Experience The Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is one the most amazing place to go to in New York city, whether you are visiting or just  looking to hang out, this is definitely the spot to go to. Even walking, making the journey to the center of the bridge is an adventure in itself. The view from the Brooklyn Bridge is extraordinary, many of the iconic landmarks of NYC are visible from the bridge, which makes the experience even better. You can see the Manhattan Skyline, the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan Bridge and many more other amazing landmarks in the area. Be sure to go visit, it is a great experience overall.


 

 

“The best, most effective medicine my soul has yet partaken—the grandest physical habitat and surroundings of land and water the globe affords—namely, Manhattan island and Brooklyn, which the future shall join in one city—city of superb democracy, amid superb surroundings.” -Walt Withman

the Brooklyn bridgePhoto taken at Brooklyn Bridge.

 

“We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetPhoto taken at Brooklyn Bridge.

 

“The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.” –  Arthur C. Clarke

the cables of the Brooklyn BridgePhoto taken at Brooklyn Bridge.

 

“Give me your tired, your poor,  your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” – Emma Lezarus

a sunset over the waterPhoto taken at the Brooklyn Bridge.

 

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe

the Brooklyn bridgePhoto taken at the Brooklyn Bridge.

Tomorrow’s another day

a card that says "Tomorrow's another day."

“Tomorrow’s another day.

We worry so much about getting a lot done in one day that we get stressed out and depressed. Tomorrow’s another day.

If we exhale, unwind, and focus on one task at a time, life will be much easier. Tomorrow’s another day.

If we can endure the rainy day, the sunshine will be worth it. Tomorrow’s another day.

We don’t fail, we learn, so we can win tomorrow. Tomorrow’s another day.”

Name: R. B.
Age: N/A
Major: Illustration

Motion Blur

In this city; the city that never sleep, New York there’s always the hustle and the bustle. We are so busy in our own little world, going to work, school, exploring etc that we never really get to slow down and take in our surroundings. But what if everything were to be in slow motion? Have you ever wonder what life would be like? Yes like in the movies where they slow down a particular scene to give it a dramatic look and feel.


 

a newsstand inside the Metro Tech subway station“Most days it feels as if the world is whirling around me and I am standing still. In slow motion, I watch the colors blur; people and faces all become a massive wash.” -Sarah Kay. Jay St-Metro Tech, Brooklyn NY. 8:47pm

 

the water under a pier“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.” -W.H. Auden. Coney Island Beach, Brooklyn NY 8:03pm

 

a blurry yellow taxicab“It does not matter how slowly you ho as long as you dont stop.”  -Confucius. W 50th st, Manhattan NY 7:46pm

 

a city street at night“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.” -C. JoyBell. C. W 50th St Manhattan, NY  8:29pm

 

French Napoleons

Homemade Vanilla Napoleon

Photograph by Sabrina Vasquez

 

This past week was my mother’s birthday and although most families celebrate birthday with cakes, my family easily finds other alternative desserts to celebrate with instead of the traditional cake that is commonly served. In the past, we have hosted birthday parties with desserts such as gelato, icees, doughnuts, and cheesecake. But, for this year in particular, my mother wanted to have a French inspired dessert which was napoleons. This dessert is complex in the processes of creating each component and then assembling it together in an appetizing way. Napoleon, also named mille-feuille, vanilla slice, or custard slice are usually consists of three layers of puff pastry alternating with two layers of pastry cream. Yet, this classic French pastry can differ from a variety of countries. An Australian version uses passion-fruit icing and infuses passion-fruit into the pastry cream as well. While a Italian version is a savory napoleon which usually has spinach, cheese, and pesto. Although, the exact origin of the napoleon is still unknown, the French name for it mille-feuille literally means cake of a thousand layers which refers to the many layers in the puff pastry first while the puff pastry is being made and as it flakes in layers as it is baking in the oven.

So as my mother’s birthday was approaching, I had to figure out a way to make one of the best napoleon to top all napoleons she has ever eaten as her birthday present. My sister agreed to help me as making the dessert is not complicated just complex.  So we agreed that she would make the pastry cream and bake the puff pastry while I would assemble the dessert to its entirety.

Napoleon Recipe

First, bake the puff pastry I purchased the Pepperidge Farm brand one and it works well. Simply, thaw it out first and then unfold it onto a cookie sheet. Then, bake until golden brown.

Now, the pastry cream …..

