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Celebrities Uncategorized

Special KIMYE* Edition: The What-How-When-and-Where

Keeping Up With the Kardashians In Real Life

Imagine it is 3 PM on a seemingly regular Friday as you are walking through 6th Avenue and you see a crowd gathered for a cause. You immediately assume there is something or someone important, well-known, to say the least. You approach the crowd, ask strangers or passers-by about the occasion only to be shown videos taken by them seconds ago. Who are on the videos? THE Ultimate Power Couple: “Kimye.” (In case you live in another universe, that stands for Kim Kardashian and Kanye West!) This visualization that seems to be so out of reach just became real for me and here is a quick recap because you know you want to hear it.

Apparently, Kim and Kanye entered a souvenir store, whose significance does not surpass that of the hundreds of similar ones that surround the city. The crowd got denser and denser as people heard who was inside and it wasn’t until I squeezed myself into the very front row that the couple got out. Once they left the shop, the crowd began to follow them, everyone yelling out their names, trying to get a selfie regardless of how cute they themselves look, one of those being me. They cross the street, surrounded by an inner circle of special bodyguards and an extensive outer layer of fans, from all ages and nationalities. There were women aged twice their ages who were fighting over who gets to take pictures as well as grown men crying out loud, driven by admiration, awe, and anxiety all at once.

What was it like to be so close to the overhyped couple, you may ask. Well, it was surreal. You think you know what they look like because you constantly see them online, I know I do, having watched over 10 seasons of their reality show, yet they are much glamorous in real life. Kim’s waist is unrealistically thin and her hips surely don’t lie whereas Kanye is Kanye with his iconic gold chain necklace and yeezy style. It was literally like entering their lives for a few minutes through a Virtual Reality machine; they were real, not distant at all, walking as human beings yet justifiably treated as superior ones.

I should add that the couple was very warm-hearted, regardless of the often-tough impression they give through their fictional identities on press. The very fact that they entered into a souvenir shop that could so understandably be overlooked by them in its purest form is valid proof of patriotism, for show or not. They not only excessively publicized the place, but also opted to immerse into the land of the general public themselves rather than escaping straight into their private cars aided by their special guards. Let it be to gain positive press for Kanye’s newest album Jesus is King or for an overall positive image for their reputation, they certainly approached the crowd with sympathy and gained back theirs.

Kim Kardashian even stopped in the middle of the street to get a picture with a traffic police and the couple was kind enough to smile in my selfies. The bodyguards, on the other hand, were overprotective, understandably so, considering the crowd’s extreme interest in and demand for them. I personally got blocked and even got hit by them when I crossed the boundaries and got a little too close to the celebrities but it was a small compromise for the experience I had, and the pictures I got! This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is one I’ll surely recall years from now and it definitely makes for another experience worth sharing on my process of Becoming a New Yorker!

Randomly coming across Kim and Kanye was definitely extreme, but there is much more to come so stay tuned💫

Until next time,

Yaprak

Categories
food

Craving Chocolate? I Got You Covered!

Wherever you are reading this from and whenever you are reading it, there is at least one commonality: a shared demand for satisfying our ‘chocolate-tooth’ and let’s face it, what better place to do so than New York?

NYC is known for its myriad alternatives for everything and desserts that specialize in a chocolate overload certainly is no exception; whatever it is your sweet tooth wants to indulge in, ‘the’ city definitely has locations to offer it. In order to make it easier for you to spot exactly where you want to go, below are three of my favorite spots for special chocolate cures. These by no means are the only options but rather the ones that I have had the pleasure of exploring thus far in my journey of Becoming A New Yorker so stay tuned for more recommendations to come!

  • Levain Bakery: A New York classic that probably enriches your Instagram search feed with convenient locations at 167 W 74th St and 1484 Third Ave, Levain is accessible enough to satisfy your most insatiable cravings, yet distant enough to not become a daily habit that will eventually destroy your health. When you get an ideal dose of Levain products in your life, your routine surely will get more exciting and your seratonin levels will immediately skyrocket.           fullsizeoutput_3ed.jpeg                               (@Levain Bakery, NYC)

What Should You Eat?

