Grenada

Turning 25 for Young Professionals in NYC

Un-complicate.  De-Stress. Stop. Freaking. Out.

Here’s a list of my current top thought starters, which I think is especially relevant for young professionals who love to live it up, but sometimes feel a bit lost (friends, I’m talking to YOU).

Disconnecting from Social Media. Do it.

  1.  The Innovation of Loneliness An awesome short video that everyone in today’s age should watch for some perspective (4 min), explaining the loneliness of social media and “sacrificing conversation for mere connection”.
  2. Think like Afrojack–inspired by Afrojack’s Ultra 2014 Set and Next Album, Forget the World.  Here’s a quote from a recent Rolling Stone article to get you started: “It’s basically a message not just to my fans, but also to myself, to always remember to keep following your heart, keep following your path, and never try to let the things around you get you down.”  He then goes and talks about social media changing our behaviors and to do things for yourself and not others.

Re-Organize Your Life and Thoughts and Don’t Get Caught Complaining.

  1. Life will be uncomplicated one day when you’re married with kids, you have a house in the woods, and your priorities have shifted…enjoy the complexity and uncertainty now“.  My colleague Dulce said this to me in the car just over two years ago and it still rings strongly.  We don’t have to have everything figured out right now.
  2. Are you doing everything you expected to be doing at 25?
    With most of our friends in the same stage of life where we aren’t sure what’s next, I find a lot of us just venting our confusion.  Let’s bring it back to re-prioritizing.  See my old blog from about two years ago where I re-evaluated my roles in life and explained Covey’s quadrants to re-prioritize.  If you are feeling ambitious and really lost, try  7 Habits of Highly Effective People Personal Workbook  by Stephen Covey – an all-time favorite for people of the Covey era, but unfortunately not very popular among our generation (probably why we are all so confused about what our next steps are).
  3. Get out of Your Comfort Zone! For me this was swimming in the ocean for the first time in ten years last month (I know this is sad, haha!) and re-attempting yoga in January.    I’ve gone to 25 classes at Yoga to the People and I’ve never been so relaxed.   Without the extremely uncomfortable initial 4 classes of falling over and kicking a neighbor, I would have missed out!
  4. YOLOYou Only Live Once.  Why not live a little and relax a bit when you feel like things are out of control?  (Remember Avicii’s “I Could Be the One”!) Also, let’s be real–you’ll probably laugh in ten years at how dramatic you were when you were 25.

Don’t Forget Your Social Conscience and Where You Came From

  1. Feel good about watching Upworthy.   Yes, it’s for-profit and one of my friends says “it’s just another way for people to pretend they know what’s going on in the world and pretend to support it even if they aren’t actually doing anything”.  Fair point, but doesn’t the conversation and culture change have to start somewhere?  And what about the huge power of making something relatively unknown super popular?  And the for-profit bit–at least they are sustainable.  Hey, yes, you can fairly say you are actually doing something when you are inspired to think differently and more socially and encouraging others to do so as well.
  2. Take care of your friends. Don’t let them do drugs or take unnecessary risks.

    “Friends, we’ve got to take care of each other. If you’re on the inside, you get it. This music + its people can take you to the moon. Don’t put yourself in danger. Let the real magic get you there.”–Kaskade

    How do we start the step-change to get people to just enjoy the music?

Stop and take notice when something is beautiful.  With our go-go-go lives we forget this sometimes, but here are some interesting things in design I’ve been thinking about (a lot less heavy than the above!): 

  1. Duarte - Story-telling.  I sat through an 8 hour class that went 50/50 between how to organize a story and also how to deliver it graphically from a design perspective to have the greatest impact. It’s an incredible way of breaking down about pitch you are presenting to someone!  Also, check out Diagrammer - an awesome resource for all of your diagramming needs :-).
  2. Helvetica - a movie about Helvetica, a super common font that we don’t realize is everywhere.  It’s from 2007 and you can find it on Netflix.
41 Grados Ice Cube

41 Grados – Meal of a Lifetime

As someone who travels for food and books reservations before flights, whenever I tell my friends about my time at 41 Grados they pause a bit before asking more.  REALLY?  THAT GOOD?  I’VE NEVER HEARD OF IT! 41 Grados was started by the Adria brothers.  Ferran Adria started El Bulli and many of the techniques used in El Bulli serve as the foundation of 41 Grados. If you missed out on the infamous El Bulli olive, you can get it at 41 Grados and Tickets, the tapas bar that the Adrias opened (and in DC with Jose Andres).

Getting Reservations Both Tickets and 41 Grados are relatively difficult reservations so you’ll have to book a month in advance.  In both of my early Winter trips, 41 Grados would book up 2-3 weeks prior, but Tickets would book up instantly on the day reservations are released online.  Of course, you should always check back for cancellations, but you’re less likely to see that at 41 Grados because there is a 50 Euro deposit.

