Spring Break, Miami here I come!

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Sunrise at Miami Beach

What an amazing week! This Spring Break was just fabulous! It’s been almost two years since I moved to NYC and I have never had the opportunity to travel in the United States. So for my Spring break, I decided to leave the state. Between us, everyone of you I’m sure is tired of this awful New York whether between rain, cold, and snow. Naturally, I decided to travel to a sunny town. Miami here I come!

I love to travel and especially discover new cities. At the first step out of the plane in Florida I really feel on IMG_6504holiday for good. 90 degrees, bright sunshine, palm trees, and beaches. The dream. At only three hours from NYC, it’s impressive to have such a change on the whether. We were staying in North Miami at Miami Beach. The Airbnb website is great to find a cheap and well placed accommodation. Besides, this experience allows us to meet people and build relationships. Our host, Christian, was very nice to us. Seeing that we didn’t know the city and the neighborhood at all, he told us the best known places in town, and the good restaurants. We kept in touch and he invited us to come back again at his house. It’s a happiness to be led on the beach, with our feet in the see. Especially when we think about all our New Yorker friends who were under the rain (haha yes I’m vicious). The beaches are beautiful but completely different between the North and the South. In the North the beaches are more quiet, more family, while in the South the sand is finer and whiter. The South is also always crowded. In fact, all South beach hotels are on the beach, so they use their beach umbrellas and chairs in the middle of all idle onlookers.

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Every morning, we went for a jogging on the beach. Thirty minutes of jogging before sunrise. And what a sunrise! It was beautiful. We were the only ones on the beach, surrounded by the seagulls, and the colorful lifeguards houses.

Downtown Miami is a bit disappointing actually. There is almost nothing to see, except for a outdoor mall and a university. However, there are many museums to visit. Miami is a city centre on art. There is also the Tennis Open now. What is good downtown is that you can go around the city for free thanks to the Metromover. It’s kind of a tramway and it makes stops throughout the city. We concluded that Miami is perfect for the beaches, but that’s it! So if you want sun and warmth just a few hours flight from NYC, don’t wait and go straight to Miami!

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There is not only in Harlem that you can see a Gospel!

As a French Student, Gospel Masses are one characteristic of the USA. In fact, in France, there are not Gospel Masses, or maybe only in Paris. I do not really know but it is not common in my country.

Off course, I want to several Gospel Masses ! And I really like it. People seems to be very happy, even sometimes too much happy.  The songs are very rousing, and give the desire to dance. If you are not in a good mood, a Gospel Mass can be very heartwarming.

After having tried, almost all the church on the Lexington Avenue in Harlem, I was a little bit disappointed. Indeed, the masses were not like in my dream.. and like in movies. When I think of Gospel, I immediately think about the movie « Sister Act » with the famous Whoopi Goldberg.I imagine a Mass with a huge and festal atmosphere, which I did not find in the different churches in Harlem.  I tried to go to the Abyssinian Church, which is very famed in Harlem. However, it is impossible to see the service of 11:00 AM, except if you do the queue at 8:00 AM. However, I am not a morning person; so I scraped this idea.
All this to say that I found an amazing Gospel Mass in Brooklyn: The Brooklyn Tabernacle !!

Yes, your heard me: Brooklyn !

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During the spring break, I tried this mass with a part of my family that came to see me in New York. I was very specific of idea to go in Brooklyn to see a Gospel…

However, the church is splendid ! It is a huge place. I think that approximately 300 (or even more) people can be in the church at the same to see a service. The service looks like a show or a concert ! There was 200 chorister ! It’s really impressive! There are not too much tourists ! And people seem to be so happy during this event ! They are very friendly and speak easily to you ! It’s so funny !

 

So YES, there is not only in Harlem that you can see a good Gospel !! You have to go to the Brooklyn Tabernacle :)

 

Internet animals.

