eat-a-city, Uncategorized

barcelona

One of my favorite cities in Europe is Barcelona–city-wide afternoon siestas, late-night dancing and cheap sangria? Three of my favorite things in a beautiful city on the beach. When I was deciding where to study abroad, Barca was the only other place I seriously considered besides Amsterdam–and though you probably know I couldn’t be happier with my choice, I definitely wish I had more than 48 hours in this zesty Spanish city.

Among other things, Spain is famous for tapas and paella. On the first afternoon, I was exhausted from dealing with a delayed flight, so my friend and I stumbled to a bustling restaurant that seemed pretty reasonable. We ordered a variety of small plates, like papas bravas and pan con tomate, and some tasty sangria. This meal would be less than memorable if I hadn’t been so damn hungry.barcelona

Spain was one of the places I went in Europe that had a Dunkin Donuts–happy selfies commenced along with an iced latte and sugar-loaded donut. There was one in the train station by Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, which we only admired from the outside. One of my only regrets from my adventures abroad is not shelling out the 20 euros for admission into the cathedral.

The weather was incredible when I was there, and we spent a lot of time wandering around the historic district. We went to La Boqueria, a large, incredibly crowded food market, famous for quality Iberico and fresh fruit. We strolled along La Rambla and settled on a place to get paella–definitely got ripped off trying to find authentic food in such a touristy area, but we were dying to sit down and have something cold to drink (more sangria). The supermarket we went to later to get snacks was selling paella for 2 euros a serving. Go figure.

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After a much needed siesta, I forced my travel buddy to rally so we could hit the clubs. The nightlife in Barcelona is right on the beach, and is unlike anything I’ve experienced. The club scene in New York is a game all it’s own, but in Barca, it was come one, come all. Everyone’s there for dancing and good times–and tequila shots.

The next morning, we took a hungover stroll to Park Guell, another Gaudi site that was a little gentler on our wallets–and in walking distance of our Air Bnb. It was super hot that day, and an uphill walk to the park, so we stopped for some slushy drinks.

So, when should I go back?

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eat-a-city, Uncategorized

stockholm

My weekend in Stockholm was quaint AF, though since it’s pretty pricy, there wasn’t a whole lot of gourmet dining. Our cottage-style Airbnb was stocked with muesli, milk and coffee, so that’s what I ate for breakfast everyday. On our first day of wandering, we stopped into a pub-style restaurant for lunch, where I had fish and chips, on special for the equivalent of $10 or something. Side note: I probably ate more French fries during my semester abroad than I ever have in my life.

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On the second day in Sweden, we went to Skansen, this super adorable Plymouth Plantation-esque attraction. It’s an open-air museum and zoo, set up in historical Swedish style, with employees dressed in 16th century Swedish garb, and lots of replica farm houses and bakeries are open to wander through. Here, I had some kind of cinnamon roll hot from the oven, and a rye bread sandwich topped with cheese and vegetables.

Sweden is one of three countries I visited that had Dunkin Donuts. We stumbled upon one at a modern mall amidst an ATM card crisis, and there was a massive line for doughnuts. Any New Englander knows that our regional obsession for Dunks is with the coffee–I can count the number of times I’ve eaten an actual doughnut from DD on one hand (not worth the calories). I was sooo happy to get my caramel swirl iced coffee, even though it wasn’t as good as back home.

IMG_1426We popped into a local grocery store one night to get snacks–I got my typical bread and cheese, and also a large amount of Swedish gummy candy. I have a major sweet tooth, and the candy selection here was like Ikea on crack. I bought even more when I got to the airport super early, buying these weird candies called Lakerol (unfortunately, I bought the kind in the cutest packaging which turned out to be horribly bitter black licorice), and a ridiculous amount of Anna’s pepparkakor. These ginger-snap cookies are everywhere back home, but souvenir tins of them were on sale at the airport gift shop so I got some to give my mom.

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eat-a-city

paris

It’s no secret that I love to travel, and nostalgia from my European adventures last year inspired me to create a new series, “eat-a-city.” One of my favorite things about going to new cities was trying the local cuisine, as well as perusing supermarket shelves for groceries that seemed familiar or interesting. I’ve decided to write posts about my favorite eats in each city, starting with Paris.

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My time in Paris as a 21-year-old was a major carb-fest. Baguettes and crepes were eaten at least once daily, supplemented with French cheese and Nutella. On our day trip to Versailles, we brought along bread, cheese and chocolate to have a picnic lunch, and I are Kinder Buenos for breakfast everyday. Kinder Buenos are now my favorite candy bar–it’s like a Nutella-filled chocolate bar, and I honestly don’t understand why they’re so hard to find in America.

Finding affordable restaurants in Paris was also quite difficult for some reason, and I recall having an omelet and French fries for dinner on two occasions. My favorite meal in Paris was, funnily enough, at an Italian place called Sapori di Parma, a hybrid market/deli/trattoria (I discovered this place thanks to a quick Google search for cheap eats near the Eiffel Tower). My friends and I were a bit hesitant about eating Italian food in France, but this place was totally a diamond in the rough. We asked if we could just get one item instead of the three-course menu put in front of us, and the waiter, who spoke a charming mix of French, Italian and English, happily obliged, offering us any pasta dish and a glass of wine for ten euros. I had homemade, half-moon shaped gnocchi in a gorgonzola sauce and a glass of white wine.

Found this little Italian gem today. 🍴😋 #eatwelltraveloften #paris #foodie #italianfood #yummyinmytummy

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I really did not love my long weekend in Paris–of course, it was incredible to see the iconic landmarks I’d been dreaming of my whole life, but stepping away from warm, welcoming Amsterdam to a city that detests foreigners wasn’t especially pleasant. I recently told my mom that I’ll only go back to Paris when I have enough money to splurge on a nice hotel and can eat at Michelin-starred restaurants.

Have a must-eat spot in Paris? Let me know here!

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places

who you should follow on instagram (besides me)

If you follow @nycismyboyfriend on Instagram, you might have noticed that I frequently repost photos from other users. I want to be able to post quality content on a frequent, regular basis, so it’s often easier to use someone else’s photo of a mimosa on Sunday morning than it is to shower, get dressed and actually go to brunch (nobody goes to brunch every week, FYI). Plus, I’m kind of busy and don’t always have time to run around taking scenic photos of NYC.

As I’ve been perusing Insta for great photos to have on hand for my posts, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of really amazing (and funny) accounts out there. Here are some of my all-time favorites.

If you have a serious case of wanderlust, follow @LucyLaucht.

Manarola glowing at dusk

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Her photos are seriously stunning, and I always have to stop myself from re-posting every image she shares.

If you love food, follow @Food52.

Their dreamy, minimalistic approach to food photos makes for beautiful photos guaranteed to make your mouth water. Food52 also reposts a lot, so it’s a great way to find other accounts to follow.

If you love bright colors, follow @ABeautifulMess.

🌵❤☀ @rclayton #ABMlovesmurals

A post shared by Elsie + Emma A Beautiful Mess (@abeautifulmess) on

ABM is also an amazing site that has tons of craft ideas and recipes, but their Insta feed is an always-welcome pop of color.

If you love NYC, follow @AlyssaInTheCity.

This Refinery29 writer posts great photos of everything from rosé to retro cars, and (of course) beautiful images of New York.

If you need a laugh, follow @GirlWithNoJob.

This is so true

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There are tons of accounts that share memes and funny text posts (@FuckJerry is also great), but this one is always on point.

 

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pin-spiration, places, Uncategorized

pin-spiration: amsterdam

I will never get over this place. I’m literally tearing up as I picked these photos (no, I only had one glass of wine), and I am missing Amsterdam oh-so much these days. I can’t believe that next month it will be a whole year since I said farewell to this beautiful city. Before I left for study abroad, I dedicated an entire Pinterest board to Amsterdam-themed pins. But no amount of tulip photos or canal views could prepare me for the beautiful place I was about to spend a semester in.

I miss riding a bicycle everywhere, wandering through the floating bloemenmarkt, and taking full advantage of free museum admission. I was SO incredibly happy here, and I really found a home there. My parents came to visit, not expecting very much, and totally fell in love with Amsterdam. I’m telling you, this is a special place. Go to A’dam, and stay for more than a couple of days. Drink a Heineken at an outdoor cafe, eat as many sticky stroopwafels as you can, and soak up the incomparable beauty that is this magical place. I’ll be back ASAP.

all photos from Pinterest. 

