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

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 !!

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!!

Tweet Tweet

9 03 2011

Microblogging – it can be characterized as a brief posts typically under 140 characteristics of what is happening. According to WIKIPEDIA – Microblogs “allow users to exchange small elements of content such as short sentences, individual images, or video links.

 Typically blogs are seen as long dragged out posts with many hyperlinks, images, videos and other forms of multi-media.  Microblogging does share these forms of multi media but maybe just not as extensive. Microblogging may show you one direct link, or one image vs many. An advantage to Microblogging is that it is short , efficient and straight to the point.  I find that microblogging is more convient to my upbeat lifestyle.

The top microblogging website today would be Twitter! Twitter is a social networking and microblogging website where users can connect, share, and inform( in addition to many other things). Twitter gives you the option to protect your tweets( the message that you post in 140 characters or less) or show them publicly. Many business companies and celebrities use twitter as a way to gain a following. The average joe is also commonly found on twitter. People use Twitter as a way to stay in touch with friends or share information with them about anything and everything.  Twitter took off in 2006 and was created by Jack Dorsey.  Today Twitter is estimated to have 190 million users, generating 65 million tweets a day and handling over 800,000 search queries per day. You can join today at TWITTER.COM

If you still don´t really understand what TWITTER is all about, please watch this video :

I love using Twitter to get news and keep up with my friends lives. I also created a public twitter account for Journalism 2.0 @barshawlona 

A few issues arise with microblogging such as PRIVACY and SECURITY. although TWITTER has protected tweets some people still feel like their information can be easily distributed.  People feel nervous about their information being so public, but in my opinion thats just what you have to deal with while posting things on the internet.

I would be more concerned about having someone stalk you. If you are posting where you are and what you are doing at all points of the day someone could easily follow you literally!! It is important to share your information wisely.


21 02 2011

WOW! what a weekend !! I just returned from AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS. A place that I have watched a multitude of documentaries around and have heard many stories about this wonderful city.  I have listened to story and after story from my friends, grandparents, aunts , uncles and cousins about AMSTERDAM. Each of them had their own experience and  story to share with me.

My Grandfather had told me about how the MEN AND WOMEN were both extremely TALL there. He said that ALL of the women there were towering over him – he is about six feet tall (he’s been shrinking hehe). I figured this out very quickly and noticed that all of the people around me in the train station were at lest 1 and a half feet taller than I was. They were looking at life from an ENTIRE different viewpoint that what I was! These TALL people would never have any trouble trying to find their friends in a large crowd.As my friends and I wandered around the streets of AMSTERDAM, I came to the conclusion that maybe the DUTCH were SO TALL because of their means of TRANSPORTATION.

TRANSPORTATION is commonly the root of how a city runs, in AMSTERDAM you have many options of how you would like to make your communte each day around the city: walk, cab, drive, BIKE, ride down the CANALS on a boat, tram, and train. The main form of TRANSPORTATION in AMSTERDAM is BIKING. I would say it is safe to say that EVERY single person in AMSTERDAM owns a BIKE! Before arriving in AMSTERDAM, I met 2 boys who are studying abroad in AMSTERDAM and they shared their story with me. They were saying how EVERYONE rides BIKES, and how cars and cabs are uncommon. Cab drivers rip you off and try to make you feel like you are an idiot ( this is my own personal story). The boys recommended that we purchase a BIKE from a junkie on our first day there, and use it as a means of TRANSPORTATION. We chose to not listen to the boys because 1. we would never be able to keep up with the professional BIKERS of AMSTERDAM and 2. we wanted to walk around the city, catch it in all of its glory (taking our time to stop and take photos) , as well as ride down the CANALS. Because their main form of TRANSPORTATION does not involve sitting in a car – their bodies are in motion more often. I think that the BIKE’s stretch out their legs which makes the locals SO TALL. Otherwise, the locals are walking around walking around which is also great exercise for themselves.I heard that Mac’s Bike Tour was the best one to take in order to see the entire city. Like I said before, the professional bikers of AMSTERDAM kept us away from taking the BIKE tour.

