Milanese Aesthetics

Urban aesthetics are one thing. Italian ones are another. Mix them together, and this is what you get: Metropolitan Italy.

It’s amazing to see the city transform little by little into a winter wonderland. Two weeks ago, the city center looked as it does in the above picture with hanging lights and the occasional mistletoe. Now, there are Christmas trees stationed around the plaza, strands of lights hanging from awnings and doorways, and tons of other holiday decorations nestled into street corners, shop windows, and other bits of the city’s infrastructure. Such holiday spirit completely erased all of the previous worries I’d had from people who told me Americans went above and beyond in preparing for Christmas. I’m here to say that, in this way, Milan is just like America. Thank goodness!

Yes, Italy created Ferrari and Lamborghini. No, the average Italian doesn’t drive them. In fact, most Italians in Milan drive small cars meant for one or two people due to the difficulty of finding parking spots. Should an Italian need to park on the sidewalk, gigantic, luxurious sports cars just won’t cut it…but it’s still fun to see them randomly used for merchandising purposes.

Brunch in Milan is the best. It gives you an excuse to explore a part of the city you’ve never seen before. Some friends and I visited northern Milan a few weeks ago, and I was delighted to find they served cheesecake (and, not to mention, that they served it for breakfast)! Coffee here is stronger than Rocky Balboa. It helps you power through the day and sharpens your brain for when you’re trying to decipher the maze of metro lines to take you home.

From what I’ve seen, most houses here are monotonous with pastel colors: beige, white, gray, peach. There are some that deviate from the pattern, like the pink house above. Such bursts of color practically serve as stationary works of art.

All of the pasta here tastes delicious and looks beautiful! Literally, all of it. Italians must hold themselves to such high standards because I have yet to find an exception to this statement. Viva l’Italia!

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The burgers here are okay, but there are a few things I have to point out. Pickles should always… I repeat, ALWAYS… be an essential part of the burger. Ketchup (not mayonnaise), lettuce (not “salad”), tomatoes, and pickles should always come on the bun with a burger and optional cheese. Here, people sometimes choose mayonnaise in lieu of ketchup, they refer to “lettuce” as “salad,” and pickles barely exist. One time I ordered a hamburger from a restaurant, and they gave me a beef patty without any bread. I shook my head, but I shortly pardoned the offense since Americans eat pineapple on pizza.

The above photo is a rare occasion; usually, cars fly by at twenty lightyears per minute. However, Italian drivers are skilled; they might not always (or ever) follow the rules, but they’ve still somehow mastered maneuvering tiny vehicles without crashing into the other crazy drivers around them.

Crimson leaves are falling, and in the park, basketball players are ballin’. I hope snow will soon be falling, although they say it doesn’t happen often…and that’s just appalling, but it’s chilly now, so the meteorologists are calling for snow to be falling! Long story short, it might actually snow soon. Be sure to sleep with a spoon under your pillow!

Last but not least, Italian food is so delicious that it leaves me awestruck just from looking at it! The best way to eat a dish of pasta is to eat the pasta, dip bread in the sauce left on your plate, and have a small cup of espresso afterwards. Mamma mia!

Thanks for reading; stay tuned for more updates about the Christmas season!

xoxo

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An Italian Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: the holiday that allows Americans to eat as much as possible while justifying themselves for the fact that it’s Thanksgiving. It’s a beautiful holiday.

My mentioning “Thanksgiving” often times leads to mixed reactions. Hence, for the sake of this post, I’ll provide a brief history on the holiday:

Many years ago, the Pilgrims sailed all the way from England to, well, New England. More specifically, to Plymouth, a small settlement located in current-day Massachusetts. The Pilgrims wanted to eat food, but they didn’t know how to hunt, gather, or grow in such a strange, new world. Then, the Native Americans came along. Squanto, a Native American, and his squad, the Wampanoag tribe, saw that the settlers had absolutely no idea what they were doing. By the grace of God, Squanto knew some English, so he taught the settlers how to grow corn and fertilize soil with fish. The settlers were ecstatic with Squanto and his gang’s kindness, so they decided to form an informal alliance to help a brother (or all of the brothers) out. To celebrate this exciting, new friendship, everyone worked to gather food for a gigantic feast consisting of deer, corn, shellfish, roasted meat, and probably some other foods.

A bit later, a few massacres happened,  but we usually fast forward through that part.

However, if there’s one thing Americans excel at when it comes to food, it’s changing everything to make it taste completely different. So, you may ask, do we still eat deer, corn, shellfish, and roasted meat for Thanksgiving dinner? Of course not!

Nowadays, typical Thanksgiving foods include a gigantic roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, cornbread, bread and butter, vegetables, and pumpkin pie. The reasoning? Because it’s ‘Murica, and we do what we want! #YOLO

Thanksgiving is a holiday spent with extended family, and it usually knocks a bunch of people into a food coma. But it’s okay because food is good, especially when you’re with your beloved family members ♥

Usually, people who aren’t able to spend Thanksgiving with their families celebrate “Friendsgiving,” which is, as you may have guessed, Thanksgiving spent with friends. So, that’s just what we did…with an unexpected twist: college Friendsgiving in Italy!

One of the fun challenges was attempting to cook food without an oven. The looming thought posed as a challenge, but it added a layer of excitement to the holiday. Instead of cooking an entire turkey, one of the guests decided to prepare the turkey meat separately for each diner:

The guests who had apartments baked their dishes in the oven, and the rest improvised. We ended up with tons of mouthwatering mashed potatoes and stuffing, bread and butter, and dozens of savory desserts.

The fact of the matter is that some of the guests were non-American, so they experienced Thanksgiving for the first time! To spice up the tradition, some even brought international treats, like Italian “salamo cioccolato,” a chocolate Italian dessert, French wine, and Italian chocolates.

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The evening was delightful. Although we couldn’t be with our lovely families for Thanksgiving, Italian college Friendsgiving was a wonderful alternative! ♥

(Note: That gigantic, white brick is butter, not cheese. People were wondering, so I felt the need to clarify.)

Until next time!

xoxo

The Italian NYC = Milan?

Before coming to Milan, I heard countless times that Milan was “the New York City of Italy.” I never really knew why, but I kind of took it as a fact. After living here for two months, my perspective has changed on the topic. So… is Milan the Italian NYC?

Kind of!

Given that Milan is the most modern metropolis in Italy, yes, out of all of the Italian cities, Milan is most comparable to New York City. Like NYC, Milan is Italy’s capital of fashion, finance, and converting dreams into reality. There are several renown universities in Milan: Bocconi University (for economics, business, and law), University of Milan, or “Statale” (Milan’s version of a state uni), Politecnico (for engineers), European Institute of Design, or “IED” (for fashion), Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, or “Cattolica” (a Catholic uni), and several others. Milan hosts several high-end shopping districts, like Via Monte Napoleone, with infamous designer brands, many of which were born in or are currently based in Milan: Versace, Prada, Armani, Dolce & Gabana, Valentino, and many others. Lastly, Milan is the heart (and the body) of Italy’s stock exchange, Borsa Italiana.

Likewise, almost every piece of information listed above is directly parallel to NYC’s. New York City is one of America’s financial and fashion capitals, and it’s also a city internationally famous for the pursuit of the “American Dream.” NYC hosts several prestigious universities: Columbia University (NYC’s Bocconi), New York University, Fordham University (NYC’s Cattolica), the Julliard School, the Fashion Institute of Technology (NYC’s IED), several SUNY state unis (NYC’s statale), and many, many others. Likewise, many famous companies’ headquarters live in NYC, like IBM, Verizon, American Express, Ann Taylor, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, and tons of others. NYC is the home of the New York Stock Exchange, America’s most famous stock exchange. Just as Milan is the city where Italians hope to find a job and make it big, New York City is where Americans and immigrants come to start a new life with the hope that the American Dream will become a reality.
But Not Really…

Despite the general similarities, Milan and New York, in terms of appearance and lifestyle, are nothing alike. NYC is so huge that it has five boroughs which span over 789 km^2 whereas Milan covers only 181.8 km^2. The buildings in NYC consist of towering skyscrapers and modern architecture. On the other hand, Milan is a mix of old and new buildings and infrastructure, but barely any buildings are tall enough to be considered skyscrapers.

