Thanksgiving Day Parade

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Millions of people lined the streets of Manhattan this morning to experience the 86th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. With Mother Nature’s cooperation, the tolerable weather conditions allowed for people from all over the world to attend this traditional New York event.

The excitement for this parade could not go unnoticed.  You could see families with their faces pressed against the windows of buildings looking down on the parade route and children posted on the shoulders of family members standing in the street.  One out-of-state attendee even referred to the parade as “The number one thing on my bucket list.” (Interview 1)

With over 150 dancers, 12 marching bands and hundreds of volunteers, the streets filled with colorful costumes, floats and balloons.  Kermit the Frog, Charlie Brown and Sonic the Hedgehog balloons made their expected appearance down the parade routes, exciting those of all ages.  However, many people awaited the arrival of this year’s newest balloon additions, Hello Kitty (2nd edition), Papa Smurf, and Elf on a Shelf.

Taking a new route, the parade started on 77th Street and Central Park West.   The parade then traveled through Columbus Circle and turned on Central Park South. It then made it’s way onto Sixth Avenue toward 59th Street.  The parade’s final path lead down 34th street and concluded at Macy’s Herald Square. The parade’s new route, allowed for the elimination traffic from Broadway and Times Square.  Standing on West 65th street and Central Park West, I was able to get a clear view of all the floats, balloons, marching bands, and dancers.

Some celebrity appearances included, Flo Rida, Whoopi Goldberg, Neon Trees, Rachael Crow, Jimmy Fallon, Carly Ray Jepsen, and Jeanette McCurdy.  But the crowd went completely ecstatic for the appearance of the Fierce Five, US Olympic Gymnastics team, Gabby Douglas, MaKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross, Jordyn Wieber.

Last but not least, Santa Clause made his grand entrance on his bright sled full of goodies.  Although his arrival marked the end of the parade, it sparked the start of the Holiday Season.  And on that note, it is now safe to play Christmas music.

Happy Holidays

Click here to listen to more interviews from the parade. (Interview 2) (Interview 3)

What’s that Jacket, Margiela?

The day millions of fashionistas have been waiting for has finally arrived.  Starting tomorrow, November 15th, H&M will carry classic Maison Martin Margiela clothing and accessories.  Now we can all be like Kanye!

Staying true to its avant-garde style, the Margiela collection for H&M incorporates objects, deconstructed materials, and embodies a baggy, oversized look.  You may also find that several pieces are fusions of two types of garments; either two different dresses combined or a skirt that turns into pants towards the bottom.  The Margiela house has always been known to turn anything into a fashion accessory and that is evident in their H&M collection.

This H&M and Margiela collaboration brings high-end style for an affordable price.  Original Margiela pieces can cost thousands of dollars, however the H&M collection price range from $13-$399.  The more reasonable price range allows more people to afford this brand.

The collection is composed of reissued archived Margiela pieces and will be labeled to indicate which Margiela season it originated from.  So when Kanye asks “What’s that jacket, Margiela?” You can respond with “Why yes it is. Inspired by the Fall ’95 collection to be exact!”

Take a quick listen to my  podcast about the Maison Martin Margiela for H&M collection, view some of the collection below and comment with your favorite piece.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Get Out and Vote!

With the election only hours away, voters must make their final decisions on which candidate they will be electing for President of the United States of America. As a first time voter, the excitement over this election is extremely high. The power of every single vote is crucial to the election, so I hope every person eligible gets to a poll and casts their vote.

The chaos from Hurricane Sandy has caused a major issue in preparation for this election. With power outages still remaining in New Jersey, Queens, Westchester and Long Island, many polling sites have been relocated. However, getting in contact with the voters is posing a difficulty. Without power, these voters may not be notified of these relocations.

Radio stations and news casts will be announcing new polling sites all day.

For current voting locations, New Yorkers can text “NYCVOTES” to 877-877. Spanish speakers can text “DONDE” to 877-877 for information. With the aid of the social media world, hopefully we can spread the word of the new polling sites.

The misplacement of absentee ballots has also developed an issue for this election. I applied for an absentee ballot but it never came in the mail. This has been the case for many, especially those affected by Hurricane Sandy. I will not let this stop me from voting and I hope others do the same. It will be a long commute, but I will be making a trip to my registered voting site in Westchester County, so that my voice is heard.

Poll sites open Tuesday from 6 a.m to 9 p.m. If you are a New York resident, and you can’t make it to your polling site, you are allowed to vote in person at the Board of Election’s borough offices until 5pm today.

Those locations are:

Bronx: 1780 Grand Concourse, 5th floor

Brooklyn: 345 Adams Street, 4th floor

Manhattan 450 West 33rd Street, 10th floor (temporary BOE office)

Queens: 126-06 Queens Boulevard, Kew Gardens

Staten Island: 1 Edgewater Plaza, 4th floor

For more information about New York polling sites, visit the website of New York 1.

