Anna: The Howard Thurman Center

Anna ImageLet me first join my fellow COM Ambassadors in saying congratulations to all the admitted students of the class of 2016! I hope I get or already got the chance to meet you all at one of our open houses.

If there is anything I hope you guys will gain once you come to college in the coming months, it’s the capacity to challenge your brain. I know it sounds simple and super cheesy, but expanding your mind is really what college is all about.

Thankfully, here at BU, you can think big even outside the classroom.

The Howard Thurman Center (HTC), Boston University’s amazing place for all things culture, is always offering a way to think beyond your usual thoughts about what to have for dinner tonight or which free app to download.

For example, every week, our Dean of Students hosts a Coffee and Conversation in the HTC. Basically, you get delicious free coffee and baked goods and you get to discuss ideas surrounding topics that range from the meaning of love to the impact of terrorism. I’ve never left a coffee and convo without learning something new about both someone else and myself, and I challenge you to do the same when you get to campus in the Fall.

Coming up in the next couple weeks, though, the HTC is hosting an even bigger event about ideas!! BU Inspire: Rethinking the End is happening on April 29 at 2 pm in the Tsai Performance Center.

Modeled after the incredibly popular TEDx talks, BU Inspire aims to get together a group of different minded people to discuss the same topic. This year, the event will revolve around different ideas about how the world as we know it might end. With students, alumni, faculty, and community members on the panel, the discussion should be a lively event that will get you thinking about the apocalypse! Woo!

Each year the HTC puts on a different BU Inspire, so don’t worry if you aren’t around for this one. You can always catch next year’s, or maybe even be one of the students on the panel yourself.

Anna: The Best Spots in Boston

Anna Image

As I come to the end of my time here in Boston, all of my friends from high school/home seem to be making last minute attempts to come see me and the city. Obviously, I have been trying to get them all to visit for the past 3.5 years, but you know how it is. No one ever has money or time or (fill in your friends’ favorite excuses here).  Nonetheless, my best friend since the age of 10 is coming to see me next month, so in the spirit of having a visitor (YAY!), I figured I’d share some of my favorite things to do around the city with out-of-towners. Full Disclosure: There really are only so many times you can walk the Freedom Trail, so get creative with your guests for your own sake!

Institute of Contemporary Art:

The ICA is located on the waterfront near the courthouse, but it’s worth the short trek. Pretty much everyone (your parents) wants to see a museum when they come into town, so you might as well take them to a cool one. The ICA has all sorts of awesome exhibits. For example, this past summer they had a really extensive display of some of the best music album art.

La Famiglia Giorgio:

Going to the North End is a must for every visitor, so save some money and go to my favorite spot La Famiglia. The portions are huge. Honestly, they are ginormous. I have never seen anyone be able to finish a plate of pasta there, and yet, my friends still claim that they can. There is also a secret 20% student discount, so anyone with a college ID can spend less for leftovers for days.

Brattle Book Shop:
For any of your friends interested in antiquing or vintage anything, the Brattle Book Shop is the place to take them. There is a ton of really cool used books and an amazing selection of first edition books.  Even if you aren’t into books like I am (I know it’s weird), I promise you and any visitor will love it here. It’s also a really cool place to pick up a unique gift or souvenir since a good section of the books are about New England and Boston.

SOWA Open Market:

This South End market is only open on Sundays, but contrary to popular belief, the fun lasts all year ‘round. In the summer, you can bring your friends and family to the outdoor market that features a lot of art and clothing stands and all of Boston’s best food trucks. In the winter, though, it transforms into more of an indoor farmers market. Still, it’s a cool place to visit. Plus since you’re already in the South End on Sunday, you can stop at one of the neighborhood’s many amazing restaurants or cafes for brunch.

Anna: Good Music is Right Around the Corner

Anna ImageWith Coachella fast approaching and the Lollapalooza lineup leaked this week, I’ve been feeling some serious music envy lately.  Really, though, to all of you flying out to California for Coachella in April, stop telling me about your plans. I’m too jealous. If you’re like me and are struggling to find a couple of dollars for your Starbucks order each morning, you probably won’t be headed out to any major festival this spring or summer. Have no fear though! There are some great acts coming to Boston in the coming months. Best of all, these shows are relatively cheap.

As I did with my very first blog post last year, here are my recommendations for five worthwhile concerts coming to a venue near you throughout the spring semester:

Oberhofer

3/22

Brighton Music Hall

$12.00

Known mostly for being featured in endless commercials, Oberhofer is still working on gaining popularity outside of the advertising world. Led by Brad Oberhofer, the band has an upbeat sound that will keep you dancing and happy throughout the show. Check out the songs “Away From You” and “Gold” for a solid sample of the group.

Gotye with Kimbra

3/29

House of Blues

$25.00

I can’t go a day without a new cover of Gotye’s “Somebody I Used to Know” being posted on facebook. The original song, which features New Zealand artist Kimbra, was a huge hit this past summer in Gotye’s native Australia and is slowly becoming popular here in the U.S. Both artists have amazing voices and should put on solid performances separately and together.

