The Prague Socialite: Living in a Story Book

After two weeks, I still can’t get over how beautiful of a city Prague is. The Bronx and New York City in general is beautiful, but in such different ways. You could literally spend an entire day just gazing upwards at the buildings. Just regular buildings like the one I’m staying in have detailed statues on the outside and the buildings are just so many colors. It’s just been a fantastic two weeks meeting new people, going to all the restaurants and all the pubs. Anyhow, here’s a few photos from this past week .We went on a boat tour so I got some really great shots from the Vltava river.

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The Prague Socialite : The First Week

So, it has officially been one week since I moved to Prague. It still hasn’t really set in that I’m going to be spending the next 10 or so months here, but it still has been amazing. I love architecture and I think have spent a good chunk of my time just marveling at the colors and details of the buildings. The cobblestone streets are obviously just charming by nature (that is until I go somewhere that warrants wearing heels. Then I may just need to Uber it because that’s just a skill on its own.)  I’m in class for most of the day, but I still managed to take a few pictures to share with you.

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Have you heard of rock hunting? This fun new trend has recently hit the Bronx. Keep reading to learn more!

With rock hunting becoming a trend in towns across the country, a group of Bronxites decided to get in on the fun. They created #TheBronxRocks on Facebook, where they post photos of painted rocks and give clues as to where they hid them. The bottom of the rocks tell finders how to join the group on Facebook, and are encouraged to rehide the rock. So far the group is up to over 250 members.
Recently, local astronomer and teacher Joseph Martinez, aka Jupiter Joe, decided to get in on the fun and recreate the solar system to hide in the Bronx. Participants can use the GPS coordinates provided to locate the rocks. There are even prizes for those who find the rock– like a pair of Solar Eclipse Glasses for theupcoming Eclipse on Aug 21st!
The purpose of the rock hunting group is to encourage families to unplug, explore their borough, and meet members of the community. There will also be chances for members of the community to paint their rockstogether every Friday from 6 to 8 in Virginia Park, as part of Game Night- hosted by artist Lovie Pignata.
To learn more about Jupiter Joe’s solar system rock hunt, visit www.jupiterjoesastronomy.org
To join #TheBronxRocks rock hunting group, head over to Facebook.
Maybe I’ll hide some #thebronxrocks rocks out here in Prague and see what happens!

The Prague Socialite?

I have been waiting to announce this for a while now, so I’m excited to finally reveal this to you all. This month, I will be moving to Prague, Czech Republic to teach English for the next year. As much as I love the Bronx and New York City, I have always wanted to live in another country.  Wake up somewhere totally different, just be completely out of my element, really.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been sharing some of my travel experiences, in preparation for this moment. I’ll be sharing this new chapter of my life with you here. Obviously, I will not be able to share any Bronx reviews with you, but I will continue to post any event info that comes along my way so I can live vicariously through you.

It’ll be an adjustment for sure (just think of all the Summerstage performances I’ll be missing!) but I’m excited to be able to document my experiences here. Growing up I didn’t know many people who traveled internationally like this and I’m very fortunate to have traveled as far and wide as I have, let alone the opportunity to spend an entire year away. Looking forward to hearing some of your travel stories too!

Stay tuned…

 

Bronx SummerStage Schedule

I think one of the main reasons I look forward to summer in NYC is to take advantage of all of the awesome free things going on throughout the city. Case and point: SummerStage concerts! Check out the July 27-30 schedule below!

Thursday, July 27th from 7PM –9PM – Made in the Bronx presented by BAAD!

  • Modern, folk, flamenco and house dance from Bronx artists. Dance workshop 7pm for all ages and levels with Sekou McMiller, popular New York-based dancer and choreographer heating up the stage with his Contemporary Latin Fusion class that he has taught to students around the world.

Friday July 28th from 7PM – 9PM – La India

  • Legendary South Bronx Princess of Salsa, is a Puerto Rican singer and songwriter of salsa and house music. There will also be a all ages and levels salsa workshop at 6PM in St Mary’s Park / performance at 7PM

Saturday July 29th from 5PM – 7PM – Frankie Negrón

  • Salsa’s next definitive voice effortlessly blends tradition with pop, rock and reggaetón. There will also be percussion and dance workshops at 4PM in St Mary’s Park / performance at 5PM

Sunday, July 30th from 5PM –7PM – Lisa Lisa

  • 80s superstar who brought freestyle to the mainstream with hits like I Wonder if I Take You Home. 

