Things To Do In Rochester: Public Market

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A few summers ago, I came home from a year of eating in the Fordham Caf (gross) and all I wanted was fresh, healthy foods. After a few weeks of buying mass amounts of fruits and veggies at Wegmans, my mom declared that my fruit habit was too expensive to support at the grocery store anymore, and that I should start going to the Public Market downtown to stock up.

I had been to the Market a few times in my past, but the early wake-up time required always turned me off. But that first week, my dad woke me up at 8 and off we went. It became a weekly event, starting with coffee and bagels before and tons of fresh produce after. Now I look forward to our Saturday mornings at the Market. At the start of this summer, my dad was working on renovating our family room, so he was too busy for the Market trips, and I missed the fresh strawberries and maple syrup to the max. This weekend was our first trip, and we couldn’t have waited for a more beautiful day.

The Public Market is located at 280 North Union Street, and we usually get to it by taking Portland Ave all the way down, and then there’s signs that point you through the last few turns to the parking lot.

The key to the Market is to get there early. Which is why I have such a love/hate relationship with it. Ideally, we would leave the house between six or seven am, but we don’t usually get there until around nine or ten. But there is still always enough produce to go around.

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There are several different pavillions, two open ones outside, and one enclosed one inside. The most logical way to go through is to just take your time and go through the two outdoor ones and then finish up with the indoor one. The outdoor ones are filled with fruits, veggies and some baked goods, and the indoor one has more meats, fish and pastries. Along the edges on either side there are also a few different food vendors, including Boulder Coffee and Cure Bar and a few other specialty shops, including one where we get the best cinnamon raisin bread.

Another key to the Market is to bring your own bags. Each vendor usually puts their produce in a plastic grocery bag, so instead of carrying an armload of those, a reusable market bag works wonders.

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Our favorite things to get at the Public Market include:

  • Homegrown berries (straw-, blue-, black-)
  • Maple Syrup
  • Fresh herbs (basil and mint this week)
  • Grapes
  • Apples
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Peas and green beans
  • Cinnamon raisin bread
  • Eggplant
  • Onions
  • Fresh flowers

Not only is the Market produce a lot cheaper than supermarket food, but I feel better about it. It’s all homegrown so I’m supporting local farms and businesses, and the foods feel more wholesome. The strawberries are small but incredibly sweet, the apples are juicy and delicious and the bread is soft and fluffy.

The space of the Market is used during the week, too. On the last Wednesday of each month, the City hosts a Food Truck Rodeo, where all of the Food Trucks gather and blow your mind. Sushi, wood-fired pizza, barbecue, mac and cheese–anything. It’s almost overwhelming, but it’s equally, if not more delicious. I’ve been to both the May and June one so far this summer….

The Public Market is one of my favorite things about Rochester, as it’s so wholesome and fulfilling, and I hope it’s something I continue to do for the rest of my life. It’s something special I get to do every week with my dad and something I look forward to on Saturday mornings, and special time I get to spend doing something with my dad that we both love.

Athleta Love

I’ve barely been employed by Athleta for two weeks and I’ve only had training but I’ve fallen for the company and Gap Inc. in general. The company just cares about its employees more than any company I’ve worked for, and I really admire that.

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The first thing is their slogan: Power to the she. Their main goal is to support and empower women. In a world where gender equality is still an issue, I love this mission. All of their partnerships and community service works to lift up women of all races and sizes and walks of life, and meet this goal, which I think is incredibly admirable, since many companies don’t have any missions at all.

Athleta is also partnered with brands that aim to serve the community. Girls on the Run is a non-profit organization that promotes healthy lifestyles for young girls, and the fact that Athleta partners with them shows how much they care, not only about their company and employees, but about the community as well. They also provide classes and training programs for customers.

In-store, Athleta also has free Luna bars (a long-time favorite of mine) as well as free alterations, should someone need them. And their return policy is amazing too. They encourage shoppers to wear the article they purchased, and even work out and sweat in it, and if they don’t like it, they can return it for a full refund.

I'm dying for these leggings

I’m dying for these leggings

Not to mention, I’m head-over-heels obsessed with most of their products. Not only are they adorable to work out in, but they’re also wearable outside the gym too, and incredibly stylish.

The more I learned about the company, the more I fell in love. It’s just so different from any other place I’ve worked, and their whole mission and message just makes me feel good about being employed there.

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Another thing is their starting wage. No Gap Inc. employee gets paid under $9 an hour, and starting later this year, it won’t fall below $10. I think it’s extremely important that companies understand their employees and their costs of living, and the fact that Gap pays so well is so different and ultra impressive to me.

