Saturday, June 30, 2012

Totto Ramen, Hell's Kitchen

Hey everyone! How is it going? Here I am to introduce you to another restaurant I fell in love with around Manhattan. This time it's the best Japanese ramen place I have ever tried. Located in Hell's Kitchen (west midtown), Totto Ramen has a great reputation and I got to try it a few days before leaving the city.


366 W 52nd Street (Bet. 8th & 9th Ave) New York, NY 10019
Open Hours:Mon – Fri 12pm – 12am / Sat 12pm – 11pm / Sun 5pm – 11pm
I had heard about it from one of my fellow students at Berkeley. We actually tried to go there a few weeks ago, but we didn't succeed because the line was insane. Finally, another mate and I went there and decided to wait in line. It is always packed. You arrive there and you will need to write your name on a list. It took us around an hour until we actually sat down at the restaurant, which was about 10:30pm.



The place doesn't have a lot of space. Only a few tables, so you most probably will end up sitting and having your meal at the bar. That was actually cool, you get to see how they cook everything and it's very entertaining.

The soup was delicious. I wish you could appreciate the taste, but the pictures I took might give you a hint. It was worth it to wait in line for such a long time! I felt like I was in one of those Japanese manga cartoons.


It was a great experience, since I tend to relate Japanese food with sushi and those kind of meals. This was actual Japanese traditional ramen. I definitely recommend you try it, you can have an awesome dinner for less than $15 per person.

For more information check their website here: link. Also you can Google the place to confirm that most of the reviews are amazing!

Friday, June 29, 2012

This Is Summer Break 2012!

Hey everyone! How is the summer going? I'm still in Spain and it's going really well here so far. The only downside is my unwanted friend Jet Lag. How can be my body so messed up every time I fly the ocean after so many times?! That's why I find myself awake at 4am in the morning, or starving for no reason in the middle of the day.


I think my body won't get used to Jet Lag, but I will get used to having it every time I come to Spain from the States. It never happens when I fly the other way!

Anyways, I just came back to Blanes (my hometown and where my family lives) from Barcelona. I've been visiting my friends in the city and, oh boy, did I enjoy it! It had been a long time. It's great that our relationship is still the same. Even though we don't see or talk to each other that much for long periods of time. The funny thing is to see that everything here is the same, but my friends and I are changing. We all have many stories to share and it's always fun to catch up.

I have also been enjoying the beach. This really does feel like holiday and I actually needed that break! Best naps are taken there...


It's also time for ice cream and icy drinks! And it is seriously hot in here. You have no choice.


I can finally say it is summer. Honestly, it still feels kind of crazy to feel like I'm on a holiday when I'm actually back home. I like that feeling anyways and as long as the weather is this nice, I like it even better! There's a crazy weekend ahead in Spain for all the football fans (which is most of the population in this country) since we got to the finals of the Euro Cup. We are playing against Italy, and I'm excited to watch the match! But for now, sit back and relax José. 

Thanks for reading and see you soon!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

American Students vs. International Students

Hey everyone! How is everything going? Last week, Jessica Stahl from the Voice of America wrote a very interesting article that compels opinions from American students about their international classmates. I usually read about the other side of the story, given that I am one of those international students. However, it is very interesting to see some of the opinions and thoughts the American students shared in the article.

You can check it out through this link: here.
"So you want to know what American students really think of international students?  You’re in luck! We did a survey to answer just that question, asking over 50 Americans to answer anonymously with their honest opinion of their international classmates.  If you haven’t read our analyses of the survey results, take a look at these articles first:
Part 1: The Truth – Americans Reveal What They Really Think of International Students
Part 2: Why Aren’t Americans and International Students Becoming Friends?
But if you’ve already read those and are still dying to know more, this post is for you.
The Americans who took our survey wrote long form answers to two questions: (1) Why do you think you do or do not relate to international students; (2) Why do you or do you not try to get to know international students? Here, in their unedited entirety (with names removed for privacy), is every single comment we received."
The article, besides from giving percentages, shows all the comments they received. It is very interesting to read the different opinions. Of course, it's a huge and diverse country, and there are opinions in all shapes and forms. The two questions discussed were:
"Why do you think you do or do not relate to international students?
Why do you or do you not try to get to know international students?"
Here are a couple of examples, answering the second question, to show you the contrast between the opinions:
"I make an effort to get to know them because I think all of their international backgrounds and cultures are so fascinating and I would be truly blessed to get to experience a small sense of their life through what they tell me."
I actually felt related to this one, since I feel the same way about students from other nationalities. It's one of the best things about this experience. I get to be in many places at once through the friends I make. However, there are others that are more skeptical, and some of the answers are even funny and I wouldn't take those that seriously:
"They smell bad and don’t speak english."