Every vote counts. It is imperative that all eligible voters do their research and vote for the most qualified candidate.

Oh Sandy!

Who knew a something with a name as gentle as “Sandy” would bring such a disaster to the tri-state area?  After a night full of whirling winds and rough rainfall, millions woke up with no electricity and damaged homes or neighborhoods.  Power outages, public transportation closures, and gas shortages have left people strongly affected by Hurricane Sandy.

At first, I hadn’t paid much attention to the storm watch that had been all over the news for days.  On Sunday afternoon, while I was out running errands, I noticed all grocery stores were filled with people in search of items in preparation for Sandy’s arrival.  Many stores were already selling out of water, batteries, and flashlights.  On my ride home, the cloudy skies, light rain, and heavy winds that literally almost blew me away, were indicators that Sandy was, in fact, making a grand entrance very soon.

Monday started out as a day of relaxation for me, especially since school was closed.  However, it quickly turned into a frantic, cold day once Hurricane Sandy officially landed upon us.  By Monday afternoon, my neighborhood, Springfield Gardens in Queens New York, no longer had power.  Luckily we have a gas stove in my house and we were able to cook.  Unluckily, my sisters and I had to take turns holding candles so my mother could see what she was cooking.  After dinner, there wasn’t much to do, so everyone went to bed, as the sounds of the winds and rain from outside rocked us to sleep.

The next morning, my neighborhood looked like it was a scene right out of a war movie.  Pieces of different houses were scattered across all yards and streets.  Many trees had fallen all around the neighborhood, blocking almost all roads.  A huge tree had fallen from across the street towards my house.  On its way down, the tree took the light post and electric wires with it.  My car was buried under the branches of another fallen tree.  I thanked the man above that the damage to my car was extremely minimal.  It could have been so much worse if that tree had landed on my car.

One of the worst parts about this disaster was not being able to get in contact with anyone.  Since power was all over the tri-state area, no one could call their family or friends.  And with the closure of bridges, tunnels, and the public transportation system down, no one could go anywhere.  You just had to sit, wait, and hope that everyone was okay and making it through as you were.

By Thursday, power was restored to my house and I was finally able to find out what the rest of the world was going through.  I thought I had it rough, however, after watching the news, I realized I was lucky. Besides knocking out power and trees, Hurricane Sandy also left 100 dead, sparked a fire destroying 80 homes in Breezy Point Queens, ripped up the boardwalk of Coney Island and Jersey Shore, and flooded the subway and rail system (to say the least).  I hope the area will be able to make a quick recovery from this disaster.

One of the most memorable moments of this disaster would definitely be the gas shortage.  People camped outside for hours, and in some cases, days, just to put gasoline in their cars.  Every gas station had a line of over 50 cars, plus a line of people physically standing out in the cold with gas containers to fill up.  Police cars were stationed at many of these gas stations just to keep the peace, and the Red Cross appeared at some, offering light snacks to those waiting in line.  I personally, am not a fan of long lines, and just decided to stay home and conserve gas until this shortage was over.  However, since the start of the work week is quickly approaching, and the gas shortage is still not over, I might have to reconsider this no waiting in lines policy.  Oh Sandy!

Obama vs Romney: The Final Showdown Pt 3

The third presidential debate between Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama was a debate on Foreign Policy. The debate happened to be on the 50th anniversary of the night President Kennedy announced that the Soviet Union had nuclear missiles installed in Cuba, which only made the topic of the debate that much more important. The debate started well with a discussion of the attacks in Libya. However, throughout the debate the conversation often switched from foreign policy to domestic issues that tended to favor each candidate. Other than that this debate was much like the others- the candidates focused on attacking their opponent and their comments seemed repetitive.  However, the President won this debate because he elaborated and explained his answers and policies, a practice which Governor Romney lacks.

Governor Romney didn’t do too badly in this debate against President Obama. He did exactly what his campaign needed him to do- pass the acceptability bar. He doesn’t need to come off as the best in national security because most Americans’ primary concern is the economy.  He only needed to be acceptable and he did that. The problem is that he did it too much. He agreed with the President so much you would think they were running mates. Meanwhile the president came down with attack after attack against Romney’s competency and recklessness. It didn’t hurt Governor Romney too much to take this approach, but if he was looking to pull ahead in the polls then his strategists had it wrong.

President Obama on the other hand had a pretty good night. I’m sure he was probably caught off guard with how much Romney agreed with most of his policies, but that didn’t affect the president at all. Obama came to the debate with proof that he can handle the country’s national security, especially seeing the fact that his administration is responsible for the death of Osama Bin Laden. However the president was on the attack maybe too much. One of the quotes of the debate that has been getting a lot of play is one from the president where he notes, “Well governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets…” This was in response to Romney saying we have less Navy ships than under any other president. This scored the knockout punch in this debate for Obama because not only did he make Romney seem incompetent, but he made him seem old-fashioned as well.