Whether you are a cookie monster or just an outsider to the concept, you MUST try out Levain’s prominent cookies which come in 4 options including but not limited to Chocolate Chip Walnut and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip flavors, the latter being my absolute favorite. The names may sound rather ordinary but I promise the taste is by no means close to ‘ordinary.’

Another amazing item in their menu is their blueberry muffin which can be paired to perfection with an Iced latte for breakfast!

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  • Blue Stripes Cacao Shop: A less popular dessert spot that bears great potential of becoming a true cholate lover’s best friend. Conveniently located at 28 E 13th St both for Parsons and NYU students, this coffe-shop exteriored chocolate-everything provider is attractive mainly for the wide and creative selection of products it offers.

What Should You Eat/ Drink?

Unlike me, you might want to switch your regular choice of Iced Americano because Blue Stripes offers Chocolate Clouds which happen to be drinkable chocolate mousse on tap! In case that didnt convince you already, you are given the options of ‘molten milk, Nutella foam, and ruby floral’ to choose from. If you claim to have an adventurous personality and are up for a challenge, their menu has weird items ranging from Cacoa Froot Beer to Spinach Bowl with Cacao Fruit.

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(@Blue Stripes, NYC)

If you are just up for a fulfilling chocolate indulgence, however, I strongly recommend their ‘Famous Chocolate Pizza’ or ‘Build Your Own Turtle Kreamz’ option where you choose a base of soft serve chocolate ganache or vanilla bean and add toppings including but not limited to chocolate shells, salted caramel, berries, and honey peanuts. They have a lot to offer so you are encouraged to check it out in person.

  • Max Brenner: No matter how intense your chocolate cravings get, Max Brenner, located at 841 Broadway is where you are guarenteed to find a solution. This dessert spot doubles as an actual restaurant so you might want to reserve a table in advance to avoid any waiting durations. *Disclaimer: Their portions are giant and desserts are not the slightest bit of healthy so make sure this addictive location doesn’t become more than a rare cause for treating yourself.*

What Should You Eat?

Now, to the fun part, my favorite menu item is the Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet topped with vanilla ice cream. Their signature items include sweet pizza options such as Cookies and Cream, Brownie, and Peanut Butter, with toppings like toasted marshmellows. You can also opt for their ‘Chocolate Mess to Share’ which is a chocolate-y surprise for those who want an unordinary and exciting treat. For classic advocates, my recommendation would either be the ‘Chocolate Fondue for Two’ or the Belgian Waffle which is tied with the ‘Banana Praline Crepes.’ Pro Hack: Be extra and order a chocolate syringe which will completely change your perspective towards vaccination.

I hope these chocolate-intensive dessert shop recommendations will help resolve your next sweet tooth craving! More advice is yet to come as I continue my process of Becoming A New Yorker:)

Until then, stay happy and enjoy chocolate!

Best, Yaprak

Categories
Uncategorized

Six Flags Great Adventure: To Fright Fest OR Not To Fright Fest

As the fall season began to unfold, my roommate went apple picking with her parents along with other American fall festivities, and Six Flags opened its Fright Fest in honor of the approaching Halloween season.

(@Six Flags: Great Adventure, NJ)

Just as we were looking up for tickets for the special event held at the amusement park best known for the extremity of its next-level roller coasters, my school announced they will be taking some students to the park as an excursion and I happened to be one of the lucky few who have been selected to attend.

It is worth mentioning before diving into the experience that this was a relief because transportation could potentially be problematic since the closest property of the theme park company is located at New Jersey!

(@Six Flags: Great Adventure, NJ)

Whether you are the type of person who rides the ‘most’ terrifying roller coaster five times in a row or you go to amusement parks just for the various cheat- day food options, Six Flags already speaks highly to your demand. Fright Fest, thus takes it to an entirely different level by further intensifying the factor of horrification.

