Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Here are all my problems:

I feel extremely unaccomplished, I have a physics test on Thursday and I honestly have no adea how to calculate force, my mom is increasingly using the fact that I'm a teenager to be unfair to me, I have no one to talk to, I feel like a third wheel with two of my friends, it's almost 2015 and I've done barely anything substantial, I have an oversized ski jacket that I'm embarrassed to wear to school but it'll take way to much of a hassle to return it, my ex-best friend and her mom are making me feel like shit, I'm sick of most everybody at my school, I really don't understand physics and I'm really worried about my test and Dr. Cooper doesn't meet with students on Wednesday's and GUESS WHAT TOMORROW'S WEDNESDAY, popularity has taken it's toll and I don't understand why or how but it's just there, I have to dress up as a superhero for advisory for tomorrow but I'm not doing that, I really want to watch The Fosters Christmas special but I have too much work to do, I really want to celebrate Christmas and all the songs and decorations and holiday buzz is driving me insane because all I'm gonna do is light candles for 8 days, I don't have enough guy friends, I miss my old friends, there is no quite space in my house, there is no privacy, I'm drowning, I feel so unaccomplished, no one knows about my book, I haven't been in any movies, I haven't started a company, I'm angsty, I'm angry, I'm pissed.

The end.

Not really, actually.

There are more.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Monday, December 1, 2014

Ferguson Walk-Out & Protest

Quite simply, my school is fantastic.
So empowering and ecouraging of us youth making decisions and having our own views and being apart of current events and taking stands for what we believe in. And that is just such a brilliant environment to be a part of.
Today I was part of a walk-out and a protest revolving around black equality, with its center due to the shootings at Ferguson. At exactly 12:00pm during history with Ms. Riviere, I made quick eye contact with my classmates around me, and 5 of us just got up and left. I was so nervous as we were about to leave: my heart was beating really fast, my palms were sweaty; but the second I left that door a surge of excitement washed over me.
We left the school and found a huge mob of Bard students from all grades outside. It was all student run–although teachers and staff were definitely supportive. This morning as I walked into school, Dr. Lerner, the principal, was handing out fliers for the protest! How brilliant is that?
Anyway, we started marching down Houston and the cheers started.
"What do we want?" "JUSTICE!"
"When do we want it?" "NOW!"
Again. & Again. & Again.
"Hands up!" "DON'T SHOOT!"
"Hands up!" "DON'T SHOOT!"
We walked to Union Square and that's where the protest really began. A few reporters started interviewing us, and I talked to one man from the Huffington Post and he took down my name! We'll see tomorrow if I'm in the newspaper!
People holding up signs. Marching. Chanting.
Marching. Cheering.
Screaming. So many people. Moving as one.
Running. Police chasing us. One kid from Bard gets grabbed and shoved next to a police car.
Handcuffs. Run, run, run. Grab onto backpacks. Stay as one.
Handcuffs. Run.
       <<    hey hey        ho ho                                                              to go >>

Ahh. We're okay. Keep marching. Fear disappears and thrill takes over.
We're powerful.
We scream louder.
Our voices crack but we scream louder and louder.
People join us. Cheer us on. One Hispanic man who doesn't even speak English gets so into it and starts pole-dancing on the street lamp.
Men, women, children. They join. A marching band comes. We chant to the beat of the drums and the trumpet follows our lead.

Two hours pass. More marching, cheering, walking.
We get to Time Square. 50 blocks. My friend calculated it as 13,407 steps. 
We gather around a few people smack in the middle of the Square.
People. Some from BHSEC (Bard), some older people; one man who was at Ferguson and saw what happened, and got arrested for protesting; one junior from LaGuardia who told us how she wasn't allowed by her school to come to the protest; her teachers, friends, and even her black principle discouraged everyone from going. But she came anyway. Everyone who left Lag got suspended. But she came because she felt strongly about this cause. She talked about how we can't think of this so specifically and as a one time event. "I am Mike Brown," she said. "My brother is Mike Brown, all my black and brown brothers and sisters are Mike Brown. But that must change."
What really struck me, besides the cause and the whole purpose and reason for the protest, was the drive of the youth. We were all so eager and passionate and supportive, and it felt so fantastic to be part of a community that is brave enough to speak their mind and let their voices be heard.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

there's empathy, and then there's sympathy, but there's no positive version that directly fits in that little family of words.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

I'm crazy.
I scream a lot.
I notice it while I'm doing it, but it's so hard to stop once you've already started.
I get so mad at other people for the smallest things and then I scream at them and end up looking like a selfish little brat.
Which I'm not. And I hope people don't see me as that.
And then I get so mad at myself.
That's the worst.
Being mad at yourself.
That's the hardest to accept, let alone mend.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Babushka & Dedushka

My grandparents just left.
Babushka and Dedushka.
They live in California, we live in New York.
Practically a million miles away.

