Oh Miami, How I Love You

 

Coming home to Miami over any break fills me with your typical “I live where you vacation” kind of vibes. While I’ve prolifically chronicled my adventures at home, especially those I jam pack over quick breaks from school, it wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t document my winter break shenanigans one last time (given that after graduation, I will never have a winter break as plentiful again)!

The first few days at home are always filled with my classic check-ins: a tour of the Wynwood Walls to see what’s new, a trip to Knaus Berry Farms to strawberry pick and learn how to not get sunburnt in the line for cinnamon rolls, and, this year, christening the New Year the of-age-in-Miami way: at a waterside bar replete with latin music, life-sized jenga, and midnight eats.

Spending four weeks in Miami wasn’t all beach days and chilling, but rather forcefully injected with academia. Having to “thesis” over break definitely chipped away at the relaxation of winter breaks past, but the good thing about doing work in Miami is where you get to do it. That’s right, it was a bring your thesis to the beach kind of day:

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When I wasn’t drowning in color theory and art history, I chose to spend my days frolicking in colors and art. PAMM’s summertime showings satisfied my every, aesthetic desire by presenting whimsical spectrums, twinkling yet indoor night gardens reminiscent of the live spectacle at Fairchild, and the perkily pink anniversary homages to Christo and Jeanne Claude’s Miami takeover.

I say this every time I come home, but spending time in Miami makes me fall in love with it all over again. Especially when I look out into my backyard and find new critters trying to make friends.

One of my favorite things about home is the food - the celebration of many cultures through delicious (and often beige) treats. Especially when cultures fuse together, like in this guava filled, patata crisped, bagel from the El Bagel food truck. The handheld version of me, a Jewban, if I were food.

Speaking of my heritage, my Chilean cousins came to visit towards the end of winter break, and I got to have a twin-filled two days with them. From renditions of “Baby Shark” to napping in the cutest of places, these girls were a dream. Their toddler visit to Miami reminded me of my similar toddler visit to Chile, which then made me realize that just like I don’t remember that early trip, they probably won’t remember this one…

Hopefully, at some date in the far future, I’ll get to show and tell them stories like this one. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll have a faint recollection of our time together. Until next time, twins, & until next time, Miami <3

And until then, relive the best of Miami here.

Xx, Maia

 

Getting elated: a Preview

 

A few days ago, on a particularly toasty Miami day, my sister, Ariel, rolled up the sleeves of her white linen shirt, spent the day fusing neuroscience with nutrition through food, & faced the raw opinions of several hungry focus-group participants. Surrounded by the beauty of The Wynwood Yard, Ariel discussed the journey that led her to start her own business: elated

Founded from the need to make mental-health maintenance part of a daily habit, elated brings brain-boosting, good-mood-making meals right to your door. Made using only all-natural ingredients, our food combines the power of nutrition and neuroscience to feed your brain while tantalizing your taste buds

As her sister, cheerleader, and CTO (ask me which role is my favorite), I happily helped whip up some menus, business cards, and acted as her first taste tester. When I gave her the thumbs up, she knew she must be onto something, as she had successfully fed me food that wasn't beige, nor consisted of solely potatoes and cheese - and that's a feat. 

I actually found her food to be phenomenal, and not just because it was definitely made with love. Every flavor was identifiable, in such a way that it tasted both fresh and balanced. For her focus group, she decided to put forth six items from her launch menu:

Soup: Popeye's Dream

Salad: Remember Me

Staple: Confetti Salad with Salmon

Staple: Happy Belly Veggie Burger

Sweet(s): Pretty in Pink & Chococado Pudding

Suffice it to say, her participants truly enjoyed their flavorful experience, and were all supportive of this new venture in bringing science to healthy eating. One group-goer was even overheard saying, "people who 'hate' eating healthy will love this food!" So no one gets left out.

Stay tuned for the official, Miami launch (eventual delivery in Boston is definitely on the radar) but for now, get yourself on her mailing list, and follow her on instagram @get.elated to find out insider deets!

Ariel Suazo-Maler holds a master’s in human nutrition from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s in cognitive neuroscience from Wellesley College. She has conducted research in the genetic and neuroanatomical underpinnings of schizophrenia, the neurophysiology of taste perception, and the role of nutrition in depression and anxiety. With elated, Ariel has created a consumable way of bringing her years of research to the table. And she's a pretty, awesome sister to boot ;)

Xx, Maia