Gap Inc. as a whole works to be socially responsible, be it for the environment or community relations or human rights, they strive to do what’s right and I really respect that. I’ve done a ton of research on the company, out of my own curiosity and interest and the more I find the more I love. I’ve been saying now that my dream job is to work at corporate Gap in San Francisco, because I genuinely believe it’s an amazing company and somewhere where I’d absolutely love to be. A girl can dream, right?

 

all images courtesy of Athleta’s instagram 

Rejection…ouch

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I’m obviously extremely stressed about post-grad life. My parents and friends and friends’ parents are constantly saying, “enjoy your summer, it’s the last you’ll ever have,” and similar things, and while I get it, the idea of having a relatively impressive degree and nothing to show for it is extremely disappointing. The first few weeks of summer were tough but I persisted and applied for as many jobs as possible each day. And finally, after about a month, companies started responding. One interview turned into a few and I was feeling extremely optimistic…until I didn’t.

I did everything I could. I was professional and prepared and I followed up. I even sent hand-written thank yous and followed up again. But I didn’t get any jobs I interviewed for. It was tough on me and a blow to my positivity. I thought maybe this was it, I was going to end my search and finally find something.

It’s foolish, I know, to expect to get an offer after your first or second interview, but I had been confident nonetheless. Now, I am less so. I’m back at square one, applying to every job I can until someone calls. While all of the jobs I interviewd for felt right, I’m taking the message that they weren’t. I know what is meant to be will be (que sera, sera) and that I will end up where I truly belong, but in the meantime I am beyond frustrated. I have a degree from a fairly competitive university and also have been interning since my sophomore year, in hopes that finding a career would be easier. Everything in my life thus far has been in order to prepare me for a career and I don’t yet have one and I can’t even explain how discouraging that fact alone is.

I do have faith and confidence in myself but it is so hard to be knocked down, especially when each day is one day closer to the end of that six month loan repayment deferral period. Athleta should keep me afloat and I am incredibly grateful for that, but all I want is my career. I’m not meant to be a student or an athlete. I know deep in my bones I am a person who’s meant to have a career and give her all to that position. I’m ready.

I have also been enjoying my last summer, going away with friends and spending time getting adequate amounts of sleep. I’m just hoping someday I look back, happily from my job, thinking, wow, that was such an amazing summer and I’m so happy at this job.

 

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Life Lately

Ironically, after I wrote my post about not having much going on or much inspiration, I started getting ideas. Mostly, just a kind of general update about my life. Because even though I claim to not be up to anything, I’ve been out and about here and there.

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1. I have a semi unhealthy addiction to Sips. Their iced coffee is delicious and I’ve been there more times this week than I’m proud to admit.

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2. After a year of collecting bracelets, and then statement necklaces, I’ve started dabbling in statement earrings. I’ve been wearing the same pearl studs since 10th grade, but when I want to seem a little dressier I wear some that dangle a little. I have a pair from Forever21 and one from Old Navy that pretty much get the job done, but I’m sure I’ll end up collecting way more than I need. I also grabbed these lip products while Bridget and I were out the other day. I’ve been eyeing the NYX Butter Glosses ever since I got home, and I didn’t already have a nude color, so I finally pounced. And since I needed a concealer and CoverGirl was running a buy one get one half off deal, I grabbed this Jumbo Gloss Balm, since during the last week of school I lost my favorite from Bite Beauty. The color isn’t an exact match, but the bright pink is perfect for summer time.

3. Athleta. I got a part time job! Just a minor step, but it will help to stop the hemorrhaging of money that’s been going on lately. Plus, Gap Inc. is a truly delightful company. I would even love to consider a career at corporate Gap in San Fran someday. But for now, I’ll be spending nights and weekends at Eastview with luxury women’s workout apparel.

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4. I have an oddly shaped or proportioned body. I don’t know what it is about it exactly but I feel like I don’t look right in normal crop tops and I’m rarely confident in them. However, I snagged a few last week, one from Forever21 and one from Express with longer lengths and I’m absolutely loving them. They’re short enough in length to show enough skin, but I don’t feel uncomfortable in them at all. On the same day, Aeropostale had bralettes on sale for $7, so I grabbed one on a whim, and I’ve been wearing it, what feels like, constantly. They’re comfortable, and look really pretty under see-through shirts or tank tops, and I don’t mind if the straps show, because of how cute the lace looks.

