A Sandwich Fit For a…

Spring break is a beautiful time of year, a time when I am somehow able to reconnect with those closest to me by way of necessary breaks from work and school. It is an amazing experience as you can begin to see the buds on the trees and know that blooming season is near. But as they say, April showers bring May flowers, this spring break in particular housed the worst weather as it involved rainy days, a snowstorm, and random bouts of sunny weather. It was an ever-changing forecast but it was still much appreciated to enjoy time spent with the family.

Still, I cannot wait for the vibrantly and colorful flowers to bloom as it is a beautiful sight to capture each year. I’ll admit though that spending time with my family can be a tad bit emotionally taxing as we all have varying personalities that can sometimes clash resulting in a disastrous outing. I was most excited to try some new food ventures and be able to have those momentous memories shared with my loved ones. I love food which isn’t that surprising as I post about something food related every single week in my blog posts but still, I have seen more foodies interested in capturing the most delicious food by way of photographs instead of actually enjoying the eating portion of the experience. However, that is my favorite part. As of late, I have been under a lot of stress and just as you hear of those who emotionally eat or stress eating, I do the exact opposite…I suppose that you call it emotional starving. After a quick google search, I have found that I am the victim of emotional under-eating…hmm, I didn’t know that it had an actual name. Anyway, I have found myself literally eating one meal a day, I know what you’re thinking…that it’s unhealthy and I need to find a better way to handle my stress than skipping meals. But I have been challenging myself to enjoy each meal that I consume to slowly find my way back to my love for food and not just simply for the benefits of eating.

I have no idea as to why I just divulged the innermost occurrences that I struggle with on the day-to-day basis but I wanted to share the details of the most recent restaurant outing that I had which was absolutely and deliciously amazing. Everyone had their own plans and outings besides my mom and I, so we decided to have an excursion of our own. We loaded ourselves into the family van and somehow ended up in Howard Beach. We visited this hidden gem called Sapienza Delicatessen & Restaurant. It is a nice restaurant to just enjoy a quick meal as they have an open concept seating arrangement. We really wanted to try their famous pastrami sandwich as they use the same meats that Katz’s Deli does for a lower price which was unbeknownst to us at that time. The sandwich came with a pickle on the side and the deli also sells an array of beverages, chips, and other snacks to pair with your sandwiches. The sandwich itself was succulent and the meat was extremely moist to the point that it almost melted in your mouth. It was an experience that I had never had before when eating a sandwich but one I will never forget. I hope that you get the chance to try one of these sandwiches at least once in your life, you won’t regret it and I’d definitely recommend the pastrami sandwich.

a sandwich in a food basket

Image by: Brianna Vasquez

My Spring Break Adventure Continued

a plate of different styled sushi

Image by: Brianna Vasquez

The spring recess had somehowĀ provided us with this exceeding lot of time in which we were able to essentially do whatever we wanted, while enjoying spending time with our grandmother. But as we walked through the crowded streets of Manhattan, our hunger began to build and eventually we were looking around for a decent place to eat. Being that we were trying to make the day as eventful as possible for our grandmother, we began deliberating the type of cuisine that we had wanted to eat. Our grandmother eventually said how she had never tried authentic sushi, she explained that she had wanted to at least try it onceā€¦to acquire the whole experience. Because we had been vegetarians for so long, it did not truly allow for us to eat exotic dishes like that of sushi or some readily recognized comfort food such as fried chicken. It kept us to a strict diet of fruits and vegetables as well as the incorporation of all sorts of different sources of protein such as legumes, vegetarian meat substitutes, and endless amounts of tofu. So over the years, we had gained such an appreciation for the Asian culture as it had aided so much in our lives as vegetarians. But sushi was an uncharted territory, there is no such thing as tofu sashimi or a spicy tofu rollā€¦sushi was an unknown that had never been divulged.

So here we were looking for sushi in what I consider the heart of Manhattan. My sisters began a yelp search looking for the highest rated sushi restaurant in the area. And finally we landed on a place…one that was only a short walk away. We were on our way to eating sushi, our grandmother was elated…she was finally going to try sushi for the very first time. When we arrived at MI-NE Sushi Totoya, we were seated by the bar as we did not know that for this particular restaurant, we should’ve made proper reservations. But the staff was so attentive in explaining the menu and giving suggestions. We all enjoyed the sushi…we each made our own selections and then shared it all so we could try everything. The funniest part of the whole sushi experience was how much my grandmother struggled with using chopsticks. She tried her best to hold them properly but she always seemed to drop sushi because it was too difficult to carry the single roll from the plate to her mouth. But we encouraged her and told her that it takes lots of practice which only means she needs to eat a lot more sushi.

After that delicious dinner, I couldn’t wait for what was next on our culinary adventure which would be dessert. Although, it was a time to relish in the relaxation of spring recess…to spend quality time with my grandmother, it became so much more than that. I was able to share new cuisines with her as well as new foods and that was far more special.