Milan’s lifestyle is affordable, and the quality of life is different. In NYC, everything is expensive because the market for any normal good is massive between the inhabitants and visitors that flood NYC’s shops every day. Most of Milan’s tourists visit the City Center, so much of its shops are more expensive than normal. However, areas farther away from the center are normally priced since only residents tend to leave the center. Perhaps most evidently, Milan is, well European, and New York City is American, so most of the major differences between the continents apply also to the cities.

Milan is so unique that I wouldn’t compare it to any American cities. However, if I had to choose one, I suppose Milan would be the most comparable. Do you NY-see what I mean?

Now for some random NYC photography!

A globe, which symbolizes New York’s being a melting pot of cultures from all over the world

The Manhattan skyline from a ferry on its way to Ellis Island

A pink Cherry Blossom tree in Central Park

More skyscrapers! Hopefully the sky isn’t in pain.

Some sort of tall statue that resembles some sort of historical figure 

Casual skyscrapers

Tall buildings bordering Central Park ft. yellow daffodils

The same skyline, but with me in front of it 

Feel free to comment any additional points below.

Thanks for reading! Al prossimo venerdì ❤

xoxo

Carly Cornetto

As a wise Italian once said,

You’re Carly Corn. You’re eating a cornetto. Carly Cornetto.

“Carlyycorn” is my Instagram name; hence, the pun.


In other news, one of those life facts everyone should know is the difference between “cafe,” “café,” etc.

In American English, the “cafeteria” is where people eat food in a large building, like at a school, hospital, large corporate office, etc. A “cafe” is short for a “cafeteria.” A “café” is a restaurant that serves coffee, biscuits, etc.

In Spanish, “café” is both coffee and a coffeehouse. In Italian, “caffè” is coffee and a coffeehouse. And, in French, “café” is… you guessed it! Both coffee and a coffeehouse.

Well, now you know!

Until next week ❤
xoxo

Surviving Midterms?! (Study Tips)

Midterms are right around the corner. The worst thing you can do? Lock yourself in your room, study 24/7, and not do anything else with your life!

This method causes increased cortisol levels in the brain which can actually impact your exam performance negatively. Here are some quick and dirty tips to surviving and thriving  during this exam season:

1.) Study Each Subject Every Day (but not too much!)

This one may sound dreadful, but hear me out. Suppose you have five classes during one semester, but you only have three classes each day. Review the material you learned that day for however long it normally takes you. For the sake of this example, let’s say it takes forty minutes for each class. Then, take ten minutes or so to review the topics of the classes you didn’t have that day. Even if your brain hurts, you’ll be glad you did so; you’ll be refreshed for the next day when you have those classes instead of shaking your head in confusion. Constant recall of information helps you retain the information in the long run, and guess what? You’ll be preparing for the exam instead of cramming a few days beforehand.

2.) Balance Work & Free Time

Studying for a few hours each day is enough if you do it efficiently. After a certain point, there is nothing left to learn, so you end up wasting time you could be using to hang out with some friends, read a book, take a nap, you name it. It’s vital to have a balanced life to stay happy and mentally healthy; your brain is the most important part of your studies, so be sure not to drive it crazy!

3.) Sleep, Eat Well, Blah Blah Blah

Yes, we hear about it all the time… but seriously, it’s super important. Try to have at least eight hours of sleep if you can each night and eat a balanced diet with fruits, veggies, carbs, and protein. If your mind is healthy, it’ll be in a better condition to work hard and remember all of the information you want to absorb. Exercise also helps, so try to add a dash of that into your life as well.

4.) Chew Gum Strategically

This one may sound crazy, but it’s actually too simple and effective not to try. If you chew a given flavor of gum while you study a certain subject, studies show that you will recall the information faster if you chew the same flavor of gum during that subject’s exam. It’s crazy, but true!

Follow these tips, and you’ll be golden. Good luck, everyone! May the odds be ever in your flavor (see #4 to understand the pun 😉

See you next Friday! ❤

xoxo

 

A (Ve)nice Weekend!