I can't believe a college student wrote that! Oh well... for those who haven't met any international student yet, let me clarify that not all of us smell bad, just the same way as not all the locals smell any better... (I'm just being sarcastic ;)

Spain, America and Scotland.

I must say I usually have a different perspective about the relationship between American and international students. I've heard many cases of internationals being unable to make American friends. However, I have to say that I have both, American and international friends and I have never felt it made any difference to me. In fact, I share my apartment with an American and a Scottish. Moreover, in the groups of friends I usually hang out with we have both mixed and it's never been a problem.

I think some of the international students isolate themselves, and that's a big mistake in my opinion. It's great to get to hang out with people who speak the same language as you, and who come from the same place. But that shouldn't be your main objective if you decide to study abroad. You need to have the courage to go and talk to other people. Don't wait for them to come and ask to be your friends while complaining that you can't fit in!

America, Spain, Spain and Outer Space.
I hope you found that as interesting as a I did when I read it. Thanks for reading my blog and see you soon!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Spain to the Final of the Euro Cup 2012

Hey everyone! How is everything going? What a night in Spain! I had forgotten what soccer meant in this country. People went crazy! The Euro Cup 2012 is being played these days, and it turns out we won the semifinals against Portugal last night, which means Spain will play in the final against either Germany or Italy.


I had been hearing about some of the games in New York, but honestly I hadn't really cared that much about it. However, I come back here and I see flags all over the place and people talking about it everywhere. Of course, I had to watch this match! Not that I'm the biggest soccer fan, but I do enjoy this kind of games... maybe because of the tension, or maybe because there are always tapas to eat while watching.

This time we gathered at home. The game was 0-0 until the end of the 90 minutes, so there was an additional 30 minutes after that, which ended up 0-0 as well. Therefore, the victory had to be disputed in the penalties, where Spain finally made it to the final. Even though it was an intense game, I have to be honest and say that this was the part I enjoyed the most:



Yes, dinner during halftime. That's a Spanish meal right there. You can't imagine how much I missed this and how much I'm enjoying it now! The game could wait a little longer.


After the game, my town went all crazy. I could hear fire crackers and screams from the streets. We went out for a walk to see what was going on. There were a lot of people on the streets. It was quite late and it's a Wednesday night.

video

I can't imagine how it's going to be the day of the final. I wish the best luck to the team, and I hope we win! But for now, I've had enough soccer for the day! I hope you're having a nice week. Thanks for reading and see you soon!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hola! Back in Spain

Hey everyone! How is it going? I made it home safe and I'm already in my hometown Blanes. It feels so weird to be back here, in a positive way, of course! There are many things happening in NY, then I come back here and I feel like everything remains as it was before I left. It's great that coming back home means coming back to the life I left behind that flight.


I had quite a pleasant flight. I flew with Delta Airlines this time, and it was direct flight JFK-Barcelona. Of course, I had a creepy flight mate sitting next to my assigned seat. Oh well, the movie scene of bumping into the love of your life on a plane doesn't really happen. I wonder if they find me creepy too! Anyways, I got to watch a few movies and slept through the rest of the flight.

Coming from America to Europe is not the best thing for your body if you suffer jet lag. I do, and it's quite annoying. I left New York at 7:30pm, and 8 hours later, I land in Barcelona and ta-daa it's 10am. That means you miss one night, and your body will make sure you get your punishment for that.


