Magaluf party

The Time I explored the Magaluf Party Scene … and Regretted It

I recently read the BCM Planet Dance in Magaluf, Mallorca has been shut down because its owner has been thrown in jail. This brought me back to the time I was at a Magaluf party in 2015 – a memory that I prefer not to reminisce about.

One of my goals since I started this blog in 2014 was to visit the top 20 clubs in the world and write about them. So far, I’ve been to 12, including Fabric, Green Valley, and a myriad of Ibiza and Vegas nightclubs. I visited Mallorca at the tail end of the summer of 2015 with my Spanish friend Ismael. Therefore, BCM Planet Dance in Magaluf, Mallorca, #10 on the list, was on my to-do list – I had to check out the Magaluf party scene! Continue reading

Masters of Hardcore 2017 Review

My rating for the festival: 8/10. Every hardcore fan must make the pilgrimage to Masters of Hardcore at least once in his or her life. The production, the organization, the sound system, the vibes, and of course the music were all top notch. Read on for my review of the festival!

As a fan of the hardest genre in electronic dance music, there are two annual events you cannot miss. One is Dominator Festival in the summer. The other is Masters of Hardcore in the spring.

I’ve known of Masters of Hardcore for awhile because I’ve listened to countless sets from this event. For hardcore ravers, this is definitely a bucket list item to tick off. Continue reading

Things that Surprised Me About Amsterdam Part 2 – Local’s Edition

I first wrote my list of 12 Surprising things about Amsterdam after visiting the city on a 3-day tourist trip in February, 2015. I ended up moving to Amsterdam later in the same year – getting an apartment, a job, and even a bicycle – the whole schebang of Dutch life. And so, here’s a new list of the good, bad, and the ugly of things that surprised me while living in the Amsterdam.

Dutch Houses

Every time I move to a new country, there are always basic living arrangements that are so different that I find to be very amusing and take some getting used to.

Staircases

They’re really steep, going up and down is like climbing a Mayan pyramid. When I go down, I hold onto the railing for my dear life in fear of tumbling down. And after drinking, the only way for me to get home is to go up the stairs on all fours. Continue reading

Mysteryland (NL) 2016 Review

Festival rating: 8/10. Mysteryland was my favorite festival in 2016. Yes, I loved it more than Tomorrowland 2016!

Mysteryland is one of those classic, historic dance music festivals that you got to visit at least once if you’re serious about the festival scene. It’s billed as the oldest dance music festival in the Netherlands, since 1993. They also do an edition in Chile and more recently, one in upstate New York. The two-day festival is in late August by the Dutch town of Hoofdorp, and although there’s a camping option, it’s just an easy 30 minutes out from Amsterdam so we commuted there.

Robert, my trusty festival buddy in the Netherlands, and I had originally planned to go on the Sunday. However, on Saturday we both found ourselves without plans on a beautiful sunny day. We also found on Ticketswap that two-day passes were being sold for a cheaper price than one-day passes so we quickly snagged tickets for 68 euros and rolled into the festival.

Woo! We were there and I successfully smuggled in a whole bottle of vodka again with my good old vodka in the back pocket trick. It works 80% of the time and so worth it for the amount of money I’d save. 500ml of vodka = 10 eur; 1 red bull vodka at the festival = 10 eur. My friends think it’s ridiculous that it works, as you can plainly see the bottle sticking out of my pants if you look from behind… But it does!

We had an awesome time there. I love how many genres were represented across the many stages at Mysteryland – even Dutch rap EDM (can’t say I loved it, but it was definitely different)! These are my three favorite things about the festival and what set it apart from other festivals for me.

1. Pillar of Dicks

—- NSFW!!! —- Continue reading

A Catalan in Berlin

Catalans are notorious for being a stingy bunch. I’m not making this up – just ask any Spaniard or even Catalan and they will nod in agreement with a chuckle.

