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Wake Up Call

Yesterday, this (ironically) viral video caught my attention:

(If you’re looking for cliff notes of the video, click here for the back story and then keep reading).

I had never followed Essena O’Neill’s accounts, but was struck by the honesty, vulnerability and power in her message.

I’ve talked with a lot of friends in recent months about how isolating New York can feel. You walk onto any subway car during rush hour, and it’s as if we’re all cyborgs — glued to our smartphones, headphones in ears, doing everything we can to zone out the rest of the world. We’re together, but completely alone. And I’m guilty of this as much as the next person; it’s so much easier to engage in the virtual world than it is to engage in our physical world. But what kind of impact is this having? How is this shaping us as people?

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LA Trip

A couple weekends ago, I traveled to Los Angeles to see Aditi for the first time in over a year and a half! We put together a little recap video of the trip to commemorate our first reunion since the launch of Island & Hills. Thank you to all of our supporters who have helped Island & Hills grow over the past four months. This is only the beginning; more tales from our two cities to come, so stay tuned!

xx
Maddie

Noomi

I originally thought the topic of Noomi would be a simple one to write about. I have been wanting to write about her ever since I adopted her four months ago because she has become such an important part of my life, but I had a few different ideas about how I should approach the subject. I wanted to make sure I included the importance of adoption and the many ways that she has actually rescued me. I also wanted to do a fun post about the best dog parks and most dog-friendly establishments in Los Angeles. But as I’m sitting here writing this in my bed with her dozing off next to me, what I’m actually thinking about is what time I need to wake up in order to take her out and feed her before getting ready and heading to work on time. Luckily, I take Noomi to work with me every day which definitely made getting a puppy an actual possibility.

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I&H Music Festival Survival Guide: First Timer vs. Seasoned Pro

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A couple weekends ago, I traveled to Las Vegas for the Life Is Beautiful music festival. This was my first ever music festival, and I relied on Aditi a lot beforehand for suggestions and advice about the experience. Originally hailing from Tennessee, Aditi is practically an expert on the music fest scene (she first started attending Bonnaroo in high school). As a seasoned pro and a first timer, we teamed up to give you our top tips on making the most of your next festival experience.

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I&H Spotlight: Madhulika Banerjee

Madhulika Banerjee is a 24-year-old graduate student in Arizona, working on getting her Master of Science in Cellular and Molecular Medicine. I recently spoke with her about her degree, her research in working to solve colorectal cancer, her recent international experience in medical school in India, and how she stays motivated while maintaining her rigorous schedule.

locke_imgAditi: You’ve got two more years at the University of Arizona, and you’re also working on some research. What do you like about it and dislike about it?
Madhulika: It’s a small department, which is nice because it creates an intimate environment between not only my peers but professors as well. It’s definitely a difficult program though. It’s like mini-prep for med school. My program focuses on viewing what’s inside the human body at a cellular and molecular level and relating it back to the medical field. That might include relating things to different disease presentations, drug discovery, or experimental research, just to name a few.

A: What do you hope to accomplish after you graduate?
M: My end goal is to finish masters and get into med school. As I’ve gotten older I’ve definitely realized that it’s incredibly easy to fail at a goal but it doesn’t mean that you stop dead. My back up plan is to apply for a PhD, either in the same department at my school or maybe a different place, doing cancer research. I’m not sure yet what type of doctor I would want to be once I complete med school. Sometimes it’s easier to identify what you don’t want to do. I know I don’t want to be a surgeon or an OBGYN.

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Confessions of a Closeted Romantic

I spent last weekend in Colorado attending a celebration of my late grandma’s life. One of the best parts about this weekend-long event was being able to discover even more about my grandparents through stories and memorabilia. One particular instance that stands out in my mind: my grandpa used to write my grandma beautiful love letters over the years (many of which were saved and I had the great fortune of reading). These weren’t your average “u complete me” high school love notes; they were “The Notebook” level confessions of love.

Now a lot of my close friends probably read the title of this post and thought in an exasperated voice “Closeted romantic? YEAH, OKAY.” *insert eye roll here*. My friend Hallie always jokes that I’m going to meet my soulmate while carrying bags of groceries; the bottoms of the bags will give out all at once, and as I frantically try to pick up the contents, a dashing man will come to my aid. The rest is history *cue wedding bells*.

Whenever I hear her talk about this scenario, I give a laugh, respond with a wistful “yeah, wouldn’t that be nice?” and then we move on. The truth is, that thought lingers in my head much longer than I am ever willing to admit — that is, until now.

