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07Apr
La Mer Skincare Series: A Panel Discussion
Lifestyle

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Hey guys!
So La Mer hosted their first panel discussion for woman of color and I had the awesome opportunity to photograph the event! Kahlana Barfield and Sai De Silva shared their experience with the brand and Susan Carroll moderated the event.  This was at NEUE House. If anybody needs photographs from the event please feel free to reach out to me via Instagram or leave a comment at the bottom of this post!

 

Cheers!

 

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20Dec
Puerto Rico, The Island of Enchantment pt.1
Lifestyle

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Hey guys!

Haven’t posted in a while, but I’m back! I finally went back home to Puerto Rico for a couple of days and had a fabulous vacation. I was really happy that I got to spend time with my family and hometown friends. This trip was exactly what I needed to recharge and go back to the comfort of what I have known my whole life.

 

First thing I did when I arrived was visit my hometown, Ponce, and see my family.

 

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Another perk of being in Ponce was being able to spend time with my love Christina RoigWe mostly chilled at one of our favorite places to relax in Ponce, The Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort. The pool area is fantastic with its view of the ocean in the background just makes it that much better. They have many sun loungers and cabanas around the pool area where you can lay, relax and order from their sports bar that has a lot of variety in their menu. (They have 4 restaurants on site lol)  They also have a tennis court, basketball court, a golf course and a really fun mini golf course by the pools.

 

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After hanging out in Ponce for a couple of days, me and Christina went to San Juan to attend the Stella Nolasco show at El San Juan Hotel and also visit the beaches in the north. Stella’s new collection was very beautiful. I didn’t expect to see so many gorgeous dresses back to back on the runway. The ambiance was perfect. The runway was at the lobby of the hotel. In the middle of the lobby there’s a beautiful bar with a stunning chandelier above. Only thing that bummed me out about the runway location was that security wasn’t stopping the hotel guests from interrupting the runway. So there were several guests that literally walked through the middle of the runway path and disturbed the models. I was very excited to wear my outfit because I knew it would blend perfectly with the hotel and all its mirrors lol. (hence the many mirror pics I took with Christina)

 

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Another fun thing we did in San Juan was a really nice picnic by ”El Morro” at ”El Viejo San Juan”. Great thing about having a picnic by ”El Morro” was the fact that there’s a huge plane right in-front of it that over looks the bay, the sea and Old San Juan. I love this field because there’s always so many people having picnics and flying kites. For our picnic we mostly brought fruits from a local market and a lot of products from one of our favorite Acai Bowl stores ”Samba Acai. Samba Acai offers a huge variety of delicious products like smoothies, natural juices, paninis and açaí bowls. They sell some of the best açaí bowls in the island. Their natural juices are also extremely good and refreshing. They have four locations in Puerto Rico. One in Ponce, another at the Ave.Roosevelt, The Inter Metro and Las Piedras.

 

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In Puerto Rico, because of Hurricane Maria, tourism is steadily climbing once again. Cruise ships are returning and San Juan hotels have continued to re-open. On my recent visit to PR, I spent time at one of the premier properties in Old San Juan, Hotel El Convento. I can honestly say this is my favorite hotel in San Juan. This is a perfect luxury hotel in the heart of Old San Juan where all the action happens in the city yet it feels like a world away.

This hotel was originally a Carmelite convent established by the Spanish government in 1646. Nuns lived on the property for 252 years. After the property was abandoned, it became a retail store, a dance hall, and eventually a flop house. Now it is a Hotel and it has meticulously maintained the original character & charm of the hotel – you truly feel as if you’ve taken a step back in time. It’s the epitome of an oasis in the city with lush greenery and open-air common spaces.

I spent a day at this hotel to do a lifestyle / restaurant photoshoot for Venus Et Fleur and Lace. I knew that the style and architecture of the hotel would go perfect with the clothes from the boutique and flowers from Venus.

Something I have to highlight about our visit to Hotel El Convento was the hospitality. It was second to none. No request was too big and room service was always prompt. They helped me and my team with everything we needed. They even allowed us to use a private section of the restaurant Patio del Nisperio. The best part was that every employee always greeted us with a smile.

 

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Last but not least I’m really excited to share one of my favorite, and easy to access waterfalls in Puerto Rico.  It’s actually somewhat of a secret waterfall that only the island locals know about it. It’s called Rio La Planta in Arecibo. This location has two waterfalls. Once walking to La Planta , about 3 mins ahead you will find the first waterfall. The first one is small, about 30 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Although the first one is gorgeous and super fun, the real beauty lies ahead. Once you get into the river and walk for about 15 minutes you will reach La Planta.

 

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19Nov
It Seems Sunny (Seema Bansal’s Bridal Shower 11.11.11)
Lifestyle

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Had a magical time shooting Seema Bansal’s Bridal Shower. It was a stunning afternoon at The Plaza Hotel filled with friends, champagne and yummy food. Seema is the co-founder of Venus Et Fleur. For her bridal shower her tables on The Palm Court were decorated with Venus Et Fleur arrangements for her friends.  This bridal shower was celebrated on 11.11.11, how magical!?  Hope you guys like the photos!

