Is Santurce the new State of Mind?
We have all heard about the famous “New York State of Mind” and what it might represent to all the hustlers out there. To me, the New York State of Mind is the state in which your fuel is never near empty because you’re constantly finding motivation to pursue your dreams. The New York State of Mind reminds us that hustlers never sleep, and if you make it in the fast paced city of New York, you can make it anywhere. In a city where you have to give as fast as you take, you learn that you’ve got to keep moving because the dream is free, but the hustle is sold separately.
But what happens when you don’t live in New York? Is there such thing as a New York State of Mind outside of the Big Apple?
About a month ago, I found myself contemplating life as I walked down the street on my way to work, and I couldn’t help feeling in awe with what the surroundings were bringing to me. — At this point, you might all be asking where do I work, but that is not an important factor, yet. — On the other hand, as I left the office that day, I walked for about 2–3 blocks to get to my car, and had an instant feeling. I started analyzing everything around me. I was unconsciously comparing how I felt walking through the streets of Santurce with how I felt last Summer walking through the streets of New York.
Truth is, I couldn't help to reminisce about the unforgettable feeling of the New York State of Mind. It is an expression that you take for granted when you haven’t been in the Big City. But somehow, that day as I was walking through Santurce, I felt the same emotions I felt walking through the streets of New York on July, 2017. And it just hit me, could it be that Santurce is the New State of Mind?
In a period of 3 years, Santurce has given me everything to jumpstart my career. This city hosts most of my activities: all the way from brunching in a local coffee shop, taking my Marketing classes, working with international startups in the biggest start-up accelerator in Puerto Rico, to hanging out on a Friday night. The offer is limitless and it keeps growing.
Let’s start with mentioning some of the most important things Santurce can offer: one of the most prestigious private universities of the island, a startup accelerator that places Puerto Rico in the radar, the first co-working space in the island (accompanied with the first Coding Academy), traditional market places, exquisite restaurants, uncomparable nightlife offerings, but most importantly, its own culture and people.
Passion for the arts, history, and disruptive growth are merely some of the ways I can begin to describe the culture inside of Santurce. There are stories written all over the streets, and wherever you walk, there is art that translates into the emotions of an artist committed to share his or her livings. Santurce es Ley is the biggest and loudest street, plastic, and scenics art exhibition dedicated to moving and uniting Puerto Ricans and people all over the world to celebrate art in this vibrant city. On top of these, this small city has two of the most important Art Museums of the island, and it is committed to educate growing generations about the importance of cultural knowledge transfer. On the other hand, it’s impossible to go a day without enjoying native music that leads you to travel through past decades of “Bomba y plena” or a “sabrosa salsa” that will instantly make you want to move your dancing feet. Besides that, it is the host to the first Dance Academy, Coda 21, to offer a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance, in collaboration with Universidad del Sagrado Corazón (Sagrado).
It is important to highlight that Sagrado Corazón has been making history educating for 135 ongoing years, offering high-level education and hands-on experience to their students. Universidad del Sagrado Corazón stands out for being the first and only university in Puerto Rico with the complete accreditation for a School of Communications. The university receives students from all over the island that aim to be the future communicators of Puerto Rico. Not only that, but also, Sagrado has been developing competitive Business Programs and Social Sciences Programs that will shape the leaders of our tomorrow.
In addition, the university is committed to the development and growth of Santurce. As a result, social initiatives have been impulsing sustainable economic and cultural moves. The best example is Nuestro Barrio: Distrito Cultural , a non-profit organization that, as stipulated in their Vision, generates opportunities for sustainable economic development for artists and community members, while addressing critical issues related to the quality of life in Santurce.
These and many more are the activities that take place in a fast paced city like Santurce, presenting a warmer and more tropical version of the New York State of Mind. There’s no doubt that the Santurce vibes can influence in who you are and who you want to become… and that’s simply the magic of this city. It gives you the power to be the shaper of your own life, exposing you to the right opportunities and network. I must admit that it can get overwhelming, but the struggles are seemingless when you are surrounded by the extraordinary people influenced by Santurce’s culture. The motivations, inspirations and aspirations that live in the atmosphere of this hustling city challenge you in ways that will boost your learning and experiences. The colorful and expressive city just proves that there is space for a new state of mind.
And as I write this article, I realize that Santurce has become my nest. This is the city that has pushed me to take real-life decisions and the city were the idea of my own possible startup was born. Santurce exposed me to mentors and scenarios that played a starring role in the development of my business idea. This city does sleep, and it might not be a Big Apple, but it sure has as much cultural offers as New York. Both cities alienate you from the rest of the world in certain aspects, but sometimes that is just what you need to be able to wake up one day and be ready to rule the world. I believe in the power of what Santurce transmits and that my day to rule the world might come in a near future. I can confirm that I am, indeed, in a Santurce State of Mind. May we all wake up to tomorrow, ready to rule the world.
Thank you, Santurce.