Burger Me Barcelona!

25 04 2011

My FAVORITE foods to eat are a Hamburger and French Fries. No matter what time of day or what day of the week it is I am always down to grab a Hamburger and French Fries.I’ve got my usual burger joints back in Bloomfield Hills, Detroit and Ann Arbor. Coming to Barcelona meant I had to begin my Burger journey again to find the top spots! Obviously, I had the options of going to McDonalds and Burger King, but I was not going to settle for those American fast food joints! I wanted to find AUTHENTIC BURGER joints in Barcelona. I was not able to take this on alone, and had to look for some “Burger Buddies“, people who would be on the hunt for a great burger joint.

The  the perfect combination of Hamburger and Fries depends on type of meat used for the burger, the cripsy-ness of the fries, the amount of time it takes to be cooked and where you are going to be eating the burger and fries!

Stop 1: Sandwich and Friends – with four convenient locations, I found myself struck by the “Burger & Friends” advertisements at a local restaurant by my apartment.  This burger was of decent size, but served with chips not fries.   it was garnished with just a bun… BORING. Therefore, i can only give it a 5/10 rating. Sandwich and Friends overall gets a 4 star rating, as they are open 7 days a week and have free wifi !!

Stop 2: Bar Paris – a small cafe/bar that is located next to my apartment. Bar Paris is open at almost all hours of the day and is seen as a local hot spot for drinks, coffee, and tapas! Their burger is small and has a funky Catalan taste. It is not like your typical American burger as it comes solely as the meat, lettuce, a tomato, and bun. nothing more, nothing less. To me this is a dinky burger! but it is cheap and convenient.  I give this burger  a 6/10

How to Eat a Burger the “RIGHT” way ….

stop 3: La Champagneria o El Champayxet – tucked away in a tiny alley way – reina christina – near port olympico at the end of Via Lietana you will find this local spot. You throw your trash on the ground, meat is hanging in the air, and champagne is popping left and right. this burger may be on the smaller side, but it’s bun it filled with goodness!! pickles, bacon and spicy sauce top this burger off… no fries here either. But you can wash it down with home made champagne !! Making it a 7/10 on the rating scale

I have discovered secret places of barcelona where to get the BEST BURGER EVER EVER- you’ll have to ask me because i will not publicly share this information. and let me tell you this burger makes the top 5 world wide list!!!





Barca give me housee!!

25 04 2011

If the embedded video player doesn’t work please click on this Link to view a podcast about the Beats of Barcelona !!

itunes picTechnology is becoming increasingly intertwined with pop culture. On a daily basis we use digitized versions of books, films, and radio series.
we are known as the “tech babies” of generation Y those who are familiar with media, communication, and digital technologies. It only makes sense that these aspects would resonate in our daily lives. We use our ipods and mp3 players to watch tv shows, movies, and listen to music and podcasts.Generation Y is obsessing over “HOUSE MUSIC” aka “TECHNO MUSIC“. House music is computer generated sound bites, beats, and jams.

The 20/21 year old study abroad students here in Barcelona exaggerate the growing passion for HOUSE MUSIC. We eat , barely sleep, and dream HOUSE MUSIC. As of January 2011, college students from America got their first taste of HOUSE MUSIC at the “Energy” show in Amsterdamn, Netherlands. Other HOUSE MUSIC shows that many study abroad students attended were: AfroJack in Barcelona, Laidback Luke in Barcelona, Avicii in Barcelona, Skrillex in London, and “Sensation White” in Brussels, Beliguim. Many students will attend one final show before heading back home to the US of A on April 28th 2011 – Dirty South ft Dj David Berrie in Barcelona.

Study abroad students have been fortunate enough to see a multitude of HOUSE MUSIC shows and concerts in Barcelona!! Students studying abroad in other cities( such as Florence,Prague, London) have traveled to Barcelona just to experience these HOUSE MUSIC artist’s.





Calling anyone and everyone!

13 04 2011

Have you ever heard of a podcast?A podcast is a PERSONAL, ON DEMAND, broDCAST that is typically audio only. podcasts a fabulous venue to share and learn information about a topic because they are easy to access and freeAnyone can create a podcast, all you need is a computer, a microphone and a connection the web. The advancement of podcasting came about in early 2004 with the advent and increasing popularity of MP3 players and iPods. These are not the only mediums in which you can listen to a podcast. podcasts because they are broadcasted on the web are easily accessible. Today, people are able to access the internet from their hand held phone… something that was basically unheard of seven short years ago.Trying to explain a podcast to someone who did not grow up in the digital generation may be difficult. I took the time to share this video of podcasting in plain english to my mom, a new user to the internet and technology.

podcasting

podcasts are ideal for someone who wants to have a quick update, background, or full emersion of a topic. podcasts cover various topics, from serious political and legislative news, rap artist’s latest song to your neighbor’s gardening skills. 

The best part is that you can watch AS MUCH AS YOU WANT , WHENEVER YOU WANT, and can be HEARD VIA MULTIPLE MEDIA OUTLETS. Podcast’s are ideal for both people who are on the go-go-go and those who just like to sit back and learn about something new. You can tailor your “podcast playlist” to YOUR interests and hobbies. They are distributed episodically and streamed on the web.Being openly accessible and available 24/7 is a perk of subscribing to podcasts.

another benefit to podcasting is the lack of a gatekeeper. anyone and everyone has the ability to produce and export media content.   i think it is important that people take advantage of the opportunity to share their experiences with the rest of the ” World”, or those who are community members to the WORLD WIDE WEB. podcasts have evolved the process of audio mediums from a PUSH to a PULL. We are able to personalize and pull our own information easily and accessibly. these are important in determining the success of your podcast.

