New York Edge Summer Soiree 2019

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Last night my board, the Young Professionals Council of New York Edge, hosted the 5th Annual Kickoff to Summer Soiree! We had a wonderful turnout of about 40 people!

I have been involved with New York Edge since 2013 and am proud to be a founding member and co-chair of their Young Professionals Council! Together we have volunteered, met a lot of great people and raised a lot of money to help New York Edge provide free after school programs to over 40,000 students across the Greater NYC area!

I am very proud of all of you, thank you for all that you do!

Up Close & Personal with the Times Square NYE Ball!

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As 2018 comes to an end, one of my favorite ways to ring in the new year is to watch the NYE ball drop in Times Square.

This year, I had the pleasure of getting up close and personal with the Waterford Crystal ball that drops every year on NYE at One Times Square!

Check out my interview with Waterford Crystal’s Tom Brennan, who was the lead in designing the amazing ball that is seen across the world on New Year’s Eve!

Fun Facts:

The Waterford Ball is:

  • Illuminated by 32,256 LED lights

  • 12 feet in diameter and weighs 11,875 pounds

  • 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles are bolted to 672 LED modules, attached to the frame of the ball

Surprisingly the ball was only located a few flights up from the 21st floor. However, this did not take away any of the allure or grandeur of the Waterford Ball. It is just phenomenal up close!

One of the Waterford Crystal Triangles

One of the Waterford Crystal Triangles

 
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Happy National Dessert Day

  

 

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Hope everyone has a sweet day!!!

I just tasted these delicious cupcakes from Huascar & Co Bake Shop.  The flavors going clockwise were Nutty Fella (chocolate fudge cupcake with Nutella filling, Glanduja buttercream frosting with chocolate pearls toasted hazelnuts), Pink Lemonade (lemon sour cream and raspberry cupcake with raspberry buttercream frosting and raspberry chocolate curls) and Berry Champgne (pink champagne cupcake with strawberries baked in iced with vanilla-pink champagne frosting)! 

Huascar & Co had a bunch of fun flavors and other items in the store, such as spiked tres leches cake which is one of my favorite kind of cakes!  The cupcakes were pretty tasty, more dense than fluffy, the Nutty Fella even had a filling, which was delicious. As for the frosting, I thought it was a bit hard and too bitter tasting, however they did have interesting frosting flavors to go with the different cupcakes. 

Interview with John Isner, Tennis Pro

John Isner may not have won the US Open, but he’s still one of my favorite tennis players!

Check out my interview with John Isner on everything from training for the US Open to having a baby girl!

He was the one who suggested to do the interview standing up, to get the height disparity, LOL!

Little Havana Food Tour in Miami

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During my vacation in Miami, I wanted to more than just your typical beach and party routine.  After seeking out some recommendations from my new friends from Sunrise, Florida, my friend and I decided to take a food tour with Miami Culinary Tours.  They had a few tour options, but decided the Little Havana Food tour, would give us a new cultural tour in addition to some yummy Cuban Food!

Stop 1 - El Pub Restaurant

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Stop 1 of the food tour was at El Pub restaurant, they are best known for their beef empanadas & coffee, which exactly what we had and a great way to start the tour!  For those of you who do not know, an empanada is basically dough filled with something, such as beef.  Variations of empanadas exist in many different cultures, such as calzones and dumplings.  I also learned about the "colada," which is a Cuban coffee that is mean to be shared (you should not have a full cup, but rather a small little shot, the size of a creamer).

 
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Stop 2 - Cuba Tobacco Cigar Co.

Next we headed to the Cuba Tobacco Cigar Factory, where we learned how cigars were made and got to see it first hand.  Fun Fact - The owner of this factory was actually imprisoned for 20 years prior to starting this factory and was sitting on the couch in the front of the store.

 
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Stop 3 - Domino Park

Domino Park is where all of the seniors go to play, you guessed it... dominos!  The park is a social club and the place to be during teh day for dominos and chess (but gambling is not allowed). Don’t forget to bring your ID, because they will card you!

 
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Stop 4 - Old's Havana

We then headed lunch at Old Havana, where we had a delicious Cuban sandwich & croquette.  A cuban sandwich consists of pernil (one of my favorites!), ham, pickle and cheese, croquettes are basically fried sticks of food, usually consisting of potato.

 
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Stop 5 - Ball & Chain

We migrated to some live Latin music at Ball & Chain for some refreshing mojitos!  Ball & Chain is definitely one of the most lively places in Little Havana, with a fantastic live band in the front of the restaurant and a pineapple theme!   They also have a nice little patio area in the back, this may have been my favorite spot on the tour - I will definitely be back next time I am in Little Havana!

 
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Stop 6 - Yisell Bakery

On to Yisell Bakery for some guava filled pastries (pastelitos).  This little hole in the wall bakery, looked kind of small and run down, but had some great pastries, bread and was very busy with locals. The bakery was crowded in the middle of the day while we were there, which says a lot about a place.

 

Stop 7 - Los Pinarenos Fruteria

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This fruit stand has a variety of fruits that you would not find at your local grocery store, here you can find giant avocados, green plantains, lady fingers (baby bananas), dragon fruit, star fruit and fresh mangos to name a few!  Here we had a very fresh mango smoothie, which you could tell was made right on the spot, I could definitely use another one in this heat! 

Fun Fact: this is one of the only open air fruit stands left standing AND was featured in some movies.

 
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Stop 8 - Azucar

Time for dessert!  For the final stop of the tour we headed to Azucar for some mantecado ICE CREAM topped with guava syrup! This shop was created by a local who saw the need to create a place for tourists to enjoy the local culture, thus Azucar was born!

 

Along the tour, we saw many roosters, both statues and real ones, very depicting of islands in general.   

Needless to say my friend and I were STUFFED by the end of this tour.  I would definitely recommend taking this tour if you want to learn about the culture, while stuffing your face!

Toronto in July

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Earlier this week, I traveled to Toronto, Canada on my first work trip... ever!  It was a great experience and I learned a lot about my new team, Travel & Lifestyle Services (TLS).  I had not been to Toronto since the North American Debate Championships (Northams) in January 2010 at York University.

My boss and I were only there for 1.5 days, so needless to say it as pretty jam packed with meetings during this market visit.  However, I was able to find some time to catch up with one of my MBA grad school friends who recently started working for AMEX in Canada!

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During my stay, I stayed at the Shangri-La Toronto, a very swanky 5-star hotel chain with a gorgeous pool.  The room was so spacious, bathroom alone could have been a small studio apartment in NYC, which included a hot tub and TV built into the mirror.  The hotel concierge even left me a nice handwritten note and left me pound cake loaf to welcome me to the hotel.  I would definitely love to stay there again, can I afford it is the question!

 “Big Ass Steak” at Baro in Toronto

 “Big Ass Steak” at Baro in Toronto

After Day 1, all of the managers+ went to a team dinner at Baro, a delicious Mexican restaurant in downtown Toronto.  The food here was DELICIOUS and the menu had some great names of dishes.  My favorite dishes on the menu were the steak and the the tacos, but the most amusing dish names were "Big Ass Steak" and “Eat Like Jefe!” 

CN Tower

CN Tower

On the way back to the hotel from Baro, we had a great view of one of Toronto's most popular attractions, the CN tower.  For those of you who know me know I had to stop and take a photo. My new boss surprisingly followed suit and took a photo on Snapchat to send to his children.

The next day was filled with back to back meetings starting at 8:30 AM to 4 PM, which I then headed to the airport for my flight - delayed about 5 hours...  However, on my flight home, I sat next to someone who taught me a bit about meditation and turned about to be a new friend!

Can't wait for my next trip!

Happy National Ice Cream Day!

Rainbow Cookie Ice Cream topped with Homemade Lemon Meringue from Bona Bona Ice Cream

Rainbow Cookie Ice Cream topped with Homemade Lemon Meringue from Bona Bona Ice Cream

Celebrating National Ice Cream Day at the 3rd Annual NYC Summer Ice Cream Blizzard - with a variety of NYC's most unique artisan ice cream makers and flavors.

Celebrating National Ice Cream Day at the 3rd Annual NYC Summer Ice Cream Blizzard - with a variety of NYC's most unique artisan ice cream makers and flavors.

For those of you who know me well, you know I have a big sweet tooth and LOVE ice cream!  

Today I attended the 3rd Annual NYC Summer Ice Cream Blizzard at the Grand Baazar NYC on the Upper West Side. There were so many varieties of ice cream it was hard to choose where to go! There was everything from ice cream mochi from My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream, ice cream sandwiches from Melt Bakery and Thai ice cream rolls from Minus Celsius Ice Cream to ice cream stuffed donuts from Stax Ice Cream, ice cream like cookie dough from 2 Dough Boyz and deep fried ice cream from Sam's Fried Ice Cream to name a few.   

I decided to get something new that I had not seen before (which is rare when it comes to ice cream) - rainbow cookie ice cream topped with toasted lemon meringue from Bona Bona Ice Cream! If you’re wondering, yes it tastes as good as it looks!  The rainbow cookie ice cream had bits of rainbow cookie in it (one of my favorite cookies), and the toasted lemon meringue added a nice touch, definitely a good decision made today! 

Thank you to my friend Della for indulging in my love of ice cream and attending this, despite the intense heat today!  

Until next time, stayed tuned for more ice cream and foodie adventures!  

