Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Oscars 2012

Hey everyone! Did everyone enjoy the weekend? One of the most glamorous events of the year took place today in the US. The Academy Awards Ceremony! For the 84th time, Hollywood threw a party full of celebrities, movie stars and design dresses.

As it is almost a tradition for this kind of events, I met with my friends at one of their apartment. That's what happens when we don't have a TV in our own place. Anyways, watching these shows by myself makes me bored really quick. So, there we were siting in front of the TV with a table full of junk food. I have to mention that my friend Andrea just graduated from a culinary school in NYC and she's the best baking stuff... She's also the best increasing our calories and sugar intake! But how delicious it was!

If you like what you see, you can check out her blog here:

We started watching the red carpet thing. I am awful at it. I never know who those people are. It even took me a while to recognize Cameron Diaz when she was being interviewed! It was actually like a fashion lecture from the girls to the boys in the group. I find it funny how every single woman in the red carpet has a spectacular and unique dress, and then all men are looking exactly the same! If I was an actor, I would be happy to be a male so that I wouldn't have to worry about this color or that purse... 

The show itself was quite looooong. More than 3 hours of speeches and awards. There were some funny moments and the performance by Cirque du Soleil was amazing. However, we were all waiting especially for the best actor, best actress and best movie awards, which were actually the last three to be announced. What a coincidence!

I realized this year there have been great movies. The best movie award was for The Artist, which I haven't seen yet! To be honest, I was hoping for The Help to win that one. I really loved that movie.  At least, Octavia Spencer won the Oscar to the best female supporting actress for her role in the movie. You can check the trailer here:

Another award that I was happy for was the best actress, which went to Meryl Streep for her performance in the movie Iron Lady. It was one of my favorite movies this year, and I think she was amazing and she really deserved it. How crazy is it, though, that this was the 17th time she's been nominated at the Oscars!

I have a huge list of movies to watch now. I also have hundreds of calories to burn after tonight! Bad combination. Oh well, I only live once! Now time to sleep to start the week with my batteries charged. I hope you have a good one! See you soon!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Presidents and Costume Parties

Hey everyone! How is it going? This has been a shorter week, since we enjoyed a 3-day weekend thanks to the President's Day on Monday. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, let's quote Wikipedia for this one:
"Washington's Birthday is a United States federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States. It is also commonly known as Presidents Day (sometimes spelled Presidents' Day or President's Day). As Washington's Birthday or Presidents Day, it is also the official name of a concurrent state holiday celebrated on the same day in a number of states." More information here.

I actually did enjoy the day off a lot. I just wanted to relax, and take some time to fill up my fridge, read, watch movies, hang out and forget about the rest. Miraculously, I had managed to finish my work on time, so I did not have to procrastinate this time. It was also a very nice day. Look how beautiful the city looked from one of my favorite spots, the east riverside:

I love walking around there and have mention it several times already. Everyone needs a place like that and I'm glad I found it!

This week was full of celebrations back in my country as well. It was the carnival. I can't find an equivalent here, since it is not celebrated, but I guess the celebrations are quite similar to Halloween. It is the time when we dress up in costumes and have fun.

18 year old José and Daniel dressed up for carnival
It's a huge celebration, and even if it's still quite cold, most of it happens outdoors. There are street parades in most of the cities, with costumes, music, dancing... and costume parties everywhere. I haven't celebrated it for a few years now, since this is my third year away from home. However, I still remember when I used to dress up with my friends and go out laughing at ourselves.

If my memory is not that messed up, this picture on the left is the last time I celebrated it. And I am thinking it was about 4 years ago! No, I don't usually go out like that, I was trying to look like a gangster, but I'm afraid everyone thought I was a different thing. Oh well, between both of us, I wasn't the one that caught the attention the most (my hair wasn't green)! It seems to me it was a lifetime ago. Time has gone by really quick, but so many things have happened in these four years that it feels really far away from today. Oh if only the fake gangster in the picture knew where he would be right now!

I hope everyone enjoyed the day off and had a good week! Now time to enjoy the weekend again. Have a good one! See you soon!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

NYC in Love

Hey everyone! How was your week? Lovely? Yes, this week was St Valentine's Day, which I'm glad is over. Not that I have anything against celebrating love! That's always fun, but walking around the city to find heart shaped stuff every other step is, at least, quite overwhelming. Ironically, 14th of February was the day I've heard about 'single parties' the most!

As an example of how love was in the air in the city, here's the Empire State lit in red that night. After work, I had a date with my sweatpants and went for a work out. What a nice Valentine's day! 

