Tagged: New York City

Spotlight: NYC v. Boston

By Stacy Schoonover, Staff Writer
@stacyscootover

Obviously, Boston is better than New York City./ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Roberto Zingales

Boston: home of the Red Sox, the Bruins, and Boston University./ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Roberto Zingales

I spent this past weekend in New York, and while NYC is the “big apple” and the “largest city in the U.S.” I couldn’t help thinking how much I love Boston more. Don’t get me wrong, New York is amazing — but there is just something about Boston that makes it superior. Let me explain…

New York is amazing because:

1. 24-Hour Subway

This city never sleeps. While Boston just go the T to stay open until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturdays, New York is transporting people on a Tuesday at 4 a.m., and it’s wonderful.

2. That being said, the city never sleeps

Boston’s bedtime is that of an old married couple having to wake up the next morning for a nine to five workday. New York has nightlife, bars, events and activities at all hours.

3. The streets are blocked, and they make sense

If someone told me I had to be at 42nd and 6th, I wouldn’t have to get out MapQuest, or take a cab just to avoid getting lost or being late. In Boston, the streets don’t make sense. Bottom Line.

4. Central Park is better than the Boston Common

Both are gorgeous… but Central Park has a zoo. A zoo, people! 1.317 square miles of adventures, playgrounds, animals, zoos, concerts, etc. is better than 50 acres of trees.

5. New York is the Cultural Capital of the World

Home to the United Nations and a hub of international affairs, New York is more cultural in food, fashion and other cultural markets. Boston is more centered on remembering the past with its strong historical background.

Boston is way better than New York because:

New York City has a lot to offer, but can it stand up to Boston?/ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Chris Isherwood

New York City has a lot to offer, but can it stand up to Boston?/ PHOTO VIA Flickr user Chris Isherwood

1. New York is too crowded

The traffic of the Boston Marathon is the traffic on a normal day on 42nd street in New York. Boston is more livable, and while Boston is still touristy, it doesn’t stand out as much as the most populated city in the U.S.

2. We have the North End

Enough said.

3. Boston smells better

There isn’t as much pollution, and that is a beautiful thing.

4. Sports

Yes New York has won 47 professional championships, but it’s the largest city in the U.S. Boston is the 21st largest city in the U.S., and has won 34 professional championships. Go Sox. Go Bruins. We win.

5. Boston is the hub of history

Home of the Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party and many other significant moments of the American Revolution, there’s so many historical sights to see. We also have the first public school in the U.S., the first subway system and the Boston Common is the oldest city park in the U.S.

And most importantly, Boston is home to BU, the best school ever! So, we win.

Social project shines light on homelessness

By Kyra Louie, Staff Writer
@beammeupkyra

Have you ever walked by homeless people without actually looking at them? It’s okay to admit to it, I definitely have. Now, what if those people you were passing were actually your beloved relatives?

Well, this video is going to shock you.

People’s brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and even wives volunteered to pose as homeless people, and were positioned so that their loved one would pass them. You would think that they would notice their own flesh and blood — but they didn’t. Every single person who walked by a family member did not recognize them and kept walking.

This video was created to advertise the Make Them Visible Project, hosted by the New York City Rescue Mission (NYCRM).

The NYCRM is a nonprofit organization created to provide help to the “people in crisis in New York City.” The organization gives people the food, shelter and clothes that they need in order to survive. Even for long term residents, it makes sure to provide help to develop careers to help people get back on their feet.

This social experiment shows just how unnoticed the homeless are in urban areas. Every day, hundreds of people walk past the homeless and don’t even acknowledge their existence. This video illuminates that phenomena by bringing awareness to the way our culture and society affects people. After all, if we cannot recognize our own family members dressed up as homeless people, what does that say about our actual perception of homeless people? If they are that invisible to everyone around them, how can we see them as actually being there?

Craig Mayes, executive director of the NYCRM told the Huffington Post, “The experiment is a powerful reminder that the homeless are people, just like us, with one exception, they are in trouble and in pain. And they are someone’s uncle or cousin or wife.”

Watch the video and be struck by the feels. I’m serious. I have a new outlook on this issue, and it’s because of this video. Check it out:

LOL Thursday: Fake Bear Terrorizes New Yorkers

By Shivani Patel, Staff Writer
@shizupates

During the Super Bowl, Chobani aired a commercial in which a bear ransacks a mom and pop grocery store, leaving only a section of Chobani greek yogurt in tact. The bear even takes one of the yogurt cups and puts it on the counter, as if ready to pay for it. The bear then pushes a magazine with his “purchase” of a yogurt. After the police deem the store safe to enter, they survey the damage only to see that the yogurt is still perfectly fine in the store.

