All posts filed under: Explorations

48 hours in NYC

Sure New York is difficult but, then again, so am I.

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Urban History: Wicker Park

In a six-way-intersection a few miles northwest of the loop lies the heart of Wicker Park, adorned with trendy taco joints and vibrant street art. Flurries of passerby–with their flannels buttoned and Doc Martens laced up–emerge from the Blue Line station and disperse to meet old friends for coffee or go bar-hopping. Wicker Park is a fashionable alcove, nestled in the chaotic masterpiece otherwise known as Chicago. The neighborhood both embodies and contradicts the essence of our city; it carries the same rich history as any other neighborhood, but entrains a vastly different atmosphere than any other crevice of Chicago. The neighborhood’s boundaries are Bloomingdale Trail to the north, Ashland to the east, Division to the south, and Western to the west. Enclosed within those boundaries is something a little eccentric and greatly elating: the fourth most “hip” neighborhood in the country, according to Forbes. From art studios to ramen noodle restaurants, record shops to walk-up donut windows, Wicker Park has certainly deemed itself popular amongst young, creative Chicagoans. However, Wicker Park wasn’t always the …

Arctic

Isolation has always intrigued me. That’s why, a couple of years ago, I developed a quirky obsession with Iceland, which later snowballed into an interest in places like Svalbard, Norway and Franz Josef land. No one else seemed to care about these frozen, barren lands, seemingly comprised of nothingness. I grew more and more infatuated with Iceland, watching documentaries, scrolling through albums and stunning pictures, and planning road trips through the vast, beautiful expanse of the island. Earlier this summer, I visited the Museum of Antarctica in St. Petersburg, Russia. The museum, which displayed remains of excursions to the frozen land mass, was almost completely empty. What seemed like torture to many seemed like desirable adventure to me. I wasn’t quite sure why. After purchasing some vintage 70’s Arctic adventure magazines from a book fair in Chicago, I realized that the Arctic intrigues me for the same reason I want to go to the moon, fall into black holes. see the center of the earth and float through gas clouds; I know there’s more than …

What I learned: MUJW

Last Sunday, I returned home from a 9-day workshop at The University of Missouri called The Missouri Urban Journalism Workshop (MUJW). The program is designed for high school students with a strong interest in journalism, and I was fortunate enough to be selected as one of 18 students who attended. At the workshop, we explored the field of journalism inside and out: from ethics, to nut grafs, to how to nag a source until they give in. Each day was crammed with activities, guest speakers, and blocks of reporting time. Myself and the other students were absolutely exhausted, decently stressed out, and wired on caffeine more often than not, but all of the hard work resulted in a compelling final online publication. I went to the workshop knowing that I want to be a journalist, and I left the workshop knowing that I want to be a journalist. Attending MUJW didn’t teach me anything groundbreaking in regards to the composition of a news story, the field of journalism, or how to conduct an interview. Instead, …

A girl and a city

I’ve always known that I was made to peruse crowded streets, wedged between skyscrapers with a coffee in hand. Last week, I took the train to chicago- alone- every day the whole week to participate in J-Camp for The Mash, a┬ápublication at the Chicago Tribune that I write for. It was weird, in a liberating, somewhat still in high school, half way ready to be on my own sort of way. There was the fear that I would run into someone I know and they’d wonder why in the world I’m going to Downtown Chicago alone, but also the sheer enjoyment of feeling peaceful in the middle of chaos. During these hours alone, I felt that there was a lack of space to fill, of people to impress, or conversation to make. I could be selfish. I could do what I wanted to do, read to many pages of my book, and go to the coffee shop that I like best .Forgetting that every passerby leads a life of complexity, disappointments, and surprises- just like …