Guide to going abroad in Barcelona

Now that abroad is coming to an end, I have decided to make a guide for future students who decide to travel to Barcelona to study abroad.

We will start with food. Everyone knows that Barcelona is known for tapas. The most famous tapas restaurant in El Bourne is called Cal Pep. This is an up-and-coming/hipster part of town. Some of Cal Pep’s popular tapas dishes are patatas bravas, croquettes, and tortilla espanol. The other tapas dishes are mostly seafood and vegetable dishes. Other  great tapas places are Bar Pinoxto or El Quim. Both of these places are in the Boqueria off of Las Ramblas. La Boqueria is a really cool market. Another good tapas place is Ciudad Comda. It is in Placa Catalunya. Other good restaurants are La Champgneria, Da Greco, Carpe Diem, Rosa Negra, Cerveceria Catalana, Milk, Princessa 23, and Bar Lovo.

Here are song things to do and sights to see. Camp Nou is the stadium where FC Barcelona plays. It is the biggest soccer stadium in Europe. La Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell are works of Gaudi. Gaudi is a famous architect here in Barcelona.

His work is splashed all over the city. His work is very trippy and weird. The Picasso museum is another thing to see. It is cool to see the work he did as a child. Montjuic is this high up mountain. At the bottom of it, there is a fountain show, which is spectacular. Tibidabo is the highest point in Barcelona and there is a little amusement park.

The nightlife is crazy here. The main clubs are Otto Zutz, Shoko, Sutton, Bling, Opium, Catwalk, and Up and Down. These were the main clubs that I frequented, but obviously there is a whole city full of clubs. The bars that I went to most nights were Pippermints, Dow Jones, Chupitos, and Hot Bar. Pippermints is this bar with massive drinks. 40 people can share one drink. Each one has a lot of straws coming out of it. Dow Jones is a cool atmosphere. A few times  a night the stock market crashes and drinks are super cheap. Chupitos is really fun. They have all these cool shots. Some shots get lit on fire and there are some that you can roast marshmallows out of.

The beach is my favorite part about Barcelona. It has Carpe diem, Shoko, and Opium Mar facing the beach. I love to go there on the weekends that I am here, and in between classes.

Here is a list of 10 things you should know before going abroad to Barcelona:

Advertisements=the new drug

Why do we let advertisements change the way we think? Society as a whole gets sucked into this economic bubble and has trouble breaking out of it. Advertisements give off this slanted perception of what is right and wrong. Do we really want the products we see in advertisements? Probably not. Do we as consumers want these products because of the image that is given off in the ad? Probably.

We see a beautiful woman or a celebrity rocking a hot new pair of sunglasses in a pool surrounded by very attractive men. There is alcohol in the hands of the men. It almost looks as if they are handing her the drink. Alcohol most of the time equals a good time. This is exactly what is being shown in this ad. She looks like she is having the time of her life. What could possibly be better? In this ad, Jessica Alba is doing exactly this in a advertisement for Ray Bans.

Advertisements can also be very demeaning towards woman. It is much like rap songs. In most rap songs, they are rapping about taking advantage of woman and looking at them as if they are objects who don´t have feelings. A lot of songs have really bothered me in the past. I take lyrics to heart, unlike some of my friends. I don´t want men to ever treat me the way the rappers are speaking. I want full respect. In some advertisements, they show women half naked with men caressing their bodies. In this ad, it almost looks as if they are trying to get her drunk enough to be able to take advantage of her. They are all individually handing her a drink. She also has a lot of cleavage showing. It looks like they have photoshopped her body. They perked up her boobs and slimmed down her waist. Is this how advertisers think women should look like? That is the image they are giving off. What must young girls think when they see this ad? Their self confidence must diminish greatly. Very few woman actually look like this. In fact, I feel as if this body is unattractive and not believable. I feel bad for young girls who have to look at this ad and think that that is how they should look.

Why do we let advertisements sway our opinion? Why do we sometimes let them bring us down? I do have to say that sometimes they can shed light on situations. There are days where I feel down in the dumps and feel as if nothing can pick me up. When I come home after a long day and flip through the pages of the new issue of ELLE Magazine, seeing bright colors and beautiful photographs can be helpful.

We live in a society where buying materialistic items makes us happier. I have dealt with this in my own experience with the death of my dad.

I have always been an excellent shopper and have loved every minute of my time in a store. Lately, I haven´t been caring about what I wear, what I buy, and what items I own. All I care about is the loving relationships with the people around me. There has been an exception in my recent personality change. Shopping has been very therapeutic. Ads have not played an active roll in my life lately because I would rather shop in an actual store. The act of purchasing items gives off endorphins.