Last week, the yogurt company followed up on the ad by dressing up an actor in a bear costume, making him look as authentic to a wild bear as possible. The bear’s mission is to find food with natural ingredients (because it wouldn’t be an ad without some sort of agenda). The company places the bear at a street corner, ready to scare New Yorkers going about their daily routine (I think we can all appreciate the fun in this publicity stunt).

The terror in some people’s faces is so sad, but so, so funny. And of course you have the people who aren’t fazed at all by a bear on the streets of NYC. And there are even some people sneakily taking video on their phones of this incredible random stunt.

A College-Style Field Trip: My IR Class’ Trip to the UN

By Seline Jung, Social Media Editor
@selinejung

Last week I went on the first field trip I’ve been on since I was in high school. I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the United Nations in New York with some of my classmates from my “Diplomatic Practice” class. The trip was entirely funded by the International Relations department at BU and was sponsored and chaperoned by our professor Husain Haqqani, himself a diplomat just until two years ago.

Haqqani, who served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S. for three years from 2008 to 2011, has arranged for the trip to happen every year he’s taught the class since 2004. When I asked him why the trip was important to him and what he always wishes most for students to take away from it, Haqqani said that IR can be studied in the classroom but only understood in the real world. “I expect my students to understand the value of multilateral diplomacy through the UN as well as to know the complexity of the diplomatic world,” he added.

We left campus at 7:30 in the morning and arrived at the UN four and a half hours later for a general tour. Afterwards we split into four groups to visit different permanent missions: Britain, Pakistan, France and Egypt. All of us got to meet real diplomats and UN representatives in their personal workspaces.

I was in the group that visited the Pakistani mission, where we were warmly welcomed by the staff and briefed by two counsellors, one of whom was the primary negotiator for Pakistan on climate change. We then got to meet Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Masood Khan, who shook all of our hands and gave us words of wisdom to become “global citizens” and of course to keep Pakistan in mind when some of us become involved in the foreign service in the future.

This trip was incredibly valuable for me in several different ways. First, since I was part of the organizing team, I learned about responsibility as well as reaching out to missions and embassies, which I had to do. I also had never been to the UN before, so this was brand new and exciting for me. I also came to understand the value of learning outside of the classroom, which I think professors should try more. Everyone who went on the trip unanimously agreed that it was worth the day trip to New York, even though we were tight on time. Getting to actually see things can be so much more valuable than sitting at a desk talking about it in a classroom.

Below are photos from the day:

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MUSE: Spring break food diary

By Brooke Jackson-Glidden, MUSE Food Editor

It’s official. We’ve been back from spring break for more than one week. Still feeling the effects of withdrawal? Got the mid-semester blues? Luckily, Brooke Jackson-Glidden, MUSE Food Editor, can look back at her spring break with more than just a forlorn feeling. And in typical foodie fashion, she looks back with her pleasantly rumbling stomach. Read on:

This spring break, I was lucky enough to spend a week in one of the great food capitals of the world: New York. As tough as it is for me to admit as a Bostonian, there’s just no place in the country (excluding maybe San Francisco) where it’s more fun to be a foodie than in The City. Chefs like Jean Georges Vongerichten and Mario Batali, restaurants like Eleven Madison Park and Le Bernadin, all call New York their home. The food coverage in The New York Times is some of the best in the country. James Beard winners, 25+ Zagat ratings, multiple Michelin stars litter the windows of restaurants that line the streets from Chinatown to Hell’s Kitchen.

It’s not my first time in New York. I’ve visited a couple of times in my life, but the experience I’ve had with New York in my restaurant research makes each visit feel much more familiar than it may be in reality. I couldn’t get you from NYU to Lincoln Center on a subway, but if you’re looking for burgers in the West Village, I can name at least three places referenced in Bon Appetit. I came to my friend’s apartment with my usual long list of restaurants, excited to visit the sandwich shops, noodle bars, pizza joints and sushi spots I found in the pages of the food magazines I love.

And then I ran out of money.

