The Buzz Family Thanks You!

We would like to thank our new readers who came to our table today. Both Jean-Luc and Sabrina had a great time meeting you all as they explained The Buzz and Openlab (as whole).  We hope that you guys will someday be as passionate about OpenLab as we are and find it as a really great resource for college or post-college uses. With City Tech being a public college, we don’t get many chances to be a part of the collegiate whole and this site is for all of us to virtually be in the same space; to get to know one another, help each other, and network ourselves.

So please, explore The Buzz and get acquainted with us as we, you.

Welcome, readers!

Grand Central Terminal

If you’re a New Yorker, you are probably well aware of the world famous Grand Central Terminal. This station is over 100 years old, it’s an innovation in its design, and has even inspired the designs of dozens of train stations and airports that exist today. This legendary station is a national and pop culture landmark as well. In 1976 it was decided that it’s a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Only the most iconic, historically important, masterfully designed places can be on these lists. There’s a good chance that you’ve seen this station being used, talked about, or blown to bits in a movie or TV show. Even if you’ve never been to Grand Central, you probably know exactly what it looks like on the inside from all the media exposure throughout the years. Grand Central is one of my favorite stations, it has a classic look and feel, and I used to go there all the time to ride the Metro-North line to get to my previous school, and to visit the Dia museum in Beacon, of course. Here are a few shots of the inside of Grand Central Terminal.

The World of Nutella

Image by: Marisina Vescio

Food in America has always been an issue since it has constantly been debated on the nutritional value of the foods being readily sold in a variety of supermarkets. I wanted to share this particular news because it shows the importance of food in America and how we as culinary professionals whether if this is the profession that you wish to pursue have the knowledge to educate the youth on better food systems. Personally, I aspire to be a pastry chef but the culinary techniques and information that has been taught to me will remain with me to be passed on through my way of cooking and what I share with those that I communicate with.

Image by: MirrorUK

The mass production of Nutella reminded me of the Art of Vegetarian course that I took with Professor Hoffman. In that course, Professor Hoffman constantly encouraged us to partake in our own cooking and talked about the importance of healthy eating in terms of knowing the ingredients that we are allowing our bodies to ingest. Something that has been widely and commercially broadcasted as being healthy for families to purchase for snacks and breakfast options. But after this viral photo showed the accurate portions of ingredients in Nutella, it has led to an angry outcry about the honesty of company’s advertisements. Nutella is now being shown as having mostly sugar and palm oil with only small amounts of hazelnuts, skim milk powder, and cocoa powder. Both sugar and palm oil have respectively been viewed as unhealthy as it can easily lead to obesity which can lead to other medical issues such as diabetes or cancer. This has created a huge panic especially in Italy where many places have stopped selling the spread and have even banned it due to the fear of its predicted unfortunate health effects. No matter what the circumstances, it is always better to make food from scratch rather than buying food pre-packaged.

Comment below on foods that you enjoy making from scratch.

Chelsea Market

Located in the Meat-Packing district of Manhattan resides a foodie’s paradise. It stands on a large plot of land that stretches from west 16th street-west 15th street and 9th avenue-10th avenue; if you have ever walked throughout New York City, you know how long avenues can be. It seems to extend very far while walking inside the market but it also is an extremely enjoyable method of walking an avenue. Although it is a major tourist attraction, us locals can still enjoy the market on the regular basis since there is always new things to try from the vendors and recently added seating arrangements, leaving plenty of great places to relax, reflect, and recharge.