If you happen to like animals like me, you might be aware of how they have begun to take over the internet with their cuteness in videos and pictures or memes with funny captions on them. There are quite a few cats and dogs that became internet famous purely by accident. Some of the most well known ones even have their own websites where you can buy merchandise with their faces on them. Usually owners of the pets donate a portion of the proceeds to animal charities- in the specific case of a cat I will introduce you to called Lil Bub, she has a fund in her name that helps disabled cats at shelters get medical attention to ultimately get adopted. Here are a few of my favorites that you may or may not recognize:

Tardar Sauce, otherwise known as Grumpy Cat. I would list her as the number one most popular cat online, because she is worth over a million dollars. Crazy right? The cat owner’s brother posted a picture of her on the internet and it went crazy from there. I myself adore her, and tried to meet her once on my birthday last year. They have released books about her and took her around the United States on a ‘book tour’ of sorts and she came to the Union Square Barnes and Noble. Would you believe that the line to see her and have your picture taken with her spanned the entire 4 floors? Yeah, I was surprised, but I guess I shouldn’t have been. I do think this cat is amazing looking, but I feel a bit sorry for her, I don’t think she would like to do as much traveling as she does. I truly hope they are not exploiting her, but at least they do raise a bit of money for charities.

Lil Bub, I would say is my absolute favorite internet cat. She is a bit disabled, she suffers from a disease called ‘osteopetrosis‘ and it gives her trouble getting around. Her lower jaw didn’t fully develop and she has no teeth, so her tongue constantly hangs out. At first she had trouble walking, but through some new age health discoveries, and a lot of determination she has now begun to run and even jump. She was the runt of her litter and abandoned, a friend of her current owner found her near a shed and brought her in. This cat has books about her, her own website with merchandise to buy, a YouTube channel, and her owner even shot a documentary about her and other internet cats called ‘Lil Bub and Friends’. That documentary was screened as part of the Tribeca Film Festival two years ago and I went to see it. There is a fund with the ASPCA called ‘Lil Bub’s Big Fund’ that raises money for disabled cats and shelters to help them be adopted. A portion from every sale made on her website goes to that fund.

Oskar and Klaus, are an awesome duo. Oskar is a blind cat who was adopted as a kitten. His owner posted a video of him online, playing with his toys and learning his way around their house. Soon after they adopted Klaus, who has a partially collapsed right ear due to an ear infection from when he was a kitten. These two have their own website where you can buy all kinds of merchandise for cats and kittens.

I’ll post one more, this time a dog just so I am not being too biased. Manny the Frenchie, is a French Bulldog who was the runt of his litter. He is now on Instagram, and YouTube with his cuteness and his brothers. His owner also has three other French bulldogs who are just about as popular as he is on Instagram – Frank the funny Frenchie and two little brothers called Filip and Liam. I think they are adorable and I follow their posts.

There are many others, these are just a few. Do you have any favorite internet animals I didn’t mention?

 

 

Amazing Trip

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Epcot

What a pleasant week! The spring break comes and as planned several weeks ago, I went for an expected journey to Orlando, to enjoy the biggest Disney theme park. We visited two Disney parks (Epcot and Magic Kingdom), Universal Studio, Island of Adventure and Sea World. Everyday we came home tired-looking because we went out early and returned late in order to walk around the whole park in a day.

Magic Kingdom is the most adorable world that is full of wonders and dreams. Epcot leads me to a modern and high-tech space. The Universal Studio and Island of adventure are the most exciting parks among all. (these two parks are connected with each other by the Hogwarts express.) These two parks each have a Harry Potter Theme park and they both vividly reproduce the scenes in the movies. In island of adventure, I experienced extremely thrilling and screaming ups and downs. And then in Universal studio, I witness a lot of 3-D scenes and how to shoot disasters and scientific fictions using high-technology. What impresses me most is the shuma-show in Sea World. It’s the first time that the killer whales are trained to communicate with human beings. I never thought that the whales are clever enough to understand human language. With no doubt, I fall in love with this lovely ocean creature when seeing their wonderful performance.

I’m totally amazed by the human’s brains and abilities to create such a fantastic world.

