as mentioned in an earlier post, Salt Lake City has developed wonderfully among tall mountain landscapes. each of these towering structures have initiated some sense of power that is not unlike those in urban concrete jungles, ie New York City, London, etc. however, this pattern is continuous in a mixture of buildings and natural landscapes in Salt Lake City as well, which further enforces this level of wondrous and interesting power in SLC. on the first day of our super vacation bus tour, our guide spencer brought us directly to the Utah State Capitol and its admirable architecture with marble interior (images 1 and 2). up on Capitol Hill, there is definitely a lot of power surrounding this majestic structure as it overlooks Utah’s fierce rocky landscape. the sights with tall structures do not end there, however, we end up next at a heritage Park called This Is The Place (image 3). i’m not kidding, i had no idea where or what the Park was about. but spencer stated that the area had a lot of history regarding first native american settlers in Utah, which helped redefine my thoughts of the site. This Is The Place is atop sloping hills above Salt Lake City and quietly acknowledges the power of settling while also including relationships between people and land. we did not stay at This Is The Place for long, simply because the Park was closing soon. but if we had a few hours to contemplate this exchange in american history above Salt Lake City, so much would have been brought to our attention during that time. next, we went to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (image 4), where we were guided by missionaries into the beautiful museum with its painted ceiling and statue of christ. i had taken the tour with an older buddhist couple from India, both who felt completely at peace with this airy space and impressive god forming a space for all visitors. our last site in SLC was the next morning at Great Salt Lake (image 5 and 6), a tranquil body of water that overwhelmed us all with its calm. only one other tour bus was there but the area was so spacious, we were all able to have deeper moments of quiet along the waters’ edge. just watching all of the boats swaying in early breeze was more than relaxing and helped exchange a piece of memory in comfort within the Lake’s realm. all of these sites have had remarkable power on me and my mother regardless of height (okay maybe mostly because of height) but that is not to say other sites will not cast similar spells on you. where have you felt this strength and connection to an area? what do you think constructed that pull and drew you to the site? if never anywhere else before, i suggest you check out these sites at Salt Lake City. you may encounter some powerful relationships that will broaden your appreciation. 

fixation on the future

it’s unbelievable that almost a year has passed after i spent my incredible summer in Iceland. my posts have not been as frequent, only because i have started to cater more of my thoughts and time to three other travel company internships taken up with school. no, these internships are not paid and many people have been questioning me what my incentive was if not for money or credit, especially since i may or may not be doing so well in school at the moment. honestly, i feel stronger connections to these internships than i do anything else despite the fact that i have not been able to fully devote my time to them either due to school work. they cover practicing social media, blogging and marketing - three major elements that i want to focus and excel in. money for me right now does not seem like a problem because my parents are still willing to add to my bank account and i am still in school. yet, i don’t feel as if though money will ever be on my mind. leisure is not a huge part of my life (as long as i can find places to shower and sleep) and i certainly don’t eat as richly (or healthily) as i probably should. everyone i know is so focused on doing well financially in order to travel and having one set place to live - yet if we all traveled by working and living in various parts of the world, our lives could be more fulfilling. i wish people weren’t so worried on having a safety net and took risks in life; we only see one life at once, we should dare ourselves at each and every turn. who knows where travels can take us? i’m definitely willing to take all those chances and see what’s waiting on the other end, rather than know what’s waiting on the other end and trying to find that direct path. Iceland has inspired me to go this path and i am beginning to search for these options and discover what is there for me. this summer, i have accepted an internship in Bayfield, Wisconsin and am planning to intern/work again for a tourism company in Cape Town, South Africa during my study abroad semester. again, money is not at all an incentive but simply a reward and perk. what i (will) treasure the most out of these internships is simply the experience of learning about each and every function of travel and tourism while improving on multiple skills and wandering aimlessly through life to explore. so, to quote simplistically, here’s to the next adventure and the millions after!

