Archive for the ‘USA’ Category

Gearing up for New York

July 18, 2007

I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t end this blog. Though I know it has been a while, I wanted to say thanks for everyone who took an interest in my trip. I’d also like to say to all the people who have expressed to me they would like to do something like what I did… you can:) It just takes some planning, saving, and a desire for adventure. Here’s something I wrote for the Tufts Daily a few weeks back entitled “There really isn’t any rush”

Anyway, things happen quickly. I arrived home in Boston on Easter Sunday to my parents open arms. 5 days later I was in New York interviewing for a job in New York city. My first 3 weeks home I slept in 6 different places in the process of seeing family and friends, working on Cape Cod, and interviewing.

The interviewing went well, and almost 3 weeks after I got back, I was offered a job at Cowen and Company as a financial analyst. I’m doing equity research (analyzing stocks) in the restaurant industry. It is something of a leap from spending the summer waiting tables, but the stock market is something I’ve been interested in since I was about 16. So far it is going well and although sitting at a desk all day takes some getting used to, I take comfort in the fact that I didn’t do that for a very long time.

A real job. It might be a disappointment to some who have lived vicariously through me over the past few years, but I’m very excited for the opportunity. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

In the meantime, I’m going to try and blog about things that interest me. Namely technology, food, and life in NY. You can find the new blog at http://casabian.blogspot.com. Please check it out when you have a moment.

I hope you all enjoyed reading. Do it while you can!

If you’re going to San Francisco…

March 30, 2007

In no particular order

  1. Get a cask ale at Magnolia brewery
  2. Take a walk down Castro street while stopping to hear some interesting conversations
  3. Taste some Italian cheese at AG Ferrari cheese shop (in Castro)
  4. Catch a game at AT&T Park
  5. Relax in Japan Town
  6. Take it all in at Union Square (while I was there I had a great nap and woke up to a bum getting lyrical with the statue there “Hey you, get off of my cloud”)
  7. Shoot way too many photos of the Golden Gate Bridge
  8. Watch the kitesurfers and windsurfers cruising under the bridge
  9. Make a trip to Napa (I liked St. Supery the best)
  10. Relax in Crissy Field
  11. Try to find the houses where Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead lived
  12. Stay with good friends. Thanks Mo and Tim and Tee!
  13. Play Pac Man at the Bus Station bar
  14. Explore the quality supermarkets
  15. Spend some time in Los Altos enjoying excellent food. This Greek place was some of the best appetizers I’ve had in the US.
  16. Don’t eat at Nick’s restaurant in Fisherman’s wharf (thankfully I learned this when I suffered a bout of food poisoning at the age of 12–I saw and remembered the very table we sat at.
  17. Don’t buy camera gear anywhere near the wharf. A lens the salesman was trying to sell me started at $499 and the final offer as I left the shop was $99. In some ways, it was kind of nice because I felt like I was back in China!
  18. Eat at In and Out Burger (I guess you can do that one anywhere in California)
  19. See the Xanadu Art Gallery housed in a brick building built by Frank Lloyd Wright. Their is a staircase like the one at the Guggenheim in New York.
  20. Drive down the crookedest street in the world
  21. Enjoy the free samples and gourmet food shops at Embarcadero
  22. View the Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin highlands
  23. Take a day trip to Sausalito

I could go on and on, and I think that is what so great about San Francisco. There is an incredible amount of things to see and do.

For those still reading, there will be a couple more posts. Thank you all for your interest throughout the past six months!

Some additions from readers:

1. look for a great white shark in the bay

2. find the full house house

3. get nose pierced or get a strange tattoo in Haight Ashbury (I didnt do this one but put my friends up to it)

4. get chocolate at the wharf

5. ummm hellllooooAlcatraz!!!

Aloha

March 23, 2007

I thought it best to ease myself into a return to the US. Landing in Oahu in mid-March would be far more pleasant than Boston. The morning that I arrived the sun was out and it was 80 degrees. I could actually speak English and know that I would be understood! The customs official was far nicer than any I’ve ever encountered in Boston. It was more of a friendly chat than anything else.

My honeymoon with the U.S. ended quickly. I exited the terminal and began trying to find a phone to call my friend Brendon who would be picking me up from the airport. Soon realizing I had no quarters to make a phone call, I asked a guy with a cell phone if I could pay him to make a quick call. Now I’ve used this line in many countries (some extremely poor I might add) and not once has anyone ever allowed me to pay. I completed my phone call in less than a minute and handed the phone back. “One dollar,” he said. Welcome back. I couldn’t believe it. The good news is most of the Hawaiians I met were far friendlier than my airport cell phone carrier. The drivers of the local bus (called “TheBus”) were particularly friendly.

But I must get back to my culture shock upon landing in Hawaii. It was amazing to see the emphasis placed on an individual’s body in Hawaii. I would say 90% of the people my age have at least one tattoo. When you think about the cost of these things, and then see a person covered in them, it makes you wonder if there isn’t a better way to use one’s financial resources. I do understand self expression and the need to look cool, but at some point don’t you just start looking like everyone else? Is it necessary to have your chest hair removed by a laser?

What does a shirt that says “fired up over Jesus” in flame lettering really mean? Why are people either extremely fat or sculpted like the statue of David? Is a Subway sub really worth $9? These are questions I found myself asking while exploring the island of Oahu.

My culture shock notwithstanding, I had a fabulous week in Oahu. It is one of the more naturally beautiful places I visited in my travels and the beaches are second to none. The surf of the North shore and the Pipeline are a humbling nod to the power of nature. And the seemingly unlimited supply of fresh ahi tuna is something I could get used to. Kailua pork is also a nice culinary contribution.

Some other highlights from Hawaii included a St. Patrick’s day block party, drinking homemade beer, and indulging in some chocolate covered macadamias.

More to come from California…sorry for the delayed postings!