The two week they spent here with us were wonderful.
These things–a quick chat as I rush to eat breakfast before school; the massages I get while I do my math homework; the spontaneous shopping sprees; the nightly games of cards; the theatre shows; the little gifts–however tacky, they're all filled with love; the smiles; the compliments, the advice; the stories; the Russian, the words I pick up on after a while; the sleeping tea; lolachka, romachka; a kiss on the cheek; morning kisses, after school kisses, bedtime kisses; love love love; cutlets and zuchinni pancakes; chopping up those veggies; trying to help; cottage cheese, good lord; newspaper clippings; "technology is amazing!".

So much more.

And yes.
They're old.
And stubborn.
And eat dinner at 4pm.

BUT they're so kind. So loving. So generous. So wonderful. So beautifully loving. So encouraging. So helpful. So sweet. So fantastic to have them around, even as we go about our normal routines. It's just great to have them there.

As they left I had tears in my eyes.
You don't know what will come next.

I love them so much.
I miss their presence already.

I hope they'll be with me, laughing, at my wedding.
I hope.

They will. They'll make it.
Aw. Ah. I really do love them.
And I know they love me too.

It all goes so quickly.

It was a marvelous visit.
I love them.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

October 8th: 2013-2014

One year ago exactly, Sammy died. One whole year.
Which just reminds me how stupid, random, and just unfair this world is.
What happened to him could of happened to anyone. Anyone.
I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry holy fuck ugh this is bullshit.
I feel for his family, his friends. I'm sorry I'm sorry because it's really not far.
I wish you were here Sammy.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

lol so in gym today, the teacher was absent.
in my previous schools, when this happened, we'd usually just go on our phones and socialize, right?
well nuh-uh my friend!
the substitute read to us directions for the assignment the teacher had left us.
then he handed us a dense, 8 page article.
about sports.
he said to read it, annotate it, and write a two page essay on it.

did I mention this was gym class?

welcome to Bard!!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

3 2 1 gone

I'm kind of lost and I have no idea who I am or where I am or what I am.
When I was walking down the street today, as raindrops brushed against my cheeks, I started to think.
I started thinking about thinking.
A young couple walked by.
The guy kissed the girl's cheek and they laughed.
And then I looked at my hands and I looked at my feet and I started to wonder who I really was. Am.
And I wondered how I got there, to that moment, walking down the wet sidewalk on a Saturday in New York.

I'm trying to think how to put my thoughts into words, because I can't really describe it.
The indescribable mind is both so evil and beautiful at the same time.

And at that moment I just felt like clenching my teeth and and smashing my head open until it burst into a million pieces.

But of course I didn't do that.

Now I'm not walking anymore.
I'm standing still in the middle of the rainy sidewalk.
I'm sitting in the middle of the rainy sidewalk.
I close my eyes and fall over.

I wonder how I'm here. If the past is unretrievable and the future is always ahead, I wonder if anything matters but now.
But the crazy part is that here wouldn't be here if it weren't for then.
So it's not now that matters, only everything else.

I'm sort of having the worst and the best time of my life.
I love high school but I also really hate it.
I have friends but I'm all alone.
I win race after race but I feel like I'm loosing.

But everything's kind of perfect.
But nothing's working.

My pumpkin pie is almost finished baking.
It's October.

That's what's so confusing!
Time isn't flying it's zipping by, not leaving any spare moments to enjoy the now.

I'm confused and lost but every time I find an answer there's not enough time to put it to use.

I keep doing work for other people and nothing for myself.

My retainer hurts.

My friend just sent me a snapchat.

3 her eyes are shut 2 she's lying on the ground 1 she's holding something 0 she's gone.

3 2 1 gone.

Gone gone.

Gone with the wind.

Gone girl.

Gone gone. You'll be gone one day so I wonder if it's worth holding on to now; if it's even worth trying to hold on to  now because it's so short.

I'm confused.

3 2 1 gone.

Friday, September 12, 2014

high schoooool

first week is over...
teachers–a few are monotonous, a few are vibrant.
social life–I foresee no future...
so I've decided I'm just going to focus on yes, academics, but also things I want to pursue outside of school, like acting and design.
they'll want to be friends with me once I'm famous.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

endings // beginnings

I simply cannot believe that I am starting 9th grade tomorrow!
It's kind of crazy.
I feel like this day is never really going to come... I'm never really going to go to high school, am I?
Well, I guess I'll find out tomorrow.

I've gotten back into my normal life routine back here in reality–in Brooklyn–during the last few days. I've seen my friends, gone shopping, set up my desk, gone to the coop, walked around the streets of my neighborhood. And although I've had an amazing summer and really traveled all over the world, it's nice to come back here, and know that this is my home. Sleeping in my own bed, eating with my own forks and knives, walking around the streets I know so well... I feel comfortable. Traveling is so eye-opening and fun but there's just something about home that's so special.

I honestly don't even know what to expect this year. New friends, new school, new commute, new system, new rhythm: yes, I'm nervous. But I know that I'm happy about the choice I made to go to Bard; I'm happy about where I'm going, I just, I just– I just don't even know. I really hope I have a really good group of kids in my grade, because honestly, that really makes a school in a big sense. The kids; friends, classmates, teammates. I hope they're nice, open, generous, smart, creative, interesting, passionate. And I hope I find some great friends.

Today at dinner, my mom asked my brother and I what our goals were for this year. So we sat down and she wrote what we said on her yellow pad- so now we have our goals, hopes, expectations, wishes on paper, which is always really special to do because it makes things feel official.