this past fall, we also took another studio trip shortly after Cazenovia, NY and headed over to Canandaigua, NY - only an hour and thirtyseven minutes away by car and straight through Syracuse, NY. again, i found elements of ecotourism within Canandaigua and its secondary counterpart of Brewerton. as seen in the bottom two images, secaida and lavin are looking directly into the ecotourist spectrum consisting of beach loungers, swimmers, boaters, kayakers, yachters (not a word?) and canoers. we even saw some dogs using the beach front, an interesting concept since dogs are sometimes and usually banned from the beach. once again, water creates a prominent stance in community relationship and growth. after walking around Canandaigua and observing the town, my class came to the conclusion the town´s waterfront is only source of traffic and activity. Canandaigua itself was empty and did not hold as much identity as a town. our project was to recreate an identity for the town’s relationship to the Finger Lakes for newly designed Finger Lakes Museum along this waterfront site (check out the final project!). throughout our entire trip towards Canandaigua, we were asked to photograph numerous elements to help increase larger understanding of upstate New York activity. we noticed multitude of trees, trucks and more farming silos. roads prior to Canandaigua are supposed to build up to suspension, a new place consisted of mystery and excitement. these photographs, although photoshopped and instagrammed, show discouraging landscapes for Canandaigua; if discouraging is lumped with suburban and rural. as it seems, from a personal urban standpoint, discouraging is indeed how some of my classmates and i felt during our trip. here, truck culture and highways represent the epitome of Canandaigua amongst similar representations throughout little towns in New York state. while structuring our presentation for the Finger Lakes Museum project, my class recognized an opportunity to build tourism for this small town to form crowds and immediate interest. urban tourism appealed as method of signage, culture, display and attraction. we operated via paths, vehicle movement and interest in one spot. our mission was to create this sense of place and fun for users of Canandaigua, despite the fact that Canandaigua itself may lose original everyday activity to new groups. within risk, Canandaigua was designed to develop new ideas for its community and culture. without the existing structure, the town would have formed a repetitive rut lacking anything new, much like the water passing over the same beachfront each time. for what secaida and lavin are viewing in the below pictures, their astonishment, must be repeated each time for old and new users in representation of both urban tourism and identity for Canandaigua, NY. 

after discovering personal interests in a future occupation of marketing and designing ecotourist landscapes, i began to see ecotourism or at least just tourism everywhere! this past fall, my studio class took a trip to Cazenovia, NY to study silos and the agricultural lifestyle surrounding these metal structures. we split up into groups and viewed silos from the road while stopping by at specific locations to observe different silo types. this experience was particularly interesting for those who grew up in strictly suburban or urban areas without any immediate access to agricultural landscapes, including me and some others in our studio. farming communities have approached their culture in number of ways, all of which my studio experienced during that day. we learned how agricultural societies display their farming to the public, ranging from agritourism to personal one on one tours. images one through four show a farm designed for multiple users to explore. there are so many types of activities available thus causing need for point of way direction signs in image three. every adventurous action produced from agritourism signs state there is much more to experience in everyday life of farming communities. within agritourism, many visitors are allowed to take home memories and new knowledge of how to monitor farms as an exciting and mysterious experience. viewers will be tempted to devise how agritourism is used throughout the year and apply those methods to their daily activities. images five and ten are of silos devised for personal tours, yet fashioned in separate procedures. image five is simply like any other agricultural space but allows users to interact with farm animals as means of gaining knowledge of animal use in agriculture. despite that this farm has only one activity for users, there is still a lot of information gleaned around the acre used for these particular newcomers. in image ten, this majestic barn is owned by an amish family and intends to produce every agricultural method in simplistic ways. when my class visited this barn, we explored how amish communities solved insistent regular problems in quick manner within structure and amongst farm animals. lastly, images six through nine are of an outdoor artist exhibit with numerous pieces placed in natural light view. these pieces of course tend towards tourism as a means of signage and description as well as developing sense of interest and inspiration for discovery. all of these places are truly fascinating and are worth looking into. we pass by these structures all the time yet do not really dig deep into how these spaces can be approached and shown to outsiders in perspective. what tourism companies are doing now and are continuously revising is how to keep interest in their countries and adventure projects. this is and will always be the first step into producing complete intriguing designs for the company, country and users. travel means so much more than just travel itself; for all you nomads out there, when visiting a place next time whether it be place never seen or have been to thousands of times, try to really see the place from all points of views. now go make new tracks and leave some powerful mental imprints.

