Joe: Looking to explore the city? Check out the Freedom Trail

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Anytime students head off-campus, the Boston Common, Newbury Street and Fenway Park are all popular destinations. However, if you’re interested in learning more about the city’s past, in addition to how it is today, grab some friends and spend a couple hours walking along the city’s Freedom Trail.

Starting in the Boston Common (between the Boylston and Park Street T stops), the 2.5-mile trail loops through 16 historical stops in downtown Boston, ending all the way up at the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown.

Amongst the stops along the way are the Massachusetts State House, the site of the Boston Massacre and the Paul Revere House. In a city so important to America’s establishment, the trail serves as a fantastic opportunity to walk through history. 

Not a history buff? The trail brings you straight through the heart of downtown, so you can enjoy the contemporary sights of the city as you take in the fresh air. The back half of the trail takes you through some beautiful neighborhoods in the North End, and plenty of restaurants that serve delicious food and provide an incredible atmosphere if you’re looking to make a stop along the way. Or you could just grab Chipotle that stands on the site of the Old Corner Bookstore, if that better fits your style (or budget).

Another cool part of the trail is toward the tail end. To get to the USS Constitution and the Bunker Hill Monument, you cross the North Washington Street bridge. With East Boston on one side and TD Garden and the Charles River to the other, you can get stellar views of a different part of the city. If you’re a photographer looking for a new spot to take photos, this part of the trail is calling your name.

And really, any part of the trail has great photo opportunities. Whether it’s the bustling squares surrounding Faneuil Hall or the cozy brick neighborhoods in the North End, there are countless places that you can document forever.

With the usual weather in Boston, it’s important to take advantage of the nicer days. The next time we get some nice weather, and you and your friends have a few hours to kill, try taking a walk down the Freedom Trail to learn more about this great city we live in.

Brady: BU’s secondary winter sport you need to follow

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There’s no doubt about the sports hierarchy at Boston University. Hockey reigns supreme, with the five-time national champion men’s team bringing thousands of fans to Agganis Arena on weekends throughout the winter and the women’s team consistently ranking among the top ten teams in the country.

Amidst the popularity of the school’s hockey teams, the Boston University men’s and women’s basketball teams have taken an undeserved back seat among BU’s winter sports. Nearing the end of their 2019-20 regular seasons, both squads currently sit among the top three teams in their respective Patriot League divisions.

The major differentiating factor BU hockey holds over BU basketball is its history, which leads to its superior attendance and increased interest. Will BU basketball ever make as much national noise as BU hockey has? Probably not. However, the more humble background brings more reasonable expectations, and that’s where BU basketball becomes appealing.

The Terriers will never be expected to go to the Final Four on the court the same way they’re asked to reach the Frozen Four on the ice. The bar is lower for BU basketball, but that means their goals are more attainable. Winning a Patriot League basketball championship would huge for the Terriers, and this season, that result could be a legitimate possibility.

BU’s basketball teams don’t carry the most prominent reputations or the most lofty expectations, but they’re as easy to root for as it gets. They have heart, they’re underdogs, and they’re fun teams to watch regardless of the outcome. In fact, more than half of BU’s 61 basketball games thus far this season have been decided by less than ten points, with BU victorious in 17 of those 31 games.

Both teams feature an effective mix of bruising power forwards, sharpshooting wings and crafty ball-handlers, ranging from potent youngsters to veteran leaders. They’re both poised to make a run in the Patriot League this postseason, so if you’re looking for an entertaining event and a high-quality product, get down to the hardwood.

BU basketball is making a playoff push, so get on board.

