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Places in Which We Find Ourselves: Home

As a college student, I spent most of my summers at home in San Diego, California. Coming from someone who spent their entire education in high-achieving, pressure cooker private schools, this sounds like failure. After all, I only did one summer in New York. But this perspective is one that values traditional measures of success–resume boosters, prestige–over physical, mental and spiritual health. The truth is that if I hadn’t spent those summers at home, I probably wouldn’t have been able to graduate on time with the people I wanted to graduate with.

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My Most Favoritest and Previously Secret Guacamole Recipe

I am in love with food. I once had an interviewer ask me which of the following was most important: things to do, friends, or food. I picked food. Duh. Food is something to do and if you’re good at making it, or have good taste in restaurants, you can normally coerce people into eating with you. Boom. Most of life’s problems solved. Given my undeniable obsession with opening a crevice in my face, putting stuff in it, masticating and ingurgitating, it is a little weird that I’ve never written a recipe post. So here we go!

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Elegance & Cliff Jumping – Villa San Donnino & Cinque Terre

Italy is a beautiful country. There’s an immense wealth of natural beauty that has been relatively unmolested by modernity. It doesn’t have the perfectly manicured elegance of France; the gorgeous sites of Rome are marred by exhaust, the buildings of Cinque Terre have broken stucco, and the winding streets of Bologna covered in layers of spray painted declarations–something to the effect of “down with the patriarchy,” one reads.

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Italian Design – Bologna, Modena, Ravenna

Aside from the amazing cuisine, Italy’s largest cultural export is its obsession with aesthetics. You have the fashion houses of Milan: Versace, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana. You have supercars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati and, of course, the hypercar founders of Bugatti and Pagani. These are by and large contemporary reference points for the incredibly vague term, “Italian design,” but there’s a historical context for these high-end luxury brands.

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Allen's Boots.

Austin, TX

I think generally speaking, people like to go site-seeing on their vacations. I understand the impulse, but often I find that I’m more interested in opportunities to observe other people. This doesn’t just apply to traveling abroad, but within America as well. I’m fascinated by the multiplicity of regional subcultures and its manifestations in the respective local food and art scenes. In college, I frequently finagled a way to follow my friends to their hometowns, instead of my own, during semester breaks. Austin happens to be the home town of my closest friend.

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