Funsherpa sits down with Cocoa and Clementine blogger Erleene Quebral to discover the contrasts between NYC and Seattle, her dogs Baxter and Clementine, and top eats around the country. Her bucket list contains some awesome travel destinations, but living in opposite coasts has definitely showered her with sweet experiences that make us want to jump on the next plane out of Chicago.
As a blogger, can you talk about how you decide what content to include/write about?
I don’t feel that my blog has any particular theme. I’m not bound by any one topic (i.e food, fashion, travel) so my posts tend to be mostly about what I am up to, products I love, interiors I admire, food and recipes I try out and other randomness. I try to stay away from more of the personal stuff, but it creeps in from time to time. I also stay away from commenting on big topic stuff like politics and religion and I don’t like to inject my somewhat sarcastic and vulgar sense of humor into my posts. Not because I’m afraid of offending readers but it’s very difficult to sense tone in written format and I hate to explain myself or apologize if someone happens to not understand. I want to write a blog that’s lighthearted, perhaps inspirational and fun. I aim to post at least 3 times a week but never feel obliged to or feel bad if I don’t. I get confused when bloggers apologize for lack of posts or taking time away. I never understood that. Unless your blog generates an income and you work on it fulltime I don’t think you should apologize for not posting on a schedule. That’s when it starts to feel like a chore.
Having lived in NYC and Seattle, can you compare and contrast the 2 cities for us? NYC is always buzzing. Seattle shuts down at 8pm. NYC is very fashion forward. Seattle is all about comfort. Food is excellent and options are abundant in both cities although I think Seattle edges out NYC in sushi and gyros. There always seems to be a sense of urgency in NYC whereas there is a slower pace and a sense of patience in Seattle. Summers are ridiculously hot, sticky and humid in NYC but gorgeous and vibrant in Seattle. I loved living in New York. I was young, broke and adventurous but it was definitely a struggle financially. The subways and taxis were super convenient. The sense of community in my brownstone was lovely and I miss sitting on my stoop and reading magazines or walking through central park on a crisp fall evening. But since moving back to Seattle I realized that I missed driving, going to big grocery stores and letting my dogs walk around without a leash. I think everyone should definitely visit if not live in NYC at some point in their lives. And then when they are ready to settle down, have babies and relax move to Seattle (if they can stand the rain!)
You have some cool instragram photos. What are your favorites? Can you tell us more about them?
Any pictures I take of my dogs are my favorites! I just got a French bulldog and named her Clementine. I’ve had Baxter, my English bulldog, for almost 3 years . PS they have an instagram account as well @bax_and_clem. I recently took a trip to Japan and I just loved the big red shisa dog. It’s very massive! The shot from the top of Mt Haleakala from my birthday
trip to Maui last fall is special to me. Even though there were hundreds of people up there and we had to get up at 3am to catch the sunrise, it was one of the most incredible things I’ve experienced. The whole thing was somewhat spiritual. I’m a big fan of graffiti and street art. These pieces were at my bus stop for about a week before they got painted over
I love how these rather simple photos I took of some Seattle landmarks with my iPhone look so vivid after editing them in instagram (more photos can be found in her blog).
Top 5 restaurants you’ve been to – what do you remember about them and why are they your favorite ones?
• Nobu (NYC) I mean it’s Nobu. What more can I say. Max Soha (NYC) It’s a small cozy Italian place in my old neighborhood in NYC. Each and every time I dined there I fell in love more and more. The mascarpone cheesecake is unreal and the spaghetti carbonara is ridiculous. Taco Surf (San Diego) Potato tacos anyone? Best tacos I’ve ever had (other than the ones I make) Umi (Seattle) The atmosphere, the ambiance, the menu and the service makes this place my favorite sushi place forever. Corner Shop Café (NYC) Great little spot in Noho. The vibe and menu are really comfy and welcoming. I always stopped in if I happened to be in the area.
What are some of your favorite activities in Seattle? How do the seasons affect your routines?
If you ask anyone who is native to Seattle they will say summer activities include anything on the water since we are surrounded by it and skiing or snowboarding in the winter since there are so many nearby mountains. Seeing as how I spend most of my time on the slopes on my ass and have the tendency to get horrible seasickness I participate in none of those activities. I’m a foodie so I like to go out to restaurants. I love to hike and I try to take advantage of the plethora of trails around my area on sunny days. Wine and beer tasting at the many local vineyards and breweries are at the top of my things to do list. Music is a big one for me too so I try to go to live shows as often as I can. Luckily the activities I enjoy most aren’t limited to the seasons really.
Let’s talk about your bucket list. What’s in it and what have you completed?
Top of my list would be travel. I need to see the world. I wish I could afford to take a year or 2 off just to travel. Rome, Madrid, Istanbul, Tibet, Buenos Aires, Madagascar…I want to see it all. Learn how to sail (and not get sea sick!). Ride a race car at its top speed. See a live volcano. Hang glide. Eat or drink something extremely expensive and over indulgent. Pay off my student loans. See Eminem live. As cheesy as it is, I would love to swim with dolphins. I’ve been too busy just getting by on a day-to-day basis so checking things off my imaginary bucket list has been low priority. Ask me again in 30 years!