By Jasmine Ferrell, Staff Writer
Spring break is finally within our grasp and for many of us this means flying out this very Friday to some exotic destination (or at least away from here). The whole flying process has gotten increasingly complex and frustrating, especially within recent years, and the worst part of all? The security. From going through all those machines, remembering 3-1-1 rule, and trying to still get to your flight on time, none of it adds up to a pleasant experience. The only saving grace is that every once in a while, a fellow flyer decides to spice things up a bit and get creative with their carry-ons.
The airport security often confiscates many objects when they’re processing all the people and if you’re lucky it might happen to the person in front of you. Think of it as in-line entertainment. Personally, the only thing they’ve ever taken from me is some smuggled Nutella but there are enough stories to fill a book of more extravagant confiscations. Take for instance in occurrence in a U.K. airport. A 22-year-old attempted to bring with him, a 207 lb. bag filled with individually wrapped caterpillars. The first question you may want to ask is why, but he has a simple answer: they were for personal consumption. A completely natural reason, especially for such a large amount, and for all we know he was having some crazy caterpillar themed soiree. But this is all beside the point, the airport confiscated it and the sack-o-pillars is no more.
This 22-year-old is not alone is his bizarre luggage. From concealed weapons to dead snakes, the people of this world are not boring. One of my personal favorites is a man who attempted to bring two doves with him on the plane by concealing them in his pants. Brilliant. If this is not enough to sate your desire for the weirdest airport security encounters, below is a wonderful graphic that highlights the best of the best. So even if you happen to be stuck in line filled with boring people and perfectly normal luggage, entertain yourself with these tales of fancy.
Some of the DFP staff ventured out on a Friday night for a “bar crawl!” Check out the list on our Foursquare map to see where you’re headed. Here’s what we found:
Located on the side of a small street in Cambridge, Tommy Doyle’s looks like a house from its warm interiors to its wood siding. There was and upper and lower level, but on the night we were there, the upper level had a cover charge and the lower level was a private event. The atmosphere on the main floor is in between a nice sit-down place and a club. It’s a good place to hang out with friends and casually sip drinks before heading to a full-fledged club.
From the outside, this bar/club looks like your average neighborhood Chinese food restaurant. But don’t be fooled by the Hong Kong‘s looks. Once you pass the bouncer, make a sharp left, and go up some stairs and you’ll get to a second level. A well decorated bar is packed with people in their twenties and thirties socializing, standing in groups or sitting in offset corner booths with tables. The bartenders are friendly and interactive. But wait, there’s more.
There is a third floor as well. The night we attended, there was a long wait for the floor and most of our party did not get to go up. Part of the excitement surrounding the third floor was the hype that was created amongst the people waiting to go up.
The dance floor was pagoda-themed, and smaller than the lower two floors. Perhaps the biggest allure of the Hong Kong it feels like you have discovered a new scene each time you ascend the stairs.
There are plenty of dance clubs/bars in Boston, but few have no cover charge. This is one of the few. Storyville usually has a small line. Once inside, you descend a flight of stairs and have the option of entering one of two rooms. The first is lit with red lights and has a bar, and, behind a half-wall with rentable booths, a dance floor. The second room has blue lighting, its own music and a different, calmer yet still dance-worthy atmosphere. This club is good for decent drinks at a decent price, dancing, and saving money. The age group can be a little older, but if you go with a group of friends it’s a lot of fun.
Mass Ave Tavern:
Spacious sports bar/restaurant on Mass Ave and Newbury St. The service at Mass Ave Tavern is fast and friendly and the ambience is laid back but a bit nicer than your average sports bar. It’s not a typical college crowd, but if you don’t want to be bothered by anyone and just want to throw back a beer or two and eat nachos (seriously, the nachos could feed a party of 10) with your friends, Mass Ave Tavern is your place. There is also a foosball table and an array of board games to play, a fun and laid-back addition that mad Mass Ave stand out. Specialty cocktails include the Bee Keeper, which our fellow FreeP staffer described as “rye whiskey [with] fresh lemon and honey [to] really balance it out. It’s palatable and complements it instead of drawing attention to the alcohol.”