I'm getting ready to wake up randomly at night starving or falling asleep during the day. However, I can take as many naps as I wish, since I'm finally on holidays! The first thing I did once I got to my town, besides from greeting and having an awesome home made meal, was walking around my town, Blanes. How beautiful it is during this time of the year!



As you may see, the contrast between Manhattan and this beautiful little beach town is quite huge! Honestly, I'm sure I will start missing the hustle and bustle of the big apple pretty soon, but now I'm very happy to be here! Look who seems to be happy to have me here as well. OK, he doesn't look happy in the pictures, but I promise he is.


This guy is Jacky, and even though he still looks young, he's already an old man... Not as energetic as I remembered him, but still the cutest dog! I wish I knew what he thinks, but it's awesome how he remembers me no matter how long I'm away. I really wonder what goes through his head when he sees me after such a long time!

I think the dinner is ready, even though I feel like I just woke up! I better don't miss that anyways. Thanks for reading and see you soon!

Monday, June 25, 2012

I'm Leaving Today... (Again)

Hey everyone! I'm doing it again, packing for my summer break in Spain! I can't believe another year is over. Well, to me the year ends in June and starts over after the summer. This one has been particularly quick. So much has happened in the past 12 months and I have so much to be thankful for!



As much as I hate packing, I'm very excited to be back home. Last Christmas I only had a few days to be back home, and a few days are never enough considering it takes me at least a week to get over the jet lag and relax!

Also this year I've been quite busy with everything, and it's time to take a breath. I'm very excited to see my family, my old friends, to have time to go to the beach, to hang out at home, and also to write all the blogs I wanted to and didn't have the time!

Back to the thankful mood, I must say I feel really fortunate for everything. The second year in the city is completed as of today, and when I look back to the day before moving to NYC all I can say is "wow."


I remember taking that one-way flight from Barcelona to NYC two years ago. I had no idea what was waiting for me in Manhattan, and I was so excited! I'm really happy to say that it really did live up to my expectations... and even went beyond those.

Not that I've gotten homesick at all during all this time, but I do miss home. Especially when I'm hungry. Just kidding... well, kind of! I'm very excited to see everyone, but also to enjoy home made food! If you ever come visit to my place, you'll understand.

Now let's finish packing all these things and get on that plane! Thanks for reading and see you soon, next time from Spain! :) Enjoy your summer break!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Aloha! Hawaiian Party

Hey everyone! So... the quarter is over and the summer break is here!! It's time to disconnect from school and finals, for good or for bad there's nothing else we can do about those now! To celebrate, I had a Hawaiian party that one of our fellow international students at school prepared. Henrietta did an awesome job and we all had a great time, that was a top evening.


It's the first time I went to a Hawaiian theme party and it's a lot of fun. At first I was skeptical about wearing floral stuff, I'm sure you know this feeling of "what if I'm the only one?" for this kind of parties! However, everyone was in the same Hawaiian mood, so it was all good!


In the picture above we have the two key parts of the party. Henrietta, the host and Takashi, who made the best Hawaiian style cocktails and, on top of that, was the DJ of the night. Two talented people right there! See all the effort put into this party so that we could all say hi to the summer and bye to the academic quarter.



Yes, we even had cupcakes with our faces on them. How cool! Again, this was one of those events were you bump into people from all the corners of the world. I love being able to have such a cultural experience in an event that is meant to be fun. Oh boy do I love New York!

Unfortunately, I was just pretending to have the skills to make cocktails.

As I hope you can see, this is an awesome theme if you're looking to have a great party during the summertime! This was a great way to kick off the summer of 2012. Now it's time to start packing, because I'm visiting Spain for the break!

I hope you had a great weekend. Thanks for reading and see you soon!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Naming Ceremony: Larry L. Luing School of Business

Hey everyone! As I told you in one of my previous posts, last week we had the ceremony for the naming of the Larry L. Luing School of Business at Berkeley College. I shared some of my experience at the city and at school and I wanted to share it here as well. It answers many of the questions I usually get, like why I chose to study in NYC and Berkeley College or what it feels like to be an international student in Manhattan...

Cutting the ribbon.

