Life and City

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  • Pula, Croatia

    Continuing with the notion of travelling to lesser-known destinations, recently I took a short vacation to the coastal city of Pula in Northern Croatia. Leaving the grey cloud spell that has bogged Paris for the past week for the sun-laced Adriatic Sea town was the perfect escape. The infinite blue, cloudless skies and thirty degree weather was the exact welcoming that I had hoped for. The genuine hospitality of the locals and the small-town feel of the Pula immediately made me feel relaxed and as if I was able to truly enjoy my surroundings. According to Lana Del Rey’s new single “West Coast,” she claims that “[d]own on the West Coast they got a sayin’
    “If you’re not drinkin’ then you’re not playin’.” However, seeing as though Lana Del Rey is not from the West Coast, she would know that we have no such saying and secondly, if we were to have a saying, it would be in reference to the actual coast.

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    Off the Travelled Path

    In the famous poem by Robert Frost, “A Road Not Taken,” the speaker takes “the one less travelled by, [which]… made all the difference.” This same philosophy, if you will, is the key to experiencing some of the most memorable and authentic travel souvenirs. While it is important to travel to important cities, which hold many of the world’s most impressive landmarks such has Paris, Barcelona, Beijing, any capital or major city for that matter being. However, many of these cities have been plagued with tourist traps offering “authentic experiences.” It does not take much to comprehend that many of these cities are fuelled by the wave of travellers wanting to experience a new culture, yet still wanting to stay in the comforts of either their own language or in that of other travellers. While it maybe easy to fall into these “tourist traps,” the experience can leave you feeling some what cheated. Living in one of these major tourist destination spots, I am surrounded by trinket shops and restaurants promising an authentic meal, yet there seems to be a key element missing in making it a true “authentic” experience; the locals.

     

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    Words, Words, Words

    You can manipulate words and sentences to evoke and provoke a certain reaction and outcome. That’s the magic of words, whether vocalized or written, words hold power that is unsuppressed. They can lead us down journeys of love, imagination, and most of the time confusion. From a young age, we are thought to analyze words. To understand what the author is saying, what message they are trying to convey through an artistry of carefully selected nouns, verbs and adjectives. As we get older, these skills are taken from classrooms and applied to daily scenarios. It seems as if though we spend most of our time deciphering the true meaning behind each conversation, tweet, or status. Becoming our own, or other’s Sherlock Holmes, we hold the evidence of each character as testimony of the person’s intentions.

     

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    Mango and Avocado Salad

    Noticing the freshly sprung green leaves today on my walk along the Seine with a friend of mine, Paris is truly spring-ing to life. The warm temperatures and sunny skies are enough to lift anyone’s spirits.  As Parisians are slowly starting to strip away the winter layers of dark clothing and embracing the lightness, there is new inspiration in the air. This inspiration also transpires to the kitchen. The fruit markets are stocked with beautiful, fresh produce. From crisp asparagus to deep red strawberries, the bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables makes you want to stock up your pantry and fridge. With all the windows letting in the sunny breeze, it is the perfect time to start getting creative with salads. Salads are a great dish on their own, especially when cooking for one, yet they also add life to any other creation. For today’s salad inspiration, we are taking notes from the brightness of the weather with this delicious and nutritious mango and avocado salad.

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    Weighty Questions

    Moving and living abroad you are often faced with questions that you don’t really know how to answer. A relatively simply put question such as “do you like your new city?” holds a lot of weight, that a direct answer doesn’t seem fitting or fair. So, when people ask me “do you like living in Paris?” I know that in general people want to hear a short answer in response to their straight-forward question, however it is not allows so easy to explain sentiments in regards to a city. In short, yes, I do love living in Paris. I mean all I have to do is step outside of my apartment and I am surrounded by an abundance of history, culture and everything else that this city has to offer. The found familiarity of Parisian streets and views along the Seine has allowed me to create a sense of belonging in what seems like a fury of scooters and hordes of people. 

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    Spring is here

    Spring has truly arrived in Paris, the sun is warm and the trees are beginning to bloom. It was a picturesque first day of spring, with a cloudless sky and a warm breeze; there is a renaissance in the Parisian streets. Cafés fill the sidewalks with people enjoying an espresso or a glass of wine, just like the blossoming cherry trees, there is rejuvenation on the streets of Paris. To celebrate both the warm weather and the first day of spring, I went to my favourite place: Île Saint-Louis. A true haven in the city, this little island in the middle of La Seine is the epitome of what Paris means to me.

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    Le Petit Lyon

    There is nothing more comforting then hearing “Papa, on a le poisson?” in a restaurant when ordering. Turns out they did not have the fish special that day, but that hardly mattered as the rest of the menu looked equally appetizing. Family-run restaurants transport you to a place of familiarity within your own home and evoke a sense of warmth that is often found in restaurants where the owner has lost their relationship with their food and customers. While going out for spectacular meals and where the service and meals create an illusion to make you feel special, some of the most memorable, and delicious meals are those served from the heart. When cooking for family and friends, we always put in the extra effort behind our cooking to symbolize our love. This love for cooking and entertaining was felt in this little restaurant in the 9th arrondissement called “le Petit Lyon.” 

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    Allies

    Through my International Relations courses, I have learned that relationships are not too different. Especially when it comes to theories on allies. When starting a new relationship there are many situations that we cannot control as much as we would like to, namely the actions and feelings of others. Any beginning to a relationship is filled with waves of inexplicable happiness, with underlying doubt. Just like in International Relations, states in allied relationships are in a constant dilemma between a fear of entrapment and of abandonment. How can we be sure that we are not entering a relationship that in the end will hurt us? How do we know that we won’t be trapped in a situation we did not sign up for or to be left to our own devices? I suppose that is all part of the game. As much as we’d like to be honest with each other, we cannot always control our passions when unavoidably become emotionally vulnerable.

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    Designer Showcase: GlassCeiling

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    Vancouver, Canada based GlassCeiling jewellery is designed and created by Rachel McRory. Drawing inspiration from beach glass and antique china, her goal is to “breathe new life into these items by creating beautiful, quality jewellery” from otherwise discarded pieces. Her line of necklaces, bracelets and other types of jewellery are a reflection of her home and travels. Collecting materials from the West Coast, as well as Mexico, Atlantic Canada, Spain and England, each piece has it’s own unique story. Much like the antique china that Rachel uses, each individual piece of jewellery has a history that is being repurposed into feminine and standout pieces. GlassCeiling jewellery is a great way to dress up any outfit and is sure to start a conversation.

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    Soy Ahi Tuna and Bok Choy

    At a recent dinner party with some of my close friends in Paris, I had a dish that reminded me of my trip to Laguna Beach last May. We were served a beautiful seared Ahi tuna along side a quinoa salad. The dish that I had in this little Laguna Beach restaurant was served with a soy glaze along some greens. The meaty rare fish made me reminisce about the warm Californian evenings and walking along the West Coast beach late into the evening. Now every time I have seared tuna, I cannot help but crave the California sea breeze. Ahi tuna is unlike any other fish; the stunning and flavourful fish is both satisfying and healthy. Best of all it does not require much cooking time, is sure to leave yourself and your dinner guests happy and well fed. Here is my version of the Laguna Beach inspired Ahi tuna with bok choy and a gluten-free soy glaze. 

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