Living in New York, as a girl, I was spoiled by free alcohol that seemed to be readily available to me and in excess at bars and clubs. When I moved to Barcelona, I quickly learned to adjust my expectations for receiving free drinks. The economy was in the tanks so people frankly did not have much disposable income. That, coupled with the stinginess of the Catalans, made sure that I never once received a free drink from a stranger my whole year living in Barcelona.

In fact, the Catalans took it one step further – I’ve even been solicited for free drinks in Barcelona.

At the Elrow party, a Catalan guy asked me for a sip of my mojito. I handed him my cup, because, well, I’m a nice person. And also I had him lend me his nose in exchange.

But I did feel a bit like a clown myself after he took a HUGE sip from my drink and I was left with pretty much just ice. Ah, well, at least I got a cool pic out of it…

A month later, at Pacha Barcelona, when my college/NYC friend Jeff and his then-girlfriend were visiting, he bought a table given the low price of table service relative to in the City. That’s when I experienced what it was like to be on the other side of the velvet rope in NYC as a guy.

Soon after we sat down, a guy approached me from the dance floor. I was sitting on the elevated VIP veranda and even though the section was separated partially by a waist-high glass partition, he started chatting me up and giving me attention.

After a couple minutes, Jeff invited him up to join us so he drank with us for free for awhile.

Then he bounced. That’s when it dawned on me: This is what guys feel like when girls chat them up in order to drink for free… And then leave! I was used!

I hope no one takes offense from this piece. I lived in Barcelona long enough to find this quality of theirs to be endearing, and of course stereotypes definitely don’t apply to everyone. My best Catalan friend Ismael is one of the most generous and genuine people I know. I’m writing this piece in good spirits and to poke fun at stereotypes that sometimes turn out to be true. With that said, I do have one last incident for you.

My best facepalm moment dealing with Catalan men and their frugality was when I was at the legendary Berlin club, Berghain, in the summer of 2015.

Up in the Panorama Bar (the upper floor room in Berghain playing minimal techno), I was approached by this Catalan guy. We chatted for a bit and got along quite well due to my Catalan connection. He asked if I wanted a drink, which I graciously accepted (“omg! Is a Catalan guy really buying me a drink?”).

We went to the bar and he placed our orders.

As the bartender was getting our drinks, he reached into his pocket and produced two one euro coins.

Unabashedly, he turned to me: “Do you have some money? I think the drinks are four euros each.”

Taken aback, I shelled out six euros for our drinks. I was appalled but at the same time cracking up inside about stereotypes. I finished my drink and let myself politely disappear into the crowd.

A couple hours later, a Whatsapp text from him came … “Hey beautiful… Where are you… Don’t you want to come over to my place and have nice sex?”

WOW!

Well, the good music cleared me of my trauma in about 30 seconds, thank god for techno.

For more of my international flirting mishaps, check out A Bulgarian in Delft & A Brazilian in Germany. If you’re interested, also read my opinion how men from different countries hit on girls in clubs.

I went to Detroit and realized that its nightlife scene is totally underrated! Why isn't anyone talking about Detroit?

The Detroit Nightlife Scene is Totally Underrated

I visited Detroit for the first time in October 2016. Not only did I love the history, culture, and food of the city, I was blown away by the Detroit nightlife scene. To me, Detroit is America’s most underrated destination for nightlife, specifically Techno.

“Wait” – you might say – “Isn’t Detroit run-down and dangerous?” In fact, Detroit is going through a period of rejuvenation in the recent years. Sure, parts of the city are dodgy, but that’s part of what makes Detroit nightlife so interesting. Nightlife and techno culture has been in Detroit since the 80s (in fact it is where techno was born). The techno culture has stayed underground in Detroit, which makes it so much more exciting.