In our opinion, this was by far the best place of the night. Located right in the heart of Harvard Square, Grendel’s is located in the basement of a charming white building. It does sort of feel like a den – prepare to feel cozy but not suffocated, as can be the case in many bars frequented by college students. The crowd is young, the bartenders are trendy and tattooed, and prices are wallet-friendly. But beware of the specialty drink called “Kanye’s Workout Plan” – it sounds cool, but according to our taste-tester, it tasted more like watered-down mint syrup mixed in with some vodka than a refreshing lime-infused drink.
Boston University and its surrounding city was full of surprises in 2012 and the FreeP was here to cover it all. We had protests and arrests and accidents, oh my! But with 2012 coming to a close The Daily Free Press has compiled some of the news highs and lows of the year.
1. On Feb. 19 men’s ice hockey junior defensemen Max Nicastro was charged with sexual assault. However, the charges were later dropped.
Charges dropped against former BU mens hockey player
2. Boston eagerly awaited election results.
Tensions stir as Boston awaits election results
3. When the campus was plagued by armed robbers, racial profiling became an issue on campus.
Students still feel racial tension despite robbers arrests
4. BU legend, former University President John Silber died leaving the community (and the FreeP) many memories of his turbulent presidency.
The legacy lives on, John Silbers impact on BU
5. Three Students died in a car accident in May while studying abroad in New Zealand
Vigil remembers NZ students
Road conditions in NZ crash analyzed by expert, police say
6. Following the administration’s announcement it was suspending the gender-neutral housing initiative students organized a demonstration and were subsequently threatened with arrest.
Students threatened with arrest at GNH demonstration
7. The MBTA emptied our wallets but still didn’t get us to class on time.
Passengers face fare hikes as MBTA awaits potential revenue
8. The community surrounding the BU biolab continued to fight against its operation, but the FreeP got in for a tour.
Residents speak out against biolab at forum
Biolab scheduled to begin operating in February
Reporter’s notebook: tour of the BU biolab
9. After a slew of bike accidents community members called for increased safety for cyclists.
Officials, advocates seek increased bike safety
10. Two bodies were found in the Charles, proving nightmares about early morning crew practice to be true.
First body found in Charles River ID’d as Cambridge man
Here’s to a new year full of even better coverage!
—Freep E-board Spring 2013
By Brandon Lewis, Staff Writer
Imagine Allston without rowdy college students and loud, lively parties on the weekends. You probably can’t because Allston is a neighborhood defined by its collegiate party scene. If students want to enjoy themselves on the weekend, Allston is the place to be.
However, regular residents don’t seem to agree. Many non-college residents of Allston-Brighton have been known to contact the the police to voice their annoyance with the excessive noise of the neighborhood. And now, attempts to control noise have been taken a step further. The Daily Free Press reported on a new ordinance Tuesday that has proposed more police patrols of the area along with hefty fines for party hosts and attendees whose noisiness disturbs neighbors.
One resident interviewed even suggested that noise-makers should receive a fine of $500 for a first-time offense and $1,000 for a second-time offense. Don’t you think fining students is a little extreme? Besides, it would be pretty difficult to implement. At a noisy, crowded party, who would be fined? Random guests or the hosts of the party or …?
Let’s face it, we are in Boston, where thousands of students roam the metropolitan area. The Allston-Brighton neighborhood is known for housing many college students, who host many college parties. Residents should anticipate higher noise when choosing to live here. Allston is not the ideal place to raise a family or to live peacefully. Sorry, but that’s a fact. Residents need to know what they’re getting themselves into when moving to Allston. It may be an affordable place to live, but if you don’t like noise, don’t move here. If you have outgrown the party scene, then Allston-Brighton should not be on your prospective neighborhood list.
The residents of Allston-Brighton have to accept the reality that they are living in a neighborhood that will always be plagued by noise and parties as long as Boston remains a college town. If they can’t accept this, then I’m afraid it’s time to find new homes.
By Amira Francis, Staff Writer
Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in the confines of Boston University’s campus. Sure, there’s a whole world out there, but BU is, well, comfy, convenient and safe. Why go out somewhere else to study and have a good time when you can curl up in your best friend’s dorm to eat and snooze, or visit Mugar Memorial Library to nestle down and plow through your homework?
