites inside the cone with a drizzle of creamy blue cheese dressing were the perfect portable festival food. Coming from a buffalo fanatic, these were very worthwhile!
Prickly Pear Cactus Juice: I have no idea what prickly pear cactus is but I do know that it makes for a vibrantly beautiful pink juice. While the taste isn’t too special, the color of the juice is something to brag about. Maybe not the best juice of all the many juices at the fair, but it’s refreshing and pretty!
Truffle Fries: Sometimes a classic hits the spot. The truffle fries from the gourmet fry station might be a tad basic, but they are simply delicious and make for the perfect side to any of the outrageous entree options at Smogasburg.
Shaved Ice (Matcha): Definitely my favorite food that I tried at the festival, this trendy dessert is the ultimate treat on a warm sunny summer day. Think of it as fancy adult snow cone, but with two layers of flavored coconut cream, rice cereal, and deep natural coloring. The matcha flavor was to die-for and tasted like a refreshingly upgraded Starbucks green-tea frappuccino.
Coxinhas (Cheese and Dulce di Leche): Smorgasburg is all about trying new foods from different places. I decided to try coxinhas which is a kind of fritter from Brazil. The cheese filled coxinhas was similar to a very melted mozzarella stick. They paired extremely well with the aioli sauce that goes with them. The Dulce di Leche was like a bite of caramel heaven. If the line for Big Mozz is too long, these make for a well worth it alternative.
So I might have completely neglected blogging the last couple of months, but being a busy college student doesn’t always lend itself to an abundance of free time. A lot has happened since I last wrote. I managed to somehow survive a brutal finals period, pack up all of my stuff, move out, and work and prepare at home for a summer move to New York City. I am now finally settled in the city after a whirlwind first two weeks. So far, it has been an amazing experience, and I am absolutely loving the thrill and the freedom of living in the middle of a giant metropolis. I could write endlessly about everything that I have done so far, but I’ll leave that up to future blog posts that I’m anxiously waiting to post. Anyways, what am I doing and how am I living in this wild fast-paced city?
I admit that I was a little apprehensive about moving by myself to a large city. This is the first time I have lived in a city and it’s definitely a far cry from the isolated and sheltered rural college that I attend in Upstate New York. Here, I have to fend for myself. No more ordering everything on Amazon and marching myself 5 times a day to the unlimited dining hall. I even have to figure out “cooking” my meals which, although I’m a huge foodie, is definitely not my forte. Trying to prepare meals has probably been my biggest struggle, and I have resorted to a lot of dinners full of energy bars and bananas (I have some work to do). I’m also having to figure out transportation methods which is interesting enough since New York has a ton of options, none of which are completely ideal (rural college=clueless Uber newbie here). I seriously love walking around though, and my daily walks to and from work is actually quite invigorating. New Yorkers are intent on their commutes and they walk with such purpose which I can totally embrace and go along with. It’s fast paced and lively, giving me energy for my busy workday.
Talk about distractions, walking around is the worst for my wallet (and tight budget). There are so many great little cafes and restaurants to grab quicks meals or coffee. They all somehow seem much more appealing than my spinach and avocado “salad” waiting for me at home. Good food is so dangerous, please take caution. Everyday, I see somewhere new and make a mental note to try it out, pushing back my homemade oats further down my meal prep timeline. What might be even more exciting and even more dangerous are the sheer number of amazing stores dotting the whole city. Just on my commuting walk alone, I have probably ventured into 5 different stores and I have started a list in my head of all the shopping districts that I need to visit for my soul and not for my wallet’s sanity. My internship’s in fashion, so it’s all in the name of work, right?
Work itself is amazingly interesting and fun. Even being an intern and doing interning things is still somehow exciting. The environment is so creative and lively and the days go by quick. I feel so professional which sounds cheesy, but I get a rush when I walk into the elevator with all these fashion bigwigs at the beginning of each day. While the city can be overwhelming, it means that there is nonstop excitement, leaving me busy and curious. I could write on and on, but I’ll leave that up to next week. Yesterday, I went the Smorgasburg… so stay tuned!