Advertisements have a way of changing people’s views and opinions.  They are powerful and extreme, yet millions continue to be released into the world everyday. I am even guilty of having advertisements suck me into purchasing something.

Catalunya Radio vs. 9.55

Catalan radio and american radio have many differences, but at the same time many similarities. Aside from the language barrier, walking into the catalan radio station was very different from my experience walking into an american radio station at home.

The most popular radio station in Detroit (my hometown) is 9.55. I went there a couple years back for a tour. My friend was interning there and wanted me to see what her work life was like. She was excited to show me all of the aspects of the station.

I found a lot of differences from the two separate visits. A major difference is that in The United States, there are different radio stations for different reasons. There is a sports broadcasting radio station, a news radio station, a station that just plays music, and a station that gives you information on stocks.

When I visited Catalunya Radio, I noticed that the station serves multiple purposes. There is a sports section downstairs and then a music section upstairs. You wouldn’t find that in the U.S.

Depending on what type of mood you are in, there are many different radio stations that you can listen to.

In the United States, there is XM radio also known as Sirius radio. It is a satellite radio service. It provides 69 channels of music, and 65 sports, news and entertainment channels. Sirius broadcasts 24 hours daily and is always commercial-free and uncensored. They offer variety to every type of genre that listeners would want to hear. 

Catalunya radio doesn’t seem to have this. They broadcast exclusively in Catalan.  They have 4 separate stations. Catalunya radio, musica, informacio, and iCat fm. Catalunya Radio was the first station. It is a general station that broadcasts 24 hours a day. The Musica section mostly plays classical and contemporary music. It also broadcasts 24 hours a day. The Informacio station was Spain’s first all-news station. iCat fm is linked to the internet and promotes traditional and contemporary culture.

When my friend showed me around the station, we started with the offices of the controllers. We then saw the room with all of the discs.  It seemed like they had every type of music and every song ever recorded. It was the same at Catalunya Radio. They also know exactly where everything is. It is organized by artist. At Catalunya Radio, it was the same.

We then met the DJs. They were so fun and friendly. They seemed really cool. To be a DJ, you have to have a big personality. 

I enjoyed both experiences. I learned more from the Catalunya Radio visit. It was something different. I have listened to 9.55 for my whole life. I knew what songs they played and a lot of what the station is all about. I thought my visit to Catalunya Radio was very informational and cool.

A regular citizen journalist turns into a mini celebrity

On January 15, 2009 Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landed a plane safely on the Hudson River. He saved the lives of  all 155 people. A couple years later, my father was asked to write Sully’s book about his personal experience on this day titled “Highest Duty.” He also wrote about Sully’s life’s adventures that led him to be able to do what he did on this day. I have first-hand knowledge on the events that occurred on the Hudson River on that day. My dad spent countless hours interviewing Sully to get a feel for what happened, and to be able to tell the story as if he was on the plane with Sully that day. For those of you that don’t know, my dad is a writer. He used to write for The Wall Street Journal, and then his career made a sharp unexpected turn into writing non-fiction best-selling books. Taking this class on Journalism, confirms all of the ideas my dad has taught me about journalism in my life.

Although my dad wouldn’t be classified under a citizen journalist, he still has taught me about what citizen journalism is all about.

On the day that US Airways Flight 1549 touched down on the Hudson River, a normal citizen who happened to be gazing out at the Hudson River during this time, snapped a photo of the passengers on the wings of the aircraft.

This guy was just a citizen who ended up being able to put a picture to this at first tragic, but very joyous event. Without him, we would have just heard about this incident. The Hudson River photo snapper, aka Janis Krums, gave the world a gift. Citizen journalists have the power to do so.

The day that this happened, he tweeted a link to the picture that he had taken along with the words “There’s a plane on the Hudson. I am on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy.”

About an hour after he posted the picture, it had already gotten 43,000 views. Twitter changed the role that citizen journalists play in our society today. It allows any old citizen to post a picture along with a 140 character status update. That night he had gone on multiple television stations such as MSNBC and the days following, went on multiple talk shows.

Mr. Krums went on to become a mini celebrity and the most famous citizen journalist of modern times. He had no idea that his photo would become one of the most iconic photos of 2009 nor that it would be broadcasted on every station, printed in every paper, and plastered all over the internet. His photo captivated the world and make us all realize the power that social media can have on our society. He changed the way news is reported and began the Twitter craze.

