Hali: Hali’s Favorite Warm Weather Activities

“I woke up this morning and was immediately greeted with a true rarity: sunshine. Sometimes, Boston winters seem to last forever (shoutout to last week’s April snowfall). But there are brighter days ahead, and it’s almost time to trade my vitamin D supplements for some fun in the sun! This upcoming weekend’s 60 degree forecasts inspired me to list the things I’m most excited to do when Spring has finally sprung.
1. Check out the art (and food) at SoWa Open Market
When I spent my first summer living in Boston, I went to SoWa nearly every weekend. Located in the gorgeous South End, it’s filled with various artists, vendors, and most importantly, food trucks. Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, anyone?
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2. Go for a stroll (and spend a bit too much money) on Newbury Street
This one is an absolute classic. Newbury Street may look beautiful when those trees are covered in snow and Christmas lights, but subzero temperatures don’t make for an ideal shopping experience. When it finally warms up, I can spend hours strolling along Newbury Street with my friends. Don’t forget to take a snack break at Georgetown Cupcake (you deserve it).
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3. Visit The Seaport District!
I’ve noticed that this area is severely underappreciated by BU student. I’ll admit that I’m part of the problem! The seaport is a little difficult to get to, but on a nice day you can walk here from Park Street or South Station, and it’s even accessible by the Silver Line if you’re not feeling it. The seaport is beautiful on a summer day, and you can stop by the I.C.A., or even go beyond this district and walk to the Lawn on D!
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4. Enjoy a run (or walk, or bike ride, or picnic, etc.) on the Esplanade
Ah yes, save the simplest for last. There isn’t a single excuse to not enjoy the Esplanade. It’s about a thirty second walk from campus, and it’s a great place to exercise, do homework, or just spend time with friends.
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The next several Saturdays should be beautiful, so be sure to add a few of these ideas to your weekend to-do list!

Kate W: Why I Love, Love, Love Off-Campus Internships or Extracurriculars

This semester, I have had the incredible opportunity of interning with the TV and Video department at America’s Test Kitchen for two days out of my week. Going into it, I knew it would be an great experience to learn all about things related to film and television, but I didn’t realize how much it would impact my semester as whole.
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Having lived on campus the last two years where I am a mere ten minute walk from anything I could possibly need, I often find myself sticking to the BU Bubble. It’s so easy because BU is where I am most comfortable and it has everything: food, housing, classes, and extracurriculars. So, when I realized that I would have to commute 45 minutes to the seaport for a job, it seemed a little daunting. For two days a week, I would be part of the real world, and that scared me a little bit.

 

However, this opportunity has not only pushed me outside of my comfort zone, but has also provided a really amazing escape from the stress and workload that is school. While I am off campus at my internship, I don’t have to worry about my essay due on Friday or the exam that I have next week. These things don’t matter here because I am solely focused on the work that I am doing for my internship. Strangely, there is some relaxation in the fact that I can’t work on my homework during these hours, and that I am forced to let it all just leave my brain.

 

In addition, there is no fear or worries over social stress. I don’t have to worry about who I am eating lunch with that day or if I should be doing my homework instead of hanging out with my friends. While I am at my internship, I am present and there is no where else that I should be. On the T, in particular, I can listen to my music and take some me-time without feeling guilty There is nowhere else I am supposed to be. I know that I am using my time well and I never feel like I’m missing out on anything back on campus.

 

Finally, by being around a non-BU affiliated company, I am able to see how the real world works and what working at an entirely new place is like. I’ve learned what it feels like to be handed an important task and trusted to take care of it. There is a sense that what I am doing now has an impact on a working company as opposed to just my grade. What I am doing has some weight, and there is motivation and pressure to appeal to the real world guidelines.

 

This change of pace is such a great experience and adds so much to my semester. I finally feel like I am taking better advantage of all that Boston and BU have to offer. I highly recommend finding an activity completely off campus, especially after your Freshman year when you’re starting to become a much more comfortable with Boston. It’s a really great way to shake things up a bit.

