Moving!

November 7, 2010

Hey everyone! A few days ago I got the opportunity of becoming a Berkeley College blogger, which is really nice! So basically I will keep doing the same thing, but I just change my blog. It is more comfortable to focus on just one blog, because I would write the same anyway. You can follow me at http://berkeleycollegestudentblogger7.blogspot.com/

Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I hope you continue doing so in my new address!

Kayaking in the Hudson River

October 8, 2010

Hi everyone! First of all, I’m sorry that I didn’t publish anything for the last couple of weeks. I started my lessons and it has been crazy! I had to adapt to the student life again, get everything I needed… plus I’m looking for an apartment which is also time and energy consuming! (I’ll talk about that soon). However, I’ve had some free time that I spent doing a bunch of activities waiting to be published here 🙂 ! Ever since I started school… (seems like years ago!) weekends have become my precious scape! And here goes a great plan, how does kayaking in the Hudson river for free sound? I know…. ooooosom!

This friend of mine, who is such a genius! told us about the kayaking association in NYC. It’s basically ran by volunteers. I’m talking about the Downtown Boathouse. If you’re in NY or planning to come in the very next days, definitely have a look at their site (the season is about to end!!).  This is how the organization defines itself: “The Downtown Boathouse is an all volunteer-run nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free public access to the harbor in New York City through public kayaking programs. Our mission is to encourage safe public use of the harbor waters of New York City and thereby provide residents of this space-constrained city with increased recreational opportunities. We support our operations exclusively through volunteers and with your public donations” (website).

We got there in a beautiful Saturday morning. We went to the harbor around 57th street west. It was just the perfect picture for happiness. The city felt like smiling at you as we were walking to the harbor, I’m serious! And the weather was just great. We got there and surprisingly, there was no queue at all!! Maybe just a couple of people rowing and that’s it. The place is really nice. There are a couple of tutors there telling you what to and what not to do and providing you with everything for the kayaking session. Once in the water you’re only allowed to row within the bay. It’s big enough to have a lot of fun! It was really awesome to be rowing under the sun, in the Hudson river… can you picture the landscape? Ahhh… got to love New York weekends!

After that we did a lot more things… I’ll be posting about them soon(ish) because there was really cool stuff going on in the city in the last days! And now I better keep my eyes on Plato’s theories for my test tomorrow… wish me luck! See you soon!!

Ne-Yo live in Times Square!

September 28, 2010

Times Square is always a fun spot. There are always a lot of things going on in that area. Last week there was a big event from Honda. They were celebrating the launch of the CR-Z Sport Hybrid coupe. There were many tents there doing cool stuff. My favorite was the 3D photo shot! They took pictures of people in a 3D background then gave them print for free with the 3D glasses. It was cool to see yourself in a 3D TS background! Then there were also video games with the car, free tees with cool graphics on them, etc. But the most impressive thing going on was the huge 3D screen they had set up there. They were showing the spot (also seen on TV) in 3D and it looked amazing!

Anyways, the reason we spent time there was not so much because of the car… but because of Ne-Yo!  It wasn’t really advertised so people didn’t know about it, which means that at the beginning there was no one there and we got a great spot just 1 hour before the show! He was performing in the stage Honda had set up, but his concert was more related to Children’s Miracle Network charity. The show was short, but intense… I have a blast! I’ve always liked him and it was hard to believe that I was seeing him performing live just a few steps from me, and in my neighborhood 😀 !

We were right in the very first row, but some mean and cruel woman told us to move backwards because the VIPs had to be there! But still we had a great spot, even better when you know it was absolutely free! It was cool to see how it got really packed up in just an hour. When people started being aware who was coming they went crazy! There was also a lot of media covering the event. When he arrived (really on time) he started singing right away. He performed about 5 or 6 songs from all his albums, but he didn’t sing anything form his new release “Champagne Life” (which I think was weird since they were giving t-shirts and shorts promoting that album!). Here you can see the videos I took from my favorite performances:

Closer

Because Of You

I can’t say much more about it. As I said million times, there is always something going on everywhere in this city and I just love it so much! Who knows if tomorrow I’m walking to school and see the King of Spain giving a speech in Bryant Park! 😀 See you soon!