just wanted to start this post off as statement of heading onward with my travels; my winter vacation flight to Vancouver with my sister and mom is soon and reminiscing waves of Iceland have come back to me in flourishes. as a country with many spaces untouched by humans, Iceland has a lot of largely ‘natural’ landscapes. i truly miss these landscapes and looking back on pictures posted online or my own personal photographs bring me back to each of these fleeting desired memories. one of the most powerful factors of nature seen all over Iceland was the water. whether or not the water was part of oceans, lakes, rivers, etc, there was always a group of people standing nearby and admiring the space. just like the Seine River, like all bodies of water, there is a psychological and beneficial health in exposure to water. the calmness and movement of waves, splashing sounds hitting the surface, clean breezes impacting the waves and then the shore - each representation of water activity creates a sense of security and organizes a point of direction in a space. these are the reasons why some people enjoy going to beaches so much; there is so much hidden in minds and waves really do wash thoughts from mind and develop focus on what is in the now. after encountering each bed of rushing water, i felt confident in motives and admired those who stood amongst the waves. people were able to de-stress and contemplate surroundings, as seen in Hvalfjorður in image six and Djúpalónssandur and Dritvik in image ten. within these images of Icelandic landscape, water appears to the audience in multiple ways. In the seventh image, water is displayed in urban landscape, taking this particular element out of its natural habitat, while also initiating deeper relationships between urban setting to natural space. Iceland is compiled of mostly nature, yet the urban design intentionally caters to users in favor of the natural resources including water and energy. the country prides their sources and landscapes, thus incorporating representations all over the city and informing outsidesr of these elements. within Reykjavík, the major city, water is held on an exquisite pedestal for all those who wonder to admire. water was the first transportation base, first mode of path for early vikings and discovery of Iceland. water´s past, present and future holds Iceland in a bowl and operates for the country. water is everything to the landscape and vice versa; without water, more deeper connections to this form of nature might not have existed. whether water is part of a waterfall (images one, two and nine) or just part of an solidary movement (images three, four, eight and ten), Iceland is still fresh and visible. hopefully, water will strengthen these powerful landscapes for many years until i visit them again and again :) 

**the photos above were taken by me but are for my internship in Iceland this summer- they are simply examples of descriptions within this post

my travels to Salt Lake City and throughout the west were extremely jam packed with landscape sights and scenery. in every state, there was at least one view that astounded me, simply because it was something that i had never seen before in an urban environment. who knew that snow capped mountains and giant hills with monuments could surround a largely spaced suburban city? definitely not me! but i thought the landscapes of Salt Lake were so beautiful and inspiring which made me jealous of SLC´s residents. normally, i do not like suburban areas but the mountainscape created such an astonishing view for the city to become bearable. there was hardly any visible transportation on the ridiculously wide streets, multiple vehicles passed by the intersection every second, and there was at least ten feet from the sidewalk corner to an adjacent building corner. so much space! and it was an interesting difference from Syracuse, a mixed (sub)urban area. throughout the rest of the western trip, more mountains and wide canyons shaped expansive farmlands and grassy fields. most of my time was spent watching from the window of a bus (roadscapes!) and every half hour, the landscape outside would change. this timelapse of developing landscapes in height, function, form, material, measure, etc was absolutely fascinating and made me wonder who i would be if i grew up and lived in these areas. also, the bus view redefined topography when roads turned and circled around these mountains, giving perspectives of varied proportion. for me, it is hard to believe that these types of spaces exist especially since i have only really been exposed to eastern american nature all my life. during the entire trip, watching these ´natural´ roadscapes pass by was truly my most favorite pasttime. if you have not yet tried observing the roadscapes, you may find that it is better than watching television and/or listening to music. if anything, it is certainly worth trying and there is really so much to get out of just staring out into the space. next time you are in a vehicle, try interpreting the area and see what you find. how was this land formed? what once happened within this area? what can be done, redesigned? what potential do you see for this land? 

