Podcast: The best restaurants in Miami

When I’m not studying abroad in Barcelona, I’m a student at the University of Miami (UM) in Miami, Florida.  After living there for three years, I’ve made a pretty extensive list of my favorite restaurants to recommend to visitors and I thought I might share this list with you in case you ever find yourself in the Sunshine State.

UM is located in Coral Gables, a residential neighborhood about a thirty minute drive from South Beach – the main entertainment and tourist destination in Miami. The Art Deco style area is home to numerous nightclubs, hotels, stores, and restaurants. You might also recognize South Beach for being the backdrop of Miami Vice. Although I live near UM in Coral Gables, many of my friends have already graduated and live closer to South Beach in Brickell, Miami’s major financial district and upscale high-rise residential neighborhood. Another interesting area in Miami is the Design District, which is characterized by low-rise warehouses converted into art galleries and showrooms. Just south of the Design District is Wynwood, the warehouse-lined, graffiti-covered hipster area. Wynwood-Art-WalkThe district has gained international attention from the Wynwood Walls, spectacular mural displays of comendable street art. The area becomes especially busy during Art Baselan annual global art fair in the first week of December. The last area I will talk about is Bal Harbour, a wealthy community on the northernmost tip of Miami Beach, known for its exclusive beaches, luxury resorts, and the Bal Harbour Shops – one of the most posh outdoor retail shopping centers in the world. Although the upscale village is a long forty-five minute drive from UM, I go there when my parents visit and stay at the St. Regis Bal Harbour. My favorite restaurants in the Miami area are therefore dispersed amongst these regions, and I group them together in my podcast by this geography. 

Also keep in mind that if you’re not in the area of a restaurant you like the sounds of,  you can use the 24-hour on-demand delivery service Postmates to get the food brought to you in the comfort of your own home or wherever you may be. My friends and I often find ourselves postmates-ing LoKal burgersTen Fruits acai bowls, or the Mandolin greek salad, so you’re not alone if you feel lazy one day.

For reference, you can find the restaurants that I mention in the podcast below.

Coral Gables:

golfThe Biltmore Sunday Champagne Brunch

Sunday brunch at the stunning courtyard of the Biltmore Hotel and Golf Course is one of the most celebrated champagne brunches in Miami. It costs around $85 for person and includes an extravagant buffet of caviar, smoked salmon, shellfish, carved meats, fresh omelets, pastas, sushi, desserts, live entertainment, bottomless Champagne, and Bellinis.

Lokal

LoKal is not to be mistaken for being low cal. It’s a food-pictures-lokallaid-back, eco-friendly beer and burger restaurant in Coconut Grove. It serves some of the most flavorful hamburgers I’ve ever had, and everything is made with fresh, local, sustainable ingredients.

Threefold Cafe

Threefold Cafe is a new Australian breakfast place near Miracle Mile that quickly became the talk of the town. It uses premium locally sourced produce and serves a delicious smashed avocado toast, Eggs Benedict, banana bread, omelets, French toast, and salads in a bright welcoming space.

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Whisk is a staple American cafe in Coral Gables.
The modern and spacious restaurant, equipped with adorable mason jars, offers Southern inspired dishes and gourmet take-home meals.

Ten Fruits

Ten Fruits is a healthy juice and coffee bar thato has some of the best acai bowls and smoothies in Miami. It had an outpost near Miracle Mile, but rumor has it that this location just closed down and UM students now have to trek Downtown to get their Mr. Green smoothie fix.

Sushi Samba

Sushi Samba is a chain of slick and vibrant restaurants that serve JapaneseBrazilianPeruvian fusion food, creative sushi, and cocktails. The Sushi Samba on Miracle Mile is located in the Westin Hotel. I recommend the Viva Samba roll and the sea bass antichuchos with peruvian corn.

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Hillstone is another chain restaurant on Miracle Mile. I’m not usually a fan of chains but this upscale yet casual American restaurant chain’s ribs are just too darn good not mention in this. It’s also down the street from Cold Stone Creamery, which makes a pretty deadly combo.

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GreenStreet Cafe is an American cafe on a corner in Coconut Grove. It’s good for a cheap brunch and its Nutella french toast is out of this world for all you sweet tooths out there.