Follow nyc is my boyfriend on instagram. 

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places, Uncategorized

pin-spiration: wanderlust

In the style of last week’s post, today I’m sharing some of my favorite Pinterest finds. I’m always inspired by all of the beautiful travel pins on Pinterest, so I’ve rounded up some photos of places I have been dying to go. It took forever to decide on just a couple of pictures, and my “Wanderlust” board has more pins than any of the other ones. What are some places on your bucket list?

1. Jaipur; India.

I’m pretty sure these are hotels, but I am in love with the colors and details of these buildings. I would absolutely love to go to India

2. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park; Hunan Province, China.

I’m absolutely obsessed with visiting this park. Ever since seeing Avatar for the first time (and being obsessed with it ever since), I was totally inspired by the “Hallelujah Mountains” and am dying to go. I’ve never been to China, or even Asia, so it’d be a great trip.

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3. The Blue Lagoon; Iceland.

This would just make a super cool Instagram to be honest. And Iceland in general seems like a pretty amazing place to spend a long weekend.

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4. Antelope Canyon; Arizona.

It’s kind of ridiculous that I haven’t been here considering the amount of national parks I’ve visited on family vacations, but I am DYING to go to Antelope Canyon.

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5. Angkor Wat; Cambodia.

Again, just crazy beautiful…I think the next major trip I take will have to be a trip to Asia. Thailand is pretty high on my bucket list, too.

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6. Sacred Grove of Bomarzo; Viterbo, Italy.

This literally looks like something out of a fairytale, and since the only time I’ve traveled to Italy was when I was 11, I’m longing to return.56630dfdbd5b171bc9ae31c842f6e235.jpg

 

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Uncategorized

being your own best friend

While recently watching Eat, Pray, Love (not of my own free will) I watched Julia Roberts stuff her face with spaghetti in Rome, by herself. She wanders through India, by herself. I came to the realization that there is a difference between being alone and being lonely.

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taking a romantic walk on the beach, by myself

When deciding where to study abroad, I chose Amsterdam in part because none of my friends were studying here, nor was anybody from my college. I wanted to be enveloped in a totally new experience, thrust into a foreign land where I’d have to fend for myself. And I have. I didn’t hit it off with any of the American students in my program. While I’m invited for drinks or coffee, I will not be extending wedding invites to these people.

This is a similar experience to my freshman year of college–I found it difficult to be myself around people, worrying they wouldn’t like me. While that isn’t an issue now, since I’ve realized I have a kick-ass sense of humor and know how to have a good time, I don’t see the point in wasting energy on temporary friendships. Meanwhile, my closest friends from high school went down their own paths at different schools. Many became part of the world of Greek life, a concept which is lost on me. One of the reasons I was attracted to Fordham was its lack of Greek life; in this or any universe, I am not a sorority girl. And while my friends seem to have made wonderful new friends, I don’t fit into that part of their lives, and they have changed in ways I have not.

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I have become newly grateful for my willingness to be alone. I enjoy going to museums alone, I cook dinner for one, and I am becoming less bothered by eating in a restaurant by myself, or going to a bar alone. I contemplated buying a cheap flight to Milan, since nobody else was interested, and spending the weekend there by myself. I didn’t, mostly to avoid giving my mother a heart attack–a well traveled woman herself, yet she seems to think a serial killer/sex trafficker/radical terrorist is waiting for me in each new city I visit. When my flight was delayed, I sat at the airport bar and ordered a Heineken. I don’t feel like there is something missing–except the bullshit that comes with forced conversations with mere acquaintances.

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On the five hour bike ride I embarked upon today (more on that later), I had a lot of time to think. I’m grateful that I have friends at all…it’s amazing that people can tolerate me for ten minutes, let alone ten years (thanks, Klaud), let alone my entire life (perks of having a sister). While I will probably never fall in love in Bali, shout out to Julia Roberts/Liz Gilbert for assisting me on my journey to total enlightenment. Namaste.

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