Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"Miami's 'IT' Girl"?

Due to the sporadic postings on here and the ground covered on a wide range of topics, it might be hard to follow what it is I "do" here in Miami. And until recently it had been a juggling art of sorts, keeping my hand in many things and taking any opportunity that came my way. Local blog site Wasabi Fashion Kult interviewed me on my experiences in the modeling world, my views of Miami and its potential as a city, and more, dubbing me "Miami's 'IT' Girl". I'm quite flattered, blushing even, not sure if I'm the one to hold the title but you can check it out here.

In further news, I just started a new venture as Editor of Eater Miami yesterday and that will be my main focus now as a nearly full-time job while also working on the quarterly publication of DiningOut Miami as City Editor. Kind of ironic that I've gone from model to foodie, but that's how things have played out thus far. I still love fashion and will model some gigs here and there, but I'm happy on this new path I'm going down as a double-time editor in Miami's restaurant scene.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Miami: The Magic City

Cruising past the downtown skyline with the sun rays warming my face, wind tossing my hair, and salty sea breeze sticking to my skin... This is sheer bliss. 

Yesterday I was lucky enough to (finally) go out on a friend's boat. I can't remember the last time I went out on one; it has to have been nearly a year. Hence, lately I had been craving it. I just wanted to be on a boat. Simple enough, but it's actually quite the mission. Living in Miami, I try to seize the opportunity whenever possible to get out in the ocean- whether it be swimming at the beach a few blocks away from my apartment, venturing out kayaking, paddle boarding (a recent first!), or boating. I am so happy and in my element when I'm on the water. It feels relaxing yet rejuvenating at the same time. While I would've liked my Saturday to feel productive in the form of crossing off items on my endless "to do" list, this was far more fulfilling in every sense. We need to take these days once in a while to just soak in the beauty of the Magic City and all it has to offer. Surrender ourselves to the weekend. Lists and routines can wait, because otherwise we get caught up in them and take where we live for granted. Sure, it's a city built on a cocaine empire and thrives off making money from tourists, but the underlying beauty remains. We all have our vices here, probably the biggest one being overindulgence. I know I'm guilty-- it's easy to do. The city is flooded with gorgeous men, women, celebrities, models, endless flashy designer labels, elite sports cars, high-end restaurants, luxurious hotels, some of the best nightlife in the world, and of course drugs (the latter being something I'm not guilty of overindulging in). But when I take a moment to get back to basics and the simple pleasures that life here brings, it reminds me that I truly do love this beautiful city. Take a deep breath in, open your eyes, and look around. We live in paradise.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Travel Bound...

Photo taken by me, outside Miami International Airport

Today I awoke to a storm outside. I opened my eyes and the blinds to see rain pouring down, palm fronds flailing in gusts of wind, and the sound of thunder rattling my windows. Much to my delight, as it was Sunday and the sunshine was not beckoning me to play, I relished the opportunity to sink back into a deep sleep.

Lazily waking up around 11:30, I finally got out of bed. With the storm still in full force, the mood for my Sunday was set. Plans of brunch and Mercedes-Benz Swim Week pool parties this afternoon soon gave way to lounging around in my pajamas trolling the internet and making plans to go to the movies with my mom. Once my computer booted up, I immediately knew I wanted to listen to The xx as the mood set by the storm was begging the serenade of their British voices. After which I realized tickets to their show in New York for October went on sale on Friday at noon while I was at work. So I hopped on the site, browsed available tickets, and knew I just had to see these guys live. I can listen to their album xx on repeat over and over, and have been since 2009. I was getting a bit of a rush going through with buying 2 tickets, not knowing who will be joining me but excited at the prospect of this future adventure with a friend. I clicked Purchase and waited for the spinning dial to tell me my order was complete. A big smile came across my face. I'll get around to buying the plane ticket when I get the chance, but this was for sure. I'm going to experience them live. And that's all I needed to know.