So lets see what you have to offer high school. I'm ready, but I hope you treat me well.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Paris: Returning to La France

So it’s Sunday afternoon and we’ve just finished an equisite guided tour of London, and we know in the back of our minds that our glorious trip is coming to its end. I say to my dad, “wouldn’t it be great to finish our trip in Paris?” And of course I know this isn’t going to happen–that we’ll be eating airplane food and flying home this Tuesday from Londonz–so I say this with a wishful, but conscious of reality spirit.
And my dad says to text my mom and ask her. I’m confused, because it was just a fantasy, but I realize he means it, so I do. And 15 minutes later, my dad’s phone buzzes: “You’re flight leaves from Charles du Gaul airport, Paris, Saturday August 30th.” Holy quacamole! That mother of mine is amazing!
So on Tuesday morning, we took a nine hour bus to the most romantic city in the world–of course, not taking the £500 Eurostar speed train, and going for the cheap-ass bus with all the citizens of the ghetto (sorry–not to be rude #respectyozz) to balance the expenses of our Parisian excursion.
To so many, Paris is a dream city–no, the dream city. So I had in my mind gorgeous buildings, vibrant spirits, walks by the water, delicious French food, interesting culture, jubilant atmosphere. And while this is not intirely false, the whole city felt so, so grey and depressed! Riding the old, squeaky metro to our rental apartment at 10 at night, the dark, solemn feeling of the city was very present.
However, as the days went by and I saw the active nightlife of Paris in action, I understood the city’s reputation a little better. We spent our days trying on expensive clothes in all the best fashion districts, exploring the quaint neighborhood of the Marais, taking tours around the Latin Quarters and Bastille, walking at night on the Siene, inhaling the smokey aroma of probably over a million cigarettes in action every minute, eating nonstop–filet mignon, crusty baguettes, hot crêpes, delicious ice cream; we even had a day where we ate solely Asian food, a fantastic break of vegetables on seafood, as oppose to the endless meat and potatoes of the French cuisine. We saw exquisite architecture at the Louvre, fabulous design and art at the Pompidu, the rustiness but strange beauty of the Eiffel Tour. We admired the beauty of the Luxemburg gardens, and I embraced the innocence and playfulness of youth as I played in playgrounds with my brother, who is still so beautifully present and young. We hade a lucky single-ride metro ticket that worked for us five times; we watched the desperate food peddlers that roam the streets of Paris grill their corn each morning preparing for the day ahead, right outside our window. Summer gave its warmth and sun to us (for a few minutes) for the first time in a few weeks. And I got to finish my summer–a summer during which I learned so much about the world, its history, its people, its many cultures; during which I learned so much about my family, myself, my passions, my goals–I got to finish my summer in Paris–which although does not meet the abundance of marvelous review it has, is still pretty fantastic.

It’s been an amazing summer: I’ve been to so many different places (stayed in 10 different homes), met so many people, enjoyed my amazing family, enjoyed nature, relaxed, and simply, have had a brilliant beyond brilliant vacation! I am ready to enter high school–now the beginning of a new chapter of my life–with open eyes, and an eagerness to expand my knowledge, talents, and confidence in myself.

London at Last!

