Having been described as "The Single greatest thing I've ever seen gastronomically in New York City" by Mario Batali, Smorgasburg is a tasty weekend event worth fighting the crowds for. With over 100 vendors set up on Pier 5 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the imminent crowd of hungry foodies aren't just due to the fact that the venue is probably too small for this magnitude of deliciousness, but because two-thirds of the people there are just wandering around verbally exclaiming how overwhelmed they are. I too am guilty of that. However, once you decide between the falafel gyro, blackened salmon burger, or a scotch egg you can escape the crowd and find a place to enjoy your food anywhere along the waterfront.
I gravitated towards the cemita (a common street food from Puebla, Mexico) mainly because it was fairly priced at $9 for a hearty sandwich. At the time, I honestly couldn't distinguish all of what I was eating, but I could determine that it was damn good. With a little help from my friend the internet, research shows I consumed bean spread, mayo, lettuce, onions, tomato, avocado, Oaxaca cheese, chipotle, and Angus barbacoa.
Even though temperatures haven't reached summer status yet (I kid you not there were snow flurries this past Thursday), the sun was out and felt warm enough to indulge in one of the many ice cream options available. We ended up with ice cream sandwiches from The Good Batch, mine being chocolate ice cream and toffee caramel spread between two almond sugar cookies. When my family comes out to NY next year for my graduation, I'm putting this on our itinerary.
I hope I've made everyone hungry.
Recently I had a minor panic attack when NCARB announced that they were changing their IDP requirements by eliminating all of the elective hours.
I’ll break this down quickly in case anyone actually cares to understand my distress. NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards) is the organization that defines how to become a licensed architect. IDP (Intern Development Program) is what I have to go through in order to be qualified to get licensed. Up until this point in time I needed 5,600 hours of working in the field where 3,760 of them are under the wing of a licensed professional doing tasks specifically defined by the organization, and the rest are “elective” meaning still relevant but not as specific requirements under a licensed professional.
The organization just announced that this summer, 2015, they are removing all of the elective hours from their requirements. Most young architects should see this and sigh in relief – these hours were unnecessary to begin with! That’s how I saw them too until I took a position this summer doing work that would have been counted as these elective hours.
What do I do? I stop freaking out and talk to my awesome professor Demetrios. He has all the answers.
You know what else is awesome? THESE HOUSES:
I’m so pumped to be working at Method Homes this summer! All of these projects they work with an architect to produce. So Pacific Northwest. SO GREAT.
When I was talking to Demetrios, I asked him about his experience and insight towards grad school for architecture students. I know I want to get my Masters so that I can teach at a collegiate level, but I didn’t know if I should go right after my undergrad and get it out of the way, or take some time off before getting it.
Let’s get something straight; I trust basically every word this man says. We are eerily similar in so many personality and intellectual levels that I know whatever his opinions are I feel like I would be saying the same thing years from now. So when he told me to “definitely wait, it’s a mistake to go right after undergrad” my mind was made.
The thing about architecture grad school is that it’s short. It would only take a year to get a post-professional degree (Master of Science in Architecture). But, after 5 intensive years another year isn’t a beginning, it’s just extending the end. Education in our field is so draining that apparently students who go directly to grad school are just burnt out. It’s another year of senioritis. And why would you want to burn that year up? Just to have a piece of paper with some fancy words on it? (Most people tbh.) One good point was not just that fact that you, the student is exhausted, but the professor realizes this -and in the words of a professor himself, they “think you’re an idiot” for doing it.
It makes sense to take a year or two. Now I'm actually thinking of waiting until I get licensed and getting all those requirements out of the way before going back. At that point in a career you've not only hit a point where you understand the working environment and what the profession requires of you, but you have had the time to discover where your own interests lie. Going back to school at that point isn’t about learning how to design, but about how to develop a goal that drives the way you approach the field and how you use that in years to come.
While this (gestures to the content above) was considered in an architectural framework, I don’t see why it can’t be applied universally (unless you are doing research or academia – that’s a whole other can of worms.) So this is me saying, I’m going to put off grad school. I’m going to work, and understand how the world of architecture really works, and how I see myself interacting with it in a way I love. When I've reached that I can go back, get my Masters, and really develop the aspects of the profession I’ve become passionate about.
About a month ago I was talking to my friend Honora, swapping music recommendations when she stopped me and said, “Do you listen to podcasts?”
Just for reference, the majority of my schoolwork in college involves the design process and graphic representation. That means, hours upon hours of tedious detailing and messing around on various programs in which can take little to no brain power.* When I’m doing this I listen to music. And when I listen to music I usually go through artists an album at a time. And you can only listen to the same voice so many times.
Needless to say, I go through a lot of music.
So when the suggestion of podcasts came about, for the umpteenth time, I decided to roll with it. While podcasts have technically been around since 2005, they have become increasingly popular in the past few years. Honestly, it seems like every organization is producing a podcast! For whatever reason, I didn’t see the appeal in them but I said goodbye to my podcast virginity with NPRs Invisibila as suggested.