 

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19Sep
Exit The Catwalk
Lifestyle

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Heres a recent event I shot on 09.14.18 for Hyperion Group called Exit The Catwalk.

Hope you guys like the shots !

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02Aug
080 Barcelona Fashion XXII
Lifestyle

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Hey guys!

 

On June 27th I attended the  22nd edition of the 080 Barcelona Fashion week at the Recinte Modernista de San Pau. To my surprise, I found out that the Recinte Modernista de San Pau is actually a hospital! I was shocked when I found out it was a hospital because it looked like a small village of medieval times castles all put together. Later on I understood why it had such beautiful architecture, It was founded in 1401 when six small medieval hospitals merged.

The different designers at this event  were presenting the new trends for the upcoming spring-summer 2019 season. I had a blast with my friends at this event not only we were offered complementary refreshments from Seagram’s Gin and Sun Bites. We also got to experience many different runway shows like Sweet Mattes, Antonio Miro’s, Custo Barcelona, brain&beats..etc..

After watching all these shows I realized that minimalism is back this summer with concise and very well fitted designs that somewhat update the untouched/sober style of the 90’s for the millennial people in the crowd. Another noticeable trend this summer for edgy men are the shorts. Im not talking now about bermudas, but actual short shorts above the knees, to face the incredible heat while still looking great.

On the day the I went to the 080 BCN Fashion I wore a head to toe black outfit with a multi color vintage blazer I found in my great grandmothers closet and long gold necklace I thrifted a while back.

 

 

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18Feb
Top 3 Gluten Free Restaurants in NYC
Lifestyle

Hey guys!

I hope you’re all doing well. Sorry it’s been forever since I’ve posted on the blog. I’ve been super busy adjusting to my new home in New York City.
In this blog post,I’m going to be sharing with you my three favorite restaurants with gluten free options in New York. Why gluten free you might ask ? Long story short, I have Celiac Disease. When I was first diagnosed with celiac and was told I had to have a gluten-free diet for the rest of my life, I felt extremely happy and relieved. I had been so sick for years that I was thrilled to finally know what was wrong with me. Although, my next reaction was quite confusing. What the hell is gluten and what can I eat ?  It took me so long to make my way around the super market during my first shopping trip. After only a few days of doing the gluten-free diet, I started feeling better. Within a week all the gastro intestinal pains that I was having diminished. However, even though I was getting many positive effects  the first few months, I was scared, overwhelmed, and extremely pissed off because I had to give up most of the food I loved.  One thing was certain from reading about Celiac Disease online: I would never eat in a restaurant again.. or so I thought. Once I kept researching I found out that there are many restaurants that are Gluten free or have gluten free options, especially here in New York!

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This restaurant is a corner Italian spot right across the street from City College of New York on 139th st. This is one of my favorite gluten free restaurants to go to for lunch! It’s an attractive, white-walled space with marble countertops, lots of plants, and big bright photographs covering the walls. The menu offers many different Italian favorites with a wide selection of gluten free options. All the pizzas and pastas are able to be ordered gluten free. I recommend their gluten free parma pizza or their spaghetti funghi.
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This yummy restaurant is tucked away on Elizabeth Street just off of Houston. They describe their food as “homestyle comfort food,” made from 100% organic ingredients and prepared fresh daily. Better yet, the menu is huge and there is nothing I love more than a restaurant that has a lot of choices that suit my no-bread life.This is one of the best restaurants that caters to my gluten-free needs because everything on their menu can be made gluten free.I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of a burger in a healthy eating restaurant.  It was deliciously seasoned and cooked to perfection.I also noticed many people going to the bar at Siggy’s and ordering juices, smoothies and food to go. I’m not a juice gurl, but this is the perfect grab and go option for people who are. Siggy’s is one of those places that proves  eating healthy doesn’t mean eating boring and tasteless food
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This chic space is located at the edge of Nolita focused on delivering conventional dining with a creative atmosphere and delicious meals for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. It’s rare that I walk into a place and instantly like it. The ambiance here is stunning. It’s a gorgeous white washed brick space with lots of light wood, creative touches, and natural light. Not everything on their menu was gluten free, although they have a huge selection. De Maria is all about mixing healthy and hearty dishes. I went for brunch and ordered the steak and eggs. Loved it!
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22Oct
While We Were Young
Lifestyle

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Hey Guys!

Sorry I haven’t posted on my blog recently. Been really busy with new upcoming projects and moving into NYC! Its been a stressful yet exciting couple of months. Anyways I wanted to make a quick blogpost of this gorgeous restaurant I visited recently called While We Were Young.  I felt right at home in this cozy, beautiful gem tucked away in the West Village. The restaurants tables are all marble designs, with pastel interiors and picturesque dishes that are almost too pretty to eat. The food was also great! I actually went there for to have my birthday brunch on October 16th with one of my best friends Claudia Frau and another good friend of mine Ulia Ali. I hope you guys liked these pics and this post! I completely recommend visiting this gorgeous location!

xx

Cheers!