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5. Andrew is coming home next week! His third quarter at school has come to a close and he’s coming back the 19th for two and a half weeks and for the 4th of July. Our favorite holiday. Not only is Andrew coming home, but all of our out of town friends are coming. Kara, Mitch, Lauren, Dylan. I am so excited.

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6. For graduation, my parents surprised me with a car. We had been talking about buying a used one for months, and then I stopped hearing about it so I stopped asking and continued saving. On my graduation day they gave me a set of keys on a Fordham Alumni keychain and I almost started crying. It’s the cutest little black 2004 Nissan Sentra and I am incredibly lucky that my parents were able to provide me with it. Hopefully, soon I’ll have a job to drive it to… But, this weekend I took the longest drive I’ve ever done to New Jersey to see Kaitie and go to Scott’s graduation party. It was so exciting to see everyone and be on the beautiful rooftop. I can’t wait for Kait to come visit hopefully soon.

7. I’ve been working on several different shows lately, which isn’t something I normally do. I like to binge on one at a time until it’s finished, but since I’ve been home I’ve been hopping between Orphan BlackParks and Recreation, House of Cards and, of course, Orange is the New Black. They’re all so different but when I get tired of watching hours of one, I just switch and get back into another.

I think that’s mostly everything I’ve been up to. Kaitie is planning on coming to visit sometime soon, and hopefully soon I’ll have updates from my job hunt. In the meantime, I’ll be here applying to more and making some money selling yoga pants.

 

Strugglin’

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I’ve been going back and forth about writing on this blog. I like writing, but so much in my life is uncertain right now. I don’t have a job or anything to do with myself besides look for a job and try to enjoy summer and that stresses me out. Some people, when stressed, dive into their blog as a place of refuge. I used to. But now I feel like I have nothing to say. There’s no drama, just questioning.

Maybe when I find a job and settle in and get into a rhythm I’ll find it easier to sit down and write posts, but at this point I’m legitimately struggling to think of content. I’m not going to write every week that I’m still not working, still searching and applying. I hate spending free time blogging because I feel like I could be using it so much more efficiently, searching jobs, writing cover letters, helping around the house so I don’t get kicked out…

I love my blog and I love writing, but I am painfully aware that I’m not in school anymore and I don’t have the same free time and experiences to share. For now, I will continue to write when I do something interesting or if a career comes up, but until then, I’ll just be here, trying as hard as I possibly can to join the workforce and be a productive member of society.

But hey, this weekend I’m driving down to New Jersey to see Kaitie for Scott’s grad party, so that will definitely be worth sharing afterward. :)

PostG Week 2: I Stopped Crying

It’s officially been two weeks since I got back from the Bronx and my college career ended and I did, in fact, stop crying every day. The initial sadness wore off, and I still talk with most of my good friends. I’m more concerned now with spending time with my friends here and enjoying my time with them, as well as trying to get myself employed.

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Now that we’re all finally 21, there are lots of fun things we can do in Rochester that we just weren’t old enough for in summers past. Last Friday we planned a little ladies’ night and got dinner and headed to the zoo for Zoo Brew. It was nice to hang out with just the girls, since we’ve been hanging out with the whole group for so long. We laughed and had a few drinks and then ran into literally everyone we went to high school with at the bar after.

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Memorial Day weekend my friends and I packed up a few cars and drove down to Keuka Lake for a night. I had been feeling a little under the weather with what I thought was allergies, so I took a Zyrtec and made the trek. It was amazing to just be up in the woods with friends and a few beers just laughing at anything for a night.

It turned out, however, that I had some kind of respiratory infection and I slept for like, three days straight after I came home. Besides writing cover letters and applying to jobs, I would just sleep hours on end. Luckily, Wednesday brought me to the doctor and since then I have been feeling tons and tons better.

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And then this weekend was Erin’s 22nd birthday weekend, so we went all out for her. Saturday night we went to the bars in downtown Rochester as a whole group. I’m not typically a bar lover, but I managed to have tons of fun, and not have any New Year’s Eve disasters.

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Lauren is moving away at the end of this week, and Erin will be gone in August, so despite my impending job search, I’m also trying to spend as much time with my friends as possible, since I really have no idea what the future holds for me. I’ve started looking for a part time job so that I can at least have something to do, and money to spend while I search for something full time and long term. This whole situation definitely isn’t ideal, and I actually hate the whole process, but I’m trying as hard as possible, and tomorrow I’ll wake up and try harder.

In the meantime I’ll also spend a ton of time with my dogs.