August 29, 2014

10 Things To Do In New York City In September

New York, March 2014

Although I did come to New York to study––and by now I've figured out that I will definitely need to spend a long time in the library every day––I would also like to take some time to explore the city and all the wonderful things it has to offer. One of my favourite things about New York is that there is always something going on. And although this might seem a little overwhelming to some, I couldn't live without it.

Just as August is coming to an end, I decided to sum up some of the best things to do in September in New York. Hopefully they'll help if you're planning on visiting, but also if you're a well-established New Yorker!


As the fashion lover I am, New York Fashion Week has got to be my number 1 event to attend next month –even though this list is not supposed to have an order. It takes place from September 4 to 9, and even if I'm not officially attending any of the events, just getting to see all the people in the fashion sphere hanging out around Lincoln Center is a great thing to do.

2. Feast of San Gennaro

This is a wonderful Italian tradition that takes place every year in New York –Little Italy, to be more precise– there this Saint, patron of Naples, is celebrated. Even though the feast is originated in a religious reason, there's a lot to do during September 11–21, when it takes place. My favourite activities are definitely eating Italian food in Little Italy and listening to some of the music performances. There are also processions and carnival games.


This is a 3-day "celebration of art" that will take place in Brooklyn during the weekend of September 26-28. It displays the work of all sorts of artists, including gallery exhibitions and video projections, and a wide variety of projects.


This exposition is held at the Museum at FIT, and is intended to trace the history and developments of lingerie from the 18th century onwards. One of the most interesting things about it is exploring how lingerie has changed according to the ideals of beauty and of what appropriate dress is in a particular moment in time.

This is basically a parody musical on Anna Wintour and how, for the first time, her decisions started being questioned when she decided to have Kim Kardashian and Kanye West on the cover of Vogue USA. It will be showing on September 5 and 12.


Another exhibition at the Museum at FIT. This one will launch on September 13 and will be exposed until January 13. It is intended to explore the different relationships existing between dance––from classical ballet to orientalism––and fashion, based on the idea that both of these are embodied forms of art.



This exposition is held at the Whitney Museum until October 29. 


This book intends to explore the way in which New York and Broadway saved Coco Chanel –as a designer– after her retirement of the fashion industry during the Second World War. It will take place on September 30, and there's only a limited amount of available spots.


This exhibition is a retrospective of Robert Heinecken's work since his death in 2006. This artist, who helped to create the program of photography at UCLA, described himself as a para-photographer because of his continuous explorations beyond the traditional notions of the medium. The exposition will be showing at the MoMA until September 7.


This exhibition is a retrospective of 25 years of the work of Garry Winogrand, one of the most important photographers of New York and the social like of the city during the 1950s through to the 1980s.

Love,

Photography: Laura Beltran-Rubio

August 18, 2014

Empire State Of Mind

New York, March 2014

So I finally made it to New York. New York! I've been dreaming of this for so long, that I wouldn't be able to tell you exactly when it all started. But here I am, freshly landed, with my two bags––that are just about to explode––and a heart full of unimaginable dreams.

It hasn't been an easy process, and I don't think it will start becoming easier soon. As one of my friends recently told me: to make your dreams come true, you have to work very hard. But that's definitely a risk I'm willing to take. If I hadn't taken some risks and worked hard from the beginning, I probably wouldn't be here, in my temporary Upper West Side home, writing about finally living in New York.

And although it was my hard work on college––very relevant here because I'm a grad student now––and all the enthusiasm I put in my application to both school and my scholarship program that brought me here, there are also some small things that I'm pretty sure helped a lot.

I would say the most important one was having in mind what I wanted to do from the beginning. I realised today when I went shopping for an agenda for the semester how picky I am with such a small thing. I spent hours searching and visited more than one place to actually find one that screamed my name when I saw it.