 

Ingredients:

2 cups half-and-half

½ cup sugar

Pinch salt

5 large egg yolks

3 tablespoons cornstarch

4 tablespoons (½ stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

 

Directions:

  1. Heat the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 20 seconds.

 

  1. When the half-and-half mixture reaches a full simmer, gradually whisk the simmering half-and-half into the yolk mixture to temper. Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula; return to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds. Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl.

 

Note on straining: This is key step because it will ensure that your finished pastry cream will be silky smooth with no lumps or bumps.

Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.

Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Assembling the pastry:

Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the pastry into thirds.

In a small bowl whisk together:

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tsp corn syrup, light

1 TBS butter, unsalted , melted

Slowly mix in:

3 TBS milk, whole

Add enough milk to keep the icing thick, but pourable.

Pour half of the icing into another bowl, and whisk in:

1 TBS cocoa powder, unsweetened

Pour chocolate icing in to a squeeze bottle.

To assemble your napoleon, place the bottom layer of baked puff pastry onto your serving dish. Spoon half of your cooled pastry cream along the center of the pastry.

Place your middle layer of baked puff pastry over the cream, gently pressing the pastry down and pushing the cream to the edges. Spoon the remainder of the cooled pastry cream along the center of the middle pastry layer.

Top with the icing-decorated top layer and gently press over the pastry cream, again, pushing the cream to the edges. And smooth out the pastry cream around the sides.

Choose one of the three cut pieces of puff pastry to be your top layer and using a soft scraper, cover with the white icing. Using the squeeze bottle containing the chocolate icing, pour horizontal chocolate stripes over the white icing. Working quickly and use the tip of a knife to drag through the chocolate stripes and mix into the white icing.

Allow to set in the refrigerator 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.

Recipe adapted from Family Spice

Roosevelt Island

an aerial view of Roosevelt Island

                  Image by: Alex Katz

An island between Manhattan and Queens, secluded from the loud rush of the city but also an island with so much history. During Spring Break I took advantage of the beautiful weather and walked around the island. My favorite part was the Small Pox Hospital. This is because every time I get driven by the FDR drive, when I look across the East River I always see a gothic architectural style building that looks haunted at night. I always wondered what it was and thought it must have been some kind of asylum but came to find out it was a hospital.

 

Renwick Hospital

Along with this I came across many other historical sites such as the lighthouse which sourced light for boats that were sailing towards Hells Gates Waters which is just north of the island.

 

a lighthouse

 

 

I then visited the new FDR Memorial Four Freedoms Park. This park was opened in 2012. One interesting fact about this park and how it got its name is from Louis Kahn whom is an American Architect and built this park in honor of President Roosevelt and his belief in the four essential human freedom which were freedom of speech and expression, freedom to worship God in one’s own way, freedom from want and freedom from fear. It is a very beautiful and CLEAN park with such an amazing view of the city.

FDR Memorial Park

Finally, what many New Yorkers are familiar with is the Tramway! Although I am what some may call a “punk” for not wanting to go on (haha) I do appreciate the convenience of taking it to and from the city and I’m sure that on the tramway you get an even better view of Roosevelt Island and part of the city.

the Tramway

 

As always, I recommend everyone to go to Roosevelt Island on a beautiful day. There is so much history just on this two mile stretch island. Although there isn’t much to do after visiting the historical sites, it’s a great time to “get away from the city without leaving the city”. Whether it’s you spending the day laying on the CLEAN grass at the FDR Four Freedoms Park or maybe you just want to go for a nice walk this is the perfect place to go! Oh and if you’re scared to get on the Tram just as I was (haha) you can also take the “F” train to the island or drive as well. So what are you waiting for? Pull out your notepad and start making that Summer 2015’ bucket list and add Roosevelt Island to it! I promise you won’t regret it!

a Franklin D. Roosevelt plaque on a wall

The Beauty Of The Four Seasons

The four seasons of the year, spring, summer, fall and winter. Weather, ecology and hours of sunlight changes, differentiates the seasons apart but no matter which one you dearly love the most, they are unique in their own ways.

You can fully experience the diversity in characteristics of each seasons, by going to the same location during each seasons and see it how that place drastically change from seasons to seasons.