Brickell:

Zuma

thumb_600Zuma is a chic Japanese hotspot in the heart of Downtown Miami. It is located in the Epic Hotel, overlooking the Miami River. However, its good looks and views are not things that are going for it. Its incredible Asian-inspired dishes are meant for customers to share but few actually can. Some of most popular dishes are the rice pot, fresh lump crabmeat spinach salad, barley miso corn-fed baby chicken, ribs, and of course the Black Angus skirt steak. The restaurant is also known for its spectacular buffet brunch, though it should be noted that its price tag goes along with its quality ($125 for one entrée, the reputed rice pot, a full spread of sushi and robata dishes, a spectacular dessert platter, and bottomless sangria and Champagne).

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Il Gabbiano

Il Gabbiano is an elegant Italian Unknownrestaurant by the same creators as Il Mulino New York. On a waterfront terrace with views of Biscayne Bay, the attentive staff will load your plate with complimentary antipasti. Try not to get too full because the main dishes are phenomenal (but are priced accordingly).

Sugarcane

Sugarcane is an eclectic Midtown restaurant from sugarcane-miami-tltthe Sushi Samba team with a great atmosphere and cozy outdoor patio. The trendy spot offers great drinks and small plates, including  sushi and robata-grill items.

Mandolin Aegean Bistro

Mandolin Aegean Bistro is an incredible Greek and Turkish restaurant with a stunning outdoor patio. It has a great energy and is perfect for group meals. I suggest the greek salad, mussels, chicken kebab, and lamb chops – but everything’s good here!

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Gigi is a modern loft-like Asian fusion restaurant in Midtown. It serves tasty tapas until the wee hours of the morning (5 am Thursday-Saturday), making it the perfect place to go after a night out at Bardot.

Perricone’s

Perricone’s is an affordable yet delicious rustic Italianv1-3.4 restaurant in a charming, garden atrium. The popular restaurant also sells gourmet cheese, meat, wine, and sweets in its on-site market.

Design District/Wynwood:

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Michael’s Genuine is a modern and imaginative American eatery that serves high-quality, locally sourced comfort food. The Design District restaurant attracts celebrities and foodies alike. Dwayne Wade and LeBron James, for instance, sat at the table next to me last time I went.

The Morgan’s Restaurant

Morgans_Logo_1_1111The Morgans Restaurant is located56-275556-morgan-s-patio in a refurbished old house with a bright covered porch in Midtown Miami. It serves delectable new takes on homey American staples and is one of the best and most reasonable brunches in Miami.

South Beach:

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Casa Tua is one of the most beautiful restaurants I have ever been to. The restaurant is set inside a boutique inn enveloped in lush greenery. The interior is stylish and posh, and the exterior is a stunning lantern-lit garden. In addition to its tasteful decor, Casa Tua serves outstanding Northern Italian food, making its high costs worth it.

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Katsuya

Katsuya is an upscale Japanese restaurant with extremely spicy tuna ricemodern decor at the SLS Hotel. Its mouthwatering sushi attracts the trendy guests who flock to the hotel. I highly recommend the spicy tuna rice cake, baked crab hand roll, yellowtail jalapeño, brussels sprouts, miso codalbacore crispy onion, and rock shrimp.

Joe’s Stone Crab

Joe’s Stone Crab a traditional style seafood restaurant that’s only open joes-stone-crabOctober-May. The classic restaurant is always bustling with people who come for its famous crab and key lime pie. If you don’t want to wait for a table, there’s also a to-go outpost of it next door called Joe’s Take Away.

Baoli

Baoli is a high-end Mediterranean Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 12.08.20 AMrestaurant and nightclub in a trendy garden atmosphere. It’s definitely the place to go if you’re looking for a loud and fun restaurant – perfect for birthday dinners if you have a deep pocket! It serves massive cocktails that can be shared with the entire table.

Scarpetta

1263Scarpetta is celebrate chef Scott Conant’s deluxe Italian eatery at the Fountainbleau Miami Beach resort – the resort that is also home to well-known nightclub Liv. Excellent service, glamorous nautical decor, and exquisite modern Italian fare make it the perfect place for a fancy dinner with parents.

Nobu

Nobu is one of the most recognized upscale and minimalist SetHeight300-Black-Cod-Miso14Japanese restaurants in the world. Though the Nobu in Miami lacks the stunning atmosphere as say the Nobu in Malibu, it still has the same high-quality crowd favorite dishes, including the yellowtail jalapeño, spicy tuna rice cake, artichoke salad, and mini tacos.

Prime 112

Prime 112 is a contemporary steakhouse with big portions of succulent dry aged USDA prime  steaks and delicious sides.