Seeing all the people walk and lounge throughout the market makes it hard to see what it used to be, a factory for NABISCO (aka National Biscuit Company). NABISCO started in 1898 by a lawyer/businessman named Adolphus Green in Chicago. He curated a merger plan of 40 small mid-western bakeries and 6 small bakeries from the New York Biscuit Company (created by William Moore). In 1906 the headquarters was moved from Chicago to Manhattan (what is now Chelsea Market) and was labeled the world’s largest bakery of its time. The very popular Oreo cookie was first manufactured between those walls, changing milk for kids nationwide. NABISCO left the building in the 1940’s and left behind the factory space. It is now home to many vendors after complete renovations had been done on the space by Vandeburg Architects in 1998. They stripped the space to its brick facades and utilized recycled industrial objects throughout the market, in a way making the remodel eco-friendly while giving it more of a grungy industrial essence. The market is not only a holding space for stores it’s so much more; it’s a indoor park, cafe, art gallery, historical museum, etc. Just think of getting your coffee, cheese, bread, books, or baking supplies from the same address that used to make your childhood’s favorite dunk-able cookies and infamous crackers that were crumbled over many bowls of soup.

Every time I go into an establishment or a public space I always tend to put it in my own mental category of what I would do there, in my opinion this place is perfect for reading, sketching, writing, or catching up with a friend. Try it out and visit the Chelsea Market or visit it again; if you haven’t been there in the last year ,like me, you will probably see newly added stores and exhibits. Nonetheless, it’s always a fun and exciting 800 foot walk, as you weave through the stores.

Uneeda Biscuit Boy

Wishing well collects spare change and gives it to the Salvation Army.

Virtues from Motherhood: What happens to the people society fails?

I wonder this often when I ride the train, I see people that society is just not designed to benefit and I imagine how hard everyday life must be in their shoes. One of the first things that comes to mind when you hear about the NYC subway system are the people who call it home, the homeless population that seeks refuge on the iron horse. I’m sure I’m not the only person who wonders when their life went left and they ended up homeless? Where are their family members? Didn’t they have any friends? Was it drugs or just hardship? The questions are endless and I’m sure in some cases it’s a result of poor choices and bad judgment but what about the people who are just failed by society? What about the guy who’s on the spectrum but grew up in a time where it wasn’t recognized and can’t hold a job because he was never given the tools to do so. What about the child who was born to drug addicted parents and thrown into the system at 2 years old and aged out at 18 with no idea how to navigate society, higher education or make stable life choices?

Society, while it’s slowly becoming more inclusive, has a longer more harsh history of excluding those who need guidance the most. Instead of just tossing these people who need more time, more space, or more guidance, into rooms, jobs and settings where they’re competing with the mainstream we should develop ways to help these people, give them tools, not pink slips. In most NYC public schools classrooms are inclusion classes where kids of all levels are expected to learn the same material at the same rate. While the argument is pitched to say kids learn better off their peers, this sentiment ends when the school year does and they fall behind.

We need to recognize that not every person learns the same, comprehends and functions the same and we can’t skew the system to support kids until their 18th birthday and then expect them to figure it out on their own when the training wheels are abruptly yanked. A few months ago I read a post on a blog from a photographer who photographs the homeless across the country and tells their story. One of his posts though, from a 19 year old homeless kid, really struck a cord. This poor kid had been raised by his grandparents, didn’t know where his parents were, and when his grandmother passed away he found himself homeless when the bank took the house he grew up in. His job couldn’t support rent and life expenses and so he took refuge in city muni stations.

How do we call people adults when we’ve never provided them the proper tools to function as one? How many high school students learn about taxes, IRA’s or retirement? We teach students to pass, not to know and we then have adults who relied on being told what to do and how to do it and when that structure is gone they fall through the cracks. Society fails them.

We as a society need to make a change, we need to change the method and change the approach. You can’t expect kids to just figure it out of their peers or after having it done for them for years, you have to offer a safety net and not a hand out. Until then though I’ll hope for the best and teach my own daughter to do for herself and learn the steps and not just the outcome.