The Forty-Five Show Inspired by the Vans Warped Tour

Tonight, Friday, July 13, 2018, I had the pleasure of attending he Forty-Five Show, hosted by Vans in NYC, which was the final stop of the tour proceed stops in Santa Monica, Chicago and Philadelphia. The Forty-Five Show is a charity art show, featuring 45 album covers created by 45 artists inspired by artists and musicians who have played on Warped Tour.

The Dickies

These art pieces will be sold online and all proceeds will benefit Sound Art, a non profit that focuses on putting music back into the classroom. 

Check out some of the album covers on this post! My personal favorite was the album cover inspired by The Dickies featuring narwohls!  

Happy July!

Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

Happy July!!! 🎉

Who’s ready for some R&R beach weather? 🏖 I know I am! 😎

What do you have planned for the summer? 

In June, I took a weekend trip to Montauk in the Hamptons for my friend’s Birthday. I had a wonderful time celebrating and hitting the beach! 

This upcoming weekend, I will be headed to Vienna, Virginia for a high school friend’s wedding! I can’t wait to celebrate this momentous day with them! 

 

 

New York Edge Summer Kickoff Soiree

New York Edge Young Professionals Council (L-R): Mateo Creamer, Eileen Tublin, Rose Wisniewski, Evvie Kelley, Chris Creegan, Diana Arias, Elizabeth Tam, Robert Strang, Kinja Dixon, Kyle Deleon

New York Edge Young Professionals Council (L-R): Mateo Creamer, Eileen Tublin, Rose Wisniewski, Evvie Kelley, Chris Creegan, Diana Arias, Elizabeth Tam, Robert Strang, Kinja Dixon, Kyle Deleon

Sold Out Tickets!

Last night the New York Edge Young Professionals Council (of which I am president of) and I hosted the 4th Annual New York Edge Summer Kickoff Soiree at the Ainsworth - East Village.  I want to thank everyone who came out to support our event! 

I am so happy to say that all of the tickets were SOLD OUT!

I want to thank everyone who came out to the Summer Kickoff Soiree and helped us raise money to benefit New York Edge in providing free after school programming to students across the Greater NYC area!

New York Edge has been and still is one of my favorite non profits to work with.  They are the largest provider of free after school programming in NYC, reaching over 35,000 students in over 130 schools!

As a product of NYC public schools, their cause really hits home for me and is something I am very proud to support!

New York Edge Young Professionals Council (L-R): Eileen Tublin, Ian McCarty, Mateo Creamer, Kinja Dixon, Evvie Kelley, Rose Wisniewski, Chris Creegan, Diana Arias, Elizabeth Tam, Robert Strang, Kinja Dixon, Kyle Deleon

New York Edge Young Professionals Council (L-R): Eileen Tublin, Ian McCarty, Mateo Creamer, Kinja Dixon, Evvie Kelley, Rose Wisniewski, Chris Creegan, Diana Arias, Elizabeth Tam, Robert Strang, Kinja Dixon, Kyle Deleon

New York Edge Spring Arts Showcase

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On Wednesday, June 6, 2018 I attended the 9th Annual Spring Arts Showcase for the non profit New York Edge (formerly Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation).  NY Edge has been one of my favorite non profits to volunteer with and this is one of their favorite events I love to attend (the other is the annual STEP Competition)

The Spring Arts Showcase featured some of the top performances and art, ranging from dancing and stepping to fashion designs and 3-D artwork.  Needless to say, I was truly impressed.  Check out the photos and video in this post!

In light of what has been happening in current events, in particular the suicides of fashion designer Kate Spade and Chef Anthony Bourdain, I was truely moved by the step performance, in which they addressed suicide prevention. 

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The free after school programming New York Edge provides is very impactful, reaching over 25,000 students in 120+ schools across the Greater NYC area. The after school programming varies from sports, arts, education, music and more.  I love volunteering with such a great organization and am currently President of the NY Edge Young Professionals Council.

The NY Edge Young Professionals Council will be hosting our 4th Annual Summer Kickoff Soiree on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at the Ainsworth - East Village.  If you are interested in attending, tickets can be purchased here: 

https://sasfny.networkforgood.com/events/7165-new-york-edge-kickoff-to-summer-soiree

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Miss US Galaxy Interview with the Tulle Project

Every girl, woman and person has the ability to do whatever they set their mind to - breaking stereotypes, changing boundaries and setting the standards.  I believe that girls and women do not have to categorize themselves in behaving one way or another, in fact we can change these perceptions set upon us by society.

Check out my interview with Silvana Favaretto, Founder of the Tulle Project.   In our conversation, we discussed the importance of embracing who you are and breaking stereotypes - everything from what it is like being a woman in a male dominated industry (finance), making a difference by living by example and showing that you can have brains AND beauty!

The Tulle Project is a place for women to look and feel beautiful, feminine, and graceful—and also encouraged, connected, and empowered.  Their mission is to help people make meaningful connections, share their stories and equip themselves to be their best.  For every skirt that is purchased, one will be donated to a child in need!