So, maybe I spent the last five days of my vacation eating packaged ramen three meals a day. But that didn’t keep me from recording my foodie highlights for my fellow Boston University foodies who see a trip to the city in their futures:

Sushi Yakasa – Upper West Side

This tiny Sushi spot hidden in plain sight serves inexpensive yet luxurious, melt-in-your-mouth hand rolls and sashimi. Now, Sushi Yakasa is no frills. They’re not trying to impress you with emulsions and panko crumbles. They offer the basics: simple yellowtail, eel, salmon, tuna, and either cucumber or avocado. And yet the fish is so fresh and cut so impeccably, you’ll remember why you fell in love with sushi in the first place. Also, don’t miss the miso soup – it’s only two dollars and as multifaceted as a good miso soup should be.

Xi'an's Mt. Qi pork noodles/ PHOTO BY Brooke Jackson-Glidden

Xi’an’s Mt. Qi pork noodles/ PHOTO BY Brooke Jackson-Glidden

Xi’an Famous Foods – Queens, East Village, Brooklyn

Xi’an is far from a foodie secret at this point. Since they opened in Brooklyn, Xi’an has exploded into a frenzy of press praise and street recommendations. Anthony Bourdain loves it, Andrew Zimmern loves it, and, most importantly (duh), I love it. Every time I’m in New York, I have to stop by at least twice to get either the spicy and tingly lamb face salad, the spicy cumin lamb soup or maybe some Mt. Qi pork noodles. All the noodles are made in house, served dripping in spicy, oily broth. Xi’an’s unique flavor palate apparently has very traditional roots, but I have yet to taste anything like it at the Chinese restaurants at home or in Boston. An evening in the Village is not complete without a quick stop at Xi’an.

Empanada Mama – Hell’s Kitchen

I have a very special relationship with Empanada Mama. When I first arrived to visit my friends from home in the city, I had big plans to head straight for my personal favorite pizza place in New York, Bleecker Street Pizza. Nonetheless, my friends would not allow me to spend one more minute in New York without trying Empanada Mama. I begged them, but they would not yield. They told me they went to Empanada Mama so much they had transformed empanadas into their currency (For example, one of my friends said she didn’t want to go into the Village because it’s “two whole empanadas to get downtown.”) So, to my chagrin, we went to E.M. at about two a.m. They were as busy as ever, patrons munching on their tiny pockets and dipping them in bright green and red sauces. We ordered one of each for the table, and I wish I could adequately describe to you how great they were. I cannot even recommend one because they were all so good. I went back two more times that weekend.

Il Cantucco – Greenwich Village

Il Cantucco is my favorite sans-research discovery. I was walking down Christopher Street (of the stonewall riots), minding my own business, when I noticed an adorable Italian bakery on the corner. I stepped inside and was smacked in the face with one of my favorite smells from childhood: sweet, baking apricots. A woman at a small table in the corner had a small plate of biscotti samples, warm from the oven. In traditional Italian style, she picked one up and shoved it in my face – and I’m so glad she did. It was soft and sweet dough, beautifully juxtaposed with the tanginess of the whole chunks of apricot baked into the center. I decided to get one with one of their Nutella lattes. When I ordered my Nutella latte, I imagined a latte made with, I don’t know, chocolate and hazelnut syrups. Instead, I got a glass completely brown on the inside, smeared with nutella. That breakfast, dipping my biscotti in the smooth, sweet latte, rubbing the cookie against the glass to get a little ribbon of Nutella, and people-watching in one of the most interesting neighborhoods of New York – that breakfast helped me discover why being a foodie in Manhattan is unlike being a foodie anywhere else. There is no experience quite like walking right off the street into a restaurant, completely blind, and having an unforgettable experience. So my number-one recommendation for any foodie visiting New York is to take a risk and try something completely new. It’ll make you fall in love with the city as I did.

Bearburger – West Village

This all-organic burger joint’s exposed brick, print-covered clay bear heads, horribly ironic taste in music (did I just hear Daughtry?) and variety of sustainable ingredients make it a classic hipster hangout, but don’t be fooled – the food is up to snuff. The chocolate milkshake is dark and sultry with dark chocolate nibs, and the extensive menu with alternative protein and bun options made this restaurant stand out. The Californian (chili verde, avocado, watercress, sharp cheddar and tomato) tastes absolutely delightful with one of their beef burgers which, as they promise, taste much more wild and flavorful than the patties you get from a non-organic farm.

