Kate: How To Dress for the Boston Winter

I have a morning ritual that includes checking my Weather Channel app from the warmth and coziness of my bed.  After a morning delay on campus because of Winter Storm Janis and a few texts from family members reminding me to wear a hat, I was a little nervous to see what today would bring.  High of 8 degrees with the windchill in the double digit negatives.  Woof.  While I love Boston, my answer for the tried and true question “What’s your least favorite thing about BU?” is the cold.

In the past, I always traded practicality for dressing cute (i.e. the time I wore cropped pants and loafers when the high was 3 degrees).  However, now that I’m a senior, I’ve accepted that dressing warm is only thing to get me through the below freezing, snowy, blistery, icy weather that comes with a Northeast winter.  And here are my four rules for survival.

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Rule #1: Invest in a long coat.  I came to college with one of those michelin man, short North Face down coats without a hood and that was potentially the biggest mistake of my young college career.  Not only did I often come home with snow-soaked hair but the wind always found a way to blow up my back which was just not appealing.  Christmas of my sophomore year, I invested in the longer version above and have never looked back.  Pick one with a detachable hood and maybe even a fashionable little waist tie and you’ll be happy as a clam.

Rule #2: You can never have enough scarves.  I’m a scarf horder. You can’t really see it in this picture but I am currently wearing a massive, knit infinity scarf that has been my life saver in Boston.  Sometimes I walk around with it wrapped over my head and around my face and let me tell you, it is very warm.

Rule #3: Wool socks are back in style.  Freshman year, my dad bought me wool socks and I scoffed.  Three years later, I’m biting my tongue.  I even purchased these J.Crew Camp Socks in every color during an after Christmas sale.  Warmth is always stylish.

Rule: #4: Snow boots are a must.  After three years of pretending that my leather riding boots would get me through winter (shocker…they don’t), I finally bought a Northeastern favorite, L.L. Bean Duck Boots, seen here.  I am in love. They are great for snow, rain, and ice and keep me from wiping out on slick spots down Comm Ave.

And there you have it folks. Don’t end up like me, spending your first time three years as an icicle.  Practical is always fashionable.

Tiffany: ‘Tis the Season

As the semester winds down, most students are preoccupied with final exams, projects, and papers and often forget how beautiful the city of Boston is during this time of year. Although academic assignments are of the utmost importance, take some time to explore and cherish the city during the holiday season. Here are some of my favorite places to visit and activities to do in Boston during the month of December:

Ice Skate on Frog Pond

When the air gets cold enough, Frog Pond in Boston Common freezes over and is open to the public for free skate. For $5 you can spend the afternoon skating around with your friends in the middle of the Commons and experience the park in a whole new way.

Faneuil Hall

This historical landmark is beautiful at this time of year as it’s lit up with lights and holiday decorations. Enjoy the festive scenery and grab a bite to eat at Quincy Market.

Boston Ballet Nutcracker

Performed at the Boston Opera House, the Boston Ballet’s annual production of the Nutcracker is always a treat!

Downtown Crossing Holiday Market

Explore the Downtown Crossing Holiday Market and you’ll find local artists and designers selling everything from crafts, jewelry, to holiday decorations and treats. You might also find Santa Claus roaming around the market as well!

Best of luck wrapping up the academic semester and happy holidays, everyone!

 

Jon: How to Beat the Cold

New England is an amazing place, in part because of its seasons. There are few other places where you can get a real four-season year like you can in the northeast. But, with short days, cold winds, and huge amounts of snow, the winter season can seem long and unbearable to some.

However, a cheery fire and a steaming mug of hot chocolate can make all the difference in combating these mid-winter blues. So, with the toughest season of the year just beginning to show its signs, I’m going to have a go at listing the top five ways to get a break from the Boston winter.

1) Cozy up in a Coffee Shop. It may seem a bit obvious, but bringing a good book and some free time to a toasty coffee shop and relaxing is a great way to make the winter a little brighter. Between the wafting smells of freshly baked pastries, and the comfortable, low key atmosphere, your winter blues will float away like the steam coming off your mocha-soy latte. An on-campus favorite is the Espresso Royale Café –for a filling breakfast try their bagel sandwiches!