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Prime Italian

Prime Italian is the Italian steakhouse located at the delectable-treats-fried-oreosHilton Bentley across the street from its popular sister restaurant Prime 112 – which it shares many menu items with. Its incredible Kobe meatball and fried Oreo dessert help the small restaurant attract a lively scene.

Late night: Big Pink, La Sandwicherie

Hungry after a late night out in Miami? Check out Big Pink or La Sandwicherie. Big Pink is a retro diner owned by the Myles Restaurant Group, the same owners as Prime 112 and Prime Italian. You will definitely not miss the “big” and “pink” restaurant across the street from Story Nightclub, nor will you have trouble finding something you like from its over 200 menu options.

If you’re craving more of a make-your-own Bo de B style sub in Miami, La Sandwicherie is the place for you. There’s two locations of this late-night sandwich stop, one in Brickell to go after dancing up an appetite at Blackbird Ordinary, and one in South Beach to go after the big South Beach clubs. Both places are open until 5 am on weekends.

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Bal Harbour:

Makoto

Makoto is a sleek, classy, and modern Japanese restaurant in the Bal Harbour Shops. Their sushi, Japanese entrees, and robata dishes are all phenomenal. I recommend the spicy tuna crispy rice, dynamite hand roll, japanese eggplant, short ribs, and miso sea bass.

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Podcast:

Podcasting

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This week I began learning about podcasting in my Journalism 2.0 course. I was excited to learn about the topic because I often pass by the “Podcastsgenre in the iTunes Store, disregarding it because I never understood what it meant.

So, you also might be wondering, what what makes a podcast unique from other types of digital media? The answer is simple: syndication. This means that even if I include an audio file on my blog that viewers can listen to and share, such as the SoundCloud file I embedded in my Multimedia Report, it cannot be called a podcast. Without syndication – which allows people to subscribe to the content, alerting them every time the podcaster posts an audio file – it is simply a blog post with an embedded audio file.

UnknownAnother question I had before the class was about how to use podcasts. I wondered, “Do I have to subscribe to a podcast and automatically get every single episode downloaded to my computer if I just want to listen to it once?”. I soon learned that this is not the case. There is in fact three ways people can enjoy podcasts: by simply listening to a podcast by streaming it, by subscribing to the content (so each episode automatically downloads to your iTunes, for instance, every time a new file gets published), or by downloading one episode (to listen to on your desktop or transfer to a device) without subscribing to all of the content.

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Now that I knew what podcasts were and how to consume them, I wanted to find some podcasts that might interest me. Websites like Podfeed allow users to find numerous podcasts on a wide range of topics. Just like Technorati is a directory for blogs, Podfeed is a directory for podcasts. In fact, Podfeed was the first of its kind – and it doesn’t seem like the style and layout of the website has been updated since. I thus decided to try looking for podcasts on iTunes instead.

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The Top 10 podcasts on iTunes are:

  1. This American Life – Chicago Public Media
  2. Serial – The American Life
  3. Radiolab from WNYC – WNYC, New York Public Radio
  4. Under the Influence – CBC Radio
  5. Love + Radio – Love and Radio
  6. Ideas from CBC Radio (Highlights) – CBC Radio
  7. Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History – Dan Carlin
  8. Freakonomics Radio – Stephen J. Dubner and WNYC
  9. 99% Invisible – Roman MarsScreen Shot 2015-04-20 at 1.08.58 AM
  10. Q: The Podcast from CBC Radio – CBC Radio

I decided to take a closer look at Freakonomics Radio. I read the New York Times Bestseller book “Freakonomics” by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner a few years ago, and I wondered how a book could be translated into a podcast.

The Freakonomics Radio podcast, hosted by Dubner, discusses topics such as “The Perfect Crime,” “How Biased Is Your Media?” and “What’s the ‘Best’ Exercise?” to continue exploring “the hidden side of everything” just as the authors did in their book. The podcast offers free weekly episodes that that tell interesting stories while teaching people how to “think a bit more creatively, rationally, and productively,” as explained in the iTunes description of it. According to the Freakonomics website, Freakonomics Radio is one of the most popular podcasts in the world, with more than 5 million downloads per month.

I have started listening to a few Freakonomics Radio episodes and I am pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoy it. I am even considering subscribing to the podcast and listening to it on my iPhone during my walks to class. Guests on the show include reputable professionals in their fields, and from someone who doesn’t like reading (I know, I know, I really wish I did), it was amazing to find such educational, non-textual material that I can easily consume on-the-go. For all you readers out there though, you can read the audio transcripts of the Freakonomics Radio podcasts on the website. There seems to be something for everyone on podcasts, and I highly recommend to stop overlooking this section in the iTune store next time you’re downloading music.