WTC Oculus

The theme of my posts usually revolve around travel, exploration, and discovering places you may not know about. But when it comes to traveling, the means of travel itself is often overlooked and underappreciated. Some airports and train stations in this country are true works of art. For the next few weeks, I’ll be posting about the transportation hubs and train stations in our eastern bubble. In New York alone, there are so many masterfully designed stations with long, complicated histories. The first transportation hub I’ll be talking about is the Oculus, also known as the World Trade Center Transportation Hub. It’s a massive, oddly shaped structure with a brand new 21st century design (just opened to the public in 2016), but the station within has a long history of opening, closing and reopening. Luckily, this isn’t some boring history lecture. All you need to know is that it’s massive, it’s weird, it’s beautiful, there’s a mall inside of it, and you should totally go visit when you have a chance. It was designed by an architect named Santiago Caltrava, and he has being designing massive structures all around the world since the early 1980s. The Oculus is by far my favorite station, here are pictures of Santiago’s $4 billion project in downtown Manhattan.

The Best Week for a Sweet Tooth

Image by: Peace & Love

This week was Valentine’s Day…which is a holiday that celebrates love and happiness. Although, love shall be shared each and every day amongst each other, this particular day of February 14th has become this renowned holiday which is designated to showing love and appreciate for all the special people in our lives. This day is easily celebrated by way of cards, teddy bears, flowers, or most of all….with candy.

For those of us that received chocolates or other candies on Valentine’s Day as well as those that gifted those sweets to themselves may find that it can be difficult to get rid of. Though, you can snack on candy, it may become boring after a while. Instead of wasting all of that candy, I will share a few ideas to better make use to all the leftover candy from the holiday of Valentine’s Day.

Image by: Janet Sumner

  1. Cookies

You can easily upscale your normal recipes for cookies by adding chopped pieces of leftover Valentine’s Day chocolate to the recipe. For instance, instead of putting the typical chocolate chips into the batter for chocolate chip cookies, you can incorporate chopped up chocolate candies.

  1. Truffles

These chocolate treats are very simple to make with ingredients that may already readily be in your home. Simply, melt some chocolate either by nuking it in intervals of thirty seconds at a time to stir in between or by a double boiler in which you will stir the chocolate constantly in a heatproof bowl that is over a boiling pot of water. Then, add some heavy cream or condensed milk before shaping it into balls and refrigerating. You can also roll the balls into chopped nuts, cocoa powder, coconut flakes, or sprinkles to add other flavors, textures, and to better the appearance of the truffles.

  1. Hot Chocolate

Since the most popular candy received on Valentine’s Day is chocolate, this recipe will put all the leftover chocolate that you have to use in this easy recipe. Simply, warm a cup of milk either by boiling it on the stove or by nuking it in the microwave. Then, put a few pieces of chocolate into the mug. Let this steep as the hot milk will slowly melt the chocolate. Then, stir the chocolate in accordingly until it thoroughly dissolves into a cup of hot cocoa.

Comment below on desserts that you make with leftover Valentine’s Day candy.

Valentine’s Day Project

Every chance we get we try to outwardly express our feelings for one another; whether it be a kiss goodbye, an “I love you” before hanging up the phone, or a slap in the face we all have this innate response to portray our emotions with actions. This is why a one-hundred-year-old trend called “Love Locks” seemed like a natural reaction. It started in World War I in Serbia; in a time when certain people weren’t able to be with each other since couples were geographically divided by the war. Most Ljubavi, the Serbian bridge in which people started locking padlocks onto, means “The Bridge of Love”. Locks upon locks, love upon love, the bridge grew tremendously over the years.

This trend started to migrate to other countries as time went on, and finally made its way to the Brooklyn Bridge in 2009. Tiny professions of love seemed sweet at first, but gradually turned into something disastrous as the tiny professions became large exclamations of love. It officially became outlawed in 2016 by DOT when a wire for an overhead light snapped under extreme weight of the “Love”. It caused the lane to be closed for two hours causing traffic among other things. The damage was able to be fixed but the risk is far too great to have people continue to further impair an iconic landmark like the Brooklyn Bridge.

Now that your “unbreakable” love will be clipped and will also cost a one-hundred dollar fine, I think it’s time to start finding more eco-friendly and pocket-friendly methods to profess those bottled feelings to that special someone. So this is a project for those who are itching to put their love on lock. You know who you are…

1. Think of that significant person in your life. Don’t worry this isn’t a test, take as long as you like on this step.

2.  Find a rock and buy/borrow indefinitely from a friend/get a sharpie. These are the only tools you will need for this project.


