Coco & Cru -Bowery

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November is here! And I feel like I’m dying a little because there is so much to be done before the semester ends, but at least the weather is still beautiful (although it is questionable because what are we doing with our Earth – even though I recently discovered we are in an Ice Age period anyways but that is beside the point). However, Carolyn was ready to make me feel less like death with her recommendation of the New Museum, which was amazing (check out her post, it’s fab). After wandering around, looking for millions of food options and settling on none, we saw Coco & Cru. coco3The second you walk in – I quote Carolyn – the immediate reaction is “it smells healthy in here.” The leafy aroma hits pretty hard, and I started to get worried – I am not one for too healthy. However, I did end up getting the Portobello Mushroom Sandwich, which was fantastic. The French fries were the perfect mix of crispy and salty, so 10/10. When I originally saw my order, I thought the burger itself was a tad on the small side, but after scarfing down a good half of it, I felt like the food baby game was strong. Although, the $$ was an accurate depiction of the meal, I was pleasantly surprised with the food. You do get the quality and amount of food that would be worth $15, but it is not necessarily a steal for the student budget.

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One minor complaint I had was that we ended up sitting on stools in a very tight fit, so it was difficult to hang up winter coats and find places to put our bags. However, I have no complaints about the food itself or the service, which was quicker than anticipated (apologies to the waitress that had to decrypt my total dollar amount because I cannot do math sometimes). Also for a Saturday lunch time, we managed to beat the rush around 1pm, which was great because we did not have to wait at all. Overall, it was a cute spot that has many healthy options if you are feeling more of a splurge one day.

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The Doughnut Project – West Village

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Fall time is here! And it has been a hot minute since I have last posted, but I have come back bearing sweets. Quite literally. I am not usually one that craves doughnuts (like, ever), but I ventured into West Village with the lovely Carolyn (go check out her adorable blog) who has apparently been craving doughnuts for a solid two months.

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And this place was totally worth it, let me tell you. Each doughnut is priced at $3.50 but they have a ton of different original flavors. The one that I got above was the Lemon with Sea Salt doughnut and it was divine. It is a bit expensive compared to your dollar at Dunkin, but this doughnut is probably 1.5x the size of that doughnut and incredibly delicious. Promise.

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Aside from the doughnut being delightful, the interior aesthetics were beautiful just to bask in, as they play music that make you feel like you are in an NYC indie flick and have art all over the walls with chandeliers hanging for the ceiling that give the perfect street style meets classic look. There is a large window so you can people watch along the small street or in the corner, they are playing a vintage movie. If you have a sweet tooth and have exhausted Dough, and the other recommendations, check this place out!

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bc1Unfortunately, the dim atmosphere of this cafe has made the quality of these photos go down tremendously so the quality looks especially grainy. Also, I really tried for the phone picture of the food but the lighting made the food look extremely unappetizing. I apologize! While I was looking at Yelp reviews for this place, it said that it would be that Friends coffee shop if it was actually filmed on the Lower East Side. And I can attest to this. bc2

The options for the cafe are quite limited in terms of food, so I ordered the “Cat’s Breakfast” which came with a two egg omelette with mushrooms and onions (I believe ham was also an option), a side salad and a toasted bagel with cream cheese (YAAS FOR CARBS). Altogether, that came out to $10.34 and I can say that I was definitely full by the end of it and powered through to finish it all.

bc3The ambience is very nice and calming, and more quiet than I had expected. Not many people went to hang out with their friends, they mostly went for work or to just chill by themselves (at least on the Friday brunch time that I went). There is a printer available there, and free wifi. The mismatching furniture and brick walls are wonderfully rustic and just the right amount of shabby chic. So overall, I would recommend this cafe if you are looking for a quiet corner to hang out in and if you do not mind your photos being a little dim.

3 Things to Keep in Mind at a Networking Event

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Networking may be the bane of everyone’s existence. It’s unnatural, you can come on too strong but then run the risk of not being remembered. Then, there is always a likelihood that you will not have made any solid connections and  basically just have wasted six hours of your life. One of the people I met in Berlin was having a launch party last weekend, and I decided to invest six hours of my life to hopefully make a good impression. So, here are things that I kept in mind to hopefully calm the nerves.