Well, I’m here to remind you why. It’s refreshing, stimulating and healthy. It gives you a change of atmosphere. I’m going to talk about just a few obvious places that often get overlooked when deciding where to study or relax. Sometimes, it’s important to get away from the vibe of the BU campus and fall into something a little bit different.
The Garden: I’m sure you’ve been to the Boston Public Garden. But how often do you come here to have a full day of entertainment, relaxation or even studying? It’s easy to get caught up in a world of only college students, but when you come to the garden, you’re reminded that there’s a whole menagerie of people out there—people of different ages, with different ideas, from different backgrounds. It’s kind of nice to get out of the college scene and see all different walks of life.
You could use the garden for many different things. You could find a quiet spot to hit the books underneath one of the many willow trees around the park. You could use the time alone to stroll through the park and listen to the various musicians and performers along the path. You could come here with a group of friends and make it a day of adventure, trying out restaurants around the park or playing some sort of pick-up game. Be inspired to play your own music in the park. Decide to be a kid and climb one of the many trees it offers. Give a little money and love to the performers that are trying to share their talent with you.
Harvard Square: Okay, chances are you’ve been here too. If you haven’t, decide to make the trip! Harvard Square is a magical place, my friends. It’s filled with an intellectual buzz. You can find a cafe in nearly every other building you pass, and the square itself is always full of people—students, tourists and professors alike. There are a variety of things you can do in a day trip here, including bringing homework to cafe-hop with or going shopping at the local Urban Outfitters. There are always different events happening around the square that emanate creativity, too. Whether it’s a painter selling his art, a local playing guitar and singing, or two people dressed as historical figures giving tours, Harvard Square always has something interesting to offer.
Espresso Royale Caffe: If you don’t have quite the time or energy to get out of BU’s campus, there’s always a little niche called Espresso Royale waiting around the corner. Walking into the cute, comfortable cafe is basically like stepping into another world. The atmosphere changes, and suddenly you don’t feel like you’re at BU anymore. Dimly lit with indie music playing quietly in the background and a comforting aroma of coffee wafting through the air, Espresso Royale makes for a good getaway without straying too far from home. Here, you can always find friendly company, good conversation and a fresh cup of coffee. Perfect for stimulating your young college mind.
Whether your journey takes you far or keeps you close to home, be sure to switch it up often and journey outside to discover new hotspots! Boston has plenty to offer.
By Tom Ford, Daily Free Press Contributor
Last night, at approximately 11:15 p.m. Eastern time, the state of Ohio was projected to fall on the side of President Obama, a raucous cheer broke out across America, celebrating the end of a long, arduous campaign that’s left a deeply divided nation behind in its tracks. As the weeks dragged on, more and more money went into increasingly negative ad campaigns that had many confused about what positives there were to be had from either candidate.
Yet here we are. In a night that also saw multiple states legalizing gay marriage, America has seemingly taken a stand on the issue of whether a business background and plans to revamp the economy are enough to make up for a somewhat antiquated view on social issues. Romney ran a strong campaign, don’t get me wrong; however, it seems that Obama’s message of moving forward and finishing the work that he’s started resonated with people in swing states.
The biggest shock of the night arguably came a few hours before the end result was announced; Pennsylvania, a state many analysts predicted swinging toward Romney, went to the President. This is likely due to the large presence of the auto industry and steel industry in the state, both of which might have been a bit turned off by Romney’s anti-bailout stances.
Elizabeth Warren was elected Senator in Massachusetts, winning a heavily-contested battle that acted as a referendum on Brown’s handling of the Wall Street fiscal crisis. Needless to say, the Harvard Professors message of a “fair shot” for the middle-class was persuasive, with the race being called relatively early in the night.
All in all, this election has served to teach us a few things about ourselves, both positive and negative. First, our young generation of voters is one that is very passionate about having a say in their future. There was not a day that I could go without seeing a dozen posts on some sort of social media about the election. Next, we’re trending toward spending an ungodly amount of money on campaigns. Unfortunately, most of this went into negative ads this year. Finally, we’re very willing to be at each other’s throats to defend our personal views. Impassioned rants about why Mitt Romney is evil or about how Obama is a covert Muslim Kenyan terrorist really soured my first Presidential election, to say the least.
