My friends and I took a road trip to Atlanta, Georgia to explore Emory University. While exploring the city by the directions of a friend and resident of the city, we stopped by Ponce Market and the Beltline.
Ponce Market is a mall style food court with small little shops outside. The cuisines range form Mediterranean to Hispanic to American with a small wine shop camouflaged among the restaurants.
The Beltline has 22 miles of pedestrian friendly transit and even though my friends and I only walked two of those miles we saw a lot of different kinds of people running, jogging, walking their dogs, taking part in a pub crawl dressed up in funny Christmas costumes.
Ponce Market and the neighboring Beltline offer a unique ambience in central Atlanta.
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Source: Making mEMORYs
Though this has been a very busy summer, it has also been kind of uneventful. By uneventful I mean not many fun adventures with friends, like every teenagers wishes their summer would be.
SIDE NOTE: Other than eventful in my own personal life, Thursday was also a very eventful day for the world. The Dallas shooting left five police officers dead and seven injured after a peaceful protest following the deaths of two black men at the hands of police officers. This impacted more than just the United States, but the world. People everywhere are responding with positive thoughts for those that feel oppressed and celebrities are pressuring law makers to finally make a move in the right direction. The events on Thursday shifted the conversation a little bit away from police brutality to overall violence. Three (very impacting, for the whole country) shootings in such short time span should not become the norm.
This past Thursday my friends and I decided to make some memories and headed out to the Perez Art Museum Miami. There we saw Doris Salcedo’s exhibit and even took part in a hands-on activity (mostly for children aged 5 – 10), sewing our very own depiction of the horrors of the world.
After a nice photo session in the perfectly lighting that provided that cloudless day, we headed to Pincho Factory. Maria saw an advertisement for their ‘Toston Burger’ and that opened everyone’s appetite so much we had to go try it out. Final verdict: it was good I was extremely full and still wanted to eat another one. Oh, that and the ranch sauce, cheese, and bacon topped fries we had.
Then onto some shopping at Pembroke Lakes mall. As part of a quite uneventful summer I have planned quite an event to attend – a wedding. The mall was not just strictly shopping though. It would not be any kind of exaggeration if I were to say that Maria, Stephanie and I played with makeup for about a whole hour at the Macy’s makeup counter.
It was a fun day filled with laughs and photos and good memories.
By the way, don’t you just love the alliteration in that title?
I’ve been fortunate enough to – for the third time this year – go to Washington D.C, our nation’s capital. This time it was with two non-profit organizations, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and the Close Up foundation.
These two organizations gathered 70 Hispanic high school students all sponsored by State Farm, Ford, Southwest Airlines, Macy’s and took them to D.C to learn about the legislative process and hear stories about successful Hispanics who literally started from the bottom.
This past week was nothing like i expected. I met and befriended people who I never thought i’d click with. My peers and I spoke the same language, Spanish, but somehow we still managed to confuse each other. I heard accents from here and there. I listened to the stories of the students who have been deported but found a way back, the stories of not being able to pay for college because Dreamers can’t obtain any form of financial aid.
IT’S MY BIRTHDAY WEEKEND!!!
Finally the big 16! or is that just another random number in the whole scheme of things?
Even though my birthday is on Monday, March 9th, and it’s a Monday, and I’ve have to take a chemistry test, it doesn’t completely suck. I did a heck of a lot of celebrating this past weekend and here is the evidence.
‘Rancho Nando’ is a Colombian restaurant in Pembroke Pines that features live music and roasted barbecue. It’s decorated with little ceramic houses on the walls (a signature Colombian decoration) and hammocks with the flag’s colors on the ceiling.
This past Wednesday was a day to break rules. It was also the day President Barack Obama held a town hall meeting at FIU.
Ten minutes before lunchtime, i’m researching my article for the school newspaper and find out Obama, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, MY ROLE MODEL, is coming to Miami to speak about the topic which i’m researching. In that moment of excitement and hype i took my friend Laura by the arm and ran up the stairs to Mrs. Borges’ room and told her the news.
“Yeah, you didn’t know that? He announced it like last week,” she said to me and my face dimmed like a children with no presents on Christmas morning.
Mrs. Borges and I discussed the President’s visit and when i came to notice, time had flown by. Laura and i had not time for lunch. By that time the lines would’ve already been filled and we wouldn’t have gotten time to eat inside the cafeteria and all of our struggle would’ve been for nothing. But, little innocent Laura happened to mention, “Aisha and Mirella are stopping by Chick Fil A for lunch” and the light bulb in my brain went off.
“I have my mom’s car! Do you have money? Let’s go to Chick Fil A!!” and that’s how our crazy adventure started.
We walked to the parking lot while keeping our eyes sharp for any security guards or administrative heads. Of course the first thing to happen to us is …. there’s a teacher parked in the car next to us. Anxiety starts to set in and we momentarily consider going back inside as if we had just gone outside to get something from the car. After about five minutes of freaking out we decide to go but don’t know which exit we should take. Then, five squad cars pass by.
” OHMYGOD NO I CAN’T DO THIS!!! ” Laura says to me. Let’s just go back inside she screamed as i turned on the car and started backing out of the parking spot. We’re approaching the exit and we see all five squad cars parked in front of the building that contains the main offices. Again,
“OHMYGOD NO DANIELA JUST TURN BACK LET’S NOT DO IT” Laura says over and over again but i inhale all the oxygen in the car, puff out my chest, and start driving by the squad cars (my head slightly down) as if i were an adult minding my own business.
We step out and head towards the fast food restaurant with a sigh of relief.
As we head back we’re hoping we’re not late to our strictest teacher’s class but the clock seems to think otherwise. “There’s no hope, we’re going to be late”. When we’ve already got that hanging over our heads, a security guard stops us on the way in (one that is usually sleeping might i add). He gave us the disappointed face and took his time deciding whether he would let us go without calling the Assistant Principal or not.
He gave us a chance. Said to never do it again. Laura and i agreed like the good rule followers we are and went ahead to park. Needless to say, we talked about this throughout the whole day and it was impossible to focus on the tasks ahead. First time we broke the rules and first time we got caught breaking the rules.
I am Cuban born and raised. Came to this country with barely 9 years worth of life but when you are only 15 years old that actually seems like a lot. I come from divorced parents and this country was a chance for a new start – maybe even for a “new father”.
One thing led to another and here we are are 6 years into our new start with a Colombian stepfather and an American/Cuban/Colombian little addition to the family called Joanet (a mashup of Jonny and Anet).
Colombians have these yearly traditions leading up to Christmas called Novenas and they start 9 days before Christmas Eve, that one being the last day. Us cubans don’t celebrate Christmas this way with the 9 stories and Santa Claus; we have our own centuries old tradition. Of course we celebrate Navidad on December 25th but instead of Santa we have Los Reyes Magos or as you may know them, The Three Wise Men. On January 6th, The Three Wise Men make their way around the globe (with camels and all) and deliver presents to good kids.
Since the merge of our two families we have adapted little things from both cultures like the way of speaking, music taste, the types of food we eat for dinner, and of course, traditions.
This video is my experience of novenas this year with a group of Colombian acquaintances that seems to be growing by the second. I hope you enjoy it as much as i enjoyed the food… LOTS.
P.S. this video does not reflect my views or preferences on religion.