Turkish days in New York

September 22, 2010

First of all, Turkey is one of my favorite countries ever. I’ve been there twice and I just love it. There is so much to discover among its culture, history… food 😛 ! Therefore, I was very excited about this festival in Manhattan. Turkish culture is known because of the hospitality of its people, and that’s why it is so pleasant to be around them. The festival took place on Sunday 19th, during the whole day in 41st Street between 6th and 7th avenues.

Even though the festival was not that large (especially after attending San Gennaro the day before!) it was enjoyable anyway! It was only a block, but it was full of tents and fun stuff. Obviously considering it’s me who’s writing this I have to say the best part was the food… damn it’s so delicious! I could live on Turkish food. So yes, you could try many of the most famous turkish meals and desserts. I had some kind of roll I can’t name (but you can see on the pictures), I had Ayran which is a drink made out of yogurt and goes perfect with Turkish food and then I had the sweetest thing I’ve ever tried: baklava. I actually had just a very small portion… but I guess that’s the best way to enjoy it because it is extremely sweet and I don’t know what might happen to your sugar levels if you overdose 😀 !

Besides from food, there were also souvenir tents, Turkish Airlines stuff, Turkish products… and something that was quite fun, they had like photo sets with people wearing costumes so you could take a picture wit them and simulate you travelled back to another point in history. The Troy horse, the Ottoman Empire, etc. And finally there were some shows going on during the day. I got to see a show with men dancing with skirts I’m not sure about it because I didn’t get it there and I tried to Google it but there we go: Mevlevi. Anyways, it’s interesting to see. They are wearing weird long hats and the skirts move like waves… it’s kind of hypnotizing!

 

All in all it was very enjoyable. It made me think of all the great Turkish people I met during my year in Estonia and it kinda got me back there for a few minutes! Watching all those people having fun, speaking Turkish… it was maybe too nostalgic! I know that it sounds strange going to a Turkish festival in the middle of Manhattan which brings me back to Estonia… but that’s what it takes to be a world wide minded I guess! I’m going to keep enjoying my last free days… next week I’m back to the nerdy student life I miss so much! See you soon!


From Italy to Korea in the same evening!

September 20, 2010

One of the things I love the most from this city is the mix of different cultures it has. That’s why in just a day you might feel you’ve been traveling around several countries! We had planned to go to San Gennaro festival, which started this weekend in Little Italy. So we went there in the evening. We leave the New Yorker to cross Chinatown to finally arrive to the Italian district, how crazy is that! The place was COMPLETELY packed up… but the whole crowd couldn’t prevent us from enjoying the most delicious festival I’ve had so far in the city!

We were in the entrance around 6:30pm, and we spent like 2 hours to walk 3 blocks! When I say it was packed up, I mean it! But anyways, the atmosphere was really good and it smelled delicious, once you’re in you can’t wait to taste everything! There are tons of tents with food, food and more food and also some arcade games, ice cream tents, pastries, cocktails… and anything related to Italy. We had dinner on the way, we were really original and had pizza! But what a pizza… yummy! Then we got started with the sweet stuff… Seriously, I could live on that!!

I discovered something that I decided to place in the top ten of most delicious things I have ever eaten… Deep fried Oreo!!!! Might sound gross… but trust me, heaven! It’s basically an Oreo cookie covered with a pancake powder or something and then deep fried. It is not crunchy at all, cause the cookie gets really soft, and the result is incredible… I bet you can try at home, but I don’t think it will be as delicious as it was there, cause then they put this special sugar and whatever… just go there and try it, it’s worth a flight from anywhere 😛 ! I will try to do it someday… I’ll let you know if I succeed! Have a look at it (I can’t… it just makes me SO hungry!):

We kept walking almost to the end of the festival street but it was impossible… We stopped like 2:30 hours later. But I had time to try drinks, canolis… OMG delicious! On the way back we found a puppet’s show with Pavarotti, it seemed to be quite fun! We didn’t have much time to see it properly though.