After, I'm chatting with a friend from Chicago online. Telling him how I've yet to visit the city and it's definitely on my list (in the summer), but I wasn't too sure it would happen this year. "Well, you've still got time to make Lollapalooza", he mentions. Hmm... The wheels start spinning instantly and I'm plotting. I quickly pull up Spirit Airline's website and check the airfares. Thinking the prices would be enough to dissuade me, I am surprised it's quite the contrary. I find a round trip ticket that weekend for $200 (though I know what comes with a Spirit flight as it is pretty dingy and no frills, but it's one of the only ways my post-grad budget can afford to travel and my experiences are usually pretty decent). We keep chatting back and forth as I'm debating another purchase and the minor details about how to get in since the festival is sold out, and he just says to me "book the flight". I oscillate for a bit longer as I continue getting ready for my matinee with mom, brushing my teeth and throwing on clothes. I decide I really want to do this. I plug in all my information on the site and finally come down to the Book Reservation button, getting another surge of adrenaline rushing through me as I point my cursor over it and tap the mouse. I did it! I'm going to Chicago! For the first time! To Lollapalooza! With my friends! Quite a few people from Miami are going up for it, and I start texting people right away with my exciting news. I've never been to a festival except for Ultra, or gone on a trip where I'll be with a bunch of friends all converging in one place, being brought together by music. I'm thrilled to say the least and can't wait to embark on this adventure! Posts will follow shortly after the trip abundant with stories.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

On Monday I had the exciting opportunity to finally visit the brand new Marlins Park. It was everything a top-notch sporting arena should be-- complete with a retractable roof (that was in use that evening due to heavy thunderstorms), parking garages, countless food and concession stands, a huge float that lights up, sprays water, and has moving marlins every time we score a home run, and a club. Wait, what? Yes, the new Marlins Park has an outpost of a famous hotel/pool party bar on South Beach, The Clevelander. Only in Miami do we have clubs at our sporting venues: there's a LIV at Sunlife Stadium and now The Clevelander at Marlins Park (I even think there was a Bombay Sapphire lounge or something at American Airlines Arena during The Heat season).

Naturally, we had experienced all the other new bells and whistles... Even a home run was hit by our home team so the float was in full display with water and lights galore getting the fans excited, another very "Miami" touch. Upon arriving at the entrance to The Clevelander, we found that our just purchased beer from upstairs could not be brought in: "No Outside Food or Drink" the sign read. Confusing to us, since we are still in the same venue are we not? Whatever, we chugged the beer as the "bouncer" asked my friend and I for our IDs and ten dollar cover a piece. Already I feel like I'm waiting outside a club on Washington Avenue in South Beach and can't help but chuckle in amusement. The mildly entertaining stint soon turned to a shocked outrage when, as we were getting our wristbands put on our left wrists by the door girls, we see a father bring his near seven-year-old son in with him. No ID required. Excuse me??! Did we not just get ID'd and wristbands as a security measure and then a little kid just comes through? If this is a "club" type setting, why are kids allowed? We got over it and made our way into the main area, setting our eyes on the crowd of people at tables by the bar, the small pool with floaties, and the topless girls dancing on a platform above it to the dance club music being played over speakers. All the men are oogling and gawking at the dancers while taking photos and videos on their phones, with their backs to the game (which is difficult to watch anyway because we're at the outfield with a net in front and no jumbo TV screen to see the score or who's at bat... but who's here to watch the game?).

In awe of such a spectacle, we soak it in and head over to the bar to order a new drink, where we are again asked for our IDs by our blonde bartender Barbie in a crop top Marlins halter and tiny booty shorts. After being served our drinks, we make our way over to try and watch some of the game, which admittedly seemed pointless at this juncture. Our attention span was just as bad as anyone else's in "the club/lounge" area so we grabbed a table and took some photos of the topless dancers getting airbrushed artwork on their breasts and stomachs along with the creepy old men. Obviously doing it for the sarcastic purpose of documentation, I'm standing alongside an older man who is doing the same (but for what reason I can't rationalize) who turns to me and says: "One day we'll look back on this and go... 'WOW'." Right. Ha. I walk away and we go to leave back to our seats but again, cannot bring our drinks with us back into the regular part of the stadium. And so ensues another speedy finishing of drinks as the fist-pumping music plays in the background and a Lil Wayne look-alike is standing on a chair cheering the home team on.