The opposite of getting a good work out would be EATING EXCESSIVELY. Let me tell you one of my favorite parts of my  AMSTERDAM story is about all of the AMAZING FOOD I ate over the weekend. First of all I fell deeply in LOVE with Stroopwafel’s – which are palm sized caramel wafer cookies! OMG they are UNREAL- I averaged about 20-25 of these wafers a DAY, NO JOKE.  We stayed at the Marriott Hotel which was heavenly, because they would give us an UNLIMITED amount of individually packed wafer‘s at the front desk- i seriously took advantage of this! I also bought 3 boxes of them at the Supermarket. I reallyy LOVED them. My best friend from home Jaclyn, told me all of her AMSTERDAM stories about a month ago when she traveled there. Her story revolved around a restaurant called  THE PANCAKE BAKERY. She raved about the FOOD there as the DUTCH are known for their stroopwafers , PANCAKES as well as FRENCH FRIES. DELICIOUS! My friends and I found ourselves dining at THE PANCAKE BAKERY 3x during our weekend trip! It was better than she even described it! One of the pancake options was called a “Princess Pancake”- the powdered sugar and candy filled pancake came with a Tiara and Wand! My other friends stuck to more traditional PANCAKES and ordered nutella and banana PANCAKES. This is a FAMOUS PANCAKE restaurant, and my FAVORITE CELEBRITY has even been!! I think Paris Hilton really knows what is going on and where the HOT spot to be is! So I trusted her along with my best friend Jaclyn and traveled to THE PANCAKE BAKERY. With wanted to be known world wide, the restaurant has to have a WEBSITE – what would a restaurant be without a properly functioning WEBSITE.

If you want to check out more information about THE PANCAKE BAKERY aka the best PANCAKE place in the ENTIRE world probably, look at this website : Here you can find out the history of the shop as well as pictures of what it looks inside and the MENU! One really great thing about THE PANCAKE BAKERY was that it is located about 2 blocks from the ANNE FRANK HOUSE, also known as the ANNE FRANK HUIS if you are from the Netherlands. This is a central spot for tourism and locals to know of, so if you needed some help with directions, all you had to do was ask which way to the Anne Frank House– and you would be on your path to the heavenly PANCAKE BAKERY. When we were finished with our delicious and heavenly PANCAKES we made our way to the Anne Frank House.

Anne Frank’s House was something that I have heard about since I was a very young girl. As a Jew, we learn about the HOLOCAUST at a young age and are educated on many aspects of it. One of the first stories we are told is that from the Diary of Anne Frank. Her story is one of the most famous stories that was able to survive the Holocaust. To walk through the place that she had grown, lived and hide in gave my entire body the chills. Seeing and touching what I had read and learned about for 15 years of my life was absolutely incredible. To see her physical DIARY pages and notebooks, it was just WOW so surreal. To listen to videos and replay her story in my mind was insightful. We have all had our struggles, but nothing compares to those of the Holocaust. THIS WAS A 5 star TRIP!!!! can’t wait to go back !!!!!


6 02 2011


Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid

Sans Chocolateria

Madrid is the first city outside of Barcelona that I have traveled to in Spain. CEA was nice enough to offer a “school field trip” for the weekend to Madrid, Spain. A group of students met at the Train Station early Friday morning, February 4th. This was my first experience with the Spain Train System, and I was surprised at its ease. We each were given an assigned seat in a nice cabin where a movie played for the 2 hour and 40 minute ride. Once arriving in Madrid, the first area my group of friends and I traveled to was PLAZA MAYOR (seen in the first photo). In the plaza there were a bunch of restaurants where we ate lunch out side – it was over priced and not that great. But there were funny disney characters running around such as spider man, minnie mouse, mickey mouse, and hello kitty! The second photo is of Mercado De San Miguel – an indoor market where fresh fruit, fish, small tapas, and tons of wine are sold. We ate a bit there on sunday before we left to go back to Barcelona. Many people meet here for a snack or to have a drink with friends.  It was extremely crowded! The streets of Madrid were constantly filled with people.

The third photo was taken during one of my FAVORITE experiences in MADRID. MADRID is known for their CHURROS dipped in CHOCOLATE. WOW these were AMAZING!! We went to a famous 24 hour shop called Sans Chocolateria, it is located on a small street off Puerto de Sol, a main area in Madrid. Puerto de Sol is a city center where 10 main roads meet together. The churros were to die for!! They melted in your mouth!

Another favorite Madrid HOT SPOT of mine was RITERO, a park where you can hop on to a small row boat and relax in the only body of water in Madrid Here you can see my roommates and I hanging out in the pond on a gorgeous day! It was a little difficult to get around at first, considering we don’t have great boat skills, but we made it out 😀

We also went to the FAMOUS FLEA MARKET – RASTRO. People were moving in herds ( like cows) and you could BARELY move. The streets are FILLED with small booths of SUNGLASSES, JACKETS, PURSES, LEATHER ITEMS, POSTERS, and more!  This was definitely the place to be on a SUNDAY. Here is a link for more information about Rastro.

Madrid was a nice city, but I am VERY VERY happy to be back in BARSHAWLONA!!!!