2) Catch a Flick. Boston doesn’t have the most theaters per capita, but it does have some of the nicest art house and independent venues I’ve been to. Spending a dark winter afternoon or evening in the supple ambience of an art deco theater can be a great way to brighten your week. The local Brattle Theater (Cambridge) and Coolidge Corner Theater (Brookline) are both accessible by public transit, and frequently screen old favorites, new indie pictures, foreign gems, and even a cartoon marathon from time to time.

3) Go Shopping. I’m sure I’m not the only one among us who suffers from a minor-to-severe case of retail therapy. While I might take out my stress by making questionable purchases (I don’t care what my roommate says – that $200 Japanese tea set was TOTALLY necessary), I’m actually recommending some light mall-crawling because of the locations rather than the stores. The Prudential Center, a popular shopping mall in the Back Bay, is brilliant in the winter, decked out from floor to ceiling in shiny holiday cheer. The Galleria Mall in Cambridge is similarly resplendent during the holiday season. Sometimes during the winter, a healthy dose of bright lights, shiny ornaments, and old fashioned consumerism is just what the doctor ordered.

4) Get to the Gym. I might be sounding like a broken record, but I can’t recommend exercise enough. Getting your heart rate up is clinically proven to elevate mood and help you stay positive and upbeat. Long winters can take quite a toll even on the most hardened of lifetime New Englanders. Some daily exercise is a great way to make those grey skies seem a little bit brighter. For those who have a phobia of exercise machines (“I’ve only been running for HOW long!?”), the FitRec offers classes, rock climbing and pick up sports, all fun ways to stay active without the repetitiveness of working out.

5) Embrace the Cold. It may sound funny at first, but sometimes the best way to beat the winter is throw the reigns over it and turn it into your own personal joyride. From sledding, skating and skiing, to getting in a free-fire snowball fight on Bay State road, the red noses and frozen fingertips can help you find the winter as a source of fun, rather than dreariness. Getting good and drenched in melted snow makes the hot chocolate that much more satisfying as well. Local mass transit means woods and sledding areas out of the city are just a train ride away – just be sure to bundle up!

If you haven’t experienced a New England winter before, you’re in for an extraordinary few months. Tackle it head on, stay on top of your work, and try to have some fun! Winter cheer really does exist, and like the blizzards and snow banks, it can be found in New England like no other place.

Until next time, stay warm and dry!

 

Tiffany: Sweet Spots for Building a Snowman on Campus

Tiffany ImageBU’s unique, city-like campus, at a glance, doesn’t appear to have huge patches of grass like the typical college campus. But that is exactly what we love so much about BU – a place where you can feel like you are safe and at home while still living in an active, exciting city.

However, if you do ever get the urge to spend some time in a sizeable spot of greenery, there definitely are a few sweet spots on campus. When the weather heats up, students tend to flock to these spots to throw the old pigskin around or simply soak up the rays and get their tan on. I, however, like to visit these spots in the wintertime when they are rather unpopulated, but filled with fresh snow. They are the perfect spots to make snow angels and build a snowman! Excuse the native Californian in me who still gets extremely excited at the first snow of the year.

Whether you prefer to lay out in the sun and tan, or like me, make your own Jack Frost, here is a list of the best places to do so on campus:IMG_0967

IMG_0990COM Lawn

We are the only college in the university that has our very own beautiful lawn and fountain right in front of our building. It couldn’t be more convenient to be able to soak up some sun right before class or have a snowball fight after.

BU Beach

Located right in the middle of campus behind Marsh Plaza, BU Beach is a popular spot for throwing the football around in the snow or sunshine. If you are lucky, you might even catch BU’s quidditch team practicing here.

Nickerson Field

Right in the hub of popular freshman housing in West Campus, the athletic field doubles as the biggest message board you’ll ever be tempted to post on. Students often write messages in the snow for all of West Campus to see and when we play against our cross-town rivals in hockey, the field often has BC Sucks etched intoIMG_0392 the snow!

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A bit more secluded and quiet, the lawn right in front of the high-rise student apartment building is perfect if you are in the mood to feel like a kid again and just play around in the snow. It’s where I built my first ever snowman!

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