Well, first and foremost: let me state the obvious.
I. Am. In. London. Londond The city I’ve wanted to visit my entire life–home of the accent that makes me so unexplainably happy! I lived as a Brit for 6 nights and 7 days in a tiny but quaint flat in Wapping, right by the River Thems.
The British are quite an intelligent, remarkable, brilliant, strategic group of humans. Although there food isn’t as luxurious in flavor as, say, the Italians, and their skies are quite gray and rainy compared to the sun and heat of the, say, the Italians, and some of their people are so utterly proper and not as expressive as, say, the Italians, the British are pretty genius.
Lets just get the accent category covered–you stick a British accent on anyone and it makes them instantly attractive and smart-sounding.
The greed, power-hunger, and strength of the British empire has rewarded itself so much in its history. They were definitely bloody and savage and often careless and greedy, but they conquered a lot. The city of London is clean, modern, efficient–at least, it seemed like this to me in the brief time I was there. There subways, for one, are superb and very intelligently designed, and there’s always a worker inside the station to help you. The public service is not only very helpful, but it’s always there–there’s always someone to help you. There museums and art galleries are all free and open to the public. One thing I did notice, though, was that many of them are not so well educated–there poor grammar infers that, and I later learned that there public education system is supposedly not very strong. And it’s also an insanely expensive city. I’ve always been very price conscious, and the prices for basic daily neccesities were insane! Plus, the exchange rate between the pound and the dollar is very high; about $1.70 for every £1.00; so not only were the prices higher numerically, they were in pounds, so everything is much much more expensive. So those days when my mom and I would only by a hotdog from a stret vendor in NYC for $1.50, not $2, because saving that fifty cents was oh so important, are gone–after I saw that a £6.00 hotdog in London was cheap. Damn, dahling.
We stayed in a neighborhood that most tourists will never ever step foot in, and our numerous walks around really gave us a good sense of how real British people live. We had our breakfasts at a local grocer, where we would have delicious smoothies and the workers would cut up fruit just for us, and we would never forget our daily bread pudding and bacon roll at PJ & Bakers, a very British, old-fashioned bakery that only opens when it wants too.
My dad has been to London a few times before, and he downed so much on all the typical tourist attractions, but my long obsession with London made me desperately have to see everything, so we decided to take a three hour tour of all the major sights to cram it all in. And we got lucky, because the tour guide was insanely fabulous! He took us all around central London; to Westminster Abby, the Big Ben, Buckingham Palace. And he told stories about each place that so vividly made each one come alive. It made me really happy to learn a little bit about the British history and see all these place, because come on- I couldn’t go to London and not see the Big Ben (which is really just a clock tower basically identical to one we have in Brooklyn, but still).
In addition to all the walking and sightseeing and exploring we did, I also had a very unique experience in London because I got to see my dad doing a photoshot: I saw him in action! He is simply a genius with his camera. He captures moments and scenes and slices of this world that not another soul on this Earth can. His photographs are so original and so gorgeous! (to my many, many readers, -_____- go see his fashion photography at www.marclafia.squarespace.com).
I met the designer who’s clothes he’d been photographing for a little over a year now– Elsa. She is a generous, brave, crazy, creative Korean woman that was a banker but realized in her 30s that her dream job was to be a fashion designer, and after getting accepted to the Royal College in London, she said bye bye to those ugly grey suits of the economical world and pursued her dream! I got to hang out with young designers, models, and explore the hidden streets and graffitied walls of London with an artistic endeavor. We spent a few nights doing a street art campaign, where we glued and hung up my dad’s photographs everywhere- we nearly got arrested, but I was underage so I was okay! It was scary but it felt awesome; it was so much fun to be around such creative, smart, innovative people, and who cared what the police said because we were making art.
Sidenote: Elsa married a banker, so she is living in luxuryyyyy. She took us out for dinner four times, and we didn’t hestitate to order every single thing we wanted! Our dinners included massive spreads of food–from some of the most expensive and high quality restaurants in London– and drinks; wine, beer, espresso-martinis, pina colados, jugs of mango lassi, bottled water (as oppose to the money saving tap water we drink); desserts every night; one night, Roman and I’s meal alone costed nearly 90 POUNDS! It was AWESOME!
In addition to all the plusses and luxuries we got for a few days from Elsa, it was really great to learn about design and art and fashion, and to hang out with real Londoners doing photoshoots, street art, and more–an experience most kids my age–even most people–don’t get.
I really loved London, and think it would be a great place to live someday. And when I do, I’m going to be able to buy drinks every time I go out to dinner too!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Edinburgh, Scotland

After coming from the glorious heat and warmth of the sun-kissed Mediterranean, Scotland was a radical change.
We got scared as the blustering wind and gray skies seemed to snicker at us as
we walked to our apartment. It seemed we had just entered a fully deserted land, and the few specimens left walked quickly and hunched over through the streets. The visage of these Scottish people were right out of Harry Potter; wrinkly, scrunched up, plain looking faces compared to the flamboyance and expressiveness of the Italians. And this is not at all to be rude or judgemental–it’s just when you come from a place where topless women and men in speedos line the streets, and you see plaid coats and winter boots on everyone, it’s a little depressing as the idea of summer slowly fades away...
With a glum feeling inside all of us, we put our best faces on the next morning and set out to Jenners, the Edinburgh department store, to have a classic Scottish breakfast. We had beans, toast, haggis, blood sausage, tattie scones, bacon, eggs, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, and toast. We were slightly shocked at how delicious it all tasted! Deciding that we’d embrace and explore this culture as best we could, we headed out to our first show of the Fringe Festival–the biggest performance festival in the world–which was the whole reason we’d come to Edinburgh in the first place.

We saw four shows that day: first an improv performance that structured itself by “forgetting” the title and characters of the story and using the audiences input to create it. Then a drama about greedy King Ubu, and how his pursuit for all riches turned around and smacked him in the face; a brilliantly orchestrated piece full of synchronized movement all performed by high school students. Then the most original, beautiful, elegant magic show I’ve ever seen. Ben Hart, the rather cute magician, told his story about “the Vanishing Boy,” in which he describes his encounter with an alien-like looking boy late one evening. The boy disappears from his home while Ben steps out for a moment, but he leaves a box, which has the instructions for a grand magic trick only done by one man in the history of the world. With this build up, Ben incorporates small magic tricks along the way, and finishes with the trick from the box: taking five empty tin cups, magically making them fill with water, and then turning that water into snow. It’s impossible to describe the sophistication and elan of this man’s performance: it was just fantastic.
We ended the evening with another one man show that brilliantly explored what it means to be an outsider, and what it means to die. The man comes on stage dressed in a big green sack and begins singing and making sounds into a microphone, which are then recorded and start to replay. Throughout the show, he dances, sings, acts, talks to the audience, and finishes with everyone coming on stage, forming a circle, and holding hands. Everyone begins to chime in with his song, singing, “I’ll live forever, I’ll live every single day, in you, in you, in you.” And then we all slowly fall down, slowly dying and singing, and it’s just so incredibly beautiful.

