LShaw in Ann Arbor

7 10 2013

LSHAW2My barSHAWLona lyfestyle has come and gone, and never will be forgotten. To follow my current adventures please check out my American blog @ !


Street Side in Ann Arbor September 2013.


Barca give me houseee!!

25 04 2011

Featured film : Answer This!

12 04 2011
I LOVE ANN ARBOR! I am a 4th generation student at the University of Michigan. My Great Grandpa , my grandma, and my father attended U of M. Going to Michigan can almost be thought of as a family tradition. It is common to have a linage of family members who go to the same university.
This is an over view of the center of the University of Michigan campus also known as “The Diag“. In the center of the diag is a GIANT block M.
Many students lay out, read books, or just converse in the diag area.
When first arriving to the diag, you are brought to the center block M. There is an old story that is told about the M. It is BAD LUCK to step on the M before you take your first blue book exam.If you step on it before your exam , you are said to FAIL it.  I was told this story many years ago, and had to avoid walking on it for 18 years!
People become extremely passionate for the town of ANN ARBOR. It is a laid back and liberal city, where you can see diverse groups of people and hobbies. How can you share your passion for a city to a mass audience? Different media outlets allow for easy and accessible information. A great way to learn about another place is through film.
Answer This! Is the first movie ever filmed in Ann Arbor AND about the fabulous A2. Tonight was the exclusive premiere for cast and friends, and those who were fortunate enough to purchase tickets to the 10pm showing. The room was filled to the brim with fans, over 50 people had to stand to watch the film. No joke, a smile was on my face during the entire screening of Answer This.
The film follows the tale of LEGENDARY professor Ralph Williams and his son featured as a GSI. He taught a religion class here at the University of Michigan for many years. This class touched the hearts and minds of Michigan students forever. So much so that Chris Farah– the director of the film was inspired to create a screen play about it. He is a U of M grad who moved to LA after graduating. He and his brother co-produced the film. 
The love for the city of Ann Arbor, how academics play into it, and the passion for Bar trivia outlines the movie. The trivia pub team- The Ice Tigers defend their way to the final round in pub trivia at Ashley’s on State Street. The movie is filmed in all of the hot spots of Ann Arbor. You can see the actors and actresses strolling down Greenwood, State Street, in the diag and at Expresso Royale.
The main actors in the film are Kip Pardue aka Sunshine from Remember the Titans, Christopher Gorham aka Henry from Ugly Betty, and Arielle Kebbel from Jon Tucker Must Die.
Fun fact, yours truly earned my 15 minutes of fame by taking on a small extra role in the film. Look out for me in the lecture hall scenes! Other friends of mine that are Michigan students are also featured in the film: Emily Smith, Adam Bleznak (Alumni), and Nelson Kazan.
IF YOU BLEED MAIZE AND BLUE, THIS MOVIE IS FOR YOU!or if you just want to learn about Ann Arbor! 😀
Keep a look out during the Summer of 2011 for ANSWER THIS!
Photo from the premiere of Christopher Gorham, myself ,and Ralph Williams (actors from the film)

Blue Crush

27 03 2011

March Madness is the NCAA basketball tournament that is played in the month of march, every single year. The NCAA MARCH MADNESS tournament is made up of 68 teams with a single elimination rounds. If you loose, YOU’RE OUT… if you win, YOU’RE IN!! The top ten of the Eastern Conference this year was made up of : Ohio State, George Mason, Villanova, West Virgina, Kentucky, Xaiver, Syracuse, Washington, Georgia, and North Carolina. The top ten of the Western Conference this year was made up of:  Duke, Michigan,  Tennessee, Arizona,  Texas, Cincinnati,  Connecticut, Temple, Penn State and San Diego St.

This is what the Bracket looks like for this year’s March Madness tournament

As more and more teams get eliminated the different rounds of the MARCH MADNESS tournament become more important. In the beginning there are so many games going on during the day it is hard to keep them straight.