Of Montreal 4/1

Paradise Rock Club

$25.00

Even though they’ve been around and popular since the ‘90s, ticket prices for Of Montreal are still shockingly low. With their eleventh album released earlier in the month, the band is continuing their signature psychedelic-pop sound with great results. I wouldn’t hesitate to check out any of their new songs but make sure to listen to some old stuff too. They tend to go retro during their lives performances.

M83 5/9

House of Blues

$22.00

This French electronica band is insanely catchy. The highly addictive single Midnight City has honestly had me dancing by myself for the past couple of months.  Similar in sound to a lower-key MGMT, the group has an eclectic mix of songs that range from slow and sad to fast and fun. They also tend to do spontaneous remixes on stage, so they never disappoint live.

Dom 5/11

Brighton Music Hall

$14.00

I saw this band last summer when they opened for the WFNX Clambake, and even though I had no expectations for them, they wound up being fantastic. Hailing from nearby Worcester, their local flavor makes their shows a ton of fun. Maybe it’s because I first saw them in June, but Dom’s sound definitely has a carefree summer-like feel for me. Check out one of their first singles “Living In America,” though, and see for yourself.

Anna: It’s not too early to think about summer!

AnnaHey everyone! I hope you all had an awesome winter break.

I can’t believe it’s January and I’m already getting started on my last semester at BU. Really though, every time I look at a calendar and see that it’s 2012, I get a little confused. Time really does fly by!

I recently decided to finish up my time at BU by going back to work at a place that has had a huge impact on me throughout the past four years. I’m talking of course about Boston University Orientation! I first started working there as a Program Advisor the summer after my freshman year and had an absolutely amazing time. Since then, I’ve worked in the office as an academic year Program Advisor and now I’m back as a Coordinator of Programs.

Not only have I met a ton of cool people through Orientation, but I’ve also learned a lot more about BU and what it has to offer… all while getting paid. (For everyone dreading finding an unpaid internship this summer, listen up!)

Each spring, Orientation and the Community Service Center (CSC) hire Program Advisors, Student Advisors, Community Advisors, FYSOP Coordinators, and CSC Program Assistants to work all summer long. As a Program Advisor in the summer of 2009, my main responsibilities were to help the parents of incoming freshman and transfer students learn about BU’s academic and social programs and also to introduce them to the city the Boston.

Whether you want to help parents (like I did) or you want to welcome new students to BU through Orientation or FYSOP, there is an opportunity for you at Orientation or the CSC.  Check out our website bu.edu/orientation for more info on specific jobs!

Now, I know you may be thinking, ‘Shouldn’t I be getting COM related internship this summer?’ Sure, you totally can. I’ve had three great journalism internships since being in college, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything, but I will tell you that working for Orientation was an equally rewarding experience. I gained incredibly valuable communication and public speaking skills, networked with BU administrators and parents, and developed as a leader.

Also, working for Orientation or the CSC is just simply fun. You get to hang out with people from all over campus that you may have never otherwise met, and you get to stay in Boston for the summer (for free…housing is paid for)!

We are now currently accepting applications for Summer 2012 Leadership positions, so again totally check out bu.edu/orientation or bu.edu/csc for more information about some of the best summer jobs on campus. The application deadline is on Wednesday January 25th, though, so if you’re interested, get going!

Anna: More Music, Please!

More music, please!

Anna
Anna McKeon

Boston may still be looking a little bleak this time of year, but don’t let the snow stop you from warming up with some fantastic music. I recently saw the incredible Joshua Radin at the House of Blues, and made a vow to take advantage of as many upcoming shows as I can….and you should too!

Luckily because prices are always cheaper in the winter and the majority of concerts in Boston are 18+, there are always a ton of amazing and often ignored music options for BU students this time of year. No matter if it’s dubstep, classical, pop, or anything in between, there are a ton of great acts heading this direction in the next couple months.

Here are a few of the shows I’m looking forward to the most, but don’t just take my word for it. Check out some of the venue sites at the bottom of this post and go see your favorite band…or even better someone brand new.

Cut Copy

House of Blues: April 4, 2011

Tickets start at $20.00

A fantastic electro-pop Australian band. Be ready to feel like you’re in the 80’s though…

Iron and Wine

House of Blues: April 19,2011

Tickets start at $25.00

Good folk music and an even better beard. Do you need anything else?

Naked and Famous

Paradise Rock Club: May 2, 2011

Tickets start at $16.50

Awesome New Zealand band who were recently the US iTunes download of the week!

Make sure to check out these links to find a local show you’re into. Summer lineups are even posted now!

House of Blues Boston- www.houseofblues.com/venues/clubvenues/boston/

Paradise Rock Club- www.thedise.com/rockclub

Citi Performing Arts Center- http://www.citicenter.org/events/

The Middle East Restaurant and Night Club- www.mideastclub.com

Boston Symphony Orchestra- www.bso.org

TT the Bear’s Place- www.ttthebears.com