I find it amazing how stores change from one holiday to another. Right after Christmas was over, the heart shaped stuff came out. Now that Valentine's Day is passed, there are eggs, rabbits and everything about Easter in the shop windows.

On Friday I had a really cool plan. I went to see my roommate acting in a theater play for the first time. It was a show from the acting students at New York Film Academy. There were four short plays and a musical show. I have to say I was really impressed by their talent. I also felt proud to see my friend on the stage, and I must say he did a great job!

After the show, it was time to have some fun after such long week. One of my friends, a fellow international student at Berkeley, was leaving the city this weekend and had his farewell party. It's always sad that people have to leave. However, this is New York, and very few people stay here forever. I need to get used to that!

It was a nice party, and after that I was ready to relax for the rest of the weekend. I've been hanging out around the city, went to the movies, had delicious chocolate and even had some guitar lessons. Now back to business! See you soon!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Chocolate Love Story at Max Brenner

Hey everyone! How are you doing? This has been a great week. I had a friend from Spain visiting in the city, which was great. It was also the midterms week, so it was nice to have fun and hang out around the city after those. Today I'm going to make a very delicious recommendation: Max Brenner restaurant at Union Square. First of all, I must confess I am a huge lover of chocolate... It makes me very happy!

I had talked about this amazing chocolate before, since they have a stand in the Christmas market at Bryant Park, however, this time I finally went to the actual restaurant. Oh how I loved it! I had been inside before, but never got to sit, because it's usually very crowded and there are long lines. However, my friend and I were lucky enough to find a free table when we got there.

Once you get in, you can already feel the chocolate everywhere. You see it, you smell it... and it won't take you too long to taste it! There's a deposit of melted chocolate at the entrance, and then pipes distributing the chocolate to the bar and the kitchen that you can see around the place. I must say I wanted to jump inside that deposit so badly!

My favorite chocolate is the "Italian thick hot chocolate." There's a choice of dark, milk or white chocolate, and I always go for milk. We just had a cup of that. Even the cups are cool. They are designed by Max Brenner as well, and they have this shape that makes you hold it with both hands while the chocolate is warm. He thought of everything! They're also a very popular souvenir from the store (which is also inside the restaurant.)

I also recommend the fondue... It looks to good to be true. They'll bring you melted chocolate with a little candle underneath to keep it warm and then a selection of fruit and sweet stuff... They also bring marshmallows and a little fire. They are amazing with the chocolate!

The store and the bar have a lot of curiosities. One thing that caught my eye was the chocolate pizza! How bizarre, yet how delicious it sounds! I have never tried it, because I'm too blinded by the Italian chocolate I mentioned... but I might give it a try sometime soon!

I hope you guys had a great week, and if you're ever around Union Square and try this place, let me know what you think! See you soon!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl 2012

Hey everyone! Did you watch the Super Bowl? It's a huge sports event in the US and I didn't want to miss it. However, I must admit I'm not a big football fan... In fact, I can sit in front of the TV watching games for hours and still won't get what's going on.

Nevertheless, the Super Bowl is different, because it's actually part of American culture and it's always fun to watch it with friends. To be completely honest, I didn't even know which team was which when the game started. Now I know: the ones wearing white were the Giants (New York team!) and the big guys in blue were the Patriots.

The city goes crazy with the Super Bowl as well. Many businesses had flags (especially for the Giants, of course) and almost every bar in Manhattan was having a Super Bowl party. It was fun to see so many football fans walking around. I could tell how excited they were, since the New York team was on the Super Bowl!

My friends and I decided to get together in some of our friends' place, as we also did last year. Of course, we were surrounded by junk food... which is always good. One day won't hurt, we always say... and then eat snacks and sweets like it's nobody's business while trying to figure out what's going on in the game.

Some of us invading the couch
I tried hard last year to learn the rules... but, let's face it, it's not my thing. I wasn't the only one in that situation, which is nice. Moreover, some of our friends are actually into football, so we just had to mimic them whenever something important happened. It was fun!

One of the best things about the Super Bowl for me are the commercials. Advertising has been an important thing in my life, and these spots are amazing. Well, how couldn't they be considering the millions of dollars they cost! Another exciting thing is the half time show, which this year featured a spectacular Madonna with LMFAO, Celo Green, etc. Check out the show here:

It's amazing how they prepared all that in just a few minutes! America will always shock me with these things...

Finally, the Giants won and the city went on fire! We were all really excited, but especially the ones who were into the game. I was just having fun with the whole situation! We went to the street and even though it was so cold, there were people screaming everywhere.

I hope you guys enjoyed it! See you soon!