Casey: Boston is Not the Midwest

Seeing as this is college decision time for high school seniors, I thought I might share my experience.

I went to school and spent most of my time in Noblesville, Indiana, just north of Indianapolis. Noblesville (and all of Indiana, really) is a lot like Sacramento is described in Lady Bird. It was a great place to grow up, I made some of my closest friends, and I learned a lot. But for much of my life, it also felt like a cage and left me feeling like I was missing out on the world and life, while many of my classmates were completely settled on the idea of staying there their whole lives.

But luckily, I found a way out early on. My mom was a BU grad, and told me a lot of her experience going to school here, of all the people she met, great things she learned and did that she could never have in the small city outside of St. Louis she grew up in. From the first time I heard of it, I knew BU was where I wanted to be. So as trapped as I felt, I always had a way out in sight.

About a year and a half ago, as I began to decide which schools to apply to, I only visited two colleges: BU, and DePaul in Chicago. To comfort my parents and guidance counselor, I applied to a couple other schools, of course, but anyone who knew me knew where I wanted to be.

Now, I arrive at the present. My gamble paid off, and I now have nearly a year under my belt at the school I’ve wanted to go to since I was 4. BU has been all I hoped it would be. I’ve gotten to meet amazing people from all over (the best ones being in COM, obviously), experienced great things, and learned a lot about myself.

Looking back, this entire story and experience that occurred across 15 years of my life taught me some of the most valuable lessons I have ever learned and will be invaluable to me as I continue my college career.

First, trust your heart. It knows what you want and where you want to go, even when you don’t. I just knew deep down in my gut that BU was the right place for me, and would get me where I wanted to go in life. My heart knew it, so I never questioned it. College involves making a lot of decisions, and it can be extremely stressful trying to figure everything out, and it can be difficult to see what you truly want. But even if you don’t know, your heart does. Try listening.

Second, remember where you came from. I know I just spent this article ripping apart my home state, but its true. As I said, I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many people this year at BU from all over the world, and have learned a lot from them. But that’s what you have to remember, just as you learn a lot by meeting all these great people, they also have a lot to learn from you. Where you come from shaped you and made you who you are. Embrace it. In the end, where you came from and how you grew from there is what will set you apart in college, and later, the world.

Geneve: 5 Signs You’re a True Bostonian

I feel like I can adequately call myself a “city girl now” I’ll be honest; when I first moved to Boston from my hometown of Boise, Idaho (which is tiny, mind you), I had no idea if I would adjust to the city life. I definitely had a bit of culture shock initially. But, as my first semester unfolded, I checked off places on my “Places to See” list, I slowly gained the Bostonian status. Here are 5 signs that you have, too. 

  1. You no longer have to check the T maps to know what stop is next on the Green Line Inbound.  

Kenmore, Hynes, Copley, Arlington, Boylston, then Park Street. After you take the T enough times, you’ll start to know exactly what stop you’re getting off at and not have to consistently stand next to the map or check the LED sign religiously. An extra bonus: you can give people directions if they look lost! (Also, @MBTA, when are you going to fix the fact that you can’t change directions at Copley and have to go all the way to Arlington?)

Next stop: Boylston. No smoking, please. 

2)   City Target becomes more impractical than fun. 

Now, no hate, because the City Target is the bomb.com, but it’s the worst feeling when you realize you forgot to grab something on the third floor and are heading to the checkout on the second floor. Tip: section off your shopping list by floor so you don’t have to go back to the third floor a second time!

Moment of appreciation for the beautiful lights and luxurious apartment buildings on the way from the BU Campus to Target, though. 

3)   Jaywalking at Kenmore Square does not phase you.

Crossing the street when the light is actually green? What’s that? Besides mumbling “hit me, I dare you” under your breath half-jokingly, you’ll start to realize that it’s completely irrational to wait to cross because there can either be so much traffic that it is standstill, or no cars at all. 

STILL LOOK BEFORE YOU CROSS THOUGH. Both ways, twice! Safety is #1. 