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Venice is one of those places that everyone says is overrated but is actually the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen.

Some friends and I stayed in Venice for two days. We rented an apartment through Air B&B for one night at an inland area called “Mestre.” The first day we arrived, we took the advice of everyone who has ever been there: “Get lost in Venice.”

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We wandered around the streets, admired the beautiful architecture and quaint features of each corner of the city, and photographed every canal view we could possibly capture.

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Venice is great for people who enjoy looking for beauty that the average person doesn’t see. There are flowers hidden around residents’ apartments and in cracks in the street that give the city an added charm. The city is beautiful to any visitor, but to a visitor with attention to detail, it is absolutely stunning.

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Some important touristy things to do are the following:

1.) tasting seafood at a restaurant,

2.) visiting San Marco’s Square,

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3.) taking selfies with random statues,

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4.) observing churches you happen to come by,

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5.) and visiting Biennale, an amazing modern art exhibit.

We visited Biennale the second day of our stay. The art was thought-provoking, and much of it explored history and culture and entered the territory of modern-day political and social issues around the globe.

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Most importantly, be sure to admire every single square inch of Venice while you’re fortunate enough to see it in person because, despite the camera or photographer, it’s impossible to replicate the city’s picturesque beauty to be as wonderful as it is when you see it with your own eyes.

Lots of Love,

Carly

xoxo

6 Signs You’re a University Student (ft. Bad Puns)

University is the best of times, and it’s the worst of times. But most of all, it’s a lot of pun. Here are ten ways to diagnose yourself as a university student:

1.) There are two versions of you: the normal you, and the sleep-deprived you.

It’s all fun and games until you go to the club and have an 8 AM class the next day. That’s when you meet your alter ego. There are many types of sleep-deprived personas: sad ones, extremely hyper ones, confused ones, and ones like me who cope with the fatigue with an unacceptably large increase in pun generation.

*Pro Tip: if you meet a sleep-deprived student, do not take anything the student says personally. Provide support to that student, and let him or her know that you are there to help.

Most of all, be there in case the student’s situation gets out of hand.



2.) You study for hours each day, but you still feel like you barely know anything.

You attend every lesson, you read every word of the textbook passages, you write down everything the teacher says in class, and you complete every exercise assigned by the professor. Still, something pops up on the test that makes you wonder if you even studied at all. Then, you rely on the curve to bring your grade to justice. Studying? More like stuDYING.


*Pro Tip: If you or a loved one studies too much, please relax and know that it will be Oklahoma (or Oxygen & Potassium)… “OK.”

3.) You realize that most of your Snap Chat and Instagram stories take place while you’re in school or studying. 

When you’re with your friends, you try to hang out with them and enjoy your time away from the books. While listening to an erratic lecture or reading passages with extensively complex sentence structures, sometimes you zone out, your mind wanders, and you think about the most random thoughts you never expected yourself to encounter… and it happens also after a long day of these activities!



4.) Half of your camera roll is filled with photos of food. 

In college, you’re allowed access to the cafeteria, so you’re tempted to photograph the delicious food in front of you. When you’re not at the cafeteria, you cook something, and you feel so proud of yourself for cooking something edible that you photograph it. When you’re not at either of these places, you’re at a restaurant, and the food here is usually the most photogenic out of the food from these three scenarios. It’s almost impossible to fight the urge to photograph food at restaurants. Hence, most of your self-esteem in photography comes from capturing the beauty of your college town’s cuisine. Well, that’s some food for thought, eh?


*Pro Tip: Don’t be that person who orders a certain plate just because it looks pretty. This option is simply distasteful… literally!

5.) You face the constant struggle of choosing between an extra half hour of sleep and an extra half hour of getting ready. 

Let’s bring economics into this: sleep is a normal good that’s highly demanded but scarcely supplied. Hence, there’s a shortage of it. Time to prepare one’s self for the day is an equally scarce resource. Hence, when comparing them graphically, the indifference curve indicates that one’s preference for sleep as opposed to preparation time varies from person to person. This is college. This economics. This is life.