I loved it. I don’t know why I refused to acknowledge the power of the podcast until now, but I’m glad I hopped on the bandwagon. As Honora smartly put it, “it’s a different space to work from… a podcast might put you in a different creative space-I find it similar to listening to classical music.” It totally is. I find myself leaning towards listening to them when I’m working in the morning and then going back to music later in the afternoon. So far I’ve listened to all of Invisibilia and then in trying to find another series about social and cultural phenomenon I stumbled upon 99% Invisible which is run by an architect and discusses the built world. If you’re into that kind of stuff, I highly recommend both but if not there is literally a podcast covering every topic of interest. I have Welcome to Night Vale, Serial, and This American Life on my to listen list.
Are you guys into podcasts? Is that something I should try and do at least once? It seems like a fun way to create a platform for spreading information.
*For clarification; the work I do isn’t easy per say, it’s just spending time to build a visual outcome which is time-consuming. Getting to the point where I can just produce work takes thought. Unlike reading which can require undivided attention to maintaining focus.
New York City is exhausting. There is so much to do and see, and so little time to do it and half of the battle is just getting to your location. I wish I had the time to sit down and blog more, but when I do have the time to - I just want to unwind by doing nothing. But since I want to keep track of everything I've been doing, here's an extensive list:
- -Recently had to make a 2 hour trek to the Bronx to get my lifeguard certification re-certified. It wouldn't have been that bad if it wasn't at 7am on a Sunday. And then of course the 2 hour ride back.
- -A weird thing happened to me where teenage girls took pictures of me on the subway.
- -Natalie stopped by on her way back to school from her spring break and we were able to catch up, explore Brooklyn and go to some bookstores in Manhattan. Since Natalie has recently gone vegan, I also ended up eating vegan for the time she was here. One night for dinner we went to a local Ethiopian restaurant called Bunna, which was an expereince (no silverware!) but delicious nonetheless.
- -A friend had tickets to go to a "The Grand Corset Ball", an event that was a kickstarter campaign for a corset museum or collection or something. Honestly I felt like I had entered so strange cult when I walked in; one where everyone dedicates months to craft their own unique corset, and costume just for this event.
- -I also went to a Burlesque show at the Slipper Room on the lower east side. SO. GREAT. Like, classy stripping is one thing, but this show had aerialists, and a comedian, and a great bartender who liked us so much that shots just "magically" appeared in front of us.
- -Speaking of that, from now on I'll make a point to befriend all of the cool batenders, because so far the results of just asking a server their name and making conversation with them results in free alcohol.
- -Over my "Spring Break" (is it even spring yet? It was hardly a break. I would like another please.) I had to go upstate to Troy, specifically to sign a lease for an apartment next year. Even though I got roped into working on some school stuff while I was there, it was made better by the Dough donuts I brought up as a treat for my host. Shout-out to Elaine for the great vegetarian meals while I was upstate!
- - On a similar note, our apartment is trying to do a"Meatless Monday", last week we made black bean quinoa burgers that were really tasty, even if they were a bit mushy. Anyone else have recipe recommendations?
- -Went to my first official Brooklyn gallery opening the other week. The artist is a professor at my school, and while I didn't know him, someone else I was with had actually helped him with the photographs he presented. Sometimes I'm so Brooklyn it hurts.
- -The photos above are from a walk of the waterfront tour we took with our professor... which is a class we are taking? I'm already mentally checked out of classes for this semester which is not good.
- So much time is spent in transportation that I've read 3 books on the subway in the past few weeks:
- -Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)
- I just finished this one, and while the premise is interesting (story of kids who have odd abilities) the writing is underwhelming to say the least. It's the beginning of a trilogy that is being made into a movie and I honestly think it will be a far better movie than a book.
- -The Art of Racing in the Rain (Garth Stein)
- Okay, this one takes place in the greater Seattle area so maybe I'm biased, but I really enjoyed this book. It's written from the POV of a dog, and if you are a dog owner be prepared to cry. Easy read, highly recommended.
- -The Light Between Oceans (M.L. Stedman)
- While I found this to be an enjoyable read, I don't think I was the intended audience. Being a parent, or having a child or a long time significant other is basically required for you to connect emotionally with this book, and while I could empathize I just couldn't relate emotionally to the story line. My mom says she couldn't stop crying while reading it, and I didn't shed a tear...
- -It seems like every spring I go through a "help-I-need-new-music-to-listen-to" phase. This spring is no different. I've been listening to a bunch of artists like Volcano Choirm Blind Pilot, Sylvan Esso, King Krule, Bear Hands, Chet Faker, and a bunch of more.
- -I also hopped on the podcast bandwagon, starting off with Invisibila from NPR. I've been bouncing around trying to find some good ones, right now I've got Night Vale and 99% Invisible on my list.. any suggestions?
- -I'm not a huge fan of most "trends" in menswear, but I am obsessed with shirts that have a stand/grandad/missing collar. I have this one and recently got another, but short sleeve with a floral print.
- Drumroll please... I got an internship in Seattle! Well, Method Homes is actually located in Eastlake which is north of downtown. The firm does prefabricated housing, and has been featured countless numbers of times in Dwell magazine, and was recently featured in the Seattle Times! I'm excited to be doing work in the good ol' Pacific Northwest, and to be living at home for the summer.
If you actually read this entire list you deserve some #domesticdillon lovin'