Susan Young, a social media storyteller, interviewed Janis Krums about 5 lessons on citizen journalism.

1. Citizen journalists will always be at the right place at the right time with the right tools. The difference is they must have the skill to use them. Once something is happening, it’s too late to be learning the tools. I had the tools to spread the message and knew how to use them. If you have the ability to spread the message, you have the power.

2. News will be reported, no matter what. The way it’s being reported is continuing to evolve. Traditional journalists  will always be second on the scene from now on, especially in the developed world. That’s because more people have i-Phones, smart phones and video capability.

3. Traditional media is evolving. The tools that were used before are just not going to be used in the future. I think journalists are embracing social media. They are just figuring out what’s going to stick in the next five years.

4. I had a very modest following on Twitter of less than 200 people. I thought there was a public forum, and I should Tweet the picture because it could be valuable.  At that point Twitter wasn’t very mainstream, so I didn’t see how big it could become. I didn’t send the picture to CNN or Fox. I just sent it to the followers I had on Twitter. And from there it spread. I don’t think newspapers, journalists, and news organizations were using Twitter as a source quite yet. It was pretty new. At that moment, I saw the value in what it was, but I didn’t see the value of what it could become. I don’t think anyone could see that it could be spread around the world the way it was.

5. The younger generation is consuming news not through Television or newspapers, but through the Internet. People now interact with their news. You can get into an online community and start talking about a topic. It makes it special for people once they figure out how to use it. The new generation wants to share and have their opinions out there. If a reporter misses something in a story, a commentator can say, “Hey, you missed this”, or ”add that”, and it becomes a living story.  Before, it was “This is how it is and you don’t get a change until an update later on.” Now it becomes a living story and not static.

He inspired all citizens to be able to get involved in the citizen journalism movement and showed us all that it is possible to share incredible things with the world, even if it is via Twitter!

Hide yo info- Diaspora

Who knew that there was an alternative to Facebook? The site that more than a billion people use has an alternative. This Facebook poser is called Diaspora. It is a site where the user controls everything. Diaspora is a very private site.

The hype built up until it was finally released on September 15, 2010. During this time, Facebook was in a decline because they were making extreme changes to the privacy settings. The creators of Diaspora thought this would be great timing to come out with the new site.

Facebook has a lot of pros. It makes life easier by having a lot of features. You can keep in touch with people easier, share your adventures through your photos, chat with one another, and lets your friends know what places you have been to.

On the other hand, Facebook has a lot of cons. There is very little exclusivity. People’s information is too much out in the open. If you are friends with me, you can see my gender, birthday, school, religion, email address, photos, family members, relationship status, where I interned, and where I am currently (Barcelona). That means that all 1,481 of my friends can see all of this information. Realistically, I am not close with all of these 1,481 people. 250 are probably people that I see on a regular basis, 100 people are my actual friends, 500 people I have met at most once in my life, and the rest are people that I have no idea who they are.

That means that 631 of my friends I don’t know. These 631 people have access to all of my personal information. Who knows who these people are? They could be terrorists, harassers, or pedophiles for all I know. This scares me. I really should go through and de-friend these 631 randoms. Who has time to do that?

My friend had a very scary thing happen to her via Facebook. She had a bunch of bathing suit pictures as her defaults. This man friended her. He is from New York (where she is from), went to a great college, and had a bunch of mutual friends. She thought, why not accept his friend request? A few days after the acceptance was confirmed, he started Facebook chatting her. At first, she was excited. A good-looking guy just a few years older than her is talking to her! They started talking about life. They spoke about who she was friends with, what college she attends, how many siblings she has etc. Eventually, the time came where he asked to meet up. She was a little nervous, but was also very happy. He offered a coffee shop as a meeting place. She was okay with it. He then backed out. He said he was prior plans. She thought it was a little strange, but just took a raincheck. He did that several times. At this point, he knew everything about her. She opened up to him as she would to any guy that she was interested in. It got to the point where she thought it was a little creepy that he kept backing out. She stopped talking to him as much. He then asked if he could come to her apartment at college and stay with her. She said no, but if he was in the area they could meet for lunch. The moral of the story is that she found out that he is a serial killer. He looks up girl’s information, and makes fake Facebooks based on the girl’s information. He has 7 different Facebooks for 7 different girls that he is talking to. He was talking to one of her friends, and she thought that was weird? Shortly after, they were on to him. The police got involved and he was caught.