Studying in New York was one of my biggest dreams since I was a teenager. I would watch movies and TV shows that took place in the city and always pictured myself living where there. When I turned eighteen I traveled to the Big Apple to study English for one summer. During those weeks, I got to know Berkeley College and there was something about it that caught my attention. When I got back to my home country, Spain, I did everything I could to find a way to move to New York City and get my education.

A few years later here I am, waking up every morning to go to Berkeley. Is studying in New York like I dreamed it would be? Honestly, it has been even better than what I expected. I have enjoyed every bit of it. This is my second year in the city. I came here to earn a Bachelor’s degree in International Business. The reason why I chose New York City and Berkeley College is because I wanted to be in an international and diverse environment.

Travelling has always been my biggest passion. I love learning about new cultures and seeing the world from different perspectives. In fact, before moving to New York I had travelled to many countries and lived in Estonia for one whole year. At Berkeley College, I get to experience all that without moving from Manhattan. I get to talk to people from every corner of the world on a daily basis. I’ve made friends from countries that I didn’t even know existed.

I came by myself, which was as scary and exciting at the beginning. However, I started making friends as soon as I arrived. At school I found a lot of young people in the same situation as me, feeling as thrilled and enthusiastic as I was to be in New York. When I arrived I thought adapting to an American college would be a big challenge. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that big of a deal. Berkeley College made my transition very smooth. I was very impressed to see how close professors are to students.

The classes are reduced, so they get to know you. That was the biggest point for me to move from a huge university in Barcelona, where I felt like I was just a number, to Berkeley. I have learnt a lot from the faculty at the School of Business. I’ve had professors from very different backgrounds. I’ve learnt a lot, not only from the concepts covered in the courses, but also from the life experiences they share with students.

Being an international student in New York has given me a lot of opportunities that I never thought I would have, and it goes far beyond the classrooms. I’ve had exciting internships in real companies based in the city. I have also participated in many events. I even took part in a program at the United Nations, where I got to represent a country with a team of students from Berkeley College in front of an audience of elite students from all over the world. I would have never imagined I would be sitting at the General Assembly Hall in the United Nations, which was a big dream come true. 

                     José A. Tavares (Board of Trustees), Dean Dallas Reed and me at the ceremony. 
I have already been here for several quarters, and I feel just as thrilled and excited as I felt the first day I moved to New York and started at Berkeley. Besides from getting a degree, this experience is being really enriching not only for my career, but also at a personal level. The sense of community that I feel at Berkeley has allowed me to make a lot of connections, friendships and it has made me feel like I’m home in New York City. The more I learn, the more things I want to do in the future. I’m not sure about what direction I’m going to take yet, but I’m very confident that the professional and personal skills I’m acquiring at Berkeley will help me build the career I want in my future.

Thanks for reading and see you soon!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Living Below the Line Challenge

Hey everyone! How is it going? This week I have been reading about a challenge that Nicole Luthman, Coordinator for Student Development & Campus Life at Berkeley College's NYC Campus, has experienced along with other staff members from the school. She has been sharing the experience through Berkeley Cares blog. It has made me think a lot and it's worth sharing it with you.

Here's what the challenge is about:

Berkeley Students and staff at the NYC Campus are participating in the "Live Below the Line Challenge" with The Global Poverty Project this week!

WHY?
Thousands of Americans chose to Live Below the Line this May for five days, in order to raise both awareness and critical funds, for the 1.4 billion people who live below the extreme poverty line every day.  Participants consumed less than $1.50 per day for all food and drink. This challenge is uniquely inclusive because it involves an activity that all people perform daily: eating and drinking.

Why $1.50? $1.50 is the U.S. equivalent of the extreme poverty line - a line that no one wants to fall below. The reason? To provide a unique perspective into the lives of 1.4 billion people living in the world's poorest countries who have no choice but to use $1.50 to cover all expenses. While completing the challenge, YOU, our friends and family can sponsor us in supporting the Global Poverty Projects initiative.
 
THE CHALLENGE
This challenge will take place for 5 days, from June 11-15, 2012. We will have to stretch $7.50 of food for the entire week, or $1.50 a day.