Brunch & Cake

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WANT: Cutest brunch place in Barcelona

Occasion: Great to bring friends when they visit the city

Neighborhood: L’Eixample

Location: Carrer Enric Granados, 19, 08007, Barcelona

Phone: 932 002 872

Website

Social network accounts: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube

Reservations: Not accepted, go before 11 am or after 5 pm  to avoid long waits

Hours: Everyday: 9 am – 10 pm

Prices: Reasonable (around 10-15€ for brunch and a drink)

Menu:

The Cup & Cake group has four stores in Barcelona: Brunch & Cake, Cup & Cake, Travel & Cake, and Pilates & Cake, most of which serve their delectable cupcakes, muffins, cakes, cookies, and sandwiches. I have only been to Brunch & Cake (their non-stop brunch restaurant) and Cup & Cake (their take-away cake, cupcake, and organic coffee shop), but I have reason to believe that the other shops share the same bright atmosphere and high quality artisan confectionery.

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I heard about Brunch & Cake through friends who had previously studied abroad in Barcelona. After seeing their numerous Instagrams of the place  – which is, as you can see, a photogenic restaurant to say the least – my roommates and I decided to try it ourselves. When we finally went, there was of course a swarm of other American students lined up with their iPhone cameras ready. For this reason, I do not suggest coming here for a hangover cure because you will likely have to wait for a table – rather try Milk instead if you had a rough night.

oThe welcoming little restaurant sits on a picturesque corner in L’Eixample. We sat at the outdoor communal table because we didn’t want to wait, but the restaurant also offers seating on comfortable couches inside and at two-person tables outside that are perfect for people watching. The extensive menu includes traditional American brunch favorites (such as their  french toast and scrambled eggs), as well as more creative or recently popularized dishes (such brunchcake1-1024x682as their turkey Eggs Benedict on a waffle and avocado toast). It was definitely not easy to decide what to order. To drink, the chai tea latte is amazing, and in terms of their sweets, you can’t go wrong with a big slice of their red velvet cake (unless you just don’t like red velvet, in which case we might not get along). I suggest the warm cinnamon porridge, which comes with the perfect accompaniments of blueberry compote, banana, and brown sugar for a main dish. Other than that, as much as I want to love the food here, I can’t say it’s the best; however, this might just because I’ve been spoiled by restaurants like Mildred’s Temple Kitchen back home in Toronto.  The pancakes, for instance, were served cold and dense. I haven’t talked to the police recently but I’m fairly certain that serving un-fluffy pancakes is basically a crime these days. Nevertheless, most people who’ve been here have nothing bad to say about the food, and I’ve heard great things about Brunch & Cake’s chicken salad sandwich and all of its salads. I look forward to coming back to try these menu options soon.

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The staff – though busy – are friendly and helpful, and the prices are extremely reasonable. The photo to the right shows a meal that cost under €15 per person – and a meal like this in America would cost twice the price. With its cheerful space and atmosphere, delicious cakes and drinks, large variety of dishes, long hours, and reasonable prices, Brunch & Cake is the perfect place to for a pick-me-up brunch or to bring friends visiting Barcelona.

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Politics 2.0

Through the use of social media and other facets of Web 2.0, politicians have changed the way they communicate with the public. That is, they can now talk with the people instead of to the people. Irrespective of political views, Barack ObamaPresident of the United States, has excelled and paved the way for other politicians in using social media to gain exposure, votes, and create a brand around themselves.

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 11.43.53 PMIn 2008, Obama began using modern technological tools for his political campaign when no one else was. He realized that everyone in the world is affected by some aspect of politics. This meant that if he wanted to gain extensive support, he could not address the society as a whole, but rather had to address each voter individually, or at least in small groups – a concept known as micropolitics. American politicians have access to complete databases of voters’ political views and other information, enabling them to effectively use microtargeting, or personalized messages for each voter.  In particular, Obama was concerned with Generation Y, the cohort of of people born after 1982 who are untrusting of Television and conventional political speeches. He was determined to revive their interest in politics by communicating with them in their own language: through social media.

