Food

Where to Eat This Weekend: Raclette

I have a simple question for you: Do you love cheese? If you answered yes to this, then boy do I have the place for you!  Meghan and I agreed to try new restaurants once a month. Monday evening we went to the first restaurant on our list, Raclette. Located at 511 E 12th St NY, NY.

Upon entering the front door your nose is hit with a stinky smell. It threw me by surprise initially and then my brain registered that it was the aroma of various cheeses, duh. Even though it was a Monday night, the place was packed. Just a tip for any one interested in going:  all members of your party have to be present before you can be seated. (I was late (as per usual) and Meghan had to wait a few minutes in the cold, Sorry Meg!)

Raclette’s evening atmosphere seduces the guests. The dim lighting and candle lit tables allow for feelings of intimacy in the setting. The tables are small so you can still hear the person you’re with even as music plays in the background. This restaurant is ideal for a date (whether it’s platonic or romantic). Hint to readers: Valentine’s Day is around the corner.

Prior to going to the restaurant I did a little research on the menu to see what I was working with. To my demise, I still was unprepared when the waitress asked me what I would like to order. For our starter we decided to share the tomato tartine. This dish consists of mozzarella pearls, cherry tomatoes, arugula pesto, and fresh basil on a toasted nan. It looks like this:

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Looks pretty enticing doesn’t it? Trust me, it tastes as good as it looks. Every item in this dish complimented each other.  I’m not big on tomatoes but when paired with the other ingredients, a true masterpiece. Tomato tartine: $14

With the main course we decided to go with the New York for Two. This item is one of the Raclettes which is rack-melted alpine cheese that is scraped table side. YES, this is the place that scrapes the oozing cheese right onto your meal. Talk about mouth watering. This moment is so beautiful you might want to document it so you never forget. To all my Instagram photogs, definitely worthy of being on your ‘feed’. This dish consists of a 12oz. filet mignon, sautéed mushrooms, roasted asparagus, (my personal fave) and potatoes. It looks like this:

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This was taken a few seconds after the cheese was scraped onto the dish. Picture perfect I know. I’ve always been keen on taking pictures of my food even before I started blogging, now my pictures have purpose! Anyway, getting back to the entrée, it was absolutely delicious. The New York for Two is pretty self explanatory in the sense that it feeds two people. If you’re one of those individuals that likes to put each food item on the fork before consumption you’ll enjoy this dish as the pairings are superb. New York for Two: $56

After eating my starter and entree I was just the right amount of full. Sufficed yet not overwhelmed. Quite the opposite of the type full that makes you feel like you could have a heart attack at any second.

All in all, I had a very pleasant experience at Raclette. Try it out and let me know what you think!

P.s. Look how cute my date was:

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Entertainment

What to Watch This Week: “1922”

My dear friends I ask you to for one second to reminisce on the now dead franchise, Blockbuster. Please take a moment of silence to remember the dearly departed. Now we’ll fast forward to present day and think about Netflix.

According to Forbes, the online movie and TV streaming platform is worth $61.6 billion dollars. Not a bad deal for only being twenty years old.

Netflix has been efficiently allocating their earnings by creating a handful of notable new content e.g. Stranger Things. 

Today the focus is on a new Netflix original titled, “1922″. This hour and forty-two minute adaptation of Stephen King’s novella was written and directed by Zak Hilditch. Unfortunately, I have not read the novella so I did not have much to compare or reference to. I would consider this a good thing because I almost always think the book is better than the movie. Getting back to the point, this ominous crime thriller is definitely the film you want to watch to get you into the halloween mood. I won’t give away any spoilers because where’s the fun in that? Just know this film is not for the faint hearted as there are numerous gory scenes. It will pull and your heart strings while simultaneously keeping your eyes on the screen.

The plot centers around farm owner, Wilfred Leland James, confessing to the murder of his wife. The death of his wife is only the beginning of an array of consequences Wilfred faces throughout the progression of the film. What would you do to keep what you love?

The cinematographer sets cool tones in the film to bring to life the eerie atmosphere of the dead. The motion picture offers an elegant arrangement of shots ranging from wide angle to close ups that make the viewer feel like they’re on set.

1922 definitely gets a five star rating in my book. Watch it, let me know what you think!

 

Health

Let’s Talk About Mental Health

I’m here today to talk to you about mental health and why it is imperative that we erase the stigma around it. What is a stigma? Stigma (n): a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person. We should not by any means associate mental health with the word disgrace. Your feelings are never a burden.

Let’s face it, it’s severely easier to pretend your life is all sunshine and rainbows than to face the reality that it’s not. We’ve become all-star pretenders, trust me I know from first hand experience. My Instagram is all the evidence I need. What content do I post? I curate my posts to only show the images I associate with my happiness. It’s human nature to want to show the world the best side of you but there’s so much more that goes on in life than the posts on a timeline. Our Instagram is not an accurate depiction of our real life.  

