Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Celtics Vs. The Magic

I’ve completed my first full week of spring classes and on Tuesday I started feeling not so well mentally and physically.  It hit me that I’m graduating in May and that I have much to accomplish within the next fifteen weeks. Additionally, I started experiencing random pelvic pain. Whenever Friday rolls around, it’s always a great thing, but this past one was especially so as I felt it helped me recover from earlier this week. 

The existence of Web MD and Google has made us all become unofficial doctors, and I was happy when I left a medical center on mid-day Friday that what I had wasn’t any of the horrible conditions I found on the scariest depths of the Web. After the appointment, I went to the Celtics Game with my boyfriend, my best friend, and her boyfriend. The Celtics played the Orlando Magic and we got the tickets for a discounted price through our college, Salem State University. 

The Celtics won 113-94. We thought it was going to be a close game, with no shot for a Gino, but in the third quarter the Celtics pushed the lead all the way up to twenty seven points, marking their fifth win in a row! The Celtics are currently in fifth place for the NBA Eastern Conference and hopefully we will see them in the playoffs, which start in April. I will be seeing them again on February 25th when they face the Milwaukee Bucks, who are in thirteenth place for the Eastern Conference, a place behind the Magic. 

Another aspect that made Friday’s night game awesome was it was Isaiah Thomas’ first game since being named an All-Star. Every year, the NBA has an All-Star Game, which is a game played between the best players on the Eastern Conference and the best players on the Western Conference. Thomas is the first Celtics All-Star in three years. It’s a big deal he was selected as many people told him he could never be a professional player because he’s 5’9." 
It’s not going to be  easy these next four months, but as I take this Sunday to prep for my next week of school, I keep the Celtics on my mind to help me stay motivated and positive. My boyfriend credits his favorite sport team as the reason he returned to college a few years ago and this month we celebrated him earning his bachelors degree! May it be a successful spring for the two of us and the Celtics! 

Read my first blog post about the Celtics here:

TD Garden 
100 Legends Ways 
Boston, MA 02114 

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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Missing Burlington

Today my boyfriend texted me a picture of Church Street in Burlington, Vermont that he took on Christmas Eve. Sometimes when he takes pictures on his phone they look like paintings.  This gem was too pretty not to share here. 
Stay tune for another post tomorrow. Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend! 

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Life Alive

After much deliberation, my boyfriend switched his minor not only to graduate early but to set his trajectory towards the right career path for him. Though I knew right away I would miss doing homework with him on Sundays and talking about classes, I was over the moon. In celebration of his academic achievement, we got lunch at Life Alive in Downtown Salem. 

Life Alive was packed that day with the lunchtime rush. Every time somebody came through the entrance, the cashier had to ask them to file at the back of the line. 
We both got the Sufi Poet- red lentil humus, cranberries, raw cashews, cucumbers, granny apples, shredded carrots, sun-sprouts, spring greens, and Balsamic Vinaigrette. Eating pure, clean ingredients always makes my body feel new. 

What I love about smoothies is they're cool and refreshing whilst being a meal in itself. This right here is the Lust Alive Smoothie- strawberries, bananas, candied ginger, cinnamon, raw cacao, ice cream and rice milk. 

Life Alive is the perfect place to go if your resolution is to take better care of yourself or you are about to start a new chapter of your life. Though my boyfriend and I are still figuring out our futures, I know with the assistance of feel good food from Life Alive we won't be as overwhelmed. 

What's your favorite stress-release food? Have a great weekend! 

Life Alive 
281 Essex Street 
Salem, MA 01970 

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

First Celtics Game!

If there's one thing people from Massachusetts collectively love it's sports. In fact, if I were to personify the Bay State as a person in a bar, they would be bragging about their  prestigious teams. On Friday January 15th, I went to my first ever Celtics Game and I couldn't have asked for a better time! 

Basketball was actually invented in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith, but the NBA wasn't founded until 1946. The Celtics have the most NBA titles with seventeen championships; they won in 1957, 1959,1960,1961,1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968,1969, 1974, 1976, 1981, 1984, 1986, and 2008. The Celtics banners are proudly displayed up by the rafters and they always have one pristine banner blank to motivate the team. 