As interesting as it sounds, you can see how Nicole managed to keep up with having meals for one whole day with only $1.50! Here are the links for each day of the challenge:




It made me think a lot because there's so many people who can't actually chose to experience this challenge, but they have to. Living in Manhattan is very expensive, and I actually considered a $10 meal to be the standard price for a daily lunch. I know many people spend much more.

I hope you find it interesting as well. Congratulations to all the ones who completed the challenge, and special thanks to Nicole for sharing the experience with us!

Thanks for reading and see you soon!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Kayaking

Hey everyone! How was your weekend? I'm sure many of you are just as stressed as I am with the final exams, papers and everything coming together for the last week of the quarter. However, as I noted in my previous blog were I shared a few study tips I use, it is important to manage your time and give yourself a break.


A great plan to have a break and doing some sport is to go kayaking. I have done it several times in the Hudson River, and it's always very exciting. Oh, and let's not forget to mention that kayaking with the Downtown Boat House is free of charge!

“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).
I went there with two colleagues from the Academic Support Center and fellow students, and we had a lot of fun! We went to the location at Pier 40, even though they have others. It's by the west riverside, quite close to the World Trade Center.


The day was very beautiful, so I couldn't ask for more! Well, I actually had a little incident, but nothing to worry about. It turns out that all individual kayaks were being used, so instead of waiting for one to be available, the volunteer said I could use one that was stored. I helped him get it to the water and I jumped on it. Once I was sitting on top of the kayak, I realized it was different from the ones I was used to. This one had holes everywhere, so the water kept coming in. I wasn't ready for that, I thought I would be dry... I was wearing jeans and I didn't have clothes to get changed.



Even though I had to walk around Manhattan completely soaked, it was worth it. We did some sport, had a nice sunbath and they even taught me how to use the hula hoop thing! Now time to get back to business... but before, let me wish you the best of luck for the exams! Effort pays off. Thanks for reading and see you soon!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Study Tips for Finals

Hey everyone! The spring quarter is almost over. Doesn't it feel like this is the fastest quarter? The good thing about it is that the summer is almost here. Nice weather, vacations... all sound amazing. The bad side is that finals are also here! These are stressful days and it's not easy to cope with that. Let me share with you a few tips that have been working pretty well for me so far.

  • Organize yourself

First of all, you need to know what you have to do, when you have to do it and how long will it take. It might seem obvious, but you should take a few minutes to sit down, open your calendar and check all the papers due, the group projects to finish and the exams to come so that you get a big picture of what you're supposed to do ahead of time.

  • Prepare a schedule

What I usually do next is preparing a schedule. Write down everything you need to accomplish for the finals, including papers, projects and preparation for exams. It's always best if you see it written. Try to figure out how long each task will take and write it down. Set limit dates for yourself and write them down. Trust me, if you see it written, it is much more likely you will try to get it done. The best part is that can have the pleasure of crossing it out once you're done with each task! It feels great.

  • Make it realistic!

When you're preparing your schedule, don't expect you to be working for 15 hours in a row. Make it realistic, knowing that your attention spans are not infinite (at least mines aren't!) Give yourself some breaks too, and plan it ahead of time so you can divide the big tasks in several days. Remember, if you plan to be studying for more hours than the amount you actually know you can, you will be frustrated and will end up procrastinating like it's nobody's business.

  • Go to the library

I find it easier to concentrate when I'm at the library. If I have planned to be studying, let's say, for two hours, I would rather spend those two hours sitting at the library than in my room. The reason is because there are less distractions. I know many people feel the urge to clean the windows or organize the closet during those two hours. That won't happen at the library. Also, it helps to see other people doing the same thing around you. If you're bored of the library, try sitting down at a cafe and study there (it's one of my favorite places to do it and I'm actually very productive there!)

  • Don't study with your laptop

That's an important one. Print your material if you need something from the Internet and stay away from your gadgets. Be honest. You can probably study without your laptop or your iPad. Having any of those around will only increase your temptations to update your Facebook status or to stalk that cute girl sitting at the next table.

  • Chose the best time of the day for you

If you know you work better in the mornings than in the evenings, then try to do it then! Of course, it is not always possible, but try to be efficient with that. In my case, I find it easier for me to study in the early mornings or late nights. I try to schedule my study sessions around those times, because I know 2 hours in the morning are worth much more than two hours in the afternoon.