During the next few days we saw an Adams Family musical, a show where a man tells stories from his African village, Monsieur Butterfly (where a man puts together a Rube Goldberg machine using objects representing different parts of his life), the James Trilogy–divided into three different shows, we saw 7 ½ hours about King James I, II, and III of Scotland, which were incredible, and we learned a lot about Scotland’s history. We spent a day in North Berwick, a beach town, and although it was freezing it was really nice to be by the water.

We saw more shows; more comedy, more improv, more theater. A show called “Stuck,” where an audience gives a location and an inspirational word with which they use as a basis to improvise the show. An interactive show called Eden Gate, where you pretend you’re a survivor of this rapidly spreading disease, and you have to collectively make a decision to loose your memory but then go to this underground world called “Eden Gate,” or to keep it and take this culture for an antibiotic and go back to a lab in London. It was really quite terrible, at least for me, and that’s when I realized that I actually have a lot of training as an actor. During the past three years, in my drama intensive at school, I’ve done so much improv, and process drama (like the “Eden Gate”) that to me, some of the performances that other people raved about didn’t seem at all special, because I’ve done so much of it already.

Another show was called “The American’s Guide to Being, Like, Totally British,” where a 30-year-old comedian talks and makes jokes about how she moved to London, and what people think of being British compared to what it’s actually like. It was really funny...

So I'd say we got used the cold, made amends with the gray skies, had some yummy food, saw some great shows, and made the best of our visit in Edinburgh! I'd even even say we had a lot–a lot a lot– of fun. *smiley_face* 

Italy: Carrara and Florence

We were welcomed into Carrara by our friends, Chiara, Benoit, Leo, and Alyssa. We entered Italy after four weeks in France, and it was a whole different scene!

The Italians are much more expressive with their feelings and opinions, and it's kind of super admirable and fantastic! Many nights at dinner we'd have intellectual conversations and heated debates where everyone would get so animated and opinionated and start raising there voice and stand up and get so, so into the conversation. They could have such intense debates and still hug and be content at the end; it was really fantastic to watch. And the Italian language itself is so much more curvy and wave-like and expressive, as oppose to French or even English.

 The week was spent going to beaches–Punta Corvo, Punta Bianca– having delicious, real Italian home cooked meals made by our friends' grandparents, an average of two or three ice creams a day from the delicious gelato place, Paradiso, hiking around Cinque Terre (five earths; there were five little towns along the coast that you could hike all the way through), playing guitar on the gorgeous terrace of our rental studio, meeting new people, powering through the autobiography of Malcom X for school, walks and talks with my dad, laughs with my brother, observing people, culture, new ways of life. Although I would have to say Carrara did not astound me with any of the lush beauty and nature of some of the other places we've visited so far this summer, it was an enjoyable week.

We left our friends and visited Florence for three days, exploring the massive, beautiful, numerous statues that line every square, every street, every museum. We had delicious food and scrumptious desserts, and explored the Italian culture and history through gardens, tours, walks, museums, churches, basilicas, shops, talking with locals. It was a great learning-experience and a fun short stop.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Villefranche Sur Mer

Villefranche: the next chapter of our summer, and beginning a four week journey without my mom! ooo la la. With a bit of fright and not knowing what to expect, my dad, brother, and I arrived last Sunday in Villefranche, a quiet, quaint town on the French Riviera.

The week was filled with a variety of activities, delicious home cooked meals, hikes, swims, games, ice-creams, and more. Our rental apartment was attached to the family that owned it–a French wife and Hungarian husband with two boys; Cosimo, 5, and Noa, 8, who had lived-in Brooklyn a few years back–and the amount of giggles I heard throughout the week were quite a lot! The elder boy spoke a little English, so he and Roman had a great time together. But his giggle was simply adorable. Imagine a sea, but instead of water, giggles; the laughs moving up and down like waves and never, ever stopping. The younger boy, who spoke absolutely no English, would come in his underwear to our apartment early in the morning to see if we were awake, and as soon as we began to converse with him he would run away and make a face that looked like Pinnochio, as my dad and I said: he would purse his lips together and stick them out as if he was about to whistle and just walk around like that! Beautiful innocence.

Throughout the week, we did a lot of walking around Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, a really wealthy, beautiful peninsula pretty close to Villefranche. One day we hiked the whole way around, which took nearly the whole day, and we swam in absolutely stunning waters: the Mediterranean at it's best.

Every morning, we would have a sandwich making factory as we prepared lunch to take with us for the day. By the end of the week, we all swore we couldn't eat another bite of salami and cheese ever again! But the meals in our little villa were pretty outstanding, all cooked by the one and only Marc Lafia! From blood sausage to ravioli to grilled vegetables to pizzas, we had so many great meals in that tiny kitchen.

We also went on various train trips a couple of days; exploring the people, homes, culture, and history of the French Riviera. And most days would include a quick swim; either in the rocky beach by our house, jumping off the cliffs by the port, or undiscovered waters near the Cap.

I really had a fantastic time with my brother and my dad: we had so many laughs great moments together. We all began to really feel comfortable wight the French language, and it just felt like a week of true vacation.