My take away from what I have learned over the years is:

Don't be afraid to show who you are and take a risk, who knows where it will take you!

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Happy International Pageant Day!

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Happy International Pageant Day!

I am grateful for all of the amazing people I have met and opportunities I have had throughout my pageant career!

Pageantry is more than just looking pretty, pageantry has given me a lot these past years - new friends, new opportunities, but more importantly, the opportunity to get involved with the community.  After my reign as Miss NY US, I became increasingly involved with Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation and now lead their Young Professionals Board as President.

I do not think I would be nearly as involved with the community if it were no for pageants. 

I am so honored to be/been involved with the Miss Galaxy (Miss US Galaxy), Miss United States (Miss New York), Miss Tourism (Miss Empire State), Miss America and other systems.

To all those considering entering pageants, give it a shot!  And if you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out!

What Goes Into A Photo Shoot?

I had the pleasure of shooting with photographer Nephi Lim, hair stylist Jon Chao & makeup artist Alani Rasheed in Bushwick (Brooklyn, NYC).  Nephi had the brilliant idea of creating dual persona for me, starting with an innocent, sweet girl persona turning into a dark, goth persona.  The team did a fantastic job making this happen!  

Photo Shoot Team (L-R): Elizabeth Tam, Alani Rasheed, Nephi Lim, Jon Chao

Photo shoots serve many purposes, one of which is a way to be creative and express yourself.  Photo shoots may seem glamorous, with the wind blowing in the model's hair and the flashes shooting; however there is a lot of work that goes into getting the perfect shot.  From the preparation (styling your hair, getting your makeup done and finding the right outfit) to the actual shoot (working on those poses/expressions and snapping the right angles) you are looking at a few hours of work, not to mention the photo editing afterwards.

This shoot was by no means a quick shoot, we had started around 7 PM and shot until 1 AM, but definitely worth it - check out the final product below.

For the first look we went with a sweet, innocent look.  We kept the makeup and hair minimal, not to seem too glamorous.

For the second look we went with a dark, goth look.  We used dark, heavy makeup and gave the hair more volume and scruff. 

Nephi & Lani used their creativity to take this look to the next level - check it out!

Let me know your thoughts on the photos, concept or photo shoots and modelling in the comments section!

 

Photo Credits:
Photographer: Nephi Lim
Makeup: Alani Rasheed
Hair: Jon Chao

Accidental Blind Date

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Never thought the words "accidental blind date" would come across my mouth, but at the same time, this would only happen to me... thank you online dating.  

Here's the rather amusing story:

I was meeting with my friend for dinner to catch up at Bea in Hell's Kitchen.  My friend had already arrived by the time I got there, so I told the hostess that I was meeting my friend Jayme, who had made a reservation.  She seems confused, but then points me in the direction of a random man, clearly not my female friend...

The man walks over and says "Patricia?"   I tell him, I am not her.  He continues, "You do not look like the woman in the pictures..."  Despite this, it definitely crossed his mind that I could have been his date for the night - LOL!

We turn to the hostess, clearly not who we both had intended to meet with, and let her know.  After a few more minutes of awkwardly waiting, the hostess finally brought me to meet my friend.

As my friend and I are exiting the restaurant, I see the man with his date, who happens to be Asian, like myself :P  I will say it looked like they had hit it off, despite the mix up.  Congrats to him - lets hope he can spot her out in a crowd for their next date!

Thank you to the hostess for trying to to set me up on an accidental blind date!  

The Art of the Chinese New Year Lion Dance

This past weekend, Chinese New Year was celebrated in Chinatown. One of my favorite parts of the parade is all of the lion dances! 

Lion dances are fun to watch, but what do they symbolize?

What is the lion dance?

The lion dance is a traditional Chinese dance, in which performers wear a lion costume and perform a dance to mimic a lion's movements.  The dance is accompanied by soudns of Chinese cymbals and drums. The lion dance is typically performed around the Lunar New Year to chase away evil spirits away and bring good luck and fortune. 

You can typically find lions performing the lion dance for businesses days following New Years.  The lions will go down the street and stop to perform at any store that will have them.  As part of the traditional dance, the lions will reach for a head of lettuce place upon a pole and tied to a red envelope. The lion will then grab the head of lettuce and spit out the lettuce, the red envelope will be a reward for the performers as they are bringing luck with their dances. 

The lion is a symbol of power, courage, wisdom and good fortune.  The lion costume consists of two performers, one for the head and one behind.  This may seem easy to maneuver, however it is quite the opposite as it requires a lot of coordination. The dances have a lot of movement, dancing, jumping on stools and even on type ropes and pure acrobatics sometimes. 

This Chinese New Year, I was fortunate enough to see a full performance and even get to pet and take a photo with a lion!

Chinese New Year Lion