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I&H Spotlight: Locke Hughes

Meet Locke Hughes, 27, a Senior Editor at Greatist.com living in Manhattan. We picked her brain on how she turned her passion for health, fitness and journalism into a successful and fulfilling career.

locke_imgMaddie: What’s your day job and your responsibilities there?
Locke: I’m a senior editor at Greatist.com. We’re a health and wellness startup on a mission to help people think about health in a different way—namely, that healthy equals happy (no six-pack required). Our content is science-backed, expert-approved, and totally down-to-earth. You won’t find any talk about cleanses, crash diets, or soul-destroying workouts here (unless it’s to say how crazy they are). On a typical day, you’ll find me pitching new story ideas, assigning articles to freelancers, top editing articles, overseeing fitness photo shoots, and writing (the fun part!).

M: Tell me a little bit about your career trajectory. How did you end up as a Senior Editor at Greatist?
L: It’s probably a familiar story. After graduating from the University of Virginia with an English degree in 2010, I came to NYC, spent a month job searching while sleeping on a friend’s couch before I found a freelance position at O, The Oprah Magazine (and an apartment). Then I took another freelance role at Seventeen, and finally a legit job as an assistant to the editor-in-chief at Woman’s Day Magazine. After that (people move around a lot in the publishing world!) I moved to Shape to be an online assistant editor, where I eventually became the senior social media editor. Last year, my former boss from Shape approached me about coming to Greatist, where I am now. Moral of that story: Meet with anyone and everyone! I originally connected with my now-boss five years ago when I bought her a coffee when I first moved to NYC. I stayed in touch, and eventually she helped me get my job at Shape, then ended up hiring me at Greatist! You never know where a cup of coffee may take you.

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Pop Culture Corner: The Emmys 2015

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THE HOST

I thought that Andy Samberg was an overall good host for the Emmys. He’s definitely a safe choice, about one step above Seth Meyers. I thought he was funny but his hosting also seemed like an obvious effort to pull in a younger audience. My vote for next year is John Oliver or Kate McKinnon.

I did appreciate the lack of cheesy song and dance skit. The opening video set the tone of his opening monologue, which was playful, but honest. As was portrayed in the opening – it is a little ridiculous to expect anyone to keep up with the amount of good television that’s available today. Living in LA, the billboards and constantly changing posters along the sidewalks make it difficult to ignore the shear quantity of pop culture to keep up with. Since the summer is such a down time for “good” television, the recent visual promotions and repetition of the titles of upcoming shows, makes me excited for fall television, but also wondering what I’ll have to miss out on since I also care about sleeping, socializing and having a full time job.

If Hollywood wants to pull in a younger audience for award shows, a more obvious, and possibly effective route would be to make the show available via live stream. It’s still frustrating that award shows are not able to be live streamed. If you can watch any sporting event on the ESPN app, on any device, why can’t you get on a FOX app and pay a certain amount of money to just stream the award show? It seems mutually beneficial and is mostly frustrating because I know we have the technological capability to make it a reality.

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S/S ’16: NYFW Recap

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Erica Boisaubin, 23, is a stylist and fashion blogger based in New York City. For more on her sartorial musings and styling work, visit her website.

 
 
 

Iridescent slip dresses, 90’s raver pants, the continuation of the skinny scarf, and fun silhouettes were all present at New York Fashion Week for the Spring/Summer 2016 season. With a myriad of trends spotted on each runway the major underlying theme of this fashion week was clearly individualism. Heavy hitters such as the Mulleavy sister’s for Rodarte, Shayne Oliver for Hood By Air and Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy (who showed for the first time in NYC) all embraced their roots and contrasting aesthetics, which made for an exhilarating experience for show goers and those watching from their smart devices alike. While fashion has always been an outlet of expression for the individual, these past few seasons’ large portions of designers were embracing normcore and minimalism advocating that less is more. This upcoming spring however, the maximalist is back and more finally equates to more.

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How to Host

If you live in a big city, you have likely held the position of “host” at some point or another. Whether it be friends or family, hosting can feel stressful; the unspoken expectation is that you serve as your city’s unofficial ambassador of fun. You’ve lived here for six months now, what do you mean you don’t know the best place to get Turkish food on a Wednesday? (Hold on, let me check Yelp…)

All this aside, if you love and care about the people that you’re hosting, you genuinely want to show them a good time. This past weekend I hosted one of my best friends from college, Colleen, for a quick 24-hour trip; here are the things I learned from her stay (along with the several other hosting duties I’ve had during my time in New York):

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