Road Trip Series Week 5: Montreal to New York

In each city, at each stop, I have been constantly thinking about my style and how it fits into the  surrounding environment. How can I change my style a bit to blend into each new city? I'm not sure if this is me trying to adapt and understand different communities, or if this is me caring too much about what other people think. Do I not want to stick out so that I can be left alone and go about my business? Or am I scared of coming off as foolish, uncool or a blatant tourist? I had a conversation with a friend recently and we agreed that, even though it's easy to do so, it's pointless to worry about what others think because NO ONE is thinking about it as much as you are. The truth is most people are thinking and worrying about themselves and it's a waste of our time and energy to be concerned with other's thoughts. So I try to remind myself every day that whatever I feel like, wearing, doing or being is exactly what it should be. "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

By the time I got to Montreal I was pretty exhausted. My mom joined me and we took it easy, leisurely strolling around the city. I really enjoyed this European-like city and would love to come back some time to explore even more.


La Buvette chez Simone – My mom and I randomly picked this place on Yelp and it turned out to be the coolest spot! Great service, drinks and fun atmosphere.

Café Chat L'Heureux – We should of done a little more research before we came to this cat cafe because we could of had a better experience. Cats sleep A LOT and we forgot that. We had nice food and coffee, pet a few cats but could have seen even more if we had come at a different time. There's always next time!

Mauve  Awesome tattoo shop! I was a walk-in so I was a little nervous to be so spontaneous but I now have my favorite tattoo yet. James was so sweet and is very talented.

Lola Rosa Café – Really good Mexican restaurant with lots of vegan and vegetarian options! We waited in line for a while but it was worth it.

Week 5 Playlist:

  1. Friends by Band of Skulls
  2. Where Is My Mind by Pixies
  3. Blessings by Chance the Rapper (or other song?)
  4. Spiderwebs by No Doubt
  5. Postcards from Italy by Beirut
  6. Big Jet Plane by Angus & Julia Stone
  7. Until We Get There by Lucius
  8. A World Alone by Lorde
  9. Genius of Love by Tom Tom Club
  10. Let the Good Times Roll by The Cars
  11. London Calling by The Clash
  12. That's Not My Name by The Ting Tings

I've officially reached the end of my road trip and am enjoying some time in Manhattan with lovely people I rarely get to see! Soon I'll be making my way to the UK and can't wait for you to follow me on that adventure as well. As part of my last post I wanted to mention the things that kept me company during this past month. Here are the things I read and listened to across America:


  1. NPR Politics Podcast
  2. Code Switch
  3. This American Life
  4. On the Media
  5. Dinner Party Download
  6. Another Round
  7. Two Dope Queens
  8. The Moth
  9. Sound Opinions
  10. Stuff You Missed In History Class
  11. Hard Pass
  12. Planet Money


  1. There Goes Gravity by Lisa Robinson – Lisa Robinson has been a rock journalist for most of her adult life and has many fascinating stories to tell. This book can get to be a lot at times with the constant name dropping but is worth it for the behind the scenes details of musicians since the 1960's.
  2. A Woman in Charge by Carl Bernstein (audiobook) – I highly recoomend this fairly unbiased biography of Hillary Clinton's personal and political life. I feel like I have helpful knowledge to be a more active and productive citizen because of listening to it.
  3. The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices – A book that was published in 1997 but still has relevant advice and information about sustainability. This is a frightening fact because we could have been doing so many of these things for far longer than we have been. However, I'm glad that I read it now because it is still a big help.
  4. The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart (in progress) – Like the title suggests this is a book that highlights the growing trend of political and cultural sorting that is happening in America. I'm fascinated and frightened all at once.

Road Trip Series Week 4: Ohio to Toronto

It's so common in our culture for straight guys to complain about "stuck up" girls. Girls that put a lot of effort into how they look and know they look good. Selfies have helped this stereotype to grow even further. The Kardashians are the epitome of this stereotype, especially in this modern age, and are criticized constantly for it. So many straight men reject this from women. Instead many are drawn to the meek, the girl who is beautiful but doesn't know it. This is an example that many will roll their eyes at, but the song "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction literally says, "You don't know you're beautiful, That's what makes you beautiful." This perpetuates the notion that women are supposed to only feel beautiful when a man recognizes it. I recently read a piece by an incredibly talented fellow CalArts student about catcalling and the her struggles with dealing with it. These interactions are not wanted, so we don't want to smile. This ends up feeling extremely passive, even submissive. Jamilla Reddy (the author) reflects on how this adds to the acceptance of rape culture and I would have to agree. The other day I was walking around Toronto by myself, headphones in, bitch face on and trying not to move my hips to much so I could attempt to attract the least attention as possible. But then I thought- fuck that! I feel good, I like my outfit, I love myself and I'm listening to some great music. I tuned the world out and walked just the way I wanted to, head held high, knowing that I looked good and no one needed to tell me for me to feel any sort of way about it. This isn't always easy and; ask Jamilla points out, not always possible but it was a moment of clarity. I'm not vouching for narcissism, but let's stop telling females to keep their pride quiet. Let them take selfies! Let us know we look good and not have so little self confidence that that scares you. We woke up like this and we know it looks good, so love it or leave. 


I didn't really take any photos or notes when I was in Ohio because I was visiting family outside of Cleaveland. I got the chance to rest, relax and goof around with my amazing cousins. The picture above is of my ONE of cousin's dogs "Morty" taking a comfy nap on the couch– I feel like it is a good representation of my visit there.


Food & Liquor — Super great service- the staff was really friendly and helpful. Their food consists of small plates that seem to be Japanese food inspired. I got celebrate my friend Brittany's birthday on their outdoor patio with her other friends!

Fresh On Spadina — This is an all vegan place and I spent a total of 30 minutes, here but was happy to get yummy smoothie because I haven't gotten the chance to in a while! They were playing Body Party on a Sunday afternoon which amused me greatly. 

Grasshopper — A nice vegan restaurant "focusing on taste". Super yummy!

Bang Bang Ice Cream — Another wait for ice cream but it was definitely not an hour this time. This place has unique ice cream presentation - in a waffle cone, cookie sandwich (there are at least 4 different types of cookies), puff pastry, or cinnibun. So many delicious options!

Kumpfert & Kim — An all vegan/vegetarian restaurant with great design. I went here twice for great vegan meals; however, I felt very un-welcomed by the staff– customer service is key!

VSP — This is an awesome vintage and consignment shop. All the pieces are designer so it can get a little pricey, but I had a really fun time just looking through all of the beautiful items.

Fashionably Yours — Another consignment shop with better pricing but more geared towards the "working woman". I tried some stuff on but don't feel I need a pair of trousers or button-up shirt at this moment in my life. 

Gusto 101 — This is a cool Italian food restaurant but oddly I got a beer and salad. Sometimes it's just what I'm in the mood for. Great atmosphere.

The Tampered Press — A quiet coffee shop where I got to hide from the heat for a bit. They had good coffee and vegan pastry options!

Week 4 Playlist:

  1. They by Jem
  2. Gosh by Jamie xx
  3. Minnie by Sleigh Bells
  4. Genevieve by Jai Paul
  5. Bourgeois by Phoenix
  6. Can We Work it Out by Arcade Fire
  7. Renaissance Girls by Oh Land
  8. Not Giving In by Rudimental
  9. Good Life by Kanye West
  10. Hey Ma by Cam'Ron
  11. Juicy by The Notorious B.I.G.
  12. Baby Boy by Beyoncé