The home of the Celtics is the TD Garden. It opened in 1995 and it puts on about two hundred events per year, including games and concerts. It was second time at the Garden this past Friday having seen Katy Perry there in 2014. 

The Celtics were facing the Phoenix Suns that day. I purchased the tickets as a Christmas present for my boyfriend, a massive fanboy of both the sport and the team. There wasn't any particular reason why I had us go to this match other than I thought it would be fun for us to see a game before heading back to college. After my boyfriend gave me a historical background on the team, I was happy with my choice. The Celtics and Suns faced each other in the 1976 NBA Championship and many basketball enthusiasts consider Game 5 to be the greatest game ever because there ended up being three overtimes! Additionally, fan-fave Isaiah Thomas played for the Suns just last year.
The Celtics won 117 to 103! They acted fast and never allowed the Suns to get ahead. Guard Marcu Smarts made his first triple double of his career at this game, which was the first Celtics triple double to come from a non starter since January 16, 1971! A triple double is when a player makes a double digit number in three of the five statistical categories- points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocked shots. Smarts earned ten points, eleven rebounds, and ten assists as well as making two steals and two blocks.
Whenever the Celtics win by a landslide, the TD Garden plays a clip from Dick Clark's American Bandstand where a group of people are dancing to the Bee Gees' "You Should Be Dancing." Fans go nuts when when this dancer clad in a Gino Vannelli t-shirt comes on. This tradition is known as "Gino Time" and it is not uncommon to find people wearing the shirt at games. 
My goals that night were to appear on the jumbotron and win a t-shirt  thrown into the crowds by one of the cheerleaders and they both happened! 
I'd say this January's theme has been that of love and  basketball. Not only have I started watching the Celtics for the first time in my life, my boyfriend and I have started playing together. 

Another reason that made that the game special was seeing mentoring programs being recognized as my boyfriend is a mentor himself for a behavioral service. There was a mentoring program doing a 50-50 raffle and a women was honored for her work with high risk teenagers. 

Attending the game, I discovered a person can learn a lot about happiness and perseverance by taking a page from a Celtics fan's book. They have literally seen basketball giants come and go and consecutive championships followed by decades with no titles, yet their passionate for the team is unwavering. 

Have you ever been to a Celtics game? What was it like? 

TD Garden 
100 Legends Ways 
Boston, MA 02114 

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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Gulu-Gulu Cafe

My heart broke when I learned the news of David Bowie's death this past Monday, January 11th. I am an Anglophile- my favorite musical genre is British pop- and so far, 2016 hasn't been a good year for beloved entertainers from across the pond. To help me cope, I went to a place I knew would know how to throw a tribute to the icon's passing- the Gulu-Gulu Cafe in Salem, Massachusetts. 

The Gulu-Gulu Cafe is a hispter-esque yet unprentious  restaurant that serves rare beers, coffee and fresh food. It is situated right next to its sister restaurant, the Flying Saucer Pizza Company, which I reviewed last year (, and was named after a cafe in Prague where the owners met and fell in love. Aw, how cute! 
Everything the Gulu Gulu offers uses delicious ingredients, including all of the craft beers they have. This past year, they won the North Shore Magazine's Reader's Choice for their beer menu and recently they  started their own beer membership. 
I ordered the Essjay on a spinach wrap-hummus, red onions, greens, strawberries, apples, and cranberries. 
My boyfriend got the Orange Walnut salad; mixed greens and arugula with oranges, spiced walnuts, cranberries, feta cheese & pickled onions. For $2, he got to add bacon.
The Gulu Gulu isn't just great at night, but for breakfast too! When I have a sweet tooth craving in the morning, my favorite thing to make is a waffle sandwich with peanut butter, Nutella, strawberries and bananas. 
Just like the Flying Saucer Pizza Company, the Gulu Gulu's mascot is a pug. 
I sat right near this drawing. Bowie's bewildering body of work was heavily played that night on the sound system above. If you're a big music lover, the Gulu Gulu is a must as they feature live acts five nights a week. 

There are many lessons one can learn from David Bowie; he created anthems for the alienated and for musician had a rock-strong marriage to his second wife, Iman. However, what I admire most about him right now was his ability to make art until the end of his life. My aim is to be like Bowie, which is to never stop doing what I'm passionate about, even when I'm under pressure with other areas of my life, and one of those things is this blog. 

Gulu Gulu Cafe
247 Essex Street 
Salem, Massachusetts 01970

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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Dobrá Tea

It's always hard getting back into the swing of things during the first week of every new year. I was having such a hard time I ended up giving in to another road trip to Burlington, Vermont mid-week! Just kidding- I went back to Vermont for my first freelance gig- coverage of the protests at the Thursday Donald Trump rally! During some down-time earlier that day, I went to Dobrá Tea- a gluten free and vegan teashop that offers over 100 varies of Eastern loose-leaf tea. 

Dobrá Tea was founded by a group of tea drinkers who had smuggled rare Indian, Chinese and Japanese teas into Prague towards the end of Communism. At the time, the tea they were secretly brewing was only consumed by the highest ranks in the government and military. Three years after the fall of Communism, the group opened their first tearoom in the capital, and in the past decade, nineteen more opened across the Czech Republic. The Dobrá Tea in Burlington was the first US Dobrá. 

My boyfriend and I sat on the cushions nestled in the corner. Their cushions are filled with buckwheat hull. 
After browsing their ten pages of my green tea (yes, you heard me right; they have TEN pages in their menu devoted to this one type!!),  we ordered Dian Lu Eshan, which is touted as their best green tea. 
I find the winter to be the best time of the year to reflect due to its' slow pace. After my boyfriend poured each serving, I stared at my tea leaves and mused about what 2016 would hold for us. 

My boyfriend's mom frequents Dobrá Tea once a month and during my visit I understood why. To me, tea is the closest thing we have on earth to a magic potion. It calms me down whilst turning me on creatively, lifting me up emotionally, and stimulating me mentally. 

Tea is a universal beverage. Dobrá Tea is dedicated to creating a safe space for all people. During these devisive political times, we hope you find peace and safety amongst friends over a cup of tea. ‪#‎TeaTrumpsPolitics‬

Dobrá Tea 
80 Church Street 
Burlington, Vermont 05401 

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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Stone Corral Brewery

Germany isn't the only place I've been to in the past six months that has a love of beer.
Vermont has more craft breweries per capita than any other state in the US and on my ride home to Massachusetts on January 3rd, I got to check out one of its newest ones- the Stone Corral Brewery! 
The Stone Corral is a micro brewery that originated on a family horse ranch in Huntington, Vermont before moving to its current tap room in Richmond.They utilize local, seasonal flavors and their beers have roots in Germany, Belgium, and Britain. In 2014, they competed against 710 global breweries and cideries in the Great International Beer & Cider Competition and their 'Black Beer' won them first place for Dark Lagers: Bock-Schwarzbier-Other; their 'Latigo' awarded them second for English-Style Bitter/Scottish-Style Ale; and their 'Illusive Traveler' earned second for Fruit and Spice Ale. 

I ordered a fight of all their beers. 
My favorite beer was their Kölsch- a German pale lager. 
The best snack to munch on! 
I love the Southwestern vibes the Stone Corral has.  
I find the Vermont pace of life to be soothing for the soul. 
I'm not a resolution person, but in 2016, I want to make this quote my mantra. 

The Stone Corral Brewery 
83 Huntington Road 
Richmond, Vermont 05477 

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Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, lovely readers! 

January started with a walk through Red Rocks with my boyfriend, his mother, and friends. You can read my first blog post about Red Rocks here:

What made this recent passage through Red Rocks different than the one I took back in early December was the blanket of snow. It was fun watching  groups of kids and my boyfriend and his friends throw snowballs at one another; you're never too old for that! 

My boyfriend's mom told me that January 1st was the first day since Christmas there wasn't a cloudy overcast burying Red Rocks and when she said that I couldn't help but smile and think of that as some kind of metaphor for the new year.

Though I am excited for it, 2016 will probably be the most unpredictable and anxious year of my life since I am graduating from college in May. It's important to accept the true realities when I'm on deck for a major lifestyle change, but it's also a necessity I stay hopeful everything will work out on its own just as the murk eventually broke its' spell, unveiling sunshine that looked like heaven had aligned it.

It's easy this time of the year for our heads to get misty, but if you ever need a prescription for a clear head, I'd suggest going on walk with some good company. Also, snowball fights aren't a bad idea either. 

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