(@Six Flags: Great Adventure, NJ)

There are people dressed creepily standing at every corner imaginable or they simply pop out of nowhere, just as you are distracted by the smog that adds up to the fear created by the unknown aspect. Their job is basically to scare you, and while they cannot touch or hurt you, they are allowed to push the limits of your patience and courage.

One of them indeed chased one of my friends for a while and she was about to get a panic attack! Kids who appeared to be braver than us, on the other hand, returned the creep attempts of those who tried scaring them by mimicking their actions! Thanks to such challengers, one can enjoy the experience even just by observing the reactions of such visitors.

(@Six Flags: Great Adventure, NJ)

My friends in particular weren’t the bravest of visitors so the scariest ride we settled for was a parachute-like lift. If you are driven by adrenaline, however, opportunities are literally endless and there definitely is something to challenge your bravery!

(@Six Flags: Great Adventure, NJ)

Here are some tips I got from experience so that you can make the most out of your experience at Fright Fest: Get yourself passes for the ‘special’ haunted houses, mazes, and shows that are NOT included in your purchase of an entrance ticket.

Apparently, all the things that make Fright Fest what it is supposed to be are offered as extras. If you want to try out many rides and don’t have a fast pass, chances are high you won’t have much time left for haunted houses so pick a side. Roller coasters are always there and if you are dying to squeeze two or three rides in between mazes and other attractions, I recommend that you arrive early and manage your time wisely.

(@Six Flags: Great Adventure, NJ)

Don’t go to Six Flags and not have either a Funnel Cake or your choice of Dippin’ Dots regardless of weather conditions. The ice cream maniac I am, opted for a delicious sundae despite the cold weather but don’t mind me! When you actually get hungry, and not just feel like indulging in those for fun, opt for the classic diners with a modern twist and enjoy chicken tenders or burgers (yes, they now serve vegan patties too) with a side of original French fries. You can wait for the line at Johny Rockets as well if you are that kind of a person.

(@Six Flags: Great Adventure, NJ)

Most New Yorkers don’t have the best impression of Jersey but this daily visit is worth challenging the norm as it promises an adventure. You surely don’t need a seasonal pass since New York has way too many options to limit your adventurous spirit to a single entity but a single trip is definitely worth your time and Fright Fest is undoubtedly the best time of the year to give it a shot!

Make sure to add Fright Fest to your bucket list for this spooky season and thanks for stopping by for this entry’s edition on my process of Becoming A New Yorker.

As always, stay tuned for further experiences on the road!

Best,

Yaprak

Categories
Uncategorized

“The” Museum of Sex

Well, Hello Dear Readers!

Today’s highlight is a museum whose very name implies controversial content yet bears great potential for an exciting adventure. When my floor-mate asked me whether or not I have been to the Museum of Sex, I heard of its existence for the very first time but find myself paying it a visit by the next day!

(On our way to the museum @The Subway with my floormates)


Me and my two floormates took the subway and arrived at the museum. The entrance, I have to say, along with the overall exterior was not at all catchy or interesting. Once we got inside through the shop the entire atmosphere changed at a glimpse and the lively environment increased our expectations and intensified our excitement.  Once we purchased our tickets and received our wristbands, things began to get interesting.

(@Museum of Sex, NYC)

You walk from one room or section to the next, each having a different layout; some factual information; others, immersive experiences; visual displays; or interactive play zones. They surely did get creative on providing alternatives to incorporate the subject matter into a public entertainment system.

There are various sexual-themed games you can play inside as well as experiences you can enjoy at the comfort of your seat as various images, splashes of water, hints of air, vibrating sounds, and changing colors come together in the form of a fully immersive sensory show.

(@Museum of Sex, NYC)

It is worth noting here, however, that some of the provided experiences, including but not limited to the bouncy boob castle, the slide that leads to a butt destination, the special five senses show, and the Rodeo ride mimicry require purchasing an additional card with credits up to your choice.