Pinterest

Pinterest

The 2008 “Obama Online Operation” included a website (his own platform to facilitate discussions and share different points of view to help him learn what the people wanted him to change), Twitter (in which he responded personally to all the Tweets he received in the beginning), YouTube (for free advertising and storytelling), Facebook (to give him transparency, connect with supporters, get donations, and humanize him – such as by posting pictures with his family), MySpace, SMS/call centers (wallpapers and ringtones to promote his campaign on mobile phones and computers, and spread information about his upcoming meetings), online advertisements, and a blog (which was updated more than 10 times a day). In 2012, Obama used nine platforms to promote himself and spread the word: two Twitter accounts (a Barack Obama account and an Obama 2012 account), YouTube, Facebook, Google+Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and Spotify. This collection of 2.0 campaign tools reveals who Obama was trying to address: a target market that was skilled in social Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 12.11.38 AMmedia, modern, visual, connected, broad, and young. Although it generated less response from users and was less active, Mitt Romney‘s 2012 campaign also did a great job of using five social networks: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Google+, and Flickr. Since Romney was addressing a more conservative target market, he strategically left out some of the platforms that Obama employed.

Moreover, Obama’s campaign demonstrated that politics 1.0 and 2.0 are both necessary. In addition to using the Internet, Obama used traditional tactics, including being well-dressed, using door-to-door promotions, and poetic and passionate speeches. By stating lines like “I am addressing to you,” Obama was able to transfer the responsibility of his success to his voters. Through the use of both old and new political tools, Obama showed people that he was passionate about what he does and made them feel like they needed to change things. It is important to note that Obama did not win the election because of his exemplary presence on social media, but because he had something important to share. His brand was able to bring a message of hope when the people needed it most. In other words, he used a “speaker” only when he had a strong product to spread the word about.

Instagram

Instagram

After Obama’s campaign finished, he continued to inform and connect with people online. For example, he maintains a frequently updated blog to this day.  If he had suddenly stopped after the election, people would have felt like he used them to get votes. This is an important lesson for politicians and companies alike: once you start using platforms on the Internet to promote a brand, you can never stop. In doing so, Obama shows people that he truly cares about connecting with them and listening to their opinions, which has solidified his brand as being reliable and trustworthy. Although he has many employees (namely young staff) helping him run public accounts on various social media platforms, Obama has undoubtedly helped revolutionize political campaigns today. His lessons have not only influenced other American politicians, but have also started spreading to the global community.

Guest speaker: Valentí Sanjuan

Journalist Valentí Sanjuan visited our classroom this week to discuss building digital media and his own brand based on his interests and unusual adventures. According to his website, by combining his various projects, Sanjuan has over 7 million YouTube views each month and nearly 3 million followers on social networks. His YouTube account, for example, has 96,160 subscribers, 5,465,957 views, and four other channelsvistolovistoTV with 135,956 subscribers and 25,495,651 views, ETIQUETAGS with 10,660 subscribers and 2,587,532 views, ValentiEstaLoco with 60,590 subscribers and 12,238,608 viewsand Mercè Sanjuan with 7,816 subscribers and 428,683 views. Despite these numbers, the 33 year old’s success was only achieved after several years of trial and error and through his incredible perseverance. 

Sanjuan began his career as a conventional broadcast journalist. After working for Catalunya Ràdio for 7 years, his contract was not renewed during the financial crisis. Sanjuan reflected on this experience in class: “The radio show was my life, and I felt like I lost everything.” He thus entered a phase in his life when he lived by the mottoFake it till you make it” – an optimistic catchphrase that eventually became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

He kept his passion alive by continuing his radio show “Vist i no vist.” Starting out on his own, Sanjuan thought he had to model the show after what he had previously done at Catalunya Ràdio. He maintained a Catalan radio show in front of a small live audience. However, Sanjuan decided to start presenting his show in an interesting way, contrary to all the advice he was given (such as from his old colleague and my professor, Pipo Serrano). Rather than broadcasting his show on the radio, he streamed it through the Internet. This was Sanjuan’s first step towards blurring the line between a radio and television show. He invited the celebrities he had befriended during his last job as guest stars, letting them think it was a popular radio show. He also enticed a small audience to attend by providing free beer. In spite of his best efforts, initially “the show was a failure,” Sanjuan admitted. As a Catalan program that attracted only a limited audience and few online viewers, Spanish brands did not want to invest in it. Sanjuan realized he had to change the product and ultimately change the show. 

