Alexa: Looking for a Place to Live?

Alexa ImageSo you’re going to Boston University? Congratulations! After I submitted my enrollment deposit I know the next thing on my mind was, where am I going to live and whom am I going to live with? Housing selection can be somewhat of a stressful process so it’s helpful to know a little bit about the perks of living in each housing offered.

West:

Cough. West is best. Cough. This year I lived in Rich Hall located in West Campus. Even though I knew COM would be on the other side of campus, I still had West as my first choice. I wanted to be able to go to class and then get away from the chaos, which is exactly what West lets me do. West is great because it’s located right next to Fit-Rec, Agannis Area, Nickerson Field and Case Gym. The dining hall is arguably the best at BU. The only downfall is it’s about a 15 minute walk to most classes, but there’s a free BU shuttle and two T stops at West so when the cold comes you don’t have to walk. Plus, exercise is great anyway!

Warren:

Warren is a great choice if you want to wake up ten minutes before class starts and make it on time. It’s mainly freshmen and each floor has a common room so it’s easy to bond with your floor. The dining hall is located on the fourth floor so there are some days where you will never have to leave the building if you don’t want to!

The Towers, Danielson, 575 Commonwealth Avenue

These are also places where freshmen typically stay and are a lot like West and Warren except for a little bit smaller. 575 Commonwealth Ave tends to have more triples and Danielson has bigger rooms. The great thing if you live here is that there will be a new student center in East Campus with a huge, amazing dining hall. Even though I’ll be living in West again I will definitely be coming to eat there when I can!

You’re probably thinking, ok I chose where to live, how do I choose whom to live with?

BU lets you request a roommate or you can also choose random. Personally, coming from California I didn’t know anyone coming to BU and didn’t want to rely on Facebook or Roomsurf to pair me up with a roommate (Although I know a lot of people who did and it’s great option!) I chose to have a random roommate and don’t regret it at all. I know on one end of the spectrum it could have been the worst or the best, but luckily it has worked out and we are rooming again together next year!

Overall, if housing comes around and you don’t get your first or second choice I promise you it’s not the end of the world (that’s December 21, 2012 ;)). You will make friends and have a great experience as long as you want to. BU is what you make it and housing is just one aspect of the BU experience.

Alexa: Spring is Here!

Alexa ImageI had hoped to spend my Spring Break in a warm, sunny California.  However, the weather wasn’t exactly what I had expected. It rained 3 out of the 5 days but I kept thinking to myself, “the weather is better than Boston, the weather is better than Boston.” Well, according to weather.com it wasn’t. In fact, as soon as I left, Boston shot up to 70 degrees. I thought I had lost my chance. One of the few sunny days I was guaranteed in Boston I spent on a plane ride back to California. My spirit was shot but not destroyed. Then, the unthinkable happened. The weather stayed the same. In fact, it was better. From the Sunday I returned all the way to Friday, Boston weather acted like summer. From 7 AM in the morning to late at night, the temperature stayed at 70 degree and even rose. I was confused as to what to do with myself since no one prepared me for sunshine in March. Luckily, I’ve learned and I am here to tell you all exactly where to go and what to do!

The COM lawn: I know everyone says they hang out on the COM lawn on a sunny day, but really, this is one of the top places to go. You can sit next to the fountain and catch up on your COM reading or you can throw the football around to pass the time. The COM lawn is really convenient since it is an easy place to hang out in between COM classes. My teammates and I were preparing for a softball game and decided to play catch on one side of the lawn to warm up. (Fun fact: We won our first game!)

The BU Beach: The Beach is a lot like the COM lawn only it’s much bigger. From the beach you can see the Charles River and hang out with your friends in between classes. I saw a lot of kids taking naps and tanning and just enjoying the sunshine. It’s a really relaxing place to gather yourself before your next class.

The Boston Common: The great thing about BU is that you are immersed in the city so you don’t just have to stay on campus to find entertaining things to do! Boston Common is a happening place when the weather gets warm and there are benches and a lot of grassy areas to just relax, or my personal favorite, people watch.

Another useful tip I learned about the warm Boston weather is that it’s important to stay hydrated! Of course Starbucks have wonderful iced drinks but another great place is Angora Café. Angora is right near the intersection of Babcock Street and Commonwealth Avenue and is delicious. You can try of their amazing fruit smoothies but what they are most popular for is their unique frozen yogurt. My personal favorite is the raspberry yogurt, but trust me once you see all the flavors you won’t know what to choose.

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t stick and I am forced to once again pull out my winter jacket. However, the good news is that since I finally got a taste of springtime in Boston I am completely ready for it again! Next time the temperature reaches above 70 degrees, you’ll find me at the BU beach with a raspberry frozen yogurt in my hand.

Until next time!