Stephen: Seeing the Old in the New

This past semester I was assigned a vocational project while I was studying abroad in London. The purpose of the project was to challenge our creative knowledge in a new way in the hopes that we would attain or appreciate a new skill set. At first, I jumped at the idea of creating a unique short film that focused on the creative use of time-lapses. However, as the weeks progressed I realized I had neither the time or the right drive to make that a reality. After postponing my time-lapse project for another time, I had to find a new focus for what I would do. Very quickly I arrived back at photography, which is where I tend to drift towards in many situations. In the end, I decided on creating my own “vintage” photos. Here is the before and after of one of these photos I did below:

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If you do not have the time to read on or have a short attention span like myself, I’ll break it down for you real quick and direct you to a video showing my process. Essentially what I did was take old photos I had captured before and utilized both Lightroom and Photoshop in an attempt to make them appear “old”. I flattened the images out (crushed blacks and muted highlights) to remove some modern depth/contrast from digital cameras and I applied a black and white filter to the photo. There are some other meticulous edits I took care of as well but they are not as important. I then simply brought the image into Photoshop and messed around with sepia color filters as well as “photo grunge” until I achieved the desired look. Here is a video I recorded showing myself undergoing this editing process. Thanks for reading this far and I hope you enjoy it!

Now on to a bit of self-reflection:

I have very little experience with film. Throughout the entirety of my time taking photos I have essentially only used digital cameras. I did receive an old Pentax ME Super that I should probably fix up and buy some film rolls for, but I have yet to do this. So, yeah, basically zero experience with film photography which is something that I definitely want to change sometime soon. I’m a digital photographer and my vocational project favored that heavily. However, the project did provide a unique opportunity to reach towards film without leaving the comfort of digital photography. As the above paragraph explains, I was essentially able to create fake film photos that had an aged appearance which was certainly a lot of fun. Here are the other two images I edited below:

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At this point, this entire project has acted as a motivator for me to look into film and expand upon my photography knowledge. I definitely must practice film photography and become familiar with the medium in order to become a more well-rounded photographer. Regardless of what I am currently pursuing, becoming more well-rounded/versatile is always a goal in my mind. Once I become comfortable with the craft I have to find new ways to push it forward so that I may learn and grow. This project was a good step forward and I am eager to encounter the next.

Noah: My Favorite Asian Food Joints

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Much ink has been spilled over the various eateries this great city has to offer. There is no doubt a wide variety of different options for us college students to reluctantly and guiltily spend our money on, but what I want to focus on is what I think is some of Boston’s best cuisine: Asian food. The city environment I’m familiar with, the great city of Philadelphia, provided me with wonderful, authentic options that never ceased to please and never failed to take money from my wallet. And when I came to Boston, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find that same level of authenticity and plain goodness that I valued so dearly back home. Boy was I wrong. Here are a few of my favorite Asian food joints that every BU student should experience.

  1. Gourmet Dumpling House
  • Located in the heart of Boston’s vibrant Chinatown, Gourmet Dumpling House was my first look into the amazing Asian food Boston has to offer. A relatively small restaurant with limited seating and a cramped waiting area, it was here where I had some of the best Shanghai dumplings of my life. The menu, which contains hundreds of different options (this is no exaggeration, the menu is literally massive), has anything and everything you could ever want from a Chinese restaurant. It’s a relatively cheap option (compared to some of the more boujee joints closer to campus) and the food is fantastic. I highly recommend the lo mein or the fried rice.
  1. Super 88
  • Now this one might come as a bit of a surprise. The Super 88 Asian supermarket in Allston is phenomenal. Though its appearance may be somewhat unsettling, the food here is surprisingly delightful. Part food court, part supermarket, Super 88 has a wide variety of dining options, from boba tea to Vietnamese food. My absolute favorite is the banh mi sandwich from the Vietnamese stand. I thought I had my favorite banh mi back home in Philly, but the one at Super 88 trumps any I’ve had before.
  1. Love Art Udon
  • Looking for a warm, hearty meal to combat the Boston winters? Look no further than Allston’s Love Art Udon, located two doors down from T Anthony’s. This noodle joint opened its doors just a few years ago, made clear by the vibrant, hip decor on the interior. While certainly a little pricier compared to Super 88, Love Art Udon is a great choice if you’re looking for a nice, fulfilling meal during the sad cold of Boston winters. Like all of my suggestions, options are plentiful here, and there truly is something for everyone.