Read on to see what makes Detroit nightlife special and why I think Detroit is techno’s best kept secret.  Continue reading

Life in Amsterdam

Dutch American Friendship Treaty: 10 Step Guide to Getting the Self Employment Permit in the Netherlands

Moving to Europe is notoriously hard. As an American, I didn’t really pay attention to my international friends’ struggles of applying for permanent visas in the United States. When I decided that I wanted to move to the Netherlands long-term, I got to understand first hand the frustrations of being on the other side. Thankfully, if you wish to emigrate to the Netherlands, there’s something called the Dutch American Friendship Treaty which makes it relatively easy for you to obtain a self employment work permit.

I’m writing this with the desire that my experiences with obtaining the residence permit for self-employment under the Dutch American friendship treaty (DAFT) will also help other Americans who wish to also move to the Netherlands. Other blogs online helped me a lot as I went through the process, though I found that there is a lack of updated information about the process online. So, I’m hoping that my experiences in mid 2016 will help future residents from the USA in the Netherlands! Continue reading

Why Moving Back to New York City Gave Me Anxiety

This is fittingly the 100th post on my blog. I started this blog when I left NYC in 2014 in search of bigger and better things. Actually “running away” is a better way to describe it. I’ve had to move back to NYC for a couple months for work, and this is how I felt about returning to the City and how it’s forced me to face my fears.

I am currently in New York City because our startup Party with a Local has been accepted into the Techstars Connection accelerator. Before I left Amsterdam, I started writing a post “Why Moving Back to New York City Gives me Anxiety” that I never got around to finishing and publishing as a way to cope with my freaking out about the move. In the week leading up to my departure, I had insomnia every single night, not being able to fall asleep until 4am or even later. The night before my last day I didn’t sleep at all. My heart was racing and I had so much adrenaline as I laid in bed. During the day, I was really antsy and unable to focus at work and I felt like I was unable to get anything done. Continue reading

My “Date Gone Wrong” in Delft

At the end of last year, when I was searching for (yet another) apartment in Amsterdam, I got in touch with a Bulgarian guy Martin about subletting his apartment. I didn’t end up taking it, but we decided to keep in touch anyway via Facebook as he was also in the startup scene.

Throughout the next couple of months, I followed, virtually, his process of starting his own business, working as a digital nomad from the Canary Islands, and very actively posting inspirational writings and videos. Seemed like the type of person that I can relate to and would want to network with.

One of his posts that caught my attention was that he considers “his ability to make friends with anyone” to be his greatest life skill. So I was intrigued to know this and thought that he’s probably be a pretty cool guy.

Therefore, when he reached out to me after returning to the Netherlands, and asked if I want to visit Delft, where he lives, I decided to go and meet him in person on a Sunday.

My expectation was that I’d have a friendly meetup with a sociable and interesting person. In reality, it felt like a very awkward date with someone who seemed borderline like a creep. Continue reading

My Q-Base Misadventure

About the time I arrived at Dusseldorf with basically no money or accommodation and slept and showered at a stranger’s house, who I met by spilling his coffee in the train.

I’m writing this one year late, because frankly, I was quite embarrassed by what had happened last year when I arrived at Dusseldorf for Q-Base. In my Q-Base review post, I mentioned my encounter with a guy who spilled his coffee upon meeting me, without going into much detail. The story, to me, was as cringe-worthy as was is amusing, so I decided to finally share the full account here of my missteps.

Forgetting my bank cards on an international trip

I booked a whirlwind weekend trip to Dusseldorf in order to attend the Q-Base festival. My flight left Barcelona early in the morning on Saturday and the flight next day was due to return in the evening on Sunday. I didn’t bother to book a hotel to save money and reasoned that I’d just rally, skip sleep, and do some sightseeing to kill the time.

My misadventure began as soon as I stepped into the metro to the airport in Barcelona. I realized I completely forgot to bring any of my credit cards and only had around 50 euros on me. While I considered turning back to get my cards, I didn’t know if I would be able to make my flight if I had done that. I figured I could probably make do with the money I had for a 1.5 day trip… hopefully. Continue reading