I’m human, therefore, I feel an array of emotions throughout the day not only happiness. Some days I am sad, others I am filled with rage. You know what though? This is okay. It’s okay to feel sadness, anger, and whatever other emotion you feel. What isn’t okay is letting your sadness eat away at you. My mind is my own worst enemy; there are days where I am at war with myself. I don’t quite know how to tell someone else I’m not okay. I find convenience in letting myself deal with my problems. This is where the flaw lies. Think of a snowball rolling down a mountain as it gains momentum it picks up more snow on the path down. This is how my mind works I think of one problem and before I know it I’m thinking of 50 other things wrong with my life and cursing myself.  

There was a time in my life where my personal darkness consumed me to the point of choosing self-harm. I would wake up every single day and wish I hadn’t. To be frank, I couldn’t tell what was the exact cause of my pain but to feel so alone inside yourself and to consistently choose darkness is not something we should do. Looking back now I don’t recognize that person I was, although she does make a guest appearance in my life every now and again. I’m hoping that my honesty will help others understand that they are not alone. If ever you need a person to talk to, I am here. We only get one life so you must constantly and consistently choose yourself. Struggling with yourself? Take a mental health day, you deserve it.  Life is an uphill battle I will not lie but I promise whatever hurt you are feeling will always heal with time. I’m living proof.  

I want to bring to attention Logic’s performance of 1-800-273-8255 at the 2017 VMA’s. I’ve never cried over an artist before, but this one got me. His song title is the number to the suicide prevention hotline. Please watch the video below it is so incredibly important. “I don’t want to cry anymore, I want to feel alive, I don’t even want to die anymore.” You. Are. Never. Alone.

Food

Where to Eat This Weekend: Beechwood Cafe

My love for food grows by the day so I know good cuisine when I taste it. Sitting at the corner of Grove and Mercer in downtown Jersey City, you will find Beechwood Cafe. As soon as you walk through the door the staff is very welcoming with warm smiles and offering service.  Warning: this place gets PACKED for brunch.

The first time I went to Beechwood was about two years ago. It was the beginning of the ‘I Spend All My Money on Food’ chapter of my life. The first time around I ordered the  Beechwood waffle for $9 (I highly recommend this dish). The waffle comes with strawberries, bananas, whipped cream, walnuts, and syrup. I always get the berry compote for an extra $2 to give it the cherry on top feel. This is my favorite dish at the cafe so it’s safe to say we know what I ordered the next 6 times I found myself there.

Recently, I’ve decided to be a little more spontaneous and switch up my ordering habits. I tried their bowl of chili and I swear that is what love tastes like. They pack so much flavor in one little bowl. I order tortilla chips on the side as a chip n’ dip situation.

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bowl of chili

I could write about this place all day but that would only get your mouth watering. Wipe up the drool and take a trip for yourself. The atmosphere of the cafe is very trendy and just waiting to be snapped and posted on Instagram. They are located at 290 Grove Street, Jersey City! If my words can’t convince you maybe these photos might help.

Thoughts

It’s 2017.. Stop Saying “That’s Gay”

This piece was written by me for my school newspaper, The Pauw Wow, but I felt I needed to share it with you guys too!

Around two weeks ago I was in class when one of my peers said something along the lines of, “I hope he’s not doing that because that looks/is gay and that’s not cool”. You know what’s not cool? Homophobic slurs. Come on people, it is 2017 and individuals are still throwing around inappropriate shade?

I am a Hispanic woman with a ‘straight’ sexual preference. Does this mean that I think I am superior to all other relationships because it’s between a male and female? No, it does not. People of planet Earth I have a news flash for you: love is love. You are free to love whomever you desire and this is the greatest thing life has to offer.

My classmate is unaware that his/her words can inflict serious wounds on the surrounding public. This person did not consider the fact that someone else in the class very well could have a different sexual preference than him/her. For this person to cast his/her feelings as correct is insensitive.

Now more than ever  America needs love. Making others feel inferior based on their sexual preference should be a thing of the past. I believe we should appreciate the differences between all of us. Everyone has the right to choose the relationship or partner they want to choose.

One of my favorite campaigns is the NOH8 campaign. The campaign is a photographic silent protest created by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska and partner Jeff Parshley in direct response to the passage of Proposition 8. Their mission is to promote love, acceptance, and respect for all human beings will continue in pursuit of #NOH8Worldwide.

Time has passed since Proposition 8 was approved. In fact, on June 26th, 2015 the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states across the United States. On this date I felt overwhelmed with joy for all those who could now legally marry the love of their life.