After such a great walk we went back to the hotel to have a small rest and our journey would continue later the same night! A great plan: karaoke! We went to the Korean area (I’m not sure if it’s officially a Korean neighborhood but it’s just full of Korean stuff in the same street, 32nd between 6th and 5th avenues). We had been checking out on Google about different karaokes nearby and there were so many of them! But we decided this one because it got nice reviews and the price wasn’t that bad.

We got a private room, which is nice when you are in a large group (we were 11 people). Then you can have fun with your people and don’t have to hear drunk people or fake stars singing! It was $70 for one hour, which is not bad if you are in a group big enough to make it worth. The funny thing is that all the instructions and the gadgets were in Korean language, so we had to learn what colors to press (not that hard… press number and green to start, yellow to cancel 😛 ). I was surprised that their songs were actually very updated! And there we were… singing crowd pleaser songs such as “I believe I can fly”, “Wannabe” and some contemporary stuff like “Love the way you lie” (it’s worth to hear us screaming: “just gonna STAND there and watch me buuuuuuuuurn”).

So yes, karaoke is always a fun thing to do with friends even though your vocals might be as limited as most of ours were 😛 , but it won’t prevent you from having a great time! Thanks for following, see you soon! 🙂

 

Dave & Busters!

September 18, 2010

Berkeley College organized an event for students in Dave & Busters. Even though I haven’t started the classes yet, a friend from the hotel who is attending the college as well and me decided to go there and meet new people, future classmates perhaps!

Dave & Busters is a chain, we went to the one located in Times Square. I don’t know how to describe it… it’s a restaurant plus arcade games plus casino… whatever! It’s a lot of fun! Our deal was awesome. We paid $10 and got all-you-can-eat buffet, drinks and a $15 game card! They have private rooms for the events, we had ours in the Empire Room, which was quite cool! And the service was very good. But the best part are the games! Once we were done with eating, we got our 15 dollar card (which was included in the $10 ticket!) and started playing! There are many games… fortune, abilities, arcade, quiz, races… and to play you have to swipe your card and it takes the credits from there. Then when you win you get your points, they give you hundreds of tickets!

After the games, when your credit is over you can go to the gift shop (or whatever you wanna call it) and exchange your tickets for gifts! There are all sort of stupid things: stuffed animals, tees, bracelets, candies, toys… I had around 260 points, and I thought it was enough! Well… not! The smallest stuffed animal was like 350 points 🙂 so I got a super-mini monkey that farts when you push its belly! How cool is that!

Definitely you have to spend quite a lot of money to get a good item. However, I recommend this place to have some fun with friends because it really works! There are many exciting things to do there. I saw some banners that said they have combos with dinner + game card for around $15 which is not bad! You can check out the website here.

And right now I’m getting ready for San Gennaro feast in Little Italy, we’ll be there in a while and it seems we’re going to have some fun over there! And if it wasn’t enough for the weekend, I’m going to the Turkish festival tomorrow evening! Love New York City weekends! See you soon!

American Idiot (Green Day’s musical)

September 13, 2010

Wow! This musical is like a rock concert! Yeeeeah! As you watch the performers, you start feeling like standing up and jump. It was amazing. Here you can see the preview for you to have an idea of how the show looks like:

The musical takes place in St. James Theatre. We got tickets for 37 bucks because we got discounts in the Broadway on Broadway show the same morning, that was good! The seats were not bad at all, we were down in the first floor and we could see them perfectly, except some seconds that two of them started flying above the stage… but no big deal, the view was good. The stage is really cool. It is not as spectacular as Mary Poppins’ stages but the lightning was crazy and it’s all full of TV screens and projectors, it’s really cool.