Using the new name “Visto lo Visto” (VLV), Sanjuan started producing the same show but with a freer product (with more slang language and comedic elements), in Spanish, in a larger theatre, and designed in a television program-type format. Although these changes seemed promising for VLV, the YouTuber guest stars appealed to a younger online audience than Sanjuan had hoped. The majority of VLV’s viewers were around 13 – 15 years old – an age range too young to even attend live theatre. This setback led Sanjuan to another realization: he had to define his target market more specifically and aim his marketing efforts towards that audience.

Once Sanjuan removed YouTubers from the program and reached an older target market, VLV became a hugely successful late night show. It attracts a live audience of 700 to Teatre Condal in Barcelona and 2 million online viewers every month. Each show includes a variety of guest stars performing monologues, interviews, stand-up comedy acts, and musical performances.

In addition to VLV, Sanjuan also directed and presented the innovative television show called “Etiquetats” on Televisió de Catalunya – TV3. Etiquetats was the first show created for mainstream TV that was promoted on the main channel but only accessible on the website.

The multi-faceted journalist currently focuses on 3 projects: Valentí está locoGordon Seen, and  VLV. On his YouTube channel, Valentí está loco, Sanjuan posts video diaries of himself and the crazy adventures he braves. One of his videos, for example, shows him running the Barcelona marathon while pushing a girl in a wheelchair. Another is of him running over 1,000 km in 10 days, from Barcelona to Santiago, on the other side of Spain, to commemorate his mother who had died from cancer.

maxresdefaultWhen Sanjuan was out of shape, one of his guests urged him to do the Ironman triathlon and agreed to train him for it. Only a few years later, Sanjuan now does the Ultraman World Championships (which involves a 6.2 mile open ocean swim, a 261.4 mile cross-country bike ride, and a 52.4 mile double-marathon run) in his spare time and posts videos of him preparing for and competing in these events. The video of Sanjuan completing the 2014 Ultraman in Hawaii shows him convulsing and throwing up, with still over 8 hours to go. But what it really shows is something much more: each video provides life lessons and values that his followers aspire to – such as motivation, perseverance, and courage.

With just a cellphone, camera, and computer, Sanjuan has been able to build his own brand out of his experiences and show that one does not need to work for a big corporation to reach millions of people. After gaining popularity on YouTube and other social networks through the emotional bond his content creates with viewers, Sanjuan now gets requests from companies to incorporate them into his videos. His brand’s attributes and wide reach make him a good outlet for marketing. Instead of making large investments in commercials, companies can use Sanjuan as a platform to promote their products, just as they would use TV. The information technology company HP, for instance, hired him to pretend to sneak into their private Ellie Goulding concert in Barcelona during the Mobile World Congress and post a video of it.

Sanjuan also does more artistic videos for brands like Turkish Airlines.  They paid him to travel to New York City and promote the city on his YouTube account. These projects, in which he incorporates brands inside the content, show that everything and anything can be communication and journalism.  A blog post by Isra Garcia summarizes, ‘Valentí has created a line of branded content that is tightly linked to a community of followers that continues to grow with every video he publishes. It’s easy to see how he cleverly “calls to action” in every video, pointing towards other videos that may be of interest to his audience. This maximises the experience, contact and bond with the content, making a huge impact. In the case of Valentí this is further strengthened by the great personal brand that he’s building around himself and his work.”

logoThe brands Sanjuan has worked with have been impressed by his knowledge and ability to connect with people in this dynamic world of Web 2.0. Their admiration has helped prompt Sanjuan to create his own production company and media agency, Gordon Seen. As the founder and creative director of Gordon Seen, Sanjuan helps companies decide what types of content to produce, where to produce it, and who to produce it with – dealing with people like himself such as YouTubers, Instgramers, and celebrities. Bryan Elliott, the CEO of another production company called The GoodBrain Digital Studios, explains in The Huffington Post that “brand integration is one of the most untapped opportunities for both content creators and brands today. Brands are always looking to reach audiences in unique ways outside of the traditional.” While channels like Sanjuan’s are huge, Elliot further expounds that “you don’t necessarily need to work with the biggest and best these days to accomplish your brand initiatives. Niche channels that are narrow but deep with engaged communities that take action could just as well do the trick. In the end, it’s a symbiotic relationship between brand, content creator and audience. When executed properly, the potential for upside for everyone involved is limitless.”