Now, these obviously are not the only amazing Asian eateries in Boston. There are hundreds of spots to get your Asian fix, and I am certainly no expert on all of them. But if you’re feeling like it’s time to treat yourself, you’re tired of that Asian station at Warren, or Panda Express just isn’t hitting like it used to, these three restaurants are always a solid choice.

Emily: My Senior Year Bucket List

Throughout my time at BU, I’ve written multiple versions of my Boston Bucket List and worked through most of the items. Entering senior year, I was pretty confident there wasn’t much left for me in Boston. However, as graduation events and invitations started popping up in my inbox and notification feeds, I thought it would be a good time to rewrite my final bucket list for college. Warning: some of these things you have probably done before (I’m working on it).

  1. Step on the BU Seal

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I’m too superstitious to have ever tried this yet, but I can’t wait to jump right on to that seal (and get a picture doing it).

2) Go to Veggie Galaxy 🙂 

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Veggie Galaxy is undoubtedly my favorite veggie haven in Boston, so I’m adding this to my bucket list. Now when I go, it’s for ~official business~.

3) Actually watch the Boston Marathon

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Like most BU students, on MarMon I don’t often see the race (truthfully I don’t think I’ve seen it since freshman year). This year, I’d like to give it a shot. If you get up early enough, you can watch the para-athletes, which is amazing! 

Go to a Red Sox Game

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This is where my warning kicks in. I’ve never actually gone to a Red Sox game, and besides a lack of interest in baseball, I have no good excuse not to go. So this is the big-ticket item on my bucket list (doing it for big papi).

Colbi: Get out of the BU bubble and go see the city!

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BU’s campus has pretty much all that you could need: the gym, Target, Chipotle, and most importantly Einstein Bros. Bagels. So, I find myself not leaving campus as often as I should and getting stuck in the “BU bubble.” But, Boston is an amazing city with so many incredible places to explore! One of my favorite places is Boston’s North End.

The North End is also known as Little Italy, and has a fantastic selection of Italian food, pastries, and desserts. My go-to restaurant is Scopa. It’s a small, intimate restaurant with a great atmosphere. The menu has all your favorite classics like gnocchi, pizza, calamari, and spaghetti and meatballs. Plus, their complimentary bread is delicious.

If you’re looking to have some dessert afterwards, head over to Caffé Paradiso. I had my first ever cannoli at this cafe, and it was life-changing to say the least. I also got nutella gelato and which was PHENOMENAL. I’m still not over it! The staff is so sweet here, and you will often catch them watching a soccer game or two on the televisions.

Now, if you want to walk off some of those calories, there is so much to see! You can walk over to the wharf to get a breathtaking view of the ocean. You can also see some historical sights such as Paul Revere’s house and The Freedom Trail. You are also a short walk from the Haymarket where you can buy fresh fruits and vegetables.

If you keep going, you can end up at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. There are great stores to shop at, and perfect places for an Instagram photoshoot. And, you can actually go to the spot of the Boston Massacre, another historical sight.

Boston is a great city with so much history and culture to explore! Don’t get caught up in your dorm every weekend, go out and do some sightseeing. I can guarantee that it will make your college experience so much better.

