Not-So Secret Garden

The weather here in New York has been all over the place these last few days (thanks, autumn) so I was thrilled when this Wednesday the skies were clear and sunny for my first-ever trip to the Botanical Gardens.  It’s actually pretty lame that I hadn’t been before. “The Botans”, as the cool kids call it, are literally across the street from the Fordham campus in the Bronx. I was there for about an hour or so, meaning I only got to see a bit of the grounds. Regardless, it is beautiful.

Okay, I really tried to limit myself with the number of pictures I posted here. And obviously, they don’t capture the beauty of it all. The Botanical Garden is this wonderful oasis – you would never guess you were in New York City, let alone in the Bronx! I honestly felt really zen there, which I realize sounds ridiculously cheesy. All the green is just soothing. I love that while everything is well-maintained, the flower beds and all aren’t overly manicured. It gives some parts of the Botans a rustic feel. It’s the perfect locale for an Alice in Wonderland-themed photo shoot. (I did see a rabbit scurrying around after all!) I can’t wait to explore it more once the leaves change and maybe even after the first snowfall.

~ Sarah

*Oh hey, throwback post! This is originally from early October – whoops!

Unplugging

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Photo Credit

So a month or so ago, I had to embark on “media diet” for my communications class. It was a pretty interesting experience, so I decided to write a post about it. We were free to set our own guidelines: I decided to ban myself from using my computer, iTouch, cellphone, or television for a day.

One of the first things that became clear to me is that although “technology” and “media” are often used interchangeably, there’s is a difference. For example, we can use our cell phones as clocks or alarms and we can use them to communicate with our friends and family. In today’s society, it is unrealistic to  completely purge ourselves of technology. During the day my classes did go by quickly, because I also had forgotten my watch, so I really had no concept of how quickly (or slowly) time was passing. Two of my professors used powerpoints during their lectures and a third screened a film in class. Only so much was in my control, media-wise.After class, I preoccupied myself by painting my nails, writing letters (yes, real hand-written letters), and doing some reading for a class. However, the silence became deafening at a point, and I decided to put on some classical music. Turns out, I need white noise, otherwise my mind wanders and it’s impossible to focus on other tasks.

Overall, my media diet wasn’t too terrible. Even though I had my phone on me most of the day, I rarely checked it or used it. I didn’t turn on my tv or computer until nearly midnight. I only wanted to check my Facebook and the weather quickly, but when I opened my e-mail, I had 43 messages!! Most weren’t on pressing matters, and that was reassuring. I guess the internet doesn’t miss me too much when I’m gone. Two things helped me manage this little experiment. One, I put away most of my tech devices for the day. “Out of sight, out of mind” really applied here for me. Also, I kept myself very busy. I feel that our generation dislikes boredom so much, we would rather sit there looking at a screen than stare at an empty room. We need to be doing something constantly to satisfy our energy and short attention spans. Still, I think it was a positive thing to for me to do a media diet, and I should make an effort to unplug more often. I think that’s one of the reasons my blogging break was longer than I had planned: I was burned out. All this technology can’t always be healthy for us. Plus, it’s always nice to get back in touch with reality. Need more proof?

What do you think? Have you gone on a media diet? Do you think it’s healthy for us to unplug now and then?

~ Sarah

Sarah Goes to Washington

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting friends from home in Washington, D.C. It may not be a metropolis in the way New York or London may be, but I still think D.C. makes for a lovely capital in its own right. I was there for little more than a day, but it was still a great trip. On Friday evening, I took a bus from New York and arrived in Washington kind of late. My friends and I just ended up grabbing burgers and hanging out around the American University area.

Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous fall day, perfect for exploring the city. Our first stop was Eastern Market, which includes a farmers’ market and a flea market. Not too many things in my budget caught my eye, but I did buy some pretty black pearl studs.

After spending a couple hours there, we grabbed a quick lunch at Seventh Hill. I admit, I did decide to eat there because they were playing the UMiami-Clemson game, but luckily our sandwiches were delicious!

Yummy!

Then we headed out towards the Capitol, because I had never seen many of the buildings in that area. I love the architecture in D.C.

The Thomas Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress.
At the Capitol.
The Supreme Court
"Equal Justice Under Law"
Washington Monument
Promise my shirt didn't look this strange in real life.

After our busy afternoon, we headed back to the AU campus (where my friends go to school and I was staying) until dinner. Then we hit up the Cheesecake Factory for some four cheese pasta and red velvet cake. Then we continued our touristy adventures by going to see some more monuments at night.

Is D.C. gorgeous or what? I think it’s a wonderful city. Have you guys ever been there? What’s your favorite thing about it?

~ Sarah