Thursday, March 26, 2009

(A Belated) Overview of Spring Break

So I now I've been back from Spring break for two weeks now, but I honestly haven't had time/been in the mood to update and let ya'll know how it went. Well, if you're still interested, here goes:

Nice was absolutely heavenly. For some reason, I went into Nice thinking it was going to be cool but a little seedy, like a French Coney Island or Viareggio. But man, I was wrong. It was really lovely, with the the bluest ocean ever on one side and hills on the other. The buildings were all pastel and had terraces, the streets were cobblestoned and the sidewalks wide. We went to the Matisse Museum and the Contemporary Art Museum (where I might have been the only one actually enjoyed myself...oh Contemporary Art. Thou art not for the masses).

We also spent a ton of time on the beach, lying out and eating French bread and brie. And pastries. OH GOD THE PASTRIES, I MISS THEM.

After Nice, we went on to Barcelona, via Dublin. Yeah, it makes no sense why a ticket to Dublin then to Barcelona cost less than a train to Barcelona...


But Barcelona was wonderful, in a completely different way from Nice. It has a long history, and a beautiful old section. But at the same time, it expanded and modernized, allowing it to stay relevant on a world-wide level. That's my main complaint about's beautiful and had a fantastic and illustrious Renaissance. But name one important thing that has happened since. Hence why I could live in Barcelona, but definitely not in Florence.

We went to Sagrada Familia, the famous cathedral that Gaudi started and is still being built 100 years later, Park Guell, the Picasso Museum, the Chocolate Museum (by which time I was definitely going through diabetic shock and couldn't eat any more sugar), Santa Maria del Mar, La Boqueria, and the Miro Museum.

We ate chocolate, tapas, strange tropical fruit from La Boqueria, Catalan food, some of the best macarons outside of Paris, drank absinthe with Hemmingway's ghost, and ate bad paella.

Best of all, it was WARM and sunny and smelled nice. Really, I loved Barcelona so much. I'd go back in a heartbeat.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Someone Figure Out My Life For Me

Or at least my summer plans.

Being here, and my beyond-shitty winter break made me realize that there is no way I can go home this summer. Fishkill is deadening, emotionally speaking. There's nothing to do, a lot of my friends will be elsewhere, and honestly, I just don't think I could make it through one more summer at home without taking anti-depressants. So a few days ago, when Sonia imed me and asked if I wanted to sign a lease in East Williamsburg starting in May, my reaction was essentially "YESYESYESYES." Being in New York in summer is so romantic. Even being poor in New York. There are free things to do everywhere, free concerts in Central Park, free movies, free afternoons at the museum. I don't care if it's hot and gross and smelly and I walk around everywhere with running makeup and sweaty clothes. No matter what, it beats another summer in Fishkill. And New York is the only thing I miss about the United States, except for the people and light whole wheat english muffins.

So I'm determined to make it happen. The only thing is, I have no idea how I'm going to do it. My parents will let me go to the city this summer, but they won't pay for my rent until classes start. I remember my friend Kendall telling me that it was less expensive for her to live in Brooklyn for the entire year than to live in NYU housing for nine months. But I totally understand that me taking care of my own rent this summer would save them money, and with the economy as it is I guess that's best. So rent is on me. I'm not too worried about making enough money for books next year. This semester I didn't spend anything on books, relying on reading them in the library. So if worse comes to worse I could do that next year. And if the schedule that I want works out, then I will have thursdays and fridays off next semester. So I can have enough time to both waitress or get a desk job and do my research for my honors thesis.

Now all I need to do is figure out how to get a job for this summer. Or several jobs. Paying internships seem to be out of the question right now, and the sociology department doesn't exactly help you get any internships at all (they expect you to do research and go on to grad school, which right now is the path I prefer). I'm not interested in doing another arts administration internship. Working at IMG made me realize that private arts administration isn't really the sector I want to go into. I'm more interested in the public policy/social policy thing right now, but I don't really know how to get an internship in something like that. I'm considering not getting an internship at all and just working, so that I can afford to be in New York.

Am I making a mistake? Should I stay home and commute? My parents say that they will cover the cost of commuting, which might end up being $300-$400 a month (only $200 less than living in Brooklyn, I might add). Should a get an unpaid internship and a waitressing job and a babysitting job and live in New York? Should I just work? Should I use the money my Nonno left me in for the rent on my first apartment this summer instead of when I graduate? How are other people going to swing this?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Someone Explain This to Me

Over the past few days, no less than three Italians have stopped me on the street to ask me directions. While I'm wearing bright colors, something no one here does. While I'm listening to my ipod, so I can't hear them. While there are plenty of black-clad, ipod-free Italians walking all around me. So, why ask me? Why ask the girl who is obviously American, even wearing a bag that says "A Bag From Barcelona" IN ENGLISH? I'm quite proud of myself, though. Instead of just involuntarily saying "sorry!" and flailing my arms like I usually do when spoken to in a different language, I actually held it together well enough to reply "Mi dispiace, no lo so" (I'm sorry, I don't know). I did know twice, but unfortunately my italian skillz do not extend to giving people directions.

F my L

Mom: I'm sick. Fever, head cold, the whole thing.
Me: I'm so sorry.
Mom: Don't you get sick!
Me: Don't worry, I have a really strong constitution. I never get sick.

Yeah, now I'm getting sick.

In other news, Epic Spring Break Update to come later.