 The journey back to our seats was intercepted by a sweet tooth craving for ice cream. After which we got lost and gave up trying to navigate the stadium and find our seats. So, with only one inning left, we made an executive decision to head back to our own home bases and call it a night. A night we experienced to the fullest and can look back with a laugh and say, WOW.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Holly Golightly in 2012

This photo is from a test shoot I did a while ago, and of course didn't get to see the photos until recently. I loved the whole retro vibe of the vintage clothes and big coiffed do's. This look of course was my favorite since I was channeling Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's. There was a modern take on it (so as not to be too literal an interpretation) with the straight edge brows and gunmetal silver beaded choker instead of pearls. I would love to go grocery shopping in something like this; it feels so 50s and classy. Holly is one of my favorite characters of all time, and the movie is probably my favorite film (and that's not something I can easily say, as a movie lover). There is a bit of her that I can relate to, especially when last week I was dog-sitting my mom's nameless dog. We adopted him from the Humane Society a couple weeks ago but she hasn't been able to settle on a name that fits him. So when I had him staying with me last week I couldn't help but feel like Miss Golightly and recall this quote: "Poor slob without a name! The way I see it I haven't got the right to give him one. We don't belong to each other. We just took up one day by the river. I don't want to own anything until I find a place where me and things go together. I'm not sure where that is but I know what it is like. It's like Tiffany's."

Side note: My mom has decided she likes the name Cisco (as in the old comic book character The Cisco Kid), but I refuse to call him by that because all I can think of is the 90s rapper Sisqo who did "The Thong Song".

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I'm writing again...

I have been more than remiss in keeping up with this blog and writing as much as I should, especially because there have been travels and more... But the good news is I'm back! Back with adventures and new beginnings so stay tuned and in the mean time check out my guest post for Top Spot Travel :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Costa Rica

I took my first vacation solo last month. I had one week between summer and fall semesters and had worked so hard this summer I decided to say "to hell with it all, peace out!" and splurged on a trip to Costa Rica for myself. I stayed on a farm on the eastern side in the province of Limon called La Finca Rio Perla. It was the perfect getaway. I was immersed in nature and got in touch with my roots there, literally. I learned about greenhouses and the farm life, eating the freshest fruits and vegetables I've ever tasted- no seasonings or dressings needed. I picked fresh lettuce for salads, milked a goat, made cheese with it, then ate it. It doesn't get much more "farm-to-table" than that. We took hiking trails to secluded, grandiose waterfalls and swam in the cool lagoons. I have a new-found appreciation for this lifestyle and learned that while it's so simple, it's still rewarding and not altogether a bad thing. I disconnected from internet, Facebook, Twitter, my cell phone for a week and frankly, I wasn't ready to turn it all back on my last day at the airport leaving San Jose. I took a day and went to the coast to see the beach and do the zipline in the rainforest canopy in Puerto Viejo. There I saw the most incredible beaches, picturesque like a Corona ad. The night sky there was unlike anything I'd ever seen, planetarium-like where there are millions of stars to be seen and they envelope you like a dome, feeling close enough to reach out and touch. The zipline was an unreal, exhilarating sensation that filled my entire body with the utmost joy and thrill possible. I connected with the locals and heard their stories- they were such warm, friendly people. Even a Rastafarian dude and I had some good talks and he showed me around Puerto Viejo. This trip was just what I needed. It was the biggest breath of fresh air, and I returned understanding my connection to people, food, the environment, and life itself.

The "road" to get to the farm

This is what a day old calf looks like.

Fruit of the gods, new obsession: Anon "biriba"

Milking a goat

Raw macadamia nut

Now that's a knife... peeling sugarcane

Coolest cowboy I know.
Coco holders?

First time stepping foot on a volcano beach

Delicious fresh veggie sandwich at Bread & Chocolate in Puerto Viejo
Of course I had to try the chocolate too...

Ziplining in the canopy!