Honeymoon in Peru

Things have been very quiet around here because I have been traveling seemingly nonstop for the practically the entire month of July. (There’s more travel ahead along with a big announcement, but that’s a post for another day.) My husband and I went on a very belated honeymoon trip to Peru. Unlike ordinary people, who go and relax on a tropical island, we are crazy and headed to South America (where it is currently  winter!) on an active 11 day adventure.

We booked a tour via Gate 1 because I didn’t want to have to plan anything. I just wanted to show up. This was our first time using Gate 1, but our amazing tour guide, Edgard, was super knowledgable and made the trip go really smoothly. It was at first a little awkward to be spending our honeymoon with like 20 other people from around the world and aside from some microagressions (“I’m just going to touch your hair without permission because that’s not an invasion of your space or anything.” and “Hey, you’re a person of color, you know about gangs, right?” type shit.), we had a really great time getting to know our fellow travelers.

What We Saw

Machu Pichu, duh! We also saw the Pisac Ruins and the Uros Floating Islands. My favorite activities were actually when we got away from all of the touristy stuff like when we got to have dinner with a local family and spoke with local artisans. And because I’m a nerd, I loved going to Kennedy Park, a.k.a. the cat park to creep and take pictures of all of the cats chilling in the flowers and trees.

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Where We Stayed

Because it was a tour, we stayed at a number of hotels. Two that stuck out to me were the Jose Antonio Hotels. We stayed in one in Cusco and one in Lima. Very different experiences. The Jose Antonio in Cusco was fantastic. I even got a massage there during a spare moment of down time. It was so relaxing after all of that running around! The one in Lima, however, was a different story. The front desk staff was hit and miss – some were nice and helpful and others were cold and unfriendly. Ugh. We actually stayed there in the beginning of our trip and at the end. During our second visit, they put my bag in someone else’s room and told me to go find it. Luckily, it was in one our fellow travelers’ rooms and not some stranger’s! Good thing I decided to use my travel lock. The bed in our first room was actually so hard, I lifted up the sheets to make sure we weren’t sleeping on a boxspring. We ended up putting the comforter down and sleeping on top of  it for some relief.

Transportation

One of the coolest features of this tour (that I didn’t register when I booked it, because, again, I just wanted to show up) was that we traveled using four different types of transportation – we flew, took a boat, drove (for 9 hours!) took the Peru Rail – a.k.a. the Hogwarts express.

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Tips

A couple of years ago, we went to Argentina and while we realized that it would be winter, we thought it’d be like a Florida winter, where you could get by with a good hoodie. We were very wrong. I kept that lesson in mind when packing for Peru and packed my Uniqlo Ultra Light down jacket. It folds up really small and comes with a little much you can stick it in when you don’t need it. With one layer, I was all set to go. This is not and ad or endorsement, these jackets are just really great for travel.

Another tip is to try ALL the food. I think this is to be said when you travel anywhere, but Peruvian food is just soooo good. Eat all the ceviche, all the pollo a la brasa, and at least try the guinea pig. I’m not joking.

 

 

Reading Juliet Takes a Breath

At this year’s Bronx Book Fair, I had the pleasure of meeting the awesome people of Riverdale Avenue Books, based in Riverdale (duh!) They were gracious enough to let me pick one of their books to read, and Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera was the one that stood out to me.

I recently wrote about The Education of Margot Sanchez and how amazing the cover is, and Juliet Takes a Breath is a book with another eye-catching cover and after reading the blurb on the back, I knew it was the one.

Following Bronxite Juliet, an undergrad who, after reading fictional hippie feminist Harlowe Brisbane’s Raging Flower” Empowering Your Pussy by Empowering Your Mind, decides  to move across the country to Portland to intern for her new hero. But not before coming out to her family and leaving them to deal with the news.

What I enjoyed most about this novel is Juliet’s transformation. We see her with a tough exterior that I’m sure many of us who have grown up here will recognize, but she is incredibly vulnerable and unsure of herself, trying to figure out who she is. I also enjoyed Rivera’s use of language. Juliet does not mince words and her personality comes through in the way she mixes her growing knowledge of feminism and intersectionality with the slang she has learned growing up here in the Bronx.

Definitely something to take along with you as you head to Orchard this summer!

 

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