4)   You begin to venture outside of the city during the weekend.

Obviously, living in Boston is amazing. But eventually, you’ll branch out and explore places outside of Boston– in close proximity like Cambridge or Somerville, and a bit further, like Salem or the Cape. And lucky for us, MBTA offer direct transportation to places like Newburyport and Salem, so there’s almost no excuse to get out of the immediate Boston area. 

Make sure you book bus or train tickets in advance if you are planning on going somewhere during three day weekends! Prices may skyrocket. 

5)     You never leave for the day without packing an umbrella or rain jacket. 

Boston can always be unexpectedly hit with downpours, and you don’t want to be left unprepared and drenched on your walk from class to class. Rain jackets are awesome if you don’t want the bulk of an umbrella and take up barely any space in your bag when folded up. However, if you want more full coverage from the rain without wearing a hood, an umbrella is your best option! Lots of stores sell smaller, compact umbrellas perfect for college students!

So, do you think you’ve met the criteria for being a true Bostonian? 

If so, congrats! And hey, if not quite yet, no worries. You still got a few years to go, so what’s the rush? 

Stephen: Lesser Known Gems Throughout Boston

When I arrived on campus for orientation this past summer, it was the first time in many years that I had spent more than a day in Boston. Now, as a second semester freshman, I’ve been in the city for months enjoying what it has to offer. From great food to exciting activities, there are endless numbers of things that can be done here. For me, however, one of my favorite activities is finding new places to take photos.

I come from a small town in the middle of Pennsylvania known as Carlisle. Now Carlisle is very nice and all, but it’s not quite as intense as Boston. The photography I did there usually required me to travel long distances to capture a sunset or simply an interesting landscape. Here in Boston, all of that has changed. Now I can just hop on the T, go to the North End and take new photos every time I’m there. However, is continually going to one spot really all that fun? For some perhaps, but for me not so much. That’s why I’m going to share five of my favorite places for photography that I have found in my short time being in the city. Before we get into the list, don’t worry about whether or not you prefer landscapes, portraits, cool insta shots, or whatever really. The list consists of all photography interests so it can apply to anyone.
 
Longfellow Bridge –
Longfellow Bridge is located right next to the Charles/MGH T station and has one of the best views of the city I have yet to see. The bridge has a pedestrian friendly walkway and you can often find bikers or runners making their way across. From my experience, it is best to come to the bridge during the dusk hours of the day when a lot of the city lights start to come on. Naturally, this spot is ideal for cityscape photos and long exposures such as the one below.
 
 
Chris and Ally’s Bench –
If you’re looking for a peaceful place near the river, this is the spot for you. Chris and Ally’s Bench is located along the Charles River Esplanade only a short walk from the BU Campus. It has some gorgeous weeping willow trees and there are great spots to climb around and enjoy nature. This spot is great for portrait work or for getting a nice shot of the river, especially on days where the river is full of boats. It shows up on google maps so you should have no trouble finding it!
Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge –
I have yet to go to this bridge just yet but it has peaked my interest for quite some time. If you don’t already know of this bridge, it is located in the North End and it has a quite iconic cable architecture. There are walkways underneath and around the bridge as well so you can get a view of it from many different angles. I’d personally like to do portraits in this spot and test around with some other shots as well. After you’re done checking it out too you can always walk right on into the North End for some quality food.
 
Coolidge Corner – 
A classic Boston location, Coolidge Corner is in the Brookline neighborhood and is about a 15-20 minute walk from West Campus. There are some great food options in the area in case you get hungry, and the photography is great too. The famous Coolidge Corner Theatre features some great lights for a nighttime shoot, and the rustic buildings on the corner of Beacon and Harvard street (right next to the T stop) are quite the sight. I’ve been here once but I am looking forward to returning at night for some more photography.
 
Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park –
Another North End location, this waterfront park is quite a nice area to spend some time in. This location is very popular so don’t expect to be alone, but do expect to get some cool pictures. At night when the archways are lit up, things can get quite pretty. Another great aspect of the park is its great view of the water as well as its proximity to Faneuil Hall. Grab some food, do some shopping, and then head down to the park for some pics.
While creating this list I really tried to avoid some of the more popular spots such as Boston Common, the Boston Public Library, or the famous Acorn Street. Those are all great options for photography as well, but the list features some not as popular gems that are still fantastic spots. Grab a friend, grab your camera, and get out there and start shooting! Not into photography? No problem whatsoever, hopefully this list can still add some locations for you to check out in the future.

Emily: My Boston Bookstore Bucket List

This year, I made a resolution to read for pleasure more. It may have something to do with all of my professors telling me to be a “consumer of culture”, but really I just love reading and bookstores. And, as the first month of 2018 comes to a close, I’ve had the terrible realization that I’ve only read one book (It’s Commonwealth by Ann Patchett)!! So, to inspire myself (and hopefully you), I’ve compiled my Boston Bookstore Bucket List (because the idea of cozying up with a coffee and a good book sounds way better than doing homework).

 

  1. MIT Press Bookstore

Okay, so I’ve technically already been here but I cannot recommend this bookstore enough. The MIT Press Bookstore, as the name suggests, features works from the MIT Press. They have an extensive selection of design, art, and science books (and a pretty nice music section). But what makes this store stand out from the others (Aside from the selection of coffeeshops surrounding the location) is the book designs themselves. I have never been more inspired by book covers before. If you’re into graphic design or art, this would be at the top of my list.

  1. Trident Booksellers and Cafe

Brunch in a bookstore? Trident says yes! So, I’ve also been here a few times, but I always want to go back! Trident has great food (I recommend the tofu scramble for my veggie friends) and an even better atmosphere. I could seriously spend all day here – and not just because of the free wifi. If you’re looking for good books or good gifts, or a good place to take a friend, this is the place to go!

  1. Brattle Book Shop

This is at the very top of my bucket list… look how cool it is!! Brattle Book Shop offers a vast  selection of used books, plus their outdoor bookshelves would make for a great Instagram (amiright ladies)?

4) Brookline Booksmith

Located in the always-cool Coolidge Corner, Brookline Booksmith is one of the most recommended bookstores in Boston! For aesthetics alone, this is at the top of my list (look at the fairy lights, it’s a Tumblr dream!) Brookline Booksmith has a huge variety, a used book cellar, and also sells audiobooks.

Hopefully this inspired you to hit your reading goals this year! Happy Reading!

 

Claudia: My Boston Bucket List

The semester has started and school is back in session, which means… I’m a second semester senior. As I’m writing this, there are 104 days 16 hours and 13 minutes (give or take) until I am a Boston University graduate. Crazy, right? BU (COM especially) has been my home over the past three and a half years and it’s weird to think in a little over 4 months, I could be in a completely different city. So here it is (a classic senior move), my Boston Bucket List, BUT with a twist. Here are some of my favorite things of the past three and a half years that I hope will make it on your Boston Bucket List!

The Boston Classics:

Go to the movies at Coolidge Corner Theatre: The Coolidge Corner Theatre may be my favorite place in all of Boston. I’ve seen some pretty great movies in this beautiful picture house, but the Midnight Movie series is a highlight of my college experience. I rang in my 19th birthday at a screening of Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion.

Mike’s Vs. Modern Cannoli Taste Test:  My personal favorite – Modern Pastry

Have a picnic on the Commons: My sophomore year roommates surprised me with a beautiful picnic on the Boston Commons for my 20th birthday.

Cheer on the Red Sox: No BU Bucket List is complete without going to a Red Sox game.

Eat a delicious pasta dinner in the North End 

Go to the Cape: You can take the express Cape Cod Flyer from South Station to Hyannis!

Eat plenty of lobster rolls: The Barking Crab is a personal favorite

Go to Salem on Halloween: SPOOPY!

Go to Boston Calling: LORDE. CHILDISH GAMBINO. BLEACHERS, ALT-J. HOZIER. WALK THE MOON. Enough said. 

My BU Favorites:

 Broadcast Live on 89.3 FM: WTBU Radio has been a wonderful community and will forever hold a special place in my heart

 Attend EVERY Lobster Night: And in Warren Towers, of course…

 Write and produce your own TV pilot: My sophomore year I co-wrote and produced a 40-minute TV pilot (you can check it out at vimeo.com/entidaled)

 Learn what it means to be a BU Boss Lady: I was lucky enough to join the HotHouse team last fall and travel to LA to film BU Boss Lady. I left the trip inspired by these boss BU alumni and eager to start the next chapter of my life

 Shut Down Warren Dining: There have been plenty of nights my friends and I have been the last people in the dining hall

 Lose your voice at the Beanpot: During my Freshman year, the Polar Vortex delayed the Beanpot, but that didn’t stop us from cheering on our winning team

 See a show at CFA: My best friend Hannah is an acting major and all I have to say is WOW.

 Study Abroad: My semester with the BU London Internship Program was life changing. Check out my adventures here

 Work with your best friends: The COM Ambassador program was not only a great platform for sharing how much I love COM, but it also strengthened the bond between me and some of my best friends.

 Staying up late in Warren Dining might not seem like a favorite moment at first, but I’ve laughed so hard in those red vinyl chairs that there’s no way my BU experience would be the same without it. All in all, enjoy your time at BU and make every second count.

Carly: “How’s the cold?”

If I had a single dollar for every time I heard this question, I would have enough money to buy a Canada Goose jacket for everyday of the week. Coming from California, I expected to have a hard time adjusting to the Boston climate. Or rather, everyone around me assumed that I would have a hard time living in cold weather.

College shopping for my mother and me included an extra leg of work: buying winter clothes for the first time. My mother, frantic about her child’s ability to survive the cold climate, called every single person she knew on the east coast to get their insight and advice on apparel. She was determined, it seemed, to prepare me to present myself as if I had spent my entire life managing snowy winters. But the truth was that I had spent my childhood and adolescence in sunny Southern California, questioning the existence of four seasons and praying for rainfall. I had never even seen snow before.

As a result, my parents — and everyone else who asked me where I was headed for college — seemed to think I would have a hard time with the cold. It was a ripe topic for conversation before I left and when I returned over Thanksgiving and Winter Break.

Unbeknownst to my friends and family back home, I never actually struggled with the cold here on the east coast. In fact, I really enjoyed it during my freshman year at BU. Sure, some days were harder than others, and I cherished every break I spent under the warm, dazzling California sun, but I genuinely enjoyed living in a cold climate. I loved watching the leaves change, and I shed a tear during the first snowfall. I basked in the joy of a cold holiday season, and I absolutely loved experiencing New England culture when I had the opportunity to explore the east coast. I spent a weekend camping in New Hampshire under radiant fall foliage, and I also spent a weekend trekking across suburban Connecticut to reach the Mohegan Sun, a secluded casino and concert venue. Not only did I fall in love with New England, but also, in fact, a part of me felt complete, as if I had been waiting all my life to live among Northeasterners and their classic Colonial architecture. And as I finished my first year of college and watched the Boston skyline recede from the window of my plane home, it hit me: I was an East Coast girl trapped in a West Coast body. And then it hit me again: if I was made to live on the east coast, where should I go after school?

I wish I could take everyone I love and care about from home and move them out here. I wish I could stay in Boston or New York over the summer and still be able to spend time with friends and family from home. Sometimes I even wish I had my car and the gorgeous California coast line on cold, blustery winter days. Thinking about the two lives I have on each coast is so frustrating that I convince myself I’ll never be happy, regardless of where I end up.

But the truth is that I will have many decisions to make as I start preparing for my professional career. Do I want to pursue filmmaking in my hometown of Los Angeles, in accordance with my anticipated Film & T.V. degree from COM? Or do I try pursuing foreign policy and diplomacy in Washington D.C., as my classes for my anticipated International Relations degree from CAS seem to convince me? Or do I want to apply to jobs in New York City, a place I’ve called my second home since the fifth grade and a city that never fails to fill me with a special sense of excitement and hope? A city that houses some of my closest friends from college and my own older brother?