Results from the first round excited ANN ARBOR as the MICHIGAN WOLVERINES made it through !!

The Duke Blue Devils vs Michigan Wolverines. As you can see, the Blue Devil‘s are ranked as the number one team in the western conference of the NCAA’s March Madness tournament.

Obviously, My favorite team through thick and thin would be the Michigan Wolverines. We were ranked as the number eight team of the western conference. The sea of maize and blue fans were ecstatic in when final buzzer rung to push out the number nine seed Tennesse. It is always a toss up on whether to pick the #8 or the #9 team for the first round. It is such a small upset, but about more than half the time, the underdog seems to end up on top…. But not in this case 😀

This put the MICHIGAN WOLVERINES onto round two to face off against the #1 Team.

The Michigan Wolverines cut it close to beating out their round two match up. Falling behind in the final moments before the buzzer, Michigan ended up loosing to the Duke Blue Devils. In the first half of the game Michigan held a tight rope between themselves and the Blue Devils. For those of us who bleed MAiZE and BLUE we’ll just have to wait until next year.

Here is footage from the game –

Duke Prevails….!

The first major round where games have a stronger following is during the ” sweet sixteen “. This is where there are only 16 teams playing still from the starting 68! This years sweet sixteen team played either on March 24th or 25th. Four games were played on each of the days.

The winners of the sweet sixteen head on to the elite eight where the games took place on March 26th and 27th. The teams included in the elite eight included : Kentucky V North Carolina – where Kentucky won 76-69, Connecticut V Arizona- where Connecticut slipped by to beat AZ 65-63 ( play by play information on this located here), VCU V Kansas – where VCU killed winning 71-61, and lastly, Butler V Florida – where Butler won in a close call 74-71. Weirdly enough, I noticed that two of the teams school colors are blue — reminding me of an old favorite song of mine …

To show their school spirit the Kentucky Bull dogs and UCONN Huskies should keep up their energy and shout out to this song by Effiel 65:


“yo listen up here’s a story
about a little guy that lives in a blue world
and all day and all night and everything he sees
is just blue like him inside and outside
blue his house with a blue little window
and a blue corvette
and everything is blue for him and hisself
and everybody around”


Now we are left with the FINAL FOUR teams!! The men’s games will take place in HOUSTON, TEXAS.



Lazy Lounging leads to adventures!

27 03 2011

One of the things that I long for the MOST about not being in America is being able to watch TV in ENGLISH! I am a communications major at the UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN where the focus is on the mass media. Freshman year, I took a communications course where I learned the history of the mass media. My teacher SUSAN DOUGLAS is a goddess!! She was even on Opera and has published a book called “Where The Girls Are.” I mean how many students can say THEIR teacher has been on OPERA!? I am hoping to take another class this fall semester with her called Celebrity Culture. Gotta keep my fingers crossed!

The Legendary Susan Douglas

My keen interest in the television world grew tremendously over last summer when I was unfortunately instructed to “take it easy” and relax for 2 and a half months!! It was the longest I’ve ever had to stay inside and not be allowed to even LIFT A FINGER in my life. My doctor told me all I could do was chill….. I am an EXTREMELY active and love to GO-GO-GO!!! so this was NOT easy. I had to get a few new hobbies and one of them was watching TV.

I discovered TWO favorite TV channels – E! and The Travel Channel! One of the main reasons i LOVED the Travel Channel is because I could feel like I was traveling all over the world from while sitting on my living room couch. I’m OBSESSED with traveling and trying new things when I do arrive to these new cities. This led to endless hours searching of where to go and see on the Travel Channels website. I even applied for an internship to work for the network.


The Travel Channel hosts a variety of shows offering different angles or views of a multitude of cities! In my opinion the top shows revolve around challenging situations or food explorations in these various cities around the world. Top TV shows to catch are: Bert the Conqueror, Bizzare Foods with Andy Zimmern, and my ALL TIME FAVORITE MAN v FOOD.