update! hopeful for a continuous start

first, i want to apologize for not being able to post as much this summer as i did last summer. despite being caught up entirely in my travels to Iceland this past summer, i still do have a lot to say about my experience with Reykjavík. i can´t stop thinking about my summer and all the fun that i have had, i really miss each and every little detail of my time in Iceland. because of this trip in Iceland and all the people i have met, i have discovered a possible future occupation for myself. Iceland has opened up my eyes to ecotourism, a subject that is not yet a word but holds so much potential for a green and promising sustainable future. ecotourism is simply a take on tourism but adding ecological practices and awareness of the landscape for interested tourists. last fall (2012), my studio worked on a semester long project on Montezuma National Park, focusing on different aspects of ecotourism. i had not realized how powerful and interesting this subject was until i actually got a chance to experience an Icelandic company manage the idea itself. although i worked as a marketing intern, i was still able to explore the country as an tourist and learn about ecotourism. looking back at the Montezuma projects we produced, i realized how important and beautiful ecotourism could be for landscape design and ecological distinctness. hopefully in the future, i look forward to traveling all over the world and continuing this message of ecotourism for everyone and the environment. 
now, i want to talk about my study abroad requirement for my major. i know, it is the epitome of awesome. in my earlier post about festival of places, i talked about my potential interests in Berlin, Germany and Prague, Czech Republic. this year, however, Cape Town, South Africa is on the list and i am beyond excited for this chance to experience Cape Town as a resident. since i am looking forward to studying ecotourism for the rest of my life, Cape Town is becoming the best place for this scene. not only does South Africa provide a large growth in tourism and economical benefit, but the country is surrounded by beautiful varied landscapes and ecosystems. compared to Iceland, South Africa is almost similar in its different environments in such a small space. i certainly look forward to viewing this space and finding recognized pieces of Icelandic home in Cape Town :)
as for other news, i have done some side traveling myself through school. as a class, we have taken numerous field trips to select areas all over New York state for various projects. these trips are interesting because they keep revealing new aspects of New York to me constantly. every time i think i know what New York state is inside and out, a different perspective is shown visibly and surprisingly. this is what i get from living in Manhattan my whole life! ;D some of the places i visited with my class include CIcero, NY; Canandaigua/Brewerton, NY and Cazenovia, NY. feel free to check out site photographs here. also, our studio class took a weekend long trip to Boston, MA so i may have pictures from that experience again too! we did not attend as many events as i had with my mother back in winter 2012, but i had a different experience with my classmates. we also lived in a holiday inn somewhere in Cambridge which definitely marked my time in Massachusetts of fall 2013 as a new one. i will discuss my experience with colleagues in another blog post soon. thanks for reading and sticking around! :) 

Seine River is an incredible body of water, since it stretches from Source-Seine of northeastern France into the English Channel (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seine). water has always been a source of comfort and relaxation in designs, due to its peaceful movements and sounds. however, i did not realize how much it drew people together until i visited Paris. of course, the design structure of the Seine River itself has multiple reasons to this one extraordinary factor. the River carries throughout Paris and divides multiple islands of the city from each other, thus causing people to explore and observe how to reach these different lands. overpass bridges from one island to another connects travelers and also displays viewpoints down towards the water. people are welcome to sit and enjoy passerby, street entertainment, and other views across the bridge. one of the more beautiful aspects of water and the River itself is the reflection of light, of course. in image three, the sun is slowly setting which creates yellow hazy glows floating off of the surface onto faces of those passing through. this natural activity produces psychological relaxation and appreciation for aspects of true nature in an urban environment. sunsets are usually affiliated with seascapes or suburban settings but improvising the sunset on a river surrounded by buildings and bridge overpasses can both bring thoughts out of the city and into to the city while respecting those two spaces together. this beautifully structured river is truly an amazing work of art and should be varied in other cities as well. no wonder those parisians are so carefree in their choices and freedom; they are exposed to these spectacular sights every day :) Seine River also poses as the main transportation route throughout the city for all types of water vessels. the River alone can be hierarchy to main streets simply because it carries directly throughout the city. of course, parisian streets are more used than Seine River but a direct path route within the entire city is not easily attainable. but it is interesting how boats and ferries traveling along Seine River will view different perspectives of Paris extensively from the water. lastly, these specific water landscape perspectives appear to change significantly in terms of infrastructure, people, water, buildings and other elements around the River. as seen in image two, the bridge overpass has a cross wire design atop concrete blocks, which represents a form of later technology regarding cleaner and different materials. this bridge is a wild comparison to that of the bridge seen in the background of image three. although the light changes visual perception of the bridge, the structure is still a physical stone structure without any other visible materials. the bridge shows an older portrayal of material and aesthetics, thus producing views along Seine River as a transcendent timeline of not only structural and object change but also cultural, industrial and social change. Seine River shows various important facets throughout time which is something that is shown in many designs but should just be as visually exemplified.