Diaspora was a smart move. No one wants to be harassed by men that they don’t know. No one wants all of their information out in the open for anyone to see. People shouldn’t accept friend requests from strangers. Diaspora never blew up but it was a smart idea at the time.

How Regular Citizens Produce Journalism

Citizen journalism plays one of the most important roles in huge events that happen in history. Citizen journalism captured WWI, WWII, The Civil War, 9/11, Sully landing the plane on the Hudson. Citizens play an active roll in collecting, reporting, and analyzing information. They inform the public about what has happened. Without citizen journalists, the public would have little information or pictures about current events.

Living in this new technological era, citizen journalists play an even bigger role than before. When Sully landed on the Hudson, a man was gazing off into the Hudson and saw all the passengers standing on the wings of the plane. He snapped a picture with his blackberry and tweeted it. He then sold it to The New York Times. It is now the picture that everyone sees when learning or reading about this event.

The name citizen journalism is exactly what it is. It is when citizens use tools and knowledge to produce journalism. Citizen journalism is produced by the public (the citizens). Citizens push journalism forward. It shapes the way we consume our news.

The difference between citizen journalism and observation is the use of technology. Of course, citizens back in the day were documenting events and sharing them with the public. Technology allows average people take their own photos, record their own videos, and tell a story through blogs and tweets. This also speeds up the process of how soon the public finds out information. Citizen journalism can happen faster than news organizations can gather up the information to share with the public via television or newspaper.

Some of the major citizen journalism events include September 11th, Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, London Tube bombings in 2005, Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, the Mumbai attacks in 2008, and the Hudson River plane crash in 2009.

The theory on citizen journalism started with a freelance journalist named Mark Glaser who writes about new media issues. ”

“The idea behind citizen journalism is that people without professional journalism training can use the tools of modern technology and the global distribution of the Internet to create, augment or fact-check media on their own or in collaboration with others,” Glaser said.

Without citizen journalism, the way we would get our news would be a lot different. We wouldn’t be as informed as quickly. Also, our news wouldn’t be as    creditable.

MADD-Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Digital storytelling allows people to share aspects of their life story through a short film. Digital storytelling are on average eight minutes and are often presented in a compelling and emotionally engaging format. 

My high school psychology teacher created a film to promote mothers against drunk driving (MADD). She interviewed mothers that have been affected by a drunk driving accident, used hypertexts and computer narrative games to get the message across.  

Interviewing mothers was the most effective (in my opinion). Some mothers cried while speaking. Most told their stories about what had happened to their loved one. They all basically had the same kind of story. Their son or daughter died in a drunk driving car accident. Some of them were the drivers, others were the passengers. A lot of the children were 16. It seemed to happen to the new drivers the most. They are new and haven’t had practice driving yet. The most common ages were 16 and 17. This is when teens get into drinking first. They can’t handle their liquor and they are not smart enough to think about the effects that it could have on their lives before getting into the car. 

She showed images of children with blood poring out of their heads and the totaled cars. The music in the background was Coldplay and other sad songs to give the montage the right ambiance.

Watching it really made me not want to ever drink and drive, let alone drink in general. I helped promote sober driving in high school. I was in an organization called S.H.O.C.K (Students Helping Others Choose Knowledgeably). We would go talk to groups of teens, put up banners around our high school and town, and would speak on our radio program. When students saw our involvement, they realized how big of an effect drunk driving could have on their lives. After this, students kept coming up to me saying how I changed their minds and they will never drink and drive again.

Digital storytelling is a very effective way to get the point across. After watching the short film, students made smarter decisions. My teacher  had hoped that this digital story would have this impact on the community. If ever the opportunity were to arise, I would tell a story through digital storytelling.

How much is too much? Has social media gotten in the way of leading private lives and preventing us from getting the opportunities that we deserve?

What is the purpose of Facebook? Not that I am against Facebook because I live for that site. I just don’t understand the concept of it. So people post pictures to show everyone else how much fun they are missing out on? I am not judging. I do it too! Ever since I got to Barcelona I have been Ms. capture every moment. I post 90% of them to Facebook. Are you wondering what I do with the other 10%? Well, it is of the sights that I don’t think people are interested in seeing. Well, if Facebook was for me then it wouldn’t matter what other people thought right? I make people stand in front of buildings just so people will be more interested in looking at my pictures. Who are these people I am referring to? I don’t know! Random people casually stalking my Facebook, my friends, my family, the boy I am currently crushing on I guess. Everyone who looks at my Facebook knows exactly what I am doing at all times of the day. Between my statuses, pictures and comments on people’s walls, every single one of my friends knows my whereabouts 24/7. In fact, I just made a status about my trip to Amsterdam tomorrow. If my friends (and not my real friends, my Facebook friends) wanted to go to my apartment and steal something, they totally could. I will be away for the weekend and I am announcing it to the world. Who are all of my 1,457 friends and why do they need to know that I am going to Amsterdam tomorrow? I love Facebook because it is a capsule of our lives. I can go back to a conversation with my friend from 5 years ago and it will still be there. I have had 5 different phones since then so it’s not like I can go back on my phone and check what Alex’s life was like then. I can see old pictures, conversations, statuses, videos, and you have the opportunity to get wished a happy birthday by 1,457 different people.