And this whole process made me remember it was exactly the same last year. I was starting my last year in college, and the only agenda that seemed to satisfy my needs––which I guess go far beyond writing my homework and to-do lists––was one of New York. And I realised that seeing New York –and having it metaphorically in my hands– every day made me understand how important it was to me to make the move.

Then came the applications and all that stuff. But I'm absolutely certain that the most important part was to understand what I wanted and just go for it, no matter if people around me thought I was crazy or wrong. I had faith in making my dreams come true and moving to New York. And faith ––as I recently read––by nature, is persistent. Persistence, by nature, is single-minded. Single-mindedness, by nature, achieves the end it seeks.

Now that I achieved my first objective––getting to New York––I have to start following the next. It is now my responsibility to show myself what I'm capable of and start making all of my wildest dreams come true. The first one would be finding the perfect home. And then comes finding the perfect research position. I'll keep you updated on how that goes.

Love,

Photography: Laura Beltran-Rubio

August 9, 2014

Travel Diaries: Cartagena Day 6

Our second to last day in Cartagena was spent, naturally, by the pool. The weather wasn't so hot, so we could tolerate the heat for longer than usual. We also decided to have lunch at the hotel, because the restaurant used to be good. Not that it isn't anymore––the food was actually tasty––but I was really disappointed when I ordered seafood pasta and only received two shrimps...

Cartagena

Cartagena

We had a colourful visitor during lunch––Mateo, the toucan––who had no second thoughts on stealing a bite of my sister's avocado.

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

After lunch, we went back to the pool for a while. We then went for a short walk around town, and paused several times for food. We first had some typical fried dishes from the region––no photos, but they probably wouldn't look yummy anyway––and then stopped further away for ice cream.

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Love,

Photography: Laura Beltran-Rubio

August 8, 2014

Travel Diaries: Cartagena Day 5

Cartagena

Cartagena

Although I've been pretty much doing nothing this week, day 5 was definitely the laziest day so far. I didn't even leave the hotel to find a restaurant for lunch. Instead, I ordered a hamburger and ate it by the poolside. And to be honest, after all the rush applying to grad school and getting everything solved so I can move to New York, after working very hard on a research project with one of my college professors, and after spending a super hectic week in Miami, I think I really needed a pause. And this is what Cartagena has been to me.

It has also be a time to re-connect with my roots, right before leaving the country. I haven't stopped thinking of those wonderful summers spent here during my childhood, of how I dreamed of getting married here, of eating fried goodies until my stomach couldn't bare it any more... Of loving every single thing about the town where I was born, and sometimes even fighting with my parents for having left before I was old enough to actually seem to be a native from Cartagena. And even if I probably will never live here, at least now I know that it's a place where I will always come back and experience the magic of all the history that this place holds.

Love,

Photography: Laura Beltran-Rubio

August 7, 2014

Travel Diaries: Cartagena Day 4

Day 4 in Cartagena was all about the food. I had a meeting in the early afternoon––nope, apparently I can't stop working even for a full week––so we decided to try any restaurant we could find close to the hotel. And it happened to be La Cocina de Cartagena, which is only a couple of blocks away.

Although I've grown up and now eat fish––I would starve before eating fish when I was a child (except for Mojarra frita, of course)––I sort of wanted something different. I started with patacones––my favourite––and then wanted to get a posta negra cartagenera, which is a typical beef dish from the region. Unfortunately they didn't have it available, so I ended up having another dish with meat, prepared with sauteed vegetables, and accompanied by mashed plantain, yuca and ├▒ame––all three typical from the region.

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

My sister and dad both chose to have fish, which looked absolutely delicious––although I didn't really try them.

Cartagena

Cartagena

I then had my meeting, and we went out walking around the centre after the sun set.

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

We then went to Mila, which is probably my favourite patisserie in Cartagena, where we overdosed in sugar. I also had a traditional, handmade coffee, which is just amazingly aromatic because it's prepared right before you drink it.

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Cartagena

Love,

Photography: Laura Beltran-Rubio