  • Keep your healthy habits

Finally, don't forget to keep up with your regular habits. I'm talking about sleeping times, physical activity and meals. You want to keep a balanced diet so that you have 100% of your energy ready to use. You also need to rest enough, and I'm talking about good quality sleeping time. Also, don't skip your gym or sporting sessions if you usually do it, because physical activity can actually help you a lot!

I hope those were useful and I wish you the best luck in your finals. Work hard and your efforts will eventually pay off! Thanks for reading and see you soon!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Larry L. Luing School of Business

Hey everyone! Today has been a great day at school. It was the day of the naming ceremony of the School of Business, which is, from today, the Larry L. Luing School of Business. I feel very honored that I got to be part of the ceremony, and to have shared my experience before such an audience.


“Today we dedicate the Larry L. Luing School of Business,” said Dario A. Cortes, PhD, Berkeley College President. “We honor Larry Luing, the businessman and visionary, the imaginative thinker, the one who was able to create an educational institution that has the level of success, achievement and distinction that continues to this day.”

The remarks and ceremony featured personal letters and citations from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and others.

"Larry L. Luing inherited his love of education and business from his family, which included several teachers, small business proprietors, and a textbook author. Growing up on a 10-acre farm in rural Iowa, Larry was a young entrepreneur who earned enough from his own businesses to pay for his college education." Learn more about him here: link.

To be honest, I felt very proud of being a Berkeley College student. This event confirmed that there is a sense of community at the school, which was one of the main reasons I chose it.

I will share more about the ceremony with you, and I'm sure I'll get pictures and hopefully videos of what was said. It was very exciting for me to give a speech in such an important event for the School of Business, and I want to thank the school for that, specially Dean Dallas Reed for the opportunity and for helping me with the speech.

I hope you are all getting ready for the finals week, and I wish you the best for those! Thanks for reading and see you soon!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

New York Aquarium

Hey everyone! This one is about my visit to the New York Aquarium. I was really excited to see it, especially to get to see the sharks! I find them fascinating! I had a blast at the aquarium and I definitely recommend it, especially if you're hanging out around Coney Island. I did it the same day I went to Luna Park, since we were already in the area.


Here's some information about the aquarium:

Directions:

Take the F or Q train to the West 8th Street station in Coney Island, Brooklyn. Alternatively, take the N or D trains to the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue Station, then walk two blocks east on Surf Ave.

Rates:
  • Adult $14.95 
  • Child (Ages 3–12) $10.95 
  • Senior (65+) $11.95
Hours:

  • 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m., Monday–Friday
  • 10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m., Weekends & Holidays

One of the most interesting parts for me was the tank with seals. You can see them from outside and then you can go underground and see what's going on under the water through the glass windows.


I feel somehow identified with their attitudes every Sunday afternoon.


Those creatures are massive! It was a lot of fun to see them from that window, because the seals kept swimming and bumping into the glass. It felt like they were coming to say hi to the people.

The aquarium is quite big. There are many sections. I also found fascinating an indoors part with smaller tanks that contained different species of jelly fish. Those are quite scary! But then again, fascinating.


There were also sea horses, and other creatures that I can't recall.

Then there is a huge tank with sharks and big turtles. You can see everything through the windows.



Finally, there's an option to purchase the "Full Experience" ticket (just add $5 to the general admission ticket) that allows you to watch a movie in 4D. Yes, four dimensions. We did it at the end of the visit, and it was a lot of fun!


This time they were screening Happy Feet, 4D Experience. It is actually a small theater with 3D screening. The fourth dimension is just a few effects that make you feel like you're inside the movie. There was cold wind, water bubbles, water splashing, vibrations on the floor and even the feeling that someone was poking you from behind the seat. It was a lot of fun, but there was a downside. There were many young children that weren't ready for such and experience and they kept crying considerably loud for the whole half hour that the show lasts. Anyway, it's worth trying!

Here's the website of the aquarium if you need more information: http://www.nyaquarium.com/.

