Thursday, September 27, 2012

|soblushed| at VCU

September means back to school, right? So, what about some photos at the Virginia Commonwealth University campus? My album was asking for some photos here! eheh My lab is at the medical campus (boring!) but the Monroe Campus is so much fun... a lot of students running around, with their bikes and skates... very stylish people, nice places to hang out, the student commons,...
You may be wondering about the horns.. but is the symbol of our basketball team, GO RAMS! :)

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PS: Thank you D. for the photos ;)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Grand and marvelous Canyon

Here they are: Photos from Grand Canyon!! 
It’s 446 km long, up to 29 km wide and a depth of over 1,800 meters. It’s Grand guys! Grand Canyon is a canyon carved by the Colorado River, located in the state of Arizona. It’s a joy for all geologists, geographers and nature lovers.
Thousands of years ago, the area was inhabited by Native Americans who built settlements within the canyon and its many caves, they considered the Grand Canyon a holy place. The first European known to have viewed the Grand Canyon was García López de Cárdenas from Spain, who arrived in 1540.
I was so excited to go to Grand Canyon!! But I have to tell you that it was a long and exhaustive trip from Las Vegas to GC (It was what? 5-6h?) . The bus catched us at the hotel in Las Vegas very early in the morning… The trip started at the Hoover Dam, this large concrete structure between the states of Arizona and Nevada (the goal of this structure was to support a dam that would control floods, provide irrigation water and generate hydroelectric power). After some more hours driving, we stopped for lunch and for  the IMAX Grand Canyon movie experience (I strongly recommend it! The images from Grand Canyon are incredible and the screen is huge!!). A couple of hours more and finally!!, the Grand Canyon! I mean, I was like the donkey from Shrek asking: “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”
I really loved the tour: it was breathtaking...but I wanted mooore! Next time, I need to take the helicopter for a better view!

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Cause you're in Hollywood!

Los Angeles is the home of Hollywood, globally recognized as the epicenter of the motion picture industry, where you can find the most famous movie studios and movie stars.
In 1923, a Los Angeles real estate group unveiled a massive billboard to promote their new Hollywoodland development.  No one would guess the power of this sign a few years later!

The red line subway leave you right at the Hollywood boulevard, that is basically 10-15 blocks of souvenir stores, the Walk of Fame (it was created in 1958!), Madame Tussaud wax museum and ton of tour kiosks. Of course we took some photos of our favorite artists/stars!
I also wanted to go to Beverly Hills and all of those places that we see on tv, so we decided to do this Rockin’ Hollywood Tour! A two hour tour on a convertible van that included visiting celebrity homes, Hollywood landmarks, historical music sites and many other famous spots: Sunset Strip, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Rodeo Drive, etc. It was surreal! Our guide was a really "gossip boy" and told us tons of stories and curiosities! ahah
This is a place where magic happens, where dreams can come true.

PS: The story about Hollywood sign is very interesting, go google it! At some point, in 1973, some pranksters altered the Sign’s letters to read “Hollyweed” in advocating looser marijuana laws. ahah

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Los Ángeles

Los Angeles is the second most populous city in the United States after New York City.
Populous, but not crowded (except the interstate highway 101 that runs through the main cities from California to Washington state!).
Los Angeles is truly a melting pot where you can recognize many different cultures. Among all, the Latin culture has a greater influence... sometimes it seems like we were actually in Mexico!

However, the Japan Town was the one I loved the most! So incredibly cute and friendly! 
In Los Angeles we could also recognize a lot of places from the wonder: Los Angeles is THE place for artists, writers, filmmakers, actors, dancers and musicians. It seems that one in every six of its residents works in the creative industry! Really crazy!
However, I've got to confess: somehow, I didn’t fall in love for LA…except when I ate the best burger ever! Ahah

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Monday, September 17, 2012

California,California! Here we come!.... [Santa Monica beach]

Beach activities like beach volleyball and surfing make Santa Monica Beach a prime California beach location. 3 miles long, covering 245 acres of sand with bike and walking paths: what would you expect more?! Guys, it's just like the movies, it’s so cool! You see the pier with the famous Ferris wheel and roller coaster, the lifeguard stations, the palm trees…

However, there were some unexpected surprises: we thought we could walk to Venice beach... but Santa Monica is so long, man! We gave up! We needed to catch the bus back to hotel in downtown LA. We should have rented bikes there! Tu ru ru...

PS: It's almost impossible not to sing the California song from Phantom Planet when you are at Santa Monica beach. ahah

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Chicago surrounded by water

Chicago is not just buildings and beautiful steel bridges and ornaments. The city contacts the nature in such a way… it is (almost) surrounded by water! It lies beside the huge Lake Michigan and two rivers— the Chicago and the Calumet River. Magic! 

That's why you can also explore Chicago by water: there are some boats offering transportation in different points of the city - the watertaxis! Fun, fast and friendly!
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Monday, September 10, 2012

Soft pretzels

In the 19th century, southern German and Swiss German immigrants introduced the pretzel to North America. Many handmade pretzel bakeries populated the central Pennsylvania countryside, and the pretzel's popularity spread. Actually Pennsylvania today is the center of American pretzel production for both the hard crispy and the soft types of pretzels. Picture this: Philadelphians consume about twelve times the national average. 

Having a pretzel in a cart in NYC is a staple right? But I have to tell you that my pretzels are so much better! Some traditional pretzels, sprinkled some salt, or with some sugar and cinnamon, cheese, herbs… your choice! Delicious! Specially right after the oven.

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Chicago: the steel city

Oh Chicago! The wild steel city! Best known for being the "Windy City" but actually not being the windiest city in the United States! Well, that is another story. Chicago is the third most populous city in the United States and it was on my list of places to visit.
It seems that there are some cities like Lisbon, Chicago and San Francisco that had always pass through enormous damage and got through with it... Chicago has suffered a huge fire back in 1885 but the city rise from the flames and became becoming one of the most virtuous and glamourous city. Today, Chicago's skyline is among the world's tallest and most dense and it had the two tallest towers in USA: the Willis Tower and Trump International Hotel and Tower.

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Be strong New Orleans!

Seven years after New Orleans suffered a catastrophic flood damage from hurricane Katrina, 'rude' Isaac is now causing widespread damage too. You have probably  seen many images of New Orleans struggling with the storm; So I thought I could show you the other face.
New Orleans is such an interesting and unique city. The funny thing is I felt that this city was familiar to me; I would say that is kind of a Richmond, but fancier. It’s not like a tall and modern city like New York or Chicago. New Orleans has soul and history.
La Nouvelle-Orléans was a french colony back in 1718 and its name came from the French city of Orléans. Although the city remained under Spanish control from 1783 until 1801, Napoleon sold the territory to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
New Orleans (often called NOLA, New Orleans Lousiana) has this distinct French Creole architecture that I really like, it is the birthplace of jazz (how cool is having your lunch/dinner  with the sound of jazz?! Love it!) and it is also famous for its cuisine and its annual celebrations and festivals like Mardi Gras (Carnival).

I think the pictures show what I’m trying to explain ;) Enjoy!

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

September quote

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