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26Apr
Miami Escape
Lifestyle

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Hey guys!

I recently had a little escape to Miami to do some work and visit my best friend Sophia. I had an awesome time exploring the streets of South Beach, hanging at the beach and discovering all the places that make Miami the place it is. I used to live there for about 5 years and moved about a year ago, so it was really nice to re-visit many of the places I loved and get to see many old friends.  I tried taking as many photos as possible to show you guys how beautiful Miami is, so I hope you guys enjoy them!

 

Cheers!
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(Warby Parker)

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(A La Folie Cafe)

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(Jacket: Zara)

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(Brickell City Centre)

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(Lush Cosmetics)

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28Feb
Casino de la Plaza and Viva Bar
Lifestyle

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Hey guys!

A few weeks ago I shared with you on my blog a visual story about my trip to Ponce were I mentioned several places I recommend to visit, amongst them the Ponce Plaza Hotel and Casino. I talked about everything the hotel had to offer except their casino, Casino de la Plaza and their bar, Viva Bar. I wanted to make a separate post about them because we created a campaign project that was shot by the awesome Josh Anton. This photoshoot was so much fun to do! We had access to all the machines, tables and there was even a money box machine!

Casino de la Plaza is Ponce’s best and most visited entertainment and gaming destination. They have a great variety of table games such as blackjack, roulette, craps table and even bingo! The casino has over 260 state-of-the-art slot machines and offers weekly entertainment. Its open everyday from 8:00AM- 4:00AM. The casino also has a bar next to it called Viva Bar where you can enjoy your time.

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01Feb
A TRIP AROUND ”LA PERLA DEL SUR”, PONCE
Lifestyle

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Hey guys!

I hope you’re all doing good and started the year off right. I am sorry I haven’t updated the blog in a while. I have been extremely busy doing some new projects I can’t wait to show you.

I am currently living in the capital of Puerto Rico San Juan, which is approximately an hour and a half drive to my hometown, Ponce (also known as “the pearl of the south” here in Puerto Rico). Ponce is not as popular as San Juan or Vieques(a beautiful island near to PR), but is a city filled with beautiful architecture, many vendors and fine dining as well as a laid-back, authentic vibe that is hard to come by elsewhere. Recently, I realized that many of my friends had never explored Ponce or seen all the hidden gems it has to offer. I decided to share some activities to explore during a visit to Ponce to perfectly showcase what my tropical hometown has to offer!

If you’re looking for a the best hotel to stay in Ponce, I would recommend you go to Ponce Plaza Hotel & Casino. The Ponce Plaza Hotel & Casino is a beautiful independent boutique hotel conveniently located in the historic district of Ponce. Not only does this historical 1800″s hotel come with a rich history of its own, the architects have preserved its original architecture while incorporating both a modern and colonial aesthetic. You can start your morning with some rich puerto rican coffee at Melao Coffe Shop followed by lunch at my favorite spot Lola Electic Cuisine that has an eclectic menu showcasing savory traditional Puerto Rican dishes with a twist. Casino de la Plaza is also located in the hotel and is a premier gambling destination with a fun bar called Viva that offers drinks as fresh and vibrant as the name !

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The hotel is centrally located next to the Plaza las Delicias as well as surrounded by beautiful historical colonial buildings like the Catedral de la Guadalupe, City Hall and of course the extremely popular Parque de Bombas firehouse.

You can spend an entire day visiting the museums of Ponce. There is Museo de Arte de Ponce, Museo de la Arquitectura Ponceña, Museo de la Musica Puertorriqueña, Centro Cultural de Ponce, Museo de la Historia de Ponce and my favorite the Castillo Serralles Museum. The Castillo Serralles castle not only has a unique spot in Ponce’s history, but also has the best views in town where you can see the city of Ponce and overlook the Caribbean Sea in the distance. It has a magical outdoor patio that not only has unparalleled views but also serves drinks. There is also a butterfly farm and a Japanese garden filled with exotic plants and oriental bridges.

Another place you must go visit if you come to Ponce is the island of Caja de Muertos. Caja de muertos is just around like 5 miles off the coast. Here you can hike, cave hunt, visit the lighthouse constructed in 1887, snorkel, kayak, or just enjoy a day on the beach.

I hope that this visual story show you guys that Ponce is an beautiful old city that has a lot of offer and inspires you guys to come visit!

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Processed with VSCO with e6 preset(Carla Fernandez & Jean Marie wearing Miriam Budet)

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Processed with VSCO with c9 preset(Carla Fernandez & Jean Marie wearing Miriam Budet)

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About

I am Francisco Alustiza, a communications & motion pictures major from Puerto Rico. Welcome to my website! Here you will be able to find a plethora of my projects as well as inspirational mediums. Life to me is a constantly transforming experience in which I thrive on the learning and expression of what I love most. My blog’s purpose is to showcase my passions either through photography, fashion, lifestyle or daily life inspirations.

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