Alexa: A Night at TD Garden

Alexa ImageThere are so many things that I hope to accomplish here in Boston, and one is to catch an NBA Lakers/Celtic game at the TD Garden. However, it wasn’t that easy to accomplish – it took some research, planning and execution. Back in December, about ten minutes after the Celtics schedule was released, I figured out the day the Lakers would be playing the Celtics. I saw that they would be playing February 9th, which was extremely convenient because my birthday’s February 11th. Now for the planning part, I knew the odds of attending the game were likely because I could use the gift of Lakers tickets as an early birthday/late Christmas present. So I called my parents in California and told them about my amazing idea. They told me to remember why I was in Boston (for a great education) and I refuted that it would be an educational experience to witness such a rival team and observe how journalists report on such an intense game. Long story short… I was in attendance at the Lakers Celtics game on February 9th.  (Thanks again Mom and Dad!)

While I don’t want to give too much away since most of my wonderful adventure at the TD Garden will be featured on COMlife Episode 5 (premiering February 24th!) I was fortunate enough (thanks to media contacts I made as a BU COM student last semester) to be given a tour of the Garden with my friend, Sonali. She is also from California too and she could not be talked out of wearing a Lakers jersey no matter how much I begged her.

The tour was great and I was lucky enough to go on the court where I could see some of my favorite players: Jason Kapono, Troy Murphy and Steve Blake, who had just been released for play three hours prior. Since I’m from California and see celebrities I take a lot of pride in the fact that I don’t go senseless over them. I could easily pass by actors at Starbucks in Montecito without bothering them or nonchalantly pass by Oprah at the local grocery store she frequents in the summer without telling her how much I adore her. (Ok, the Oprah encounter has never happened… but if it did, I’d like to think I would be civilized). However, while on the Celtics court, I found it to be a huge struggle to restrain myself from not walking right out on the court to high-five Troy Murphy and hug Steve Blake and tell him that he needs to perfect his crossover if the Lakers want any chance of making it far in the playoffs this year. Other than getting to go on the court level and watching warm ups, the game was incredible. It doesn’t matter if you are a fan of the Celtics or not, the atmosphere they create for the game is phenomenal.  The fans are so devoted and even though the crowd was mixed with green and white and purple and gold we were all just there to watch a good sports game. I remember my dad explaining to me the deep rivalry of the teams when I was younger but the way I witnessed it, the two teams were really just friends playing a basketball game. When Celtics player, Kevin Garnett and Lakers player, Ron Artest, sorry, I mean Meta World Peace, both fell after diving for a loose ball, Lakers guard, Kobe Bryant offered a hand to both players which was a huge gesture of sportsmanship and as my mom would say, “That’s my boy!”

To add to this educational experience, I also learned to keep your eyes out for the videographers that shoot video for the above the court Jumbo Tron screen. Sonali and I were featured in slow motion devouring nachos on the Jumbo Tron and then laughing about it (great photo op) and I may have forgotten exactly who won the game… but I posted a link just so we can all double check…

http://espn.go.com/nba/recap/_/id/320209002/la-lakers-lakers-vs-boston-celtics

Taking in the game in person ranks high up there in the greatest experiences I have had in Boston so far. It also helped me realize that sports journalism is something I want to continue to pursue at BU because the energy I felt in the Garden is something that I want to share with others whether it be by putting together pregame feature stories on players, and/or reporting during and after the games. BU offers me the opportunity to learn, develop and tighten the skills to make this a part of my future career.

-3-2-1

Alexa: All About Boston Restaurants

Alexa ImageHey everyone! Boston is such a great place for so many things! We have awesome sports teams, great sightseeing places and incredible food! The dining halls here are great, especially at West campus where I eat frequently, however it’s always nice to go out to eat once in a while.

Roast Beast is located at 1080 Commonwealth Avenue and it’s delicious.  No seriously. This place specializes in both roast beef and turkey sandwiches.  It’s a charming little hole in the wall with a really friendly staff. They can make your order any way you can imagine. I personally order a regular roast beef on onion bread with house barbecue on the side and a bottled cream soda to take it down.  For anyone who is up to a challenge Roast Beast offers the “Thermonuclear Challenge” The task is eating a sandwich with a fiery sauce that has hot peppers in just five minutes. While this may seem like no big deal, I have witnessed this challenge and it is crazy. People cry. However if you win, you’re meal is free and you get a free t-shirt! This place is definitely a must try and if you say Alexa sent you, they’ll… ok they won’t do anything special except for probably comment on how frequent of a visitor I am. But seriously go!

Another great place is called Bottega Florentina. This is an Italian eatery that specializes in many Italian cuisines, especially pasta. There are two locations, one on Newbury Street and the one I usually visit at Coolidge Corner in Brookline. On Tuesdays you can get any type of pasta with any type of sauce imaginable for only five dollars! I usually stick to the classic spaghetti with meat sauce but they have so many delicious options. Like Roast Beast, this place isn’t huge so service is very quick and pleasant and with every order you get fresh, homemade bread. Trust me this place will redefine all your expectations of pasta.

I promise the rest of my blogs will be more about my activities ie. (BUTV, COMlife, Intermural Basketball…) but for now I think it’s worthwhile to know some of the great food establishments that surround BU! Until next time…