Sophie: The best options in Boston for a chocolate fanatic willing to risk it all

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Boston is famous for its food. Clam chowder, lobster rolls, Boston cream pie. But if you’re a chocolate purist, you’ll need to look closer in order to find the city’s best of your favorite treat. If you’re like me, you’ll go to any length, you’ll take any T line, you’ll run any risk, just to satiate that desire. If nothing else can force me out of the BU bubble, the quest for chocolate certainly can. Here’s my list: 

  1.     Located next to Fenway Park, Blackbird makes a great chocolate donut. It’s smoky in flavor, the inside of the donut nearly black in color. If you can swing two, grab an apple cider donut while you’re there. Just trust me. 
  2.     Listen. I get it. It’s a trek out to Cambridge. How do you even get to Harvard? How do you even get past Harvard? And why would anyone ever want to? I know. I know. But give Christina’s a shot, if ice cream is your thing.
  3.     Three words: dark chocolate gelato. Yes, vegans, I’m looking out for you too, lest you thought I’d forgotten. And is it possible that I’m stupid for being attracted by the ice cream rose petals, even though it tastes the same no matter how you scoop it? I suppose it’s possible, yes. I’m buying exactly what they’re selling. I’m eating out of the palm of their hand. But as long as you keep your habit in check and leave Amorino for special occasions, it’s 100% worth it.
  4.     If you’re new to Boston, then you have to try the classic cannoli first. It’s the great unifier, the COM 101 of pastries. But once you’ve met that prerequisite, you can go ahead and try some of Bova’s chocolate cannolis. Whether it’s the cream or the shell, whether it’s sprinkled with chocolate chips or drizzled with chocolate syrup—the journey is yours. Bova’s is open 24/7, so next time you end up wandering the North End in the middle of the night—which does somehow seem to happen a couple times per semester, although no one ever sets out to do it—you know where to get your fix. And if cannolis aren’t your vibe? Listen, you moved to Boston. Get on board.
  5.     Lastly, L.A. Burdick’s hot chocolate comes in several flavors: dark, milk, and white. Myself, I’m a fiend for dark chocolate, but out of curiosity, I had to try the white chocolate—no regrets. Credit where credit is due. It’s definitely the richest, most chocolate-y thing on this list. I put leftover L.A. Burdick’s hot chocolate in the fridge once, and it turned into chocolate mousse. Do with that what you will. Is it too much? You tell me. 

Now that I’ve armed you with this knowledge, treat yourself on weekends and during midterms with all the chocolate that Boston has to offer. Go forth!

Frank: The Beauty of Citypop

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I started doing radio at WTBU as soon as it was literally possible for me to join. All the shows I’ve been on, however, have mostly been talking shows, so for my last semester I kinda wanted to change things up a bit and instead do a music show. Sure, I talk on the show but the main focus is the tracks I’m playing and the tracks I’m playing aren’t just any tracks.

Let me introduce you to citypop.

Citypop is a bit of a loose genre, in the sense that it’s a bit of an umbrella term. In essence, citypop refers to more of a particular time-period and attitude than actual structure or melody. It’s music from a bygone era and an attitude that not many can say they have experienced.

The place? Japan. The time? Late 1970s to 1980s.

1980s Japan is currently experiencing what we know now as a bubble economy. Entering the 1980s, Japan had become incredibly rich, incredibly fast. From this, a new sort of attitude began forming. The money is plenty and now the people of Japan can afford to live and experience things that their parents who lived in a post-war Japan could only imagine. Car stereos and Walkmans became commonplace. Music could be heard everywhere and a never-before-seen production value was given to these songs, thanks to new advancements in digital recording. The music takes inspiration from jazz, funk, disco, R&B and rock. Yet, citypop is much more than the sum of its parts. The music talks of living a cosmopolitan life, looking forward to the riches of the future while also subtly longing for a simpler past.

For some reason, I was really attracted to this music. I’m not Japanese and I certainly wasn’t around during the 1980’s, but somehow the music resonated with me. There’s something really beautiful about how people in the past imagined what their future would be. Maybe I’d like to live in that idealized future…

Explaining the scope and beauty of citypop is something I’m trying to do on my show Fridays from 10pm to 12am. But if you want answers to get a taste of just how much I love this genre, please watch this video by Michael Saba. He puts it in words better than I ever could.

 

Mira: Why you should explore the BU Arts Initiative

Hello lovelies!!

