City

Screw This, I’m Going to Florida

Those familiar with the television program The Office (U.S.), which is to say every single person who has so much as glanced at a Twitter feed or made passing eye contact with someone with a Netflix subscription, may be aware of a certain subplot in which a few members of our beloved gang of beleaguered paper company employees travel to one of the closest things America has to a tropical paradise: Florida. (Sigh.)

While there, one of their numbers — Stanley, given a blessed portrayal by Leslie David Baker — really goes all in on the Florida aesthetic. He wears sunglasses; he drives a convertible with the top down; he truly rocks myriad Hawaiian shirts. Generally, he seems unwilling and unable to give two sh*ts.

And, in just six weeks, I plan to become him.

My roommate and I are moving to Florida.

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City

The Only Thing I Care About Is Harvard Square’s Milk Bar

There is a genre of online content known as “oddly satisfying videos.” These are the weird clips of disembodied hands doing strange activities that clog your discover page on any given social media platform.

Image result for site:milkbarstore.com birthday cake
birthday cake (credit: Milk Bar)

For most of these, I believe the word “oddly” applies to the word “satisfying” in that I am utterly mystified as to how any of them could be categorized as in any way soothing or pleasurable to watch. Soap cutting? Don’t care. Slime videos? Off-putting at best. Those weird, inexplicable piles that I can only describe as knockoffs of cult classic as-seen-on-TV item Moon Sand? Mostly just make me recollect the Moon Sand my mother made me throw away when I was 11.

But there is one oddly satisfying subgenre I will fully admit to enjoying, and that is the cake decorating video. I would watch armless hands frost and adorn sweet treats while cheerful instrumentals play until the end of time. Although that might just be because I like cake.

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City

The HUBWeek Experience

It was just a casual night as my roommate and I did our typical nightly routine of walking through Faneuil Hall. This time, there were flashing show lights displayed outside of an event with large crowds of people. As we made our way to the entrance, we were informed that it was closed for the day. We gave each other the look of “Oh man” and walked away disappointed until one of the staff members informed that we could come by tomorrow.

This event I stumbled upon was actually an “Ideas festival,” that brings the ideas of science, art, and technology together. This festival occurs once every year for a weekend in the Boston area during the month of October. The event is sponsored by The Boston Globe, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Massachusetts General Hospital in order to bring together people of art, academics, entrepreneurs, researchers, executives, makers, and even up-and-comers. In the three short years of HUBWeek, it has brought together attendees from 59 countries, 46 states, and 38 industries.

When you walk in, your mind is blown away with the massive amount of art and science that filled the space. Multiple tent setups known as domes with their individual themes were areas with live performances and shows. People walked around with all sorts of cameras such as Canons, Nikons, and even phone cameras just clicking away to capture the beauty they witnessed right in front of them. Mini-galleries were set in trailers designed from head-to-toe displaying posters and art. There was even a test drive Tesla stimulation station for people to watch or try out. You could also sit in for a TED talk to get some inspiration and motivation

It was definitely a great place to take family photos, photos with your friends, or even your latest Instagram post. There were all sorts of art with different colors that were shown on walls or inside makeshift cube stands. One had bubble balls that lit up in different light patterns while another had a mini couch as if you were in a living room in the 70’s. It was a new experience for me, something that made me more curious about art and technology and the way it affects the world. Questions that ran through my head were “How much electricity is being used for this event and how are they able to keep these stations warm if it’s an outside event?” The event was a great way to explore your curiosity and imagination. Who would ever think they would even have a drag show at an art/science/technological event? I didn’t until I witnessed my first drag show, where I saw all kinds of faces entertained by the art and beauty of a drag queen while jamming out to the songs that brought out your inner diva. There was even one part in the show, that a drag queen used her platform to spread awareness about voting for the midterm election that was coming up.

The night ended with two separate finales. A club with live music and a silent disco party. My roommate and I found our way mostly through the silent disco party. It was super fun as you saw everyone around you jumping up and down to all different types of songs. Everyone around you could be listening to the same music as you or not, but it didn’t matter. What mattered was that people enjoyed themselves in a room of silence with a mind of expression and music. Three different stations with the music constantly changing, brought people’s energy to the roof. We even took silent disco outside the venue and just simply got loose.