3. Scribble you and your special someone’s initials on the rock. If you are a perfectionist like me, you can stencil it with a pencil first and then trace over it with the permanent marker.

4. Just like with the lock, meet up with that special someone at any body of water in the city. Luckily, we are surrounded by water. You can find some really great suggestions from my previous posts like, South Street Seaport or Brooklyn Bridge Park.

5. Throw it into the water like Mariano Rivera. The chances of ever seeing that rock is severely unlikely just how you will never recover the key of the lock. Your love will infinitely reside in your chosen body of water and you can visit its residence whenever you want.

As a fellow college student, I understand that money can be tight but this project is virtually free. So go… go profess your love. Fill the Atlantic Ocean with your love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Humans Of City Tech

“Performing this research experiment is key in the construction industry. Concrete is the most widely used building material since the Romans have introduced it a couple millennia ago, and is still today the material of choice to use for superstructures of magnitude. Reaching for the sky isn’t only a metaphorical expression, it is a reality. Through research, we have been able to manipulate these existing materials to our own self interests. It is of human nature to improve on existing ideals, ergo, not performing research is blasphemy.  Passion is not to be confused with persistence. Being the kid I was, destruction was inevitable and I would be very lucky if I would get a verbal scolding from my parents. I would be such a handful to my parents, they would send me back to Bulgaria during my summer vacation so they can get a break. Pyromania was of great interest, but the fun dies out like the fire. Unlike the cinders, my passion for destruction does not smolder. I would later move on to dismantling computers, CD players, and toys. Nothing would really last in my house, if it passed through my hands it would be in shambles guaranteed. It is passion to explore that drove me, I never persisted. This passion and persistence was a constant battle in my early educational career, and is still today. In elementary school, I couldn’t burn anything or break anything, so I why would I pay attention? All the school teachers would compulsively harass my mom about my obnoxious behavior and ‘under-performance’. All but the science teacher, who loved me and gave me excellent marks. Imagine that! Passion is a very peculiar trait to harbor, because it is passion that drives not persistence. ”

Stanimir karamihaylov

Virtues from Motherhood: What is luck anyway?

All my life I’ve heard people tell me I was lucky but every time I heard it as a kid I was confused. Growing up I thought we were like every other family, nothing special, and that all kids lived like I did. Now we weren’t the Kennedy’s or the Kardashian’s by any means but we did have it better than most. Forgive my childhood ignorance but I could never see what luck people always told me I had, to me luck was lots of money, good looks and material things. It wasn’t until I was much older, I’m talking after having Ava that I realized luck is not something you really throw a dollar sign on.

After I started doing taxes and helping people sort out their financial woes it hit me, I’m lucky that I grew up how I had. Now I’m not saying money makes you lucky, I’m saying I’ve seen people who have nothing, they worry if they’ll be able to keep food on the table and their family has left them behind. I’ve seen women who are raising kids truly alone, with no family and no moral support break down and cry. Other people are not as lucky as I am.

Other people don’t have a family who rallies around them and helps them up when they fall, other people don’t have the mind I was gifted with to work in multiple fields. Other people aren’t as lucky to have their health and be able to do something as simple as walk up and down steps, or breathe freely. Luck is immeasurable.

The next time you wish you had a cushy job or didn’t have to work at all think of those who have to work just to keep their lights on, just to make it. The next time you roll your eyes at your mom’s umpteenth request to do something, think of those who’ve lost their mother or worse, never knew her. The idea that luck is material is secondary to the luck that keeps us alive, that means we get to see another day. People who are lucky are people who are gifted with their health, with loving family and with natural ability to do something, like athletics, math or writing and they don’t measure the luck they by the amount of money that brings in.

Luck is the ground you walk on, the eyes you see with, the voice you use to talk to people. So use that voice to do good, to spread love and positivity, spread education and spread the idea that luck is in the people that love you and not in your wallet.