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1. Most people do not know anyone else there either.

Okay. I definitely felt way out of the blue since this event was mostly friends and family, (and I was a total rando, arguably the most rando of the randos) but as one might expect, each of the co-founders of the company had their own sets of friends and family that sometimes even the other founder would not know. Really that means that everyone is just as confused as you are and in an uncomfortably comforting turn of events, essentially everyone is a stranger! WHOO.

2. It’s okay to take a few minutes to yourself to regroup.

If you run out of things to talk about, it is okay to excuse yourself to the bathroom or to grab more food. Mostly to grab more food because who doesn’t want free food? Sometimes there is a lull in the conversation and it just can’t seem to pick up, know there is nothing wrong with just taking some time to yourself for a hot sec. Talking surface level things can get really exhausting and you are totally valid in needing to step away to check your phone and grab a drink.

3. You will never have to see these people again if you do not want to.

If someone bores you to tears, makes you want to rip out your hair or is overly pushy about trying to get something from you, know that you will never have to see these people again if you do not want to. Granted, make meaningful relationships where you can, but if things are not going swimmingly or clicking perfectly, don’t worry about it. It’s all trial-and-error. Even if from one event, there is no one that you click with or have similar goals as, at least you have gotten practice for future events where you’ll have a whole other group of people to talk to.

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Let’s be real, I am a total newbie at this networking thing and this may be awful advice. But what I do know is that in every single industry, it is always about who you know. Thus, networking is here to stay. So the more you get out there, I guess the better? Yes, there is a lot of small talk to be made, and a lot of polite laughs to be had. However, there are a ton of creative and intelligent people out there and hopefully at one of these events, they will make their way to you somehow. Everyone is really just as uncomfortable and confused as you in the long run, so know that you are not alone (because I am right there being an awkward bean with you.)

too many thoughts, too little time.

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Build a portfolio. PA on multiple sets. Get a 4.0. Build meaningful relationships. Make three short films for festivals that I am proud of.  Finish transfer applications. Volunteer for other passions. Find a quirky hobby. Be the top 3%. Work out. Travel abroad. Apply for internships. Apply for scholarships. Apply for fellowships.

Over-freaking-whelmed.

That is the only way to describe what I am feeling. On the day that I am writing this, it is the first day of my sophomore year in college. Weird. Scary.

Ever since my first day of school ever, the night before I would never be able to sleep. I would keep myself up thinking about the endless amount of “what-ifs” because by 2AM, 19 years later, everything has been a”what-if.”

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This year is different though because I feel old, and too old for this. But as an expert worrier, I guess my mind will never feel too old for it.

Mostly, I feel there’s more. This year will mean more. Although, I am convinced every year is like that. More, more, more. I just want to do more. I need to accomplish more. I have to be more.

Once school comes along, all my creative juices get channeled into academic juices and I end up never having time for creative things anymore. Yet this is the year that I have to get it together with my creativity if I want to transfer, and it may be my last shot to get out of this school that I just don’t feel like I belong in. And if I cannot get out, then what?

I am also taking two classes that are notoriously not my strong suit and I want to be challenged but I am afraid to be challenged at this school because what does this say about what I can handle at a harder institution? I love a challenge, but I am afraid of it and I hate that the numbers of a GPA still define how I see myself in a way.

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And then I also feel so alone because there are all these thoughts eating away at me, but there’s never a saying or a thing or person that can make it better other than myself. I keep thinking maybe when I am older, I’ll have it figured out but the older I get, the more hectic and confusing everything seems.

I feel like I have packed my schedule to keep busy, and with opportunities that I know will only help me in the future, but then I keep wishing I had more time to think, more time to myself.

I am afraid that I will never be totally content with where I am and what I am doing because these past few years have been so focused in a future that I have not learned to appreciate what is happening now. And who’s to say the future will be any better? But I guess that’s part of growing up, and something you can never really know.

PS: I am so sorry this is a bit negative but hopefully my thoughts will be a little #relatable.