Bert the Conqueror – is where Bert travels around the world and takes on crazy challenges such as “riding Virginia’s Griffon, the tallest and fastest coaster in the world, plunging 40 feet down Hawaii’s Shaka waterslide, or competing in Maine’s North American Wife Carrying Championship, Bert stops at nothing to celebrate the unique traditions that take place in towns across the nation.”

Bizzare Foods with Andy follows an EXOTIC food journey where he really tests his limits with food. If it looks good he WILL eat it! He’s even tried brain tacos in Baja and bull penis soup in Bangkok – not many people would risk putting those kinds of foods in their mouth! Check out Andy with who knows what he is about to put in his mouth!! eek!!

But my ALL TIME FAVORITE SHOW instills a combination of a thrilling challenge and the delicious taste of food. In Man v. Food, food fanatic Adam Richman has held every job in the restaurant business, and now he’s on a journey to explore the biggest and best eats our nation has to offer.  He takes on FOOD challenges in cities across the UNITED STATES. He visits 2 amazing authentic (non- chain) restaurants in each city and than takes on a challenge at a 3rd restaurant!

For Example – Adam will attempt to conquer a massive grilled cheese sandwich in Cleveland, OH, a 7-lb. seafood feast in Long Island, NY, and race to finish 50 wings in 30 minutes in Boulder, CO.

the SEASON FINALE of MY FAVORITE SHOW happened to take place in MY college town of ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN. I was determined to get on the set of the TV show MAN v FOOD and see my celebrity crush ADAM RICHMAN.

This is part of the Season Finale episode that took place in ANN ARBOR !!! His first stop is at BLIMPY BURGER – a veryyy greasey and filling burger place. The second stop is at my FAVORITE deli MAIZE and BLUE. This is big amongst UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN athletes because the portions are GINORMOUS! You can see ADAM eat my friends sandwich in the episode!!  My best friend brad in the green shirt is munching on his sandwich in the opening of Maize and Blue Deli around 7 minutes in.

The CHALLENGE of ANN ARBOR takes place at Tio’s Mexican Cafe – a somewhat disgusting restaurant if you ask me…! Adam is CHALLENGED with 5 lbs of Nachos loaded with chips, beans, cheese, chicken, beef, pork, guac, AND spicy queso. a short trailer shows a preview of Adam’s Ann Arbor challenge.


I wish he could come to Barcelona and have a tapa challenge !!

Loco Lunes

23 03 2011

Ahh… what a REFRESHING and EXCITING feeling it is to wake up on a LOVELY LUNES morning. These mornings are almost always bright & sunny. In American, Monday mornings are associated with a drag and sadness that the weekend is over. But it could not be be more opposite here in BARCELONA.

Sunday, the official day of rest for the Catalonia city of Barcelona. EVERY single essential store that you wish you could go to , you can’t. It is like the city wants you to prepare for what is about to come the following day… LOCO LUNES. As abroad students we quickly found out that Sunday’s are a time to bond with your friends and family. I like to make my sunday’s the day of the 4 S’s : sleep, spa, study, and socialize! On Sunday‘s I try to SLEEP in as late as I can… nothing is open anyways. I like to treat it like a SPA day. Because it is expensive to treat yourself to a professional SPA day , I create my own at my apartment. I start off by polishing my nails and toes a fresh color. I always end up doing my same favorite HOT PINK– because I have LOCO LUNES on my mind ( an upbeat and colorful time!).

After finishing up my personal mani/pedi I work on my hair. It is hard to tame that curly fro that I was blessed with from gene pool. I spend about 45-1 hour blow drying and straightening my hair. Let me tell you, this ends up being quite the production.

Study Time rolls around after dinner- some times I have a bit of reading to do for my classes or I will sit and write my free post blogs from the weekend’s adventures!