I hope you had a great weekend! Thanks for reading and see you soon!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Crossfit and Paleo Diet

Hey everyone! How is it going? I met with one of my friends from Berkeley College and he introduced me to a concept of fitness that I had never heard of before. We went to a seminar about "Paleo Diet" at CrossFit Hell's Kitchen. First, let me tell you what CrossFit is about.


"CrossFit is an intense exercise program featuring dynamic exercises like plyometric jumps, and Olympic lifts while using non-traditional weightlifting equipment such as kettlbells, sand-bags, suspension systems or water-filled implements. The program is structured in such a way that participants are challenged to do a certain number of repetitions in a workout in a specific time frame; the more advanced CrossFit participants will actually compete against each other to see how fast they can complete the daily workout and post their results on the CrossFit website." Link to the article here.
Looks pretty intense huh? I actually liked a lot the vibe of that gym. You can check it out at http://crossfithellskitchen.com and you will be able to see a daily journal about the exercises and accomplishments they do. Doing some sport is always good, but honestly I'm one of those guys who find it a little boring to go to the gym by myself. This could be an alternative if you're like me. This gym is located at 36th street between 8th and 9th Avenues.

However, I didn't go there to try out their program (God forbid, because I'm certainly not in that shape at all!) I went there to hear about Paleo Diet. I wasn't really sure about what it was, but it ended up being a very interesting presentation not only about this particular diet, but also about nutrition in general. I did learn a lot of things I didn't know, and it's always good to get those tips in order to keep up with a relatively healthy life in such a city as it is NY! Nevertheless, paying attention to those tips after the presentation is a completely different matter... Let me give you a few lines about this Paleo Diet:
"The paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet or paleodiet), also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years duration that ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture. In common usage, such terms as the "Paleolithic diet" also refer to the actual ancestral human diet.
Centered on commonly available modern foods, the "contemporary" Paleolithic diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils."
Read the whole article from Wikipedia here.
Besides from introducing us to the Paleo Diet, Dr. Charles Williams also talked about other things related to nutrition, destroyed a few myths and other activities that affect our shape such as stress management or sleeping habits. All in all, it was a great talk and I got a lot from it.

However, after hearing all about how taking good care of your nutrition habits can benefit your shape and your life, my friend and I ended up having the following meal:


Consistent huh? Well, this is from BRGR and it's unbelievably delicious! What can I say... "I'll start tomorrow." Located at 7th Avenue between 26th and 27th, they have great 100% grass-fed beef. That means it's not the most unhealthy choice you can make around that area, so we're still good!

I hope you guys had a great week and enjoy your weekend! Thanks for reading and see you soon!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Transit of Venus from NYC

Hey everyone! How is it going? This week there has been something going on with the planets around earth. It turns out that Venus passed between the earth and the sun, making it visible for the human eye from several spots around our planet. One of those spots was New York City. I've been hearing a lot about it, since it will take over a hundred years for that to happen again, so that was quite a historical moment (yeah, not for everyone... but for a nerd like me, it counts!)



The weather in the city is still crazy, just as usual, that's why I wasn't sure we would be able to see it from here. That's also why I started browsing online to see if there was any other way to see it. Well, of course there was. I found tons of live streaming websites that were showing the whole thing.

From the Huffington Post:

"Skywatchers around the world readied their telescopes and grabbed their solar shades on Tuesday and Wednesday to catch a glimpse of the transit of Venus, a phenomenon that won't occur again until 2117.

For nearly 7 hours, Venus moved between the Earth and its closest star, making the Sun appear to be punctured by a small black dot. It was visible from the ground in most of the world except for western Africa, southeastern South America, Portugal and parts of Spain, according to NASA."
You can read the whole entry here.
They talked about it all over the news as well:



To be honest, I could not see it with my own eyes. First of all because at that time I had class, and secondly because I wouldn't have had the proper equipment and I'm quite fond of my eyes. However, I'm taking enough care of myself, so I'm pretty confident that I will still have a second chance to see it in 2117, when I will only be 128 years old.

Here are some New Yorkers trying to see the transit across the cloudy sky:



See more pictures here: link.

I hope everything is fine! Thanks for reading and see you soon!