Sleep is like pasta: a little bit more is a little bit better. Jokes are also like pasta: the cheesier they are, the better they are!

6.) Despite the lack of sleep and abundance of studying, there’s no place you’d rather be.

Learning is difficult, focusing is tiring, and studying is time-consuming, but during the bit of free time you have left, you have the time of your life! College lasts only a few years, so it’s best to enjoy them and to seize the moment. Besides, where else will you live within walking distance of all of your university friends ever again and be able to hang out with them practically whenever you want to? University is the time to take advantage of this rare freedom and to create lifelong memories.

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As this wise man once stated, “One of the greatest comforts of this life is friendship, and one of the comforts of friendship is having someone we can trust.” -Alessandro Manzoni

Happy university, and may the odds (and evens) be ever in your favor!

Until next Friday ❤

xoxo

 

Things Europeans Say About America

Europeans entertain a number of whimsical thoughts about the United States; their questions and opinions are truly mind-opening. Here are some common questions and statements Europeans say about America!

“McDonalds is awesome! You have to try it!”

Ever since I arrived to Italy, my classmates have sworn to the earth, moon and stars that European McDonalds franchises are extraordinary. The conversation usually starts with a European saying that he/she wants to go to McDonalds. Then, I make a disgusted face. Then, the European says, “No, McDonalds here is way better! It’s actually food… you have to try it!” Then, I say that I refuse to try McDonalds ever again, even though McDonalds here delivers food (which is a service certainly not offered in the U.S.). Finally, I tasted a cheeseburger from a Milanese McDonalds. It tasted exactly the same as an American McDonalds’! I truly vow never to eat McDonalds ever again; calling a Big Mac a “burger” is like calling Starbucks frappuccinos “coffee.”

“Why are guns allowed?!”

In most of the world’s countries, guns are actually strictly illegal! It’s difficult for non-Americans to wrap their heads around the fact that regular people are allowed to have guns. Well, if people work out, anyone can have guns! 😉 

“American English is simplified English.”

Some claim that British English is the correct English and that American English is a simplified version of the language. Some British even go so far as to say that American English “isn’t a real language.” Why?! What did we ever do to them?! Maybe they’re just jealous about losing the Revolutionary War…

“Where is Philadelphia?”

A lot of people have no idea where Philadelphia is. For those of you who do not know, Philadelphia is about three hours south of New York City and two hours north of Washington D.C.!

“The drinking age is 21, but the driving age is 16. WHY?!”

In Italy, the drinking and driving ages are both eighteen, and this case applies to many other European countries. This drives Europeans crazy!

Follow-Up Question: “So I’m not allowed to go to the club in America since I’m only 18?!”

No, you’re not. Welcome to the club! (No pun intended! Which is surprising because usually the pun is intended). 

“Out of everyone in your country, how did you choose those two presidential candidates?!”

If we knew the answer, we would tell you!

“I really wanted to go to college in America, but it’s so expensive! Maybe I’ll go there for an exchange.”

It’s true. You can still go to college there if you’re willing to pay debt for the rest of your life. It’s not that bad!

“Pineapple does not belong on pizza.”

Hawaiian pizza is only sold one place in Milan: Domino’s Pizza. Speaking of which, Domino’s in Italy?! Maybe they’ll build a Taco Bell in Mexico next. 

“Do you know where North Korea is on the map?”

Below China and above South Korea. *gasp*

“I went on an exchange to America. I gained 20 kilograms.”

It’s true! Let’s talk about it over a burger and a milkshake. 

“Kilometers, not miles. Celsius, not Fahrenheit… America! Why are you so confusing?!”

As an American, I’m confused when someone asks how many meters tall I am. Touché!

“Why does the penny exist if it costs more than one cent to produce one?”

Because this is ‘Murica and we do what we want! #freedom

“America is awesome!”

Just like Americans admire Europe, many Europeans admire America! After a lifetime of watching American films, listening to American songs, and following American politics, many Europeans aim to make the American dream a part of their future. But it’s true… America is awesome! 😎

Have a great week! ❤

Xoxo

Carly 

EATILY (Italian Eats)

I don’t know if you know this, but Italy’s food is SO GOOD.