Spring is said to be one of the best season of the year. The eruption of beautiful colorful flowers, the fresh smell of nature and  the apparition of a nice pleasant weather are all that contributes to Spring.

a sidewalkQueens, New York

 

“A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken” – James Dent

a sidewalkQueens, New York

 

“An autumn gust blows, chilling the air and blowing,the clouds and the trees. The clouds overlap each other, making the sky a gloomy gray.” – Hazel Seanor

a sidewalkQueens, New York

 

“It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.” – John Burroughsa snowy sidewalkQueens, New York

My Top 5 Favorite Places to Eat

Every foodie has at least one or two places they love to eat at frequently besides their own home. I think that growing up in New York City there’s a lot of different restaurants and foods that I’ve grown to love and deeply enjoy.

As a foodie and a person that loves trying new things and adventure, I’d like to share with you my top 5 favorite places to eat.

five food dishes

 

1. Cocoron has been one of my favorite Japanese restaurants so far. They have two locations in the Lower East Side/Chinatown section of Manhattan. Cocoron is unique and different from other Japanese restaurants because they are best known for soba noodles (Japanese name for buckwheat noodles).

I love the dip soba sets they have because it’s cute, exciting, and a do-it-yourself meal. The dip soba set includes a mini burner with a bowl of boiling broth filled with meats and scallions and a plate of soba noodles. Basically, you will dip your noodles in the boiling broth for a minute or two and then eat it.

Recommendations: Chicken meatball dip soba, Grilled duck with blueberry jam, Warm Japanese style curry soba, Coconut milk with frozen berries

pizza, french fries, calamari, burgers

 

2. STOUT is my go-to-sports bar and also a place to sit back and enjoy delicious foods. They also have two locations in Manhattan, but I’ve only been to the one in Midtown. I find it more enjoyable and relaxing to come during lunch time rather than dinner time. Lunch time is a laid back and not rowdy. Dinner time can get crowded, rowdy, and less enjoyable. The food here is absolutely delicious and I sometimes come here just for the Wisconsin style thin crust pizza because it’s that good!

Recommendations: Fried calamari, Wisconsin style thin crust pizza, Sweet potato fries, Stout burger

three food dishes and two drinks

 

 

3. Cafe Luluc has become one of my favorite brunch places! I am so glad I found this gem because their brunch is amazing. I’ve been here twice so far and the service has never disappointed and the quality of the food is top notch and inexpensive. I really enjoy their Eggs Benedict and Eggs Florentine and how it’s accompanied with fries and a refreshing field greens salad. Cafe Luluc isn’t too far from City Tech, so if you ever find yourself wanting brunch or any type of meal, just pop in to Cafe Luluc.

Recommendations:  Eggs Benedict, Mixed berry Pancakes, Mimosa, Brioche French toast

five food dishes

 

4. Ramen Misoya happens to be one of my favorite ramen restaurants. It’s located in the East Village on 2nd Avenue and just off of St. Marks Place. I like that their ramen is different from other ramen restaurants I’ve been to because their style and presentation is a lot more vibrant and warm. The service here is pretty on par, but it’s the food that’s the most up to par.

Recommendations: Miso chicken curry ramen, Kome miso ramen with cha-shu, Gyoza

five food dishes

 

5. Another favorite restaurant of mine is Maharlika. I never thought I would enjoy Filipino cuisine, but I do. It’s completely different from other Asian cuisines that I’ve tried so far. At Maharlika, I love their spam fries and kare kare (oxtails braised in peanut butter sauce w/ grilled bokchoy, roasted eggplant, & long beans). Everything here is just pure comfort food and full of deliciousness.

Recommendations: Spam fries, Lumpiang Barquillos, Kare kare, Sisig

What are some of your favorite places to eat?

Hidden Treasures

Did you know there a bunch of caves in New York? Yes you heard right. Cave! If someone told me this a year ago, I would not have believed them. New York is like a hidden treasure that continuously awaits to be discovered and explored.

A few friends and myself explored a massive cave in the Mid-Hudson Region of Hudson Valley. The mouth of the cave is open into a dripping chamber. As you venture deeper into the cave, its temperature drops to about 40 degrees due to the frozen lake that’s situated.


 

light coming in to the entrance of a cave “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” -Desmond Tutu. Hudson Valley, NY 3:34pm

 

the interior of a cave“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” -Aristotle Onassis. Hudson Valley, NY 3:44pm

 

the interior of a cave“For me the greatest beauty always lies in the greatest clarity.” -Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. Hudson Valley, NY 3:47pm

 

a person inside a cave“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” -Ernest Hemingway. Hudson Valley, NY 4:18pm

 

a person inside a cave“You only live once, but if you do it right once is enough.” -Mae West. Hudson Valley, NY 4:58pm

 

a person inside a cave “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” -Dr. Suess. Hudson Valley, NY 5:01pm

 

Your Network Determines Your Net Worth

I know it is 4-20 and it would be cool to read about all type of hemp influenced products or why/why not weed should be legalized, but there are much more important subjects to blog about.

cans of Chillo drink

Hemp Energy Drinks by AudioVision via CC* License 

Such as …

“Your network determines your net worth.” To the growing hemp producers  that phrase might be all too familiar (lol), but for you younger folk it may sound very new. And thats okay, but after today I want you to never forget it.

cartoon images of blue stick-figure men

3D Social Networking by Chris Potter via CC License

According to Dictionary.com A network is an association of individuals having a common interest, formed to provide mutual 

assistance, helpful information, or the like. When you meet people on your career path or those in your hobby-generated groups you may automatically connect them with your “network.” Although those people have common interests, they become apart of your network, and vice versa, only when you put actively add them to it. Of course that is figuratively speaking, you cannot actually pick people up and put them in a physical network. But just think if you collect business cards, phone numbers, and emails from everyone you meet, even those who do not seem to share common interest with you, you may have thousands of contacts within a few months. After you converse and exchange contacts, you must personally follow up with people and even subscribe them to your monthly mailing or email list if you have one. If you walk by people, choose to bail on networking, and refuse to attend all social events, you are missing a possible life alternating opporntunity.

a woman in a white dress holding out her hand

Helping Hand Edited by Stormgirl via CC license

Some may not know, or even believe that I can be a shy person. It’s true. I would choose to opt out of a phone conversation or even a face-to-face chat unless I know a person very well. THIS IS DISASTROUS for anyone.  How can I be successful in real estate, let alone in the entertainment industry, if I can not socialize or speak to a person or a crowd. Most times I pump my self up or just brush away the fear, but it is a skilled that can only be mastered if practiced. So people, next time you are about to send a mass text/email try sending it personally to someone or calling them directly. That will help build a trusting relationship. You may even spark a conversation that inquires about each of your skill sets and interests, which in return build a network that will allow for exchange of services, sharing of knowledge, or even referrals.

people in suits shaking hands

Business Meeting by thetaxxhaven via CC license

And thats where you build your net worth, which can be thought of as the total assets of a business minus its total liabilities (Dictionary.com). A person can be a brand, or business, as well. Theoretically, your net worth can be calculated by actual financials or based on those connected to you in someway. Those connections can be a direct link to leads, future income, knowledge, and more.

 a word cloud of business terms

Business by Gerald via CC license

*CC: Creative Common

Dedicated to some of the men in my life who practice and preach this concept:

  • My Dad Larry, personal trainer & (Co-Owner of Brooklyn Billionairez)
  • My Uncle Dave, business owner in the Automotive & Entertainment industry
  • My Uncle Sammy, mutli-business owner including We Have it ALL
  • My Brother-Cousin Samar, Owner of Made Realty & Made Capital Corp.

Happy Birthday Samar, you will continue to add on to your network and success.


QUESTIONS TO THE AUDIENCE: Are you nervous when networking? | Do you leave events early to avoid feeling awkward when talking to others? | Do you have stories of success based on your network? | Do you feel having people in your network is similar to using people? | How do you network? | Can you give me advice.

 

 

Free MetroCards For CUNY Students?

a New York City Subway MetroCard

Did you know that City lawmakers have been urging CUNY to offer its students a free ride on buses and
subways?

Council members Ydanis Rodriguez and Inez Barron, on Thursday, will introduce a resolution calling on CUNY to put money in its next budget for free MetroCards. Barron called on the state to fund the transit benefits, while
Rodriguez believes that the city and the state should chip in to cover costs. CUNY has roughly 270,000 full and part time students in its undergrad and graduate schools, so this would result in over 30 to 375 million dollars spent
for this idea to succeed.

I for one greatly hope this comes to be! With the amount of tuition, textbooks, child care, rent, food, and other basic necessities college kids have to worry about, a MetroCard just adds to the burden. For work and school I’m paying 31 dollars a week for the 7 day pass. That puts a dent in my paycheck every time I swipe my card to pay.

At this point I’d even be okay with a reduce fare metro card, or something that lowers the price.

What do you guys think? Will CUNY agree to this? And do you believe its time that all college students are offered free metro cards.