I Moved to New York City!

 
Photographer: Chang Moon

Photographer: Chang Moon

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Let’s be honest, moving is the worst. Leaving your friends and family behind is stressful. Any type of change can be difficult, but necessary.  Oftentimes the opportunities to grow and prosper come with change.

This might sound foolish, but after watching 13 going on 30 at age 12, I told myself I would someday become my version of Jenna Rink. I wanted to live in New York City and pursue my dreams of working in the editorial business. I’ve always had a passion for content creation, research, and editing, so I figured that would be me. After graduation in December, an opportunity came along to do so, and I went for it. Do I regret it? Not at all.

Living in the city is great. You don’t have to worry about having a vehicle and can take public transportation anywhere and in most instances, you can walk. Everything you could possibly need is within close proximity – which is nice.

I will say, New York can be a lonely place. It’s up to you to put yourself out there and meet people. Big cities in general can be lonely. Everyone is running and doing their own thing. Still, in my eyes, I think the opportunity of living in NYC and experiencing the work environment is unattainable anywhere else. It’s the center of he world. The capital for fashion, finance, media, and the list continues.

This leads me to my next thought. It’s important to take chances to achieve greatness. When we’re crossed with a decision that requires a lot of thought, we often focus on the things that could go wrong depending on the decision we decide to make.  By choosing to learn, you can transform your failure into an opportunity to reflect and grow. You can also alleviate that spark from within, and confidently say “I tried.” Cliché in my opinion, but it’s better to say you tried.

What’s next for me? Will I stay in NYC? Who knows but as of now I’m loving every second of it. Though I always thought I would be working in the fashion industry, I find myself doing PR work for the healthcare industry and all I can say is that I love it. I’m learning a lot and feel blessed to be surrounded by a talented group of individuals who inspire me to learn and grow even further. If you put effort in whatever you do, you’ll be successful – regardless of what that may be.  

I’m thankful for my experiences so far and I’m excited for what’s next.  

#Pray for Venezuela

Political chaos, dozens killed each day, hyperinflation, poverty, and shortages– this is Venezuela’s current situation. The country has faced endless amounts of protests over the past decade, and more specifically, within the last year. A nation rich in natural resources and home to one of the world’s largest crude oil reserves, surpassing Saudi Arabia. Yet, many have lost hope for a brighter future. Starvation and high levels of scarcity have forced hundreds of Venezuelans to flee the country each day.

So, what exactly is going on? This began when former president Hugo Chavez was elected in 1999. He promised an end to the party system of government, poverty, and a socialist revolution. He engraved equality for all and became a legacy to many. However, the crisis escalated during the time of his death in 2013. President Nicolas Maduro, a former bus driver, was then appointed president. Maduro soon faced protests from all around the country. Even though the economy wasn’t at its best, it began declining even more. Consumer prices are soaring and its inflation rate is expected to jump 2,349.3% in 2018 (Bloomberg, 2018).

A country full of educated citizens that are now being forced to emigrate and pick up minimum waged jobs. Children are dying due to malnutrition. People are dying. Medicine shortages have also become severe in Venezuela.

I have faith the political situation in the country will improve. Being half Venezuelan and knowing I have family living there breaks my heart. Spread the word; share articles, videos, etc., and don’t apologize for speaking in behalf for those who can’t. 

 
Cata, Aragua, Venezuela - taken by me during my visit in 2011

Cata, Aragua, Venezuela - taken by me during my visit in 2011

El Avila National Park, Caracas

El Avila National Park, Caracas

 

Why I Love Argentina & Why You Should Visit

After traveling to multiple cities in Europe and some in Latin America, Buenos Aires, in the heart of Argentina, will always be one of my favorite cities. I love everything about it. Even though it was a collection of a young summer love experience combined with the location; it will forever be one of my top recommendations.

Buenos Aires. The city that looks, feels and tastes European. A mix of Italy, Spain, and France all in one. I adore the people, atmosphere and most of all - the food. A large country, that extends more than 2,295 miles from North to South, make it an ideal location for those wanting to experience it all. Ice, snow, sunshine? You got it.