Last but not least, SOCIALIZE! I LOVE being able to share a long meal with my friends here in BARCELONA. As meals are a time for bonding, getting to know someone, or catch up on the past weeks news and whats to come in the following week. Depending on when we arrive home from our weekends travels, my roommates and I generally decide between TWO SOCIAL options : cook a big “family” dinner or go to George Payne’s Irish Pub. If there is a sports game on we choose to go to George Payne’s Irish Pub located centrally in the city right by the CEA Main Campus at Plaza Urquinaona 5.

Check out their website at George Payne’s has amazing LUNCH deals – where you can buy ONE lunch and get a SECOND lunch for FREE. Many student’s find this lunch spot CONVENIENT since it is located a few feet from school. I recommend the hamburgers! This Friday they are showing these games:

Amanda and I at George Payne

Slovenia v Italy K.O: 20:45

Spain v Czech Republic K.O: 22:00

One of the best parts about George Payne’s Irish Pub is that they broadcast AMERICAN SPORTS! Our group of friends loves to go to there to watch NFL games on Sundays.

When we do not attend George Payne’s we like make a festive meal!! This past week we made a MEXICAN themed dinner. Here is a picture of us in the apartment enjoying our family dinner.

Sunday dinner with the "familia"

From the left: Logan, Wes, Rebecca, Will, Amanda, Chris, Liza and Geoff. They are all chewing in this picture, I caught them a little bit off guard oops!

The meal is cleaned up and we finishing our studies and off to bed! There is much needed sleep before LOCO LUNES begins.  Monday mornings start early, because all of my roommates and I have class at 10:30 am! We take the half hour journey to school and begin our days. We have class the entire day, til 7 or 7:30 pm. Saving up our energy during the school day, we meet up during breaks to talk about what we are going to do to begin our LOCO LUNES night.

Sometimes we like to head back to George Payne’s Irish bar to grab a few drinks before headed to the MAIN EVENT AT OTTO ZUTZ.

Considered to be one of Barcelona’s TOP 10 CLUBS LOCO LUNES is celebrated at OTTO ZUTZ @ Lincoln 15. When you first walk into the OTTO ZUTZ, there is a wall decorated with the OTTO ZUTZ logo to take pictures in front of. One of my childhood friends Alex, came to visit Barcelona during Michigan’s Spring Break.

Alex and I at the entrance of Otto Zutz

Then you make your way into the club itself! If you want to take a virtual tour outside of the one I shakingly recorded myself look at the OTTO ZUTZ website here. It is a dancing club, bar and a music hall.

OTTO ZUTZ looks very different from when it is PACKED FULL of AMERICANS on Mondays versus empty. Here are pictures of OTTO ZUTZ‘s dance floor.

WARNING: this video may make you nauseated because I couldn’t be on the dance floor and not be dancing. I understand if you can’t make it through the entire minute of the video. 17 seconds in you can see the upstairs VIP section. 30 secs the DJ booth. 50 seconds- my friend showing that LOCO LUNES is a fun time!

The dance floor is so crowded because OTTO ZUTZ plays HOUSE/TECHNO music,a beat that get’s everyone’s feet and body’s moving asap! The jams are always blasting at a high volume- EAR PLUGS RECOMMENDED. I LOVE to dance! That is why I have such a great time at OTTO ZUTZ. There is an enormous dance floor, and a few additional levels where you can dance with less chaos.

Loco Lunes dance floor PACKED with people!