Ah well, four more years until this political circus rears its head again. God bless.
By Syndey Moyer, Music Editor
The latest new thing in psychedelic prog-rock/folk/acoustic rising up with a debut LP on Partisan Records is a Swedish supergroup of sorts called The Amazing. Oh, what’s that? You’ve never heard of another rising psychedelic prog-rock/folk/acoustic quintet? Of course not because the sound of these five Swedes evades comparison or label, like so many of the greats in the music industry do today. On “Gentle Stream,” their second studio effort, the band opens with the seven-plus-minute musical journey “Gentle Stream,” which effortlessly glides through a myriad of genres and musical styles to create a sound both lush and captivating, qualities that remain notably present throughout the album. Listen for yourself below on Spotify, and if you’re at a loss for what to do this weekend, skip the drunken Allston basement shenanigans and head to Royale on Friday to see The Amazing open for Tame Impala. It’s guaranteed to be a good time.
By Saba Hamedy, Staff Writer
On Election Day in the year 2000, my fourth grade teacher gave my class copies of a blank United States map. Our homework was to color in each state blue or red, based off the Electoral College tally as it was projected. Naturally, my 10-year-old self didn’t quite understand what the Electoral College was, let alone the significance of an election. My first reaction was frustration over the fact that I’d probably have to miss an episode of “Hey Arnold!” that night. But alas, my inner perfectionist was ready to get an “O” for outstanding (I went to a liberal elementary school) on my assignment.
So, that night, I sat with my parents in front of the television and slaved away at my coloring — state by state, hour by hour. When the clock struck 9 p.m., I was ready to go to bed. With all my states colored in, I could go to sleep in peace knowing I finished my assignment. But as I was leaving, the reporter said, “This just in: Florida now a red state.”
I blinked twice, shocked. I was livid. I had already colored in Florida blue with marker! I couldn’t erase it.
“My teacher is going to mark me down!” I wailed, both frustrated and confused.
“No, no it’s okay, we’ll just white it out,” my mom calmly responded.
I watched her slowly trace over the then-blue state with a milky white pen. Now Florida was red, with a slight blue tint. I still wasn’t satisfied but figured it was the best I could do. Finally I could go to sleep.
But just as I was getting up, the reporter repeated, “This just in: Florida is a blue state… again.”
I decided to go to sleep anyway, with the state colored red. I was too tired to re-white out Florida, and I secretly hoped my classmates had kept it red too. The next day, I found not only did my entire class have it red also, but that this mysterious red-blue state of Florida was a toss-up, making the 2000 election one of the most controversial ones in U.S. history. Reporters said it would take months to figure out if the state was blue or red. The president elect was still undecided.
That was my first experience with politics, but certainly not my last. As the years went on, my knowledge of politics increased but my interest stayed the same. Although the next election took place in eighth grade, all I really remember is that after George Bush won, my very-liberal English teacher (who dressed up as a “blue state” for Halloween, I kid you not) muttered “F—k!” under her breath and let us have free time during class.
Then of course came the 2008 election. In high school, voting became cool and those non-18-year-olds (aka me) were frustrated I couldn’t take part in the “vote or die” trend. But I don’t think the Election Day effect ever really hit me. Until today.
Today, Nov. 6, 2012, I lost my voting virginity and sent in my ballot. No more confusion over the Electoral College. No more coloring in red or blue. In fact, now, as a political science and journalism double major, I have become the ultimate political news junkie. This time around, I know more is at stake than just an “Outstanding” on my homework assignment. So tonight, I will sit glued to the television, anxiously watch Wolf Blitzer point out states on CNN’s interactive map and either cry tears of joy or sorrow. Maybe I’ll print out a blank map of the United States and color, just for fun.
Happy Election Day!
By Amira Francis, Staff Writer
Let’s focus on something a little less formal and a little more fun that has to do with this election season: Barack Obama and Mitt Romney’s Tumblr accounts. These gems (really, gems) reveal a bit about their campaigning styles outside of mainstream media.
