Not Going to Prom? NBD.

My friends and I are going to be ditching prom. I’m not really a big fan of prom. I’ll admit, I’ve thought about my wedding a few times since I was young, but, prom has never been a big deal for me. Isn’t prom about spending time with friends before leaving to go our separate ways for college? That’s what we’re doing. Instead of worrying about finding the perfect dress and shoes, we’ll be worrying about the price of dinner at a nice Korean restaurant (TBD, lol). Anyway, if you don’t want to go to prom, that’s fine.

These are a few prom alternatives you can partake in instead.

1. Go to an Amusement Park

2. Hit an Arcade

3. Restaurant Hop!

4. Go Karaoke

5. Take a Road Trip

 

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Chelsea Market Tour Guide

The Chelsea Market is located at 95 9th Avenue in the Meatpacking District just around the corner from LAB.  It’s a whole city block long and wide and is a great indoor food hall with lots of different types of foods to choose from so you can never go hungry.   It also has some pop up clothing stores and is home to offices and radio stations upstairs. It’s a lot of fun when the food stores put out samples from their cuisine so you can taste whatever you want.  Some of my favorite places to go to in the Market are Amy’s Breads for some awesome tasting bread and desserts, Creamline for creamy delicious ice cream and shakes and Doughnuttery which has delicious warm donuts which they make in front of you through out the day.  Add some powdered sugar and you’re all set for a great donut.  Eleni’s has great cupcakes and cookies and The Lobster Place has great lobster’s made to order and steamed right in front of you.  

The Chelsea Market has a lot of history.  It started many years ago as the National Biscuit Company and Factory but is now reclaimed as the Chelsea Market.  The Market has an old yet funky feel to it both outside and inside but the stores give it a modern touch.  Hurricane Sandy did major damage inside Chelsea Market so much of it was closed for quite a while.  It was since rebuilt and is now booming more than ever.  The Chelsea Market is a heavily trafficked place so it’s often hard to move from one store to the next so I recommend coming early.  These are just a few of my favorite pics but visit the Chelsea Market and find what you like, you won’t be disappointed. 

My weekend in brunch

Each weekend at least one out of the two days my mom, my brother, and I try to get out of the house by 10 to go to brunch. Brunch is by far my favorite meal of the day. I can eat ramen for dinner and chicken nuggets for lunch as long as I have a good brunch. (Not that ramen and chicken nuggets can’t taste good too.) This weekend (no different from other weekend) I had two delicious brunch meals.

On good Friday my mom and I woke up kind of late since I had stayed out Thursday night with some of my friends. It was a nice morning (despite the ten minutes of pouring) so our priority was sitting outside to enjoy some sun and our food. We decided on The Butcher’s daughter which is just a few blocks from my house and has nice outdoor seating. We got seated at around 11:15 which is a substantial amount later than usual. When we got out menus I was disappointed at first when I saw they weren’t serving brunch anymore but lunch. We order the tacos and the herbed egg salad on toast. Both dishes succeeded my standards. The tacos were lettuce wraps instead of flour of corn tortillas and it was filled with flavorful sautéed mushrooms, cabbage, avocado, and some kind of crema. The egg salad was really good too. The eggs had thyme, fennel seed, chive, cucumber and arugula. The salad was on a simple whole wheat pullman bread which was perfectly toasted.

On Saturday my mom and I got out a little earlier. It was chilly and windy and we were craving something warm and hearty. We ended of at one of our favorites near the heart of soho: Cafe Habana. This small cuban restaurant hits the spot weather you go for brunch for eggs or lunch for their well known cubana.

Election 2016

Tomorrow is my 18th birthday. In New York state the driving age is 16. The age to legally purchase tobacco and alcohol is 21. The only advantage to turning 18 is the right to vote.

An overwhelming amount of my friends that are turning 18 this year (or before the general election in November) have expressed to me that they aren’t planning on voting. One of my friends said that they “don’t know who they would vote for” and another one of my friends say that they “don’t want to waste their time.” In my opinion, there is no reason not to vote. However those two excuses that my friends made are the worst and couldn’t have frustrated me more. If you don’t know who you would vote for because you don’t know enough about the candidates then an easy thing to do would be to watch a debate or the news or read some articles. Educate yourself! And for the friend who said they didn’t want to waste their time: I’m sure you’ve spend an hour of your life doing much more meaningless things. I don’t know if it’s my generation or just the time period that we are in but to me I can’t see a way that I wouldn’t be interested and excited to vote and have at least some what of a say in my country. I get that some people may feel that their one vote doesn’t count, but what if everyone said that their “one vote doesn’t count,” then what would happen? I get that there are delegates and and the electoral college but to me having the right to vote outweighs all of that.