I hope all of you are *mostly* settled into your spring routine and are doing well! I personally felt like we really hit the ground running this year, and I’m sure that you all are very very busy too! Lots of stuff to do and exams to study for, BUT that being said, I wanted to share a little something that you should 100% check out if you have even a minute of free time!

This semester, I want to share with all of you the MIRACLE that is the BU Arts Initiative!!

The BU Arts Initiative is something I never really looked into until this semester, and I cannot believe I didn’t take advantage of it sooner! The BU Arts Initiative is a program through BU that encourages students to experience the incredible music and art that can be found in Boston. The program offers BU students things like free admission to museums and free (or discounted) tickets to shows!

Recently, I visited the BU Arts Initiative Office on the second floor of the GSU. It was the first time I had ever gone, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I walked in with no expectations. 

Fast forward ten minutes, and I walked out with a free Boston Symphony Orchestra Student Card (free tickets to BSO shows!!), as well as two tickets to go see Mean Girls at the Boston Opera House that were only FIVE DOLLARS EACH!! How crazy is that, right?!! I am telling you guys – this program is magical!

Other opportunities offered through BU Arts Initiative include:

Free Admission to:

    • Boston Museum of Fine Arts
    • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
    • Harvard Art Museums
    • The Institute of Contemporary Art
    • Arts Insiders Program
    • “Students leaders from our Student Arts Council select a few exciting arts events in or around Boston each semester and students can sign up to attend free of charge”
    • Global Music Festival 
    • And so much more!!

Whether you are an arts fanatic, or someone new to the art scene, definitely go check out the BU Arts Initiative! They constantly have so many cool things going on, and there truly is something for everybody. 

Anyway, that’s all from me for today! Have a wonderful spring semester, and good luck with all of your endeavors! You got this!

Sincerely,

Mira 

Kaylee: Play Review of Gloria: A Life

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Gloria: A Life, is a play that beautifully represents Gloria Steinem’s strong force and contributions to the women’s rights movement. You can see this phenomenal play at The A.R.T. theatre in Cambridge! The theatre was even renovated just for this performance. The setup allowed the audience to face one another as well as sit along the sides of the stage, perfectly set up to be a talking circle. The arrangements of benches and pillows by the set designers allowed the audience and performers to easily engage with one another. This environment set the tone and caused the experience of the play to come as more natural, safe and homey, almost as though you were transported into Gloria’s living room.

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COSTUMING 

The costuming within the play was extremely well done. The actress playing Gloria truly looked like her, down to the blonde streaks in her hair and large aviator glasses. Each member of the ensemble played many characters, each bringing a uniqueness that brought the historical figures to life spanning far further than the screens. People like Bella Abzug and Flo Kennedy are the most memorable. 

PROPS 

The main stage consisted of many rugs and chairs that were used in different ways by the ensemble to transform the story. Chairs were stacked to create a podium or a bed. There were protesting signs, bins for the “bra burners,” and hand-held cameras. The space had many uses and creatively brought each story to life. 

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LIGHTING 

The film major in me was extremely excited by the quality of the production. Well-planned lighting cues and television screens transformed the performance. This allowed for easy transitioning between significant moments in Gloria’s career, as well as different time periods. The television screens displayed photographs and archival footage that had an impact on Gloria or the movement. Sexist magazine articles and news stations were broadcasted for the audience to see. As the unjust issues were talked about and explained, more proof followed on the screen. The audience laughed, gasped, and some even cried, while facing one another. The names and images of other influential fighters in the women’s rights movement were recognized and celebrated on the big screen. On the screen was also the actors themselves, as interviews were re-created in present time using a hand-held camera by members of the ensemble. This had a transformative effect on the audience and truly put you into the skin of Gloria and women living during each time period.

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The lighting, stage directing, writing, and many more factors worked in harmony to change the air and remind me why I am a feminist. 

Click here to learn more about the play!