Monday, July 28, 2014


I am on the ferry coming back from Corsica.

[I am a very hard time writing this because the sappiest, least original, terrible, most annoyingly love-sick music is on some stupid loop: and the worst part is, it’s in ENGLISH! It’s not even in French! It is the worst playlist of American music ever imaginable. ˙˙ baaaaaaaaayyyyyyyybyyyyy, it’s not your faaaauuuuuuult ˙˙ ]

It has been a fantastic two weeks of family, activities, nature, swimming, hiking, cooking, exploring, and more.

Our first travel day was very intense: we left New York at 9pm on a Friday evening, and flew, going forward in time, to London. We arrived at Hethrow Airport at 8am, which was actually 3am our time, so it was a night of really little sleep.

What I really remember from the day was sleeping everywhere I had the chance (on subways, park benches, museums, monuments), and the announcements, with the voice of a British automated lady, that you heard on the Heathrow express. It kept replaying again and again and again and again... I’m pretty sure I memorized it and can do it in the exact voice.

Still, it was pretty cool to be in London! I’ve had a fascination with British accents for so long, and it was so fascinating to be in a place where every single person around me had one!

We were only in London for 12 hours, because we took an evening flight to Nice, France. We got to our rental apartment at 12am, and didn’t get to bed until 2am. I think I’ve always had some sort of slight travel anxiety; often when I’m in a new place and I’m going to sleep, I start to feel really off, uncomfortable, and slightly scared, even at my age now. The bed was hard, the room was tacky, my head hurt: all these little things just piled up and I honestly felt so shut down and nervous.

I eventually fell asleep, though, and the next morning my brother and I woke up at 12pm! We left the apartment, bought some amazingly delicious pizzas with rich, creamy cheese and meat, and boarded the ferry to Corsica.
The ride took 6 hours, but my dad, brother, and I shooed my mom away and began a birthday card making factory for my mom’s birthday, which was 2 days away! I had brought a bunch of art supplies from home and we each made her our own card and one big, colorful banner.

We arrived on the island late at night, and took a taxi to the rental car company, and then began a 3 hour drive to our rental.

When we finally got to there, in the town of Belvedere Compomoro, there was no need for any travel anxiety because the apartment was so cute and quaint and perfect. Apartments that we stay in are almost always tacky and so poorly decorated, and I’ve always had a love and curiosity for design, and I really liked this place from the minute I entered it.

Roman and I shared a bed (technically, we shared the bed with his stuffed animals too (-__-), so I only got about a third of the bed, but we both (or should I say the five of us) immediately fell asleep.

The week began with a swim in the gorgeous sea at the Compomoro beach. The water was like a paint pallet of every shade of blue imaginable: baby blue, turquoise, navy. After a swim, some soccer, a picnic, a photoshoot, and reading, we took a hike up and over the stunning cliffs along the coast. I love looking out and seeing just the ocean and sky at their vastness. It’s always so hard to believe that there’s more beyond what the eye can see, because often it looks like the ocean goes on forever.

-wait a minute.

I have just realized that I'm really not so interested in all the specifics of this trip.

What about the feelings, the tastes, the sights, the beauty of Corsica?

The sounds, the ocean, the rocks, the heat?

The quiet, the peace, the energy, the movement?

The poetry of the waves as they shift, the sand as it blows in the wind?

The sights of the sea, the views, that come although are simply different expressions of the same thing, are each so uniquely beautiful?

The walks along the coasts, feet slipping as rocks slide beneath you, but the relief and confidence when you reach the top?

The pleasure that comes from a bite of mouth-watering, creamy cheese on a crunchy, crisp slice of bread?

The pain for your feet when you step on rocks on your way to the water but the feeling that it's all worth it when you emerge into a gorgeous, clean, clear, vast ocean?

The freedom when your body can float and swim and splash and dunk?

The inner triumph when you dive for a ball, catch it, and then fall into the water?

The delight of the ocean as it cools and awakens you?

The radiance of the sun as it heats your body and puts your mind at rest?

The content that comes when you've made people laugh?

The juice that runs down your arms after you've bitten in to the ripest, most succulent peach?

The absence of noise yet the squeals of nature?

Being with the people you love the most and realizing how special they are to you?

The rocky beach with a private inlet for us that led way to the most beautiful body of water in existence that welcomed us on my mom's birthday, and the picnic that we had to celebrate her brilliance.

The fright of my brother at the sight of young, wild boys setting off firecrackers in every little nook and cranny possible.

The hike at Col de Bavella that led to a cliff that I bravely climbed first, where at the top there was a giant whole in the rock and through it seemed to be an entire, undiscovered corner of the universe.

The boat ride in Bonifacio that cruised along the coast and led us into a spectacular cave that sprouted up triangularly and had a natural carving in the top the shape of Corsica itself.

The topless beaches and my brother's natural, sly, but adorable weirded out fascination with the women.

The beach of Porto Legio and its beach with endless sandbars, radiant color, soft sand, sublime water.

My hair blowing as I peered out the window on our endless drives to explore the island.

Our constant visits to Spar supermarket for cheese, bread, plums, nectarines, cookies, sausages.