well, it has been three days since i have left Iceland after staying for three months and i cannot describe how much i miss the country. i am sitting here in my parents´ apartment in New York City and continuously dreaming of stepping out onto the calm streets of Reykjavík again. i have never felt as drawn to a place as i have to Reykjavík and it may most likely be because of the new environment and ideas of making steps toward change. growing up in Manhattan with billions of people can force kids to become independent at an extremely young age. that experience is capable of making people dwell on being alone all the time and then wanting to become alone all the time. this is not the case in Reykjavík- people travel in groups everywhere and thrive on being among others all the time. moving from one of the largest cities in the world to a small city in a country with a population of 320,000 was one of the greatest and most influential choices i have made in my life. i would not consider myself an extremely social person but this change helped me expand my personality around a completely different environment thus enforcing the concept of how change is always good and sociologically beneficial. this entire discussion is probably confusing and without purpose but in order to pin down the reason why i loved living in Iceland so much was probably the beautiful difference of the repetitive environment i lived in up until high school. it is true that i was alone most of the time during my stay in Reykjavík, but i enjoyed it because of the country´s spectacular culture, language, customs, spirit, etc. i met some incredible people at the bars, clubs, work, on the streets, tours, and in passing. i lived with some very interesting people that helped change my perspective on how to live outside of a regularly comfortable space. it may sound so difficult and so hard to get used to but in reality, these hard hitting impacts can mold your outlook and help you expand in so many variations. if any of you are ever given the chance to live in another country all by yourself, go for it. constantly consider building yourself as a person everywhere you go and use that to your advantage. after looking over all of this text, it would seem that i was just be easily influenced by my experience in Iceland but i really do value my time spent in that country. i am willing to travel everywhere and feel the same way i do about Iceland for every country. but i cannot stress this enough: change and difference is healthy and helpful; go value and treasure those chances in life. 

so sorry for all these empty promises - meant to write extensively about travels throughout Iceland but failed to have any type of energy. maybe the trip is finally catching up to me haha after the end of my first week in Reykjavík, Iceland! within the first four days after arriving, i was given the chance to explore the city. most of the time, i visited museums and walked aimlessly along the streets. in fact, i tried to visit at least one museum per day :D i started with the Icelandic Phallological Museum (www.phallus.is) on the first day and the curation was astonishing! the first image is of a giraffe penis, one of many other animal body parts viewed within the museum. on the second day, i went to the Volcano House (volcanohouse.is) which displayed volcanic rocks in such remarkable ways that all detail within each rock is captured, as seen in image three. for the third day, i visited the Ásmundur Sveinsson Sculpture Museum (www.artmuseum.is) which was being renovated so I got free admission! all of the sculptures were exquisite and had incredible meaning with familial relationships and gender equality, seen in image four. afterwards on the same day, i headed over to the National Gallery of Iceland (www.listasafn.is) to view their landscape painting exhibits called ‘treasures’ and other fascinating exhibits including work from artist oppy de bernardo. many of the landscape paintings captured intricate details in color palettes which was mesmerizing to view for each work of art, especially if there was a lot of variety of colors in each painting. one particular piece by þórarinn þorláksson stood out to me in with each of those elaborate aspects (image eight). many of his paintings filled the walls in that particular exhibit which really helped viewers become lost within the brushstrokes and lightings. the museum even had a childrens’ section in which kids could interact with each other while creating pieces of art, which seemed especially interesting simply because the museum was not exactly a large space. however, after walking around Reykjavík and observing the commmunity, i noticed that the majority of the residents were young families. it is definitely interesting how Reykjavík itself has developed into a very strong family oriented urban area, which is not uncommon but maybe different from what i thought of at least the entire city. on the fourth day, i went to the National History Museum of Iceland (www.thjodminjasafn.is). this museum covered the migration of vikings to Iceland and how their civilization developed in various environments through religion, politics and social behavior. i really enjoyed the details of the structure and how the curation played into the various subjects. some topics may have seemed a bit dry but after speaking to my roommate about the museum, he believed that the exhibits really described the whole progress of the country´s structure which could help anyone understand all of Iceland a lot more. however, my favorite part of the museum was the visiting exhibit of knitted pieces from the Home Industrial Company, or Heimilisiðnaðarfélag Íslands (www.heimilisidnadur.is). after hearing about lopapeysas and seeing a billion pictures of them, it was nice to actually see some in person in both human and mannequin form, seen in image five. i also quite enjoyed studying the different patterns and colors for each sweater. overall, this post is way overdue but visiting museums in a blind rush is how i usually go about traveling and am so glad I made it a point to see each one within my first week of arrival. if you ever come to Reykjavík, definitely go visit each of these museums; you will appreciate all of it!