Wallet Feeling Light? OTT Services may be the way to save

As we all want to save a good amount of money its often hard to determine where to start. People try and cut what is not needed and often go to far as to cut things that are actually necessary, but in the day and age we can minimize somethings to a point where were saving money but also streamlining things. Speaking from an opinionated standpoint i have four things that cost the most Cell service, cable service, Rent and internet, they ll are huge parts of my financial burdens. I cant drop my rent, i can downgrade my cell service and i am certainly not getting rid of my internet, leaving one thing, My cable service. Cable services some believe is a dying medium of linear television watching and some believe it truthfully is making a come back, but in the end i think that all people can agree that it is expensive!… way to expensive..Luckily were starting to get options that may give every one some interest. The average cost of cable in 2014 was 64 dollars which was an average over america ( im not sure where there getting those numbers, mines a lot higher) but compared to new OTT services which vary from 20-30, you could be saving over 40 dollars a month which equates to $480 dollars a year.

So what are the options that may be to goo do be true? the first one and most intriguing is a service that is getting alot of traction quickly, it is called sling TV which goes for about 20 dollars (base package) and comes with 17 channels that are fed live. all you need is a internet or cellular connection Sling

Even with this price range it seems a little high to be spending on only 17 channels, when you have things like HULU, netflix, HBO GO, and other that are popping up everywhere.We really need to see the trend but as you lock in a provider now you may be able to lock in the prices while getting more added on in the future as the companies start to battle.

What are your takes on this price savings? is this something you would give up? Maybe just give up all TV!

Housing Works – Bookstore Cafe

This time I would to tell you about the Bookstore Cafe of Housing Works because it’s a cool, generous, kindly and very smart concept.IMG_1220 First I will introduce the Housing Works association which actually is a healing community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Their mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain their efforts. So they collect money through different way, thanks to donations but also opening small “businesses” like stores with all profits going to the association.

The Housing Works Bookstore Cafe is obviously a place where you can buy and rent books, but also buy music (CD, vinyle…), coffee and even something to eat. Work as if you are in a library, meet friends or just relax. Several times per you also can enjoy a special event.  Their one-of-a-kind space is available for rental and all of their merchandise is donated. They are staffed almost entirely by volunteers and 100% of their profits go to Housing Works.

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The Housing Works Bookstore Cafe is Located in Soho, at the 126 Crosby Street, New York NY 10012

Road trip! Do you really enjoy it ?

I love traveling and nobody hates it. When I was a teenager and I was always imaging that one day I can drive to some places where nobody knows me and to feel freedom and enjoy the time all by myself. The reason why I had this road trip imagination is that I was influenced by some movies like ”Into the Wild” and ” Elizabethtown”.

Photo by Jenni Konrad

Photo by Jenni Konrad

Even I feel stupid about this past thing now, but I thought road trip is so cool and excited when I was watching those movies. So couple years ago after my graduation I decided to have a road trip and my plan was drive from Orlando to Key West.  At first I felt a little nervous because it was my first time to drive aboard after all. Then I was tried to enjoy the moment but I couldn’t because I had to focus on driving and I felt exhausted. And till the end I didn’t even have any oppotunity to see those beautiful view.

Do I really enjoy road trip, and the answer is No! After that times I even start to question those movies, how can they look so cool when they have road trip?

From Dinner Playlist to MoMA Retrospective

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Bjork’s new MoMA retrospective came about in a surprising way

It was a classic epiphany moment. Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA’s chief curator was going through his iTunes library, to find the perfect dining playlist, when he came upon the cover of Icelandic singer Bjork’s 1997 electronic album, Homogenic. He looked deep into Bjork’s hyper stylized Kabuki face and realized with its silver and purple color palette and beautifully rendered skin tones, he wasn’t looking at an album cover, he was looking at a striking piece of modern art.

He concluded that the art wasn’t just in the image but rather in the singer herself. He thought f rom the beginning of her career, from the Swan Dress to her turn as a Robot in love, Bjork has always been a living breathing work of art and her career would make a stirring retrospective, consistent with MoMA’s directive of finding artistic inspiration outside the traditional arena, as in its 2012 Tim Burton retrospective.

Now the hard part was making the call to the extraordinarily private singer herself. His hesitance was unfounded as Bjork considered herself an artist rather than a singer and jumped in immediately, personally providing most of the work in the giant career exhibit.