The citadel in Calvi and my tears wiped away by the positivity and comfort of my parents.

The banana nutella crepe that was utterly devoured as we sat, a play toy of the wind, overlooking the port, in which the average boats didn't seem at all worthy of the picturesque turquoise sea they lay in.

The 8 mile hike to Girolata, both within the green shelter of the forest and the roasting heat of the sun kissed cliffs along the coast, where the view truly increased in spectacularity after each step up. The weariness and fatigue just disappearing as we powered up the last mile with speed and determination.

The forty foot jumps from the massive cliff and the smack, painful yet exhilarating, as we hit the water. The "relaxacoaster" as we hiked up the Riviere du Fango, jumped from rocks, sun tanned like geckos, discovered the natural slides and jaccuzis hidden in mini gorges.

The endless family photos and the smiles that didn't even really have to hide reality because there truly was beacoup du happiness.

The interviews with waiters and workers and people, and uncovering reality through this questioning: hearing so many stories and then thinking about how amazing your own is.

The kayaking in strict silence yet the giggles that inevitably emerge when you break the rules; the row of turtles resting on a long on the side of the river that just seemed to be, not really feeling or not feeling, just being. The flowers and the plants and the lily pads and the water bugs that we went through as we paddled.

The meats from our weber grill that finally gave summer it's much-needed classic taste.

Just endless swimming, endless talking, endless hiking, endless laughter, endless games, endless tastes, endless beauty, endless family is what my experience in Corsica was all about.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Today I graduated from middle school at MS 51. It has been an amazing three years full of experiences that not only will I never forgot, but that have made the moment spectacular.

51 wasn't my first choice. I was actually going to go to this school called Quest to Learn in the city that primarily focused on creating with technology. But after I submitted my application, I realized that I wanted to go to 51. It was close, my friends were going there. So I switched my ranking on the application. And I got in!

I have to say, though: when I toured 51 I wasn't super impressed. And throughout the three years I have had quite a few awful teachers. But regardless of that, I have still had such a brilliant time.

Drama was definitely one of the high lights of my experience. From juggling to playwriting to shakespeare to musicals to plays to monologues to improvisation, I have learned more in drama that from any other subject. I've always been a natural performer; someone eager to be on stage and entertain. But drama at 51 has accentuated my abilities and given me a tremendous amount of skill, courage, experience, ability, and happiness.

Advanced math in 7th and 8th grade has been pretty great. I really learned that math is a natural language to me; it comes easily and it simply makes sense in my mind, and it's something that I will really enjoy. I think I want to go further somehow in math because it is something that is so logically pristine that it's eye-opening to me.
Advanced science this year made up for the flatness of 6th and 7th grade science. My teacher, Ms. Saka, is so passionate and determined in her field and I learned so, so much. I took the "Living Environment" course that is designed for 9th graders but it is an advanced class at 51. I've finally gotten a sturdy, strong grip on the concept of science and living things and the way life is built, and that will definitely help me forever.

ELA was honestly pretty terrible, all three years. I haven't loved my teachers and the curriculum has been really poor and boring and pointless...

French: 6th grade french with Madame DeWever was fantastic. I learned so much in just that first year of second language. But from there, it sort of went totally down hill. The teachers just weren't so passionate and precise and I truly learned nothing after that first year.

Social studies-eh. This year I had Ms. Maier, who is absolutely the worst teacher ever, BUT she has super cool style and is really funny and told us lots of totally random stories! She just got so distracted and off topic all the time that social studies just ended up being a total waste. 6th and 7th grade social studies was pretty okay though; both teachers were extremely devoted and I admired that.

But it's hard to be a teacher, at least from what I can tell. Especially as we got older, some of the kids just begin to not care and go crazy in class, and it's hard to deal with that. But I had a pretty great class this year. Some of the kids were INSANE; they would literally twerk and dance and yell and throw random stuff everywhere everyday during project real, which is the 20 minute "reading" period we have in homeroom after lunch every day. But it was funny and I was happy and I made some of the best friends I have ever had.

It all started on the first day of school when we had to chose seats in homeroom. My table ended up being Asia, Amber, Lily, me, Maya, and Jolene. Maya and Jolene were already friends, and they were also friends with Anjali, whom Amber and Lily were also friends with. I knew Asia from 2nd grade and Amber from 5th, and Lily went o 321 like me. And it all just sorta happened. We talked a lot and started texted each other and I started to eat lunch with them sometimes and I entered their group! Anjali and Paula were also part of the group although they weren't in our class.

And just, I have laughed like CRAZY with these people. We've made endless inside jokes, have gone on so many fun trips, have cried together, mourned together, hung out together, tell stories together, made memories together, sleepovers. Lily was one of my closest friends; we were kind of "Lily & Lola" as a pair and we made an unstoppable team! I don't know how I'm going to survive without her in high school. It's hard to believe we've only been friends for a year because I feel like I know all of them so incredibly well, and I've never gotten bored with them because each moment has been precious and awesome and fun and amazing. They are such a cool group of kids and each and every one of us brings something special to the table.