Go to a restaurant… the food is delicious! The atmosphere is charming, and each plate is too picturesque not to photograph.

This is a panzerotto, which is pretty much a pizza calzone. It’s a piece of fried pizza crust with melted cheese and tomato sauce inside… otherwise known as heaven!

As mentioned in a former blog post, restaurants in Italy are the best because you’re encouraged to stay there a while, even after finishing your meal. The waiters and waitresses don’t rush you to pay the bill; in fact, sometimes it’s difficult to get them to give you the bill!

Even the supermarket food is delicious. The fresh artisan meat and cheese sections are to die for, and the groceries are generally healthier and tastier. The portion sizes are often smaller in both restaurants and grocery stores than those at American ones.

Even non-Italian restaurants in Italy are Italian-styled; even though the food is imported, the customs of Italian restaurants apply to the atmosphere. The restaurants are relaxing, and the people

Chocolate cake at a sushi restaurant? Yes, please!

there spend endless time chatting and enjoying themselves.

The best part of Eataly in Milan is by far the aperitivo. When going out for them, the customer pays for a beverage and receives an entire complementary buffet of food! It’s really the best.

Restaurants in Italy make you feel like a tourist! Eating there is a great way to relieve stress at the end of an intense day. This is especially the case in the City Center, the inhabitance of the Piazza del Duomo. Surrounding restaurants are just as relaxing, mostly because the majority of their visitors are tourists from other parts of Italy or other countries. Going there

A: Water these? A: Fountains! It’s quite common to find them positioned in parks and on street corners.

makes you feel like a tourist as well, and you can’t help but to smile because everyone there is happy!

Lastly, the best food in the entire world is gelato. Every time I go out for a gelato, I photograph it because gelato is just the best! Here’s the album I’ve collected so far (even if I’ve already used some of these photos in previous blog posts!):

Eatily is amazing! You should all experience it one day 🙂 ❤

xoxo

“Good, but Not the Best” (and Other Italian Trends)

Arguably the most popular Italian pop song at the moment is “Bene Ma Non Benissimo,” a catchy song by Italian Pop Star “Shade.” The song’s title translates to “Good, but Not the Best.” The song has invoked mixed reactions, given that its music is catchy, but its lyrics have next to no meaning. To read them for yourself, tap the link below:

https://www.google.it/amp/www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/Shade-14/Bene-Ma-Non-Benissimo/translation/english/amp

To listen to the song, tap this link:

Italians also adore sushi. This fact is evidence of the beautiful way that globalization is affecting this world.

Italians love to ride their bikes and motorcycles instead of driving. It saves energy, and it’s easier to find a parking spot. If they don’t have a bike or a motorcycle, they buy a small car and park it on the sidewalk when there are no parking spots left. 

The parties here are all super late. Usually, the clubs open at 7 to 10 at night, and they close at 5 or 6 in the morning. So much for a normal sleep cycle!

Italians are so adorable because they sometimes sing random songs in public. Last Saturday, a group of Italian young adults chanted a traditional song from their hometown. About twenty meters away, another group of Italian young adults continued the songlike chant, and they continued back and forth. It was so cute! ❤

This is slightly off-topic, but Italians (as well as people of other cultures) sometimes have such random ideas! I saw a man standing up on the back of his friend’s bike as the friend rode it. Also, a few nights ago, some friends and I walked through Bocconi’s campus at about 12 A.M. on our way home. In the parking lot, we saw a parked car running with its internal lights on. And inside? A man playing the flute! We couldn’t believe our eyes. He was so concentrated, but we all burst into laughter because something so random really would happen only in Italy :’)

Italians are forced to study math… therefore, so am I! This is a huge adjustment; in the States, I learned math and practiced it with excercises. Here, we learn math and study it. We even memorize theorems word-for-word…it’s so strange! 

Lastly, something Italians don’t do: drink cappuccinos after dinner. In America, people commonly consider this the “Italian way” to finish a meal. Here, Italians shake their heads with disappointment when the American and Canadian tourists finish their meals with coffee. Well, now you know!

Thanks for reading, and see you next week! ❤

xoxo