Can Majo

WANT: Authentic seafood and paella in Barceloneta

Occasion: Great for a casual seafood lunch or dinner

Neighborhood: La Barceloneta 

Location: Almirall Aixada, 23, 08003, Barcelona

Website

Phone: +34 932 215 455

Reservations: Book online or call +34 932 215 455

Hours: Tues – Sat: 1 pm – 4pm and 8 pm – 11:30 pm, Sun: 1 pm – 4pm, Mon: Closed

Prices: Mid-range (around €40 for dinner and wine)

Wi-fi password: estoellademar23

Menu:

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I brought my parents to Can Majo after hearing about it from friends and reading positive reviews in travel guides. “This restaurant is the most established seafood venue located in Barceloneta, the Ciutat Vella barrio known for its fish restaurants,” according to Condé Nast Traveller, the UK‘s leading travel magazine. I wanted to explore Barcelona‘s beautiful seafront, but online reviews of overpriced tourist trap restaurants in Barceloneta made me hesitant to dine in the area. With evidence that Can Majo was my safest bet, I decided to give the restaurant, and the area as a whole, a try.

When I first walked into the restaurant, I was underwhelmed by the passé decor. Drab wood floors and pastel blue walls surround the space, clashing with the red-cushioned chairs. I was also surprised to see only a few other customers eating here, which is usually a bad sign. Granted, the cold weather that night prevented people from coming to dine at the restaurant’s gorgeous patio, which is situated in clear view of the beach.

Virtual tour:

Despite the dated decor, the traditional Spanish seafood cuisine and friendly service definitely met my standards. At the beginning of the meal, we were brought a bowl of olivescornichon, and pickled onions, as well as the typical Catalan bread starter called “pan con tomate.” We then got the goat cheese salad and the tuna and tomato salad (a special of the day) for our first courses. The goat cheese appetizer – which comes with lightly caramelized goat cheesepine nuts, pomegranate seeds, candied walnuts, and baby spinach – was the perfect salad. The other dish, consisting of marinated tuna (which tasted like large pieces of canned tuna) on various types of tomatoes, was also good but was not my favorite. For our main courses, my mom got the grilled turbot fish and my dad and I shared the house paella. I would undoubtedly order the paella again and recommend it to anyone who comes. Can Majo executes the classic Spanish rice dish exquisitely. The tasty, braisedsaffron-seasoned rice mixed with fresh calamari, shrimp, and crayfish, made it a truly mouthwatering and unforgettable meal.

Our meal ended up costing €120 for wine and more than enough delicious food for three hungry people. I certainly plan on coming back to the restaurant when the weather is warmer to enjoy its finger-licking paella on the seaside patio. The food blog “The Little Loaf” reflects, “Was [Can Majo] the best seafood and paella in Barcelona? There are so many places to eat in this amazing city that I’m not sure I could even begin to answer that question without taking up residence for several years (and kissing goodbye to my wallet and waistline). But for beautifully cooked dishes using simple, fresh ingredients in an incredibly romantic setting, it’s certainly a top contender.” 

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Multimedia Report: UberEATS

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After Uber was banned from operating its taxi service in Spain, it returned to the country less than two months later by reinventing itself as UberEATS, which delivers food instead of people.

In April 2014, San Francisco-based Uber Technologies Inc. launched its low-cost private taxi app UberPOP in Spain. For eight months, UberPOP let people in Barcelona, Madrid, and Valencia share their cars (and reduce the cost of owning these cars) with riders who hailed them from their smartphones and enjoyed an efficient and Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 12.23.13 AMaffordable form of transportation. UberPOP kept 20% of the fare while allowing drivers without licenses or insurance to carry passengers. Taxi drivers complained that UberPOP was “putting them out of business and was not properly regulated or safe,” according to The Telegraph. There was a series of vocal protests by various taxi associations. Barcelona taxi drivers, for example, went on a 24 hour strike to protest against the ride-sharing app. After the Association Madrileña Del Taxi, an organization of Madrid taxi drivers, demanded an injunction against Uber, a judge from the Madrid commercial court ordered the company to cease its activity in Spain. The judge also ordered Spanish banks to stop supporting the company’s services and telecom companies to block online connections to Uber’s website and app.

According to The BBC, the Spanish court services said in a statement after the ruling that drivers “lack the administrative authorization to carry out the job, and the activity they carry out constitutes unfair competition.” That is, UberPOP posed unfair competition for taxi drivers and failed to comply with Spanish laws, as outlined in the current transportation legislation, article 101:

“Private transportation is qualified as such if it is used for personal or domestic transportation needs of the owner or close relatives. […] Under no circumstances, will the private driver receive any kind of direct or indirect remuneration except for food money or transportation costs.”

