It’s been one of the rockiest years I’ve been though. 2018 was brutal. But they say to grow is to learn (not sure exactly who said it or if that’s one of those collective consciousness situations) and fuck me did I learn a lot of shit in the last 12 months. From disastrous business relationships to weeding out real friends in an industry predicated on pure falsehoods to evolving and learning in my own personal relationship to having lifelong friends move to another part of the country, I have to say that the last year has shown me more about myself and what I am capable of than any other year in my life, with the exclusion of 2010. But that year gets its own entry at another point in time. According to Instagram I started my page in November of 2014 which sounds crazy to me because in that amount of time someone’s graduated high school and moved on to college and someone’s graduated college and moved on to a life of never-ending debt. But that’s where most of my stories come from nowadays. That’s where most of my prevalent memories are based out of. That’s where most of my growth as a person has been inspired by: those 4 years since I logged on to IG and decided I’d go from posting random pictures of landscapes, old cars and vacations to a food blog that introduced me into a world unlike any other I’d ever assume I’d be a part of.
I remember quite vividly one of the first times I made contact with another Instagram blogger by the name of @allisonkimchi. I had seen on her page that she was baking vegan donut cookies and each and every one of her posts looked crazy delicious. I not only wanted to get my hands on her product but I wanted some great content for my nascent page. After working out a time and place I met her directly below the Flatiron Building across from Madison Square Park, we exchanged pleasantries, paid her my cookie fee and went along my merry way. When I returned home to the Bronx I excitedly took well over 140 shots of the cookies with my phone since I still couldn’t agree with myself on what angle I was happy with. Once I bit into one I was very happy about having made a nearly 90 minute trip into the city and it was quite possibly the first time I started falling in love with people who knew how to cook. Yes, of course, I was around people who knew how to cook during most of my life growing up. A majority of the men and all of the women in my family knew how to cook and they cooked a mean plate of whatever your heart desired (I desired a lot of tostones). My mother was one of the best cooks in the family with her lack of shyness when it came to experimenting with flavors and dishes that weren’t the common arroz con habichuelas. She had me craving caviar from the age of 9 and I always wondered if that lent itself to my apparent snobbery (yes….yes, it did.) But here I was reaching out to someone who had clearly pursued a dream of theirs which was to bake and sell their homemade food. And they did so with the help of social media, a platform that I honestly never bothered with until I had my Instagram page (no Facebook for me until later on and my knowledge of MySpace came right after its downfall). I was honestly impressed and moved by the fact that this person I didn’t know at all was doing this. I felt a twinge of inspiration. I had wanted to do something on that level. And by that level I mean I wanted to do something…ANYthing. I had always fashioned myself a writer and had close friends of mine pursue those same dreams and yet I felt like I was lingering in the shadows waiting for who the fuck knows what. One of the reasons I enjoy Instagram till this day is the ability to be able to write long-form(ish) and get some things out there. Allison’s tenacity was perhaps the catalyst to my page running on full steam. Her vegan donut cookies also gave me the first picture on my feed that got over 1,000 likes so, like, that’s something, right? It was the beginning of the beginning for me way back in 2016 and I still think of it that way till this day: Four years in and I’m still at the beginning of this weird trip full of interesting characters, vibrant personalities, and some good ass food. I hope you’ll take the ride with me as I attempt to update my blog with stories and musings. I don’t see this ride ending anytime soon and sometimes, just like with food, you need to share a little.