Each LOCO LUNES has a little something special about it. Whether its someone’s 21st BIRTHDAY celebration or a special DJ is spinning on the 1’s and 2’s that night. Before deciding what college I would attend I traveled around to many universities to see which I would like best. One of my favorite colleges that I visited outside of the University of Michigan was The University of Wisconsin – Madison. Those Badgers sure to love to have a good time at the club! I met a freshman boy there, Jack, who is from New York City. It’s funny how your social networks expand so quickly as soon as you attend college! Jack lived down the hall from my cousin Michael in the dorms. Although I did not end up attending The University of Wisconsin – Madison, Jack and I still talked every now and then. He was one of the first people to introduce me to HOUSE /TECHNO music. He created a BLOG website called Big10HouseMafia – where a group of passionate Dj’s and HOUSE/TECHNO lover’s share their hottest beats. A few weeks ago I got a Facebook wall post from my long lost friend, Jack saying that he was going to be Dj’ing at LOCO LUNES the following week! Not only was I so excited for LOCO LUNES but that my friend would be Dj’ing at OTTO ZUTZ. Below is a YoutTube Video of Jack aka DJ 2percentmulq rockin’ it out 

As I said, each LOCO LUNES has a special vibe to it, one of favorites was that on March 14th. March 14th’s LOCO LUNES happened to be one of my best friend’s 21st birthday! His nickname is Laker so we jokingly called it LAKER LUNES.

View from up top in VIP

Boys at Laker Lunes in VIP

For your birthday, you can have the option of partying at a private VIP table with a group of your close friends! For Laker’s birthday this is what he wanted to do, and how could I possibly reject an invite to be in the VIP section. Our other close friend from home Joe got to visit for Laker’s birthday and a LOCO LUNES!

Vip video showing LOCO LUNES from March 14th.

WOW what an amazing experience to be in VIP for a LOCO LUNES. In the video you can see my friend Joe LOVING it! Here is the transcription of the video: (music playing) this is Otto Zutz, LOCO LUNES March 14th. This is what the Americans students do on a typical Monday night, it’s a little bit absurd and we live it up. This is for my homework, this is VIP.

DJ booth at Loco Lunes @ Otto Zutz

With only a few LOCO LUNES’ left, I want to recall my first LOCO LUNES. The “familia” thought what is a better way to start off a fiesta than with some MEXICAN FOOD. One of the BEST Mexican restaurants in Barcelona is ROSA NEGRA located at 46 Via Laietana.They have AMAZING burritos and Mojitos for very cheap. As well as tons of funky decorations like flip flops, sombreros, and Mexican dolls. Rosa Negra has 2 locations, both worth checking out 😀

Familia at Rosa Negra

Inside Rosa Negra, the bar

From the Left: Geoff, Chris, Liza, Logan, Amanda, Maddy,Wes, Me, Rebecca. We all attend the University of Michigan, but are from different cities. Geoff,Chris,Amanda and Wes are all from Chicago. Liza is from Maryland, Logan is from Arizona, Rebecca is from New Jersey and Maddy and I are from Michigan. The boys are all in the Fraternity Theta Chi and all of us girls are in Kappa Kappa Gamma. As you can tell we are deep in the social networking.

The menu consists of a variety of nachos, Chips and Guacamole ( MUST HAVE **!), burritos, quesadillas, fijiatas, and tacos. You really cannot go wrong.

One of my other favorite things about the first LOCO LUNES was that my friends from school were going to be able to meet my friends from home out in social setting.

Some people are not as outgoing in a school setting situation like myself, so I knew it would be a great opportunity to meet new friends as well. I felt like it was the night of “o, you know my best friend.. blah blah blah”. I noticed that there was a TON of kids from Indiana University.  My best friend from home, Jaclyn, goes to Indiana. At the club I met TONS of people who knew her! It was so nice to put a face to a name of the kids I hear her talk about.

LOCO LUNES with Colleen and Joey

At first we spent time at the back bar of OTTO ZUTZ because it was a little less chaotic, and you could converse with people under the bar lights. The dance floor gets a bit dark and messy if you are trying to hold a conversation. Because the University of Michigan attracts so many out of state kids, I have been fortunate enough to meet kids from ALL over the United States. Without FACEBOOK I would never be able to keep track of what high school’s belong to what city and connect with mutual friends. Every minute, the geography game is played of who knows who from where and how you know them. That first LOCO LUNES shocked me, realizing WOW my social network is about to expand RAPIDLY.