In December 2014, the company announced in a blog post that is was suspending UberPOP in Spain. In the same post, Uber promised, “We will work tirelessly to develop a regulatory framework in Spain that embraces progress;” and that is exactly what it did when it returned as UberEATS in February.

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An article in El Pais reveals that Uber initially tried to resume operations in Spain by looking for licensed drivers like those who work for its UberBlack service in the US. This would help the company comply with local laws because, as José Andrés Díez, a lawyer for the Madrid Taxi Associationnotes, “If their drivers had the necessary permits, there would be no problem.” However, Uber ran into problems because there are few licensed drivers in Spain’s biggest cities, and most of them are already working for another chauffeur service called Cabify.

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Subsequently, in February 2015, Uber returned to Spain by launching UberEATS in Barcelona. The initiative was created as “both a means to enter a new market and a way to keep Uber’s name in the Spanish public eye after its ride service was shuttered,” according to an article in Fortune. Uber issued a statement: “The global fame of Spanish gastronomy, the cosmopolitan character of Barcelona and Spaniards’ great acceptance of new opportunities in the ‘on-demand’ economy, are the main reasons the company chose Barcelona as the first city outside the U.S. to launch UberEATS.” Furthermore, it strategically launched UberEATS in Barcelona right before the city hosted the Mobile World Congress, when over 93,000 attendees – a large portion of whom were technology journalists – visited the city for one of the largest mobile conferences in the world and would be able to try Uber’s new food delivery service.

uber-eats2UberEATS is a food delivery service, similar to UberFRESH in California, which provides a daily menu of lunch and dinner meals that users will receive in under 10 minutes. “In the same time it takes you to walk up Las Ramblas you can open up your Uber app, choose your meal and get it delivered to an address of your choice,” the company writes. Uber has partnered with Spanish food guide Plateselector to curate dishes from some of the best local restaurants that change daily. UberEATS is is not only efficient and delicious, but also affordable as the meals cost about €10 plus a €2.50 delivery fee.

Although there are other companies in Spain that provide food delivery services, such as La Nevera Roja which lets users order food online from over 4,000 restaurants, UberEATS offersthBbadmj something new. With its limited menu and 10 minute delivery promise, UberEATS expedites the decision-making and ordering processes to appease busy consumers.  “We believe that by making the experience frictionless, by getting hot food there in 10 minutes, we can create a new market,” says Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty – Uber’s general manager for Western Europe.

To order, one simply opens the Uber app, taps the UberEATS icon, enters one’s delivery location, and chooses a meal from the daily menu. People new to UberEATS can enter the code UBEREATSBCN into their account to get the first order free (up to €15). Just like with UberPOP, users can watch their food arrive by following the fork and knife icon on the app’s GPS. This allows customers to know exactly when their delivery is arriving and can be picked up from the driver. The transaction is completely cashless as it is paid for through a registered card on Uber.

The process of ordering food through the Uber app:

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In an interview, an UberEATS driver discussed how the service works from his end and compared its logistics to that of UberPOP. His vehicle is stocked with prepared meals from local restaurants that are placed in an insulated thermal bag. The power outlet in his motorcycle is then connected to the thermal bag to heat it. This process allows the food to stay warm for up to three hours. Uber sends a user’s food delivery request to the driver that is closest to the delivery location. When asked whether he likes working for UberEATS, he said it is an easy job to have in addition to his regular work.

As announced in a blog post and an email to clients, this week marks the 50th week since Uber arrived in Barcelona. To celebrate this milestone and continue improving the service, UberEATS now offers two menu options for each meal instead of one. Additionally, between March 23 – 29, the company is providing its UberEATS service for 50% off the normal price.

Despite the success of UberEATS, “sharing economy” services like Uber, as well as Airbnb, will continue running into obstacles as they try to expand globally. Therefore, a Fortune article notes that “to make use of their tech investments, they will have stay on their toes, adapt to regulations, and continue to pivot.”

UberEATS may just be one step closer to Uber becoming an international, generalized delivery business. Fortune aptly explains, “the company is less a ride-selling company than a technology firm that puts unused delivery capacity to use.” In addition to offering food delivery in its UberEATS and UberFRESH services, Uber has experimented with other non-ride services – from package delivery via bicycle couriers in its New York City UberRUSH service to product delivery in its Washington, D.C. UberESSENTIALS service. “Based on their belief that Uber can become a full-fledged logistics and delivery company,” an article in The Wall Street Journal explains, “investors have valued Uber at $41 billion.”