This event known as HUBWeek is definitely a great experience for everyone to attend and even for all ages. The world of art, science, and technology has only evolved and is bringing people around the world together. Education and fun can definitely go together because HUBweek has been a wonderful time!

Art

How I Stay Inspired as a Writer

Writer’s block—it happens to the best of us. You’re furiously typing on your laptop, running with an idea for this story you’ve been toiling over, and then… silence. No more hasty tapping on keys, no more listening to the cogs whir in your head. The quiet is deafening, but you’ve hit this wall in your head, and new ideas are trapped behind it.

It’s hard to muster up the motivation to climb over that wall or destroy it completely. When it comes to creative writing especially, it can be hard to overcome a lack of ideas. What’s going to happen next in the plot? Where will your characters go? Will your main character like classic Mozart, or the new Nicki Minaj album?

Decisions, decisions.

Writer’s block is a dream killer and a productivity suck. Instead of lying down and surrendering, however, I’ve come up with some ways to stay inspired as a creative writer that I’d like to share with you, my fellow authors.

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Campus

The Parent Weekend Getaway

Like many of us Emerson students, you may know what happened this weekend. And no, it’s not Halloween, that’s next weekend. But it’s almost similar to move-in day, where there’s a swarming crowd of your loved ones getting to send you off into this new world of adult life. Some have long awaited this moment. But if you haven’t guessed it by now, it was Parents Weekend. Whether you’re an international student or it’s too expensive for your family to come to visit, your weekend might just consist of staying on campus. With many of your friends and roommates out with their parents, you wonder what could you possibly do. For those won’t be expecting a visit from their parents this weekend, there’s still plenty of things for you to do.

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City

How to Survive Commuting

Ah, the city school. There are so many upsides to attending a college in the heart of downtown: the exciting nearby events; the discounted access to museums and fancy cultural stuff; the jaw-dropping number of CVS franchises in a one-block radius. (It is truly mystifying that so many identical retail pharmacies can exist in such close proximity to each other without any threat to business whatsoever.)

However, with all upsides come downsides. Such is the way of the universe. There are two exceptions to this rule: the film Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, which is perfect, and the food known as the buttered popcorn jelly bean, which is one hundred percent downside and so unabashedly evil it is concrete evidence of the existence of the devil.

Going to college in the city has a downside, and it is this: it is expensive to live in a city, so unless you live on campus, you might have to move to the outskirts. And moving to the outskirts means spending a lot of time on transit. Here are some of my hard-won strategies to surviving my time on the train.

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Opinion

A Pause In The Pouring Rain

Marathon Monday was by no means the way I imagined it. First of all, I thought the weather would be warm-ish at least and I didn’t think it would be pouring rain. Second of all, I thought I would actually watch the race. With team brunch, housing selection for next year, and unexpected job training, I was busy all day long.

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City

A Diehard Boston Bruins Fan and the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs

I bleed black and gold.

Before you call 911 on me, hold the phone. No, I don’t actually bleed black and gold. No, I’m not going to prove it to you. Take my word for it. What I mean by that is I am a diehard fan of the Boston Bruins, the hockey team of the greater Boston area/New England. Bruins hockey (metaphorically!) runs through my veins.

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City

From The Suburbs To The City

Walking out my front door to see a view of a Cul De Sac with suburban houses immediately makes me miss the city. I hear over and over again that “Austin IS a city.” Yes it is, but can I walk from my house to a Forever 21 in 10 minutes? Nope.

Moving from Austin to Boston was quite the adjustment for me. Not only is there a huge change of scenery, there is a huge chance of pace. In the city everything fast paced and high energy. I will literally plan my day by the hour in Boston. I didn’t always use to be this way. Before I moved here I didn’t even own a planner. Being immersed in this new culture has made me a much more productive person.

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City

Grocery Stores in Boston: Ranked

Grocery shopping is one of the worst activities in the world, and I am incredibly bad at it. I always put it off until the last possible minute, until my food stores are down to four baby carrots and a handful of animal crackers. I always end up shopping when I’m hungry, which is a baseline no-no. And I always get unbelievably bored while I’m doing it, ending up tossing things in my basket to speed up the process until my receipt looks like someone set an eleven-year-old loose in the cookie aisle.

In my endeavors to make this errand more tolerable, I have come up with a rubric for grocery store perfection. Here are six grocery stores in the Boston area, judged for price, location, snack selection, and overall vibe – on a scale where one is bad and five is utopian.

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