Bjork Retrospective. Museum of Modern Art. From March 8 – June 7, 2015

Interesting Things in Atlantic City !!!

I made my mind to travel around US during the studying period here, I also want to record every detail of travelling in the blog to memerize . Durting the spring break, I went to visit the Atlantic City with my friend. It is said that it’s a gamble, casino and night life city. People call it as a small les vegas .  I was very excited about this trip because in china gamble is illegal in any city in any way.

We ariived early in the morning and walked in the city before checking in. It is a small peaceful city, not many people walking in the street, completely different from new york city. It was a pretty warm day, we walked on beach started the trip!

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There is one interesting spot where  a lot of adopted cats. Tourists are not allowed to five them food, instead of which somebody will feed them at regular time~they are soooo adorable and cute~ I am happy to see these cats have home now or at least they do not need to look for shelter anynmore. there is also a borad saying that abandon cat in NJ is illegal, and anyone who does it will be fine at least 1000 dollars. I really really want people in china could pay attention on these poor animals, abandoning pets are going on every day, I hope oneday we could have a specific law about it.

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for dinner, I tried the seafood there, it was good but to be hoest, I was surprised to see even the seafood was cooking in fried way….no offence but I really think most of American should eat in heathier way

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beyond any doubt, we must go to casino! Since we are all students, I have limitation of budget that I can lose in the casino  (yeah we know we gonna lose money! ) Surprisingly I made some small money that happened to afford my breakfast next morning lol… I was lucky.

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looking back we did so much things in Atalantic City~We went to watch the moive of Cinderalla in IMAX , it only cost 15 dollars but in NYC, IMAX always cost 20 dollars! Human being are interesting , when you go to less worse place from the worst place, you feel WOW! I think I will feel this way whenever I go in US, becoz I live in the most expensive city .

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It was a nice trip ! the memory will last although  time keep going !

Do You Know The Chelsea Market?

If you never have gone to the Chelsea Market it’s one the places you absolutely have to discover, mainly during fall and winter. Chelsea Market is both a food hall and a shopping mall but an office building and television production too. Also It was built in the former National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) factory complex (where the Oreo Cookie was invented and produced). The history of the place gives to the market a very singular atmosphere with an amazing architecture. In addition to the beauty of the place, each of the different kinds of vendor has their particularity. That’s why you feel like out of time, away from the city.

There has been one of my favorite places to spend time when it was too cold outside, snowing or raining. Indeed, you can easily stay a few hours without get bored. Personally, I highly recommend:

Shopping:

Artists & Fleas: here you will find a kind of market flea where are brought together over 30 independent makers and collectors to showcase art, fashion, design and vintage in an atmosphere that is both a nod to Old World markets and marketplaces. Artists & Fleas is “a community for those who love to sell and a destination for those who love to shop”.

Anthropologie: Anthropologie offers a one-of-a-kind and compelling shopping experience. You will find a large choice, mainly for women, of clothes, furnitures, decorative objects…

Foods:

The Lobster place: here you will eat fresh lobsters from Maine (in all sizes), but that’s only part of the attraction of this Chelsea Market wholesale/retail fish market. there’s also prepared foods, including lobster rolls and a sushi and sashimi bar that’s terrific.

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Amy’s bread: here is the perfect place to enjoy an awesome breakfast or brunch, eat a delicious pastries on the afternoon. However you can also have a light lunch. Anyway what you love, you will find happiness through their large choice, from the signature creative and amazing breads (the semolina-fennel-raisin maybe the best), to super sandwiches, salads,  fabulous cakes, cookies, and muffins; there is something to satisfy every appetite.

Friedman’s Lunch: this is the ideal spot for homemade comfort food at affordable prices. Friedmans Lunch serves a wide variety of inventive dishes using seasonally changing menu items as well as a host of gluten-free offerings.

These places are only a sample 50 shops and restaurant which you really have to try… Finally I let you know that some shops are ephemeral. Those pop stores use staying only a fe weeks and a pleasure to discover a new store each time you go to the Chelsea Market.

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The Chelsea Market is located at the 75 9th Avenue (Between 15th and 16 Streets), New York, NY 10011.