There were also mirrored areas with various shapes and colors in continuous movement in between different sections and they promise a visual feast!

(@Museum of Sex, NYC)

Once we enjoyed the rides, games, and shows as well as got our daily dose of intellectual information overload through the ‘museum’ parts of the museum, we head out for dinner.

(@Museum of Sex, NYC)

If you too end up visiting the museum and get hungry afterwards, pay a visit to Bondi Restaurant located at 6 West 28th Street for an amazing sushi meal. Enjoy a selection of freshly prepared Poke bowls, handrolls, and needless to say, edamame.

On our way back to our dorm, we realized we arrived at the wrong subway station after sliding our cards for a pass but at least we didn’t end up taking the wrong train. We found the right spot soon after but as we were loading our Metro cards the train arrived and we literally had to run and squeeze through the doors as they closed. It sure was an adventure and has made for the perfect ending of such an interesting day.

Stay safe and happy until the next story worth sharing as I Become A New Yorker!

Best,

Yaprak

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Uncategorized

Why New York? Why Me?

The city. That never sleeps. The one with all the lights and all the fun; Endless cabs and harmless crazy dudes; Pink haired Gothic’s and Pierced Lolita’s. Nothing and Everything all at once. Where every day is a Saturday and limits do not exist. Where no one could care less about how you look or what you do yet where how you look and what you do sets the global trends. Where opportunities are endless and spontaneous decisions are somehow carefully implemented in schedules that operate on split seconds.

There is always something to look for, something to fight for, something to get excited for. A new shop, a new exhibit, a new restaurant, or that next gallery opening three blocks away.

The city where dirt and noise seems admirable. Where dreams come true. Where you use the subway more than you use the restroom. Where you walk for 25 kilometers without even noticing. Where you can be entertained by doing nothing and just staring at random passerby’s.

Why New York? Because opportunity. Because inspiration. Because freedom. Because having a purpose. Because working hard. Because having fun. Because you only live once.

I, Yaprak, am an 18- year-old who used to be an ordinary teenager who grew up with a vision of the American Dream. To whom New York was only a summer destination with an inflexible expiration date. A movie scene. A two-week long trip. An unreachable standard. A DREAM.

What was once my biggest aspiration is now my life. I am a proud freshman at NYU, living every second to the fullest, studying in the greatest city possible, appreciating and embracing every opportunity, pursuing every challenge and tackling every obstacle.

As I adjust to the city life not as a tourist, a temporary visitor, but rather as an embodiment of ‘Becoming a New Yorker’, I seek to share my experience with anyone who has any interest whatsoever in New York (The) City and the process of becoming an insider.

More precisely, this blog will take into account what I encounter on my daily life. What is new to me. What is unbelievably true. What I recommend and what I hate. A personal but relatable account. A genuine insight to life in New York.

Nothing too exaggerated; nothing too simple. Nothing unreachable yet nothing too ordinary. Capturing both the hidden and overhyped locations of the city. Get yourself a bucket list out of this content, broaden your horizons, either or both. 

No formality, no informality. Somewhere in between. From me to you. A shared experience— An intangibly immersive one. You will be kept posted as I explore further.

Why New York? Because no one knows what the next day, hour, or minute will bring. I invite you to join my ride of unexpected pursuits— Not just about what to do or eat but about what New York is really like. What people really do, how they really act, live, dress, speak, dance, scream, hug, drink, fight, run, work, party…

How everyone somehow goes to school or work unimaginably early in the morning and how they hit a different party every single night. How there is demand for literally anything. How you can never be unsatisfied, bored or out of options.

As opposed to the cliche, it’s not blondes who have more fun; it’s New Yorkers. And this blog is intended to share why it is like so. 

Get ready to enjoy your front-row ticket to what it is like to become a New Yorker at the comfort of your fingertips!

Sincerely, Yaprak.