PPS: Since this post is super introspective, I thought I would make these photos in black & white. Partially that, but more importantly, the fact that none of these really go together in terms of color scheme makes desaturating all of them much easier. I’m lame. I know.

51st Bakery & Cafe – LIC

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Long Island City is quite up-and-coming with their cute cafes, and since its not as busy as the cafes in lower Manhattan, it makes it seem much more like you are discovering something unknown, which is way more hipster than the hipsters of Manhattan because Manhattan is just so basic, right? (I’m just kidding, who am I to judge running a semi-basic blog).

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There’s another cute Parisian cafe in this area as well, but after scrolling through the menu, I realized that I was not up for spending $12 on the Monday before school started up again and when I would stop being paid. So, this place had four and half ratings on Yelp, and only ONE DOLLAR SIGN which meant a definite yes. I dragged my friend along and basically everything in this photo added up to around $12.50 (minus the glasses, the OJ and the fact that my frittata had onions and spinach instead of cheese.)  I could have easily eaten just the frittata, which was only $5.50, and a meal under $10 is always a plus.

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This cafe was super spacious compared to the previous cafes that I have reviewed, and really clean looking. I was not totally impressed by the breakfast items, I had really wanted some heartier brunch, but some of their lunch sandwiches looked pretty good, and they were $8 for a sandwich, which once again is not bad. I accidentally poured corn starch sweetener type thing, thinking it was water, but other than that, and having to awkwardly tell the lady at the counter that I was stupid, my experience here was quite pleasant.

Roaming through Berlin

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This past February, I had the opportunity to travel by myself for the very first time. I was not expecting this to happen to me at eighteen, but I was excited nonetheless. I got to go to Berlin Film Festival as an intern for a PR company and a sales & distribution company on a one month notice. There were only a few spots open in the program I applied to and with minimal information, I was kind of convinced that I was being conned. BUT FEAR NOT. I did actually get set up with two internships and got to experience a week of a lifetime.

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Before flying out, I lowkey was panicking hardcore because I still thought I was being conned, and then I was afraid that I would miss my flight, and that I would be kidnapped without a phone in a foreign country, with no knowledge of German other than “Nein” and “Danke.” The usual fears. But there was something so peaceful and triumphant about flying alone, despite the crying baby next to me. Upon arriving, I told myself I’d try to take their Metro but failed miserably and got a taxi instead. Apparently in Germany, tipping is not a thing? I tried really hard to tip the guy who drove me and he was utterly confused and told me to keep my money. Hm, never been told that before in my life.IMG_1920

Once I got to the hotel, everything was set up for me with my schedule and I had a roommate in the program, which is the first time I ever had a real life roommate (seeing as I live with my sister regularly and it’s not quite the same). Most of the day was spent in the office (which was at the Ritz Carlton and super nice – el oh el at places I’ll never be able to afford) and kind of mundane but with the very intern job of making lunch runs, I got to meander around the city to pick up food. Although when your bosses are vague, it’s really hard to know that you have picked the right food, especially when it’s their assistant who is guesstimating. Each time I was worried they would hate me but I think they were happy just not to have to get their own food.

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Everything I remember is in a blur. I held Terence Davies’, Cynthia Nixon’s and Jessica Ehle’s jackets, walked on a red carpet, had journalists yell at me before the round table conference because it was running late, and heard the same promotional videos over and over. I usually napped when I got home and didn’t do much, but I did manage to go to my first few clubs, which were pretty fun, although creepy men and sweat & alcohol smells are not pleasant. I also had a few days to myself, where I completely navigated the city by myself after intensive Google Mapping and Metro stalking. I plugged my headphones in and was mostly lost, but it was beautiful to see this artistic city anyways. (Someone even asked me for Metro directions LOL IF ONLY THEY KNEW HOW CONFUSED I WAS). Altogether, I met some really cool people, and saw a really cool city (although I would love to have seen more) despite the blistering cold temperatures, and I had some serious post-Berlin depression when I arrived home. I definitely recommend everyone to travel alone at some points in their young lives because there is this wonderful adrenaline rush and sense of freedom that is unlike anything else.