The reviews they got are excellent, and they deserve it. It was a bit hard to follow the plot, but the performers can really transmit what they’re singing and of course, they are all highly talented… not only the voices were perfect but all the dances, the movements, the acting. I was definitely amazed. I’m sure I see them performing in the middle of the street and I would still love it, there’s not need of much more than the cast performing. The argument is quite critical with the American society, but they do it in a way that people don’t take it bad. I didn’t see any American bothered by the show, what’s more, all of them loved it (many of them repeat it many times!). And actually I would say you can take all these critics to any society in the so called first world… because I could feel identified somehow and I’m Spanish!

So, if you are thinking about going to a Broadway show, I would definitely consider this one. It’s going to make you feel alive and I’m sure you are going to have a big smile after the show. You are going to be excited from the very first moment with “American Idiot” (the opening performance) and it’s going to get more and more exciting, also emotional (songs like “Wake Me Up When September Ends”… it was my favorite part of the show), also the finale was very special too. Anyway, I hope you have the chance to see it some day! See you soon and thank you for your visit 🙂 !

Broadway on Broadway 2010

September 13, 2010

The Broadway on Broadway show took place this morning in Times Square. It is basically a show that kicks off the new Broadway season. There are performances by the casts of around 20 musicals. Plus the new shows are presented. Click here for more information about the event. It was really packed up, it reminded me the city of Madrid when Spain won the world cup! There were thousands and thousands of people in the square, incredible! However, we got a great spot because we woke up at 7.30am to be able to actually see the show, and yes we did!

It is amazing how important Broadway is for the economy of the city, the host made us think about it. It is not only about the money the theaters get, but also the hotels, the restaurants, the shops, etc. around Times Square… millions of dollars, thousands of jobs… and the magic of Broadway of course! They presented new stuff that will be going on there in this coming season, and for sure there are many I want to see.

These are some examples of the performances that took place there:

THE ADDAMS FAMILY
“Just Around the Corner”

AMERICAN IDIOT
“St. Jimmy”

BILLY ELLIOT, THE MUSICAL
“Expressing Yourself”

CHICAGO
“We Both Reached for the Gun”

ELF
“There Is a Santa Claus”

FELA!
“Zombie”

IN THE HEIGHTS
“When You’re Home”

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES
“We Are What We Are”

THE LION KING
“Can You Feel The Love Tonight”

And many more!

The finale performance was the most amazing part of the show. It was the song “Empire State of Mind” by Alicia Keys and Jay Z performed by Lin-Manuel Miranda (from the musical In The Heights) and Karen Olivo (from the musical West Side Story, In The Heights). I had such a crazy feeling being there listening to this song live in Times Square, surrounded by thousands of people and all this show going on with confetti, music… it was ooooosom! 😀 Here is the video I took with my phone… the recording is not very good but still you get what it was! (Don’t miss the last part of the video with the confetti rain, that was great!)

And this wasn’t all the Broadway for today… Because during the show we got discount tickets for the musical American Idiot (Green Day) for the evening! So there we were! I will write about it tomorrow… but it was as good as all the reviews tell!

Fashion’s Night Out!

September 12, 2010

Last night was a big deal for the city. It was the Fashion’s Night Out, which was held for the first time last year due to the situation of the economy, Vogue and some other fashion business thought this would be good to make people go and do some shopping while the shops are having parties and inviting celebrities. I’m not a fashion expert… at all. But still I could enjoy it last night! And I must admit I didn’t really know all the celebrities I saw, but damn that was fun! I went there with quite a lot of people, wrong thing to do! Because soon we split up, it’s too crazy to keep all together. Some of my friends are fashion experts, so they really knew where they were taking us. I just followed 🙂 !

First stop was Barneys in Madison Avenue. As it’s a huge store there were a lot of things going on there. In the entrance they gave us the program and all I could see were lots of names of designers and celebrities. The Olsen twins were judges of a Karaoke contest in some floor, then we got to see Alexander Wang, which was way too crazy to stay there! In that floor they had a very cool dj and dancers, at the beginning it was really nice. But soon it got crazy packed up and we couldn’t even move! It got obviously worse when he came, and honestly… I had no idea who he was (shame on me?) so at that point some of us decided to leave and go for some more fun!

