Niagara Falls

The Experience

Some shots from my family trip to Niagara Falls. If you are in the area, that place is a must see. It was my dad’s dream come true, and I loved having the opportunity to have fun taking pictures at a leisure pace. My family is made up of a bunch of nerds, including myself. I love learning random facts and tidbits. I would be the dork going along an educational tour and truly enjoying it. 

Niagara Falls, NY

What struck me about Niagara Falls, NY was how different it was than Niagara Falls, Canada. They are the complete opposite. The NY side is a bit more “nature-y”, acting as an introduction to the magnificent Falls. Beyond the gardens though lies the declining city with its dilapidated buildings. It has the feel of a ghost town. Bloomberg Businessweek even wrote an article on the city’s decline. 

Our first view of the falls.

 Ya know that “larger than life” feeling you get sometimes? Where something just feels so infinite and majestic? That’s what the falls looked like the first time I laid eyes on them. 

Just wow.

 The roaring …. it is in the roaring. The water is rushing past you and the sound just lures you closer and closer. You want to be deafened by it’s power. I loved it. 

Just like a postcard.

Even though the day was grey, it was still amazing. My parents were a little trigger happy and wouldn’t stop to just watch the falls for a while until we asked them to stop. They just wanted to take non-stop pictures of us posing in front. Though this makes for great memories, I just want to remember the moment for a second, the pictures won’t capture all of  that.

A classic.

 You have to do the package deal. 5 attractions in total will give you a pretty good picture of what the Falls are all about. We were able to do all that in 2 days. 

The Facts

  • Niagara Falls is made up of 3 falls 
  • The first person to go over the Falls in a barrel and survive was a 63 year old female schoolteacher.
  • 600,000 US gallons of water fall per second on the longest fall within the Niagara Falls.
  • 1/5 of the worlds freshwater lies in the Great Lakes, and most flows over Niagara Falls.
  • Only 1 person has survived falling in Niagara Falls.  A 7-year-old boy in 1961, who went over the Horseshoe Falls


Don’t try this at home
Ha, this cracks me up every time. You know the quirks of belonging to a family? Don’t deny it. We all have those random moments that make you either cringe (especially when you were a kid) or laugh because you realize only within the context of family could it ever exist. 
The beginning of our trip consisted of just that. My mother suddenly asks if we want cucumbers with lime and salt. (Again, it should be noted that I am hispanic….and thus this part is not actually weird). When I say yes, she suddenly starts taking out all these supplies from some random Mary Poppins bag she has by her foot and proceeds to act like she is back in our kitchen.
Yes…. she had our very own traditional wooden board thing (I don’t even know what the name is) and had begun to dice a cucumber and cut a lime and even had the freaken salt from our dining room table. Hahaha, only my mom. 

Korea in NYC: Social Eatz

The Place:

I headed to the infamous Social Eatz in Midtown East to try the famous “Bibimbap Burger”, which had been named as the Greatest Burger in America. As you recall, I had a goal to try it out and see how authentic it really was to Korean cuisine. Fusion places are always iffy – you can never tell what you are gonna get. Social Eatz was started by Angelo Sosa, a Top Chef contestant. You can read more about the opening here

The Food:

My friend Patty initially joined me in this food adventure and we started our night with a pitcher of white sangria. For $38 I was expecting more of a kick. It had sounded great, mango mixed in with Bacardi and white wine and surprisingly cloves and a cinnamon stick tossed in as well. But the expectation fell flat….it tasted too bland and innocent. I always feel like sangria is a feisty and festive sort of drink and this just really didn’t make my night. The Max Beer pitcher did add a bit of Korean nostalgia to the moment at least.

Patty ended up getting the Chili Kissed Tilapia Tacos. The fish is brushed with thai chili, sauteed and garnished with fresh green tomato salsa and avocado. Great light and tasty dish. 

This burger is the perfect fusion of Korean and America. It has that smoky soft flavor that I find distinctly in bibimbap, while maintaining the all-american beef which we let the chef decide just how to cook. Watch the video below to get the full review. 

End Thoughts

Adelaida and her husband Paul surprised me and joined us for dinner. I thank them for their patience as they didn’t realize what a blogger I am and the experience had to be recorded. The atmosphere was perfect for a summer in New York, the food came pretty fast, the waitress was pleasant and the company was great. I would go back and try the rest of the food in a heartbeat. 

The Video:

Acting in Seoul

July 23 – The Daegu Theatre Troupe performed in “It’s Not Easy Being Seen”, a show centered around the controversial issue of colorblind casting. Colorblind casting is the idea of casting based entirely on talent and not race. The show was set to open in Seoul for a night, and so after rehearsing for a few weeks with laughs at our absurd southern accents, we headed up to Seoul to the Probationary Theatre. It was fun to be in a close space, a small theater that connects us more to the audience. The space is brand new so expect more from the theater group there. 

With my partner in crime

Watch the full play here on Youtube. The sound is a bit off but it always is when taping in a theater space. 

Camp Trip to Camp Walker

I had the pleasure of helping my neighbor Mike out at his school summer camp right before I left. A week teaching boys? Let’s just say it was a bit out of my comfort zone, but it ended up being a fun experience none the less. (And I do prefer teaching girls for those that are curious). 

Our experience also happened to coincide with a video being made at the time by the BOSS program in the US Army. BOSS (Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers) offers programs, such as volunteering in helping summer students visit the camp, to single soldiers overseas. I even got my 2 seconds of fame ^^

AFN Korea than broadcasted the clip on their show. AFN Korea is a multi-service organization made up of Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Department of the Army civilians and Korean nationals. The network is organized into a headquarters in Seoul and five broadcast detachments.

Camp Walker: