Sophia: The Typical “I Am Abroad” Post!

To quote fellow CA Tyler from his blog last week, “Yes, I am abroad, but I don’t want to give you the standard ‘I am abroad!’ post.”

Good for you, Tyler. Except here I am, about to give you the most typical, basic, eye-roll-inducing “I am abroad!” post of all time. So take that! Ha!
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Point is, abroad is as every bit exhausting, delightful and life-changing as everyone makes it out to be. I know, I know: when you’re living in Europe and traveling to magical cities every weekend, how can it not be? But until you come abroad (or in my opinion, specifically to Europe), you never fully understand why no one shuts up about it until you’re two weeks away from leaving and are already feeling nostalgic. Yeah, it’s that bad.
Because everyone’s abroad experience is so different from each other, it’s hard to pin point exactly what the best parts of. I remember that before I came here, I asked so many people what the absolute must-dos of abroad were, and everyone had different answers. But, because this is MY blog post (mwahaha), I’m going to give you the must-dos that I’ve taken away from my time in the London Internship Program.
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I only have three suggestions:
1) Eat everything.
This one is self-explanatory.
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I truthfully think food is the best thing in life (like genuinely, try to name something better than food, because I never can. Love? You can’t survive off of love! Sleep? Pfft, I’ll sleep when I’m dead!), and to have so many authentic dishes as close as a train ride away is the best part of being abroad. I won’t lie, I haven’t loved all of the food that I’ve tried, but I’ve still tried it. And then, there was the food that I was hesitant to try and ended up LOVING! I used to feel kind of ‘eh’ about Spanish food, but turns out it’s my favorite European food…and that out of Italy, Scotland, France, Sweden, Germany and London. I can’t count Greece because that’s where my family is from and my normal diet consists of the best Greek food ever, so it seems unfair to pit other countries against it. Still, not once have I ever regretted spending money on a meal, even the ones that I didn’t like. Order everything!
2) Work your tush off at your internship. 
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My internship is at the Evening Standard, a large scale publication in London. As a journalism major, I had known of the Evening Standard well before even deciding to come study abroad, so when I was placed there, I was more than delighted – I was, somehow, terrified, thrilled, anxious and eager all at once. I had many expectations coming into my internships, and I am delighted to announce that so far, all of them have been met. In fact, most of them have been surpassed.  Having worked for a publication before (Boston Magazine), I was used to writing on tight deadlines, pitching ideas and working in a fast-paced news environment. What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was the freedoms and responsibilities that were given to me by this publication. In Boston, my pieces had been carefully calculated, planned out precisely with my supervisor down to the very detail, edited and re-edited again and again until they were finally published. But at the Standard, I was published within my first day. In fact, I had published seven articles after my first week’s completion, articles that I had pitched myself and been given barely any afterthought before publishing. “We know what you’re capable of,” my supervisor had told me after my initial surprise. “We trust you, we trust your words.”
And really, I have been treated since then as a full-time employee in the best way possible. The days seem to zoom by; I have my own desk, co-workers who respect me and take me seriously, a supervisor who trusts my ideas and an editor that does my words justice. It is an idealistic set-up, a dream-come-true, and it’s reignited a fresh fire in my pursuit of a journalist career. Having this experience did more than just give me an international resume boost…it reignited my fire.
3) Be bold.
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Okay, hear me out: I’ve jumped into so many bodies of water abroad in the cold, and honestly, it has completely revolutionized my outlook on life. We’re only this young once, and there are only so many times in your life that you are actually able to jump into the freezing cold Loch Ness without the obstacles of life stopping you. It sounds so silly, but every day that I’ve been abroad I’ve tried to do something bold and whimsical, and coming from such a renowned school like BU that can feel so overwhelming at times, it was the best way outlook to have when waking up in the morning.
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So go, try some weird Scottish food, surf in Barcelona, work hard at your internships. This experience gives back what you put into it, so don’t be afraid to go all in.

Claire W: The Importance of Friendship

Today was a challenging day. You know how it gets with classes, final projects and midterms, and then I received some sad news. As I sat in my apartment trying (but failing) to collect my thoughts and be productive, my roommate, CA Megan, came home with insomnia cookies. She had also had a tough few days, so I made her favorite muffins that she eats every morning so that she wouldn’t have to worry about it after her night class. We sat on our futon (Barb), ate cookies, promising that we will get through this together, and everything felt a little better. And that’s why, as Megan would say, I love friendship.

The friendships I have made at BU have made all the difference for my experience at BU. Even with all of the wonderful classes, faculty, and stellar opportunities, my friends will always be the best thing BU has given me. It’s the small efforts we make for each other – ensuring one another that we’re not alone during these crazy few years – that mean so much.

I heard another CA say at open house last Saturday, you could make your best friends in college at orientation or half-way through sophomore year, and both are okay. I couldn’t agree more. One of my closest friends I met during FYSOP, and others I only got to know a few months ago. Some of the best moments of my life have been spent with these people, and I am so grateful for that.

Sometimes I wish I could turn back time and meet some of my friends again. Like CA Tyler, who I don’t really know when or how we became friends. I think we both just knew immediately that we were going to have a long and wonderful friendship. He’s been my shoulder to cry on in the dining hall of all places, but also makes me laugh more than anyone else can. Other friendships took longer to form, like Megan who is now glued to my hip, but who I knew for a full year before realizing that she was my friendship soulmate.

In conclusion, take this Buzzfeed quiz about toast to find out what kind of friend you are: https://www.buzzfeed.com/jasminnahar/make-some-toast-and-well-reveal-what-kind-of-frie?utm_term=.evqLlyY3Y

I got the ‘Mum Friend’, which I feel is both right and wrong. I don’t really know. Anyway, go hug your friends close, let them know you love them, and if they are having a bad day buy them some insomnia because chocolate chip cookies can solve nearly anything. And, if you are an accepted or perspective student buckle up to meet your friendship soulmates.

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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!

Grace: How to Make the Most of Your Abroad Experience: Tips and Tricks from a Travel Enthusiast

The study abroad opportunities offered at Boston University attract many students to study here, and those within the College of Communication are no different. While COM students can go on most programs available through the university, there are four COM-specific programs in London, Dublin, Sydney, Washington D.C., and Lost Angeles. These are internship programs in which students complete three courses and an internship in their field for academic credit.

I am a dual-degree student studying advertising and international relations, and I chose to study in the London internship program. I’m currently interning in digital marketing at Brevia Consulting, a public affairs agency. When you apply, make sure to research and find out what program is best for your interests and career goals.

As I reach the beginning of the end of my incredible abroad experience, here are my key insights and recommendations:

  1. Network at your internship placement – don’t be afraid to ask questions, and make sure you work hard. You never know what a connection could lead to later on.

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2. Travel on the weekends – if you do leave the US, take advantage of this time to visit neighbouring countries you may never be able to return to.

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3. Spend ample time exploring your home city – this is a unique opportunity to become a local in a foreign place.

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4. Try the local cuisine – there’s no better way to experience a new culture than to sample its food. Fish and chips, mate!

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5. Experience nightlife (if of age) – try an electronic club in Berlin or an underground arts festival in London for a truly unforgettable experience.

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6. Befriend locals – they will show you the ins and outs of the city and help you avoid the super touristy stuff.

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7. Call back home occasionally – don’t forget that your Mom misses you!

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Trust me – you will fall in love with your abroad experience and never want to return. Live your best life while you can, make some memories, and earn credits at the same time. Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!

Claire W: Looking on the Bright Side of March

I really hate March. And, I don’t think I’m alone in this. Objectively, it’s probably the worst month. Every year when March rolls around I sigh heavily and wish that I could hibernate until the month is over, cue “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” but with March.  I mean really… It’s a month chalk full of dramatic weather fluctuations, midterms, and never enough sleeping. But, as we near to the end of the month, I think I’ve found a handful of things about March that actually do bring me some joy.

1. Spring Break

Obviously, this is the best part of every March! It’s a week to escape to a warmer climate or spend some time exploring Boston sans homework and classes. Spring Break gives us all hope that summer is indeed on the horizon. This spring break I road tripped with my best friend, CA Megan, from my home in Utah to Las Vegas and Los Angeles. It felt oh so good to have sand between my toes on a sunny LA afternoon. This alone is reason enough to look forward to March.

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  1. St. Patrick’s Day

Boston is the place to be during St. Patrick’s Day! There is so much Irish spirit all around. This year, I explored the South End before heading to Southie for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Next year, grab some friends, deck yourselves out in green, and enjoy the parade. This is also a great time just to walk around the city because everyone is in a festive mood!

 

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  1. Snow Days

A cup of hot chocolate, blankets, and Netflix as the snow falls outside is my idea of heaven. It means catching up on much-needed sleep, practicing some self-care and finding some new Netflix shows. Lying in bed all day? Don’t mind if I do.

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  1. Pi Day

This is such an underrated day. I love making pie, eating pie, and occasionally I even like doing math. This year, I made a lemon pie with a gingersnap crust that made me tear up it was so delicious. Pi Day just makes people happy.

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  1. Connecting with Friends

People always want to connect in March, making it a great time for friendship. A few days ago, my friend CA Claudia hosted a Persian New Year for a bunch of her friends that was so fun. I learned about another culture, ate yummy food, and caught up with some of my favorite people. March is a lot more bearable when you surround yourself with people you love.

 So, next time March rolls around don’t fret! This drab month doesn’t have to be so gloomy. That being said, next March if all goes to plan I will be studying in sunny Los Angeles, so this might be my last frigid March for quite a while *single tear*.

Sydney: The Different Stages of Studying Abroad

Hola from Madrid! I am currently taking classes and interning in the beautiful country of Spain through the Madrid Internship Program. Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity that brings out many different emotions. After also participating in the Dublin Internship Program this past summer, I have observed and experienced the various feelings that come with living overseas. Here are all the relevant stages and emotions during your time abroad:

  1. Nerves

The idea of living in an unfamiliar country that is so far away from friends and family can be pretty nerve-wrecking. These nerves are extremely normal and valid; you are about to embark on a huge adventure and there’s no way you can know what to expect.

  1. Excitement

Along with nerves comes tons of excitement. Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and there are so many things to be excited about: traveling to new places, trying new food, meeting new people, and so much more! Once you arrive to the city, you will be excited to explore and take everything in.

  1. Overwhelmed

After the excitement of the first few weeks settles in as you begin classes and your internship, it is very common to feel overwhelmed. Although it would be great if studying abroad was one big vacation, you are there to study, go to class, and work. General school stress that you feel in Boston will also affect you abroad. Additionally, you may be overwhelmed about being so far from friends and family. However, it is very easy to overcome these feelings by relying on your peers in the program who are experiencing the same emotions, as well as distractions such as constantly traveling and exploring new places.

  1. Comfort

After about a month or so of living somewhere, you find comfort in the new city with your new routine and friends. By the time I left Dublin, everything was so familiar and I felt as if the city was my home. After already living in Madrid for two months, I am extremely comfortable with my host family, friends, and the city in general. I am so excited that I still have so much time left!

  1. Bittersweet

As your time studying abroad comes to an end, you experience many mixed emotions. For one, you will be upset that such an amazing experience is almost over. However, you are content with all the time you had getting to know and explore the city. Even though you wish it was longer, you have a bunch of new, extraordinary memories.

Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that teaches you so much about different cultures and ways of life. If you have the time in your schedule and opportunity to do so, go abroad! You will not regret it.

Laurel: NYFW Essentials

New York fashion week has come and gone, but its trends will last forever…or at least for the spring season. 

Whether you care about staying on top of the trends or not, we are all sucked into the rabbit hole of the aftermath of fashion weeks around the world. You may think you are being original when you buy 90’s wear at the store, but the only reason it is being sold to begin with is because of the influence of these major designers. It’s a never failing and everlasting marketing mastermind that has been constructed and tailored by the fashion industry. 

So, since it’s not going anywhere and we are never going to stop buying clothes why not embrace it? Here are the top trends from fashion week and a guide of how to take the runway and make it wearable. We all know, thanks to celebrities like Lady Gaga and Rhianna, sometimes runway outfits can be a little….out there so I’ve given you some ideas on how to transform them into your wardrobe.  

First things first, gone are the times of your jeans being the dreaded and uncomfortable wardrobe essential and welcome to the bold statement pant. Otherwise known as “fancy pants” quite literally, these are anything from jeans to embroidery, fringe, flare or even ruffles. On the runway, you may find sheer or even two different colored legs and if that is a little too far out of your comfort zone, stores like Anthropologie and Madewell have you covered with some spiced up basics. 

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Moving on we have a personal favorite of mine…pastels. Who doesn’t love a good color scheme and a color coordinated wardrobe? You may laugh now but when you tailor your wardrobe colors to complement each other your outfit possibilities multiply. On the runway, you may find head to toe one solid and baggy pastel ensemble but stores likeAritzia offer a more refined and sleek look for everyday wear. 

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Next up we have bright bold and the way to tell when someone over edited their Instagram picture…saturated! This is a fun twist to include in your spring wardrobe and especially as we start itching toward those summer months and beach vacations. What better way to daydream about a tropical oasis then dressing like you’re already on vacation? If all saturated isn’t your thing try bold tops with a basic pant or vice versa. If bright is your enemy but you want to stay #hip then opt for a colorful statement jewelrypiece instead. 

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Finally, one of my personal favorites—fringe! Fringe is the new black if you ask me. Now this one can be done in many ways. Wear it head to toe like the runway models or get a ~fringe-y~ bag or accessories. Either way you’re going to look like the coolest kid on the block!

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Now, go forth fashionably.

Angeli: Sing to me, Sydney!

I’ll spare you the cliché colloquial greeting used by ever-the abroad student, and just start off this post by channeling one of my childhood icons with an ole GOOOOOOOD MORNING, BOSTOOONNNN…ston, ston, ston…

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It is I, CA Angeli, reporting live from the land of Aus, with my signature curly locks a little frizzier and sun-soaked Cuban skin a whole lot tanner to prove it. As I write this, I’m celebrating my one-month anniversary with my current continent of residence, and I frankly cannot believe it. Studying abroad has been a dream of mine since I was in high school, so the fact that it has manifested in Australia of all places feels just too good to be. Stay tuned for the first morning that I wake up in Sydney and it’s not surreal!
Until then, I’ll just keep living out my Lizzie McGuire Movie fantasy. I haven’t quite been mistaken for an international pop star or, to my greater disappointment, been gifted an absurdly large wheel of cheese, but I do find myself deeply relating to Lizzie’s awe, bewilderment, and (occasional) public embarrassment. After all, being in a whole new country is a challenging adjustment for even the best of Disney channel characters. Due to a shared language and cultural similarities, I’m sure that many of you are skeptical as to how much that principle might apply to living in Australia. I thought the same before getting here. My 28 days down under, however, have proven my formerly naive self wrong time and time again.
Here are 7 instances and counting that Australia’s tested my largely Outback Steakhouse-backed knowledge…and I failed.
1) That first time I opened my apartment’s powder room door.
Picture a toilet with a sink coming out of it. The water that comes out of the faucet is used next time you flush. Pretty eco-genius but not the easiest hygienic concept to get used to.
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2) That time I tried to drive my own Uber.
I had been warned before my arrival that, like in the UK, driving is done on the opposite side of the road here. No one informed me that steering wheels are also on the opposite side from what I’m used to. What’s Aussie for awkward?
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3) That time I ordered an iced coffee and got a milkshake.
For whatever reason, Australians have decided that iced coffee does not obviously entail coffee chilled with ice. They have instead deemed it code for coffee chilled with ice cream. I’m not saying this is the worst mistake I’ve ever made, but my doctor would sadly not be pleased with this new breakfast routine.
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4) That time I tried to use public transportation, but no one knew where I was going.
Though incredibly convenient when understood, the train and bus system in city is vastly different from that of the MBTA and thus takes some getting used to. Possibly the hardest part is knowing how to pronounce station names. Let’s just say no one will be able to help you get to “Circular Quay,” but someone will happily give you directions to Circular Quay (pronounced “Key.”)
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5) That (very bittersweet) time I saw a koala and couldn’t hold it.
So it seems that Google Images is a liar. To my continuous dismay, carrying koalas is not a casual pastime over here and not every zoo will let you do it. Due to (very important) conservation efforts, it is apparently pretty rare to get this photo.
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6) That time I thought I was being generous to a cashier.
Though also called dollars, the different kinds of Australian currency are a bit different (and a lot prettier) than ours. For example, there are $1 and $2 coins. There is not, however, an equivalent to the US penny. Paying $30.55 for $30.54-worth of groceries and telling the clerk to “keep the change” will thus get you nothing but a laugh back.
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7) That time a local was speaking English, yet I had no idea what he/she was saying.
I’ll be honest, this has happened to me on more than one occasion. Aussies have the tendency of speaking really fast, shortening their words, and using a lot of slang. Top all of that off with their often thick accents. Now try to guess what “arvo” or “Macca’s” might mean.
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So if it isn’t obvious by now, studying abroad entails a daily pop quiz of some sort. I might still be getting the hang of it, but trust me when I tell you, the last thing I’m doing is complaining.
AUSSIE! AUSSIE! AUSSIE!

Hali: Hali’s Favorite Coffee Shops

Hello, fellow COM student! 

True fans will remember that one year ago, I posted my list of favorite brunch spots in Boston. While I don’t have time to eat as much brunch these days, I still make time for coffee. As a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, I’ve been to my fair share of Boston coffee shops. The best thing about going out for coffee is that it can be as productive (or not) as you want it to be. In typically Hali fashion, here is a list of the best coffeeshops to spend an entire Sunday afternoon writing that WR150 paper that’s due next week! 

Tatte

Don’t fool yourself and assume that my list is in no particular order. Well, after this one, it is in no particular order. But Tatte belongs at the top. Why, you ask? It’s because, in short, Tatte Cafe and Bakery is my happy place. Where else can you get the most caffeinated cold brew you’ve ever had and pair it with a pastry, a sandwich, or – if you’re feeling crazy – CHEESECAKE? I would like to point out a few things that make Tatte the best coffee shop around. First, you have a million options. Tatte just opened brand new locations in Back Bay and Fenway, and they’re located in just about every other neighborhood of Boston and Cambridge as well. Second, there is nothing in the world that’s better than Tatte’s almond croissant. Trust. 

A photo of the Holy Land (1352 Boylston Street).
A photo of the Holy Land (1352 Boylston Street).

Barrington Coffee Roasting Company

Talk about a cool, calm, collected aesthetic, am I right? This one’s a little out of the way, but hey! If it’s the weekend, you were probably going to Newbury Street anyway, right? Make a quick stop here between all the shopping to get a little work done. Barrington makes my list because while all of these coffee shops have great vibes, Barrington probably has the best actual coffee. Drink up, and study up. 

Barrington Coffee Roasting Company (303 Newbury Street)
Barrington Coffee Roasting Company (303 Newbury Street)

Pavement

I’ll be completely honest, I am listing Pavement out of sheer obligation! Just kidding, kind of. I am actually listing Pavement because if I go one week without a Sunrise on a multigrain everything bagel, I suffer from serious withdrawal symptoms! All jokes aside, Pavement is one of the best coffee shops in Boston, and their location is so convenient for BU students. PRO-TIP: the Fenway location (located on Boylston) is 100% the superior Pavement! It’s only a five minute walk from the one on campus, and it’s worth the extra steps to have a better chance of finding a table. 

Pavement Coffeehouse (1334 Boylston Street)
Pavement Coffeehouse (1334 Boylston Street)

Blue State

Blue State will always have a place in my heart. I will always associate remember it as the closest place to my freshman year dorm in Claflin Hall where I could actually get good coffee. Blue State makes my list because of their expansive menu. From cold brew to tea to smoothies, they’ve got it all. They’re also open until 10 PM, so stay as late as you’d like. 

Blue State Coffee (957 Commonwealth Avenue)
Blue State Coffee (957 Commonwealth Avenue)

I’ll keep my list short to make your coffee-shop decision easier. If you’d like a more extensive selection, feel free to give me a call. Next time you’re craving something a little more chic than your caramel iced coffee from Dunkin, give one of these spots a try! 

Jimmy: Moviepass, and the Art of Moviegoing Bad Films

For me, The Oscar’s season is my “most wonderful time of the year.” I love going to the box office to see all of the year’s most critically acclaimed movies. But there’s also a pleasure of going to the movies to see something you know you’re not going to like.
I swear I’m not sponsored, but Movie Pass was the best investment I’ve made in a while. For only $9.99 a month, you get to see one movie a day for a month. Most large chain theaters participate (Regal, AMC, and the Brattle Theater in Cambridge do too). For me – a snobby, snobby film boy – I would have never paid money to see Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle in theaters. But since I felt like I wasn’t paying for it, it was one of my favorite movie going experiences of the season! It’s cool when spending too much isn’t a factor in what you want to see.
That said, I had a good time watching some pretty bad movies. Here are some of my top clunkers. By the way, it’s only fun if you go with a friend. Save your alone movie theater experiences for something like The Florida Project (which was excellent!):
Justice League
Personally, I haven’t been following superhero movies for a while because they’re not my taste. But this is, like, CRAZY misguided. Henry Cavill’s CGI mustache looked pretty bad. Batman is kind of a psychopathic murderer. The color palette of this movie looks like when your friends were at an Applebee’s and mixed all of the condiments together in a cup. And who were Ezra Miller’s jokes supposed to be directed towards? Crazy
Loving Vincent
The concept seems cool, right? A biographical piece about Vincent Van Goh in which every different frame is an impressionist painting. But the gimmick wears down quickly when the canvass thin, Nancy Drew Mystery Computer game plot goes in circles. Also, the motion of the paintings looks really weird!
The Greatest Showman
Some really cringe-ey dance sequences (one in particular set in a bar) and non-musical theater music with ultra-generic lyrics. If you had a hunch that Hollywood romanticized Hugh Jackman’s character, check out this Entertainment Weekly Article. (tl;dr: P.T. Barnum was not a good dude).
The Room
Okay, while technically bad, The Room is really exceptional work of film. Most live screenings have a similar atmosphere to a Rocky Horror Picture Show screening, where audience members yell at the screen, dress up, and dance around. I used my Movie Pass to go see it and it was a blast. People were throwing spoons!