One of my favorite restaurants in K-Town (Koreatown) is “Her Name is Han.” The prices are really reasonable and the food is amazing. It helps to have a reservation as the line is sometimes long but they usually seat you pretty quickly. The restaurant looks small from the exterior but it’s actually pretty big and the vintage furniture sets it apart from other Korean restaurants. I usually get the noodle set ($10) and pork belly ($6). The service is also really good here and the wait is definitely worth it.

Summer Abroad

Last summer I went on a service trip to Costa Rica, which I have written about before. Now I’m ready to go even farther all the way to Fiji for two weeks this summer. It’ll be an entirely new experience because this year I’ll get to stay with a host family for a week and be completely consumed by the Fijian culture. My favorite thing to do is explore new cultures because I get so bored with how our society is most of the time. I can’t wait to wear their traditional clothing and eat their delicacies. I also can’t wait to hop from island to island of the beautiful country to see all it has to offer from up in the sky to down below the surface in the coral reefs.

Part of me is worried because I have such an idealistic remembrance of Costa Rica and I don’t want it to affect that by going to a new place with new people. But I also have to get out of my comfort zone a little and see where it takes me.

Spanglish

Two-thousand fifteen was the year of Spanglish. Spanglish is a club where we share aspects of Hispanic/Latino culture with the school community. I run Spanglish along with my friend Daisy Rodriguez. One day, after an Asian Culture Club assembly, Daisy and I were sparked with the idea of a club that provides people with knowledge on Spanish speaking cultures. The beginning of junior year we put our plans into action. We became part of the Future Project which is a program where Dream Director’s challenge students to create ambitious projects like clubs, campaigns, companies, and much more. We challenged ourselves to create a memorable event. The  event was set for June 3rd, 2015. The days began to go by quickly and everything seemed to feel impossible. We wanted to have a carnival themed event. Full of music, games, dances, food, and fun. With all this in check we were looking at a really expensive budget. It was hard to keep our discouraged faces from our club members who were extremely excited about everything. Until they proved to us that even though Daisy and I were the leaders, we did not have to handle everything on our own.

The experience I am most proud of is the community that was built through the process. Every single member and teacher put their best self into making the day a success.  For this event to have an impact on all of the students, we looked for support from the Hispanic community. We reached out to important corporations that involve themselves with the Hispanic community in New York City. We reached out to parents and faculty. I was so proud to know that there were people out there with the same goals as us that faithfully believed in us.  The reason we chose this project, and devoted so much time towards it is because NYC Lab School contains five percent of Hispanics/Latinos in its population. Students learn the Spanish language but do not go deep into country’s arts, beauty, history, and traditions. As young Hispanic we have to make sure our roots do not continue to go without recognition. We have to make sure our roots do not die out.

This project truly showed me what it means to be a leader and advocate for a group of people. After experiencing the first annual Spanglish event  I am really devoted to the Hispanic community. I realized I care a lot about keeping the culture alive and expressing our riches. It has increased my desire in being involved and enrichened my cultural awareness. Spanglish has opened so many doors for me, and I am so grateful for every single person who was involved.

The Legendary Kraken Punch

The equipment on squid puncher varies between the type of Squid Puncher, but normally, their kits contain: a pair of leather gloves, a custom Kevlar suit (used to protect the user and absorb all of the impact of an attack), a hydro pack (used to split h2o and allows the user to breath under water), a water walker and a handy jar of pure lemon juice to detoxify and clear any squid ink. This lemon juice solved our ink tornado problem. We knew that we were going to face a boss squid, so in our preparation, we brought a “tank” of lemon juice (it is a large container that launches the lemon juice). We shot the lemon juice at the center of the tornado and the tornado imploded. Then, we attacked the surprised Kraken. This was the first significant damage we did.

It was then, the Kraken started to escape. The Kraken submerged himself under the water and disappeared. We saw this and decided to chase after it, we needed to stop it from causing any future damage. We took our hydro packs and dived in after it. Under the water, the Kraken is considerably stronger; however the water resistance slowed it’s attack and we dodged and avoided the attacks of the Kraken. We saw holes in the Kraken’s defenses and punched the Kraken. We chased and attacked for, maybe 2 hours and finally the Kraken reemerged from the water. We were in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle; although, this was not the only surprise, there was also 6 other Krakens. This explained why sailors all around the world, were attacked by Krakens, there was more than one. We had train our whole life on fighting squids and here was the greatest test. Each one of us took on one Kraken and I took on the already damaged Kraken.