The Experience Incredible.  Albert and Ferran created an “experience” for lucky diners–inclusive of moving projected images and music as the Albert takes you around the world with food.  Depending how die hard you are–you’ll probably want the first seating’s courses;  If you sit through the the later seating, your dishes won’t line up with the music though I doubt anyone would have really noticed unless they asked! Likely you’ll sit there asking what items on the plate you can eat or not eat because all the food is presented in such a bizarre or fun way.  This probably goes without saying, but not only does every dish have a perfect presentation, it all was delicious!  I nearly forgot to note the cocktails that come with the tasting–frankly, I wonder why all cocktails aren’t as beautiful or wild as the ones at 41 Grados! Whether it is edible “leaves” and “pearls” or the perfectly branded ice cubes, you will probably leave impressed and excited about eating in a way you’ve never felt before. Go now! Nom.

 

Bagel Oasis – New York’s Best Bagel

I always hear New Yorkers bicker about their favorite foods and how there can only be ONE pure variety of anything: Laduree for macarons, Magnolias for cupcakes, Dominique Ansel’s cronut, Levain’s cookie, blah blah blah, and eventually someone will say something like ESS-A-BAGEL for bagels.  What? Ess-a-bagel?  Wait, you’ve been in New York for how long?

Ess-a-bagel is GREAT.  A very delicious Manhattan bagel with multiple and accessible outposts.  They’ve benefited from word-of-mouth marketing.  I admittedly go there when I’m craving a bagel and have sent multiple people on the mini-pilgrimage to the so-called best bagel of NYC.  Service is always kind, rushed, and follows everything by the New Yorker way.

But obviously these Manhattanites haven’t been to Bagel Oasis (or haven’t had a friend kind enough to bring them one).  I hardly go there, if not for my best friend requesting when I come to visit her in Grenada to bring New York bagels.

Bagel Oasis

I’m a bit biased because like every other New Yorker I have grown up on THE BAGEL–my idea of perfectly delicious and always consistent chewy soft circular bread with a layer of crust.  This bagel is from Bagel Oasis in Fresh Meadows.  Yes, this coming from the girl who hates bread.  I used to eat it “Chinese-American style” with roast pork from my Great Aunt’s restaurant Fan Fan right down the block.

More objectively, I can still say I think this is the best bagel in New York.  Not only is it perfect when you buy it fresh and room temperature, but also when you toast it (which I can’t say for Ess-a-bagel).

If you have any friends who drive or feel like taking a detour on the way to JFK, totally stop by Bagel Oasis.
18312 Horace Harding Expy
Fresh Meadows, NY 11365
(718) 359-9245 | bageloasis.com
Tamago at Sushi Nakazawa

Sushi Nakazawa

I’m not sure if NY’s supposedly best sushi restaurant is actually the best. Everything is GREAT. Nakazawa, the man himself, has an incredible personality, fish is freshly sourced from our two coasts and Japan, and service is spot-on.  However, I still prefer Sushi Yasuda which certainly isn’t as hard of a reservation–you’ll need luck getting a reservation at Nakazawa now that they have four stars from the NY Times.

The whole sushi bar is seated at the same time, and omakase service mostly starts together.  If one person is very late, likely the whole service will be a little behind (that was me, whoops!).

Here are some photos:

www.sushinakazawa.com/

 23 Commerce St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 924-2212

 

 

Budapest – Should You Go?

Whenever I talk about Budapest, it seems the only thing people can think to say is how beautiful it is.  SURPRISE!  Yes, the city has incredible architecture, but there’s incredible buildings all over Europe that you don’t necessarily need to venture off to Budapest for.

I don’t think Budapest is a hot city for Americans to travel to, but it could just be my personal bias.  The only reason why I know a lot of people who have been there is because my company has a massive office there and my college friends who didn’t get into Singapore or Buenos Aires for our junior year spring breaks all ended up in Budapest.

Cons

1. It is REALLY expensive to fly there.  A one-way to Budapest can be an off-peak round trip to Paris.
2. For those who’ve barely made it to France or England, why would you go to Budapest first (and all those countries in between!)?
3. Americans are paranoid about the unknown and Budapest isn’t really well advertised to us.  Rarely will you see a movie or TV show that stops in Budapest.
4. If you are a bottle service hunting young’n, you won’t really find that here–nouveau riche doesn’t exist in Budapest the way it does in New York.  You’ll mostly find “eurotrash” sorts of clubs or ruin pubs (which are so cool)

Pros

1. Just about all major hotel chains are well represented for those of you who only use points to travel.
2. The food is dirt cheap!! …even to eat really well – try Bock Biztro (received a Bib Gourmand from Michelin).
3. You can rent a really comfortable apartment cheaply (I stayed in the centrally located Senator Apartments)
4. Drinking is pretty cheap and bizarrely fun in ruin pubs
5
. Okay, yes, the city is beautiful.  If you want a highlight tour, take the hop on hop off bus/boat tour!
6. It is full of geo-thermal springs and really great and affordable spas (I love Magnolia Day Spa)
7. If you’ve exhausted all of Western Europe, this is a natural next stop that is different enough to still feel like an adventure.

Some photos from my trip!