Scrolling through President Barack Obama’s campaign Tumblr is like browsing through your favorite website on a quiet afternoon of not doing homework. It’s entertaining and easygoing, yet still maintains focus on politics and campaigning. His page will convince you to become addicted to clicking through the continuous stream of well-placed Instagram pictures and humorous videos.
One of the popular videos posted on Obama’s Tumblr is a message from Will Ferrell to you! The voters! Chock full of Will Ferrell’s humor, this video aims to encourage citizens to vote.
Props, Obama. Hilarious, engaging, down-to-earth. Some could describe it as a little desperate but, hey. It’s Will Ferrell. It works.
Other posts are aimed at younger voters.
It seems that Obama’s Tumblr relies on humor more than anything else. Effective? You decide. His campaign also posted an appealing picture of the popular band OK Go. The colors are vibrant and the photo itself is unique and eye-catching, which draws you in to then read that the lead singer of OK Go wrote a Rolling Stone article advocating Obama’s reelection.
Once again, clever play on the part of Obama’s people. Just like the Will Ferrell video, this little Tumblr blurb draws you in and then tries to sway you in Obama’s direction with fame.
In addition to the celebrities and logos, the blog site also has plenty of pictures and comments from Obama supporters around the country. If it were a battle of how many supporter pictures are up, however, presidential candidate Mitt Romney would win.
The page is colorful, heavily-instagram’d and attention-grabbing. Romney’s campaign seems to choose a more direct advertising route than Obama’s. Instead of working in famous figures and delivering a subtle message, Romney plays up special moments and uses his fan base to speak for itself. It is still, however, just as interesting to scroll down.
There are a couple of messages to Romney supporters, including a picture of three women supporters.
My favorite Romney post is a more recent one. It touches a funny bone while still maintaining seriousness and a sense of authority.
It subtly compares changing the president to changing the clock: it’s necessary and unquestionably done consistently. Crafty.
Although each president’s Tumblr uses its own style and flare in campaigning over the web, you have to give both props for adapting to the virtual world. Check out their Tumblr accounts in full for yourself, and decide which one captures your heart!
By Heather Goldin, Staff Writer
With the election just around the corner, you can’t forget that there are other names on the ballot, including U.S. Senate candidates and district representatives. If you are registered to vote in Massachusetts, then on the ballot you will find candidates Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren. After the three widely viewed presidential debates, we should all have a pretty good idea of which name we are marking on the ballot for the president. But what about the senate representatives? If you didn’t pay attention in history class, senators are responsible for representing their respective states. For six years, the elected representatives speak for the people they represent and decide whether they are for or against newly proposed laws. So, who is the right representative for the job? Here’s the lowdown on each candidate to help you figure out which candidates’ bubble you’ll fill in on voting day.
- Curriculum should be set by local boards rather than nationally
- Supports the “No Child Left Behind” program
- Wants to repeal Obamacare
- Believes that states should be able to create health care reform that works for them without raising taxes or cutting off senior care
- Wants to reduce the burden of small businesses
- For hiring returning war veterans to decrease unemployment rate
- Wants to fund start-up companies
On Energy and the Environment:
- Supports policies that will help reduce pollution
- Supports development of alternative energy sources to reduce dependence on foreign oil
- Wants to strengthen border enforcement and institute an employment verification system with consequences for hiring illegal immigrants
- Against driver’s licenses and in-state tuition for illegal immigrants
On Women’s Issues:
- Supports abortion but is against taxpayers having to fund it
- Supports funding Planned Parenthood
- Against human trafficking
- Wants to keep taxes low
- Wants to invest more in public colleges and universities
- Supports advanced technical training programs
- Wants to strengthen grant programs
- Stands with Obamacare, but wants to reduce the cost of health care
- Wants to increase jobs in small businesses and simplify small business regulations
- Supports workers unions
On Energy and the Environment:
- Wants to invest in clean energy technology to eventually lower production costs for businesses
- Believes there should be a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants that requires them to pay taxes
- Supports existing laws with protecting borders and laws against hiring illegal immigrants
On Women’s Issues:
- Supports equal pay
- Wants to protect the current health care plan, which will in turn protect maternity care and safe abortion services
- Believes in a tax reform to help small businesses