Laker and I at the first LOCO LUNES

This is one of my favorite pictures from all of abroad so far! It is of me and Laker at the very first LOCO LUNES. It’s a night that is treasured in the hearts of all Barcelona students forever. I’m looking forward to the HOUSE/TECHNO music extraordinaire DJ AVICII who is playing one of the FINAL LOCO LUNES’ on APRIL 4th. It will be at a new LOCO Location at Up&Down.

Avicii “sweet dreams” remix ^^

Avicii flyer


Through the looking glass

9 03 2011

I find myself in a city, where every day seems to be the best day ever. I cannot have better things to say about my daily life here in Barcelona. Every time I walk down the street, ride the metro, try a new food, or see a new shop, I am amused. Each and every aspect of this city is fascinating to me. I LOVE to people watch and observe the different types of dress, body lanugage, or interactions between people. I have found that on the streets a majority of the people are dressed to impress. 

Strolling down Passieg De Gracia ( The 5th avenue of Barcelona) there are many older couples on the streets, sporting fur, scarfs, dress shirts or suits- all very chic, hip, and cool looking. Women are seen in boots, scarfs and beautiful jackets. It is not common to see so many older people out and about in Michigan (where I am from). The elderly dress like bums in sweatpants and sweatshirts and hide inside there homes during the colder winter months. Also I love seeing the most adorable and precious children being pushed around in strollers are sitatuated comfortably in their little sleeping bags.

People here are on the go, moving, doing, going and seeing. I love that people are constantly meeting up with friends at cafe’s to sit back, relax and catch up while drinking a coffee or having a quick snack.  Almost every restaurant has the option of outdoor seating- even if it is a bit chilly, you still will see people casually outside bonding with their peers.  The life of Barcelona is found on the streets.

While wandering the streets of Barcelona I have come across many authentic restaurants and cafe’s. Before coming here I was what you could consider a picky eater and a bit unwilling to try new things. But I knew that when I would arrive in Barcelona, I had to leave this trait behind. I promised myself that I would not hold back and truely embrace myself in this new culture.  I would taste, try, go, do or see any opportunity that was presented to me. If I was fortunate enough to be here for 4 months, I would have to take FULL advantage.

On day one of my Barcelona Travels, my friends and I headed straight to a Tapas restaurant, where we would be able to eat traditional food.  Walking out of our hotel, we figured there was no time like the present to take a ride on the Metro. Being brought up in suburbia, I have not had much experience with public transportation. Climbing down the grimy stairs, I was a bit nervous to travel underground for who knows how long while having NO idea where I was going. My mother’s voice was stuck in my head about being extra careful while riding the metro for she has only heard horror stories about pick pockiting and being “taken”.  I had to some how get that mind set out of my head, because I would soon have to be riding the Metro every day to school.

 My friends and I safetly arrive at Placa Catalunya and step out on to the streets. We walked about 2 blocks before deciding where to go. We chose somewhere that had tapas, paella and sangria ( what we had been told were traditional items of Barcelona).  We sat down at the restaurant, it was a suprise to me that only bottled water is drunk here, as well as the fact that wine is cheaper than water. Tapas are “small plates” of food- which come to your table VERY quickly and typically are hot.  The most common types of TAPAS are patatas bravas- which are potatoes with a spicy red sauce and mayonese on top, and spanish omelette– which is like a potatoe and egg round circle thing served with a piece of bread.

(this is a typical photo of what you would see when you walk into a tapas bar)

I tried many new things at this first meal in Barcelona  including : muscles, cod, paella (containing sea food), carpaccio, and patatas bravadas.  I felt like I was on a television show like Fear Factor, but at the same time stayed open minded about the experience. I plan to continue to live in the present here in Barcelona, not letting a minute go by where I am living life to the fullest.

Here is a tourist guide of things to do in barcelona!!