I don’t understand the concept of office of admissions and potential employers stalking your Facebook and having that determine if you get into college or get the job or not. Like if I am holding a red cup in a picture am I really not going to get a job out of college. Everyone knows teens drink. I am 20 and I will be 21 by the time I am applying for jobs. For those of you that are unaware, 21 is legal. Therefore, I am allowed to be drinking in pictures and it should have no affect on the decision to hire me or not. My boss this summer at ELLE always spoke to me about partying and what club I went to the night before. It is a normal activity when you are young and trying to get wifed up and find a nice gentleman or just to be social and meet friends!

Now onto other social media devices. Linkedin lets everyone in the professional network let you know what you have done with your life up until now. When you think of it this way, it sounds creepy. It is actually the way that I got the internship I interviewed for today. Yes, I wouldn’t mind my future potential employer to find me and want to hire me on the spot, but I also don’t like how my information is out there for the world of Googlers to see.

Twitter is the creepiest. I am a newbee to the Twitter game and by newbee I mean that I jumped on that bandwagon in October. That is about 2 years after the rest of American was tweeting away. What is a tweet and how does one know what to tweet about? My friends and fellow tweeters tweet about what they are doing right now, and then 5 minutes later they tweet about how they spent their last 5 minutes. Do I care? No. Do I read it? Yes. I am also guilty of this activity. One second I’ll tweet BARCELONA BOUND! The next tweet would look something like this: LANDED IN BARCE FINALLY! Like A. all my followers are aware that I am about to venture off to Barcelona, do they really need to know what exact second I landed? I don’t think that they cared when they found out that I am going to Barcelona exactly what second I was going to land. B. If a serial killer was on the loose in Barcelona and happened to be my Facebook friend because when I first got a Facebook I accepted anyone who threw a friend request my way, they could come hunt me down and kill me. AKA I am not the brightest when it comes to letting everyone know what I am doing with my life.

Basically, hide your info or else you may not get hired, not get into college…. or die. Is it worth it just because you want the world to see how you spent your Saturday night? You decide!

Watching TV isn´t the same without Megaupload


The last time I watched a television show at its normal airtime on the TV screen was probably during my Barney days. Being a college student, I do not have time to watch my favorite television shows during their regular airtime. I like to watch the shows when I have free time and only on my computer. I’m convinced that was invented for the average busy college student. It is basically my best friend at school. I come home from a long day of class and working at the library only to be greeted by my computer screen and my favorite television shows. My usual routine is to bring my dinner into my room, open my laptop, and sign onto my free Sidereel account. From there, a world of possibilities is at my doorstep. The best part about this world is that there are no commercials. For an impatient person like myself, this was quite possibly the best invention.

 The most popular link on is Megaupload. On Thursday January, 19th the world’s largest file-sharing site was shut down due to the violation of piracy laws. An indictment accused of costing copyright holders more than $500 million in lost revenue from pirated 0films and other content.

As I lay down in my bed excited to watch the new episode of Shameless on January 19th I am surprised to find that Megaupload has been shut down.

I felt betrayed. The one activity that makes me excited to come home after a stressful day is gone. How can they just do that to me? I felt like a little girl who just got her blankey taken away from her.

Megaupload needs to warn its users before pulling a stunt like that. I have not found an equivalent to Megaupload yet. As all of you can tell, I am extremely disappointed.

Here are some websites to use instead of Megaupload:

Here are some websites to use instead of Megaupload:


Hello from Barcelona

Hi guys! This is my first post to my Barcelona blog. I will blogging about my time here abroad as well as the other exciting cities that I will be visiting. I will talk about the sights that I see, the food I eat, the people I meet and the experiences that I come across. This will keep my family, friends, and whoever else up-to-date on what am I doing this semester in Europe. I will also be blogging about the information that I am learning in my Journalism 2.0 class. I hope you enjoy my blog!!