Thankfully, I still have time to decide where I want to live after school. Even still, much of the decision will be out of my hands, as it greatly depends on where (and if) I receive employment offers.

But wherever I end up, I know I’ll keep a part of each coast — and the people I care about on either side — with me.

Stacy: Pre-Summer To Do List

 

The weather is nice, spring is in the air (or was a few days ago… typical Boston) and the summer season is right around the corner. You know what that means… time to go out to eat, explore and “treat yo self “(Parks and Recreation reference).

So I’ve compiled a list of last minute Bostonian things to do before going home for summer.

 

1. Go to a Red Sox game. I KNOW I KNOW, such a Boston stereotype. But I haven’t been yet so it made the list. The new dip in prices for students is motivating me to finally head to Fenway and experience the baseball culture before the end of the semester. Please hold me to that.

2. Bova’s Bakery in the North End. Let’s face it; Mike’s Pastry is overrated. Bova’s is cheaper, less mainstream and less touristy.  And it’s open 24 hours. Only a true Bostonian puts Bova’s over Mike’s.

3. Coolidge Corner Theatre. It shows classic movies, foreign films, documentaries and sci-fi features. From time to time there are new movies, but it’s fun to experience movies that aren’t typically shown in a theatre setting.

4. Maria’s Taqueria. Best Mexican food in Boston. It may look like a hole in the wall, but it’s a best-kept secret of the theatre district.

5. Raven Used Bookstore. One in Cambridge and one in the Back Bay area, it’s a great place to find your next read. Buy a book and go read it outside! Date day with yourself.

6. Dumpling Café. Hands down the best Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. Get soup dumplings, and your life will never be the same

7. Bella Luna. It’s a restaurant in Jamaica Plain with a bowling alley downstairs. It’s definitely not touristy, and a lot of fun.

 

Of course you could always walk on the Common, do the Freedom Trail, look in graveyards for some of Boston’s historical figures, explore Harvard yard… but let’s be honest. Most of us have done these things within our first month of college.

I hope these suggestions are helpful in your adventures during your last few weeks of classes, good luck on finals!

Anneliese: Boston Outdoors

Currently sitting in the sun as I write this blog, I’m so obviously inspired by this gorgeous weather. Now that spring has finally sprung, it’s time to start taking full advantage of the great Boston outdoors.

 

SoWa Vintage Market

SoWa open-air market is now up and running again after a brutal winter. I took my COM freshman group in the fall and it was fantastic then, so I can’t wait to see what’s in store for spring. There’s a delicious farmer’s market portion of the bazaar, as well as vintage treasure and handmade art vendors. Even if you’re not looking to shop, you should definitely hit up SoWa to check out the awesome food trucks and local music!

 

The market is open every Sunday. More info at the following link:

http://www.newenglandopenmarkets.com/sowaopenmarket/

 

Amory Park, Brookline

Obviously, there’s Boston Common and the Boston Public Gardens, if you fancy a stroll in the sunshine. However, one of my favorite nature-y spots in the city is Amory Park in Brookline. There’s a cute pathway through the trees, plenty of green space to play a game of Frisbee or some soccer, and—best of all—there are always tons of dogs around. It’s quieter than the Common, and I love sitting beneath the giant maple trees while looking up at the gorgeous Brookline homes.

 

Located at 45 Amory Street, in between the Hawes St and Kent St T-stops.

 

Lunch at Dorado

For some reason, I equate good weather with Mexican food. My favorite Mexican place in Boston is Dorado, located just past Coolidge Corner. They have amazing fish tacos, the BEST guacamole (sorry, Chipotle lovers), and seasonal fruit juices—the watermelon juice was super weird and super delicious. Stop by Dorado to sit outside at one of their adorable picnic tables while sipping Coca Cola from a glass bottle. How quaint.

 

401 Harvard St., Midway between Beacon & Comm Ave, Brookline, MA 02446