Bearburger's filled-with-layers Californian/PHOTO BY Brooke Jackson-Glidden

Bearburger’s filled-with-layers Californian/PHOTO BY Brooke Jackson-Glidden

More than ‘just pop’: facts and thoughts on New York’s soda ban

By Danielle Cantey, Staff Writer

Soda, with its high sugar content, is considered at least partially responsible for America's obesity problem.Though a ban for soda was proposed for New York city, it was (at least temporarily) denied/ PHOTO BY Danielle Cantey

Soda, with its high sugar content, is considered at least partially responsible for America’s obesity problem.Though a ban for soda was proposed for New York city, it was (at least temporarily) denied/ PHOTO BY Danielle Cantey

“It’s just pop!” Sarah Palin exclaimed as she drank from a Big Gulp while mocking the recent overturning of the infamous New York City soda ban at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, according to an article on ThinkProgress.com.

According to an article by The Wall Street Journal New York’s pending soda ban flopped when state Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling blocked the ban. Tingling argued that because New York City Mayor  Michael Bloomberg took the bill straight to the Board of Health instead of allowing it to pass through City Council, Bloomberg exceeded the parameters of his authority. A technical ending for what has proven to be a controversial issue.

The ban would prohibit the sale of sodas over 16 oz in concession stands at sporting arenas and movie theatres, food trucks, delis, and restaurants.  Palin is not the only one to mock the ban. Countless others have mocked the ban while downplaying the seriousness of the harmful effects of sodas.

However, is soda really as arbitrary as critics make it seem? According to the Center for Disease Control  over one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese, and about 17% -the equivalent of 12.5 million- children 2-19 years of age are obese. Obese. Not simply overweight. The inescapable fact of the matter is that the U.S. is extremely unhealthy. It is no secret that obesity leads to a variety of health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and early deaths. Studies show that replacing soda with healthier drink alternatives (water, pure fruit juice) leads to immediate weight loss. Because of the case against the sugary carbonated drinks, others have taken note.

Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis and Boston Mayor Tom Menino have both voiced support of a soda ban in their respective cities. If a ban on a drink could save lives why is it so controversial? A slimmer nation requires less medical intervention for preventable diseases, in turn, yielding lower medical costs. Sure, removing large quantities of soda alone won’t end obesity in the U.S., but it’s a simple step towards promoting a healthy lifestyle. The fate of the proposed Cambridge and Boston soda bans remains to be seen now that New York’s ban has, at least temporarily, failed. Although with a culture so addicted to its soft drinks a world without 44oz containers of soda seems hard to imagine.

Tales of a Transplant: Family I never knew existed

By Ryan Galindo, Staff Writer
@rygalindo

Husky meme

My reaction when my parents told me about family members I never knew I had. PHOTO COURTESY ICANHASCHEEZBURGER.COM

 

I grew up thinking I had family that lived in the Philippines, Guam, Orlando, Fla. and Los Angeles. Nothing more, nothing less. And I believed that for 18 years.

When the time came for my me and my parents to decide where I would be going for college, I sat them down in our living room. I had applied to colleges all over the U.S. and was fortunate enough to be accepted to most of them. It was a surprise when my parents started listing off names of family members I never knew existed that lived nearby certain universities I was accepted to. The conversation went something like this:

Parents: Oh, Seattle University? You have cousins that live there.

Me: Huh?

Parents: You have an aunt that lives in New Jersey.

Me: Seriously?

Parents: NYU and Fordham? We have family in New York.

Me: Oh my goodness!

Parents: Chaminad University? We have family in Honolulu, too.

Me: Wait—what?

I was dumbfounded.

Nonetheless, as confused as I was at this sudden revelation of our extended family tree, I was all the more excited to go to college. Yes, I’d have somewhere to stay during breaks, I thought to myself.

Thanksgiving weekend was the first opportunity I had to stay with my new found family. They live in a town outside Newark, N.J., so I took the bus from Boston to Newark Penn Station. It was a slow bus ride, prolonged by the holiday traffic and made longer by the anticipation I felt. I was going to meet these family members for the first time. All I knew was that my dad and the woman I was meeting were cousins, and that she and her husband had three children, all around my age.

When I got to Penn Station, I nervously stood in the cold waiting for them to pick me up. I was looking for a turquoise Nissan Altima, according to my new second cousin. Once it pulled up to the pick-up area, I saw my cousins waving out the window, smiling. And with that, all my anxiety was erased. They seem like nice people, I thought.