Here is why I love Argentina & why you should too:

1.      The Food

If you’re a vegetarian then maybe this isn't the place for you. Unless you're willing to skip out on the meat. Nonetheless, going to Argentina and not trying their famous asado might be somewhat disappointing. The asado is the most popular social gathering in Argentina and the taste is unreal. If you happen to visit, make sure to try it homemade rather than at a restaurant. It always tastes better when it's homemade.

2.      The People

The people are great. Enough said.

3.      Dog Feces

Hmm.. let’s just say this is one of their faults. Be careful when walking down the streets of Buenos Aires, because there is literally dog shit everywhere. It’s worse than New York.

4.      Their coffee

Argentina has great coffee. Quality choices basically available in every corner.

5.      The City

Palermo: young and hip vibe consisted of artisanal coffee shops & bars.

Recoleta: my favorite area in all Buenos Aires. An upscale location with countless history.

Puerto Madero: a contemporary location comprised of businesses, shops & upscale restaurants.

La Boca: beautiful colored houses everywhere and home to the Boca Juniors soccer team (aka my boyfriend’s favorite).

Wondering where you should go next? Think about Argentina…   

 
Recoleta, Buenos Aires

Recoleta, Buenos Aires

Iguazu Falls Argentina

Iguazu Falls Argentina

 
 
Iguazu Falls argentina
 

Not sure when you should visit? I personally think December and January are the best times, simply because of the fantastic weather! Ironic right? If you’re from the US, you’re probably curious as to why? Remember, they’re in the southern hemisphere, and their summers take place during our winters. Complete opposites. Can’t make it then? No worries, a trip to Argentina is a great idea at any time of the year. Check out the below graphic from my friends at BookMundi to learn more about Argentina’s weather and the best times to visit.

 

Best Time to visit Argentina Bookmundi

 
 
La Recoleta Cemetery

La Recoleta Cemetery

buenos aires, argentina
 

Brunch with Open City

Pizza, fresh salads, all day breakfast, burgers, and more. Open City is a diner, coffeehouse, and bar situated in DC, just a few blocks away from Woodley Park. The perfect combination for those who enjoy a relaxing yet enjoyable location. 

Open City has a diverse menu at reasonable great prices. Being able to order breakfast until 1 AM on Fridays and Saturdays makes it a local spot for foodies craving late night breakfast, especially the young ones, after a long night out. Their diverse menu offers selections from sandwiches, pizza, salads, and like mentioned before; they serve breakfast all day. During my visit, I didn’t order from the breakfast menu, but it seemed most of their breakfast entrees included eggs, pancakes, and French toast dishes – the typical American breakfast.

Since I enjoy ordering from the healthier side when I go out to eat, I went ahead and ordered the Sesame - Quinoa Ginger Salad for the fair price of $13.00. It includes Golden quinoa mixed with red and yellow peppers and carrots. Topped with watermelon radish, avocado, toasted sesame seeds and sesame ginger dressing. My boyfriend, however, went all out and ordered the OC Burger, known as the “Open City” Burger, named after them. It is a half-pound of New York strip ground steak with white cheddar, and Applewood smoked bacon and a side of chipotle mayo. I would have to say, both of our dishes were amazing. My salad was excellent. I was happy it didn’t taste like a typical and boring iceberg salad. My boyfriend was pleased with his selection as well, he ordered it with a side of crispy, sweet potato fries, which made it even better.

However, excellent service? Not so much.

The food is unquestionably tasty, but the service is mediocre. Such a shame because the restaurant itself looks appealing and nice, but they do need to work with their customer service. I believe if they work on that, they’ll be booming. We can all agree; there is always room for improvement.

Open city is certainly flourishing off its famous location, but how long can they keep this up? It surely is, always full. Could it be the location or the food itself? Who knows. Even though I loved my salad, would I go out of my way to eat at Open City? Probably not. However, I would have to agree, if you happen to be in the area, go ahead and give it a try.