Swing: The Salsa of the West?

This past weekend was a really fun, quirky, sporadic one. I rushed to my ‘friday night groove’ hot yoga class after work and felt all of my cares (literally) melt away once I stepped into the studio. You seriously melt, it’s HOT in there. After listening to a room full of Malibu Barbie-looking girls chant their size 0 hearts out in Sanskrit (awkward), we plunged sweat-first into a great class. I still haven’t gotten used to how pretty people in California are. It’s almost as if they have some sort of inner glow that causes a bio-luminescence that draws foreign eyes toward them. Oh never mind, that’s called a tan.

After yoga, I headed to downtown Sacramento with a couple of interns to do some Swing dancing for the first time! Once I entered the antique ballroom, heard the sounds of the jazz combo, and saw the immaculately period-dressed hipsters, I was in love. The basic steps were pretty easy to pick up and I got asked to dance so courteously that I could never refuse the nerdiest/sweatiest looking people. For the record, nerdy/sweaty people are the best friends because they know what real life is about.

At a couple of times in the night I became entranced by the beautiful movement sweeping over the unlikely crowd on the dance floor. It was almost as if a bunch of odd misfits got together and decided to throw a swingin’, swayin’ soiree and I felt right at home.

Moving from Miami to Pittsburgh (where I live most of the year due to school) made me miss the vibrant Latin parties full of Salsa and Merengue dancing. I had long wondered what real American people do if they just want to go out dancing. While I may not be a fancy swing dancer (yet!), I can tell that this merge of great music and movement is going on my list of favorite things.

Oh I also went to the state fair, ate more fried goodies, took a long lone stroll through the mall, re-discovered my caffeine dependence, and cooked/baked a ton of things. Stay tuned for some cupcakes that will probably change your life.

Cheers,
M

Photo credit: http://arts2go.org/?q=node/898

City of Colors

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Apparently, the way I post on this blog is the way I write in journals: sporadic and only when I’m settled enough to put some thoughts together. So I hereby announce that, upon publishing this post, I’m going to add “blog posting” along with my other midsummer resolutions. Midsummer resolutions are kind of like New Year’s resolutions but not as daunting because a. I just made them up , and b. summer is warm and comforting and full of ice cold drinks that make me chock-full of happiness. Other resolutions include eating less, taking advantage of the California sunshine before I head back to grey-skied Pittsburgh, and kicking butt at my internship.

Now, on to my real blog post. Last week I visited what I think is the coolest city I have ever seen. Sure, some people can argue that I lack reference levels when expressing my love for things, but San Francisco has a magical, quirky ambiance that I might (just might!) want to be a semi-permanent part of after I graduate.

The people are a mix of cool, fun, educated, and bat-sh** crazy, and the neighborhoods I visited were truly awesome. A couple of intern buddies and I stayed in a great hostel on Post Street that offered all kinds of entertainment as well as a day walking tour that was worth the muscle fatigue after trekking up San Fran’s iconic hills. The photo opportunities were numerous and the food was delicious, but the best part was meeting up with friends from school on different street corners. I’ll be back soon, SF!

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I pulled out my nerdy-looking zoom lens for this view of Alcatraz from Pier 39

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Shady balconies towering above Chinatown. According to an eccentric fellow named Jackie Chan who lives in an alley in Chi-town, this is where the word ‘hooker’ originated.

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I wish I was as cool as this hipster-chic lady. Behind her is some historic bar.

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No post about a new city is complete without a photo of mouth-watering food. These are pastries at an Italian cafe in North Beach.

Cheers,

M