And I was right. From there we hit off pretty well. We have similar tastes in music and hobbies, and we like to eat, as demonstrated by our appetite during Thanksgiving dinner. Apparently, they didn’t know of my existence either. My dad’s cousin (their mother) had only informed them just recently. So that became another thing we had in common.

Like every person who’s never been to Guam, they asked me what Guam was like and how I like BU. In return, I asked the similar questions about New Jersey and their schools.

There was never a dull moment during the weekend.  We went out every day, whether it was to go Black Friday shopping or going to New York City for the first time—which, by the way, was AMAZING. I’ve always wanted to visit the city, and now I can check that off my bucket list.

Galindo

A photo of me and my family in Times Square, on the right side of the billboard. A Google Chrome promo used a webcam to take a photo of us and posted it to a billboard.  RYAN GALINDO/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

It was quite depressing when I had to go. I knew I’d miss them badly. But I’ve already made plans to return for spring break, so it wasn’t all that bad.

So this Thanksgiving, I was thankful for the five seemingly new family members I gained, who took me in and made me feel as loved and appreciated as if I’d known them my whole life. Surely, lots of people have relatives, however distant, they’ve never met. Go meet yours.

Tales of a Transplant: Road trip

By Ryan Galindo, Staff Writer
@rygalindo

I’d never been on a road trip before, unless you consider driving from one end of Guam to the other in roughly one hour a road trip.

This past weekend, I went to Washington, D.C. I was nothing short of excited to go on this trip, being that it was my first time venturing out of Boston and Massachusetts and state-hopping until I arrived at the nation’s capital.

The trip wasn’t for leisure, though; it was mostly business… sort of. The Boston University Filipino Student Association went to attend an annual event where a bunch of other collegiate Filipino clubs from several universities in New England came together and discuss our culture. This year, it happened to take place at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., which is just minutes from D.C.

Union Station

American flags ripple in the wind outside Union Station / PHOTO CREDIT RYAN GALINDO

The thought of the trip was thrilling, but the length of travel, not so much. After having spent 24 hours traveling from Guam to Boston, where I had to sit and stay put on a claustrophobia-inducing plane for eight hours TWICE, I was not looking forward to the 10-hour bus ride to D.C.

Excuse my whining. Now, let’s get to the sappy stuff.

Union Station

Inside Union Station / PHOTO CREDIT RYAN GALINDO

We left Boston on a Friday evening and arrived at D.C. the following morning. When I took my first step outside Union Station, I proceeded to indulge myself with a long, panoramic gaze of the city. And it was beautiful. The sight of Columbus Circle with its massive sculptures, fountain and flags of every state was a nice sight that welcomed me to the nation’s capital.

But again, we weren’t there to sight-see but to attend a convention. As much as I wanted to take a tour of the capital, the

convention took precedence. The cab ride to Fairfax, Va. was the closest thing to a tour that I got. I saw the Capitol, the Lincoln Monument and the Washington Monument on the way to GMU, albeit from a distance—a very, very far distance. The Washington Monument looks bigger in person than in picture, I might add.

I’d write about the convention, but I’d be going off tangent, so I’ll continue with the ride back to Boston.

We left D.C. on a Sunday morning with the plan to return to Boston by 9 p.m. Because the trip to D.C. was during the evening, I couldn’t get to enjoy the sights since it was dark out. So, on the way back, I was pretty hyped for the trip back because I could actually see what’s out there.

New York City skyline

The sun sets on the New York City skyline / PHOTO CREDIT RYAN GALINDO

Although I had an extreme bout of motion sickness and soreness from sitting too long, the different scenes of New England made it that much bearable and worth it. I mean, I got to see the New York City skyline for the first time in person—like it was actually a couple of miles away from me. I’ve always dreamt about visiting the city that never sleeps. Before the trip, I’d only seen the city in pictures and on television and had experienced it vicariously through my friends that visited it. It was almost surreal, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I am always in a state of disbelief when I see or experience something so unlike Guam. Seeing the skyline reminded me that I wasn’t in the middle of the Pacific anymore.

As was planned, we arrived back in Boston around 9 p.m. When I got back to my sweet dorm, I couldn’t help but crashing on my bed and sleeping like a baby because my mind and body were tired and sore from all the traveling.

But I would go through it all again for another road trip experience.