My Spring Break Adventure

two adjacent cups of bubble tea

Image by: Nadine

Now, it is the last few weeks of the spring semester and while many are preparing to take their final as well as completing a couple last assignment before the summer break is officially here. Although, school has been on a recess for the past week and a half, school is now back in a full swing of things. I thoroughly enjoyed the spring recess by visiting many places in the city. Manhattan has such a vast amount of restaurants and shops that you can literally travel the world by just walking a few blocks. My grandmother had expressed her deepest desire of wanting to spend time with me and my sisters over the spring break. While we were struggling to figure out what we should doā€¦going to Manhattan was the best bet. It had become a place that you can essentially do anythingā€¦there are so many activities to partake inā€¦the choices are endless.

With my being in the hospitality management major, it has helped me to become more culturally aware and to gain a better appreciation for different cuisines all over the world. My grandmother was eager for whatever we had planned to do as long as we were spending time together. I think what most people do not realize is that New York really is a haven for everything; it just needs to be sought out. As I get older, I find that I only begin to appreciate New York City that much more, I am able to understand how great the city truly is and why so many people visit here. We finally decided to take our grandmother to one of the many places we used to readily visit when we were youngerā€¦one of the best spots in Manhattanā€¦Union Square.

And the one thing that I absolutely love doing is trying new food but this time, it was my grandmotherā€™s turn. We decided to take her to Asia for two days, every single thing that we ate was Asian inspired. Our first stop was bubble teaā€¦my sisters and I have become lightly addicted to bubble tea which is Taiwanese and not just any bubble tea but Viviā€™s Bubble Tea. Ā So we decided to take our grandmother there in order for her to experience it as well. She ordered the ginger milk tea with bubbles and I ordered the honeydew milk tea with bubbles while my sisters respective ordered the tiramisu slush with bubbles and Thai milk tea with bubbles. My grandmother loved the tea but wasnā€™t too fond of the bubbles. The bubbles that are used in the tea are actually boiled tapioca pearls. They are boiled in brown sugar and water then afterwards they are slightly cooled and can be added to the tea. My grandmother was not a huge fan of it but she did love the tea as she has always loved tea. She was a good sport about it even though the bubbles were not a favorite of hers. All in all, it was a great first stop on our trip. But the adventure seemed to have continued, and I couldnā€™t wait for what was in store next.

Protect Yourself This Spring Break

a nude woman covering herself

I originally wanted to blog about perception, showing how different images, such as the “Mooney Faces,” by Craig Mooney, and how different people will see situations differently. Perception can depend on timing, awareness, and knowledge, among other elements. Since that is common knowledge and most students are partaking in Spring Break, I have decided to blog about protecting oneself in whatever reality you may live in.

the sun shining over foliage

“In the beginning God created the heavens and earth.” And since the beginning there has always been a battle between the Good and Evil. For those who aren’t monotheistic, you still may notice there have always been lies, greed, deceit, betrayal, jealousy, and sometimes war between individuals and groups of people. Ā Many blame these misbehaviors on a variety of factors. Such factors may include the following: mental illness; neglect as a child; upbringing; selfishness; “bad DNA;” seeking attention; imitating the actions of a idol; and be admired or rewarded for misconduct. People you meet, even some you’ve known for years, can seem to be trustworthy under their corrupt facade.

a statue of Abraham Lincoln

Because there are people in this world that favors wrongdoing, you must protect yourself, especially on vacation. You can do that in many ways. The first way is to gain knowledge and understanding of what ever you decide to do. Whether you are staying near home or going away you females AND males must remainĀ be smart.

people on a sidewalk

Follow these simple Do’s and Don’ts in order to protect yourself

DO

  • Let someone, not with you, know of your location
  • Keep your phone charged and bring your charger
  • Keep a clear mind
  • Know your limit
  • Do self defense is provoked, take self defense classes if you do not know techniques
  • Maintain proper awareness
  • Be responsible
  • Analyze where are you are and think of possible situations
  • Have a backup plan
  • Buy your own food & drinks, keeping a close eye
  • Carry lightly as to not misplace or lose items

DONT

  • Don’t Abuse Substances
  • Don’t yearn for drama and to be around unsafe environments
  • Don’t set your cup down then drink from it again
  • Do not fight
  • Do not cause too much attention to yourself
  • Do not be really flashy
  • Don’t provoke someone who already shows aggressive behavior
  • Never depend on someone else for your safety, especially if they are partaking in the same activity as you
  • Don’t panic, instead think quickly on your feet
  • Never sleep in an unfamiliar place
  • Never go to places alone, if you must let someone know where you are going

Take this knowledge into consideration evenĀ when you are not on a Vay-Cay. Trust me,Ā the more you know, the safer you are, the better you’ll be.

Dedicated to K-Fashion, for we can be so naive and trustworthy and whenever we get together we sometimes become so engulfed in our own fun that weĀ neglectĀ to keep ourĀ awareness.

a baseball cap that says "Reckless"

IMAGE CREDITS: All images provided by Heaven Brown of Heaven Sent Photography


QUESTIONS TO THE AUDIENCE: What do you do to protect yourself? | Have you been in a situation that would have been avoided by following these steps? Describe it if you are comfortable. |Ā Do you keep distance from people who show misconduct? | Do you feel there is a such thing as “bad DNA?” | Why can’t we all get along? | Stay tuned on the next episode of Dragon Ball Z … lol šŸ˜‰

Seriously, let me know what you think.