Today was a really fantastic day. I got to Grand Prospect Hall, the same place where we had prom, at 9am, and put on my blue graduation cap and gown and met my friends inside. We lined up and entered and had this huge ceremony and each student camp up and shook the principals hand a got a flower. After, I took a bunch of photos and then met my friends with my family at this beer garden. We hung out and talked with everyone and it was really fun and sad and sweet.

And then Ms. Bosco came over to us and told me that I had gotten into BARD manhattan! And that just topped my day. I am so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so incredibly, insanely happy! That was the best news. Now I don't have to worry all summer about where exactly I'm going to high school. AH I'm so happy.

It has been one of the bestest, fullest years of my life. I am so happy and thankful for my friends and family, proud of them, proud of myself. It's really been awesome. I cannot believe that it's over. I only really have four more years left until I have to really start building my own life. But I have had an extraordinary life, and I know that the experiences will only continue to be fantastic.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

You know how movies have a music soundtrack?
And when it's a super dramatic, this awesome song plays, and it just gives you such an awesome rush!
I wish life had a soundtrack.
When I'm walking, and I have my headphones in my ears, and the music is just loud enough that it just fills me with energy. That's all I hear, and it just feels so great.
I mean, jeez! Whoever's the DJ for life better learn to take some ques.

I rock out on the street when I have headphones in- I mouth the lyrics and kinda act it out. People look at me a little strangely, but I don't care because I feel do pumped!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Things You Wait For Always Eventually Happen

There are so many choices and decisions we have to make in life. Constantly. There are little choices that we make everyday, like simply choosing what we're going to wear, what we're going to eat, what we're going to do.
But then there are those bigger choices. Or at least you have the illusion that they're bigger. They're the choices that supposedly affect your future in a greater sense. The decisions that we think about so much, but never really think we'll have to actually make a final choice. The idea of the choice is some fantasy we ponder over so, so very much: but, at least for me, I don't truly believe I'll ever actually have to make the choice. Like somehow it will just happen.
But when the time when you really have to sit down and decide once and for all, it's scary. Everything you've ever thought on the matter comes rushing back, and each time you lean towards one side, something about the other pulls you back. And it's a constant see saw. And it's not allowed to lay perfectly balanced and in the middle, because you can't every have both. You have to chose.
I think I was raised with the philosophy of "both." Like if I wanted to try a cookie and a cake, my parents would let me have both. Maybe they thought it would help me form my own opinions and decisions by trying everything.
 But now, making decisions is so, so hard for me! Every time I'm positive with my choice, I feel a sudden urge of guilt and regret. I'm never happy with one. I want both. Both. Or at least a combination.
Oh, if only you could design your own world.

I'm referring to high school.
Bard or Stuyvesant?
I really, honestly don't even know at this point.
Yesterday, I was so set on Stuy. Now, I think Bard just might be for me.
For some weird reason, I feel like I'm gonna lose my outer life, my home, friends life, with whichever school I go to. But I guess wherever I go, I can be me, and I'll still have time and choices and options outside of school. I don't know.

I also really, really hope I stay friends with the friends I have in eighth grade now. They're really special. I have so much fun with them.

Lily, Jolene, Maya, Amber, Asia, Ione, Momo, Grace, Cloe, Hannah Lola, Lucy.

I hope I become a singer/songwriter during high school.

I hope I write another book: like a good, young adult juicy book.

I hope I design something big and useful and awesome.

I hope I have fun.

I really, really hope I'll stay happy wherever I go.

I hope my life turns out okay.

No, not okay.


Honestly, it better be great. I'm working hard.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


This past weekend, I did a program called Spark at MIT. I got to take a variety of classes and really get a taste of what college is like. I took an Introduction to Data Science class, a Cosmology class, an Introduction to Programming in Java, How to Navigate a City, the History and Culture of the Internet, Conceptual Calculus, Quirky Linguistics, Psychology of Shopping, and a physics class called "Why are Carrots Orange?". It was really fun! I really want to go to college now, and I felt so professional taking notes and sitting in seminars and lectures. Since I went all the way to Boston just for one night, it felt like a mini business trip!

I feel like I've had so many awesome, advanced experiences in my life. I've explored most every field; science, math, english, technology, design, and more. I'm really lucky to have done all of these things, and I've learned and had so much fun.

I also just got my high school results back. I got into Stuyvesant, and Bard Queens, even though I wanted Bard Manhattan and put it first :(

These are great choices, and even though it's a hard decision, I think I'll have a great time either way. But most of all, I'm just happy and excited! There are so many great things to do in life!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

When I was 9 or 10, I started realizing that all books had happy endings. 
Before, reading was so real for me: I would get scared for the characters, and feel like I was in their world.
But then, I started to notice that their lives always turned out perfectly. I started hearing people say, "Life doesn't always have a happy ending." But it did! At least in books.
I would start to be disappointed because I always knew the main character would be safe and happy by the end of the book, so what was the point of reading the story if I knew the ending?
Even now, when I watch TV and the plot is very sad, I know it's all going to work out for the characters.
And in my life, things usually seem to work out in the end.
So I pretend I'm in a book, and I'm the main character: nothing can hurt me, because it will work out in the end.