After that we walked to 5th Avenue, where there was some more action going on! The streets were really crowded and everyone looked awesome (well… by awesome I mean like walking in the middle of thousands of Lady Gagas 😛 !). Anyways, next stop was Bergdorf Goodman, really chic place or whatever! It was spectacular. The queue to enter was INCREDIBLE. So at that time I refused to enter, but then while I was looking for the friends I had lost, by chance I found the back door, where the celebrities were coming in! It was packed but still you could see them. The only one I knew was Sarah Jessica Parker, and I felt so proud to recognize who she was 😀 ! So then I found my friends and realized that the line was consuming faster… so damn it I went in! Once in we had a look at the store and went to a certain floor were a huge crowd was waiting for Victoria Beckham. And don’t ask me how we did, but we stepped in the press area, and after being pushed once and again, she arrived! What a woman… is laughing that hard? Anyways it was awesome how everyone got crazy when she arrived! I wonder how I survived! But yes, I got to see her perfectly and took a freak picture! 🙂

Sarah Jessica Parker’s hair: ( 🙂 )

Ms. Beckham:

And after all this craziness the best part arrived. We met with the others (except the fashion experts who, of course, had a lot more to do there!) and walked down to Times Square. Levis store was having a really cool party. It wasn’t crowded at all, they gave us a nice dinner, cocktails and good music! That’s shopping 🙂 . Plus, they had invited the cast of the musical American Idiot (Green Day’s) and even though most of us hadn’t seen it yet, we got their autographs! After all I had quite a lot of fun that night, the atmosphere in the city was pretty cool and we had a good time in Levis store.

I realized I have already been 2 weeks here and it totally feels like I arrived yesterday! Still meeting new people and exploring the city, this moment is just perfect! See you soon, best wishes from the big apple!

An Endless Summer

September 10, 2010

That’s the tittle of the new collection of the Australian artist Anna Coroneo. One of my friends here in the dormitory was helping her out with the event and we got to go and see it! The art exhibition took place this evening in the Gallery District in Chelsea. I love this neighborhood, it is close to the river and it’s all full of warehouses that are becoming art galleries for young artists and the atmosphere is just great. You walk through the streets and find a taxi garage next to a fancy gallery… It’s a very alive place. There’s always something going on and so, there we were!

The gallery was soon packed up. It was such a melting pot of different people… fashion people, artists, photographers, models. They had a dj playing which made the right atmosphere and you could even find a dog wearing a tie! We met Anna, the artist, who was really nice to us. She works in different materials, and it makes the collection very interesting. You can see photography, paintings… even fashion! She prints her artworks in dresses, and they look just amazing. Some works really caught my eye! Here you can see some random examples, because I wouldn’t know what to choose! They are so powerful, it’s the kind of art I would buy (had I had the money…) and put it in my house, then stare at it once and again and appreciating every time more. Plus the title of the exhibit caught me from the beginning, it expresses perfectly the meaning of this adventure I’m in… “An Endless Summer“. Actually now that I think about it, staring at those works, they are so fresh and neat it really feels like summertime!

After the show we decided to have a walk in the new High Line Park which is awesome! I’m going to talk about it soon because I’m planning to go there in the day time to really appreciate what’s going on there. It was already late and yes, the place is crazy beautiful, but I’ve been told it is alive during daytime, there are little markets, artists, performers… Just for you to picture it: it used to be a railway that goes above the city, then they just turned it into a park where you can walk from the beginning of Chelsea to the Meatpacking district. It’s beautiful! Can’t wait to see it in the proper time!

I’ve been visiting around a lot lately since I’m still quite free from college work. I will soon write about the rest of Chealsea, I found so many crazy stuff down there! And I’m still exploring the SoHo, which is an incredible district for fashion victims, and very exciting for people like me who have no clue about the fashion world… yet! Because tomorrow we are ready to go for the Fashion Night Out, which is going to be awesome for sure!

See you soon and thanks for all the followers and all the visits the blog is getting! Perhaps you have any request, anything you would like to know about the city and I’m able to explore (God knows how much I love it!), so just let me know! Thank you!