NPR- national public radio , one of the few if not only in the US that still exists. This medium offers a variety of podcasts to listen to. It is obvious that there is something for EVERYONE by browsing through the main categories of NPR’s podcasts : around the nation, art and life, books, business, economy, food, health, music, news, politics, science, technology, US and World.

Go out and explore the WEB! find the perfect podcast for you!





Cookin’ up a storm!

30 03 2011

I knew that with coming to Barcelona I would experience an immense amount of new activities! Back in ANN ARBOR, I am constantly running from place to place and moving non stop. Now that I have a bit more leisure time to mess around, I have taken my talents to the kitchen. Yes, I have actually cooked multiple meals AND not had any fires (yet).

I started with the simplest of foods: EGGS. How hard could it be to crack an EGG , toss it in a pan, and mix it around until it was ready.

 

Advancin’ for Manci

Getting a bit bored of plain old eggs , I decided what are EGGS without hashbrowns...!?Jules, My roommate at school is a better chef than Emerl in my eyes. One night she fascinated me and whipped me up a fresh batch of homemade hashbrowns!! I have never felt the same way about cooking since that night.Day after day I waited to attempt making hashbrowns on my own. The perfect day had finally come to test my breakfast skills … Amanda Manci’s 21st Birthday!! A little bit of this and a little bit of that… and look what I made!

Manci's Birthday Brunch

Fruit plate of kiwi and strawberries, along side the homemade hash browns and grilled chicken!

Grilled chicken is also another easy dish to make! All you have to do is pick up some raw”pollofrom the market or the local pollaria. You toss it in a pan with oil and than season it up!

Pick it up a notch

Eating the basics got old fast, I knew it was time to step it up in the kitchen.  Thinking about all of the foods I missed at home the most, a BIM BIM BOP came to mind. Spicy hot sauce poured all over the burning bowl of rice, vegetables, chicken and egg… a re creation was needed ASAP. This led me to the my ASIAN CRAZE in the kitchen.

This photo is a bit distorted because it is taken from a camera phone… but this was the result of a do-it-yourself lettuce wrap!

 

 

 

 

It is hard to tell, but it is made up of : grilled chicken, EGG, carrots, broccoli, and a bit of celery for some CRUNCH.

Madeline's Dish

Madeline, my roommate, made the next part of the ASIAN meal. It is a combination of : grilled chicken, grilled red peppers, garlic, noodles, and a little feta on top.

It is fun to experiment in the kitchen!! It is worth taking a risk and trying NEW things.





Catalan News Agency

30 03 2011

Last week the Journalism 2.0 Class took a  field trip to the Catalan News Agency. This is one of the top agencies for broadcasting in Catalunya, and it is SOLEY broadcast ed in ENGLISH.

http://catalannewsagency.com/

Unfortunately due to travels, I was unable to attend the class field trip. I have decided to look to their website for information.

CNA aka Catalan News Agency has a very straight forward and aesthetically appealing website. CNA focuses on Politics, Business, Society & Science, Life & Style, Culture and of course, SPORTS!

TOP HIGHLIGHT STORIES

Explore Catalan Culture

>Barcelona’s main public library to be built next to the Ciutadella Park.The Library’s construction will begin in 2012 and last three years, it will cost 37.4 million euros. Miro finally deicded where to place his 5 floor library containing up to 600,000 volumes of books.

Explore Catalan Sports

>Alberto Contador has won the centenary edition of the ‘Volta Ciclista a Catalunya’, Catalonia’s cycling Tour. Barcelona takes pride in being able to host the finish line for the cyclying tour.

You can find a siderbar of widgets to the right of the 2 column website.

The first widget is for “Catalan Views” – one of them is by Jori Vaquer the director of CIDOB and the second is by Josep Gonzalez the president of PIMEC(SME Association).   These are the top opinions by produced by the Catalan News Agency. The second widget is an advertistment for FC Barcelona!

Click! To buy FC Barcelona tickets to the next game here April 6th. If you haven’t been to a game yet, I have heard it is well worth it !! I am trying to attend this game with my roommates.

The third widget hosts “Special” news stories to view – today’s happen to be on “science in catalonia” and “Debate:Open to the world”.

Then there are a few different options on how to subscribe to the Catalan News Agency’s website.

  • The website’s sidebar also lists its latest and most popular stories! and last but not least there is a translator button! This is helpful for those people who cannot understand ENGLIGH.

    This news agency covers ALL Catalunya, not just the city of barcelona! it is interesting that they would chose to put an advertisement of the futbol team as the second widget on the sidebar. The FB Barca futbol team is a part of the Catalan Identity.

    Below is a video of The Catalan News Agency

    The Catlan News Agency Website is very basic and straight forward, it has a great visual appeal and its easy to navigate through. I would give this web page a high rating on its quality.





    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.

    Stadium

     





    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 http://www.thegeorgepayne.com/ 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

    LET’S GET LOCO!