I started with a long ranged Hurricane Punch, testing the Kraken’s state. It was tired, but ready to fight. I shot another Hurricane Punch and jumped at the Kraken, attacking with the Jab. The Kraken blocked both and tried to catch me in mid air, but I dodged it. Next, I did the same combination of punches again and dodged it again. I jumped again and this time the Kraken came at me and attacked first. This was it’s mistake. I did a Fishing Claw attack and countered it’s attack. The Kraken flew back, and I followed it. I attacked with a Jab, then a Twist Punch and backed off. The Kraken was slowing down. This time, I went in and attacked with a pistol punch, after dodging the Kraken’s attempt to stop me. I stunned the Kraken, then attacked with a close ranged Hurricane Punch. I backed off again. The Kraken engulfed in raged rushed at me, for massive attack, but I manged to block most of the attack and countered with a Sky-Uppercut. The Kraken flew up in to the sky and landed on a island. I rushed over there and saw that the Kraken was sitting there, surrendering. I had finally won. I walked over to capture the Kraken, but it had been a ruse. The Kraken landed a large blow and I got knocked into the water. I fell into a dream-like state. I remember, remembering a story about a boy, who was falling, the same way like I was. He landed and chose his path by picking a key that opened the door to his fate. His fate was full of evils and chaos, but he defeated it all.

I opened my eyes. I saw my hydro pack, just above me and grabbed to regain my breath. I decided to open my fate as well and charged back up to the surface. The Kraken had slip back into the water and started to spin a storm. It saw where I had risen and threw the storm at me. I stood up high and remembered. I remembered, all the training I had, all the friendships I made and lost, all of the squids I punched. I remembered it all and saw what I needed to do. I jumped up high and grabbed the eye of the storm. I was surprised how easy it was to control the storm. I grabbed the storm and dived into the Kraken. The storm punch grabbed the water from around and added to my attack. The punch must have looked amazing, but all I saw was the Kraken. I punched the Kraken and defeated it.

This is the legendary Kraken Punch.

-Justin

“Flight Log: Departure” GOT7 [Fly]

GOT7 is a South Korean boy band under one of the largest entertainment companies of South Korea, JYP. They first debuted in 2014 with their song, “Girls Girls Girls.” They also had three other music videos: “A,” “Stop Stop It (하지하지마),” and “If You Do (니가 하면).” They have seven members: JB, Junior, Mark, Jackson, BamBam, Youngjae, and Yugyeom.

GOT7 made a comeback this year with their new music video, “Fly,” from their album “Flight Log: Departure.” If you like rap, dance, or pop, you might like this music video (that is if you’re not afraid of listening to foreign music like Korean). This music video starts off in English with lyrics: “Oh ohh I wanna fly baby fly with you.” When you read the translated lyrics, you’ll notice the music is about wanting to be with someone and the idea of wanting to flying away with that someone.

One thing I noticed about this music has a lot of rap in it. Usually these type of songs don’t have lots of rapping and it usually accentuates the vocals. However, this song was special in the fact that there is more rap than singing, which I actually found really nice because it fit so well. The only problem about this song is that I can’t really sing to it because I can’t rap (especially in Korean). Oh the torture! I have a love hate relationship with this song because this. Another thing I really like about this music video is that the dance is just amazing. I love the way the members all dance synchronized and perfectly on beat.

I heard that some people are confused by the music video because of the end. In the parts of the music video where they weren’t dancing, I noticed that Junior was at the top of the building and then he slowly fell down the building. As he falls through the sky, he sees all his close friends (the other band members) that he knows and they are all flying and falling with him. Then at the end, Junior wakes up. Some people think he was dead. Others think he woke up in the hospital. From what I could see, everything was a dream because in the lyrics he says:

“Aye, are you happy? I’m happy yeah
Every morning when I open my eyes, it feels like a dream
It feels like the dazzling sun is shining for me
Again today, without fail, my day starts with you
Do you sleep well at night?
Sometimes, I can’t believe my reality so I wake up
You know what I mean? Sometimes I was afraid
It was such a crazy journey but now I’m back in your arms”

The lyrics seem to mention the idea of reality and dream. So as a conjecture, I believe that Junior was waking up from a dream where he was flying away with everyone that he loves. Though the message was slightly unclear, I think it makes sense after actually understanding the lyrics.