I hope my classmate reads this and hopefully will take from this a reevaluation of his/her actions towards others. This person’s identity is irrelevant and I want the readers to be aware that I want to stress the notion of hate that was being emitted.

As of lately I see more and more hate crimes on a local and national level. We need not forget that our differences make us the blended country that we are. It’s so much easier to love something than to hate it, love is the easiest thing in the world. We shouldn’t shame others for being of a different ethnicity, color, or orientation. We are all a part of the human race. We all bleed red.

Interview, Trending

Meet Joshua Stone

What you wear on your feet can reveal a lot about you. In recent years the love for sneakers has soared to an all time high. I wanted to know what all the ‘hype’ was about so I went to the shoe store Packer at their Jersey City location and sat down with their employee Joshua Stone. Here’s what he had to say:

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Josh is wearing a Packer x Lafayette beanie, Persol Frames, Harris Tweed x Goodenough puffer jacket, Uniqlo Selvedge slim fit distressed jean, and Karhu Aria x Concepts on his feet.

 

Where are you from?

I was born in London and raised in France. I was sick of France and wanted a change. I had dual citizenship so I figured it I’d check it out. I went to the French Caribbean, Martinique, for a couple months first. Then I went to NYC and then finally Jersey City.

At what age did you realize your love for sneakers?

At age 9. I had this obsession with cool patterns. My parents didn’t see the point in getting them [sneakers] because they were crazy expensive and my foot was still growing. My first pair was a pair of adidas dragons.

Where was the first place you worked when you got here?

When I got here I worked at Memes, a Japanese/American owned company that opened in the 90s. It was my first job getting into New York. I worked there for two and a half years. I left because I felt like I wasn’t growing.

What are your top 5 favorite sneakers of all time?

  1. New Balance UKRB 670 made in England “Red Devils”
  2. Le Coqsportif Flash x Sneaker Freaker “Summer Bay”
  3. Adidas Consortium LA Trainer OG MIG
  4. Nike Air Max 1 “87” “Curry’s”
  5. Visvim FBT OG

How did you end up at Packer?

I was walking around the neighborhood and friends of mine were telling me “Oh this used to be a sneaker store” but it was closed down and they said “yeah I think it was called Packer”. I thought to myself, ‘really a Packer in Jersey City’? As time went on I forgot about it. Then I was online looking for work searching sneaker websites through Instagram and I tried to see where the store [Packer] was and realized they were in Teaneck. One day I walked by [Jersey City location] and saw that they were doing renovations on it. I couldn’t find the owner at that time but then a pop-up came on Instagram telling me when they were reopening. It was perfect timing. I was there an hour before opening with my resumé in hand. I asked to see manager who took it and gave me the same “Oh just come back if we see you more often we’ll see how things go”, and so I came back and when I did he remembered my name after that we built an organic relationship from there. They usually don’t hire anyone from outside in the company but they hired me.

What is your favorite thing about shoes?

It’s one of my favorite accessories that is affordable. They are timeless pieces. You can go back to any era.  I love New Balances a lot, the quality of comfort is up there and they have great color schemes.  There’s so many brands of shoes that I like, if I start talking about them all we’d be here all day. I don’t have a favorite pair, it’s more of favorite time periods for me.

Is your family supportive of your sneaker endeavors?

My mom has always been a positive supporter of me. My dad never understood it until recently.

What is the definition of a “hypebeast” and would you consider yourself one?

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Let’s say a hypebeast is a random guy who could be new to it and has no idea about anything with fashion and decides to walk his way into liking it. He’d be over the top with every new drop and follow everything the blogs or websites say. No I am definitely not a hypebeast I don’t jump on every ‘hype’ product that’s out there that everyone wants. In this business you have a lot of access to things and it jades you. You’re not really the consumer so much. Everything doesn’t have to be bought to me. I don’t need it when it drops. I don’t subscribes to Hypebeast or Highsnobiety or any of the sites that push out what’s ‘hot’, the only magazine I have a subscription to is Sneaker Freaker.

What’s it like at Packer when there’s a new drop?

It depends on how hype it is, if it hit Hypebeast or Complex or any of these websites it can get so crazy. We can have lines out the wazoo lasting over two hours. There’s a lot of s*** that’s being sold out, like NMD R1 is just a hype shoe. It’s a bang average pair for me. (Bang average= not worth the hype). It’s just a product Adidas is making money off of. The shoe that I think is going to change the game this year is the Adidas EQT Boost 91/17.

What’s your style?

I feel like it’s a mix of the 90s, 80s, and Japanese-ish. My style is my own and really depends on two things: the weather and my mood. If i wake up and have a shoe I want to wear then I’ll build my outfit based on that. There’s definitely levels to it.

You can follow Josh’s sneaker Instagram @gnihsoj ! Packer is located 382 Marin Blvd, J.C. and 941 Teaneck Road, Teaneck.